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Loud Music Juror Speaks Out; New Push To Rescue Taliban Prisoner; NFL Drops Lawsuit Against Biogenesis, Anthony Bosch

Aired February 19, 2014 - 06:30   ET



MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is half past the hour. We'll give you a look at your headlines now.

More than two dozen people killed in the violent uprisings in the Ukraine. Smoke is seen rising in the capital city of Kiev, where fires and clashes with police raged over night. Ukraine's Russian- backed president, Viktor Yanukovych banning all protests, planning to use all means necessary in order to restore order, despite a phone call from Vice President Joe Biden urging him to exercise restraint.

To Venezuela, opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez is in a prison this morning after surrendering to government security forces. He is charged with murder and conspiracy in connection with recent violence. There have been demonstrations all across Caracas, many demanding Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro step down while others support the government.

Fiery protests also claiming lives in Thailand. At least five people were killed, nearly 100 wounded in Bangkok. A police officer was among those killed after protesters fired on them using tear gas to disperse the crowd. The political crisis there stems from objections to the prime minister who is now facing charges from the country's anti-corruption commission.

Back here at home, ground water containing unsafe levels of arsenic is still pouring into the Dan River in North Carolina. Officials have ordered Duke Energy coal ash dump to contain this second leak. That river is already contaminated from a massive spill at the same facility earlier this month. Duke is promising to be accountable for the cleanup but admits the costs will likely be passed along to its rate payers.

I want to show you some dramatic video showing a jewelry store robbery in New Jersey. You can see these thieves smash through a store with a pickup truck. Apparently it was stolen. They then wrapped cables around a large safe, which contained nearly $250,000 in jewelry. They hauled the safe out the door, where a front-end loader scooped it up. Dumped it in another gate away car. The whole thing took less than two minutes. By the way, look at the date. Valentine's Day.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: They were really prepared. PEREIRA: Yes. So police are doing what they can to track these guys down. Two minutes. So fast.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: If only they could put that efficiency and genius to something not criminal, trading and derivatives.

All right. Also new this morning, a juror in the so-called loud music trial is finally speaking out. What went on inside the jury room during those 30 hours of intense deliberations and why she says Michael Dunn got away with murder. This as we're hearing more of those jailhouse phone calls made by Dunn just weeks after killing 17- year-old Jordan Davis. The report from CNN's Alina Machado.


INTERVIEWER: Do you think Michael Dunn got away with murder?

VALERIE, JUROR #4 IN DUNN MURDER TRIAL: At this point, I -- I do myself, personally yes.

ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A juror from Michael Dunn's murder trial is speaking out about what was going on inside the jury's deliberation room.

VALERIE: We took a poll. There were two undecided, two for was justified and the rest were not justified. We all believed that there was another way out, another option.

MACHADO: In an interview with ABC's "Nightline", juror number four named Valerie said the disagreements ultimately led to a miss trial for the most severe charge of first degree murder. She believes Dunn was guilty.

VALERIE: We had a lot of discussion on him getting out of the car and the threat is now gone and your intent is yet to still go ahead and pursue this vehicle.

MICHAEL DUNN, ON TRIAL FOR FATAL SHOOTING: I'm the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) victim here. I was the one who was victimized.

MACHADO: Just yesterday, the prosecution released nine recorded calls made in the weeks after Dunn shot and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis outside a Florida gas station. Dunn felt he was the victim.

DUNN: I don't know how I'm -- how else to put it. Like, they attacked me. I'm the victim.

I'm the victor, but I was the victim, too.

MACHADO: In another call with his fiancee, Dunn shared his negative perception about the teens he opened fire on following an argument over loud music.

DUNN: When the police said that these guys didn't have a record, I was like, you know, I wonder if they're just flying under the radar --


DUNN: -- because they were bad.

MACHADO: In another he rehearsed the argument he might make.

DUNN: I acted within the law, through which a tragic outcome. Please grant me this bond so that I may return home to my frame and defend my freedom.

MACHADO: But Dunn will not be freed. He's facing a retrial and at least 60 years behind bars when he is sentence next month.

Juror number four believes Dunn had options that would have avoided all of this entirely.

VALERIE: Roll your window up, ignore the taunting, move a parking spot over. That's my feeling.

MACHADO: Alina Machado, CNN, Miami.


CUOMO: So what do you think now?

PEREIRA: It was so interesting because we're reminded of the anatomy of a jury, right? The things that go on inside that jury room. Two felt it was justified, two unsure, 10 not justified. And because there was doubt, they had to go that direction. You know, it's interesting to see, no matter what, that struggle to come to consensus, it was impossible.

BOLDUAN: And the debate that went on within the jury room is a lot of what our legal experts said was likely to go on. If there was a real threat, when was that threat gone.

CUOMO: They did a good job on that second volley of questions. They started to 10-2, they wind up in 9-3, which means the discussion moved that way.


CUOMO: But three things, one, that they were focusing on when the kid left the car. That evidence was very iffy as to whether or not he left the car. Some of the forensics suggested he didn't get out of the car. He wasn't found outside the car.

And also, when you hear the calls, you say why didn't they put that in the trial. Especially in Florida, you must be careful with the introduction of bias of evidence because the probative value, the value to the trial, OK, is often seen as not equal to the prejudice to the jury, and a lot of decisions get overturned. So, prosecutors will avoid that if they can. They felt they had a strong enough case here.

But the interesting question is, I still don't know why from that interview what was it that those two or three people believed that made them feel they couldn't say it was murder? We still don't know. BOLDUAN: Those are the members of the jury we really want to hear from.

CUOMO: She could know. It's very interesting to hear their perspective.

Now, what matters most going forward is, what will the prosecutor do? She says -- the state office says they're going to retry it, it is their call. But they must consult with the victim's family. And tomorrow, we're going to have the family of Jordan Davis here on the show. They're going to talk about what they want to see happen here and what they want you to know about this case.

BOLDUAN: All right. But still ahead on NEW DAY: is the United States talking to the Taliban to try and bring a captured U.S. soldier home. The White House says no. So, what is the U.S. doing to try to secure the release of Bowe Bergdahl?


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

A winter reprieve is on the horizon as temperatures are expected to soar making way for spring-like conditions in some parts if you can believe it. But warmer temperatures could bring a few problems. The snow's got to go somewhere, right?

Meteorologist Indra Petersons is here with a look at that.

So, what are you looking at now?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I mean, big concerns. We're already seeing that pattern shifting. And you mentioned spring-like weather.

Unfortunately, right now, we already have a tornado warning. This is right near Jefferson City. If you are in the Nashville, kind of an area, so south of Greenville. But advised, we're talking about a system moving at 45 miles per hour. So definitely take cover now.

And, unfortunately, this is something we're going to be looking at. It's going to be the story the next several days, as we see that clash of the cold air to the north, and it's very warm air now making its way into the South. You see that clash there.

Look, by tomorrow, about 300,000 of you will be under the gun for severe weather. Tonight, already, looking for Joplin, Missouri, looking for that threat for severe weather. Again, by Thursday, Indianapolis, national Memphis, all the way down through Jackson. You will be looking for the potential for strong winds, strong thunderstorms and even the threat for tornadoes by Friday. That makes its way all the way to the mid-Atlantic down through Florida. So, something to be aware of.

Also, keep in mind, flooding concerns. Yes, warm temperatures do mean the threat for flooding and ice jamming. Up state New York, looking for the threat of flooding, thanks to the temperatures and the rain pushing through the day.

I mean, look at the temperatures. Well-above normal, not just in the Northeast, but in the South. Looking at temperatures almost mere 80. That's the reason we're talking about a pretty big clash out there, and, of course, there's also some rainmaking its way through the Northeast today, even some snow and upstate New York. But, obviously, not the big story when you talk about the threat for severe weather really starting to pick up over the next several days.

BOLDUAN: OK. Thanks, Indra.


CUOMO: Headline for you -- American soldier Bowe Bergdahl has been a hostage by insurgents since 2009 and he needs to come home. We're staying on this story because it matters.

And here's the latest, the White House denies that they're actively negotiating with the Taliban, but officials do say the U.S. has stepped up efforts for his release. Hopefully, that this is just about spin what we're hearing, you know, this inconsistency.

There are earnest talks because there are new concerns about Bergdahl's deteriorating health. CNN's Barbara Starr is at the pentagon. Barbara, what's our best guess here?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. You know, nothing is more sensitive for the U.S. military than one of their own being held captive. And even Bergdahl's family is now weighing in on the latest developments.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Release me. Please. I'm begging you.

STARR (voice-over): The U.S. has begun new talks to get Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl back home after more than four years in captivity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring me home, please.

STARR: Working through intermediaries, most likely the Persian Gulf Nation of Qatar, the U.S. is trying to see what it would take to get Bergdahl free. He's been held since July 2009 when he apparently walked away from his base in Eastern Afghanistan. It's believed the Taliban aligned Haqqani network inside Pakistan has him. The Taliban, in the past, has demanded the release of five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.

MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: We do have a long history of talking and dealing with all manner of bad guys. So, if United States can make progress on returning this soldier back to the United States, we need to do it.

STARR: "The Washington Post" is reporting the U.S. has now agreed to release all five Taliban prisoners simultaneously to the Qataris to guarantee Bergdahl's release. Administration officials will say little other than they have never given up trying to get Bergdahl back.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We are not involved in active negotiations with the Taliban. Clearly, if negotiations do resume at some point, then we'll want to talk with the Taliban about the safe return of Sergeant Bergdahl?

STARR: The Bergdahl Family issued a statement saying, "We are cautiously optimistic. These discussions will lead to the safe return of our son." There is growing urgency as U.S. troops could be gone from Afghanistan by the end of the year.


STARR (on-camera): And what about his health? CNN was the first to report last month that there was a new video. It hasn't been seen by the public yet. But the U.S. has viewed this video made in December and Bowe Bergdahl appeared in very frail health. That is a big concern right now only adding to the urgency to bring him home -- Chris, Kate.

BOLDUAN: We continue to think of his family who's been waiting now since 2009 for their son to be returned. Thank you so much, Barbara.

Let's take another break. But coming up next on NEW DAY, you got to take a look at this. Spring training is just beginning over here, but in Cuba, they're in mid-season form. AA wild base brawl breaks out. It was one clear (ph) taking a swing of the pitcher's head. Detail in our "Bleacher Report."


CUOMO: So, what do you make of this situation? A-Rod finally gives up his fight, accepts a one-year ban for using performance-enhancing drugs. When he does that, Major League Baseball drops their lawsuit against biogenesis, the founder there, Bosch, OK, Anthony Bosch. So, what is this proof of? Is this proof that the league is more about appearances than change?

Andy Scholes joins us now in this morning's "Bleacher Report." I won't stick you at that tough question, Andy, but certainly, it's one people should be thinking about.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes, sure is. You know, they're trying to do anything they can to get the whole steroid era behind them. And by ending this case, it effectively closes the chapter on the whole Biogenesis drug scandal. You know, Major League Baseball, they originally sued Anthony Bosch back in March in an attempt to get him to give up the goods on A-Rod.

And once he was facing all those mounting legal bills, Bosch did agree to become their key witness. In his testimony, not only resulted in A-Rod receiving a one-year ban, but also the suspension of 13 other players and in exchange for his health, Major League Baseball agreed to pay all of Bosch's legal bills.

All right. Today is day one of screen training for the Yankees and all eyes will be on Derek Jeter. The Yankees' captain will speak with the media later today for the first time since announcing on Facebook that this season will be his last. Jeter has been the face of the Yankees for the last two decades. Today is the beginning of what should be a very memorable retirement tour all season long.

All right. Turning on today is this crazy brawl from a Cuban professional baseball game after this pitcher hit two batters, an opposing player comes out of the dugout and takes a homerun swing at the pitcher's head. Guys, the player that took this swing already got a one year suspension, but lucky for him, he didn't connect because he'd probably be in prison for murder.

BOLDUAN: And he wasn't even one of the guys that got hit by the pitch, right?

SCHOLES: No. He wasn't. He was just a player that was mad and came out of the dugout with a bat. Crazy.

BOLDUAN: Well then. All right, Andy. Thank you.


PEREIRA: All right. For today's "Must-See Moment," this one is really blowing up online. We're all familiar with kiss cam as datings (ph) around the country. Bit of a lesson here if you take your brother or sister to a hockey game. Be prepared especially on Valentine's Day.


PEREIRA (voice-over): Meet Adam Martin of Minneapolis. He was, even though his younger sister, Maria, might have thought he was going overboard. Watch what he does. Reaches in to his jacket, pulls out a piece of paper, folds it up. Come on fella, show us. What does it say on that piece of paper?

BOLDUAN (voice-over): Nope. He's holding out.

PEREIRA: My sister.


PEREIRA: Turned him into an instant YouTube sensation. He's like uh- uh. This is my sister. She's (INAUDIBLE) but that's --

BOLDUAN: I really like that he came prepared to the game. He knew it was coming up at him.


CUOMO (voice-over): How did he know?

BOLDUAN: He's like I'm attractive, my sister's cute.

PEREIRA: He probably just walks around with that sign just in case.


BOLDUAN: I love it.


CUOMO (on-camera): Good anticipation there.

BOLDUAN (on-camera): Yes. Preparation is all you need.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, chaos in major cities and countries around the world. Ukraine, Venezuela, Syria, Thailand, all rocked with deadly protests overnight. So, what is behind the violence? Is there any end in sight? We'll have the very latest.


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, February 19th, seven o'clock in the east. You want to know what's going on that matters? Then, let's start with our news blast. It's the most news you can get anywhere if you please.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any kind of negotiation that can bring an end to this scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Force will not resolve the crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is time for Venezuela's 16-year-old experiment with socialism to end.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When is the United States of America going to show some leadership?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Critics say he's a corporate sell-out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not a spokesman for Wal-Mart. I'm a spokesman for American manufacturing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think Michael Dunn got away with murder?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At this point, yes.


CUOMO: Bloody uprising intensifying this morning from Caracas to Kiev. Anti-government protests breaking out all across Ukraine now. Smoke rising in the capital city. Fires raging overnight. More than two dozen people killed, so far, in clashes with police.

Venezuela, days of protests claiming lives, tensions building now that the opposition leader has been arrested. We have reporters in the thick of both situation. We're going to get to them in just moments.

BOLDUAN: Breaking news overnight, severe turbulence on a plane carrying hundreds leaves two flight attendants and several passengers injured. The Cathay Pacific Airways flight was headed to Hong Kong from San Francisco when passengers say they were thrown from their seats. Just look at the pictures. Even hitting overhead bins. This follows a similar incident on Monday when a flight from Denver encountered intense turbulence violently throwing passengers to the ceiling.

PEREIRA: An Islamic militant group claiming responsibility for two deadly bombings overnight in Beirut, Lebanon. At least four people were killed in the blast near an Iranian Cultural Center. Officials say it may have been the work of suicide bombers. Those explosions took place in the same neighborhood where militants attacked the Iranian embassy in November. Nearly two dozen people died in that attack.

CUOMO: Breaking overnight, an Australian missionary is the latest westerner detained in North Korea, 75-year-old John Short (ph). He traveled there as part of a tour group. His wife confirms he was questioned at his hotel and taken into custody allegedly over some gospel passages he had where (ph) the North Korea is officially atheists and sees organized religion as a threat to its leadership.

a cruise ship worker under arrest this morning accused of sexually assaulting a the 31-year-old victim was rushed to the hospital by air ambulance.