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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Couple Dies In Snow Storm Despite 911 Calls; Molestation Expert To Testify In Jackson Case; Suspected Megan Holden Killer In Custody

Aired January 21, 2005 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Good evening from New York. I'm Anderson Cooper.
Desperate pleas for help from a couple on the brink of death.

360 starts now.

A young couple stranded in the snow freezes to death, despite desperate calls to police. Tonight, hear their 911 calls. Were their cries for help ignored?

Kidnapped from a Wal-Mart parking lot. A missing woman is found murdered. Police say they have her killer in custody. Tonight, an inside look, how they found him, and how he picked his victim.

A setback for Michael Jackson. The judge allows a child molestation expert to testify. Tonight, how this may affect the case against the one-time king of pop.

Marla, Ivana, and now Melania. Donald Trump walking down the aisle for the third time. But what deals did The Donald make for the dress, the ring, the food? Tonight, the marketing of a celebrity wedding.

ANNOUNCER: Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

COOPER: And a good Friday evening to you.

In a moment, you're going to hear the story of a young couple caught in a blinding snowstorm. They were lost, disoriented, and desperately calling 911 for help.

It's the kind of weather that is hitting across the country tonight and throughout the weekend. By this time tomorrow, millions living here in the Northeast may very well be blanketed with over a foot of snow. With frigid temperatures hovering close to zero, and winds picking up speed, this is shaping up to be a very dangerous blizzard indeed.

CNN meteorologist is tracking the storm from our weather center in Atlanta, Rob Marciano. Rob, how bad is it?

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's developing quickly, and it will be a strong storm by this time tomorrow. And it's the big thing with this thing is it's going to affect millions of people. That shot, a quick live shot of Minneapolis. They've already see four and five inches of snow. The last observation, snowing heavily, with temperatures right around 21 degrees.

Here it is behind me, and it's riding along with the strengthening jet stream, and it's going to tap some moisture along with it. So Minneapolis, already buried in snow. Now this snow is beginning to stretch east and southward towards Chicago. You're going to be in it tonight, winter storm warnings up for Chi-town. And look for 10-plus inches of snow, I think, by tomorrow.

All this moisture, as it moves eastward, is running into bitterly cold air. Wind chills in New England last night, early this morning, well below zero, overnight lows tonight easily below freezing. In D.C., 18, 12 in New York. So this cold air certainly obviously cold enough for this snow.

So we're looking at a weekend heavy snow potential. And here it is. Look at the swath of real estate. Eight-plus, probably 10-plus inches in Chicago. This thing will tap moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and then slam it up the western side of the Appalachians. So a foot or more likely there.

Then it hits the Atlantic Ocean, late Saturday night, early Sunday morning, where the warm waters of the gulf stream tend to intensify these things. And we throw that moisture over the cold air, 12-plus inches.

Now we've expanded this from almost down of Baltimore, now well north of New York City, could see 12, 15, maybe 18 inches of snow across Long Island and across Cape Cod as well.

Couple with that the winds, blizzard warnings are up now from tomorrow till Sunday morning across New York City, with winds gusting 35 miles an hour, bitterly cold air, visibility is low.

And tomorrow's highs, below freezing. So it will stick around.

We'll keep you updated throughout the weekend.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Yes, yes, Rob, how fast is this storm moving?

MARCIANO: Well, it's riding along jet stream that's got winds in excess of 200 miles an hour, way up around 35,000 feet. So down at the surface, we're looking at this, from Minneapolis to Chicago, it's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) rolled there in about six hours. Timing of is such is that the snows will depart Chicago tomorrow afternoon, enter, say, Pittsburgh tomorrow, and then increase across Philly, New York tomorrow late, ending Sunday morning.

So it will all be gone, at least falling snow will be gone, by Sunday afternoon. A quick mover, yes, indeed.

COOPER: All right, Rob Marciano, thanks very much. Now to Texas, and a story that began badly yesterday. A young girl abducted from a Wal-Mart parking lot, her kidnapping caught on tape.

Well, it, today it has ended tragically. Megan Holden, 19 years old, was found dead.

Ed Lavandera reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tyler police say Johnny Williams staked out this Wal-Mart parking lot Wednesday night for nearly two hours before he spotted Megan Holden walking to her pickup truck.

Police say this surveillance video shows Williams surprising the 19-year-old cashier from behind and forcing her into the truck. A minute later, the vehicle disappears into the darkness.

DON MARTIN, TYLER POLICE: She's getting closer to her vehicle. Then he starts running. And as she's opening up the truck, he comes in from behind her. So we don't think that she knew he was even there until she actually was contacted by the suspect.

LAVANDERA: Police say this was the last time Megan Holden was seen alive. A security guard approached Williams, but he was allowed to continue hanging out in the parking lot. Nearly 36 hours later, Williams was found in a Wilcox, Arizona, hospital, more than 900 miles from the kidnapping.

And Holden is found dead by oil field workers in the west Texas town of Stanton, 400 miles from her home.

CHIEF GARY SWINDLE, TYLER POLICE: That it is apparent that she has died of a gunshot wound.

LAVANDERA: Williams walked into the Arizona hospital and was treated for a minor gunshot wound. He was shot in the shoulder after police say he tried to rob this employee at an Arizona RV park early Friday morning. The man who shot Williams doesn't want his face seen on camera and asks that we call him Richie.

RICHIE: ... I asked him, Can I help you, sir? And with that, he said, This is a robbery. Give me all the money in the register. And he starts drawing a gun out. And as he draws the gun, I drew mine and fired. It was over in two seconds.

LAVANDERA: Williams is a 24-year-old Marine private based out of Camp Pendleton, California, but Pentagon officials say he's on leave pending disciplinary action. Tyler authorities say Williams has a minor criminal history, including a December arrest on drug charges.

Williams is now in FBI custody. He's asked for an attorney, and is not answering any questions.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: Investigators and prosecutors are still trying to figure out what charges to file against Johnny Williams. They have aggravated kidnapping so far, but they want to step that up. And the district attorney here in Tyler has already told us today that if he can, if the facts support it, he will seek the death penalty in this case.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: At this point, though, motive, does anybody know?

LAVANDERA: Well, you know, we've heard of various different things throughout the day. The latest we've heard from police is that they suspect perhaps that he just simply wanted a ride. We understand from the surveillance camera video that Johnny Williams, the police say, just appears in the parking lot, doesn't drive into the parking lot, doesn't -- isn't dropped off by anybody.

So they say that's one of the things. But I think until he answers questions from authorities, the bigger picture of what has happened here is still up in the air at this point.

COOPER: All right. Ed Lavandera, thanks very much.

President Bush began the first morning of his second term today with some prayers. That tops our look at news cross-country right now.

We take you to Washington, the National Cathedral. After a night of inaugural partying, the president and first lady attended a traditional hour-long interfaith service. The Reverend Billy Graham led the opening prayer and said he believed God had a hand in Mr. Bush's reelection.

Also in Washington, another Powell is stepping down. The FCC says Chairman Michael Powell will leave the agency sometime in March. Powell has become known for his high-fine crackdown on indecent material on TV, especially after the -- well, that whole wardrobe malfunction thing at last year's Super Bowl. He is, of course, the son of outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powell.

South Carol -- southern California now. Mysterious oil spill. Up to 5,000 birds covered in black goo from Santa Monica all the way to Santa Barbara. Who is to blame? It's a mystery right now. Investigators say the oil may be from pipes broken in the mudslides, seepage from seismic activities, or even vehicles submerged in floods.

Another mystery farther south in California, this one with squid. About 1,500 giant squid have washed up along the shores of Orange and San Diego Counties. A strange sight, that. Scientists say they don't know why. Squid usually lives in deep waters offshore.

Up in space, the sun is spewing flares. NASA is closely watching these big explosions, the largest of which erupted overnight. Said some of the flares are of the strongest category and compared their energy to a 1989 outbreak that knocked out the power grid in much of eastern Canada.

That's a quick look at stories right now cross-country and up in space.

360 next, a young couple stranded in the snow, calling 911 five times for help. You're going to hear their desperate calls to police. They were later found dead, frozen. The question is, did drugs play a role in their deaths, or did the police let them down? We're looking at all the angles tonight.

Also ahead, Michael Jackson, a courtroom setback. But his family is rallying around and speaking out. Latoya Jackson comes to Michael's defense, explaining his, and I quote, "great love for children."

All that ahead.

First, let's take a look at your picks, most popular stories right now on CNN.com.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: You're about to hear from a young man and woman on the brink of death, a Nebraska couple, their voices recorded by a 911 operator, who know they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are shivering, they are scared, and very soon, they will both freeze to death.

That is where we begin their story, in a blinding snowstorm. A young man, clutching a cell phone, over and over punching the keys, 911.

Janelle Hornickel, a college student, and Michael Wamsley, her boyfriend, are lost, disoriented. Their vehicle went off the road. They're wandering in the snow, desperately dialing for help.

There are many questions, more questions than answers tonight. Why were they out there? Why had they abandoned their vehicle? Were they high on drugs?

We're covering all the angles tonight.

We start with the voices of Michael and Janelle talking to a 911 operator. Now, as you listen, keep in mind, the dispatchers did not have the most up-to-date technology, which would have allowed them to pinpoint exactly where these two were calling from.

CNN's Keith Oppenheim picks up the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a subzero snowstorm, Michael Wamsley and Janelle Hornickel, two 20-year-olds, got lost driving to Omaha, Nebraska. They made repeated calls to 911.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sarpy County, 911.

MICHAEL WAMSLEY: Yes, my girlfriend (UNINTELLIGIBLE) placed a call earlier out by an old sandpit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Out by where?

WAMSLEY: Out by a sandpit.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

OPPENHEIM: Because Wamsley is using a cell phone, his signal is bouncing to other regions, and dispatchers want to transfer him to where they thinks he is, so he can get help faster.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

WAMSLEY: Oh, no, no, please. I don't have a chance to -- my phone's going to die. I need some help now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't understand -- but I can't help you, because I'm in a different area.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

OPPENHEIM: Wamsley and Hornickel are stuck near a gravel pit near the rural outskirts of Omaha, slowly freezing to death.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

WAMSLEY: Please, can you get over here now?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

OPPENHEIM: But despite the anguish, dispatchers don't have the technology to pinpoint the call.

DAN PETERSON, SARPY COUNTY, NEBRASKA, 911 DIRECTOR: It was just not possible to locate where they were.

OPPENHEIM: Days of searching follows the phone calls. The bodies of Wamsley and Hornickel were found outside, frozen. They left their vehicle, not dressed for the weather.

DR. HENRY NIPPER, CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: Both individuals were impaired at the time of death.

OPPENHEIM: An autopsy revealed both bodies had high traces of the drug methamphetamine, or crystal meth, which may explain their confusion in the storm. And that may have made the calls even more challenging for 911 dispatchers.

Still, the question is, was this a bad mix of drugs and inadequate technology, or were the calls transferred so often that time was wasted in this search for two people calling for help?

Keith Oppenheim, CNN, Chicago.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, police and emergency officials have been listening closely to those tapes, trying to see what, if anything, they could have done differently.

A short time ago, I spoke with Sarpy County sheriff's office, Captain Rolly Yost and Dan Peterson, the head of 911 for the county.

Dan, I want to play you part of the 911 tape, where the dispatcher was desperately trying to figure out the location of these two young people. Let's play that.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sarpy County 911.

WAMSLEY: Sarpy County 911, we may -- I don't know how I'm going to talk to you, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, you're at 72nd and Poppleton?

WAMSLEY: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) go further north, like by, maybe a quarter mile, a mile from (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, Poppleton is in Omaha, that's Douglas County. Let me...

WAMSLEY: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), please, ma'am, listen, listen to us. They told us, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the lady there told us four times that she can't do anything. I begged her...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you're in Omaha, I can't help you, because I'm not anywhere near Omaha.

WAMSLEY: You can't (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you in Douglas County, or Omaha?

WAMSLEY: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), I can make (UNINTELLIGIBLE), I'm in Douglas, I should be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, well...

WAMSLEY: I don't know where the (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I'm in Sarpy County, and I can't send an officer from Sarpy County to Douglas County.

WAMSLEY: Wait, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), OK, where is Douglas -- where's Omaha start?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harrison Street.

WAMSLEY: OK, we are past -- we're out past Harrison. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: North or south past Harrison?

WAMSLEY: We're south.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're south of Harrison?

WAMSLEY: Yes, please...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is that?

WAMSLEY: We're somewhere out by a lake (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What lake are you by?

WAMSLEY: I don't know, it's like an old private something, they've (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) can stop yelling in the back, because I can't hear you. I need to find out where you're at. What lake are you at?

WAMSLEY: I -- we don't -- I don't -- I'm not from Omaha or area originally.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, no, that's fine, but I need you to calm down just a little bit here, so I can help you, OK?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

COOPER: As you listen to this tape, what do you hear? Is there anything more the dispatcher could have done or should have done?

PETERSON: Well, this is one of the first calls that we got, where they indicated that they were up near their apartment complex. A following call that comes on, where they indicate that they're down in Sarpy County, and we have a cell site affiliation that is within our county. But, obviously, they were frustrated, as you can see from the callers. They really had no idea where they were.

COOPER: If somebody calls in, and they're in the wrong county, can that 911 dispatcher not do anything about it? I mean, do they hand them over to another dispatcher? How does that work?

PETERSON: Well, what happens is, when a call is received at any dispatch center, the first thing they have to know is where the individual is that needs help. If -- because calls are misrouted occasionally. So we have to make sure that the appropriate dispatch center is available to dispatch either fire rescue, whatever is required for assistance.

And it's our usual practice that we would just transfer the call. And we get calls from, for example, our adjoining county, if it's misrouted as well.

COOPER: Because in the tape, the young man says he was hung up on, that he had called before. Is that something that would have happened, or is -- would you normally just trans -- actually transfer the person, staying on the line with them?

PETERSON: Well, when we transfer the call, we stay on as long as we hear the other 911 center pick up the call from the caller. And then we drop the call.

COOPER: OK. Captain Yost, I want to play another portion of this tape. Let's listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

WAMSLEY: But we're right (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hamilton is way north of Harrison. That's not anywhere near Gretna.

WAMSLEY: OK, well, ma'am, I don't know exactly. But I need help. I talk to him, I (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and I -- my phone's just about to die. You're my last chance here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, how far away are you from the shack?

WAMSLEY: Oh, we are in this -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE) 50 yards, and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) talk, so...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Is there a phone number on that shack at all?

WAMSLEY: I can't tell you, it's too dark.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, hold on just one moment.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

COOPER: I mean, it's just, it's heartbreaking to hear these conversations on both ends, for the dispatcher, for these two kids. It, how, what role do you think drugs played in this, Captain Yost?

CAPT. ROLLY YOST, SARPY COUNTY, NEBRASKA, SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Well, the toxicology report showed that there was some -- definitely some impairment there.

COOPER: With what, methamphetamines?

YOST: Her tox level was much higher than his, as far as methamphetamine and amphetamine. The rational decision-making when you're on those drugs is very questionable.

COOPER: So what can you tell from a cell phone call at this point? I guess there are two different kind of phases or stages. You're in stage one, or phase one, I'm not sure what you call it. You can kind of get, you can get the number, and perhaps the identity of the person, not necessarily their location.

HENDERSON: Right. We currently are able to, as in this case, we could get the callback number, and with that, we can -- and we know who the provider is, so that we can, through a process, we can get the address of that caller, where, you know, where their home is. We can also get the cell site tower that that call has affiliated with.

Now, with phase two -- and that's what we're looking for -- we would actually be able to generate a dot on a graphic map, and then from that, we could certainly identify where to send the help.

COOPER: How frustrating is it for you? I mean, you get these calls all the time. I understand you receive, I think, like, about 50 percent of your calls are from cell phones. How frustrating is it to not fully have the technology that you would like to have?

HENDERSON: Well, it's very frustrating, more so for our dispatchers, who are in the business of trying to help people, and, in our case, where we have, as taxpayers, paid for our call center to accept the technology. So, yes, we're frustrated. And we'd like to have the capability as soon as possible.

COOPER: Captain Yost, at this point, I mean, how much do you know about what these kids were doing, where they were going, how they got out of their vehicle, or why they even left their vehicle? I mean, there was gas found in the vehicle. I understand they could have stayed in there. They could have run the engine, had heat. I mean, do you think they were just sort of, you know, high to some degree, disoriented, and just wandered out into the snow?

YOST: Well, it's one of the affects of methamphetamine is, it's hard to sit still for a long period of time. I think it would have been difficult for them, even though the truck had gas, running condition, had heat source. It's difficult for them to sit still in that truck for a long period of time until we were able to locate them.

I know law enforcement has been saying for years that if you're stranded in a snowstorm, stay with your vehicle. We're going to find your vehicle.

COOPER: Captain Rolly Yost and Dan Peterson, I appreciate you joining us to talk about this. Thanks very much.

HENDERSON: Thank you.

YOST: Thank you.

COOPER: Just a terrible story.

360 next, inside al Qaeda, a new book that includes writings by Osama bin Laden. The question is, should a book publisher make money off of the most wanted man in the world?

Plus, to the aid of her brother. Latoya Jackson explaining why Michael is, well, simply misunderstood, she says.

Also, a little later, a billionaire walks down the aisle with loads of free stuff. Does that seem right to you? Donald Trump pulling off a wedding with, well, an awful lot of perks.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Well, if you've been wondering what makes Osama bin Laden tick, you may be about to find out, in his own words, in a new book.

CNN's Mary Snow reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's to be titled "The al Qaeda Reader." Publisher Doubleday says it will include writings from Osama bin Laden and his second in command, Ayman al- Zawahiri, from the 1990s. News of the book prompted at least one publisher to raise a red flag about profits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you deal with something like this in the marketplace? And that, you know, that is the issue that, I suppose, most people are wondering about. Should a company make money off of Osama bin Laden and his colleagues?

SNOW: Up until Thursday night, Doubleday hadn't decided about profits. Today, it says it will donate all net income of U.S. sales to a charity or charities yet to be named, saying, "We have an historic opportunity to make the works of these dreaded terrorists known to all Americans, and at the same time provide relief to the victims as a result."

But the agent for the translator, who discovered the writings, says his client and Doubleday have every right to profit from the book.

GLENN HARTLEY, WRITERS' REPRESENTATIVES: I don't think that Doubleday should be expected or feel compelled to donate this money. I think the -- whatever profits they make are rightfully theirs. And they're doing, as I said, a public service through publishing this book.

SNOW: Glenn Hartley's client, Raymond Ibraham (ph), found the writings at the Library of Congress where he works, and thought the public should read them.

HARTLEY: It's the ruthless nature, the no-holds-barred, no such thing as cruelty attitude that Zawahiri has that is most disturbing and enlightening.

SNOW: Al-Zawahiri was indicted in the U.S. embassy bombings in 1998 in Kenya, where Edith Bartley lost her father and brother.

EDITH BARTLEY, LOST RELATIVES IN 1998 EMBASSY BOMBING: As a victim, a person who lost half of her family, you know, I think the public needs to have as much information as possible about al Qaeda, about bin Laden, and about our government, and how we really did slip down on the job in terms of protecting our citizens.

SNOW: Some compare this to publishing Hitler's "Mein Kampf."

HARVEY KUSHNER, AUTHOR, "HOLY WAR ON THE HOME FRONT": What the benefits are to understand what we face as a free society, and would we rather give up our freedom not to hear the vicious words of Adolf Hitler or Osama bin Laden or Zawahiri?

SNOW: Houghton Mifflin, which publishes "Mein Kampf" in the U.S., says all profits go to a fund to promote religious and racial understanding.

Mary Snow, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: More than 2.5 million people marked the Feast of the Sacrifice in the Muslim holy land. That tops our look at what's happening around the globe in the uplink.

Taking you to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Pilgrims prayed and threw stones at pillars representing the devil in a symbolic act of purification. Today's the most important holiday in the Islamic calendar and one of the final days of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

Take you to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, now. Pressure to oust the president, demonstrations turned violent, thousands of people protesting the government's economic policies. The country's president has made a few concessions, including a scaleback on recent fuel price hikes, but opposition groups say it's not enough.

On the coast of Antarctica, so much for the demolition derby. That's what scientists had called it. It looks as if the world's largest iceberg has run aground and might not smash into a huge glacier as anticipated. It poses some problems for the scientific bases in the region, since the iceberg and ice build-up are in the path of ships due to arrive there. It's also threatening penguin breeding grounds.

Havana, Cuba, do not light your Cubans. Government says smoking will be banned in enclosed public places starting next month.

That's a quick look around the world in the Uplink.

A setback for Michael Jackson. The judge allows a child molestation expert to testify. Tonight, how this may affect the case against the one-time king of pop.

Marla, Ivana, and now Melania. Donald Trump walking down the aisle for the third time. But what deals did the Donald make for the dress, the ring, the food? Tonight, the marketing of a celebrity wedding.

360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LATOYA JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S SISTER: He loves children. We all love children. It's been quite difficult having this great love for children, because people take it the wrong way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Yes. That's part of LaToya Jackson's interview on ABC News "20/20" airing tonight. It's interesting, because it's very different from what she told the world back in 1993 when allegations of child abuse first were made against Michael Jackson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

L. JACKSON: I love him a great deal. But I cannot, and I will not, be a silent collaborator of this crime against small, innocent children. My parents know that I know a great deal of what's been going on, what's happening with my mother, and they are afraid that I will speak out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, there you go. A dozen years later, she has had a change of heart, it seems. Of course, what she now calls Michael Jackson's love for children prosecutors call a crime. With just ten days before the trial begins, today lawyers on both sides went to court, and the judge made a crucial decision on expert testimony that the defense did not exactly want to hear.

CNN's Miguel Marquez has the very latest court moves from Santa Maria, California.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When the trial of Michael Jackson gets underway, the jury will hear testimony from experts on child sex abuse. Santa Barbara deputy district attorney Ron Zonen argued it was necessary to dispel misperceptions about child sex abuse as it relates to the case he has built against the so-called king of pop.

Jackson has maintained he is innocent of the accusations. The questions prosecutors want the experts to answer: Why did the reporting of Jackson's alleged sexual abuse come so late? Why did that reporting come in piecemeal fashion? Why didn't the alleged victim report the alleged abuse to close friends or family members first? And why, even after the alleged abuse was reported, did there still appear to be acts of love and friendship between Jackson and his accuser?

In an indication of how the accuser and his family will be portrayed in trial, Thomas Mesereau, Jr., Michael Jackson's attorney, argued the prosecutor left out one important point: What if the alleged accuser is lying?

Mesereau claimed that the boy had lied previously to help his mother get money through the judicial process. Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville finalized the seven-page questionnaire that possible jurors will fill out. The judge also laid out the process for who will fill the 12 chairs in the jury box. The jury of Jackson's peers will be selected from a group of about 750 residents of northern Santa Barbara County.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: Now, eight alternative jurors will -- or alternate jurors will also be selected for this. There's a pretrial hearing next week. There's some new paperwork that just crossed on the Superior Court Web site out here.

One of the things -- one of the motions we'll hear next week is a motion from the defense that asks that the judge limit the prosecution on the word pornographic. They cannot use the word pornographic to describe any materials that they received in any of their searches of Mr. Jackson's various properties.

It's really gotten down to the nitty-gritty. And once all that nitty-gritty is done, the 31st, the trial of Michael Jackson begins -- Anderson?

COOPER: Yes, emphasis on the gritty. Miguel Marquez, thanks very much.

As always, we don't take sides in this program. We like to get all the angles on a story. So tonight, in "Justice Served," monitoring the Jackson case, Court TV anchor Lisa Bloom and from Miami, defense attorney Jayne Weintraub.

Good to see both of you.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Hi, Anderson.

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR: Hi.

COOPER: Lisa, let me start off with you. I want to read an excerpt from the Department of Children and Family Services memo. They interviewed both the young accuser and his brother. They said this: Quote, "The child was interviewed by the CSW as to the allegations, and he denied any form of sexual abuse. He denied that he ever slept in the same bed as the entertainer. The child also denied sexual abuse. Both children expressed a fondness for the entertainer and stated they enjoyed visiting his home."

BLOOM: Yes.

COOPER: No doubt, the defense is going to bring this up.

BLOOM: This is the best evidence the defense has. And that's why they need this expert to come in and testify.

It's a well-established body of psychology, Anderson, by now, that child-abuse victims react differently than other crime victims. They don't report right away. They don't tell the people closest to them. And they will often deny or even recant their testimony later on.

This is what we know about child abuse. Let the jury hear that. Let them understand that often happens. It doesn't mean this kid is necessarily telling the truth. It doesn't mean he's necessarily lying, but it's a body of information the jury should have. That's what the judge ruled today.

COOPER: Jayne, I can hear you rolling your eyes already. If you're doing his defense, I mean, do you go after the kid? Do you call him a liar?

WEINTRAUB: He is a liar, I think. And you do call him that. And the reason I say that is because he's given so many statements under oath, you don't know what to believe. You don't know what the truth is.

Either way, he's lied in certain circumstances. What I can say -- what Lisa was talking about is this expert that's going to come and testify. I agree with Lisa. Child molestation cases are different than other cases...

BLOOM: Good.

WEINTRAUB: ... like battered-wife syndromes.

However, this isn't a case where the prosecutor needs an excuse to call up a witness to say why the child didn't report this horrible abuse. No, no, no. The prosecutor needs an excuse to clean up this kid, because it's not like the kid had went back and said, "I love Michael Jackson. He's a nice guy." He said he never did anything inappropriate. "I didn't sleep in the same bed, he didn't touch me."

BLOOM: But where the Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome, which is well-recognized by the courts, explains that many children who are molested initially deny it, then later on report abuse and sometimes will recant after that. That's what we know about child abuse and how it works in the mind of a child.

WEINTRAUB: So what do they need an expert witness to say that for? That's human nature. Why should the prosecutor argue that instead of calling a witness?

(CROSSTALK)

BLOOM: Because jurors don't necessarily understand that. We have to level the playing field so the jury at least understands...

(CROSSTALK)

WEINTRAUB: Right. Bolster his credibility?

BLOOM: ... how child molestation works.

You know, and Jayne, how can you determine now before the trial has even begun that this kid is a liar? I mean, he was 13 years old. He was a cancer survivor. Why not at least wait for the trial to unfold before you make that kind of determination?

WEINTRAUB: I'll tell you why, Lisa. Either he lied on the Martin Bashir documentary or he lied to the private investigator or he lied to the grand jury. There are three different stories.

BLOOM: Would you say the same about LaToya Jackson? I mean, her story has changed, too.

WEINTRAUB: I think that's her opinion of her brother. This is whether or not a fact occurred. And he gave three different stories: Yes, no, maybe. Either he lied in one venue or another.

COOPER: Lisa, what do you make of what Miguel Marquez just reported about the defense trying to limit the use of the word pornographic in describing, I guess, some of the magazines or whatever it was that was found in Jackson's ranch.

BLOOM: I think that's a stretch. We're talking about magazines like "Barely Legal," where 18-year-old girls pretend to look much younger. They're clearly pornography. And I'm not going to go into the details of what's found in these magazines. But all of the magazines that were found in Michael Jackson's home, including the ones that have a fingerprint from Michael Jackson and a fingerprint from the accuser on the same magazine, they're clearly pornography.

WEINTRAUB: Lisa...

BLOOM: You think that they're not pornography?

WEINTRAUB: There is no evidence, and there will be no evidence that that was ever done at the same time. Maybe the kid found the magazine, you know, under his bed or on the night table. Come on.

BLOOM: Yes, you know, it may be a lot of things. But when they take all of the evidence together, Jayne, including the fingerprints, including a corroborating witness, an eyewitness, including this child's own testimony...

(CROSSTALK)

BLOOM: ... and possibly seven other victims, Jayne, the jury might not conclude, like you did before trial, that the kid is a liar.

COOPER: How is TV going to influence this trial? Because now I'm hearing that Michael Jackson is going to read a court-approved statement about this boy's grand jury testimony which was leaked last week. I guess the court has approved Jackson can read this statement to cameras.

BLOOM: Right.

COOPER: TV is already playing a role in this thing.

BLOOM: It has a big role. And certainly somebody like Michael Jackson cares very much about his public reputation. And I think it's appropriate to let him speak. Of course, if there was no gag order in the first place, we wouldn't have all of these problems, if all the information just came out. But apparently, he's agreed to speak before a very sympathetic reporter, Geraldo Rivera. He's going to speak right off the script, the statement that the judge has approved. Then he's going to talk about the tsunami and about his music and a lot of other subjects.

COOPER: I see.

Jayne, final thought.

WEINTRAUB: I don't think that he should be giving any kind of statements. I think his lawyer should be reading any statements. I mean, haven't we learned enough from Scott Peterson, that he shouldn't be making any statements right now at all.

COOPER: All right. Jayne Weintraub, Lisa Bloom, two very different opinions.

BLOOM: Something we agree on.

COOPER: Thanks very much. Agreed on one thing, there you go.

360 next: Much lighter subjects. "DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES" speaking her mind. Eva Longoria on the set. She talks about what really happens on Wisteria Lane.

And the latest Trump merger: Oh, yes, big deals have been made for a priceless wedding this weekend. We'll have the details.

And President Bush, unscripted to the nth degree. What's up with those hand motions during the inauguration festivities? Hmm, causing some international relations problems. We'll talk about that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you talk to Mason about this thing, I want you to casually mention how much I paid for your necklace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why don't I just pin the receipt to my chest?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He let me know how much he paid for his wife's new convertible. Look, just work it into the conversation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's no way I can just work that in, Carlos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why not? At the Donohue party, everyone was talking mutual funds, and you found a way to mention you slept with half the Yankee outfield.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm telling you, it came up in the context of the conversation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, people are starting to stare. Can you keep your voice down?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. What, do you want them to think we're not happy? (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Ah, it's just another sunny day in Wisteria Lane. The air has the sweet smell of broken marriages and backstabbing. Of course, by now, many of you know the characters of ABC's "DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES," but you probably don't really know much about the women who play them.

CNN's Carlos Watson went "Off topic" with Eva Longoria, who plays Gabrielle Solis, a former model who had an affair with the 17-year-old gardener, and may still. His interview airs on CNN's Sunday night, 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Here's Carlos with a preview.

CARLOS WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, so along with Creflo Dollar and Arnold Schwarzenegger, our third guest is Eva Longoria, the star of "DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES." She's one of the hottest new faces on television, maybe the first Latina to star in primetime network television. And at 29-years-old has an interest in politics as well as in acting. We've got a nice little clip where you hear a little bit of our interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WATSON: So, Eva, where are we?

EVA LONGORIA, "DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES": You are at Wisteria Lane.

WATSON: This is the famous Wisteria Lane.

LONGORIA: A little eerie being here, isn't it?

WATSON: Eh, a little bit.

LONGORIA: Everything's perfect. Look at the flowers. Perfect flowers, they're always in bloom.

WATSON: But there aren't perfect stories here. There's a little sinister stuff happening.

LONGORIA: It's a little scary being here. Everybody who comes here says this is a little weird, a little weird. That's my house.

WATSON: Right there?

LONGORIA: The biggest one on the block.

WATSON: Woo. So show me what else we have here. Whose house is that?

LONGORIA: That is the woman who died. That's Mary Alice's house, the yellow one.

WATSON: So what do you really think happened to Mary Alice?

LONGORIA: I don't know. We've all kind of...

WATSON: Do you really not know?

LONGORIA: We don't know.

WATSON: Yes, you do.

LONGORIA: No, we don't.

WATSON: How far ahead do you get to see in the script?

LONGORIA: We're like four scripts ahead of what's airing. So that's where we are. And we still haven't solved the Mary Alice thing yet.

WATSON: Do you think as a Latina you've had a harder road?

LONGORIA: Latinos in general, yes. I've been really blessed to play non-stereotypical, educated, affluent Latina.

WATSON: You guys are the richest family on Wisteria Lane.

LONGORIA: With a white gardener.

WATSON: Who you're messing around with.

LONGORIA: Who I'm messing around with.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LONGORIA: Why are your friends staring at me? Did you tell them about us?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LONGORIA: Gabrielle is rich, and she lives in a nice house, and she was an ex-runway model, and her husband's a businessman. You don't see that on television. It's pioneering. And I think because of our show hopefully it will spark some interest with other writers and producers.

So and that's really, I think, the speed bump in Hollywood right now is we have to write Latin. And it's, like, no, you just write a part, and the best person for the job can do it, no matter what color they are.

WATSON: You hear those criticisms that say you guys are too racy, maybe, that you're setting a bad example.

LONGORIA: No, I don't even pay any attention to that. Originally, when I read "DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES," I was like no way this is going to get picked up. And when it did, the network committed to being different for our show. So they have let Marc Cherry write what they need to write.

There's Marc Cherry. Marc Cherry. You know, when I threw the gardener out of the window naked, I was like, "There's no way that's making the cut." And it did.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LONGORIA: Hi, honey, you're home early.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATSON: I once won a dance contest.

LONGORIA: Oh, you did?

WATSON: But I hear that I'm not the best dancer on the set.

LONGORIA: Now, do you have any Latin blood in you?

WATSON: Carlos. How can you have the name Carlos without...

LONGORIA: One, two, three. One two, three. You have to shake your hips. Shake your hips.

WATSON: Am I doing it?

LONGORIA: Yes.

WATSON: OK.

LONGORIA: One, two, three, and then I turn. Then we stay in step. See, one, two, three, one, two, three, I turn. We stay in step.

WATSON: I'm coming, I'm coming, I'm coming. Here we go.

LONGORIA: Carlos has no rhythm.

WATSON: Oh, don't say it. Hey, who won the money on the dance contest? Uh-huh, uh-huh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATSON: So, Anderson, you can see that we had a lot of fun. I think people will enjoy the conversation on Sunday night. Eva goes into a lot of different places, not just her acting, but talks a little bit about her personal life and some of her interest in politics down the road.

COOPER: All right, Carlos Watson.

Now let's get a preview of what's ahead on "PAULA ZAHN NOW" at the top of the hour -- Paula?

PAULA ZAHN, CNN HOST: Anderson, how are you tonight? Have you recovered...

COOPER: I have. ZAHN: ... from all of our festivities in Washington?

COOPER: Still a little sleepy, but I'm up for it.

ZAHN: But the key question is, have you thawed out yet?

COOPER: Yes, I have.

ZAHN: We have all shed our long underwear now that we're back indoors.

Tonight, our "Defending America" series looks at how we're prepared for several terrorist possibilities, a so-called dirty bomb attack, one that contaminates a city with radiation. And just how ready are we for suicide bombers? We found some surprises there, as well. And we will also go underwater with divers guarding our ports and harbors from the top down. It's really interesting and pretty chilling stuff -- Anderson?

COOPER: All right, Paula. We'll be watching about 11 minutes from now. Thanks very much.

"360" next: The Donald's discount wedding. Sure, he's a billionaire but, hey, a deal is a deal. This guy knows a deal.

Plus, we're going to take a look at interpreting the president's hand signs. That's right, to "Nth Degree."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: In the current tonight, Donald Trump's latest merger. It's happening this weekend. The tables are set. The champagne's on ice, and the hair will definitely in place tomorrow as he takes his third trip down the aisle.

Arnold and Oprah will be there apparently. I will not. Marla and Ivana will not either. Now, as a self-described billionaire, he could pay for it all, you'd think, but like other celebs heading to the alter, the Trumpster knows how to mix business with pleasure. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Melania Knauss is marrying money and she wants you to know it. Soon to be Mrs. Donald Trump number three is flouting superstition and flaunting her wedding dress before the big day on the cover on the "Vogue." Well, maybe her hubby-to-be doesn't read "Vogue."

ANDRE LEON TALLEY, "VOGUE" EDITOR-AT-LARGE: It was our idea to put her on the cover before the wedding so we could scoop the world.

COOPER: We even have all the specs.

TALLEY: There were 98 yards of satin, woven in France, in some of the finest textile looms just for this dress, the way Marie Antoinette would have had a dress made.

COOPER: The price, reportedly between $100,000 and $200,000. Really, what top Paris fashion designer would put scissor to taffeta for less than a hundred grand?

The publicity priceless, or not. There has been speculation that the Donald may have cut one of his artful deals with designer John Galliano and the house of Dior. And some say that's not the only deal the Donald made to save a few quid on the accoutrements, like the engagement ring.

SARAH BERNARD, "NEW YORK MAGAZINE": He actually got that half off.

COOPER: And the food.

BERNARD: John George is also -- he's donating, I guess we could say, the steak and the shrimp, and it's going to be about $46,000.

COOPER: So suddenly the most expensive wedding of the year -- OK, it's January -- may not be costing the self-described billionaire groom all that much. But the man who helped Melania make her choice assures the Donald paid at least a little something.

TALLEY: She bartered for the dress. I mean, there was a price.

COOPER: And if you're wondering whether "Vogue" pitched in a few pennies to put the bride-to-be on the cover...

TALLEY: Oh, my goodness, I've never heard such a thing. And it would never -- the standards of "Vogue" (UNINTELLIGIBLE) highest in the world. We are not a tabloid.

COOPER: If selling off pieces of your wedding day for profit or publicity sounds tacky, well, the rich and famous obviously have a different definition of tacky.

When Michael Douglas married Catherine Zeta-Jones, they sold their wedding snaps to "OK" magazine for millions. Then, there's Star Jones. She wasn't even coy about cashing in, selling sponsorships for her big day to Continental Airlines, stationary studios, bridal shops, dry cleaners, even Nintendo.

OK, wretched excess costs, that's why celebs try to turn their vows into cash cows. But what do the buyers get? Consider this: When "OK" printed photos of David Beckham's wedding to Posh Spice, purchased for a reporter $1.5 million, sales quadrupled. These days, savvy celebs know you only have, well, maybe five, six wedding days in a lifetime. You might as well share the joy and fill up on the freebies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Maybe seven weddings in a lifetime for some of these people.

Anyway, "360" next, the president unplugged. We take that to "Nth Degree."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Finally tonight, taking living under a microscope to the "Nth Degree."

When you're president of the United States, nearly every moment of your public life is scripted. And what the public sees is a carefully prepared view of you in fairly small doses.

However, in the last 24 hours, we've had a very -- well, a lot of very large unscripted views of the president. And we're finding out some pretty interesting things.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let us present our offerings with gratitude to God.

COOPER: We learned, for example, that even presidents sometimes run short of cash. Lucky for President Bush, that not only is his vice president there with a quick handout, but Dad's right behind him as well with some ready cash.

We also learned the president has friends. OK, we knew he had friends, but he has lots of them, and seems to have secret hand motions for a lot of them. There's the arm wave and pitching motion, perhaps a friend from Texas Ranger days. There's the shoveling move and the more popular thumbs up.

It turns out the most controversial hand motion of the day was this, something most Texas Longhorn fans recognize as the "hook 'em, Horns" sign. Well, it's close. But it's just as close to what hearing-impaired folks use as the sign for something that comes out of the other end of the bull. And in Norway, people were aghast, because there it's apparently a salute to Satan.

Finally, we learned that even the president, the most powerful man in the world, can't control the kids.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: But, hey, what's the problem with that? I'm Anderson Cooper. Primetime coverage continues now with Paula Zahn -- Paula?

PAULA ZAHN, CNN HOST: Thanks, Anderson. Have a good weekend.

Good evening, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us tonight. The president's second term has begun, but his toughest challenges remain.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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