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Congressman John Lewis Will Switch Support From Clinton to Obama; Eye on the Economy: Texas Voices Their Concerns; Sentencing to Take Place for Bobby Cutts, Jr.
Aired February 27, 2008 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: OK. Breaking news in to the CNN NEWSROOM. It involves a superdelegate. We've been telling that who is going to be the Democratic nominee could ultimately hinge on the superdelegates, how the superdelegates vote, regardless of how everyone else votes in the primaries here, and also the caucuses. And here's why this is important.
John Lewis, who's a congressman here in Georgia, he has switched his support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama, and he told this to WSB, which is a CNN affiliate -- specifically the anchor there, Monica Pearson, or Monica Kaufman. If you're in this area you know her.
So again, we're trying to effort someone from WSB to get information on this. But again, very important here. John Lewis, congressman in Georgia, switching his support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama.
Details to come in the CNN NEWSROOM -- Brianna.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Also, we want to let you know some developments in the trial of Bobby Cutts, Jr., the former Canton police officer convicted of murdering his lover, Jessie Davis, and the couple's near-term baby. I think she was about eight months pregnant when she went missing.
We're learning now that the jury is going to be announcing the sentencing coming up here at 2:15 Eastern. Again, the jury has already found him guilty. They were on their second day of deliberations today.
He is facing the death penalty for the murder of Jessie Davis and for the couple's unborn child. He has apologized for the killings. He asked the jury to spare his life.
Coming up at 2:15 Eastern, here in about 15 minutes, we're going to find out whether the jury is going to do that or if they will give him the death penalty. We'll bring you that as soon as it comes in to the NEWSROOM.
LEMON: All right. Back to our other breaking news.
John Lewis, congressman here in Georgia, WSB affiliate, breaking some news here, saying John Lewis switching his affiliation -- or his -- I should say his support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama. Joining us on the phone now, Monica Pearson. Monica, you are breaking news today. Are you in Washington?
MONICA PEARSON, REPORTER, WSB: Yes, I'm in Washington. And at noon I met with Congressman Lewis. He's our longstanding fifth district congressman. It was a year ago in October that he said he was supporting Hillary Clinton. And now he is saying he is going with Barack Obama. And the reason he said is that there is a movement afoot, and that although he is normally a very loyal person, he had to do what he felt was right.
And his district in the state of Georgia, on the Democratic side, did go for Obama. So he says he is following suit. I asked him about if he had received much criticism about selling out by continuing to support Senator Clinton, and he said that did not factor in at all, that he was elected by the people of Georgia, and that he was going to represent the fifth district.
He also told me -- which I think is very interesting -- that 43 years ago, when he went across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama, and was beaten severely, he said that was easier to do than to make the decision than he announced today, because he said he has been a longstanding friend, Don, of the Clintons. And that it was something that was extremely difficult, but he had to do "the right thing."
He also said he thinks Dr. King is smiling up there saying, you know, he can remember when there was a fight with Fannie Lou Hamer trying to be seated at the Democratic convention. I think it was in '64. And now you actually have a black man who possibly will receive the nomination for the Democratic nomination.
LEMON: And it says a lot about this election. And, you know, when you talk about the Clintons and the support, Monica, that the Clintons have had from the African-American community, and then you actually have an African-American running, it's a tough decision for many people, especially in government who have worked with the Clintons.
PEARSON: And particularly because he has known them a long time. And as I said, I -- I think I misspoke. I said that was in October, but actually it was in March when he actually came out in support of her.
But I asked him if he regretted that early endorsement of Senator Clinton, and he looked at me and he said, "You know what? I should have remained neutral."
But he has not yet spoken with Mrs. Clinton. He has called her. She has not returned his calls. Nor has he spoken with Senator Obama. So he really has decided this is the right thing to do.
LEMON: Hey, Monica?
LEMON: I've got to ask you this -- so he said he wishes he had remained neutral. Did he go into why he feels that way? PEARSON: Yes, because he said, had he remained neutral, literally, that it would have been -- there wouldn't be this big brouhaha right now about him switching from one to the other. Had he not said anything, there would not be this excitement. But, again, in the end, he said he had to do what his constituents wanted done. And I think they if anything, he said that this is reminding him of how the movement began.
PEARSON: And he sees in this a change to the next level, according to him.
LEMON: Hey, Monica, are you there -- you are there reporting?
LEMON: Are you working on a series or a special or something?
PEARSON: We're going to have a story tonight at 5:00 and 6:00. And then, of course, tonight at 11:00, because we were with him for half an hour. So we've got plenty of things that we talked to him about.
PEARSON: He's one of the 13 Georgia superdelegates.
PEARSON: And you know that David Scott, other representative, did switch over to Barack Obama...
LEMON: To Barack Obama.
PEARSON: ... again because of his district. And right now, the Georgia -- five Georgia Democratic legislators, we have two who will remain uncommitted for the very reason that they are in a conservative district, and their constituents would not want them to vote for "a liberal."
LEMON: Monica -- Monica Pearson -- and I hope you don't mind if -- Monica Kaufman -- and many people here in Georgia know you by that. And if anyone knows the ins and outs of all of this, Monica, I just let you talk because you added such interesting perspective.
PEARSON: Well, it's been 33 years since Atlanta.
LEMON: Yes. Monica Pearson. Monica, we appreciate it. Thank you for getting -- helping us with this breaking news today. And we will be watching your reports tonight, OK?
PEARSON: Thank you very much, Don.
LEMON: All right.
LEMON: Thank you very much.
Of course that's Monica Pearson from our affiliate WSB here talking about Congressman John Lewis of the fifth district is going to be switching his support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama.
We'll talk about that more here in the CNN NEWSROOM, and with our political roundtable coming up in our 3:00 hour in the NEWSROOM.
Now we want to talk about Bristol, Tennessee, some breaking news happening there. We are hearing that a suspect is in custody, three people fatally wounded, and one person is in grave danger -- grave injury there from a suspect who apparently, according to a police spokesperson we had on just moments ago, said it was a domestic situation. And apparently three people have now lost their lives because of this.
You are looking at a shot of that 26-year-old suspect right there. We're going to get more information on the suspect, on what possibly sparked these killings, and what happened -- what ensued after that coming up in the CNN NEWSROOM.
KEILAR: Your home, your energy cost, your dollar in the news. Well, it's getting worse. Home sales are plunging again, battering an already punch-drunk housing market. And oil prices are rising again. What are you going to pay for gas this summer?
And the dollar doesn't buy what it used to. You know that old saying -- and it's especially true today. All of this has the Fed chief warning lawmakers, and also the rest of us.
Now, those rising gas and grocery prices are a big concern across Texas. That's where we find our Ali Velshi. He's on a road trip. There you see him waving at us.
He is traveling the state on the CNN Election Express, no doubt waving the whole way, right, Ali Velshi, in Goliad, Texas?
ALI VELSHI, CNN SR. BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I'm very happy right now. We have seen some beautiful things in Texas, met some beautiful people. But I am at Presidio La Bahia. It's an old fort. It was first constructed here in 1749. It's actually where we spent the night. And we're meeting with people in Goliad, Texas, and south Texas, and we're talking to them about the economy, how they feel.
You know, we're driving around in the CNN Election Express. And I'll tell you, the number one concern that we are hearing from the people is about costs, about inflation, particularly about gasoline price.
Now, the area that I'm in has some oil fields. And if you're in the oil business, you are doing pretty well in Texas. If you're not in the oil business, a lot of other people around here are ranchers and farmers. And it's not just the commodity prices that we've seen go up -- we saw record prices for a week -- but these ranchers and farmers have to use diesel to power their farm equipment.
Now, there's called red diesel. It's got a red dye in it because farmers are exempt from paying taxes. So they get a -- they pay a lower amount for the fuel, but the fuel cost itself, that part that isn't taxed, has been going um.
We talked to some people about the cost of the diesel fuel, and then we talked to somebody else about how it affects, how it makes its way into the food you eat. Listen to what we were told.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM HARPERING, RANCHER: Red diesel is a diesel that has a red dye in it that's used strictly for farm and ranching uses as far as in tractors and different conveniences on the ranches. And when it goes up at the cost it's going up every day, that definitely has a domino effect for all of the products it produces, be it cattle, grain, any of the other byproducts from those resources.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY HAYES: Now it's affecting the prices. We're fixing up to go up on prices because of the cost of gas. It's causing the delivery costs to go up. So we're having to raise all of our prices on that, and it's really affecting that. In our business, we are seeing less people coming in. On the weekends it's been slower, so none of us are making as much money as we were.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: That young woman's name is Hillary. She's two weeks shy of her 18th birthday. She's very politically active. Though she can't vote in the primary, she'll be able to vote in the election.
Her parents own a restaurant on the court square in Goliad, where we were this morning, and she was saying that the traffic into Goliad is slowing down. This place depends on what they call winter Texans, people from the north who come in her to spend their winters -- or tourists -- or people coming up from the Gulf of Mexico. It's only about 40 miles from here.
So it is absolutely having an effect on people here in Goliad. There are some people who have come buy and said things have never been better because of the price of oil, but $101 -- $102 is what oil hit overnight. It is a concern of most people around here -- Brianna.
KEILAR: And did you say you stayed in the Presidio overnight? Is that what you said, that you stayed there last night?
VELSHI: In fact -- yes, in fact, if you see the -- I slept in there. Just right next to the bus, there is a little door in the wall and there are sleeping quarters that are in the fort.
They say this is a haunted fort, by the way. This was the battle before -- you know, it was after the Alamo and before the battle in which Texas won its independence. This was the one in the middle.
In fact, some people around here tell me that while we all know of the battle cry, Sam Houston battle cry, "Remember the Alamo!" it was actually "Remember Goliad, remember the Alamo." These were the two major battles that then resulted in Texas' independence. And in that chapel right behind me is where the first Declaration of Independence in Texas was signed. So this is a big deal.
KEILAR: Wow. Ali Velshi living the Wild Wild West for us. Thanks there, Ali...
VELSHI: That's right.
KEILAR: ... in Goliad, Texas. Appreciate it.
LEMON: I wonder if he took his hat off before he -- you know. All right. Thank you very much for that, Ali.
KEILAR: And we are just minutes away from the sentencing of Bobby Cutts, Jr., a former Canton, Ohio, police officer, now in a courtroom there in Canton. He is facing the death penalty, the possibility of the death penalty for his conviction of murdering his lover, Jessie Davis, and the couple's near-term baby.
Now, the jury is going to be handing down the sentence, possibly the death penalty, as I said. That's just minutes away in the CNN NEWSROOM.
LEMON: A very busy afternoon here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
We want to get you to Canton, Ohio, now, a courtroom where Bobby Cutts, Jr., will find out if he is going to -- at least if the jury recommended the death penalty in this case. The judge speaking in this case now.
Just a little bit of background before we listen in here. Bobby Cutts, Jr., is accused of killing his girlfriend, Jessie Marie Davis, 26 years old. She was nine months pregnant with their child when he killed Jessie Davis. So the judge is now speaking, and we are trying the figure out if the jury is going to recommend the death penalty in this case.
Let's listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... "All rise." At that point in time everyone would rise when the jury comes in.
We are not going to do that in this case. The only person who will be standing when the jury comes in, aside from the deputies and the bailiffs, will be myself. No one else. No spectators, counsel, or the defendant are to be standing. If the sentence is not death -- and as I said, we are going to move immediately to sentencing -- I realize that there may be members of either the defendant's family or the Davis family who might want to address the court in regards to sentencing, and pursuant to Criminal Rule 32, you all will have the opportunity to do that.
Everyone needs to understand anything that you want to say in this courtroom will be limited to sentencing. We use an expression that many people have heard me use before -- if anyone wanders off of the reservation in regard to that, you will be cut off immediately. I won't listen to anything, and you won't be in the courtroom anymore.
Also, we are going to follow the same rule that we followed the last time. We have already got -- no one stands up, no one leaves this courtroom until I tell you that you may leave the courtroom. No one coughs, no one does anything. Anyone deviates from that, you will be escorted out of the courtroom immediately. And you will not be coming back.
At the conclusion of this -- again, I do not know what the sentence is going to be -- at the conclusion of this, I would apparently be aware that the media, if the sentence is not death -- because if it is death, the court's orders in regards to who may talk, who may not talk, what you may talk about, what you may not talk about, is in full force and effect. Not the word that I would use, but that's been referred to as a gag order. And that is still in full force and effect if the sentence is death -- the verdict is death.
If the verdict is not death, and if we have the sentencing this afternoon, at the conclusion of the sentencing -- again, I would feel sure that the family of both Mr. Cutts and the family of Ms. Davis are going to want to talk to the media, and I am sure that the media is going to want to talk to you. There will not be any interviews in the Stark County Courthouse. There will not be any photographs taken in the Stark County Courthouse other than from the television cameras and the still cameras that are in this courtroom.
The deputies will escort both families out of the courthouse, as was done the last time. And I very much appreciate the manner in which that was performed by the deputies. I also appreciate the cooperation of the media, and I also appreciate the cooperation of the family in that everyone did a magnificent job. And you are all to be commended and congratulated, and you have my thanks for that. And I am sure that the same thing will be done this afternoon.
Counsel, before I ask the jurors to come in, is there anything else that either one of you wish to bring to my attention or put on the record?
Attorney Mack (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, Your Honor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very well. With that, then, Davidson (ph), would you please bring the jurors back into the courtroom? LEMON: All right. And Brianna, it's been very interesting watch this. I remember the last time we were here on the anchor desk together, and Bobby Cutts was testifying. And we heard from all of our legal people. They were saying his lawyers were out of their minds.
LEMON: I mean, that's a quote -- to let him testify. But it was very emotional when he was doing it.
KEILAR: He was emotional, but as you'll recall, certainly one of the more interesting parts of the cross-examination that came from the prosecution, because he was so emotional while giving his entire testimony, we heard the -- we heard the prosecution say, where are the tears? I don't see you -- I don't see you...
LEMON: Do you have a cold? Yes.
KEILAR: Yes, do you have a cold? Because I don't see any tears. And so the big question is, did the jury believe him? Well, at least in terms of the conviction, obviously they didn't, because they said that he is guilty of killing Jessie Davis, that he is guilty of killing the near-term baby that they had together.
LEMON: And they had named it Chloe.
KEILAR: Chloe -- baby Chloe.
LEMON: That's the name of the baby, yes.
But what's interesting, we're listening to, again, the judge give the jury -- or give the courtroom instructions about once a jury comes in, what the media can do, what they can talk about. He's saying the full gag order is in effect in this case. So again, let's see if the jury recommends death in this case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The last time, is that correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Foreman, and ladies and gentlemen of the jury, before I ask you for your verdict, I need to make sure, as I did the last time, at the conclusion of the trial phase, that you have been sequestered and that you have not had any outside influences during the period of your deliberation. Therefore, I have four questions for you. And I am going to state these questions, and then I'm going to go back and ask each one of you individually what your answer to these questions are.
And the first question which I have, have you been sequestered during your deliberations at both the trial level -- that was the first phase -- and during the sentencing level -- that is the second phase. That's the phase which you have just continued -- which you've just completed -- so that you are free from any outside influences which may have attempted to or in fact did in any way influence your deliberations in either phase of this case?
Then the second question is, has anyone associated with the court, such as myself, the bailiff, the deputies, or anyone else had any communication with you concerning your...
LEMON: OK. Mickey Sherman, we want the bring him to find out exactly what is going on as we listen to the judge here. He's a criminal defense attorney.
Mickey, real quick, tell us, what's going on here? What is the judge doing here?
MICKEY SHERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the judge is trying to kind of set the groundwork to kind of minimize the possibility of an appeal by saying, now, we have done everything right, no one has influenced you, right? This is just your decision and no one has been interfering with you, the press, the media, the family, the lawyers, nobody? He's trying to kind of sanitize it in anticipation of probably a very emotional verdict.
KEILAR: And Mickey, what happens? Because we heard the judge say after -- you know, if there -- if we hear there is not a death penalty, then we go to sentencing. He mentioned that families can address the court.
KEILAR: Tell us about what we're expecting there.
SHERMAN: Well, in the year 2008, this is a very victim-oriented criminal justice system around the country, as well it probably should be. So before this guy gets sentenced, no matter what, to anything, they will give as much input from the victims, their families, their friends, their clergy, no matter who wants to speak on behalf of the victims. Usually a judge lets them speak, and it's a very, very heart-wrenching situation.
LEMON: Yes, it's usually very emotional.
Go ahead, Brianna.
KEILAR: So then the order is, if there is no death penalty, then the family speaks and then it goes to sentencing? Is that what we're expecting?
SHERMAN: Well, if they come in with the death penalty, I mean, I think, no matter what, the judge may allow the family of the victim to speak, period. It's just politically expedient and it makes a lot more sense than saying, no, you can't speak. So I wouldn't be surprised if we hear from the victims no matter what.
But, you know, the big issue, I think, as you guys covered before is, did he help himself when he testified? He broke down, he cried, he weeped. But I don't know about you guys, but I got the feeling he was weeping because he got caught. I know I'm supposed to be the defense -- but it just didn't seem so genuine. LEMON: Well, and Brianna mentioned it when the prosecution was cross-examining him, or questioning him. They said, "Do you have a cold?" And he said, "No, why?" And he said, "Because I don't see any tears." So apparently...
SHERMAN: Which is a totally inappropriate question, by the way, which I laud the prosecutor for. That's my kind of question.
LEMON: Why do you say it's inappropriate?
SHERMAN: Because, "I don't see any tears," that has nothing to do with the evidence of whether or not he committed the crime. It's a question of whether or not he has the ability to testify without being upset. It's not competent (ph) evidence, but by the same token, it makes a good statement.
LEMON: When -- what do we -- OK. So the thing is, if it is death...
LEMON: ... will the families -- either way, the family may speak. But if it is death here -- you know what? I want to get back, because this is running around in my head when you said it.
LEMON: You were saying that they're trying to -- he's trying to avoid an appeal of any type.
SHERMAN: Well, there's going to be an appeal. No matter what, there's going to be an appeal.
LEMON: Yes, but avoid an appeal -- you were saying because of things that can happen after this.
LEMON: He doesn't want to make any mistakes or anyone else in the courtroom...
SHERMAN: Exactly. He's trying to sanitize it, take as much insurance out to make sure that the appeal process is limited and that he doesn't make any mistakes. Because that's where you win these cases when you win them. It's on judicial error.
LEMON: And what kind of error have we seen in situations similar to this when someone afterwards, you know, bungles something, you know, in the process and then comes up with an appeal?
SHERMAN: Well, if somehow there's some contamination process, what the defense will do, which is often questionable in terms of ethics, but I don't really see any problem, is somehow if they can interview the members of the jury to find out whether or not there was any undue influence put on them to pressure them, saying, well, hey, if you guys don't come back with a guilty, then this is going to happen, or that's going to happen, the best example is the Scott Peterson trial.
If you'll recall that, when they came out to -- before they came out with the verdict, the foreperson of that jury, who was both a lawyer and a doctor, asked to get off of the jury, because he felt that no matter what he did, he would be subjected to such scrutiny and criticism by the community, he didn't want to be responsible. And he was letting it influence him. And that's the kind of things that they're going to want to make sure are not happening in this case.
KEILAR: And you have watched some of this, you've read some of this. What do you they the outcome may be? Do you think that the death penalty is a real possibility? Would you lean away from saying it is?
SHERMAN: Well, I'm not a proponent of the death penalty, but I would -- if I was going to be betting, I would be betting that he's going to get the death penalty.
LEMON: He hasn't denied -- and he's saying it was an accident. So he hasn't denied that he did it, but he's just saying that he didn't mean to do it, and that it was sort of an accident here.
I want to get back to -- you were talking to us about putting -- you know, watching our reporting about his attorneys putting him on the stand and letting him testify.
LEMON: You're a defense attorney. Would you have ever done it?
SHERMAN: Yes. You know what? I'm in the minority. I'm definitely -- I'm a risk taker. So I don't criticize them for putting him on, because I've got to say, without putting him on, he was dead in the water. And sometimes putting a defendant on can make a difference when you've got nothing else going. The problem is he didn't do well when he went on. He was terrible.
LEMON: He was not believable?
SHERMAN: Yes. I mean, he was just -- again, he was like whining and crying. And it would have been great if it was -- if the case was about him being rear-ended by the FedEx truck, but that ain't the fact situation here. And it just didn't come off well.
LEMON: Well, here's why I ask you that, Mickey, is because, as I said, you are a defense attorney. And then surely his attorneys sort of told him, you know, I shouldn't say guided him through this, but gave him some instructions about this.
SHERMAN: Yes. OK, I've got two words for that -- Martha Stewart. OK?
If Martha Stewart's lawyers couldn't convince her, OK, to just say something that is not true or make sure you don't say anything not true, it is impossible to coach a witness whether they are a football player, whether they're a cop, whether they're a media guru. So you know, you give us too much credit being the defense lawyers that we can actually coach the people to do well on the stand. And, oddly enough, the higher the intellect and the more training and education that the -- a client has, the more difficult it is to coach them on the stand.
LEMON: Why is that? It's because they have this mind that they think is -- that they can get themselves out of it or make sense of it?
SHERMAN: Exactly. Hey, I know much more than these guys. I'm -- a jerk lawyer, these prosecutors are -- they're getting paid $73,000 a year. I can stump (ph) them, I can sell these people. I mean -- remember how arrogant Scott Peterson was? And not on trial, but in every interview before. He just felt he's -- no, I am in control of the media.
LEMON: Yes. Yes, no and keep your mouth shut.
SHERMAN: Or don't even give a yes or no, just shut up.
SHERMAN: For example -- Kobe Bryant is the perfect example of the way it should have been done.
LEMON: Explain that.
SHERMAN: In other words, Kobe Bryant came out with no public statements other than apology and kind of a -- I'm sorry for all of the problems that have been caused here. But beyond that, he never asked for pity for himself. He always conducted himself in the most non-arrogant way. You saw the sound bites and the clips, the b-roll if you will, when he would walk out of the courtroom, he would make it a point to open the door for his lawyer, the female lawyer, Pam Mackey.
That sounds like minor stuff. But then when you consider the alternative of Michael Jackson moonwalking on the SUV, well, his lawyers stood there in aghast or Scott Peterson --
LEMON: Hey, Mickey, I'm going to have to cut you off. We want to go back to courtroom, real quick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... Your knowledge, have all of you been sequestered since your deliberations?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To the best of your knowledge, has the jury been free from any influence outside of the jury room?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we have. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To the best of your knowledge, have only the 12 jurors actually participated in the deliberations?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we have, just the 12.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much, sir.
Mr. Davidson, if you would please hand me the verdict form.
Sentencing verdict in aggravated murder involving the unlawful termination of the pregnancy of Jessie Marie Davis is set forth in count two. Life imprisonment without parole, eligibility for 34 years. We the jury in this case being duly impaneled and sworn do hereby find that the aggravated circumstances that Bobby Lee Cutts, Jr., was found guilty of committing do not outweigh the mitigating factors presented in this case by proof beyond a reasonable doubt. We therefore unanimously find that the sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for 30 full years should be imposed upon Bobby Lee Cutts, Jr., for the aggravated murder involving the unlawful termination of the pregnancy of Jessie Marie Davis as set forth in count two.
Each of us said jurors concurring that said verdict signs his or her name here to, this 27th day of February 2008. And there are 12 signatures beneath that statement.
Sentencing verdict in the aggravated murder of the viable unborn human of Jessie Marie Davis, also known as baby Chloe, as set forth in count three. Life imprisonment without parole eligibility for 34 full years. We the jury in this case being dually impaneled and sworn do hereby find that the aggravating circumstances that Bobby Lee Cutts, Jr., was found guilty of committing do not outweigh the mitigating factors presented in this case by proof beyond reasonable doubt.
We therefore unanimously find that the sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for 30 full years should be imposed upon Bobby Lee Cutts, Jr., for the aggravated murder of the viable human of Jessie Marie Davis, also known as baby Chloe, as set forth in count three.
Each us said jurors concurring in said verdict signs his or her name here to this 27th day of February 2008. And again, there are 12 signatures beneath that statement.
The verdict forms, in regard to count two, providing for life imprisonment without parole eligibility for 25 full years and the sentencing verdict in aggravated murder count two, life imprisonment without possibility of parole, and sentencing verdict in aggravated murder --
LEMON: OK. So there you have it. Death not recommended by the jury there. Instead, Brianna, it was life in prison on both counts. Our Mickey Sherman joins us now. He's been listening in.
Mickey, 34 years, and do we know if it is consecutively or if it is --
KEILAR: Concurrently? Yes, how do they do this?
LEMON: Concurrently, yes.
KEILAR: How would they do this, Mickey?
SHERMAN: The judge will say that in a moment. When the judge actually accepts the verdict and does the sentencing, he will say consecutive or concurrent.
KEILAR: And this is obviously a bit of a surprise to you, right? It seems like --
SHERMAN: Yes, I am very happy to be wrong. Not that I am a big fan of Bobby Lee Cutts, but I'm just against the death penalty generally because the system is just too fallible. But, this is a win, there's no question this is a win.
KEILAR: What do you think may have come into play here?
SHERMAN: I think people -- no matter where they are from and no matter what ethnic background we are talking about, I think they've become a lot -- very much disenchanted with the criminal justice system's accuracy. I mean, every day you pick up a newspaper and you see that Barry Sheck and his people of the Innocence Project around the country have set loose another guy who spent 27 years on death row for nothing.
And I think, honestly, that's the most compelling thing. It's not out of any great sympathy or admiration for this guy. It's they just have trouble putting people to death when we know that it's -- it is not a 100 percent full proof system.
KEILAR: But it was not just that the jury said no death penalty. They had the option of giving him life without parole and they gave him life with the possibility of parole, because he would have parole eligibility after -- ]
SHERMAN: Thirty-four years of something.
KEILAR: Thirty-four years.
SHERMAN: Honestly, I am surprised at that. I figured if they're not going to give him the death penalty, they're going to lock him up forever. That is an incredible break and a great job on the part of this defense counsel.
LEMON: What do you mean by that?
SHERMAN: Well, otherwise, if they had given him life without possibility of any parole, I think most people would have accepted that. But the problem that we have is people have little faith in the criminal justice system, and more importantly the Corrections Department.
Remember the thrill killers in 1933, Leopold and Lobe, accused -- they killed a little boy in their neighborhood. They were given life without parole. And one was killed in prison, the other one got out of jail about 15, 20 years later and lived a productive life.
LEMON: You said it was of great credit to the defense team --
LEMON: -- That that happened. Why are you crediting the defense team with that?
SHERMAN: Because I think most people felt like I do, that this guy is probably going to get the death penalty, because of the way he acted, not only on the witness stand, but up until his arrest. You remember he was so bold, back then, had nothing to do with it. He led the police on a chase. And I think that a lot of people thought that he was -- it was kind of a cover-up because of his position.
KEILAR: And also I remember one of the things, Mickey, that his attorney questioned him during the trial on was -- because her body, Jessie Davis' body was dumped and obviously left in a park for days. When her body was found, it was very decomposed, obviously not in any state that anyone would want to perish in.
And so his lawyer asked him, did you have any concept of how much her body would decompose, basically trying to head off the, I guess, conclusion that some people might have -- might have had that he did something that left her in such a state of decomposition it was really just a terrible, terrible thing. And so -- but it was one after another point that his attorneys really had to try to head off these conclusions.
SHERMAN: Yes, but I -- I don't have a lot of faith that that really made a big difference. You don't have to be a genius or a policeman or Henry Lee or any other forensics expert to figure out that if you leave a body in a hole for three weeks it's going to decompose and have maggots crawling all over it. I really think it was more of an issue with the death penalty per se than giving this guy a break, because they have some empathy for him.
KEILAR: So, he would spend, under this sentence, presumably, if it were to stand, if it weren't appealed, 34 years in prison and then the possibility of parole after that. Are there any loopholes or anything?
SHERMAN: Well, that is the funny thing, it could change. That is the system right now in Ohio. They could pass a law three years from now, because they have some prison overcrowding situation where anybody who is doing less than ten years to go or something is eligible for parole. It is kind of a flexible situation and that is why people often have little faith or a lot of disenchantment with the criminal justice and corrections system.
LEMON: Hey, Mickey? SHERMAN: Yes?
LEMON: I want to ask you this question if you're -- are you able to see the pictures here of Bobby -- ?
LEMON: What do you think of his -- you were talking about the body language in other cases and people opening the doors for their attorneys. What do think -- make of Bobby Cutts' body language here?
I guess -- we have lost Mickey Sherman in this right at the end of the conversation. Well, he lasted for a long time at the conversation. But again, you are following breaking news happening in the CNN NEWSROOM. It's unfolding right in front of your eyes.
Bobby Cutts, Jr., former police officer there accused of killing his girlfriend and their un-born child, Baby Chloe. Well he has just gotten the life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole on two counts, 34 years. We're not sure we have to check if it is concurrent or consecutively to see exactly how long he might actually spend in prison.
Because after 34 years he may be eligible for parole. We're going to move on, monitor this, what's happening in the courtroom, and bring you back there just as soon as we new information on that.
But we want to take you now to Tennessee. Specifically, Bristol, Tennessee, where we've been getting information about a gunman who apparently went on a shooting spree in an apartment complex. Stephanie Hoskins, who is with the Bristol Tennessee Police Department updates us now on this investigation.
Stephanie, when we last spoke with you, there were three people dead, one person with grave injuries. Has that changed?
STEPHANIE HOSKINS, BRISTOL TENNESSEE POLICE DEPARTMENT: Yes, it has. We -- that fourth person has, is now deceased so we've got four fatalities.
LEMON: Four people dead. Now, what are we hearing about the gunman?
HOSKINS: The gunman -- we have confirmed that he is deceased as well, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
LEMON: OK. How many -- a total of how many people dead here?
HOSKINS: Four victims from the --
HOSKINS: -- apartment complex, and one with the shooter, so five total. LEMON: OK. A total of five. So this person -- have we found out exactly why this person went on a shooting spree or killed these people? We are hearing that it was possibly a domestic dispute?
HOSKINS: That is all of the information we have at this point.
LEMON: Do we know anything about the victims?
HOSKINS: We do not have any information that we are prepared to release at this time.
LEMON: OK. You are in this area. We've been hearing about this apartment complex, towers, here. And at one point it was described to us as a place where many senior citizens live or a number of senior citizens or elderly people live. Is that correct?
HOSKINS: That is correct.
LEMON: But not a senior housing facility.
LEMON: OK. Rusty Rumley (ph), 26-years-old is believed to be the gunman who is dead. What do you know about him in prior history?
HOSKINS: At this is point, I don't have any other information about his prior history.
LEMON: OK. But as far as you know -- so no gunman, everything is fine as far as the gunman. Do you know what happened? We were hearing that Rusty, this Rusty Rumley, had took off in a truck and then wrecked it and then was on foot at one point?
HOSKINS: That is the information that we have as well.
LEMON: OK. Stephanie Hoskins from the Bristol Tennessee Police Department. Thank you very much.
HOSKINS: Thank you.
LEMON: OK. We are hearing that now new information into the CNN NEWSROOM, four people dead from the gunman plus the gunman, himself, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. So, five people dead in this case. That gunman, 26-year-old Rusty Rumley and there is his picture.
We don't know anything about his victims. We are hearing all of this started from a domestic dispute. As soon as we get more information on this from our affiliates and from our CNN national desk, we will bring it to you right here in CNN NEWSROOM.
KEILAR: Roger Clemens said he's never used steroids or performance-enhancing drugs, and he said it repeatedly under oath. Now he could be facing a federal perjury investigation.
WOLF DINNICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A city of 50,000. No cars, no waste and producing all of its own power. Leaders in United Arab Emirates are announcing they are going green.
SULTAN AHMED AL JABAR, ABU DHABI FUTURE ENERGY CO.: This is the first attempt around the world to develop a whole city targeting zero carbon emissions, zero waste and for the whole city to be fully powered by renewable energy.
DINNICK: The company building the city, Masdar, is state-own. It's part of a massive, multi-billion dollar plan to create new economies and lifestyles. Preparing for the day, the wells run dry.
This is an ambitious project, especially for the UAE. Just look at this press conference. Guests arriving in SUVs, the show powered by generators. This is the land of endless air conditioned malls, massive building projects with cheap gas and big cars.
(on-camera): And the country won't get its first public transit until late next year. You can see it is being built behind me.
(voice-over): But this is not just about one city. The Emirate is inviting 1,500 green businesses to set up shop in Masdar and work for the environment. The city will take eight years to build. The price tag -- $22 billion. Financing is not yet in place.
CNN, Wolf Dinnick, Abu Dhabi.
KEILAR: Potential new legal problems for baseball pitcher, Roger Clemens. Two prominent members of Congress want the Justice Department to investigate whether Clemens lied when he appeared before their committee. You'll recall that Clemens repeatedly denied ever taking steroids or human growth hormone while sitting just a few feet from his former trainer Brian McNamee, who swore that he had given Clemens performance-enhancing drug.
Let's dig a little deeper into Roger Clemens testimony and also, this request from lawmakers for a perjury investigation. Jon Wertheim is a senior investigative reporter for "Sports Illustrated" and SI.com. He's joining us now from New York.
Thanks for being with us. And I just want to know, is anything going to come of this? Do you think this inquiry from Congress into the -- to ask the Department of Justice to look into whether he committed perjury?
JON WERTHEIM, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Well, in a way, you almost feel as though something had to come out of this, just because two weeks ago, there were two vastly different stories being told. Clearly, somebody's just sensationally lying.
On the other hand, I don't know what can come of it when -- and this goes for both sides, when whether it's Brian McNamee or Roger Clemens, you're not exactly talking about choice witnesses. If Brian McNamee is the guy the government's going to pin their perjury case on, I think that's going to be tough. On the other hand, somebody's clearly lying terrifically. So, they almost had to proceed with the perjury charge one way or the other.
KEILAR: And Jon, let me ask you about this, because Miguel Tejada, according to the same committee, this House committee, they're concerned that he lied as well. They had asked the Department of Justice to basically look into something similar, and yet, we really haven't seen anything come out of that either.
WERTHEIM: Well, the circumstances were different, obviously. Tejada was to investigators, not on Capitol Hill and there was documentary evidence that basically conflicted his story. It wasn't one of these my word against your word, so the situation's a little different, but I think you're right, I think Tejada is a more likely candidate to face perjury and as long as he isn't, I'm just not sure this -- how far they're going to get with Clemens.
KEILAR: So, let's talk about another hearing that happened before a committee, a different committee than we saw Clemens testify before. This was not just baseball, this was baseball as well as NBA, NFL, NHL. Let's venture into this question: should Congress even be getting involved? There are members of Congress even who say no.
WERTHEIM: Yes, and you know, frankly, I think it's easy to be cynical and skeptical. On the one hand, anything that sort of pressures these leagues to enforce stricter testing is probably a good thing. On the other hand, you know, I'm not sure this is Congress' business.
You saw with the Clemens hearing, not a whole lot getting accomplished and I think -- especially with these leagues where you've got union and you've got management, in theory, this can be settled in collective bargaining. I'm not sure this is really an affair Congress should be meddling in.
KEILAR: And, so obviously, all of these different sports participated in this hearing today, but there is one sport that didn't. Vince McMahon, chairman of the World Wrestling Entertainment declined to come before Congress today, even though he was invited and the chairman of this committee, of this subcommittee singling him out, saying he was disappointed. What is the situation from your standpoint with performance-enhancing drugs and wrestling?
WERTHEIM: Well, I think it's a little troublesome, because professional wrestling, obviously, has a rich history of performance- enhancing drugs. Recently, everything from the Chris Benoit death to how many wrestlers were prominently featured in these pharmacy raids and unlike the other sports you mentioned, wrestling's really a single organization.
There isn't this union and management that, in theory, can hash out drug testing. If any sport, and we're, you know, taking the liberty of calling it a sport, if any industry really needs this sort of Congressional oversight, it's wrestling, as opposed to the other ones where you do have union and management.
KEILAR: All right, very interesting. Jon Wertheim, senior investigative reporter for "Sports Illustrated" and also SI.com. Thanks for joining us.
LEMON: Who is to blame for global warming? Well, one town in Alaska is suing two dozen energy companies over a problem that threatens its very existence. Our Miles O'Brien joins us now live from New York.
And Miles, if I'm not mistaken, you've been to this place. I think I remember seeing a "CNN PRESENTS" with you in this place?
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CHIEF ENVIRONMENT CORRESPONDENT: You have good memory, Don. Thank you very much.
O'BRIEN: About three years ago, talk about a David and Goliath battle, though, Don. This lawsuit pits the tiny, poor village of Kivalina, Alaska versus some of the largest, most profitable corporations on the planet, including ExxonMobil, eight other oil companies named in this lawsuit, 14 electric, gas, utilities, and coal company.
Now, the problem is this. The folks who live Kivalina, let's zoom in on it -- right there on the Arctic Circle, that's it, that's all of Kivalina right there, northwest Alaska. They need to move, lock, stock, and barrel. That narrow spit of land is steadily eroding into the sea as our climate changes.
Now, I visited Kivalina as you said, November of 2004 is the date. At the time, it was quite evident the village was on borrowed time. Temperatures in the Arctic, Don, have risen at twice the rate of other places on the planet and places that depend on the formation of ice at a specific time of year, as Kivalina does, are seeing and feeling the effects more than most.
Now, the issue there is the terrible October storms. Years ago, the sea was covered with ice when those storms came through, no longer. And the waves are slowly but steadily swallowing up Kivalina.
When I was there, I spoke with one of the Inupait elders, his name is Lowell Sage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOWELL SAGE, KIVALINA RESIDENT: Usually in the fall time, we are -- our sea ice start to form and start to slush up, and it creates something of a break, a breaker for the waves and stuff.
O'BRIEN: And you don't have that now, it's just open water there, so you're really exposed, although there's a little bit of ice out there right now. SAGE: It's starting to form and starting to slush up now, yes.
O'BRIEN: Yes, but in October when the storms come through, you really need it, don't you? You need it, you don't ...
SAGE: That's right.
O'BRIEN: And how long has it been since you had that kind of natural barrier in the fall? When did it go away?
SAGE: In the last maybe five, six years or so, more so recently.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: The lawsuit accuses the defendants of engaging in a conspiracy to mislead the public about global warming, claims the companies violated the Federal Law of Public Nuisance as well.
Now, I talked to a spokesman at ExxonMobil just a short time ago. He had no direct comment on the suit, but he sent me a statement which says in part, "We take the issue of climate change seriously, and the risks warrant action. ExxonMobil is taking action by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our operations, supporting research into technology breakthroughs."
And we just heard from the American Electric Power Company, a huge electric utility. They say in part, filing lawsuits is not a constructive way to deal with climate change and the utility restated its support for a reasonable mandatory cap on emissions. Now, if Kivalina were to win, it would be precedent setting. The cost to move the entire town of 400 is estimated between $95 and $400 million, Don.
LEMON: Precedent setting, it might spark some people to take even more action to try to get it to stop.
O'BRIEN: Maybe so.
LEMON: Miles O'Brien in New York. Thank you, Miles.
O'BRIEN: Your welcome.
KEILAR: Hang up and drive or give up a big chunk of change. New Jersey's cell phone crackdown kicking in this weekend.
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