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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Are Killings of Black Men in Mississippi Being Ignored by Local Police?; Senator Rob Portman's Confession; Interview with John McCain

Aired March 15, 2013 - 20:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks.

Good evening, everyone.

Tonight, an exclusive investigation revealing how little some human lives seem to be worth, not in some far away failed country but right here in the United States.

Also tonight, bizarre new video surfacing, this is Jodi Arias in a police interrogation room just moments before she is charged with murder and she is standing on her head. That's not all she did on camera. Show you the rest of the tape later.

Plus, Republican Senator John McCain and Rob Portman, issue of same-sex marriage is personal from both their families. You will hear from Rob Portman. He dropped his opposition to it. We will explain why. And we will have John McCain's reaction to that. Two men were strong and similar religious beliefs come to very different conclusions on the issue.

We begin tonight with a story you simply will not see anywhere else. "360's" Drew Griffin investigating the killing of a man along a road in rural Mississippi, doing something that police there have not been doing for the last three years. In a phrase, "Keeping Them Honest."

The killing was a hit and run. Drew uncovered it while investigating another hit and run in the same county involving the very same authorities. Now, in that case, the victim, an African- American man was allegedly targeted by a car with three white kids in it. One of them, the driver, was charged with murder but despite the circumstances, authorities did not pursue hate crime charges.

While investigating that case, Drew learn learned of an earlier one, also involving an African-American man, another killing, another potential murder, another possible hate crime, only this time, those same authorities did not even see fit to investigate. Not for more than three whole years, not until Drew Griffin began asking questions did they even try and find out what happened? They didn't even try.

Drew Griffin did.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The cross is so far off the road, you might never notice it unless you were looking for it.

Ruby Burdette never misses it. She put it here three and a half years ago to mark the spot her son died and a mystery began. They know he was hit by a car?

RUBY BURDETTE, MOTHER OF GARRICK BURDETTE: Yes, that's what they say.

GRIFFIN: Did they ever find who drove that car?

BURDETTE: No.

GRIFFIN: Do you feel that they did an adequate investigation to find who did that?

BURDETTE: I don't really -- I can't say because they say they still investigating. I don't know. No one relates to me anything.

GRIFFIN: They are still investigating?

BURDETTE: Yes.

GRIFFIN: Garrick Burdette was 41. He walked wherever he went. In Rural Panola County that can be dangerous, especially if you are black. In November of 2009, Burdette's body was found on this site, the autopsy revealed multiple injuries consistent with being hit by a vehicle. For three years, there's been nothing more than this simple one-page incident report about what happened. No one in the Panola County sheriff's department ever bothered to do anything else.

Did they come down these streets, handing out fliers, knocking on doors, asking if they had seen anything?

BURDETTE: No, not out this way.

GRIFFIN: You know in of any activity that way?

BURDETTE: No, no one said anything.

GRIFFIN: So, how do you know they are investigating?

BURDETTE: Well, they had put it on the paper, you know, when they found him dead and then they had put on there, and then they wrote it in the newspaper, they said there was a -- it was still being investigated.

GRIFFIN: Ruby Burdette's hope rests in this one small news article from three years ago that says police are still investigating.

CNN has learned they never really have.

JOHN CHAMPION, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, PANOLA COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI: Never had a case turned into us. GRIFFIN: In January, we asked the district attorney who covers Panola County to search his records to find out if anyone from the sheriff's office had contacted him regarding Garrick Burdette's killing, it was nothing.

CHAMPION: Which means one of two things, either it ended up being an accident, which we would not have had or they never found the person that did it.

GRIFFIN: What blacks in this rural Mississippi county believe is that law enforcement treat crimes and investigations differently, depending on the color of the victim's skin. Last summer in rural Panola County, Johnny Lee Butts, a 61-year-old black man, walking far off the shoulder of this road, was deliberately run over and killed by a car carrying three white teens. The driver told police he thought he hit a deer. His two passengers both say the 18-year-old driver steered straight for him.

The driver's charged with murder. The D.A. though says there's no evidence to suggest a racial motive. Johnny Butts' brother says the white local law enforcement simply don't want to know the truth.

Do you believe that the sheriff and the district attorney don't want to or are afraid to know the truth?

FRED BUTTS, BROTHER OF JOHNNY BUTTS: I think they don't want to. They don't want to push that issue.

GRIFFIN: They don't want to push race?

BUTTS: Yes. I actually believe that. That they don't want to push that issue.

GRIFFIN: That belief was confirmed to Fred Butts just days after his brother's death and literally, just around the corner. These four boys walking on the side of the road say they watched as a white jeep with two white men barreled over the top of the hill, increased speed and aimed right at them.

And they were laughing with then passed by?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

GRIFFIN: And just kept going?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

GRIFFIN: Scared you, huh?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

GRIFFIN: Parents reported it to the police. No follow-up ever took place. When we tried to reach sheriff Dennis Darby in January about the boys' claims, the sheriff told us not to quote " stir up trouble in his county", adding "you do something with this and I'll be coming after you." The Panola County sheriff's department refuses to talk to us about this case as well. But we can tell you three and a half years later, the hit and run death of Garrick Burdette remains unsolved. And as far as we can tell, for three and a half years, the sheriff's department has done very little to find out what happened.

Has anybody from the sheriff's office investigators, D.A.'s office, been in contact with you?

BURDETTE: No.

GRIFFIN: Never?

BURDETTE: Never. Never.

GRIFFIN: Never came to ask if your son had any enemies, any problems with anybody?

BURDETTE: No. Nothing.

GRIFFIN: How can you say they are still investigating?

BURDETTE: I'm just going by what the paper -- what the paper say.

GRIFFIN: Last month, CNN again tried to ask the Panola County sheriff's department about the unsolved hit and run death of Ruby's son. This time, we advised the sheriff's department CNN would be airing this report. And again, we got no response. But hours later, Ruby Burdette did.

BURDETTE: He came in. He said he was an investigator. He introduce himself. We sit at the ding room table and he started talking. He -- he told me he apologize for no one coming out before now. And he told me that the first investigator they had didn't do anything. He said he was the one that he hoped, you know, to see this thing come to an end. He said he would, you know, if anything -- if anyone could be found, he was going to find them.

GRIFFIN: She doesn't know why now, why it took so long and why, for three and a half years, no one in the sheriff's department seemed to care that a black man was run over and killed. But all that time, this grieving mother has held onto a newspaper article hoping one day, its story would be true.

BURDETTE: I just want it to be over. I just want to know. It's just like eating away with me, just eating away with me. But being a mother, I want -- I want the truth to come out.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Drew, it is incredible how trusting this mom is and for three years, she's been waiting based on a newspaper article. And then this police officer shows up and says, oh, yes, you know what, no one's investigated and I'm sorry and I'm sorry this is the first time we are coming out to visit you three years after her son has been killed. Are they going to be able to find out what happened? I mean, it's been three years?

GRIFFIN: You know, Anderson, I will be honest with you. If you talk to anybody, professional law enforcement investigator, they will tell you the time to investigate a crime is right after it happens, when there's evidence, when the memories of witnesses are fresh. This is not like a cold case being reopened and a witness list. This is a case starting almost from scratch three and a half years after it happened.

The sheriff won't talk to us, so, I don't know what kind of manpower he is throwing at this but at least now, they are, according to the people we have been talking to, asking questions that may get some answers. But again, three and a half years.

COOPER: And did I hear your report right, the sheriff said if you're stirring up trouble, he was going come after you?

GRIFFIN: That's exactly what he said. He said that to Scott Bronstein, our producer. We comment believe it. Scott took down the notes, it was the sheriff himself. It was really an odd statement to make, but that's the sheriff, sheriff Darby. And basically, was accusing us of stirring up trouble in his county.

COOPER: What does that even mean, stirring up trouble? I mean, seriously, what century is the guy living in? About the case that initially brought to you the county, the actual hit and run killing the 61-year-old African-American man by three white teens, what's new in that case?

GRIFFIN: That case remains it is a murder case. The 18-year-old white driver is charged with murder but not with the additional hate crime that could bring a stiffer sentence in the state of Mississippi. His two passengers, who have been cooperating with law enforcement, are not charged with anything, Anderson, and that trial should take place sometime later this year, if it goes to trial.

COOPER: Stirring up trouble. I seriously cannot believe he would use even that phrase with you. We should let him know, in case he is watching, the invitation is open for an interview with Drew or on this program. We would love to talk to you there, sheriff.

Drew, appreciate the reporting.

There is a new develop tonight in Drew's investigation of that gambling operation down in Florida that claimed to be a veterans charity. We told but this last night, Allied Veterans of the World, it was called. Fifty seven people now charged with racketeering and money laundering involving the allegedly corrupt organization.

Today, the Republican party said it was donating contribution it is received from Allied Veterans to another charity does not involved in the investigation. The state Democratic Party says it is returning any donation it is received as well.

Let us know what you think about all of these. Follow me on twitter at @andersoncooper. Ahead, the strangest behavior you may ever see from a murder suspect in custody, talking about Jodi Arias and ask you could the tape be a game changer in her murder trial?

And next, another CNN exclusive, a staunchly conservative senator who actually co-sponsored legislation against same-sex marriage now tells our Dana Bash why he had a change of heart. We will talk to Senator John McCain as well, if he agrees.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back.

We are not always accustomed to politicians speaking plainly. When they do, it can kind of stop you cold and start a conversation. Both are happening tonight after Rob Portman, the staunchly conservative, deeply devout conservative from Ohio, wrote an op-ed starting with these plain spoken words, quote "I come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn't deny them the opportunity to get married." This is a 180, to say the least, for the senator who has a long record of opposing same-sex marriage.

During the Clinton administration, he co-sponsored the so-called defensive marriage act which goes before the Supreme Court next week. Now, in an exclusive interview with you with CNN's Dana Bash, he explained what came his mind.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R),OHIO: My son came to Jane, my wife and I, and told us he was gay, and that it was not a choice and that, you know, that was part of who he is and he had been that way from which he could remember. And that launched an interesting process to me, which was kind of rethinking my position, talking to my pastor and other religious leaders and going through a process of at the end, changing my position on the issue. I now believe that people ought of the right to get married.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Reaction today among Republicans was mixed. House speaker and fellow Ohioan John Boehner calling senator Portman a friend but maintaining the marriage speaker is between a man and woman. Log cabin Republicans, a gay rights group, hail the change and people in Washington contending the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC convention were split, mainly along generational lines. One leading CPAC voice, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, was asked what he would do if one of his children came out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think my kids all recognize that, you know, we all do things that don't actually measure up to what you think you this you had do and we can adjust our bar and say well, we are just going to change the bar. And we are going to say the things we think we didn't do we do and it's OK. Or we can keep the bar where it is, because that's where it should be and try to say you know what we fall short.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: So that's the backdrop.

Joining me now Dana Bash.

So, Dana, you were the only television report they're senator Portman sat down with to discuss this. You said it was clearly a difficult conversation for him to have. He invited you, so clearly, this was something he wanted to get out there. Why?

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, I'm still not entirely sure I have the full answer to that question. I will tell you what he told me in answer to that question. That he has been sitting on this and mulling this and discussing this with his son and the rest of his family, his pastor and others, for a couple of years now and he finally got to the point where he felt that it was time for him to not only make this decision that he is now for gay marriage but make it public. That is the personal side.

The other is the political timing and he said it was the Supreme Court and the fact that it's going to hear a pair of cases relatively soon and he knows that when that happens and there's sort of a public discourse about these things that those of us who run around the hallways in the capitol tend to ask members of Congress about t and he wanted to be honest about it.

But I got to till, Anderson, he was uncomfortable. He was clearly nervous and I think for a couple of reasons. One is because of the subject matter, sort of a Midwesterner, Midwestern conservative with those sensibilities, don't talk about stuff that is personal. He wanted to do right by his son. That was very clear.

But also, he was very much against gay marriage and voted that way on a slew of issues but he never talked about it. I couldn't find one quote from him talking about how you have to keep marriage between a man and a woman, like many other conservatives did he just -- it is not his thing it is more of economics -- economic issues. So it was a new thing for him to even talk about something this, never mind talk about it so personally.

COOPER: I want to play another clip from your interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: And what do you sty a gay constituent in Ohio who says I'm so glad that he has changed his position. But why did it take him learning that he has a gay son? Why didn't he, as my representative, care about my rights before -- before that?

PORTMAN: Well, I would say that you know, I've had a change of heart based upon a personal experience. That's certainly true. Dick Cheney, I think, a similar experience. I have talked to him, by the way, about this. And you know, it wasn't an issue I had given much thought to prior to that maybe I should have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It surely seems that he said he is interesting he said he is it is not an issue he gave much to. He is a senator of a state, he represents gay people from -- to say he has never really thought much about it, I think probably that will upset a fair number of gay people.

BASH: It already has.

COOPER: Yes, in that state. You also asked him about whether or not he is going to be actually an advocate for marriage equality in Ohio. He certainly doesn't seem to be going that far.

BASH: No he is not. As I mentioned before, this was never an issue for him either way. He is not very comfortable talking about it. And more importantly, he has since, you know, the beginning of his career, politically, been really focused on economic issues, says he is going to continue to do that.

But one of the things that you is always coming up in his home state of Ohio is a move to get rid of that state's very intense ban on gay marriage and many rights for gay Ohioans. He said that he is not really sure if he is going to push hard to overturn that, but he says he -- the fact that he is talking publicly about it may make a difference in the move to overturn it, because he is clearly against it now.

COOPER: Dana Bash, fascinating interview.

Thanks, Dana.

BASH: Thank you.

COOPER: Senator Portman mentioned former vice president Cheney there are, in fact, a number of leading Republicans and conservatives who support marriage equality. Former solicitor general Ted Olson, roughly Republican, will be arguing against California's proposition eight, which banks same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court.

I want to dig deep now with the GOP's reactions that Republican senator from Arizona, John McCain.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Senator, I want to ask you about your colleague, senator Portman's, announcement. He is now, the only Republican senator supporting same-sex marriage. Can you ever see yourself considering a similar short of shift?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Well, I don't think so because of my religious beliefs but I respect anyone else's decision and we all learn in life and grow and mature. I have changed my position on other issues in my life, but on this one, I had not contemplated changing my position.

COOPER: Senator Portman says it is in line with his beliefs, with his catholic beliefs. He obviously has changed his position because his son said that he was gay, told his father that. I know your wife, your daughter, Megan, support same-sex marriage, and publicly made statements about it. Do you think if a member of your family was gay and told you that. That might influence you?

MCCAIN: I don't think so. But, I would like to point out that my daughter's opinions I respect. We have discussions about the issue. And she makes strong arguments and I think we ought to continue this dialogue throughout the country. And by the way, I have admired your forward position and stand on this issue.

COOPER: Well, thanks. I -- let's talk about Syria. I want to play for you -- our viewers something that you said yesterday about it.

MCCAIN: More than 1 million refugees have fled their country at a rate of 8,000 people each day as of last month and 2.5 million people have been displaced within their country. Only the Genocide of Rwanda and the first Iraq war have driven more people to refugee status over a similar period of time.

COOPER: Those are some of the deadliest conflicts in recent history. Do you think Syria has reached that same now?

MCCAIN: Absolutely. Absolutely. I had a meeting with the Saudi ambassador today -- ambassador to the United States today and he mentioned to me that not only have we got the 70,000 massacred, but we also have 100,000 that are quote "missing." You know what that means in Syria when 100,000 are missing. So, the numbers are even worse than we had anticipated. And of course, every week or workers is see larger and larger numbers of refugees entering these camps, which are badly overstressed, terribly overstressed and the human suffering continues.

I think it's just terrible. And here we are on the second anniversary, yesterday I believe it was, of these young people, writing something on the walls about freedom and that's torched this whole thing off and it's just tragic that we haven't done more to help.

COOPER: You compared President Obama's leadership to President Clinton's leadership during the war in Bosnia, an unfavorable comparison you were making. It did take President Clinton a long time to get involved in the war in Bosnia to try to stop the Genocide. Is this the war in Syria really one that could have been prevented with presidential leadership by the U.N.?

MCCAIN: Yes. And I believe Bosnia could have been prevented with earlier leadership, but President Clinton did come around. And President Clinton then after that we went to Kosovo as well, where ethnic cleansing was taking place. His regret was we didn't go to Rwanda. I wish we could go every place in the world but there are places you can't go because there's not a ready solution to it. As much as I want to help out in the Congo, for example.

But in Syria, it is very clear that genocide and massacres and gang rapes and torture, Saudi ambassador told me a story, and maybe I shouldn't repeat it. But he said there was this story, the men as the Assad's people are coming in to his home shot and killed his three daughters because he knew what was going to happen to them. You know, that's horrific thing to think of.

And so, this is going on all over, all the time in Syria and we sit by and watch it happen. Now, I'm pleased that secretary Kerry seems to be making moves in the right direction. But some of the staff, they are so, I mean, we are going to give them a couple hundred thousand MREs, meals ready to eat. You know what he we found out? The expiration of those meals, ready to eat, is June. Now, I'm not making that up.

So, all I can is that we could - we could chip the balance here. And I think that Assad is losing and I think he will lose. But I also worry about the increased involvement of Russia and Iranians who really -- Iranians do not want to see Assad fall. General Mattis, the central command commander said if Syria went, it would be the greatest blow to Iran in 25 years. So, there's also a national security component to this as well.

COOPER: Blow to Iran and also to Hezbollah as well.

Senator McCain, it is always good to have you. Thank you, sir.

MCCAIN: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up two high school football players in Ohio on trial, charged with raping a 16-year-old girl while other teenagers allegedly took cell phone pictures and video. The disturbing events that were detailed in court today, coming up next.

Also ahead, a deadly and fiery scene after a small plane crashed in Fort Lauderdale in a parking lot. What officials are saying about this crash, when we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Jodi Arias as we have never seen her before. Bizarre behavior captured by police camera and a new twist in her murder trial, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Testimony today in Steubenville, Ohio, in the trial of two high school football players accused of raping a 16-year-old girl during a series of parties one night last summer.

Now the trial is in its third day. It has attracted, obviously, national media attention due to evidence presented in court, including text messages and cell phone video. Prosecutor says the messages show a night of heavy drinking and the sexual abuse of the alleged victim.

Key question is whether the 16-year-old girl was too drunk to understand what was happening to her. More tonight from Poppy Harlow, who is in Steubenville and a warning again, some of the details of the case are graphic.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two teen eyewitnesses testified today that they saw the defendants, Malik Richmond and Trent Mays, rape a 16-year-old girl. The first witness, a 17-year-old friend of both defendants, said he saw Trent Mays penetrate the alleged victim with his fingers in the back seat of a car.

He testified he videotaped the episode, which lasted, quote, "a couple minutes." He said he deleted that video the next morning. The second witness to take the stand today, also a friend of the co- defendants, said that Malik Richmond did the same, as she lay naked on the floor.

He also said the alleged victim wasn't moving. The definition of rape in Ohio includes penetration with fingers. Beyond eyewitness testimony, digital evidence is at the center of this case.

This picture, circulated widely on the internet before the trial, sparked public outrage. A photo of a seemingly unconscious teenage girl carried by two young men, Malik Richmond on the left, Trent Mays on the right, both star players on the powerful Steubenville High School football team say they are innocent.

BRIAN DUNCAN, TRENT MAYS' ATTORNEY: Trent Mays did not rape the young lady in question.

WALTER MADISON, MALIK RICHMOND'S ATTORNEY: She voluntarily got herself intoxicated. Not once did you hear her say or any witness statement say she didn't want to do it.

HARLOW: Prosecutors maintain the alleged victim so was intoxicated and unresponsive, she couldn't have said no.

MARIANNE T. HEMMETER, SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: This case will hinge on not on the defendants' knowledge of her substantial impairment, but their exploitation of that knowledge when they treated her like a toy.

HARLOW: Police say the alleged occurred during all-night partying on August 11th after a varsity football scrimmage. Three days later, the accuser's mother went to the police with the flash drive, including tweets and other possible evidence.

Social media was abuzz with tweets and videos by fellow teens referring to that night in a vulgar manner. Song of the night is definitely "Rape Me" by Nirvana.

UNIDENTIFIED TEEN 1: What if that was your daughter?

UNIDENTIFIED TEEN 2: But it isn't.

UNIDENTIFIED TEEN 1: What if it was?

UNIDENTIFIED TEEN 2: If that was my daughter. I wouldn't care. I'd just let her be dead.

HARLOW: Richmond and Mays were arrest, but critics in and outside of this own town have accused law enforcement of not being aggressive enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MAL: If you are a football player you get to do what you want, as long as you got a winning season.

HARLOW (on camera): Has preferential treatment been given to these boys because they are part of the football team?

FRED ABDALLA, JEFFERSON COUNTY, OHIO SHERIFF: No, that's not true. They are facing charges. No.

HARLOW (voice-over): Sheriff Abdalla believes some of what is being posted online and on social media about the case is false.

ABDALLA: They give us a black eye and when you have people continue to put false information out there, you know, it's tough to make it go away.

HARLOW: Steubenville Police Chief Bill McCafferty says despite many pleas, few witnesses came forward.

BILL MCCAFFERTY, STEUBENVILLE, OHIO POLICE CHIEF: The thing I found most disturbing is, depending on who actually was there, why didn't somebody stop it?

HARLOW: But the state maintains that's exactly what happened and that the defendants were hardly shy about what they allegedly did. A text message from Trent Mays to a friend presented as evidence said, quote, "She was like a dead body. I just needed some sexual attention."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Poppy Harlow joins me now live from Steubenville. Poppy, we understand a third eyewitness for the prosecution just finished testifying. What did he say?

HARLOW: That's exactly right, Anderson. This teenage boy, also a friend of both of the co-defendants in this case, testifying that he, too, witnessed Malik Richmond in that basement in sexual activity with the alleged victim, activity that in Ohio is considered rape.

The key to this is that he also testified, and I quote here, "She wasn't moving. She wasn't talking. She wasn't participating." This witness also admitted on the stand that even though the alleged victim is also a friend of his, he took a naked picture of her, asked why he did that he said it was stupid.

COOPER: So basically, you now have three eyewitnesses who have testified to seeing this girl raped. What did the defense say?

HARLOW: So, that's very good question. The defense hasn't cross-examined them and said this hasn't happened, you are making this up. They are using a few key strategies here. One is to poke holes in every single witness and say how do you know how intoxicated this girl was?

How do you know how much she drank? Did you see her all night? Were you with her all night? When we talk about that now-infamous photo of the two defendants holding up the alleged victim on that night of the parties, the defense has been successful in getting some witnesses to say that that was a joke.

Others say, no, she was too drunk to really walk on her own. The third really key thing here that the defense is doing is they are saying to almost every witness, you have seen all the social media out there, all of the media attention from all the news outlets, haven't you sort of reconstructed the night in your head over the past months until you've testified here today?

And they have gotten some of the witnesses to admit, yes, at the time the night was not consequential to them. But now it is, after seeing all of the media out there but this case is ongoing. They are back in session in court right now where I'm going to go after this.

And the alleged victim has not taken the stand yet. Neither of the defendants have taken the stand. The state has not even rested its case. This is going to go on all weekend, but we expect a verdict by some time on Sunday -- Anderson.

COOPER: So disturbing. Poppy, appreciate it. Thanks.

This is not the only notorious trial playing out across the country. Jodi Arias spent 18 days the stand testifying in her murder trial. Now her lawyers want to call a witness for expert testimony that's so controversial the judge scheduled a special hearing on whether to allow that or not. Why this witness could be explosive and why that hearing set for today was postponed. We will tell you ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Devastating scene in Florida deadly plane crash right in the middle of a busy parking lot where local officials say the pilot was trying to do when the plane went down, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: "Crime and Punishment" tonight, new twists in the Jodi Arias murder trial. Her attorneys want to follow up her 18 days on the stand by calling a forensic psychologist to help make the case this was a crime of passion.

We are still waiting to learn whether the judge will allow the testimony. A hearing scheduled for today was postponed. All of this comes as we are getting a look at a side of Jodi Arias we have never seen before with very strange behavior caught on tape. Jean Casarez is a correspondent for TruTV's "In Session." Jean, Fox News got a hold of this truly bizarre video of Arias from back in 2008, just minutes before she was charged with Alexander's murder. Just take a look at some of it

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JODI ARIAS, ACCUSED OF MURDERING EX-BOYFRIEND: You should have at least done your makeup, Jodi. It's not fair. How many times was Travis stabbed?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: See, she stands on her head. Most of that some of that was with the detective present, lot of it was right after the he left the room and minutes before she was charged. Is this -- I mean, what do you make of that?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": It's unbelievable. First of all, the jury has not seen this and from our understanding, the jury will not see it. You know, she testified, Anderson, that she knew she was going to be arrested. So, she knows why she's there.

She knows she's going to be arrested and I think it definitely helps the defense because she is not appreciating the seriousness of why she is there. Now you some are saying it's all an act, she is doing that because she knows the cameras are rolling. But she did not know that she was being videotaped when her interrogation began, which was minutes later.

COOPER: And this evidentiary hearing that was supposed to take place, it was -- it was supposed to be about the testimony of the psychologist, correct?

CASAREZ: This is so interesting. The defense wants their forensic psychologist to be able to testify as to psychology of the very bloody, bloody crime scene, that it was a reactive crime scene, that it was volatile you highly emotional, a crime of passion.

And they are saying that that is very important and that there is the science to back it. The prosecution is saying, no, wait a minute that is a jury question, whether this was a premeditated planned out crime or a crime of passion.

Something that happened of the moment and a Ph.D. should not testify to that it confuse the jury. Furthermore, you can still have a very planned out attack and it be very bloody and very gory. But it will be very interesting to see what happens and it would really help the defense potentially.

COOPER: The whole notion of the psychology of the crime scene is fascinating. Why was the hearing canceled today?

CASAREZ: Yes. Well, what we are understanding, a personal reason, one of the attorneys they couldn't come and they have a family issue. So it's going to happen on Monday, but it's going to happen right before court begins. They will have the hearing, the judge render a decision and boom, get right into the testimony, either with this or not.

COOPER: How much longer does this trial -- how long is it expected to go on for and what else happens next week?

CASAREZ: You know, Anderson, this is a long trial and I don't think there's virtually any end in sight. Because we are in the defense case and we have got the defense experts. Another defense expert is to go, that's the expert on domestic violence.

There's going to be hearty cross-examination on that you can have jury questions. Then, if they are finished there is going to be a rebuttal case by the prosecution and we expect that to be rather lengthy.

And then finally, you will get to closing arguments and deliberation, but that's just the guilt phase. If they convict her of first-degree murder then there will be more phases, the death penalty phase.

COOPER: It's incredible, fascinating trial. Jean, thanks very much.

Joining us now is senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin and also criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos, co-author of "Mistrial, An Inside Look At How The Criminal Works And What Sometimes Doesn't."

Jeff, what should they do about the forensic psychologist? Should a forensic psychologist testify whether this were a crime of passion?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: This is a tough call. If this were not death penalty, I would say it's pretty easy. You just don't let someone like that testify. That is not an expertise in a real form of science.

There is no expertise that he is bringing to the jury or proposing to bring to the jury that is a credible form of science. But in death penalty cases, the courts have held, Supreme Court has held, you really have to give the defense a tremendous amount of leeway to make their case. So, I actually think it's going to be a tough call for the judge.

COOPER: Mark, what's your call?

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think what's going to happen is this judge will allow in part of the testimony. My guess is they are going to say OK, the stuff about it's a reactive crime scene or it's consistent with something that was not, probably not premeditated.

I don't think -- I think the prosecution's got the better argument when it comes to this is in the jury's province of the ultimate issue, meaning you can't opine or you can't put an expert up who's going tell this jury, OK, this was reactive and therefore, it's manslaughter as opposed to it was premeditated.

So I think the judge will say OK, I'm going to let the expert bring in, but only go to a point and not going to be able to make conclusions as to the magic words premeditated or not.

COOPER: What do you make of this videotape, Jeff, that Fox News got a hold of, showing her right before she is charged, right after talking, being interviewed by -- let's listen to just some of what she is sort of mumbling, while talking to herself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARIAS: Goodness. You should have at least done your makeup, Jodi. It's not fair! How many times was Travis stabbed?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Then she goes and stands on her head.

TOOBIN: You know, I think the judge was right to keep it out because what does it prove? I don't know. I mean, that she's weird. The defense could say, look is this someone who looks like a premeditated murder. She is obviously emotionally damaged in some way.

The prosecution could say you well it shows that she is a heartless -- heartless killer. I just think this is a good function for the judge to say, you know what, this will just confuse issue, confuse the jury, keep it out.

COOPER: Mark, you agree with that?

GERAGOS: Well, I think just from an evidentiary standpoint, I don't know who tried to get it in, but my guess is if the prosecutor tried to get it in the judge would almost have to let it in. If the defense wants to get it in, from an evidence standpoint, the defense could not get it in. It's basically what's called self-serving hearsay. It's not going to come in unless the prosecutor wants.

TOOBIN: Do you think that was self-serving, that nutty stuff she was saying was self-serving?

GERAGOS: From a purely evidentiary standpoint that is not going to come in if only the defense want it is in. I just think most judges would not -- I have had situations like that with clients who were bawling on the floor in a police video just like that. And when I want to get in it you can't get it when the prosecutor wants to get it in or at least clips of it you can.

COOPER: She must have known she was being videotaped though anybody being interviewed by a police officer --

TOOBIN: People say all sorts of stupid things. You would think they wouldn't say, so I'm not sure you can say she knew she was being videotaped. Her -- look how oddly she behaved. You wouldn't do that if you knew you were being videotaped, but just -- COOPER: Unless it is not a rational act, unless she thinks it shows something or nights something --

TOOBIN: All the more reason to keep it out.

GERAGOS: Precisely why I think the prosecutor would never want this in. Why would a prosecutor want the jury to see this because she looks like she's 14-karat nut.

COOPER: Leave it there. Mark Geragos --

TOOBIN: That is a technical term.

COOPER: I'm going to shut off your mic.

GERAGOS: A forensic term. I've learned that on your sister network.

COOPER: I'm not really going to shut off the mic. I was just kidding. Mark Geragos, thanks very much. Jeff Toobin, thanks as well.

A plane crash in a Florida parking lot, killing all three on board, the latest on the ground straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Let's get you caught up on some of the other stories we are following. Randi Kaye has the 360 Bulletin -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a devastating scene in Florida, a plane crash in Fort Lauderdale killing all three people on board. The plane slammed into a parking lot but no one on the ground was hurt. Local officials say the pilot had just taken off and was trying to circle back to the airport but could not make it.

A judge in New York sentenced an Algerian man convicting of plotting to blow up synagogues and churches to ten years in prison. According to court documents, 28-year-old Amid Farhani said he wanted to send a message of violence to non-Muslims.

Retired General David Petraeus is making his first public appearance since resigning as CIA director and acknowledging an extramarital affair. He will deliver a speech at a University of Southern California dinner that honors veterans. He reportedly accepted the invitation a year ago.

And heavy metal rockers "Iron Maiden" inspire legions of head bangers, but now they are hoping one of their songs will inspire them to slam some beers. The band is teaming up with a British brewery to sale new beer named after their classic song "The Trooper."

Anderson, the mascot, the band's mascot is going to be on the label. If you're not familiar with it by the way it is a demon-faced monster named "Eddie." COOPER: Of course, sure, makes sense. Randi, thanks.

We have an exciting program note to it pass on to you, a new daily program, "The Lead" with Jake Tapper premiers Monday afternoon at 4:00. We're very excited about that. At 4:00 Eastern right here on CNN so look forward to that.

Coming up, my close encounter with big foot, the "Ridiculist" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Time now for the "Ridiculist." Tonight, it's all about my close encounter with a yeti. On my daytime show, "Anderson Live" with Padma Lakshmi, we are talking about that Animal Planet show, "Finding Big Foot," and then this happened, a true indication of the culture, respect and professionalism that I foster on my daytime show staff.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A gorilla that looked like a gorilla or a bear walking on all fours, I mean --

COOPER: Whoa, Jesus! Good lord.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I peed in my pants.

COOPER: Did you say you peed in your pants?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little, just a little.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: All right, so the "Anderson" live staff surprised me by turning the show in sasquatch what happens live and several 360 staff members noticed while they were watching this clip over and over and over again today and mocking me all day I was much, much more scared of the big foot than I was when bombs were going off behind me in Gaza.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Also two media centers built -- whoa! That was a rather large explosion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: All right, explosions are one thing, but a guy in a big foot costume coming out of nowhere while you're at work completely different thing. It was so startling, although oddly, it is not the first time live a close encounter with a costumed character while I've just been trying to do my job.

Happened during Hurricane Ike when I was forced to ponder why did the chicken cross the road? The answer because he was probably drunk. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: We are live throughout the next two hours and Larry King takes it live and we take it live for another hour. We have much more coverage of Hurricane Ike still coming up. There are a lot of people, if you can believe it or not in Houston, a couple bars are still open.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Yes. See, I was totally not scared of that chicken. Maybe it is just the renegade big foot that frightens me because I certainly can hold my own with other smaller creatures.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: See, I find these far worse than worms because of all the little legs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

COOPER: I will touch it. I'm not going to lift it up though.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just stroke it pet it.

COOPER: I don't like being afraid of anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give it a --

COOPER: That's it. That's it. I'm done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: So I don't like creepy crawly things as well. Sue me. I don't like little bugs and I don't like big feet or big foots, what is the plural of big foot. Anyway, ponder as we watch it one more time in slow motion.

Have a great weekend. Be sure to watch out for big foot on the "Ridiculist." That does it for us. We'll see you again one hour from now, a special edition of 360 at 10 p.m. Eastern, all about the Jodi Arias trial. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.