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Rick Warren's Son Commits Suicide; Texans Mourn Slain D.A.; Nelson Mandela Out of Hospital; Dismissed Juror Returns to Arias Trial; Iconic Letters Go on Auction

Aired April 6, 2013 - 17:00   ET

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


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. It's 5:00 in the East Coast, 2 p.m. out west. Here's what's happening right now. We're going to start with breaking news. Tragedy hits a family of one of America's most famous preachers. His son commits suicide. The church is asking everyone to join in prayer.

Also an attack on a military convoy in Afghanistan leaves five Americans dead. This comes as a top U.S. general arrives in that region.

(SPEAKING ARABIC)

More violence in Syria. Opposition forces say an air strike in Aleppo has killed at least 15 people, including nine children. Amateur video captures the chaotic scene.

Posturing and threats grow more dramatic on the Korean peninsula with the north telling diplomats it cannot guarantee their safety. We're going to have live reports from the region tonight.

Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. Again, breaking news, shocking news out of Southern California to report to you. The youngest son of evangelist Rick Warren committed suicide last night. It just came out. Warren is the pastor of the Saddleback megachurch in Lake Forest, California, and one of the most well-known Christian leaders in the country. He is also the author of the bestseller, "The Purpose Driven Life."

CNN's Deborah Feyerick has the very latest for us from New York. And Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog editor also joins us.

Deborah, I'm going to start with you. This is certainly shocking news from one of America's most prominent preachers.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. And the depth of the pain is just unimaginable. The family knew that throughout his entire life, 27-year-old Matthew Warren had struggled with mental illness and had threatened suicide numerous times. His father, Pastor Rick Warren, who may remember delivered the invocation at President Obama's first inauguration, said today that his son suffered from what he called quote, "deep depression and suicidal thoughts." A statement from Warren.

Warren wrote a personal statement today saying, quote, "In spite of America's best doctors, meds, counselors and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided. And today after a fun evening with wife Kay and me in a momentary wave of despair in his home, Matthew took his life." Now, Warren, as you know, is "The New York Times" best-selling author of the book "The Purpose Driven Life." It has sold upwards of $30 million copies.

He is a somewhat controversial figure for his conservative, evangelical, theological ideas on social issues, including abortion and same-sex marriage. But Pastor Warren spoke eloquently of his son. He knew that his son struggled with this, was wrestling with this. And he says that after one, after they had tried another attempt to try to get him back, to try to bring him out of this depression, his son said apparently to him, quote, "Dad, I know I'm going to heaven, why can't I just die and end this pain."

He was 27 years old. Few facts are known. We've reached out to the police and the medical examiners out there in California to see if there are any further details. But again, this is something the family has struggled with for 27 years. They said that he was suffering from depression they believe really since his birth. And so, while it was not necessarily a surprise given the number of attempts, given the depth of the depression, clearly it is something that the family is trying to cope with as they wrap their arms around the death of their youngest son. They have also spoken to the community, to the church and they have thanked them for their outreach and their prayers and their support. Not only during their son's mental illness, but also now during the sad days of his death -- Don.

LEMON: Deb, stand by because we're getting a statement in and I want to read that statement. It's just coming in, it says, "At 27 years of age, Matthew was an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate young man whose sweet spirit was encouragement and comfort to many. Unfortunate, he also suffered from mental illness resulting in deep depression and suicidal thoughts. Despite the best health care available, it was an illness that was never fully controlled and the emotional pain resulted in his decision to take his life."

And that is coming from Rick Warren. Deb, it is a very sad story. I want you to stand by because I want to get to our Belief Blog editor Eric Marrapodi now and talk about this. Eric, you know, Deb mentioned the church community really just putting their arms around the family. You can expect that coming out of Saddleback and probably from churches around the country.

ERIC MARRAPODI, EDITOR, CNN BELIEF BLOG: Yes. Absolutely. You know, one of the things that's important to understand about Saddleback, is it really became a network of churches coming out off the success of "The Purpose Driven Life," and part of the note that Deb was reading was a note that Warren had sent out to staff that appears to have gone out to the entire Saddleback purpose driven church life network which encompasses hundreds of churches in the United States.

And you can see the reactions from folks, so poignant on twitter. And I want to point something out that Warren appears to have tweeted this morning before the statements went out. Of course, they learned that his son Matthew had committed suicide on Friday night. The statement said, and they're just now getting the word out. And one of the things Warren tweeted today, he said we pray thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, since in heaven God's will is done, hashtag-always on earth it's really done.

It's an important play I think to bring out because there you see that's a verse we often hear from pastors in coping with grief situations like this, that this is something that it's in God's hands, and this is his own will and something that is a mystery and that people can't always understand it. So for Rick and his Wife Kay, this is something they mentioned in their note that they've done a lot of time for their parishioners as they built that church Saddleback into the big megachurch it is today. Grieving with families over the loss of children. So, a very poignant verse to point out from the Lord's prayer there in Matthew. He's dealing with the loss of his own son Matthew.

LEMON: Yes. And Deb, you know, every year, he has -- Rick Warren has say, a prayer summit. And he has a value summit. Especially an important figure during presidential elections as well from you know, George W. Bush, on to President Obama. And we can expect leaders from around the country to possibly soon be releasing statements with their sentiment.

FEYERICK: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. This is one of those things -- what is a little bit surprising is also just how open he was about his son's suicide. Clearly he was able to embrace the fact that his son suffered from this illness, and wanting to share it, wanting to make it very public, and also being sure to point out how special his son was. He also described him as a brilliant intellect with a gift for sensing who was in most pain, and then making a beeline to that person.

So clearly his son was sensitive to those around him who perhaps were in the same kind of pain that he was in, or that he was experiencing. So yes, world leaders. He's known internationally. Thirty million copies of his book sold. Really somebody who many people listen to. So it will resonate among them as they respond to this tragedy.

LEMON: OK, Deb. Eric, I want to talk about this, because this is a question that people will have when something terrible happens, especially to a member of the church. It says, why would god allow something like this to happen? That will no doubt be a question for many people who are Christians or non-Christians, believers or nonbelievers.

MARRAPODI: Yes, absolutely. You know, this is something that that comes up a lot for Christians when they deal with these issues, these shocking losses that hit so dramatically. And we see this in faith communities and how they react. And one of the things you hear a lot is something called the ministry of presence, which is just when people show up and to be there with one another. And that's something that we're seeing. It's been so fascinating to see. I've been watching folks in the Christian community tweet about this and tweet their support to Rick and his wife Kay Warren, who is also very prominent in the Christian community in her own right. It's very interesting how they've been tweeting these little 140- character prayers of support for Rick and Kay Warren as they're struggling with this loss. And it's something that -- you know, I don't know if the fact that it appears this may have been an ongoing issue of mental illness. I don't know if that makes it any easier for any family. I certainly don't think it does when you're dealing with the loss of a child like this. But certainly the Warrens have their faith that they'll have to turn to on this and try to sort this all out -- Don.

LEMON: All right. Eric Marrapodi, Deborah Feyerick, thanks to both of you. Let me tell our viewers what's coming up. But a little bit later on in this broadcast, we're going to talk about this particular depression and what might lead to this with Dr. Wendy Walsh, who will join us in just a few minutes here on CNN.

In the meantime, there's other news to report. Now, in Afghanistan today, six Americans were killed in two separate attacks. The deadlier incident happened here in the southern Zabul province. A suicide bomber blew up a car full of explosives next to a military convoy. Three U.S. service members and two American civilians are dead now.

CNN's Elise Labott, live for us from the State Department today. Elise, one of those civilians killed was an employee of the State Department.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Don. And four other State Department employees injured, one of them critically. It's really a horrible incident. This military convoy was headed for a school in the southern province of Zabul to deliver textbooks for Afghan children. Secretary Kerry met this woman that died, this young woman in her 20s, really considered an up and comer in the Foreign Service. She was detailed for Secretary Kerry for this visit to Afghanistan last week.

This morning he had to call her family and inform them of her death. Just issued a statement a short time ago. Not only praising her but also really hailing the bravery, not just of U.S. servicemen Don that die in the line of duty, but Foreign Service officers. Let me read to you a little bit from the statement. It says, every day we honor their courage and are grateful for their sacrifices and today we do so with great sadness. Don, often we think of military dying in the line of duty. But as Secretary Kerry and those before him like to remind everybody, it's also these diplomats that are on the front lines of the danger as well.

LEMON: Absolutely. Elise Labott from the State Department. Elise, thank you very much.

Back here in the U.S., police in Texas have a man in custody who may think threatened a deputy district attorney. They're taking those threats very seriously these days since the death of a prosecutor and his wife just a few days ago.

I want to bring in now Martin Savidge, and he is in Kaufman, Texas. Martin, what's the latest on the manhunt for the D.A.'s killer?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, we just had actually a news conference that took place a short while ago from Chris Hysler (ph), he is the spokesperson for the McClelland family. That was Mike and it was Cynthia McClelland, the district attorney and his wife that were murdered just a week ago. And then it was Mark Hasse who was murdered, he was the prosecutor here, one of the late prosecutors who was murdered two months ago.

Anyway, this news conference, the family has come up and he is highly critical of the way the investigation has been handled so far. They were critical. They said that their father was critical, especially after Mark Hasse had been murdered because he felt that his county, he felt that his department didn't have the resources to protect the personnel because they feared that there were other people that were going to be hit.

And they also didn't at the same time have the resources to carry out the investigation. In other words, they were so stretched trying to protect everyone, they couldn't really move forward on the investigation. Now the family is even more outraged because it is their father and it's their mother that have been murdered and they believe now that there are even less resources to handle this huge investigation for what is a relatively rural county, a very big one.

And so they are demanding that the federal government take over the lead in the investigation, which would allow the local law enforcement to handle the issue of protection. The family admits that they are on edge, they say look, if they can take out a district attorney, they're very fearful that someone may come after the rest of the family. The emotions are running very high for them, Don.

As to the investigation, there are no arrests so far, and right now, the investigation and those who are leading it are not saying too much. They will say that they're looking at white supremacist groups, they're looking at possible drug cartel connections, maybe just somebody who had a beef. But that's as far as they will say.

LEMON: All right. Martin, family and friends of the McClelland held his funeral yesterday, what are you hearing from the family?

SAVIDGE: Well, I mean, you know, they are suffering in many ways. They are suffering emotionally because of the loss that they've endured. A mother and a father. And the community suffers because, you know, this was a man, his wife, who were dearly loved in this community as well as respected as a leader. And then on top of that, two months prior, they had lost a chief prosecutor. So the family is extremely upset, mixed between anger and anguish.

LEMON: Martin Savidge, thank you very much for your reporting.

North Korea playing a dangerous game of blustering and rhetoric. What's the very latest coming from the region? We'll have that right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: North Korea playing a dangerous game. That's how the German foreign minister describes the threats and rhetoric coming out of Pyongyang. But while the north leader is new, this conflict is very old. Jim Clancy is in Seoul where it sounds like people are more or less used to this. Jim.

JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, as we've been telling you now, South Koreans are amazingly calm in the face of all of the rhetoric that's been flying around the peninsula over the course of the last few weeks. And it seems North Koreans are taking it in stride as well. We don't get to hear from them very often. But a tour operator who just returned to Beijing from Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, was asked if there was anything out of the ordinary. Here's what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANDA CARR, SOUTH KOREA TOUR OPERATOR: I didn't feel any different towards us and people smiling, waving, saying hello. And kids coming up and roller blading -- coming up and saying, hello. So it was no different in that respect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: Now, Amanda Carr said that they visited bowling alleys, bars, and public parks. And while people were aware of the rhetoric, they support the government number one. And soldiers are there on the streets. But they're planting trees. This is, after all, spring planting season. What concerns many Koreans, at least here in the South, is not the threat of one side or the other starting an all-out offensive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN DELURY, YONSEI UNIVERSITY SEOUL: There's another danger right now, which is in the fog of war, especially at sea where you've got North Koreans and South Koreans laughing right up against another. A match is lit that sparks a bonfire that actually no one wanted, not even the North Koreans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: Now, South Koreans are very aware that North Korea has moved two missiles to the eastern side of the peninsula for a suspected test firing. They believe that's all that it's going to be. At the same time, the U.S. and South Korea have moved radars, sophisticated units, spy ships, if you will, into position. They want to learn as much about this largely unknown, untested missile as they can. And they want to know what risks it might pose -- Don.

LEMON: All right. Thank you very much, Jim Clancy.

Let's check some of the other top stories we're following right now. Investigators in Florida now believe that these two brothers kidnapped Wednesday by their father are on this sailboat headed to the Gulf of Mexico. A sheriff in the Tampa area has released images of Joshua Hakken and his wife Sharon on the 25-foot vessel, which investigators are now searching for. It's not clear if Sharon is involved or under duress herself. Authorities said, Joshua Hakken abducted the boys from their grandmother after tying her up.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation now says the deaths of a detective and a murder suspect in a police interview room were a murder-suicide. Officials say the suspect, 23-year-old Jeremy Powell, overpowered the Jackson Police investigators on Thursday, shot him, and then turned the gun on himself. The veteran detective Eric Smith was 40-years-old.

South African icon Nelson Mandela is now out of the hospital and going to receive some special in-home care. The 94-year-old is the nation's first black president, has been sick with a lung infection and pneumonia.

And CNN's Robyn Curnow has the latest now from Johannesburg, Robyn.

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, after 10 nights in hospital, Nelson Mandela has been released. Authorities here are saying that he has shown a sustained and gradual improvement in his general condition and that he's now to receive home-based high care. We understand from sources that his bedroom and his home in Johannesburg has very sophisticated medical machinery, and that also because he receives 24- hour medical care, so no doubt those who look after him, his careers, his doctors, his nurses, will be keeping a very close eye on him after he was hospitalized for the second time in four months for pneumonia. This is Nelson Mandela's health has been steadily deteriorating over the past few years. Robyn Curnow, CNN Johannesburg, South Africa.

LEMON: All right, Robyn, thank you very much.

Retirement isn't stopping this 76-year-old educator from taking her classroom to the students. Her love for teaching hits the road in the form of a high-tech bus that's like none other. All aboard, it's time to meet Estella Pyfrom.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ESTELLA PYFROM, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: I grew up in the segregated south. I actually started picking beans at age six. But my father, I used to hear him say if you get a good education, you could get a good job. So we knew that education was important.

In today's times, many of our children don't have computers at home and low-income families don't have transportation to get to where the computers are. Kids who don't have access to computers after school will be left behind.

My name is Estella Pyfrom. At age 71, I took my retirement savings to create a classroom to bring high-tech learning to communities in need.

All right, let's get on board Estella's Brilliant Bus.

Estella's Brilliant Bus is a mobile learning center. Are you ready to get on the computers?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

PYFROM: We want to do what we can do to make things better for all. Adults as well. OK. Got it.

I see the bus as being able to bridge that gap between technology and the lack of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She helps me by having one-on-one attention, if I don't get it, she helps me with this. I look forward to it a lot.

PYFROM: How are you doing here?

It's not just a bus, it's a movement. And we're going to go from neighborhood to neighborhood, keep making a difference.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Let me tell you, Atlanta has been rocking this weekend. The city is celebrating the final four with all kinds of fun, including last night's concert with Zach Brown, and of course the two games tonight that are the whole reason everyone is here. And there was the Hawks last night, there were the Braves last night. I drank so much beer that I can barely, barely woke up this morning. Joe Carter, I'm sure was doing the same thing.

He's back at it again today. He's at the Georgia dome. Wichita State and Louisville tip off next hour. Did you try -- trying to get to work today here in downtown, it's just ridiculous. This city has gone mad.

JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, my goodness, we're watching the traffic here, Don. It's like, we're thinking, how we're going to get back to our homes tonight? But it's good. Downtown Atlanta alive right now. And you're seeing so many basketball fans. Obviously geographically Louisville is the closest school to Atlanta, so we're seeing a lot of red. But Syracuse and the orange very well- represented. Wichita State, the shockers. They're yellow. And so is Michigan.

So sort of confusing seeing a lot of yellow. But then you see a lot of blue on the back. So, Michigan very well represented. But as you said, the real party was in centennial park when they had all those concerts today. I mean, there had to be tens of thousands of people there with Ludacris and Florida and muse. It was a good time -- Don.

LEMON: It was a good time. Look right behind me on the wall. Put me up full. You see that? I'm hovering over the crowd. That's live in centennial Olympic park right across the street here from the CNN Center. I mean, I wish the city could be like this all the time, Joe. So, who do you think has the most fans, in your opinion? CARTER: I'd have to say Louisville. I mean, they're the overall number one seed. They're the closest team. We've seen lots of red. And obviously the first game tonight against Wichita state, which is in about 45 minutes, 40 minutes. Louisville very well-represented. Wichita State, the underdog, the Cinderella sort of flown under the radar because we obviously talked a lot about Florida Gulf Coast and those pesky Eagles that shocked everybody, becoming the first 15 seed to make it to elite eight -- to the sweet 16.

But yes, Wichita is very well represented as well. And in the night game is Michigan-Syracuse. A lot of people looking at that game as being very, very close. Both teams pretty evenly matched. So that tips off after the Louisville-Wichita state game, which is in a short time from now -- Don.

LEMON: All right, Joe Carter. I've got my own little transporter here. I'm going to hover back, take myself right out to the game. We'll be right back after this.

Don't forget. You can stay connected. You can watch CNN live on your computer. You can do it from work. Just go to cnn.com/TV.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Half past the hour here on CNN. This is our top story, and it's a breaking-news story. If you're just joining us, tragic news out of southern California to report, the youngest son of evangelist, Rick Warren committed suicide last night. Warren is the pastor of the Saddleback Mega Church in Lake Forest, California, and one of the most well-known Christian leaders in the country. He is also the author of the best-selling book "The Purpose Driven Life."

Saddleback Church issued this statement, "At 27 years of age, Matthew was an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate young man whose sweet spirit was encouragement and comfort to many. Unfortunately, he also suffered from mental illness resulting in deep depression and suicidal thoughts. Despite the best health care available, this was an illness that was never fully controlled and the emotional pain resulted in his decision to take his life."

I want to bring in psychologist, Wendy Walsh.

Wendy, just a terrible story. And we all think of suicide, but it can happen in a family like this one, and we want to think it's preventable, but it can happen to any family.

DR. WENDY WALSH, HUMAN BEHAVIOR EXPERT & PSYCHOLOGIST: Mental illness isn't a character flaw, it's a disease. Doctors get cancer. I think that to assume that because he's such a revered pastor and they have such love and support and a supportive community that somehow he's immune to life isn't a fair assessment.

I do believe, though, that while the tragedy of losing a child is probably one of the worst things a human can ever go through, that he may be a little more resilient because of the community's support and of the faith they hold. LEMON: And when you hear that he may be more resilient, but, you know, I asked this to our belief blog editor. People will say how could this -- how could god let this happen? How can god let depression -- you know I mean? And that's a real question that people have.

WALSH: I think that a lot of -- there are few people anyway who believe God is their -- their idea of god is he's ground control, operating everything. But I think many other people of faith realize that maybe there's a piece of god inside themselves, maybe it's a sense of faith and resiliency, but definitely life still happens while you're busy praying, although research as been pretty clear, praying can help people with the emotional trials of dealing with this kind of tragedy.

LEMON: So talk us through this, because as you said -- and you and I have talked about this before. When people have issues -- emotional issues or mental issues, it's not a character flaw. There are stigmas placed on emotional and mental issues.

WALSH: I think people get confused because they hear things like, well, he has a predisposition for depression, or depression -- his environment caused the depression. The truth is all psychology is biology meeting the environment. This young man was not only born with a predisposition to depression, but he was born into an environment that seemed to ameliorate and actually help his depression along the way. So in his case, his chemical disorder was great enough that it caused him to commit suicide. Please understand that when someone is that depressed, the amount of psychic pain that they're feeling, don, they really believe that suicide is the only choice to alleviate their pain.

LEMON: What about the pressure of growing up in the spotlight, the son of someone who is so famous? Lots of people have famous children, that doesn't happen. Is that a factor?

WALSH: Yes, I think you answered your own question. We don't know the details of this family dynamics or the special circumstances having to do with his mental illness, his depression. I will tell you that it's a hard road to walk, to grow up as a young person knowing that you'll never been more successful than your parents. And, in fact, many young people are feeling this, in this generation, that are coming out of college, because they may not be as successful as baby boomer parents, for instance. Certainly, the children of celebrities, some whom I've treated here in L.A., have -- it's a hard thing to live in somebody else's great shadow. But in this case, you know, it's faith-based, there's community support. And again, we do not know all the details of this young man's life.

LEMON: Yes. We're here in the south, Wendy. You're in California and that's where Rick Warren is. We hear a lot about Joel Osteen. Those are famous southern preachers, Billy Graham. But this is a huge figure, a revered figure, especially around the country, but especially in California.

WALSH: Oh yes. He is much loved here. And he has an interesting balance of being really kind of accessible in the way his language and the way he talks to his community, but also still conservative in certain social areas. And he comes from an area of southern California, Lake Forest, that is in Orange County, tends to be a more conservative area when you think of California as being this huge liberal bastion. But he is much loved in this state.

LEMON: Wendy, thank you for guiding us through this. We appreciate it.

WALSH: Thank you.

LEMON: Kenny Rogers sang about it in "The Gambler." Knowing when to hold 'em and knowing when to fold 'em also keeps the stock market wealth.

In today's "Smart is the New Rich," Christine Romans looks at the rules on selling your stocks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Dow just wrapped up its best first quarter since 1998. The other major indexes have also soared, but you don't make any real money until you sell. One strategy is to cash out to lock in your gains.

AMY SMITH, MARKET COMMENTATOR, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY: Most stocks that have great earnings in sales will run up, on average, historically, about 25 percent before they begin pulling back in price. So you might want to think about locking in some profits at 25 percent.

ROMANS: If you bought a stinker, even in this bull market, don't hang on.

SMITH: You should always consider selling a stock if it falls 7 percent to 8 percent below what you paid for it.

ROMANS: If a company's profits start to decline, that could be a warning to get out.

NED RILEY, CHAIRMAN, RILEY ASSET MANAGEMENT: The first thing I tell people is to watch the momentum in earnings year over year. If there is a deterioration in the growth rate of a company's earnings, then one should be wary.

ROMANS: Wary is exactly how some money managers feel about this market. "CNN Money" surveyed nearly 30 of them. Their prediction? Stocks won't end the year much higher than where they are now. Others say we're due for a pullback.

CARTER WORTH, OPPENHEIMER ASSET MANAGEMENT: One year, two years, three years, four years, it's a great bull market but history shows that when you have very euphoric bill phases, they give way to corrections. From the November lull, we're up about 20 percent. At this point, this is exactly where a normative pullback or correct or pause occurs. ROMANS: So next time you check your 401K, ask yourself, are you feeling greedy?

Christine Romans, CNN, New York.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: From ex-con to Atlanta Falcon, Brian Banks went to prison for a rape he didn't commit. After five years in prison and five years on parole, prosecutors dropped the conviction after his alleged victim admitted she lied. Suddenly, Banks' dream of playing in the NFL came back to life. This week, he signed with the Atlanta Falcons. Despite the enormous injustice he endured, Banks says he has no hard feelings.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN BANKS, CLEARED OF RAPE, SIGNED WITH FALCONS: I thank god that she came forward. I thank God that I was able to serve five years in prison and exit still mentally sane and physically and emotionally still attached. So I just look forward to what's to come. I'm thankful for where I am today. And I'm also thankful for every experience that I've experienced in life, because it's made me who I am today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Obviously a lot of legal issues to explore here. Criminal defense attorney Holly Hughes is here.

Holly, first of all, I want to tell you that he pled guilty to this rape to avoid a long-term prison sentence if he was convicted. You say he was not wise to suit his accuser? Would you say he should or shouldn't sue his accuser?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & FORMER PROSECUTOR: At this point, let's remember that this young man had a consensual relationship with this woman. For whatever reason, she lied about that. He was advised by his attorney at the time, you know what? Take a plea deal, even though you're saying you're innocent, take the plea deal, do this very short amount of time instead of risking going to trial. That was the decision they made. He has now been exonerated. She has finally admitted, I did lie, it was consensual the whole time.

LEMON: Why not sue her then?

HUGHES: Here's the thing. This young man is finally on the track he planned for his life.

LEMON: Put it behind him.

HUGHES: Go forward. Who wants to dredge up the negativity of the past? And what if she recants her recantation? He has said -- listen to him. He says, I'm ready to move forward, I'm going on, I don't have to look back, I don't have to go after her. Although if he chose to, he could sue her. There's intentional infliction of emotional distress. There's fraud. If the state wants to pursue criminal charges for perjury they could go after her.

LEMON: He says he has no hard feelings. OK.

(LAUGHTER)

I would want to kill somebody.

HUGHES: I think most people would be incredibly angry. But I think what it shows you is the spirit of this young man. He's not quite 30. He has decided, instead of getting embroiled in the bitterness, he says I'm going forward.

LEMON: I agree. And you do. We all do. But you still -- you're still like I cannot believe this person did this to me and look at what I suffered. I went to prison. And you know karma is a "you know what." So karma will get her.

(CROSSTALK)

HUGHES: What goes around comes around. Remember that.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Absolutely. I always say that. So whatever happens will happen. He'll have a very good life and she'll have to deal with the guilt of what she did.

HUGHES: She absolutely will.

LEMON: So the defense has already made an issue of her returning to the courtroom to give the defense even stronger grounds to appeal.

(CROSSTALK)

HUGHES: We're talking about juror number five.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Yes, we are. We're talking about Jodi Arias now.

I have not been watching this case, as you can probably tell.

HUGHES: I can fill you in.

LEMON: So what's happening with this appeal?

HUGHES: I've been all over this. OK, what's happening is there was a motion made by the defense about midweek, beginning of the week for a mistrial because Juan Martinez, the prosecutor, had been out signing autographs on the street during the questioning of the jurors. Why? Because someone said hey, if a juror -- this juror is not sequestered, if somebody sees that, would that unduly influence them in the jury room? The judge calls in the jurors. Juror number five says something that alarms the defense. They make a motion for a mistrial and say, judge, she's tainted the entire panel, we want you to call the entire thing off. Let's start over. Judge says I will not grant a mistrial, but what I will do is I will excuse number five. I will release her from jury service.

Juror number five then shows up in the courtroom the following day. And you see her on the screen. That's her in the blue. We see her there. She's got -- you can't tell at that angle, but she's got multi-colored hair. It's red in the front, blonde in the back. So she's very distinctive. So the judge admonishes the jury at this point. You will notice juror number five has returned again to the -- it's a public gallery. But here's the thing. It's the judge's courtroom. She could very well say, I'm sorry, you can't come back in, because this is going to be a huge issue on appeal. If Jodi Arias is convicted of anything, Don, they're going to say you were wrong to deny the mistrial. She tainted the panel bad enough for you to remove her and then you let her sit in the public gallery and everybody in the jury is like, hmm, wonder what's going on here.

LEMON: This case is making my head hurt.

(LAUGHTER)

I have not been following it. Why is this still on my television? Why is this still happening? How long has this been going on?

HUGHES: This has been going on since January 2nd. We are about 43 days into trial. And I'll explain to you, it is a death penalty case. And we lawyers like to say, death is different. Which means the defense is pulling out all the stops to try to save her life, number one.

LEMON: But this is long. This is long. This is taking an unusually long time.

HUGHES: Let's look historically. O.J.'s case took 18 months to try the murder case. Scott Peterson, five, six months. So you know what? This is not that bad, Don. We're coming to the end.

LEMON: She did admit to doing it.

HUGHES: She did, but she has a right to a legal defense and they need to decide why she did it. That's going to determine what she's convicted of and if they put her to death.

LEMON: All right.

HUGHES: I know you're not interested.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: A lot of people are.

HUGHES: It's doing great stuff for our sister station. Tons of folks are tuning in. They want to see this. This is real life TV. They want to see it unfold.

LEMON: Thank you.

HUGHES: OK. LEMON: Next, a hand-written letter from Marilyn Monroe and a personal letter from John Lennon to Paul McCartney, they go up for auction next week. See what's in those letters. That's next.

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LEMON: A father took a wrong turn on a boating trip and got his family stuck in the Florida Everglades. The man's wife and three young boys spent the night in a swampy wilderness after the boat got stuck Thursday in dense vegetation. Later, the family blew air horns and whistles. The noise led rescuers to them. All five family members are OK.

In China, an outbreak of bird flu in people has led to the slaughter of more than 20,000 chickens, ducks, geese and pigeons. The strain had never been seen in humans until 16 cases were reported. Six of those people have died. U.S. health officials are working closely with Chinese authorities to find the source of the infection.

A baseball card just set a record for the highest price ever paid at public auction. A collector paid more than $2.1 million for a 1909 Honus Wagner card. Wagner was a Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop and one of the first five members of the Hall of Fame. His 1909 card was considered the holy grail of baseball cards.

A star-studded event is on the horizon. I'm talking about an auction, an auction that will let you have something from one of these icons. Letters from Dwight Eisenhower, George Washington, even Marilyn Monroe, plus many others will go on sale next month. It's expected to bring in as much as $5 million.

CNN's Jason Carroll got a preview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Monroe, Hemingway, Eisenhower, icons. All so exposed you might think you've seen all there is to see, until now.

MARSHA MALINOWSKI, AUCTION DIRECTOR, PROFILES IN HISTORY: Breathless. It really leaves me feeling breathless.

CARROLL: A collection of more than 200 rare personal letters, documents and photographs released from a private collector, soon to be sold by profiles in history.

MALINOWSKI: You just feel as if she's slipping away.

CARROLL: Included, a handwritten letter by Marilyn Monroe to acting coach Lee Strasburg.

(on camera): There is a reference to suicide, is there not?

MALINOWSKI: There is.

CARROLL (voice-over): Monroe's letter reads -- MALINOWSKI: "There is only concentration between the actor and suicide. As soon as I walk into a scene, I lose my mental relaxation. My will is weak, but I can't stand anything. I think I'm going crazy."

CARROLL (on camera): A troubled soul.

MALINOWSKI: A very troubled soul who was losing her concentration because of her alcohol and barbiturate intake.

CARROLL (voice-over): Also revealed, a scathing letter John Lennon wrote to Paul and Linda McCartney just before the Beatles breakup in 1970.

(on camera): I see a lot of profanity sort of sprinkled throughout so we'll avoid that part.

MALINOWSKI: Yes. Generously sprinkled. But that is one angry man.

CARROLL (voice-over): Lennon letter, the part we can read without offending, reads "Do you really think most of today's art came about because of the Beatles? I don't believe you're that insane, Paul. Do you believe that? When you stop believing it, you might wake up."

Lennon's letter, expected to fetch upwards of $50,000. Monroe's, about the same.

The collection, not limited to pop culture. There's fascinating, never-before seen political history, too.

JOE MADDALENA, PROFILES IN HISTORY: We're looking at a series of letters sent by Dwight David Eisenhower as supreme allied commander to his wife, Mamie.

CARROLL: Unprecedented challenges he faced.

MADDALENA: One, "God, I hate the Germans. This war is so difficult. It's so hard to win."

CARROLL: Then these photos, the auction allowed to broadcast publicly here for the first time, a gift from Mussolini's staff to Hitler. Go back further in history to 1786, an actual letter from George Washington.

MALINOWSKI: He's also talking about having to perhaps hire some Negroes to help with the project, and he phrases it very carefully and very politely.

CARROLL (on camera): I'm glad he did that.

MALINOWSKI: Yes.

CARROLL (voice-over): There's Thomas Edison's first patent application for the light bulb.

MALINOWSKI: It just gets better than that. CARROLL: It does. There's this letter from a financially strapped Ernest Hemingway, writing from Cuba.

MALINOWSKI: You have to tilt your head. It's probably because Mr. Hemingway was probably tilting the bottle. And it says, "I don't know what we'll use for money this year, mangos maybe."

CARROLL: Whether it's Mark Twain writing to Bram Stoker, Jack London explaining why he used the name "Buck" in "Call of the Wild," it's all here.

No budget to bid? Not to worry. You've seen it here first but if you want more, the exhibit is on display starting next week at New York's Douglas Elliman Gallery.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: I'm going to be back here in one hour. We'll have more on the death of Rick Warren's son. And I'll talk with former boxer, Mike Tyson. He'll tell us why he wants President Obama to right an historic wrong.

"The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer begins after this break.

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