Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Murder of Soldier on London Street; V.A. Hospital in Pittsburgh Contaminated; Players Accuse Julie Hermann of Abuse
Aired May 27, 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: Brooke, thanks.
Good evening, everyone. On this day to honor veterans, tonight we turn the spotlight on a veterans' hospital where deadly germs festered and top management knew all about it. Patients died, yet the area V.A. chief actually got a bonus. We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Also tonight, remember this, a Rutgers coach flipping out on his players? It cost him and his boss their jobs. Now the new sports boss at Rutgers University, just hired, she is now facing questions herself about her anger management. Former players of hers now speaking out.
And the latest of yet another cruise ship nightmare. What passengers went through when fire broke out at sea. You see the damage right there.
We begin, though, with a fresh batch of terror related developments this holiday. A scare today on New York's Brooklyn Bridge. The bomb squad called in to check out a suspicious SUV that was left in the middle of the span. Turned out to be nothing, thankfully.
But there were serious and substantial items, too. Police in Britain arresting a 10th person in connection with that brutal murder of a British soldier last week. The man taken into custody in the southeastern town of Welling is being held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder. As I said, the 10th suspect now in custody.
We're learning more as well about one of two key suspects who were shot and arrested at the crime scene. Michael Adebolajo, a British citizen of Nigerian decent, back in 2010 he was kicked out of Kenya after Kenyan Police arrested him near the Somali border on suspicion of planning to join Al-Shabaab, which is a group of Islamic extremists in Somalia and have carried out suicide attacks and many acts of terror.
Meantime, in France, the search is on for a would-be copycat. Someone stabbed a soldier in the neck over the weekend just outside Paris. The soldier is recovering. And in Britain, anti-Muslim backlash is setting in in the coastal town of Grimsby. Somebody set a mosque on fire. Nobody was injured. Police arrested two men on arson charges. Joining us now is national security analyst and former George W. Bush homeland security adviser, Fran Townsend, who permanently sits on the CIA and DHS External Advisory Committees.
So they've already arrested this tenth suspect, you know, that we've heard so much about these lone wolves. If they -- if authorities are accurate, though, this would seem to be not so lone.
FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: That's right, Anderson. And we don't really know. Look, when we saw the attack perpetrated in that horrible video the inclination was to think it was a lone wolf but as we've seen too many times, first reports are usually wrong.
TOWNSEND: And so as the British begin to pick up these people in this network, the question is going to be, did they know about the attack in advance, were there indications, did they help him.
I mean, let's remember, you pointed out that he was picked up by Kenyan authorities and then thrown out of Kenya, comes back to the UK. We understand from British press reports that MI-5, their version of -- the British version of the FBI, may have approached him about cooperating. You don't do that without looking at the network. Who does he have access to, could he be helpful, would it be credible in these circles.
They obviously judge that to be true. He would be credible and when he turned them down, there will be a lot of -- sort of second- guessing and looking now about, what did they do? Did they investigate him, did they do wiretaps, did they refer him to Scotland Yard? All these questions remain unanswered, but as you see this larger network of individuals picked up, the question becomes, is he part of a large group?
COOPER: There is also this extremist cleric who used to live in England who finally got deported, he's now living in Lebanon, who refuses to condemn what this man who actually follows some of his lectures did.
TOWNSEND: That's right. There's a real extremist problem, extremist threat in London, and British authorities have for over the last decade really been overwhelmed with it.
Bakri, the sheikh that you referred to, is one of them. There's Choudary, there's several of them. And let's remember, Anwar al- Awlaki, Nic Robertson had done a report some time ago, about Anwar al- Awlaki, the Yemeni preacher who's now been killed by a drone attack, was -- he had his -- his audiotapes of these sermons circulating in the extremist Muslim community in London so this is a real challenge for British authorities.
COOPER: But also now this attack in -- outside Paris. Authorities aren't saying for sure that it's an act of terror, though the terrorist squad is investigating and hunting -- trying to hunt down the man who is alleged to have done this, but it would -- it seems pretty obvious it's some sort of copycat or inspired by kind of attack.
TOWNSEND: That's right. I mean it -- we don't know -- they don't have anyone in custody. We -- they have not said if they've identified the individual that they're looking for. They are looking for an individual. It does seem because of the timing that it may be inspired.
Now I'll say on this Memorial Day weekend, all of us are out sort of remembering the sacrifices of those who have given their lives. You talk to military service members and to a person, they say, you know, it's a chilling reminder that when we interact with the public, that could happen anywhere. It could happen here, it's not just a British or a French problem. It could happen anywhere.
COOPER: And these attacks are very unsophisticated.
TOWNSEND: That's right.
COOPER: And frankly, anybody can kind of do them if they -- if they so, you know, are inclined.
TOWNSEND: That's right. I mean, you know, remember that video in London of the guy with the meat cleaver and butcher knife.
COOPER: Yes. (INAUDIBLE).
TOWNSEND: It was horrible. But those are all things that are readily available to somebody who wanted to commit one of these attacks.
COOPER: Yes. Fran, appreciate it. Thanks for the update.
In the Memorial Day spirit that Fran was talking about, we're "Keeping Them Honest." On a part of a promise that we make as a country to the people who defend it. Today at Arlington National Cemetery, President Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and spoke about the debt that we owe the men and women who fall in battle and everyone who has worn the uniform.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This Memorial Day and every day, let us be true and meet that promise. Let it be our task every single one of us to honor the strength and the resolve and the love these brave Americans felt for each other and for our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Every day, though, veterans are reminded how far short the country falls. According to the "New York Times" nearly 600,000 vets have been waiting for more than four months for action on disability claims. More than 600,000. And tonight, there is this. As we first reported back in December, the Veterans Administration Hospital in Pittsburgh had high levels of Legionnella bacteria in its water supply but for months failed to solve the problem, worse, it failed to even tell staff and patients. They knew about it, they just didn't tell anybody. And five patients died.
Now the V.A.'s inspector general confirms what we've been telling you, that hospital administrators knew they had a problem and failed to fix it. And on top of that, that Pittsburgh V.A.'s top administrator, he got a bonus.
Drew Griffin tonight is "Keeping Them Honest."
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): This is what happens when you try to get to the bottom of what went on here at the V.A. hospital in Pittsburgh.
(On camera): Hey, how are you? Drew Griffin with CNN. Nice to see you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Corporal (INAUDIBLE) of the V.A. Police.
GRIFFIN: Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. If this has not been approved by our Public Affairs Office, I cannot allow you.
GRIFFIN: I'm calling Public Affairs right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
GRIFFIN: You want to call them and see if they'll come on out?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't technically call them. Can you take the camera back across the street until we have authorization, please?
GRIFFIN: Well -- hold on, I'm on the phone with them right now.
(Voice-over): We can only guess the reason they don't want us around is because they'd have to answer for this. A scathing new report from the Veterans Administration's own inspector general says Legionnella, a bacteria that can kill, was flowing through the Pittsburgh V.A. Hospital's water system. The V.A.'s administrators knew it but instead of correctly following government guidelines on how to get rid of it, the report concludes the V.A. tried to treat the water using a method that was not an accepted practice, and will not eradicate Legionnella, even temporarily.
And it wasn't just some minor mistake. It killed American veterans seeking treatment at the hospital.
SEN. ROBERT CASEY JR. (D), PENNSYLVANIA: It's a complete breakdown which in essence becomes a betrayal of what we say we care about.
GRIFFIN: Senator Bob Casey is livid. The V.A. Hospital in his state not only failed to treat the Legionnella but also failed to notify patients and even staff that it existed in the water. As a result, five veterans died, 16 more became ill.
Sandy Riley's brother, a 65-year-old Navy veteran being treated for cancer, died in this hospital on July 4th of last year. At the time, she was led to believe her brother must have contracted Legionnaire's disease somewhere else. Now she knows her brother Mitch Wanstreet died because he came to the V.A.
SANDY RILEY, MITCH WANSTREET'S SISTER: There were deaths before him that we didn't know about. We wouldn't have gone there. I'm sure he wouldn't have gone there whatsoever. He wouldn't have wanted to take that risk because he was actually getting better. He had a good outlook on life. He felt he had more time left.
GRIFFIN: Records obtained by CNN show that in 2011 and 2012, there wasn't enough disinfectant in the V.A.'s water to prevent Legionnella bacteria from reaching dangerous levels. And while the Maintenance Department tried and failed to control the problem, the hospital staff and patients weren't told a thing. It wasn't until months later drinking fountains were sealed off and patients stopped getting baths and showers.
It was about the same time Dave Nicklas saw his father take a turn for the worse. His dad, Bill Nicklas, a World War II vet, had gone into the hospital just to recoup from dehydration. He died the day after Thanksgiving from Legionnaire's disease.
DAVID NICKLAS, WILLIAM NICKLAS' SON: Being a veteran myself, I'm shocked and appalled that the V.A. would put, you know, their veterans in that type of situation.
GRIFFIN: As we showed you, the hospital has been refusing to answer any questions about what happened and why. In fact, when CNN came to the hospital looking for answers in December, we were met by armed federal guards who told us we did not have permission to even set foot on the hospital's property.
We do know the Pittsburgh V.A. has issued a statement saying it is now implementing the improvements recommended by the inspector general report. But that's not good enough for Congressman Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. Earlier this month, Miller toured yet another V.A. facility outside Atlanta, where an inspector general's report linked patient care mismanagement to the deaths of three mental health patients.
Miller says his committee is doing its own investigation into the Pittsburgh Legionnella outbreak. He's complained in a letter to the president but the V.A.'s answers so far have been insufficient and unacceptable.
And that's not all. Believe it or not, people in leadership positions, while the outbreak happened, are being rewarded. The biggest reward goes to the V.A.'s regional director, Michael Moreland, a $63,000 bonus for his excellent work in 2012. Again, this is during the same time as the outbreak.
REP. JEFF MILLER (R), FLORIDA: It's almost as if they're afraid to take the toughest disciplinary action that needs to be taken. And that is to fire somebody.
COOPER: So, Drew, just let me get this straight. While this outbreak is going on, the leadership, they're getting performance bonuses?
GRIFFIN: That's right, Anderson. In 2011, the year that the outbreak started, the V.A. leadership got performance bonuses and in 2012, last year, regional director Michael Moreland got basically top honors, a presidential distinguished rank award that comes with $63,000 in bonus money.
The families of the victims, Anderson, here tell us it feels like a slap in the face. It sounded so ridiculous we actually called the V.A. again to make sure we had it right, and they said yes, we do have it right. But they also told us they're now conducting a review of just how this award is handed out.
COOPER: Is it possible -- I mean, could these deaths have been prevented?
GRIFFIN: The inspector general's report doesn't state that. But it's clear that there were things that could have been done to make sure the water was clean and to test the patients properly. That was not done. But I will tell you, many scientists that we've talked to in this story say absolutely the deaths could and should have been prevented -- Anderson.
COOPER: It's unbelievable. Drew, thanks for the reporting. Appreciate it.
Well, let us know what you think about this. You can follow me on Twitter right now @Andersoncooper.
Up next, Rutgers University tries to get past the firing of its belligerent men's basketball coach. Remember the one who used all sorts of slurs against players? So why is now the university in hot water again about their new pick? Is the school repeating the same mistake? We'll tell you ahead.
And should Jodi Arias get the death penalty for the murder of her ex-boyfriend? We'll hear from one juror who says yes. She'll tell us why the jury deadlocked on that decision.
COOPER: Welcome back. There's new controversy at Rutgers University to tell you about. You remember Rutgers used to be home of Mike Rice, the men's basketball coach, who was caught using all sorts of slurs against his players.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE RICE, FORMER COACH: (EXPLETIVE DELETED), you're a (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that language speaks for itself. He's also seen on tape slamming his players with basketballs and shoving them around. So after hiring and then firing Mike Rice and then the athletic director who tolerated his verbal and physical abuse of players, you would think that the last thing administrators and trustees at that university would want is to do the same thing again, or have more controversy.
But some now believe that they're about to do just that. Troubling questions have come up about a woman named Julie Hermann, who's the newly hired athletic director. And even Governor Chris Christie has gotten involved. The background now from 360's Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On paper, this former Tennessee women's volleyball head coach looks like the healer and the visionary Rutgers needs to rescue its athletic program. Under Julie Hermann's watch, six years at the University of Tennessee, the Lady Vols advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in a decade. But Hermann's former Tennessee players are raising a red flag.
In 1996, the team wrote this letter, spilling stories of mental cruelty, accusing their coach of calling them whores, alcoholics, and learning disabled. The letter was published Sunday in Newark's "Star- Ledger" newspaper.
This was Julie Hermann at her introductory press conference at Rutgers before such sordid details came to light.
JULIE HERMANN, ATHLETIC DIRECTOR FOR RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: It is a new day, it is already fixed and there's no one that doesn't agree about how we treat young people with respect and dignity and build trust.
KAYE: Kim Obiala is one of the Lady Vols who alleged abuse under Hermann.
KIM OBIALA, FORMER UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE VOLLEY PLAYER: Isn't that ironic? Of all the people that they can hire, you know, someone who's actually done that kind of thing to me, you know, and to others.
KAYE: Hermann had great success for years as the assistant athletic director for the University of Louisville, but the accusations against her from former Tennessee players sound strikingly similar to the physical and verbal abuse that recently led Rutgers to fire basketball coach Mike Rice.
And this isn't the only thing putting Hermann on the defensive. She's had to answer questions about an old lawsuit by former assistant coach Ginger Heinline, who claimed Hermann fired her because she got pregnant. Heinline won a $150,000 settlement.
Not helping matters, this 1994 video obtained by the "Star- Ledger" that shows Hermann, a bridesmaid at Heinline's wedding, talking about pregnancy.
HERMANN: I hope it's good tonight. I hope it's not too good because I don't want you to come back in February with any surprises, you know, the office and all, it'd be hard to have a baby in there, you know.
KAYE: Hermann was asked at her news conference about the video. Her response?
HERMANN: There's a video? I'm sorry, did you say there's a video? There's no video, trust me.
KAYE: The video also shows Hermann catching the bouquet. After seeing the video for herself, she explained in a news statement she simply hadn't remembered it from nearly 20 years ago.
The university says its attorneys had investigated this case before Hermann was hired. Several supporters are coming to Hermann's defense. Tennessee's former athletic director, Joan Croning told the "Star-Ledger" Hermann is, quote, "One of the most outstanding administrators in the country." And Kim Tibbetts, another of Hermann's former assistant coaches, told ESPN, quote, "What they are saying is crazy. I was by Julie's side in every meeting and every practice and she never did what they're saying."
KAYE: It seems Julie Hermann has no intention of stepping down. In a statement late Monday, she admitted being an intense coach, but said there is a vast difference between high intensity and abusive behavior. She said she has every intention of bringing her passion and experience to her role as athletic director for Rutgers University. She's due to start June 17th -- Anderson.
COOPER: Randi, thanks very much.
Let's dig deeper now on the line between intensity and abuse and what kind of due diligence Rutgers actually did. For that we're joined by Rachel Nichols of CNN and Turner Sports. Also on the phone is Craig Wolff of the Newark "Star-Ledger" who broke the story.
Rachel, what do you make of this? Because what the coach is saying is that the word is not in her vocabulary, that she never would have used it. Now you have 15 players saying she routinely used it and saying, they wrote this letter, and presented it to her in a meeting and this coach is saying she has no memory of the meeting ever happening. RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS: I think this is a huge problem on a couple different levels. Yes, I certainly think that there's a chance for her to evolve and to change over 15 years, that's what some of her supporters have said, that even if she did do these things, people are entitled to second chances. Maybe she is a great athletic director. Maybe she could go on to be a great athletic director at another school.
But that doesn't mean that she's the right fit for this school right now. This is a school that not only employed a coach who mentally and physically abused his players, but then kept it quiet for months, didn't do anything about it until it was leaked to the media that this was going on. So you would think that if anybody else they would cast the net for to become their new athletic director, that person would have to have none of this in their past no matter what kind of person they are now.
And it also brings into question the oversight of this school. What is happening at this place that you could have hired this person in the first place, that you wouldn't have checked into these allegations. None of these former players say that they were contacted. In fact, the woman who we just saw in the piece who sued for pregnancy discrimination says she was never contacted either.
COOPER: Yes. So what kind of due diligence did they actually do.
Craig, it is kind of amazing because, again, this -- Miss Hermann's statement is puzzling because on the one hand she said look, we all make mistakes when we're young and she's evolved and she's tried to always learn from her mistakes. She doesn't name what any of those alleged mistakes were, and yet she says point blank, she never used those words, she wasn't abusive, and she has no memory of 15 of her players coming to her and confronting her with a letter and walking out of the meeting and saying, I'm giving up coaching, I'm not going to coach you guys, and that was the last time she ever spoke to them. So she seems to be kind of having it both ways.
CRAIG WOLFF, THE STAR-LEDGER (via phone): Yes. I suppose, you know, in its entirety, and I think this is what has a lot of officials in New Jersey certainly puzzled and concerned, in its entirety, you know, there seems to be something of a thread in that she can't remember having been at the wedding, she cannot remember the letter that the students wrote, she cannot remember details of a meeting where the players say that they essentially confronted her and the athletic director at Tennessee.
So, yes, that seems to be a common thread. I think she is in some ways pained by these old allegations. It is painful for a teacher or coach to hear that she hasn't had a positive effect after all these years. But I think these credibility issues are a concern to political leaders around the state and I think it's something that she may well have to deal with in the coming days.
COOPER: And Governor Christie has said that he wants to look into it but he didn't want to make any comment yet because he hasn't, right?
NICHOLS: Let me ask you a question. How many women do you know have been bridesmaids in a wedding and don't remember it? Any? Do you remember any women who have actually bought the dress, gone to all the stuff and don't even remember it? There is also saying oh, she left coaching, she left coaching --
COOPER: Also, if you were a coach and --
NICHOLS: -- and she's saying she doesn't remember the meeting?
COOPER: You were a coach and 15 of your players confront you with a letter saying you called us whores, learning disabled, all sorts of horrible things, and you turn around and don't say anything to them, just say I'm stopping coaching you, and walking out, that would seem to be pretty memorable.
I mean, I remember things my coaches said to me in college and, you know, they stick with you.
NICHOLS: And here's the concern. Craig just brought up a great word. Students-teacher. That is the relationship here with the coach and students in college. This is not the pros, you are supposed to be teaching these kids how to act in the world. And what we're seeing from her even today, forget what happened 15 years ago, is that when somebody brings up issues from your past, when somebody wants to talk to you about things that you might have done wrong, she's saying the way to handle it, duck and cover, pretend you don't remember it.
If you were a student at Rutgers, if you were a parent bringing your kids there, if you are a New Jersey taxpayer paying for this school, is that what we want to be teaching those kids?
WOLFF: If I may --
WOLFF: I think what's also interesting is that these players had not organized any particular kind of campaign.
WOLFF: Of any kind to discredit her or to hurt her. They received a phone call from a reporter.
WOLFF: And --
COOPER: And in fact, a lot of them, I interviewed one of them earlier today says look, I don't really -- I have forgiven her, I -- you know, I would have liked an apology but I've moved, I'm having a great life, I myself as a coach. I've learned, you know, not -- what not to do as a coach from the way she coached us. But I don't have any ill will against her and maybe she could be a good administrator.
So I think that's an important point, Craig. These women are not coming forward with some sort of vendetta against her.
WOLFF: Well, one of the -- one of the young -- I was going to say young women. I mean, they're in their mid-30s. But one of them did use the word either vengeance or revenge in talking about it with me but it was in the context of that when she gets her angriest is when she feels that her college experience, that she lost it, that it was -- that she was deprived of it.
And I think it's -- you know, when I reached out to them it was as if I were sort of picking at a scab that was still hurting. And I think as the days went on, it was interesting because at first they did not want to speak on the record and then ultimately, over the next few days, they did. And -- so there is a -- you know, a credibility about them. That's not, again, to -- that doesn't necessarily argue against Julie Hermann, but the players seem authentic.
I mean, these are people with young families and young careers who say that they -- you know, don't have any particular motivation to harm her.
COOPER: Right. Yes. It's fascinating. We'll see what happens.
Craig Wolff, I appreciate your reporting.
Rachel Nichols, great to have you on the show. Thanks very much.
Let me know what you think. Let's talk about it on Twitter right now @Andersoncooper.
Coming up, fire breaking out on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. And more than 3,000 people on board. Stuff just keeps on happening. We'll get the latest on that.
Also ahead, a retrial for the penalty phase of the Jodi Arias case. That's set for July. You know about that. Tonight, I'm going to speak to one of the jurors who actually voted for death. She'll tell us what went on behind the scene.
COOPER: Fire broke out on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship heading for the Bahamas, ending the trip for about 2,200 passengers, nearly 800 crew members. The fire aboard the "Grandeur of the Seas" was put out just before 5:00 in the morning. Royal Caribbean says there were no medical emergencies, but passengers describing pretty scary moments. Erin McPike has the story.
ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The entire back end of a massive ship, scorched. More than 2,200 passengers aboard a Bahamas-bound cruise were roused by a terrifying wake-up call overnight. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boats have been lowered. Here I am in the life jacket, not a drill, not a drill. I was freaking out.
MCPIKE: For the third time this year, mechanical problems caused a major cruise ship to upend a Caribbean vacation for thousands of passengers. This time, it was a fire aboard Royal Caribbean's "Grandeur of The Seas." Passenger Katie Coleman told CNN --
KATIE COLEMAN, "GRANDEUR OF THE SEAS" PASSENGER: It was the most terrifying thing like in my life.
MCPIKE: In February, it was an engine room fire on the Carnival "Triumph" shutting down power and the ship's sewage system for days. One month later, Carnival's "Dream" lost power from a generator failure while in port. And now, rival Royal Caribbean has its own set of problems.
Royal Caribbean said in a statement at approximately 2:50 a.m., "Grandeur of The Seas" experienced a fire on the mooring area of deck three. The fire has since been extinguished, but in an abundance of caution, the captain deemed it necessary to muster all guests at their assembly stations.
All passengers were found and safe but some took to the message board of cruise critic and famed there was fainting and vomiting as they waited for hours. The ship was just renovated last year. This morning, it was rerouted to Freeport for evaluation and Royal Caribbean's CEO Adam Goldstein is already surveying the damage. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Coast Guard will investigate.
COOPER: Erin joins me now. So what's next? I mean, how did passengers get back home?
MCPIKE: Well, Anderson, the cruise line actually is going to be flying all of those passengers back here to Baltimore in the morning and on top of that, they will get a full refund for this particular cruise and they will get a voucher for their next cruise on that same cruise line.
COOPER: So it seems like they learned a lesson from the mistakes of the past with other lines that they reacted very quickly to this.
MCPIKE: They did, and I talked to a couple of people who follow the cruise ship industry very closely and they said Royal Caribbean did a good job. On top of this, Anderson, Royal Caribbean has canceled the next voyage of that same ship and the passengers on that trip, which was scheduled to leave on May 31st are getting a full refund for that trip as well, and they will get a voucher for half off yet another cruise.
COOPER: All right, Erin, thanks very much on the update.
We are following some other stories. Gary Tuchman is here with the "360 Bulletin" -- Gary.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, hello. Senator John McCain crossed into Syria today to meet with rebel leaders. He entered from Turkey and was inside the country for a few hours. McCain is the highest ranking elected U.S. official to visit Syria since civil war broke out. We learned a short time ago the European Union has lifted its arms embargo on Syrian rebels.
The search is on in Kentucky for the killer of Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis. Officials say he was driving home from work early Saturday when he noticed debris in the road. When he got out of his car to remove it, he was shot and killed.
An Oregon high school will be searched for explosives before students return. A 17-year-old student is under arrest, accused of planning to bomb his classmates. Officials say the teen was inspired by the columbine massacre.
This is a special Memorial Day for Laura May Burlingame of Indiana. She recently discovered the existence of a diary kept by a young man she once loved, a Marine killed in 1944 during World War II. She found the diary on display at a museum in New Orleans and was given a copy of its contents. Seven decades later. That's a cool story.
COOPER: That is an amazing story. Gary, thanks very much.
Coming up, one of the Arias jurors who voted for death is speaking out tonight. We will talk to her.
Also new evidence in the Trayvon Martin killing and how the defense thinks it will gain from it.
COOPER: Welcome back. After a trial that went on for five months, including graphic disturbing testimony, tonight we hear from one of the jurors in the Jodi Arias trial. I will be speaking with juror number 16 in just a moment.
A retrial for the penalty phase deciding whether Arias will get the death penalty for murdering her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander is set to begin on July 18th. Now, the jury found Arias guilty, you know that, but was deadlocked, of course, when it came to whether she should die for the murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: State of Arizona versus Jodi Ann Arias, sentencing verdict. We the jury duly empanelled and sworn in the above entitled action upon our oaths unanimously find, having considered all of the facts and circumstances, that the defendant should be sentenced -- no unanimous agreement. Signed foreperson. Is this your true verdict, so say you one and all?
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Well, the vote came down 8-4 in favor of sentencing Arias to death. It had to be unanimous, though. Joining me now is one of the jurors who voted for the death penalty, Marilou Allen Coogan. Marilou, thank you so much for being with us. Five months of your life was consumed by this trial. I can't imagine what that is like, listening to all the details of this. What -- I mean, how do you describe it? What did you go through?
MARILOU ALLEN-COOGAN, JODI ARIAS TRIAL JUROR: It was an intense experience, heart-wrenching. I don't really -- I haven't recovered enough quite to put a label on it yet, but it was extremely intense, very heart-wrenching.
COOPER: As you were in the jury room and as all of you were weighing whether or not to support the death penalty or not, did you know right away that it wouldn't be unanimous?
COOGAN: Relatively early in the process, yes.
COOPER: And I know you voted for the death penalty. What made you decide to vote that way? Was there one particular thing or kind of a general sense you had?
COOGAN: There was no one particular thing, excuse me.
COOPER: That's OK.
COOGAN: The state proved their case. It was a gruesome, horrific crime. The state proved that it was done. The state proved that there were extenuating circumstances.
COOPER: And the people on the jury who did not agree with you, who did not vote for the death penalty, was there a general reason that they were not supporting the death penalty?
COOGAN: I would not say there was a general reason. We all have our individual reasons why.
COOPER: Can you talk about some of the reasons why people did not want the death penalty?
COOGAN: Out of respect for my fellow jurors, I think everyone needs to speak to how they voted, how they felt, so I'm not really comfortable doing that.
COOPER: OK, fair enough. What was the moment like when you realized OK, we are not going to reach unanimous decision, after all you have been through, what was that time like?
COOGAN: Frustrating. We were saddened, we were frustrated. It was -- we felt like we let the system down. We felt like we let Travis' family down, but because of the instructions that we were given, it ended up the way it ended up, which was not ideal, but it is what it is.
COOPER: For you personally, Jodi Arias, listening to Jodi Arias on the stand for 18 days, you know, attorneys we have talked to say look, that's extraordinary to have a defendant on the stand for that amount of time, what did you make of her testimony over the course of that time?
COOGAN: Again, this is personal experience. I felt she was very into Jodi. I don't feel -- she was not believable for me. It's very difficult to describe. I didn't believe what she had to say. I don't think she ever was truly honest with us. I know that for me, I didn't see any remorse or any issues with herself for what happened that day, for what Travis went through. I didn't see any of that.
COOPER: Did you as a juror personally, again, just talking about yourself, find it helpful to be able to ask questions to her?
COOGAN: Extremely helpful. Obviously everyone knows that there were over 200 questions that were asked by her and I think with that process in place, it gives the jurors an opportunity to solidify in our mind or answer questions that comes up for us during the testimony that we wouldn't otherwise be able to have the answers to.
COOPER: Have you ever served on a jury before?
COOGAN: No. This was my first.
COOPER: Would you do it again, if you were able to choose?
COOGAN: Yes. I feel it's my duty. If I get called, it's my duty to answer that call.
COOPER: Listen, I appreciate you talking to us tonight. I know you're still kind of processing it all and I appreciate you kind of letting us in on what you personally experienced. Thank you.
COOGAN: You're welcome.
COOPER: Take care.
Coming up tonight, new evidence in the murder trial of George Zimmerman and the death of Trayvon Martin, evidence about Martin, that the Zimmerman side thinks, well, is going to argue well for their case. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Now the latest in the Trayvon Martin case. Lawyers for George Zimmerman, the man accused of fatally shooting martin last year present new evidence that they claim shows that Martin was quote, "hostile and angry" when the confrontation between the men took place. Martin's family accuses the defense of trying to prejudice the jury ahead of the trial. Here's David Mattingly.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: 911, police, fire or medical?
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Police, I just heard a shot right behind my house.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shock, confusion and fear. You can hear it in the voice of every 911 caller in the final moments of Trayvon Martin's young life.
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: The person is dead, lying on the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Just because he's lying on the ground --
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: My God!
MATTINGLY: February 26th, 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin buys some Skittles and a bottle of iced tea, walks through a gated- community of townhomes where he is staying with his father. That's when he catches the attention of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. That's Zimmerman's first impression watching Trayvon Martin walking alone.
ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something.
MATTINGLY: Less than a minute later, Zimmerman gets out of his car.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Are you following him?
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: OK, we don't need you to do that.
MATTINGLY: But then, just a few minutes later, there's another call.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: 911, do you need police, fire or medical?
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Maybe both, I'm not sure. There's just someone screaming outside.
MATTINGLY: In the background, listen for the sound of a fight and a panicked voice yelling for help.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Is it a male or female?
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: It sounds like a male.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: You don't know why?
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I don't know why. I think they're yelling help but I don't know.
MATTINGLY: Ten seconds later, the shrieking continues, then a gunshot. UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: So you think he's yelling help?
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: All right, what is --
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: There's gun shots.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: You just heard gun shots?
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: How many?
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Just one.
MATTINGLY: Just one, a shot to the heart, ending the life of Trayvon Martin. A bloodied and bruised George Zimmerman tells police it was self-defense.
ZIMMERMAN: Felt like my body was on the grass and my head was on the cement and he just kept slamming it, slamming it.
MATTINGLY: Zimmerman is not arrested. No charges immediately filed. Florida law allows people to use force in self-defense, the stand your ground law, but before investigators can go to a grand jury, a firestorm descends.
Thousands march through the streets with similar protests around the country. Even the president is disturbed.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: If I had a son he would look like Trayvon.
MATTINGLY: Forty four days after he shoots and kills Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder and he turns himself in. Zimmerman gets out on bail but it doesn't last. When detailing his assets, he didn't tell the court about $130,000 in donations to a defense fund. He goes back to jail, gets out again, this time, on $1 million bond.
(on camera): Since then, Zimmerman's sightings have been few and far between. His attorneys say he lives in fear, venturing out only in disguise and always wearing body armor.
(voice-over): Each time he shows up in court, his weight gain is astonishing. Zimmerman's attorney says he's put on 120 pounds. Prosecutors may try to portray him as a profiler and a killer. Zimmerman's defense is building its own profile of Trayvon Martin.
MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Not sure if it's recreation or whatever but he's very used to fighting, that he has used some drugs in the past and again, many 17 year olds have, but that he has as well.
MATTINGLY: With the trial due to start in two weeks, Zimmerman's defense has released pictures and text messages suggesting the 17- year-old Martin was no stranger to pot, guns and fighting. Three months before he encountered George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin sends text message about a fight, saying his opponent didn't bleed enough, only his nose.
Less than a week before the fatal encounter, Martin texted I hid my weed, it's wrapped. Important questions persist about what happened that night the two crossed paths, who threw the first punch, who is that on the 911 tapes crying for help? The answers will lead a jury to decide. Was this a case of self-defense or murder?
COOPER: David joins us now. So the jury selection is just two weeks away. Now, the defense will be asking for a delay in the trial. What's the problem?
MATTINGLY: Well, they want a delay because they say they're not getting the evidence that they need to see from the prosecutors in a timely fashion. They have complained about this in the past, but now that we're so close to jury selection, this sort of accusation is taken very, very seriously by the court.
In fact, the defense is asking for sanctions against the prosecutors. Part of that evidence they're complaining about not getting in a timely fashion were those uncomplimentary photographs we just saw of Trayvon Martin, also the text messages, the material that came from his cell phone.
COOPER: There's a big fight now over whether the jury will be able to actually see, right?
MATTINGLY: That's right. The prosecution wants to take those photographs, those text messages completely off the table so that the jury will not see them. But the defense is saying that if the prosecution wants to make character an issue and go after the character, George Zimmerman, then they want to be able to do the same to Trayvon Martin so expect a very big fight over the future of that evidence.
COOPER: David, appreciate the reporting. Thanks. Coming up, the "Ridiculist."
COOPER: Time now for the "Ridiculist." Tonight we're adding lists. You know all the arbitrary lists of the best this and worst that lists in general. Basically every list except for the "Ridiculist." A couple new ones are out like the Reader's Digest list of the 100 Most Trusted People in America.
This of course comes from a poll of more than 1,000 people and it found that in a country chock full of doctors and scientists, musicians and philosophers, astronauts and teachers, Americans mostly trust movie stars. The top five Most Trusted People in America are starting with number one, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep and Maya Angelou.
Was Maya Angelou in a madcap summer romantic comedy and I missed it? It's beyond me how anyone can trust Tom Hanks with that mustache, without the mustache, yes, with the mustache, not so sure. I like Tom Hanks.
My problem isn't so much with the top of the list. Farther down, we really start to go down the rabbit hole. Speaking particularly about number 50, which is where my name comes up. I am apparently the 50th Most Trusted Person in America. Incidentally, only slightly more trusted than Duane "The Rock" Johnson who is 54th, but considerably more interested than Pat Sajak who is number 69.
Here's a small sampling of people who are more trustworthy than I according to the list, Judge Judy, Rachael Ray, Johnny Depp, Tim Tebow and Sanjay Gupta. I agree with all of those actually. Gupta is way up at number 17, which kind of stings but I'm not taking it nearly as hard as Ellen Degeneres, who is number 18.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELLEN DEGENERES: He's a doctor. I get it. I get why he would be one ahead of me but people should do their research. This is advice he gave to the university of Michigan graduates and I don't agree.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA: Lesson number one, do six shots every day. Beer is the thing. Drink a real beer. I'm really wasted. I have literally traveled all over the world to every continent wasted, completely out of control. I have conceived children in more than 100 countries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I like Ellen. I would also like to point out that Sanjay is nowhere to be seen on the list of the 10 Best Dressed Newsmen list on vanityfair.com. He didn't even make that list. I, however, am number ten, dead last, surpassed only by joe Scarborough, Charlie Rose, Don Lemon, Wolf Blitzer, Lester Holt, Willie Geist, Matt Lauer, Brian Williams and Anthony Mason.
These lists are totally subjective and haphazard so chin up, Adam Sandler, Eli Manning, Ben Stiller, you may not be as trusted as I am, but there's always next year's list and these things don't mean anything, anyway. As the 50th Most Trusted Person in America, and the 10th Best Dressed Newsmen, you have my word on that.
That does it for us. We'll see you again two hours from now at 11:00 Eastern. Thanks for watching. "Manhunt, A Look At the Search for Osama Bin Laden" starts now.