Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Contentious Testimony in Zimmerman Trial; Who is Rachel Jeantel?; Interview with Daryl Parks; Interview with Mark O'Mara; Hernandez Investigated In 2012 Double Slaying; Paula Deen: Road To Redemption; NBC Report: Ex-Pentagon Official Target Of Leak Investigation; President Obama Downplays Search For Snowden; Actor James Gandolfini Mourned At Funeral
Aired June 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: Good evening everyone. Tonight the star witness in the George Zimmerman murder trial is once again the star in court. The question is, though, for which side.
Also it's unbelievable. From NFL star to alleged murderer, and now yet more possible trouble for Aaron Hernandez. Another murder investigation. This time a double homicide and he's being looked at in connection to that.
Later more companies cutting ties with Paula Deen. She's been reaching out to the Reverend Jessie Jackson. Tonight he joins us to tell us about the advice he's been giving Paula Deen.
We begin with the Zimmerman trial. A second straight day of cross examination for Trayvon Martin's friend who was on the phone with him as the deadly confrontation unfolded. Now chances are Rachel Jeantel has already made an impression on you with yesterday's combative performance on the stand. A concern to the prosecution, though, the possibility she was making the wrong impression on jurors. So today there appear to be changes. We'll have more on the attitude adjustment and all the other big developments tonight from Martin Savidge.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Round two of the clash in the courtroom between the star witness and veteran defense attorney. It started out nice enough, Rachel Jeantel seemed to have adopted a more respectful tone.
RACHEL JEANTEL, WITNESS: Yes, sir.
SAVIDGE: But it wasn't long before her "yes, sirs" seemed to take on a sharper edge.
JEANTEL: Yes, sir.
SAVIDGE: Defense attorney Don West was out to discredit her testimony that George Zimmerman was the aggressor the night that Trayvon Martin died. He pointed to numerous changes in her story in previous accounts, pointing to a letter she sent to Trayvon Martin's mother describing what she heard. In it she left out Trayvon's racially derogatory language.
DON WEST, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You specifically chose not to tell Miss Fulton that's what Trayvon said.
WEST: Because you thought it would hurt her feelings, didn't you?
WEST: You didn't think that would bother her, if you said that her son described the man that was following him in a car on the phone --
JEANTEL: I didn't think that was important.
WEST: -- was a creepy ass cracker?
JEANTEL: I did not think that was important.
WEST: Not important enough to put in the letter.
WEST: And not important enough to tell her.
SAVIDGE: Jeantel said Martin sounded tired on the phone as he were running from Zimmerman, but West implied Martin was whispering because the teen was waiting to ambush Zimmerman, something Jeantel denied.
JEANTEL: He got close to Trayvon, yes, sir.
WEST: And you don't know whether the man was approaching Trayvon at that point and getting closer or whether Trayvon was approaching the man and getting closer?
JEANTEL: Trayvon would have told me he'll call me back, sir, if he was going to approach him, sir.
WEST: So you're assuming that Trayvon didn't approach the man because he would have told you if he was going to confront the guy, he would call you back when it was over?
JEANTEL: Yes, sir.
SAVIDGE: Then West went after what could be the most damaging part of her testimony for the defense. Jeantel says over the phone she heard a bump then Trayvon say get off, get off, to Zimmerman.
WEST: So the last thing you heard was some kind of noise like something hitting somebody.
JEANTEL: Trayvon got hit. Trayvon got hit.
WEST: You don't know that, do you?
JEANTEL: No, sir. WEST: You don't know that Trayvon got hit.
JEANTEL: He could be --
WEST: You don't know that Trayvon didn't at that moment take his fist and drive it into George Zimmerman's face.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please lower your voice.
WEST: Do you?
JEANTEL: No, sir.
SAVIDGE: At mid-afternoon, as she left the witness stand, the judge reminded her that she could be called back.
There may be many opinions about whether she helped or hurt the prosecution. In the end, the only ones that really matter are the six opinions in the jury box.
COOPER: Martin joins us now.
So we just heard some of what Rachel Jeantel said today in court. And a big part of the morning testimony was who was at the initial interviews when she spoke with police. Why was that so important?
SAVIDGE: Well, this was something that the defense is also trying to bring up. That there is a very close relationship between the prosecution and Trayvon Martin's family, but also, their attorney, Benjamin Crump. In fact, when the initial interview took place with authorities, that young lady was sitting in the home of Trayvon Martin's mother and seated next to her when she gave that first testimony was Sabrina, Trayvon Martin's mother.
So they're trying to imply that her testimony could have actually been encouraged or somehow interfered with just by having Trayvon's mother right next to her.
COOPER: And another witness who was called today is this woman Jenna Lower who made one of the 911 calls. Jurors heard her call, it was the one that -- it had the yelling and the gunshots. What did she have to say that was so important?
SAVIDGE: Well, and that's just the thing, you know, what she had to say really was not so important. She didn't bring such dynamic or anything new, but it's of course her call that everybody knows. In fact, if she hadn't made the call at the time she did, then you never would have captured the gunshot, you never would have caught those screams which are right now at the center of such a huge debate in this case. So it allowed for her call to be introduced, but she really didn't bring too much, though.
COOPER: All right, Martin. Thanks very much. We're going to take a look more now at Rachel Jeantel's demeanor and the defense's attempt to make the prosecution's star witness work instead for them and she was the prosecution's star witness. Let's remember that.
As you saw in Martin's report, defense attorney Don West today tried to use her to flip the prosecution's racial narrative on its head, trying to suggest that the victim, Trayvon Martin, was racist. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEST: What's one thing about what Trayvon Martin told you that made you think this was racial?
JEANTEL: Describing the person.
WEST: Pardon me?
JEANTEL: Describing the person.
WEST: I just didn't --
JEANTEL: Describing the person that was watching him and following him.
WEST: I see.
WEST: And that's because he described him as a creepy ass cracker?
WEST: So it was racial, but it was because Trayvon Martin put race in this?
WEST: You don't think that's a racial comment?
WEST: You don't think that creepy ass cracker is a racial comment?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, let's dig deeper now with our team of legal pros, legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin and criminal defense attorney Danny Cevallos.
Sunny, what do you think of that comment? I mean, the defense spent a lot of time on the subject of race today with Rachel Jeantel, almost implying that -- well, really implying that it was Trayvon Martin who put race into the discussion by using that term.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. That didn't make a whole lot of sense to me especially given the fact that the defense tried so hard to keep the prosecution from saying racial profiling in describing this. And they were victorious in that. And here so they've taken what was the elephant in the room and painted it bright pink and now everyone is talking about it. And so it didn't make a lot of sense to me strategically.
What also I think didn't work was, OK, fine, those were Trayvon Martin's words, they were disparaging words, and they were unkind words but he used it as a description for George Zimmerman. Now she just repeated what Trayvon Martin said and since they weren't kind words it sort of made her more credible in my view because she's not trying to sugarcoat anything.
She's not trying to make him sound better. She's not saying he said a white gentleman was following me. She used his words and I think it just made her more credible.
COOPER: But do you think it made her more credible when she said that -- using that term cracker is not a racial team?
HOSTIN: Yes, and that's something that I've been thinking about. You know, I grew up in the northeast. It wasn't a term that I was familiar with at all. For her she described it not as sort of a racial epithet but rather as a descriptive term. He was a white man, a creepy white man.
COOPER: But he was a cracker? What are you --
HOSTIN: Yes. I mean, she -- she said -- she used it as a descriptor which --
DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Sunny, are you actually saying --
HOSTIN: Still fascinating to me.
CEVALLOS: That it makes her more credible because she accurately described him as a cracker? Is that -- I mean, is that where you're going with that?
HOSTIN: No. No, you're mischaracterizing what I said. I said it makes her more credible because she's not trying to sugarcoat what Trayvon Martin said.
CEVALLOS: Right. But --
COOPER: You think -- I mean, the -- her argument that it's not a racial term, does that matter? Does the jury care what she thinks?
CEVALLOS: Yes, and here's why. Not so much for -- not so much because she used a racist term but because we're talking about getting a glimpse into Trayvon Martin's mind and the jury is all about relatability. We can talk about taking it easy on a young witness. We can talk about socioeconomic, we can talk about racism, classes, and at the end of the day, jurors look for relatability. Who do I relate to?
And when you relate to someone, you find them credible. It has nothing to do with an opinion that you're -- one race is better than the other. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with --when somebody talks, are they someone I can relate to? And the jurors are going to ask themselves whether they're aware of it or not, is this somebody that at a cocktail party, would I use that language? Do I view the word cracker the way this person views it? Can I relate to this person? So --
COOPER: But, Sunny, your argument is that -- and the fact that she is -- she is authentically being herself, she's not trying to pretend to be something that she's not. She's using terms which -- you know, Danny would not have used at a cocktail party, you're saying that actually makes her relatable.
HOSTIN: It makes her more relatable because she's using the terms that Trayvon Martin used with her. She could have very easily did what she did when she wrote the letter to Sabrina Fulton, which was she left that out. But on the witness stand, she said what Trayvon -- what she says Trayvon told her. Now if she wanted to make Trayvon look like an angel or wanted to make Trayvon look a certain way, if she thought that that was going to be harmful, she could have said, well, Trayvon told me that there was a white gentleman following him or a white guy following him. But no, she used that term and she said that's what he used.
CEVALLOS: Now hold on, you're making --
HOSTIN: And I think a juror is going to find it more credible.
CEVALLOS: Sunny, you're making a very good point that if she was sugarcoating it, but we know from a cross-examination sugarcoated is exactly what she did. In her original statement, she left out -- she just called the guy creepy. She said that Trayvon called the guy creepy and later on she admits that she left out cracker originally because she wanted to sugarcoat it. She didn't want -- Trayvon's mom was there, she didn't want her to have to hear the language of cracker.
She's aware it's a bad word and obviously she's not the one that said it.
CEVALLOS: And yes, I mean, she is relating that somebody said that word but, I mean, she's not being -- she's admitted that she sugarcoated on prosecution.
COOPER: Do you think she -- I mean, Danny, for someone who was the prosecution's star witness, do you think she damaged the prosecution's case? Or was kind of a -- do you think she helped the defense?
CEVALLOS: Well, she was an entity because she's interesting, but as far as advancing the prosecution's ball, you go to the elements. What do they have to prove? And you step and you say, after this witness' testimony what have we learned? Well, we've learned that she's hazy on some things. We've learned that we can't relate to her for a number of reasons.
If you don't -- if you're somebody who can read cursive, you're not going to be able to relate to this person. So you say well, I -- may not find her credible, not that she's lying, just that I don't know that she was able to perceive, able to hear these things, and ultimate even if you take everything she says as true, where does that leave us? That someone said -- may have said get off me, at best, but later on maybe they didn't say get off, me, that Trayvon thought someone was following me.
And Trayvon admittedly went up there and said, why are you following me? So, I mean, we get a glimpse into Trayvon's mind. I don't know that we're left with anything that advances the prosecution's ball.
COOPER: I want to just quickly play another -- I think another witness says, a neighbor of George Zimmerman who had made now infamous that was played in court. I want to listen to a small -- just a small part of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does he look hurt to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't see him. I don't want to go out there. I don't know what is going on, so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell them to come, now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're sending.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you think he's yelling help?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. What is your --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just -- there's gunshots.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, Sunny, obviously who's calling for help is a huge point of contention. You were in the court today. Did either side seem to sway the jury as to who is hurt on that call?
HOSTIN: No, I don't think so. I mean I think that the only thing that is important at this point in the trial is that now that evidence is in front of the jury. We know the voice experts aren't going to testify but what we do know is that someone from Trayvon Martin's family, if not one person, perhaps more, they're going to get on the witness stand and they're going to identify the voices as -- the cries as coming from him.
I suspect that someone from George Zimmerman's family and the defense case will also come forward and say, this is George Zimmerman's voice. But many of the witnesses so far have said, you know, it sounded like a boy's voice, it sounded like a young person's voice. It's going to be up to the jury to decide.
HOSTIN: But I think the groundwork certainly has been laid now, Anderson, for a showdown in the courtroom between the families.
HOSTIN: And that's going to be a really fascinating thing to watch.
COOPER: Sunny and Danny, appreciate it. Sunny and Danny are both going to join me again at 10:00 for our hourlong AC 360 special report on the Zimmerman trial. We're going to go in depth to all the day's testimony. The key moments where we play them for you. We'll have our panel back.
You can follow me on Twitter right now @Andersoncooper. What do you think about the trial? What you saw today.
We're going to return to the reluctant and sometimes combative witness, Rachel Jeantel. We'll get a closer look at exactly who she is.
And later, former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, he's already charged with first-degree murder, you know that. Now this other shocker. He's also being investigated in connection with another case, a double homicide. Details on that ahead.
COOPER: Hey, welcome back. Every big trial these days seems to have at least one witness who becomes something of a sensation. In this trial, as millions have now witnessed -- as millions have seen, that witness is Trayvon Martin's friend Rachel Jeantel. She's been like the case herself -- itself polarizing. Today she seemed to be at times less combative, not always, though, as you'll see in this exchange with defense attorney Don West which starts with yes, sir, but builds to something a lot stronger. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANTEL: He told me the dude was close to him.
WEST: Right, at that point he decided to approach this man and say, why are you following me?
JEANTEL: Yes, sir.
WEST: And he could have just run home if he wasn't there.
JEANTEL: He was already by his house. He told me.
WEST: Of course, you don't know if he was telling you the truth of not.
JEANTEL: Why he need to lie about that, sir?
WEST: Maybe if he decided to assault George Zimmerman, he didn't want you to know about it.
JEANTEL: That's real retarded, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry?
JEANTEL: That's real retarded to do that, sir. And you don't know the person. Why (INAUDIBLE). Trayvon did not know him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Rachel Jeantel today, her second day in the spotlight. Her performance on the stand more polished than yesterday, still rising eyebrows and as 360's Randi Kaye reports, none of that intention is especially welcomed.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rachel Jeantel never wanted any of this. No media glare, no attention, and no tough questions about her phone call with Trayvon Martin moments before he was shot. That may be why she lied about her age.
WEST: Did you say that you were 16 so that you could try to maintain more privacy?
WEST: So you wanted to make yourself seem like a minor, so that maybe there wouldn't be as much public disclosure as if you said your true age of 18?
KAYE: Today Rachel Jeantel is 19, and her life story from what we can piece together is more exposed than she had ever dreamed.
She attended Miami Norland Senior High School and according to her Facebook page took classes in criminal justice at Miami University, though the school tells us they have no record of her. She's from north Miami where she says she and Trayvon Martin had met in elementary school.
(On camera): Why do we care so much who this woman is? Because her testimony about what Trayvon told her the night he died could make or break the case. If what she says is true, Trayvon Martin was scared and trying to get away from a man pursuing him, a man who later turned out to be George Zimmerman. (Voice-over): But Jeantel may have some credibility issues. She's already been caught lying about her age and about her reason for not attending Trayvon's funeral. And then there's her vanishing postings on her Twitter page.
According to the Smoking Gun, tweets referring to Trayvon and the case were removed just hours before her testimony. Like this one from June 21st, "16 months later, wow, I need a drink." Jeantel had also tweeted about having, quote, "jackass lawyers on my ass."
It's unclear which lawyers she may have been referring to but she certainly has held her own with Zimmerman's attorneys in court. She took some heat from the defense for this audio interview she gave the Martin family attorney early on in the investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What could you hear?
JEANTEL: Like a little, get off, some stuff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You heard, get off?
JEANTEL: Like a little, get off.
KAYE: But watch how she puts defense lawyer Don West on his heels in court about delaying his interview with her.
JEANTEL: When you did not want to interview me that Friday.
WEST: I didn't want to interview you?
JEANTEL: Well --
WEST: We didn't -- we didn't have an interview, did we?
JEANTEL: No, but we agreed to that Friday.
WEST: I'm sorry that you're inconvenienced but we did not have the interview on Friday because of scheduling issues. Do you agree with that?
JEANTEL: You should have picked me up on Thursday.
KAYE: Rachel Jeantel was hoping to put this all behind her with this simple handwritten letter to Trayvon's mother, a friend helped her write it. She sent it about a month after his death and in it explains what she remembers from that night.
"The man started getting closer, then Trayvon turned around and said, why are you following me? Then I heard him fall. Then the phone hung up."
When the defense asked her to read the letter in court she said she couldn't read cursive handwriting. She later explained she's of Haitian descent and grew up speaking Spanish in Creole.
On her Facebook page Monday, two days before her testimony began, she posted, "I know I have a lot explaining to do."
Randi Kaye, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Attorney Daryl Parks and his partner Ben Crump have been handling the legal matters for the Martin family, and in Mr. Park's case, sitting with the family in court, he was there today. He joins us now live.
Appreciate you being with us, Mr. Parks. As the Martin family attorney, how do you think Rachel's testimony went today?
DARYL PARKS, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN'S FAMILY: I think Rachel's testimony was great, Anderson. She stood fast. Her testimony was consistent, and as you see, she -- through various attempts to impeach her -- held her own.
COOPER: She seemed less combative in her testimony today than yesterday. Did you or any of your colleagues prepare her for today's testimony or give her advice on what to do differently?
PARKS: No, she has her own counsel in this case, however, remember, yesterday she came at the latter part of the court day. So she was tired and most people sitting in court were tired and we went fairly late. So I believe that she was just tired.
Obviously, once she was given the chance to rest overnight, came back, and she was a great witness. She was very respectful to the court and gave very precise answers.
COOPER: So you're just saying neither you nor Mr. Crump gave her advice about what to do differently today on the stand?
PARKS: No, as a matter of fact, I believe that she was in the custody of the agents. We had no access to her whatsoever.
COOPER: Did you feel that the defense attorney Don West was too harsh with her today?
PARKS: Well, I think Mr. West's presentation spoke for itself. You know, I try to make sure that I don't criticize lawyers and their styles, but I think that, you know, I don't believe Mr. West is really connecting with that jury but we'll see from their verdict.
COOPER: You gave a press conference after court today where you said that the Martin family wanted to make it clear that, quote, "race was not a part of this process," but a lot of the prosecution's opening statement was about George Zimmerman profiling Trayvon Martin.
PARKS: Well, Anderson, I think you have to distinguish that when you have a situation where we see that George Zimmerman is talking in the 911 tape and describing what he was seeing in Trayvon Martin and calling him suspicious, we don't believe the focus is really race. Additionally, the charge that he is facing has nothing to do with race. COOPER: So you don't believe that George Zimmerman felt Trayvon Martin was suspicious because he was African-American?
PARKS: No, I think he saw a person who had a hoodie on, who was walking. He didn't know who he was. It was a raining night. It was dark, and so he thought that maybe he was seeing some of the previous conduct that he had seen in his neighborhood, so he decided at that particular point that these people always get away with it and on that night he was not going to let it happen.
COOPER: And when you're -- when he was referring to, you know, these people or blanking punks as he said, you don't think that was in all a reference to African-American youth?
PARKS: Well, I think he saw someone that he thought was highly suspicious, he thought -- someone he thought was up to something bad, that he wanted to do something about it. I think it's important, though, for purposes of where we are now, we're in a court case, bringing race into this situation does nothing but make people pick sides and invoke some prejudice into the proceedings.
We don't want that. We want Mr. Zimmerman to have a nice, fair and just trial.
COOPER: You're sitting with Trayvon Martin's parents. How are they holding up? We've seen them get up a number of times at various points when some of the testimony is very graphic, or the pictures are shown. How are they holding up?
PARKS: It's very tough. And so they're taking it piece by piece. I think the state is making sure they try to give us some advance notice about some sensitive parts, but you know, you had situations, for example, when Trayvon's face was shown in some of the evidence. I mean, it was tough for Tracy because that was one of the pictures that he used to identify Trayvon's body and showing that picture in court really invoked that.
So that was a sensitive moment. And mom has had some issues, you know, just hearing some of the 911 tapes and hearing the gunshot that killed your child is very tough. So they're doing -- they're maintaining. They are here to see it through. They are very encouraged by what you see and hear in court and in the job that the state of Florida is doing to present this case.
COOPER: Mr. Parks, I appreciate your time. Thanks for being on.
PARKS: Thank you for having me.
COOPER: Now exclusively on 360 the other side, Attorney Mark O'Mara, who's defending George Zimmerman.
Mr. O'Mara, it's good to have you on again. Rachel Jeantel has been on stand now for the past two days, do you think her testimony went well for the defense? Because she was really built as the prosecution's star witness. Do you think it's actually worked in the defense's favor? MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know, I think that she was a reticent witness. I don't think she wanted to be involved. She waited so long and it was sort of found out almost by happenstance.
I was most concerned not with her testimony but the way she sort of started with it, with Mr. Crump's interview, sort of off-record without law enforcement there, and even more problematic, I think was, Mr. (INAUDIBLE) interview of her right -- when she's sitting right next to Trayvon Martin's mother when she's supposed to be giving her first sworn law enforcement statement.
And then we know even in that statement she didn't tell the truth on a number of issues. But I think she didn't want to be there. She didn't -- she was sort of reluctant and I think that reluctancy sort of showed up in her testimony today and yesterday.
COOPER: And stressing in the court today about the presence of Trayvon Martin's mother during that first interview with law enforcement, to you that says what? That there's a potential that either she was changing her statements to the police based on who -- on the family being present?
O'MARA: Well, she testified that she did. She testified that when she was talking to Ben Crump and the mom was there, and when she was talking to Mr. (INAUDIBLE) and -- and Trayvon's -- Trayvon Martin's mother was right next to her on the couch and tearing up and crying, that she lightened up on her testimony.
You have to wonder why any law enforcement officer particularly a prosecutor with 30 years experience would risk taking a statement from a witness in front of the deceased mother. You have to know that there's going to be some impact and as she testified yesterday and today there was some impact because she didn't say what she heard on the -- on the telephone.
She actually went light. She sort of modified it herself, and we don't know to what extent she modified with curse words and also who she wanted to blame while talking in front of the mother.
COOPER: In fact, have you ever heard of police interviewing a witness or a potential witness in front of the parent of the victim?
O'MARA: Let me think for a moment. Absolutely not. It is cop 101 and it's prosecutor 101. You have to maintain the individual nature of a witness' testimony, make sure that they are absolutely not impacted or biased by the situation that they're in. We know you can't do it, you know, with bright lights and a rubber hose. You also can't do it with the sympathy inherent to have taking a statement in front of the decedent's mother.
COOPER: You held a press conference after court today and you stated that you may have to ask her additional questions, why?
O'MARA: Well, there are certain issues that may still become relevant and that's talking about Trayvon Martin's history and his background. My hope, as I said, from the beginning is that we don't go there and we try this case simply on the seven or eight minutes that happened around his passing, or just before his passing, however, if in fact the state tries to present something that needs to be rebutted by -- sort of looking into Trayvon Martin's past, then this witness who knows pretty well and actually gave some fairly colorful statements as to what Trayvon Martin said, as far as some race and some fighting may well become relevant. I hope not, but we may have to get that proper on the record.
COOPER: How is your client, George Zimmerman, feeling about how the trial is going? Can you say?
O'MARA: Well, he's very afraid. He frightened because he felt that he did something he has to do to protect his own life now other people are trying to put him in prison for the rest of his life because of it. So he'd distressed for a year and a half trying to get to this point and now he's dealing with the reality that he's got the state of Florida trying to say that what he did to save his own life was a crime, and that's a frightening position to be in.
COOPER: Mark O'Mara, it's good to have you on the program again. Thank you.
O'MARA: Good to be here, thank you.
COOPER: Again, a reminder, we're going to devoting our 10:00 p.m. Eastern hour, another edition of AC 360, 10:00 p.m. to all of the day's developments. Key testimony, evidence, analysis from our legal panel. We're going to get some more legal analyst.
And we're also going to be showing really the key moments from this trial today in case you missed any of it. That's our special report, "Self-Defense or Murder: The George Zimmerman Trial" coming up at 10:00 p.m. one and a half hours from now.
And for even on the Zimmerman trial, of course you can go to CNN.com any time.
Just ahead, stunning new development in the story that has rocked the NFL. Aaron Hernandez currently jailed on a murder charge. Now being investigated for his possible connection to a double homicide last year.
Also does Paula Deen's use of a racial slur deserve all the fall out that its triggered. Is the backlash warranted? More sponsors dropping out, two very different opinions on that. She's reached out to Reverend Jessie Jackson and he joins me to tell us what he discussed with Paula Deen coming up.
COOPER: Welcome back. New development the tonight in another "Crime and Punishment" story we're following closely, former NFL tight end, Aaron Hernandez, charged yesterday as you know in the murder of a 27- year-old acquaintance is now also being investigated in connection with a double homicide in Boston last July. That's according to law enforcement source close to the investigation.
Now as we've reported, just hours after his arrest yesterday, Hernandez was dropped by his team the New England Patriots. Today Puma ended its relationship with the athlete and also today, Hernandez was denied bail again when he appealed the judge's ruling. At the hearing, new details came out about the alleged evidence the prosecutors say they have uncovered. Susan Candiotti has the latest.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Authorities are now investigating whether Aaron Hernandez might have been involved in an unsolved double-murder in Boston last summer. A law enforcement source telling CNN Boston police just found silver SUV linked to the case after looking for it since last year and believe Hernandez was renting it at the time of the murders.
DANIEL CONLEY, SUFFOLK COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We're following every lead and trying to establish the evidence in the case and believe we're making progress. But at this moment in time it's too premature to name any one individual as a suspect.
CANDIOTTI: Hernandez' lawyers won't comment on the possible connection. Today, a judge rejected a second attempt by his defense team to spring Hernandez from jail on the first-degree murder charge in the alleged execution style shooting death of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez has pleaded not guided.
JUDGE RENEE DUPUIS, MASSACHUSETTS SUPERIOR COURT: Despite the fact that he has a fiancee and a baby and is a homeowner, he also has the means to flee and a bracelet just wouldn't keep him here over $250,000.
CANDIOTTI: During that bail hearing, prosecutors revealing new alleged evidence and a condo leased by Hernandez in a town near the football player's home and in a Hummer outside said to be linked to Hernandez, they seized .45-caliber ammunition and a .45-caliber clip, the same type of ammunition allegedly used to kill Lloyd. In court, prosecutors called attention to a photo obtained by TMZ showing Hernandez holding a .45-caliber semi automatic handgun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The evidence of this photograph, holding a Glock .45.
CANDIOTTI: Prosecutors are not saying that's the murder weapon and are still looking for it. The motive is still unclear. Investigators claimed Hernandez was angry over something the victim said at this nightclub two nights before the murder.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was certain things that had happened during the night that he was upset about and now didn't trust the victim.
CANDIOTTI: Investigators say they built their case against Hernandez using cell phone tower tracking, text messages and surveillance tapes at Hernandez' home and elsewhere. In the wee hours of June 17th, Hernandez allegedly picked up Lloyd at his home. They were then joined by two other unidentified passengers. They stopped at a gas station and bought blue bubble gum.
During that ride at 3:23 a.m., Lloyd sends a text to his sister reminding her of who he was with. He writes, NFL just so you know. Two minutes later, witnesses hear shots near the murder scene. About 4 minutes later, Hernandez is seen carrying a gun arriving home with two other people. Investigators say they matched shell casings from the murder scene to one .45 shell found in Hernandez' car. After Lloyd was killed --
BILL MCCAULEY, FIRST ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The defendant and his two confederates appear at the rental agency where they rented the silver Nissan Altima. At that time they go in to return the car, the defendant offers the attendant a piece of blue bubble gum and finds a .45-caliber casing as well as a piece of what appeared to be chewed bubble gum.
COOPER: So, I mean, this is fascinating. Are authorities saying whether or not they think Hernandez pulled the trigger in the murder that's he is charged with? They said he has two confederates.
CANDIOTTI: You know, they are saying it this way, that he orchestrated the execution and then they went on to say that he and another man delivered the fatal blows to Lloyd as he was laying on the ground. So whether this is a matter of semantics it's unclear, but either way, Hernandez is charged with first-degree murder.
COOPER: All right, Susan, thanks very much. Incredible.
More companies are dumping Paula Deen after she admitted to using a racial slur years ago. The backlash is fast and furious, but is it fair? I'll speak to the Reverend Jessie Jackson who Paula Deen has actually spoken with in the wake of all this, and also Professor Boise Watkins next.
And later, federal grand jury indicts Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, what he is charged with, we'll tell and what he faces if he's convicted, coming up.
COOPER: More companies are dropping Paula Deen after she admitted using a racial slur in the past. Today Home Depot and Target said they no longer sell her products and the maker of a diabetes drugs she was the spokeswoman for has suspended its relationship with her as well. This comes just a day after her tearful appearance speaking with Matt Lauer in NBC's "Today" show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA DEEN, CELEBRITY CHEF: If there is anyone out there that has never said something that they wish they could take back, if you're out there, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me, please. I want to meet you. I want to meet you. I is what I is, and I'm not changing. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The Food Network, Wal-Mart and Sears have also dumped Deen, but one thing that isn't taking a hit is her book sales. Even for a book that's not even out yet. Pre-orders for the October release of Paula Deen's New Testament, 250 recipes are so strong it's on the top of Amazon's bestseller's list.
Meanwhile, some of the companies that dropped Deen are getting angry comments on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Deen herself has hired a crisis management firm. Now the question is in Paula Deen's case, does the punishment fit the crime? I spoke with Reverend Jesse Jackson and Syracuse University Professor Boyce Watkins.
COOPER: Reverend Jackson, you've spoken to Paula Deen. I understand she reached out to you. What did she say? What did you talk about?
JESSE JACKSON, PRESIDENT, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: She explained she's not a racist. She appeared to be contrite and agonizing over the accusations, but the issue now and it's not just the words of contrition, but she must spend her time now off of the circuit focused on the workplace conditions, A, and the plan to have workplace conditions than past the test of friends. If she does that, she can be reclaimed and redeemed.
COOPER: Professor Watkins, we spoke the other day about her. You said in the past you've been a fan of hers. I'm wondering if your opinion changed at all, if just over the last couple days. What do you make of where she is now and what is happening?
BOYCE WATKINS, PROFESSOR, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: In order to really try to connect with Paula and to connect with the situation, I reached to my elders. I spoke with Reverend Jackson. I spoke with my grandmother. I'm fortunate enough to have a grandmother still alive and those perspectives allowed me to do something that I can't do at my age, which is to really look at the world through the eyes of somebody who dealt with the Paula Deen's of the world in the 1950s, '60s and '70s.
And I think that the best lesson Paula Deen can really get from all of this is to know that there is a difference between liking you and respecting you. I think that Paula is a good person who wants to have a good heart. I think that she has a lot of friends that are African- American, and I think in her mind she really loves these people, but the question is whether or not she truly respects African-Americans as her equals.
Remember, people love their pets, but they don't want their dog at the dinner table. So the issue to me is that Paula can be completely redeemed. She can be completely forgiven, but forgiveness goes deeper than what you say. It really comes down to what you do.
COOPER: So Reverend Jackson, I've gotten a lot of tweets from people who support Paula Deen and advanced sales of her cookbook are number one on Amazon right now. So there's a lot of support for her out there and there's a lot of people who have tweeted me and said, look, the media is making too much of this, that this is a woman who seems like a good person. Maybe she used completely inappropriate language in the past, but this has much to do about nothing. What do you say to that? What do those people not understand?
JACKSON: There is something to do about something. Grace can be a sin. It's not just the words so many years ago, but the workplace environment. She should immediately address the charges against her. She should immediately address and thoroughly invest her work environment. Is it fair? Is it open? Is it non-racial? Is it sensitive? And they plan to make it the best workplace it can be. So the contrite words amongst and she is reclaimable if she takes immediate actions and stops trying to justify herself.
COOPER: Professor Watkins, is this an opportunity for people to get out of the comfort zones and have a discussion about race that maybe they haven't had or don't want to have?
WATKINS: This is another opportunity. The reality is this, Anderson, when someone comes to you and they say, what you said offended me, that this concept, this idea that you shared, it hurts my feelings, you have a choice. You can say, you're crazy or your feelings are not valid, what is wrong with you? Or you can show respect and say, I don't quite understand why you feel this way, but why don't you explain it to me? Why don't you help me understand, and I'll help you understand how I feel.
That's how you have a productive dialogue and I think one of the things we're running into is you have millions of people in America that never endured race in the workplace and the horrors and atrocities and the terrorism that people of color in this country have experienced for hundreds of years and get to the point where they devalue that because they think that someone wrote a great cookbook. The reality is if we want to make progress and Paula wants to redeem herself, this is a chance to have a good dialogue --
COOPER: Some people say she's of a certain generation --
JACKSON: Anderson --
COOPER: Go ahead.
JACKSON: I would urge her to look at the crisis quickly, take on the ship, and move with a plan to make it a workshop. I don't think we're spending a lot of time arguing on the 20-year goal, but the workplace security is very important for workers everywhere.
COOPER: Professor Watkins, people saying she's from a certain generation, from a certain region, she grew up a certain way and she's a product of her past?
WATKINS: Well, I think she is. Paula Deen was made in America just like Malcolm X was made in America. He went through so much oppression and so many horrific experiences in his life that he spent his whole life fighting against the racism that destroyed his family. With Paula Deen we have to realize that Paula Deen is a symptom, symbol, manifestation of millions of other Americans around the country who think in the same way.
They don't understand why these words can be hurtful. They don't understand that this is a product of an environment. This is a product of structural racism so wiping Paula Deen off the planet will not make America a better country. I don't want to see her career destroyed. I want to see her cooking her food, which I've eaten and is good. We have to use this as a chance to do deep cleaning on racial equality in American and not just cleanse the surface because if we don't, we'll have the same problem 50 years from now.
COOPER: Reverend Jackson, Professor Watkins, thanks for talking, appreciate it.
COOPER: Just ahead tonight, the sweeping indictment against the Boston bombing suspect handed up today by a federal grand jury, more than a dozen out counts carry a possible death sentence.
Also President Obama today made his extensive remarks about NSA leaker, Edward Snowden and the lengths the U.S. will go to find him or won't, for example, would he force a plane down with Snowden on it that some people have been demanding. Stay tuned for his answer.
COOPER: Check out some of the other stories we're following. Susan Hendricks has the 360 Bulletin -- Susan.
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, NBC News is reporting that the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Retired Marine General James Cartwright has been notified he's under investigation for allegedly leaking information about a highly classified U.S. cyber attack on Iran's nuclear program. CNN has not confirmed that report. And General Cartwright and his lawyer have not commented on it nor have the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney general.
In Senegal, President Obama made his most expensive remark so far at NSA leaker, Edward Snowden. He expressed concern about secrets Snowden might spill, but President Obama also said he won't take extraordinary measures to capture the fugitive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: No, I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENDRICKS: A Massachusetts grand jury returned a 30-count indictment against Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Charging him with using weapons of mass destruction and killing four people, 17 of those charges carry the possibility of the death penalty. In New York, family friends, co-stars and fans said goodbye to actor James Gandolfini. Gandolfini who was 51 died of a heart attack in Rome last week. He was acclaimed for his portrayal as Tony Soprano in HBO's groundbreaking series "The Sopranos" -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Susan, thanks. We'll be right back.
COOPER: That's it for us right now. We'll see you again one hour from now, I hope, for an AC 360 special report, "Self Defense or Murder, The George Zimmerman Trial," all this week at 10:00, we've been taking an in-depth look at the trial with our panel of legal experts and the key moments in case you missed in the testimony. There's another big day in the trial and at 11:00 Eastern, another regular edition of 360 with all the day's top stories. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now. See you in an hour.