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CNN NEWSROOM

George Zimmerman Trial Continues; Boston Bombing Suspect Indicted

Aired June 27, 2013 - 15:00   ET

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


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Here we go. Welcome back top of the hour. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're looking at live pictures in Boston. We're about to get huge news, indictments coming down. This is the day Bostonians have been waiting for because Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man accused of carrying the terrorist attacks at the finish line of the Boston marathon is officially indicted. Shall we dip in? Let's listen in.

CARMEN ORTIZ, U.S. ATTORNEY: -- the defendant's alleged conduct forever changed lives. The victims, their families and the community have shown extraordinary strength and resilience in the face of this senseless violence, and it is with the hundreds of injured as well as the victims in this case in mind that we proceed to seek and make sure that justice is served.

Before I get into more of the specifics in the indictment, I would like to thank the hundreds of men and women in law enforcement whose hard work, dedication and sheer perseverance brought us to this day. There are too many individuals to name and agencies to name. Some of the leaders of those agencies whom I have worked with closely since the day of the bombing stand here with me today.

I also want to thank Middlesex County district attorney Marian Ryan and Suffolk County district attorney Dan Conley for their continued cooperation and assistance in this investigation.

And district attorney Ryan will be also announcing charges against this defendant and you will hear from her shortly.

The indictment that the grand jury returned today charges the defendant with numerous counts, among them, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in deaths and using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, conspiracy to bomb a place of public use, as well as bombing a place of public use (INAUDIBLE) conspiracy to maliciously destroy property resulting in personal injury and death, as well as maliciously destroying property resulting in personal injury and causing death, and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, including using a firearm to cause death, carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury, and interfering with commerce by threat and violence.

The indictment contains detailed factual allegations about the defendant's alleged conduct and roles in the crimes that have been charged. According to the indictment, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, took steps before April 15 to prepare for their actions that day.

Among them, on or about March 20, the defendant and his brother traveled to a firing range in Manchester, New Hampshire, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rented two .9-millimeter handguns, purchased 200 rounds of ammunition, and engaged in target practice.

On or about April 5, Tamerlan Tsarnaev ordered the electronic components on the Internet that could be adapted for use in making IEDs and had them shipped to the Cambridge residence that he shared with his brother, Dzhokhar.

The defendant also downloaded a publication that provided instructions on how to build the bomb. And the day before the bombing, the defendant opened a prepaid cell phone account number in the name of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

According to the indictment on April 15, at approximately 2:40 p.m., Tamerlan Tsarnaev placed the backpack in front of 621 Boylston Street, where Marathon Sports is located, among the dense crowd of marathon spectators.

The backpack contained an IED constructed from (INAUDIBLE) low- explosive powder, shrapnel, adhesive, electronic components and other items.

At the same time, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev walked to 755 Boylston Street in front of the Forum restaurant, where he also placed a backpack containing a similar kind of IED among another crowd of marathon spectators, including dozens of men, women, and children.

According to the indictment, at approximately 2:48 p.m., Dzhokhar Tsarnaev called his brother using his prepaid cell phone and spoke to him for several seconds. Seconds after the call, Tamerlan Tsarnaev detonated the bomb that he had placed in front of Marathon Sports.

And after that bomb exploded it, amongst many things, killed Krystle Campbell, and it also maimed and seriously injured many others.

Seconds later, after the first explosion, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev detonated the bomb that he had placed in front of the Forum restaurant. And when that bomb exploded, it killed Lingzi Lu and Martin Richard and it also maimed and seriously injured many others that were in that area.

The indictment further alleges that on April 18, a few hours after the media began disseminating photographs of the Tsarnaev brothers, identifying them as potential suspects in the marathon bombing, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan armed themselves with five IEDs, a Ruger .9- millimeter semiautomatic handgun, ammunition, a machete, and a hunting knife , and drove their Honda Civic to MIT in Cambridge.

When they arrived at the school, the defendant and his brother murdered MIT police officer Sean Collier, shooting him in the head at close range with a .9-millimeter semiautomatic handgun. They also attempted to steal his weapon.

Following Officer Collier's murder, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev carjacked an individual who is referred to in the document at D.M., and who was in a Mercedes, and they carjacked him by pointing a gun and threatening to kill him.

They indicated to the victim that they intended to drive his vehicle to Manhattan. Dzhokhar and Tamerlan forced D.M. to drive to Watertown, where they retrieved a portable GPS device and other items from their Honda Civic then forced D.M. to drive to a service station to get gas.

While they were searching to a gas station, they drove D.M. to a Bank of America ATM in Watertown Square and forced him to hand over his debit card and personal identification number. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev then used his debit card and withdrew $800 from the victim's bank account.

At around 12:15 a.m. on April 19, while the defendant and his brother had stopped for gas, the victim escaped from the Mercedes and called 911. After the victim escaped, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev drove to Laurel Street in Watertown, where police located them and tried to apprehend them.

It was at this time that the Tsarnaev brothers began firing at the officers. The Tsarnaev brothers used four IEDs against them, one of which was made from a pressure cooker, low-explosive powder, shrapnel, and other items.

After attempting to shoot, bomb, and kill or disable the officers who were trying to apprehend him, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev drove directly at Watertown Officers Jeffrey Pugliese, John MacLellan, and Joe Reynolds.

When Dzhokhar Tsarnaev drove at the officers, he barely missed Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese, who was attempting to track Tamerlan Tsarnaev to safety. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev drove over his brother, Tamerlan, seriously injuring him and contributing to his death.

In the course of making his escape, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also caused Richard Donohue, a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer, to sustain serious bodily injury. Tsarnaev later abandoned the car on Spruce Street in Watertown, smashing both of his cell phones and hid in a dry-docked in boat in a Watertown backyard until he was captured by the police.

As a result of the charges that have been filed today, the defendant faces up to life and possibly death if convicted. I do want to say that I have met several of those that were injured on April 15, as well as members of the deceased's families.

I was able to hear their thoughts, discuss the process moving forward, and learn a bit about them personally. Their strength is extraordinary, and we will do everything that we can to pursue justice not only on their behalf, but on behalf of all of us.

I would now like to introduce my colleague, district attorney of Middlesex County, Marian Ryan.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: OK. So, many people in Boston, this is the day you have been waiting for. This is finally the day in which this federal grand jury has returned this indictment, 30 counts, 30 counts that this 19-year-old suspect is now facing here, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger of the two brothers involved in this murder of four Americans, three of whom were killed at the finish line at the Boston Marathon, and as she just mentioned, the MIT police officer, Sean Collier.

Sunny Hostin, let me just bring you in here. As we were just listening to this list, and I was scribbling down notes, a conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, the use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to bomb a public place, the actual bombing of a public place. The list goes on and on and on. And having been there three weeks covering this thing, initially when you heard the charges, it was just a handful of years and now we hear if convicted, we're talking possibly life.

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, no question about it. I mean, I have a copy of the indictment. I was trying to review it on my iPhone. It's a 74-page indictment, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Wow.

HOSTIN: He's going to be arraigned on July 10, 2013. You're right, it's a 30-count indictment.

What's so interesting is 17, Brooke, 17 of those charges are death penalty-eligible charges. We know in the state of Massachusetts there is no state death penalty, but there is the death penalty under federal law, and so he is, you know -- there is that exposure.

The remainder authorize a max penalty of life in prison. So any way you slice this, if this -- if he gets only convicted of one of the lesser charges, it's still an exposure of life in prison. I will tell you this. No decision, it appears, has been made as to whether or not it is going -- the government is going to seek the death penalty, but there is a process that one has to go through in the federal government to determine whether or not they will seek the death penalty, and there's a death penalty review committee, and so that determination hasn't been made yet, but, of course, as I just mentioned, 17 of these counts are death penalty eligible.

So this is a significant, significant case.

BALDWIN: It's incredible, 17. Sunny Hostin, thank you so much. We will come back to you.

Also, we're going to take you back to what is happening there in Boston. Specifically, our correspondent, Deborah Feyerick, is sitting in and listening to this news conference. We will go back to her and get a little bit more from what that U.S. attorney has been saying.

Also, now live pictures from the George Zimmerman trial. As you know, he faces second-degree murder. A new witness on the stand. She's a real estate agent who lives in the neighborhood where this killing took place. We will listen to this on the other side of the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: All right. Breaking news here on CNN. We have now learned from the U.S. attorney there out of Boston, Massachusetts, that 19- year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev now faces 30 counts here, 17 of which include the possibility, eligibility, I should say, of the death penalty with regard to what happened that horrible day in April at that Boston Marathon at the finish line.

I want to go to Deborah Feyerick, who is on the phone. She was sitting in during that news conference with the U.S. attorney, listening to those -- all those -- the myriad charges being read.

And, Deborah Feyerick, you and I were in Boston when all of this happened. And one thing that jumped during the ticktock, during the timeline, the chronology that she was describing, that was the first time I had heard sort of which brother called to detonate which bomb. That was new to me.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, it was new.

And one thing we also want to say, he wasn't charged just federally with those 30 counts including using a weapon of mass destruction. He was also charged by the state, 15 counts by the state, one of which is murder. That's murder of the MIT officer, Sean Collier.

The indictment laid out a number of steps that we haven't heard before. For example, the brothers bought 48 mortars from Phantom Fireworks in New Hampshire, about eight pounds of low-explosive powder that they used in the devices.

Also, they went to a firing range about a month earlier. They rented two .9-millimeter handguns and did target practice for about an hour shooting off 200 rounds of ammunition. The electronic components which were used to build those devices, Brooke, those were actually bought online and sent in the mail.

BALDWIN: Wow.

FEYERICK: Also, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev bought a prepaid telephone and that's the telephone he used to call his brother when both of them detonated their device within a minute of each other. We want to give some additional information about the evening, Brooke. You were up here in Boston. You know how it played out.

But what we're learning now is, according to the indictment, Tsarnaev shot the MIT officer in order to steal his gun. They carjacked a man and then returned to their own car in order to get a GPS. Instead, on their way, they picked up gas, they picked up cash, and then when they returned to their own car, after the carjack victim escaped, a firefight broke out.

The brothers were shooting at the officers, and this is new. We're learning that three officers tackled Tamerlan Tsarnaev, got him to the ground, and that's when his brother, Dzhokhar, allegedly jumped in the car and began driving it toward the police officers.

One of the officers actually tried to drag Tamerlan out of the range of the vehicle, but wasn't able to do that. Dzhokhar side-swept one of those officers, almost hit him, actually, and that's when he dumped the car and went on the run. So these are the new details that are coming out of this press conference.

You have got the U.S. attorney, Carmen Ortiz. You have district attorneys from various counties who are in the room, the police officers, ATF, U.S. Marshals, a lot of people who were involved in this massive manhunt, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Incredible, all the new details that are pouring out today because of this incredible investigation work there from everyone in Boston, and, of course, federal -- federal level as well. Deborah Feyerick, thank you so much, 30 counts, 17 of which would make him death-penalty eligible.

Forgive me, Eric. Let me talk to the control room again. OK.

We're going to take you back to the George Zimmerman trial momentarily. They're playing some 911 calls in the courtroom right now. Quick break, back to Sanford, Florida, after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: All right. Let's go back to Sanford, Florida, and just listen in to what's playing out in this courtroom right now.

Just to set it up, there's a woman on the stand by the name of Jenna Lauer. She's a real estate agent, lives in the neighborhood here. And she was an eyewitness to what happened last February. Let's all watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... February of last year.

JENNA LAUER, WITNESS: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And your backyard would be right here, is that correct?

LAUER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And is this what's referred to as a dog walk or walkway or something?

LAUER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And would this be referred to as a T. maybe?

LAUER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Sorry. I need some assistance.

What I want to also go back to, state's exhibit one and blow it up a little different this time because I want to take in -- in terms of back in February of 2012, when this was your residence, would this be the front right here of the residence?

LAUER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And is this the walkway that I'm pointing to right here with the arrow, with the cursor that leads all the way and then comes down this way?

LAUER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So your house is right here at the corner?

LAUER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

Ma'am, I'm going to show you now another photograph. Thank you. State's exhibit number three. Can you tell from that photograph your residence back in...

BALDWIN: So, as you can see, some photos are being shown of the neighborhood where this entire altercation happened. Again, this is this woman by the name of Jenna Lauer. So, she's being questioned right now. She's on the stand following many, many hours of testimony by this friend of Trayvon Martin, Rachel Jeantel.

And it's been a grueling cross-examination today in this murder trial in Sanford, Florida, of George Zimmerman, because, as I mentioned a moment ago, on the stand most of the day today was this young woman, here she was, who was the one on the phone with teenager Trayvon Martin just before George Zimmerman shot him.

And Zimmerman's lawyer challenged her testimony about what she heard on the phone the night Martin was killed. And for the first time, the defense asked Jeantel whether Martin confronted Zimmerman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, he told you that he could see the man again, the man was behind him, correct?

RACHEL JEANTEL, FRIEND OF TRAYVON MARTIN: Yes, close.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure.

JEANTEL: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if he were hiding somewhere and the man walked close to him, they would be close together, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection. Argumentative.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sustained.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In any event, your sense of it was that they got close together at that point?

JEANTEL: He got close to Trayvon, yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 will call me back, sir, if he was going to approach him, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Jeantel was also questioned about the last thing she heard before that phone call stopped, stopped.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the last thing you heard was some kind of noise like something hitting somebody?

JEANTEL: And Trayvon got hit. Trayvon got hit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't know that, do you?

JEANTEL: No, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't know that Trayvon got hit.

JEANTEL: He could...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you?

JEANTEL: No, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: I want to bring in criminal defense attorney Holly Hughes here in Atlanta to walk through all of this testimony here.

Let's just begin with, what is Don West trying to do there?

HOLLY HUGHES, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: What he's trying to do is get the jury to think about this. She's an ear witness, not an eyewitness. So she's very strong today, and we see a much different Rachel Jeantel today than we saw yesterday. BALDWIN: Yes.

HUGHES: Yesterday, she was very combative and it was seen as disrespectful by a lot of people.

And, today, someone has obviously just given her a little bit of tip on courtroom demeanor.

BALDWIN: Even though, when Don West asked, did someone talk to you?

HUGHES: Right.

BALDWIN: Because no one is supposed to...

HUGHES: Right.

BALDWIN: ... between these two different days of testimony. She said, no, I just got some sleep.

HUGHES: But here's the thing, too. Bear in mind the prosecutor is absolutely allowed to talk to her. He can't say to her, change your testimony or, by the way, I think you made a mistake, but he can certainly talk to her about her demeanor.

That's perfectly acceptable, and, quite frankly, should have been done before she took the stand in the first place.

BALDWIN: OK.

HUGHES: Because that disrespect was a little distracting for some people. They were turned off by it. Today, Ms. Jeantel did a wonderful job. She was strong. She stood by her convictions. No, sir, he would not have punched him.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: I have to stop you because others I have talked to and other people we have had on the show, yes, sir, yes, sir, no, sir, no, sir, disrespectful was a word that was used. Rude was a word that was used. You got it, she said. You got it? You got that?

(CROSSTALK)

HUGHES: Right, but very different than what we saw yesterday.

And I think you need to take her testimony as a whole, because yesterday she was extremely combative and yelling after him as he's walking, are you listening to me, don't you watch the "First 48"?

BALDWIN: Yes.

HUGHES: And that's not what we expect to see in a court of law. That's OK if you're having a discussion over the dinner table, or you're hanging out with your friends. But when you're in a court of law, someone should prepare you how to do that. And it didn't seem like that was done yesterday. And so that's what people were focused on. Today, I'm hearing her answers. Now, is she a little snippy? Absolutely. But think about this. This is the defense attorney who is trying to get the man off who shot her friend. So she's not going to be his best friend. She's not going to like him. But what we see here today from Rachel is she's very clear in her answers. She's saying, no, it didn't happen that way.

Don West is trying to get the jury to think, well, she doesn't really know what happened, but when she explains herself, she's very clear. She says, no, because if he was going to go confront somebody, he would have hung up the phone with me. That just makes good common sense, doesn't it?

BALDWIN: Stay right here.

HUGHES: I'm not going everywhere.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: We're bringing in a couple more voices. We will get a break in.

But when we come back, I want to talk about some of the language that she used, some of the colorful language that was used and some of it perhaps is a bit of a generational divide between -- you look at this defense attorney and you look at a younger generation.

HUGHES: Right.

BALDWIN: It is acceptable? How will that sit with the jury? We will talk about that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)