Return to Transcripts main page

NEW DAY

Was Mystery Girl Kidnapped From Kansas City; Nevada Middle School Shooting; Connecticut Police Bias Verdict; Kim And Kanye West Engaged!; Martin MacNeill Wife Murder Trial; Iraq Veteran Gravesite Controversy; Ceelo Green Pleads Not Guilty

Aired October 22, 2013 - 07:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Tuesday, October 22nd. Here are your headlines. New questions arising this morning about whether a missing Kansas City girl could be the mystery girl found living in a Roma camp in Greece. Lisa Irwin disappeared two years ago. An attorney for her family confirms to CNN the FBI is talking to Greek authorities. The family recently released an age progression composite of what Lisa would look like today. However it's not believed the girls are the same age.

This morning, a popular eighth grade teacher is being hailed a hero after a devastating school shooting in Nevada. Michael Landsberry, a former Marine who served several tours in Afghanistan was shot and killed after witnesses say he asked the student gunman to put his weapon down. The 13-year-old gunman also took his own life. Two other wounded students are in stable condition.

A guilty verdict in the trial of Connecticut police officers accused of harassing and abusing Latinos in the town of East Haven. David Cari and Dennis Spalding face up to 20 years in prison. Two other officers pleaded guilty to reduce charges and are currently awaiting sentencing. The four East Haven cops were arrested last year following a federal investigation into racial profiling.

In case you hadn't heard, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are engaged. The rapper popping the question to the reality TV star in front of loved ones at San Francisco's AT&T Park. E-News reports that he rented out the stadium for the occasion, which also happened to be Kim's 33rd birthday, quite a gesture. Congratulations to the couple.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Congratulations. Yes?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Nothing. I've got nothing.

BOLDUAN: He's got nothing.

CUOMO: I wish them well.

BOLDUAN: We do.

CUOMO: Moving on.

BOLDUAN: Moving on.

All right, let's go out to Utah where the case that we've been following so closely potentially damning testimony is expected in the murder trial of a prominent Utah doctor accused of drugging and killing his own wife. Prosecutors say Martin MacNeill's alleged affair was his motivation for the crime. Soon we will find out if his own daughter will be testifying against him.

We'll get HLN's Nancy Grace's take on all of this in just a moment. But first, CNN's Miguel Marquez is in Provo, Utah with the latest. Good morning, Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning there, Kate. Before this is all over, we may hear from more than one of Mr. MacNeill's children testifying against him. Today this week, we expect to hear from first responders who will talk about the inconsistencies in what he said that day and the odd behavior the day his wife died.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Neighbors say Martin MacNeill might have pretended to perform CPR the day his wife, Michele, was found collapsed in the bathtub.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did not see him actually put his mouth on her mouth.

MARQUEZ: Witnesses told investigators MacNeill bragged he could kill without anyone being able to trace it, even expressing pleasure his wife was dead and appearing happy at the funeral. The defense counters Martin MacNeill called 911 himself desperately trying to save his wife.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: OK, is she conscious?

MACNEILL: I'm a physician.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Sir -- sir, I can't understand you. Can you calm down a little bit?

MACNEILL: I need help.

MARQUEZ: The prosecution paints a very different picture of the doctor and the former Mormon Sunday school teacher, the motive, a mistress, a woman MacNeill said was a nanny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First it was vague then we learned she was the nanny and then eventually as everybody could tell the relationship was more than that.

MARQUEZ: The claim MacNeill hatched a devious plot, forcing his wife to have a face lift then killing her with prescription drugs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She wanted to have the surgery postponed. The defendant announced that the surgery was already paid for and that she was going to do it as scheduled. MARQUEZ: In her system, Valium, Percocet and Ambien. The cosmetic surgeon testified he only made the prescriptions because MacNeill was a doctor and knew how to handle those drugs in combination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it your intention Michele take all these drugs together?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

MARQUEZ: The defense arguing Martin MacNeill isn't perfect, but he wasn't the cause of his wife's death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michele's heart disease was either the cause or the contributing cause to her death.

MARQUEZ: But his own children are expected to testify against MacNeill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She looked at me and said Alexis, if anything happens to me, make sure it wasn't your father.

MARQUEZ: The defense says her story has changed and cannot be trusted.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: Now, prosecutors have brought a bathtub into the courtroom, one that looks like the one that Mrs. MacNeill died in. They've tried to re-create partially the bathroom scene there. A lot of this testimony this week will center on that bathtub, how exactly she was found, what exactly happened in that bathtub and in that bathroom as they were trying to save her life or Mr. MacNeill perhaps was trying to let her expire -- Chris.

CUOMO: That's exactly right, Miguel. Thank you for the reporting. This is about the story of the case, a very important week. So let's bring in HLN's Nancy Grace. She's out there in Provo, Utah covering it. Nancy, thank you so much for joining us today. You heard what we were saying in the setup piece. What are you looking for this week that will matter the most?

NANCY GRACE, HOST, HLN'S "NANCY GRACE": Well, there was another drug, yet another drug in her system, it was Phenergan. There were four to five drugs in her system. I want to point out that Michele MacNeill kept telling everyone she wanted off the drugs. She didn't want to be on all those drugs. She was very afraid of what her husband was giving her.

At first her eyes were bandaged and she was trying to feel the medication to see what he was putting in her mouth. The tub came into the courtroom and it's at center stage and it's a very deep tub, the kind you have to crawl over.

This is what is significant about the tub. Number one, when the little girl, the 6-year-old daughter Ada came in, her father sent her in to find her mother. She comes out and says, and to this day says her mommy was fully dressed on her back, looking up, eyes open, hair down the drain.

MacNeill runs in. He sends the daughter next door. When the neighbors come over, she's only half dressed and I've got a theory working here that he sees his wife in the tub and goes nobody's going to believe she was taking a bath fully clothed. When the girl goes next door he tries to take some of her clothes off.

Hence finding her partially clothed because. Remember he told law enforcement that he found her naked bent over the tub. The girl finds her fully dressed, the neighbors find her in the tub partially dressed.

CUOMO: Right.

GRACE: So all of that has got to be explained and you cannot explain it. You know why you can't explain it because it's not true.

CUOMO: Well, but then it gets complicated, right? You get a lot of people in this room. It is unusual how many people wind up in this bathroom where this poor woman is found. They start telling different stories, see different types of clothing. There will be inconsistent testimony. A good lawyer can do a lot with that. This is really about facts and then the family dynamic. So talk to us about his own words, though, Nancy.

GRACE: Chris.

CUOMO: Bring in his own words, what he is alleged to have said and what that may mean.

GRACE: OK. I will. I will. One thing on the clothing discrepancy --

CUOMO: Please.

GRACE: Who cares if she had on a t-shirt or wife beater, don't care. What I do care about is MacNeill lying. Because when the neighbors came in, EMT was getting there, they couldn't see what was going on for sure, some of them could but not all of them, this is what's so crazy about MacNeill's behavior. We all know he forced his wife to have the face lift. I don't think motive was just the mistress.

I think he was going through a whole crazy mid-life thing when men rush out and get convertibles and start working out and try to get a suntan, that thing. I think he was going through that, this mistress came in and blew up. That's his motive. So he made his wife get the face lift, but when the EMTs and the neighbors were there, Oscar- winning performance. He was so dramatic saying why did she have to have a face lift? Why did she insist on a face lift in the jury will be, what?

He's the one that made her have the face lift. He went on to say, why was she taking so many medications? I tried to stop her. When we all know he was putting the meds down her throat. He became so belligerent and angry, they had to make him leave. The EMTs are testifying that's the only time in their whole career they thought they were going to be attacked. They thought MacNeill was going to attack them. That's crazy behavior. He was -- he overdid it. The performance went over the top.

CUOMO: Well, look, you're very heavy on motive in analysis right there. Still, the prosecutors will have to show means. You know the formula, means, motive and opportunity. Lots of motive but they're going to have to show that he did something to really further the act that wound up killing this woman or contributed to it, not so easy to show he actually forced pills on her, that that's what he did, that he contributed to her death. That's what we'll have to see how they lay out this week.

GRACE: She has a laceration to the head. That didn't happen naturally. She ends up in the tub submerged in the water under the influence of four or five medications that were not to be taken together. I don't think it would be that hard. He had been doping her up ever since she got out of the hospital. One or two more pills, who's going to know the difference? Gets her in there to take a bath, boom, it's all over.

CUOMO: You only know what you show, though, that's why this week is so important. I know you are in Atlanta, not in Provo, my mistake. I should have known just by your choice of coat today. I should have known. Thank you, Nancy Grace.

GRACE: That's fake fur. Believe me, that coat is fake fur.

CUOMO: No, no, I agree.

GRACE: I would never.

CUOMO: You're an animal lover and law lover. Thanks for joining us on NEW DAY, appreciate it. "Nancy Grace" airs weeknights at 8:00 on HLN.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, a fallen soldier's grave site has been the source of an unusual controversy. Why her family is fighting for this SpongeBob Squarepants headstone?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. The grave site of an Iraq war veteran has now become the center of controversy. Two towering grave stones in the shape of SpongeBob Squarepants, the cartoon character, have been taken down. The historic Cincinnati cemetery calls it inappropriate, but the grieving family disagrees.

CNN's Pamela Brown is joining us with much more on that. A lot going on here, grieving family, standards at the cemetery, what are you finding out?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So the family spent $26,000, Kate, to have these Spongebob Squarepants monuments built in memory of their daughter, a young Army sergeant found dead on Valentine's Day. The family acknowledges it's an unusual memorial, but they say it's what their loved one would have wanted. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN (voice-over): The 28-year-old Army Sergeant Kimberly Walker survived two tours of duty in Iraq only to be allegedly murdered by her boyfriend. Her grieving family took solace knowing she would be buried with her favorite cartoon character, Spongebob Squarepants.

DEBORAH WALKER, VICTIM'S MOTHER: Bought the pillow of Spongebob and we asked them to put it in her casket.

BROWN: Kimberly's twin sister, Kara, had an even bigger idea, build a Spongebob Squarepants memorial at her gravesite.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every year my sister had a Spongebob birthday party.

BROWN: The Walkers had two Spongebob statues built, one in an Army uniform in memory of Kimberly, the other in a Navy uniform, to honor, Kara, a Navy I.T. specialist.

D. WALKER: They came and said, you know, we can go ahead and do Spongebob. She gave us a statement. We signed a contract.

BROWN: The monuments each weigh 7,000 pounds and stand 6 feet high and 4 feet wide. They were finally put into place on October 10th.

KARA WALKER, VICTIM'S SISTER: I thought it was the greatest thing in the cemetery. I even told the people there, I think this is the best monument I've ever seen.

BROWN: But less than 24 hours later, the cemetery called the family to say it was removing the monuments. The cemetery's president told CNN, the family chose a design with the guidance of a Spring Grove employee who unfortunately made an error in judgment. The monument does not fit within Spring Grove Cemetery guidelines, was not approved by senior management and cannot remain here.

D. WALKER: It was just heartbreaking. We were just trying to honor her wishes.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: The cemetery also tells CNN, "we are working with the Walker family and are committed to design a solution at our expense that will properly memorialize Kimberly." And the family tells us that they are going to be meeting with officials at the cemetery today. So we certainly hope they reach a resolution here.

BOLDUAN: There should be a way that both parties can be OK with this in the end because in the end they should just be memorializing her.

BROWN: Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: Thank you, Pamela.

BROWN: Thank you. CUOMO: Let's take a little break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, singer, Ceelo Green heads to court to answer charges that he drugged a woman's drink. We'll tell you about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. The man known for his flamboyant style and hit song "Forget You," is now facing some very serious legal problems this morning. Ceelo Green is pleading not guilty to a drug charge. He is accused of slipping ecstasy into a woman's drink. Entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner is here with the very latest. Good morning.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Ceelo has talked about this case in previous interviews. He said that the claims were baseless and untrue. He has maintained that everything that happened was consensual. The woman, though, tells a much different story and Ceelo is now having his day in court.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TURNER (voice-over): A few hours before "The Voice" hit air waves Monday night, one of its celebrity coaches appeared before a real life judge in a Los Angeles courtroom on a felony charge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your preliminary hearing would be within 30 calendar days of November 20th.

TURNER: Cee Lo Green pleaded not guilty to one felony count of a controlled substance to a 33-year-old female last year. The woman claims the 38-year-old Grammy-winning R & B singer slipped her ecstasy as they dined in an L.A. downtown restaurant, then took advantage of her in her hotel room. Prosecutors declined to charge Cee Lo with rape of an intoxicated person citing insufficient evidence, a move that seemed encouraging to the entertainer as he walked into the courthouse Monday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you still a little scared, though?

TURNER: Cee Lo's attorney, Blair Burke issued a statement saying Mr. Green encouraged a full and complete investigation of those claims and he was confident, once conducted, he would be cleared of having any wrongful intent and it would be established that any relations were consensual.

But as "The Voice" enters the battle round for its contestants, Cee Lo still faces a battle for his freedom. If convicted on the drug charge, he faces up to four years in prison. For now, he is free on $30,000 bail.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TURNER: Now, Cee Lo is scheduled to be back in court November 20th. There is no immediate word from NBC about his future with "The Voice" in light of this case. The show was on last night. Cee Lo was on the show, but this show was taped months ago. The live shows don't begin for a couple of weeks.

BOLDUAN: All right, we'll follow up on this. Thanks, Nischelle.

CUOMO: When we come back, we've been following this story about this girl found in Greece with this gypsy couple. Who is she? Hundreds of couples around the world are wondering if she is their child. One couple is an American couple that you know about. We'll tell you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All the time, this is what I see in my dreams.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Holding out hope. Couples of missing children around the world, hoping this little girl in Greece is their daughter. Will the search for one American couple finally be over?

BOLDUAN: Classroom nightmare, a hero Marine and beloved teacher killed and two children injured when a 13-year-old classmate opens fire at their school.