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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD

Search Zone Expands in Plane Mystery; sTestimony Continues in Blade Runner Murder Trial; Parents Move for Medical Pot for Epileptic Son

Aired March 10, 2014 - 12:00   ET

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


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Today's testimony too graphic, too much for the Olympic track star to take. The blade runner sobbing, covering his ears and repeatedly retching, briefly bringing his murder trial to a halt.

Also ahead, the troubled son who took his own life after killing his mother and 26 others at Sandy Hook Elementary. Now, Adam Lanza's father is revealing the warning signs that he and so many mental health professionals missed and how the nightmare still haunts him every waking moment.

And three days of frantic searching, 40 ships, nearly three dozen aircraft from 10 different countries, and still nothing. They find nothing. How can an airliner and more than 200 people just simply vanish? We're going to try to bring you some answers this hour.

Hello, everyone, and welcome. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. It is Monday, March 10th. Welcome to LEGAL VIEW.

It has been almost three full days since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. And its whereabouts are as big a mystery now as when that giant plane disappeared from radar with 239 passengers and crew on board. The United States is now sending a second warship to aid the dozens of ships and planes from 10 countries that have so far turned up nothing.

Today, the already vast search area is expanding. Back on land, the investigators say two passengers who boarded that flight with stolen passports are, quote, "not Asian-looking men," end quote. Though how that pertains, if at all, to the fate of that flight still remains unknown.

And joining me here in New York, my CNN colleague, Richard Quest, and also former inspector general of the U.S. Transportation Department, Mary Schiavo.

Richard, let me begin with you. It's the question so many people continue to ask, because so many of us fly and assume that, God forbid we crash, at least they'll know where we are. How is it possible we just don't in this instance?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I think that's a very good question. They should have a better idea of where that plane is. They've got the radar track. They know where it last reported in. Planes every 10 minutes or so report in. They have the last messages from the aircraft. So, yes, they should have a better idea.

And when I listen to - I mean if you look at this map and you look at the scale -- first of all, we had it out searching off towards the east of Vietnam in the South China Sea. Then they decide to go and look off the western coast of Malaysia heading up toward the Andaman Sea and off the northern coast of Indonesia. Now we're back into the Gulf of Thailand, where they've extended the range. Now --

BANFIELD: Richard, that's an enormous area.

QUEST: Not only is it an enormous area, it is contradictory to the flight plan that they should have been following. So it raises some very real and disturbing issues about what radar information they actually had and the accuracy of that information.

BANFIELD: And this new information that those who boarded the plane, Ms. Schiavo, with false passports, not looking Asian, et cetera, he I heard you say something very daunting on the morning program, "New Day," and that was that this very well could be considered a dry run. A dry run possibly for terror.

MARY SCHIAVO, FMR. DOT INSPECTOR GENERAL: It could be because, I said I base those comments on previous accidents in the past. And there was one that was a dry run before the Bojinka plot, which was to take out 12 jetliners. They -- at that point they were targeting, of course, U.S. carriers. But before they did it, they did a trial run on Philippine Airlines and they used fake passports because they did not want them to know that they were doing a dry run.

However, there was an Air India crash in which 10 to 13 passports of 158 passengers were also false or stolen. So it could be a very suspicious and indicating that people were on there up to something no good and they didn't want their identities to be known, or it could be just criminal business as usual, because there are lots of stolen and fake passport brokers in the world.

BANFIELD: And if, Richard, this was something as simple as a catastrophic, midair explosion, and I've heard you say it so often since this all began, in the safest part of the flight, if it was simply that, will we possibly never find any evidence of this plane or the people on board?

QUEST: Oh, I'm deferring -- Mary and I are at one on this, aren't we?

SCHIAVO: We are, absolutely.

QUEST: Yes.

SCHIAVO: They will find it. There are so many interests that have a huge stake in finding this plane. Obviously, the airline must find this plane. The United States of America is extremely interested in finding this plane, because we have to sort out, is this another dry run? Is this a terrorist attempt? Was this a bomb or an explosion? And, of course, Boeing has a tremendous interest in finding this plane because -- QUEST: There's 1,100 of them. This is the safest aircraft. It's had two major incidents. The Asiana one, where the jets involved weren't really as a result of the actual crash per say -

SCHIAVO: Right.

QUEST: And the British Airways one. So this is a -- they will find it.

SCHIAVO: This is everyone's problem.

BANFIELD: OK.

QUEST: Yes. I think the biggest issue at the moment, before we start worrying about passports and all these other things, I think it's why they are having so much difficulty narrowing the search field down. They shouldn't be having such difficulty.

SCHIAVO: That's right. They should not.

QUEST: Can I just ask -- you know, there is such a thing as an EPIRB, for those who do very risky things in long distance ocean travel. And if they get into trouble, they pop the EPIRB and low and behold everyone can find you like that. Why is the flight data recorder and the black boxes not EPIRB equipped or some sort of variance like that so that we can find not only the flight data recorder but perhaps what might lie nearby.

QUEST: It is.

SCHIAVO: That's right.

QUEST: It is. I mean, you know, the plane is - the plane is emitting much more

(VIDEO GAP)

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, the pathologist said she would have been really, really fatally, mortally wounded after any of these shots.

BANFIELD: Right. Robyn Curnow, thank you, live from Pretoria.

For the LEGAL VIEW on what transpired in that courtroom today, I want to bring in our CNN legal analyst, Paul Callan, criminal defense attorney and a former prosecutor, and also HLN's legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson.

So quite a dramatic day, a lot of reaction on the behalf of the defendant, and usually my first question to someone like Robyn Curnow is, how did the jury react?

And there's no jury to react at this point. There's a seasoned judge on the bench. Does that have any effect, does it matter at all, that he had that reaction, Joey?

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, Ashleigh, not to a judge. Remember, the judge has been through so many experiences, and the purpose of a judge, really, is to separate the emotion and to examine the facts.

And, you know, when it comes down to a regular jury trial, and it's interesting, because that's the first thing you said, right, Ashleigh? How would a jury react to this situation?

But there's no jury there, and so you have to believe that the judge is evaluating the facts and the facts only. And with regard to him vomiting or holding his ears so he doesn't have to hear it or putting his hands down into his face, it just does not have the impact it would upon civilians.

BANFIELD: I say that normally, with any kind of normal procedure or normal court case, but this is not a normal defendant, is it, Paul? I just wonder if there is anything to this. Look, I always smell a rat. That's the first thing I do when I look into a courtroom. I always smell a rat.

JACKSON: Skeptical.

BANFIELD: I'm skeptical. This a national hero, and I don't think that could be lost on the human that sits up on that bench, no matter what.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No, it can't. We have to remember, that judge has two civilian advisers who will help decide guilt or innocence.

BANFIELD: They're assessors who sit on either side of her and help her get through the facts.

CALLAN: Yes. And the way those assessors react to Oscar Pistorius and this display of emotion certainly is going to be a big factor in the case.

But you know something? I think his reaction isn't going to help him at all. And I'll tell you why. This is not a premeditated, planned, cold, calculating murder. This is a crime of passion.

I don't think anybody can deny that -- if it is a crime -- that he loved her. And a lot of times when these cases occur, there's great remorse afterwards that the person has been killed.

But it's the hot headedness, the trigger happiness, the anger --

BANFIELD: The recklessness.

CALLAN: The same thing that makes him react this way in an open courtroom made him do what he did that night, so prosecutors will contend at the end of this case.

JACKSON: And there was it testimony regarding the reckless behavior concerning other evidence for other counts that he's facing, Ashleigh, regarding the firing of the gun in the restaurant when he was with his friends. BANFIELD: Right.

JACKSON: In a normal case, we wouldn't hear about it. It goes to propensity. Because you did that then, you're doing it now.

But, of course, since there's a judge, we hear about it.

CALLAN: And Joey will tell you, both of us have tried murder cases, and you know what the motive is usually? Love makes you crazy.

BANFIELD: I hear that all of the time.

CALLAN: Somebody has been dumped and usually it's the man who loses it in these cases.

BANFIELD: We'll watch and see if it's the same over there as it is over here. But my thought is that there's a lot of human dynamic that's the same on both continents.

JACKSON: And there's a lot of ways to go here, Ashleigh. A hundred more witnesses or so, maybe a little bit less, but there's a long way to go in this case.

BANFIELD: It's going to be a lot longer than they anticipated.

Both of you, thank you. Paul and Joey, stick around. We've got more for you in a moment.

A family with a little boy who has seizures, and get this, not just a few, sometimes upwards of 100 seizures a day, makes an incredibly bold move. The banner on your screen says it all, a "Medical marijuana move." They moved halfway across the country to where you can get it, legally and easily.

But find out how these marijuana drops are working, and whether there's any downside, and what our Dr. Sanjay Gupta has to say about this and how he factored into their decision.

It's coming up.

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BANFIELD: CNN is digging deeper into the pot boom this week.

Sales of marijuana have taken off in Colorado since it became legal on January 1st, and more states are considering legalizing medical marijuana, not recreational, medical.

Tomorrow night, Dr. Sanjay Gupta continues his ground breaking reporting in a documentary called "Weed Part 2." Here's a sneak peek.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The federal government says marijuana is among the most addictive drugs with no medicinal value. Many serious scientists say they're wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a medicine.

GUPTA: It's the politics of pot, pitting policy against patients, trapped in the middle, sick, qualified people who want medical marijuana, but can't get it. Because it's illegal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Well, you might want to ask some of the questions that relate to all of that to a family personally impacted by Dr. Gupta's first documentary.

Aaron and Dawn Klepinger's son Hunter has severe epilepsy. Now, they shared this video with us and allowed us to show it to you because they want you to be able to see the kinds of terrible seizures this young child goes through.

The Klepingers say their lives change precipitously when they saw Charlotte, a little girl in Sanjay's first documentary. She had a similar condition to Hunter, and Charlotte was being treated successfully with a liquid form of marijuana, the strain of which, by the way, is now known as Charlotte's Web.

It's a available in Colorado, but not necessarily everywhere else. So what did they do? They lived in Georgia, and they picked up, and they moved Hunter to Colorado right away, so that they could start a similar treatment like Charlotte is undergoing.

And they say that Hunter's seizures went from as many as 100 per day to sometimes only two per week.

And I'm happy now to be joined by Dawn, who is in Atlanta, and Aaron and Hunter who together are joining us from Colorado. Welcome to all of you.

And Aaron, I'd like to begin with you, if I can, please. I just wanted to get a feel from you as to how the treatment is going. The initial fact sounds incredible. Has it lasted?

AARON KLEPINGER, SON HAS SEVERE EPILEPSY: It has. It's actually improved over time, and from the very first dose we saw huge changes in our son, from decreased seizures to increased relaxation and happiness.

It's been nothing but a miracle for us and a lot of people use that term kind of loosely, but for him, it's been absolutely fantastic, and he started -- he was having 24 minutes a week of seizures, and he's down under four minutes now.

So it's been absolutely life-changing, not only for him, but for our entire family.

BANFIELD: Aaron, would you be able to sit with him like you are right now? I can see you holding his hand. He's just so cute. I was going to tell you, from one mom to another dad.

Would you be able to sit with him right now and have this interview with me if you didn't have this Charlotte's Web?

A. KLEPINGER: I -- he would be much less relaxed than he is now, and very likely he would be having some severe seizures in front of you where he, you know, could go upward sometimes of 20 to 25 minutes, unstopping, just continuous.

BANFIELD: And Dawn --

A. KLEPINGER: So probably not.

BANFIELD: I know it's hard to travel and I know you're a long way away from your husband and your baby, but I wanted to ask you, there is so little empirical scientific study of what THC, even in the low, low doses that this extraction actually delivers to your child, but there is so little known at this point about what kind of permanent effect this could have on Hunter, that compared with what kind of permanent effect the seizures that he continuously had and the medications he was taking -

(AUDIO BREAK)

D. KLEPINGER, SON HAS SEVERE EPILEPSY: Well, we were a lot more -- sorry. We were having seizures constantly before and that affected his development globally across the board.

And now he's more alert and paying attention more to things, and we think that, you know, cognitively, he's more aware. And so we think the medicine is helping more than anything.

And the seizures -- having less seizures, cognitively, will help him out, I believe, over time.

BANFIELD: Is it in the back of your mind, though? Are you sort of thinking, look, at this point, anything -- anything to stop the madness, just to stop what our family is going through, to give this child some relief no one knows anything at this point with regard to what the seizures are doing to him, with regard to what the traditional medications are doing to him?

At this point, we'll just take anything to get the least bit of relief for Hunter?

D. KLEPINGER: Right. The pharmaceuticals made his seizures worse. They made him scream constantly. They made him sleep constantly.

So, we're actually seeing our boy awake and alert now for the first time in eight years. So, we're very happy with the results we've seen.

BANFIELD: Well, I'm really thankful that you shared your story and Hunter's story, and I mean it. He is cute as a button.

D. KLEPINGER: Thank you. BANFIELD: Please thank him for us. Aaron, thank you so much, and, Dawn, good luck to you and I hope you continue to see the results that you so desperately deserve. It's good of you to join us today.

A. KLEPINGER: Thanks for having us.

BANFIELD: My pleasure.

And I want to remind our audience, as well, that Sanjay has been doing some just stellar work, really stellar work.

And I want to make sure you can tune into CNN tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time where Dr. Gupta is going to continue this groundbreaking reporting on medical marijuana.

The special is called "Weed 2: Cannabis Madness." I highly encourage you to check it out.

The father of Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook school shooter, is breaking his silence.

He is speaking for the first time, in-depth, about his son, the shooting, and his own personal nightmares about what happened.

We've got the details, just ahead.

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