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8 Family Members Killed While They Slept; Autopsy Seeks Answers to Prince's Death; Donald Trump's New Image; Officials: North Korea Launches Missile From Sub; 3 People Face Charges in Flint Water Crisis. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired April 23, 2016 - 07:00   ET



[07:00:17] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: I want to let you know -- police are searching for the killer, or killers, responsible for the shooting deaths of eight people from the same family in Ohio. Officers say seven adults and a teenager were found at four locations in the small town of Piketon. That's about 90 miles east of Cincinnati. They were all shot while they slept, a 4 day old child, 3 day old and 6-month- old were the only ones not killed. Police say there is no danger to the community but they haven't released a motive yet.

And less than an hour ago, sheriff's deputies in Georgia released this mugshot. This is Wayne Anthony House. Deputies say the shooter committed suicide this morning but before that he shot and killed five people in a small town just west of Augusta yesterday. Investigators say the shooting happened in two homes about a half-mile apart. All of the victims were related to the suspect's wife.

And officials at the Palm Beach Zoo say a trainer killed by a tiger broke rules when she entered the big cat's area. The zoo's president said s entered tiger's sleeping quarters aft, the felines were given access. That violates zoo policy. Konwiser was the lead keeper. The 13-year-old tiger was tranquilized after that attack and is still at the zoo.

In Brussels, the subway station where 16 people were killed in a terror attack will re-open in just a couple of days on Monday. Maalbeek station has been closed since March 22nd when a terrorist launched twin bombings in the underground station and the city's airport. Thirty-two people died in that attack. Again, they are working right now and it is scheduled to re-open on Monday.

All righty, 7:02, to be exact, on this is the day morning. We are so grateful for your company. Good morning to you. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Victor Blackwell, 6:02 here outside Paisley Park.

This is Prince's home, studio, performance space, and this is the place where he died on Thursday. It is here where so many -- where Prince's classics were born. It is here where he lived, as we said, presumably dreaming or working on that next big hit. And it is where investigators gathered their final clues as they now

try to figure out what led to this shocking death. Now, his autopsy was performed yesterday during the morning, but the full report, including toxicology, we know will take days, or even weeks. We'll have more on what we're learning from authorities in just a moment.

But first, CNN's Kyung Lah has more on the final moments before Prince's death.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Investigators here in Minnesota say that they are still working to try to piece together an accurate timeline, what was Prince doing in the days and weeks leading up to his untimely death.

And while this is happening, CNN has obtained exclusively this video from a strip mall right near where he lives. A woman captured this video. He appeared healthy enough just five days before he died to be riding a bicycle, doing something that any normal, healthy person would do. The woman said that he look quite healthy. Yes, thin, but healthy enough to ride a bicycle.

Investigators say what they've been able to concretely learn is that the night before Prince died he was dropped off here at his home at 8:00 p.m. He wasn't discovered again by staff until he stopped picking up calls. They found him unresponsive, collapsed in an elevator. CPR did not revive him.

Investigators say now that they have conducted an autopsy. The results are expected to come in this days, if not weeks. They also want to try to talk to as many people as Prince had contact with. They want to know what doctors was he seeing where did he go, was he on any medications.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Chanhassen, Minnesota.


BLACKWELL: All right. Kyung, thanks so much.

Stephanie Elam is with me here outside Paisley Park. We know that the autopsy was completed, but in any autopsy, toxicology usually takes quite a long time. But we did learn from the sheriff's office here some information that was quite valuable ruling out a couple of options here today.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, right, that's true. That is with anybody, right? It will take time before we know. Even though we really want to know why, it helps healing, right?

But in this case, what we do know is that they don't think there is any foul play. They don't think that there was any suicide. It didn't look like there were anything out of sorts that we eve was a problem here. One thing that is really interesting about this is that they do believe he was by himself in his compound. BLACKWELL: Which is a surprise. This place is huge!

ELAM: Also, you are talking about a superstar iconic person that has -- his loss is being felt around the world. So the idea that he would just come home by himself almost just seems too normal in some ways.

But I did have a conversation with the mayor of Chanhassen, where we are right now, yesterday. He says he thinks that part of the reason why Prince enjoyed life here is just what you saw in Kyung Lah's piece, the fact that he could ride his bike around and go to the store and do things that a normal person could do because people here gave him the breathing room to be himself. That's part of the reason why he may have always stayed in Minnesota all these years and never left to go someplace else.

BLACKWELL: All right. Stephanie Elam, as we continue to get more information, we'll bring you back in as we try to find out what happened here, of course, in those last final moments.

We're joined now by Zena Burns. She's the former senior vice president for IHeart Media and has worked with Prince on several projects.

Zena, good morning to you and thanks for being with us. We any that Prince was a private person, so maybe not so surprising to you that he was here by himself the night before he was found here. But what do you think about what we're seeing, this outpouring of grief for Prince?

ZENA BURNS, PRINCIPAL, MOXIE COALITION: While I'm very, very shocked, like everybody, at the fact that he's passed, not shocked at all that there's been such a tremendous outpouring of grief and love and appreciation for him. You know, the term "soundtrack to our lives" comes up a lot. While it is a little bit trite, it makes a lot of sense. For many, many people over the course of decades, Prince's music was there, was there for really key, important moments in their lives.

BLACKWELL: And the influence was broad. When you -- and we have over the past two days now spoken to so many fans who are celebrities themselves, but across several genres. We are talking rock and pop and soul and hip-hop. And we see maybe pieces of his music in theirs.

BURNS: Oh, absolutely. I don't know that there was a popular artist who has always had such a seemingly effortless time going in between genres, speaking with some friends of mine, kind of an unlikely couple who have been together for years. One is really like a classic rock guy, another is R&B hip-hop. They said, hey, when we moved in together Prince was the only artist in our catalogs where there was any commonality whatsoever.

BLACKWELL: Yes, I've told Christi, my co-host here, if there were any artist I would get up from the desk if I heard they were performing at someplace in town, it would be Prince just to see that performance. The performance was not just the music. It was the style. It was the wardrobe. Talk more about his influence, not just from the lyrics but fashion in the presentation.

BURNS: Oh, yes. I'm going to paraphrase James Brown here. James Brown, who Prince said many times had been such an incredible influence on Prince, James Brown once said something along the lines of, hey, if you're walking down the street and you saw two theaters across the street from one another, one had a marquee that said the greatest singer of all time, and the other said the greatest entertainer of all time, 99 percent of people would go -- would appreciate both but go see the greatest entertainer.

It was one of the brilliant things about Prince, because whereas I maintain that I think that Prince was the greatest artist of all time on all levels and was an incredible tremendous musician, he had an incredible sense for what made a performance. Yes, unbelievable musician. Unbelievable songwriter. Unbelievable, all of that.

But he knew how to bring it on stage every single time, to the degree that if his band would make a mistake in rehearsal or live on stage, they'd get fined. It was that serious. They'd be fined if they screwed up. I mean his performance was that important to him that it needed to be tight and on point every single time; and fashion and style presentation, big part of that.

BLACKWELL: We learned how important the control of his vision and keeping control of that vision was in maintaining the high level of integrity in his music and performances.

Zena Burns, thanks so much for being with us this morning.

BURNS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Christi, back to you.

PAUL: All right. Hey, Victor, thank you so much. And Victor is right, he has said that to me, he would get up and he would walk away from me and leave me stranded on the set if he had a chance to see Prince.

Just a few moments ago, I want to share something that's happening.

[07:10:00] President Obama taking an emotional question at a town hall in London here. This happened as an audience member who identifies as transgender asked why the U.S. and U.K. couldn't be more welcoming to LGBT activists. The president said the problem lies with recent state laws. Listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can say from my perspective that we're taking a lot of serious steps to address these issues within the federal government. The challenge we've had is North Carolina, the law that comes up, for example, that's a state law. And because of our system of government, I can't overturn on my own state laws unless a federal law is passed that prohibits states from doing these things. And with the Congress I currently have, that's not likely to happen. (END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Now, the president did go on to say as well that no matter what happens with state laws, social attitudes he believes are changing for the better.

Listen, when we come back, the new and improved side of Donald Trump. What his campaign is saying about his new image.

And Ted Cruz's strategy as he eyes Indiana to stop the GOP front- runner. Why is Indiana so important?


PAUL: Fourteen minutes past the hour right now.

New fallout on the campaign trail after a top advisor to Donald Trump was caught telling Republican insiders that the GOP front-runner's private persona is different from the, quote, "part he plays publicly." Trump's new delegate guru Paul Manafort said expect a shift to a more presidential image from Trump.


PAUL MANAFORT, TRUMP CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISOR: When he's out on the stage, when he's talking about the kinds of things he's talking about on the stump, he's projecting an image that's for that purpose.

[07:15:00] The part that he's playing is evolving into the part that you've been expecting, but he wasn't ready for.


PAUL: Ted Cruz seizing on Trump's comments as evidence that the man who's dubbed him "Lyin' Ted" is telling a few of his own.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In the past 48 hours, Donald Trump's lobbyists have taken over his campaign and they've gone down and told Republican Party bosses that everything Donald's said on the campaign is just a show, he doesn't believe any of it.


PAUL: CNN politics reporter MJ Lee live in Waterbury, Connecticut, where Donald Trump will hold a rally in just a few hours.

MJ, any indication what we're going to see from a different Trump this morning?

MJ LEE, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good morning, Christi.

Well, as we head into the final stretch of the GOP primary, the big question is are we about to see a Donald Trump 2.0. As we heard Trump's senior advisor Paul Manafort telling reporters this week that Trump is about to evolve, that as he gets closer to the nomination he is willing to change his presentation.

Manafort said that the way that you start a campaign isn't necessarily the best way to end the campaign and it is also worth noting that he also downplayed some of the recent tensions with the RNC saying that as Trump gets closer to getting the GOP nomination, he will work very closely with the party as a united team. Now, we have seen some signs of the new and maybe softer Donald Trump in recent days.

Remember when he won the New York primary in a big way on Tuesday, he gave a victory speech that wasn't his usual style. It was very short, it was to the message, and he took a softer tone when talking about his rifle Ted Cruz, not calling him "Lyin' Ted" which has become his favorite nickname for Ted Cruz but just referring to him as Senator Cruz.

But the next day, we saw Trump went right back to calling him Lyin' Ted. So we'll see today. You can see behind me, the room is filling up here in Waterbury, Connecticut, as Trump supporters come to hear him speak in a few hours. I think we're about to find out whether we see the one Donald Trump that is trying to be a little softer, or the old Donald Trump that is brash and that likes to go after his critics.

The final thing I'll mention, Christi, is that Ted Cruz, of course, has really seized on these developments to say that Donald Trump is basically being a disingenuous candidate. He said that Donald Trump is basically a New York liberal who is disguised as a conservative and that voters should not trust what comes out of his mouth -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. MJ Lee, appreciate the update. Thank you so much.

And let's talk to CNN political commentator and Donald Trump supporter, Jeffrey Lord, as well as Ted Cruz supporter, Judson Phillips.

Gentlemen, thank you for being here.

Jeffrey, I want to start with you.


PAUL: Good morning.

So, we're hearing how Trump is going to evolve here. What exactly do you know what this means?

LORD: Well, let me just say, I am sort of astonished at all the commotion over this. I've never met a single human being, not to mention a politician, who isn't different and private than the way they are in public. I worked for President Reagan. I assure he, you did not walk around the West Wing of the White House going Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall. Your public personality, particularly when you are a poll ticket politician is always different than your private personality.

So, I really don't see what's so different here. Will he -- is he different in private? Well, of course he is. So is everyone I know different than they are --

PAUL: He is, but there is this push to see him be a little softer, a little more presidential. And I want to ask you about the risk to that, because the people that support him like him the way he is. If he makes that shift, is there a risk he is going to lose some of that base.

LORD: Yes. Yes, there is, Christi. I'll tell you this, back before my time, if I may, back in 1948, in the famous race with Thomas E. Dewey, supposed to be the overwhelming choice over Harry Truman, when you read the biographies of the day and look at that, Thomas E. Dewey didn't play hardball, as it were, didn't do what Donald Trump is doing with Harry Truman. Harry Truman on the other hand got the nickname "give 'em hell Harry" and went out there and ripped Thomas E. Dewy apart all across the country. He finally wound up winning in an upset.

The American people like to see their candidates be fighters. No matter who they are. They don't want to see them being, quote/unquote, "presidential." If you are, quote/unquote, "presidential," at this at least is being defined, you're going to lose the election. Mitt Romney was the most presidential guy going. He's not president Romney.

PAUL: I want to get you, Judson, because I'm wondering, do we have this ad that's running in Indiana basically saying vote for Cruz because he is not Trump. Do we have that? Can we pull that up and can we play that here?

OK. We will try to get that in just a bit. This new ad that's playing in Indiana is basically saying, as I said, vote for Cruz because he is not Trump.

[07:20:02] Are you going to get a Republican in the White House saying vote for this person because he's less essentially evil than the other?

JUDSON PHILLIPS, FOUNDER & PRESIDENT, TEA PARTY NATION: Well, we're going to get a conservative in the White House named Ted Cruz because he is a conservative. Donald Trump is a liberal Democrat. He's always been that way all of his life and guess what?

Jeffrey likes to laugh every time I bring this up, but guess what? He laughs because he ha is no answer to that. That is the absolute cold, hard truth. Trump has been a liberal Democrat all his life.


PHILLIPS: Just a minute, just a minute, Jeffrey. You Trump guys like to phi filibuster when anybody disagrees with you, but give me a break here.

Trump has been a liberal Democrat all of his life. He came up with this populist spiel when he wants to run for president, and now that he thinks he's got it locked up, he's reverting to his true colors. He's doing an Eric Fehrnstrom moment. You remember him in 2012, Romney's campaign manager who said, the campaign is like an etch-a- sketch, we're going to shake it and start over.

Well, Trump is doing it. Guess what, Trump supporters? You've been lied to!

PAUL: OK. Let me ask you about this, Judson. There's been a lot of time here in the last several months that Donald Trump has given Ted Cruz the moniker of "Lyin' Cruz". now that Ted Cruz is pulling that same thing out, is that, is it safe? It's just kind of just a he said/he said, no, you're a liar, because there have to be something a little more substantive behind it.

PHILLIPS: I think there is very objective proof here. The Trump campaign is going to the RNC and saying you know what Donald Trump's saying on the stage? Well, that's really not true. Donald Trump claimed he was pro life now he says he wants the Republican platform on abortion to be watered down. He is now turning to his supporters saying, you know what, I don't like the bathroom bills to allow women and little girls to have privacy in the bathrooms.

He's turned -- he says, "I want to raise taxes on the wealthy." Well is he channeled his inner Bernie Sanders here? He's going back to the left the way he's always been. So there's evidence that supports the claim that we have "Lyin' Donny."

PAUL: OK, with 30 seconds, Jeffrey, if you want to respond here.

LORD: Sure. I just think this is silly.

I mean, what's happening here -- I continue to say I really do like Senator Cruz but he's losing. He is going to lose.

And so, when people lose, they begin to get desperate. That's what's happening here. There's really nothing more to it than that. Donald Trump won New York state with 60 percent of the vote. More importantly, Ted Cruz lost it with only 14.5 percent of the vote.

You can't win the northeastern United States and win a presidential election with 14.5 percent of the vote. I'm sorry. It just isn't going to happen.

PAUL: We've got a lot of contrast coming up on Tuesday in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, we're going to find out what those numbers and where we go from here.

But, gentlemen, Judson Phillips, Jeffrey Lord, appreciate your time this morning. Thank you.

PHILLIPS: Christi, thank you.

PAUL: Thank you.

So, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, we're going to hear from Donald Trump's convention manager, Paul Manafort, about the evolving Donald Trump and these leaked tapes from these meetings in Florida this week. Much more on that coming up again at 10:00. Do stay with us for that. Also, I want to tell you about this manhunt that's under way in Ohio

for the killer or killers who gunned down eight members of one family as they slept, including a teenager. We're taking you live to Ohio for an update. Stay close.


[07:27:04] PAUL: Twenty-six minutes past the hour right now.

My colleague, Victor Blackwell, is live in Minneapolis with the latest on the death of Prince. We'll get you back there in a moment.

But I do want to get you caught up on this manhunt that's going on right now in Ohio. Police there are looking for the shooter, or shooters, who gunned down eight members of a family in Piketon, as they slept. This is a small town 95 miles east of Cincinnati.

CNN's correspondent Nick Valencia is live for us there this morning.

Nick, obviously, first of all, what have you learned about the investigation and the status of it at this point?


What happened here on Friday morning is unimaginable. It has stunned this community of about 2,000 people. Eight members of one family shot and killed execution style.

These details of what happened are all the more disturbing when you consider one of the victims was shot and killed while she slept next to her 4-day-old baby.

Right now officials, at least officially, are not saying who is behind this or why it happened.


VALENCIA (voice-over): The search is on for the killer or killers of eight family members in southern Ohio. Police say most were shot execution style while they slept.

MIKE DEWINE, OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL: This is a horrible tragedy that has occurred here in Pike County. Each one of the victims appears to have been executed. Each one of the victims appears to be shot in the head.

VALENCIA: The seven adults and a 16-year-old boy found dead at four crime scenes, all have been identified as members of the Rhoden family. Surviving relatives are being warned. Police suspect the victims had been targeted but there is no apparent motive.

SHERIFF CHARLES READER, PIKE COUNTY, OH: Right now, we have no one in custody. I want to urge everyone to be understanding that there is a strong possibility that any individuals involved with this are armed and extremely dangerous. VALENCIA: Police say none of the victims appear to have committed

suicide. The dead include a mother, killed in bed, with her 4-day-old child beside her. That child, along with the 6-month-old and a 3- year-old survived the massacre.

DEWINE: We talked to a number of the Rhoden family and their friends. They were actually gathered at a people that we met with. And we expressed directly to them our deepest sympathy for the family. As you can imagine, this is very, very difficult time.

VALENCIA: The Rhoden family is well known in the tight-knit community, about 90 miles east of Cincinnati.

Toby Smalley says he knew one of the victims.

TOBY SMALLEY, NEIGHBOR: This is a tragedy that we've never had to go through. We've lost people through car wrecks and cancer and sudden death for no reason -- hunting accidents, but never like this.


[07:30:00] VALENCIA: I've been talking to the pastor of the Rhoden family. He called this attack a ruthless attack. He says he's having trouble understanding exactly why or how it all happened.

Last night the attorney general held a press conference where he re being interviewed related to this case, but didn't go so far as to call them persons of interest. We're expecting a noon eastern press conference where we'll hopefully get more details -- Christi.

PAUL: I certainly hope so. It is unbelievable. Thank you so much, Nick Valencia. We appreciate it.

Of course, you might have noticed, I'm sitting here by my lonesome this morning at CNN Center. My colleague, Victor Blackwell, is in Minnesota.

Next, we are talking about three people facing charges stemming from the Flint water crisis. A look at what's ahead for them if they are convicted. But, Victor, of course, is covering all of the bases there in Minnesota where the honoring of Prince is really being felt by people there. You can see it behind him.


BLACKWELL: Yes, I'm right outside of his home and the place where he created a lot of those classics, Paisley Park. Prince was a musical genius. You've heard that phrase over the last 72 hours. We'll talk to a man who toured with the artist to find out how the man was so private and dealt with his life on the road.


PAUL: Mortgage rates inched up this week. Here's a look.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:35:05] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

PAUL: Breaking news we're following this hour. South Korea officials are reporting right now that North Korea has launched a missile from a submarine off its eastern coast. It is the latest in a number of missiles the north has launched in apparent response to military drills between U.S. and South Korea. South Korean joint chiefs of staff says, quote, "South Korea's military is on high alert. They're maintaining all provisions against any emergency situations."

CNN's Paula Hancocks is following this story.

Paula, what are you learning there this morning?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, Christi, at this point, the joint chiefs of staff here in South Korea say it is assumed to be an SLBM, a submarine launched ballistic missile.

We have no word at this point, whether or not they believe it was a success. We heard nothing from North Korea as to what they believe they've carried out, but we do know the South Korean militaries are on high alert. We know that they're watching the situation very closely and they're making sure that there are no emergency situations. They say they are ready for anything.

But, of course, if it is in fact a success, it would be a significant development for North Korea. They've been trying to do this for some time. Of course, the benefit of a ballistic missile like this for any military is the fact that if but fire it from a submarine, it is incredibly difficult to track.

Now, we know that they've tried a few times already. It's believed to have been a failure in the past according to experts. But this time, the fact that joint chiefs of staff have said that they fired what is assumed to be a submarine-launched missile is significant -- Christi.

PAUL: North Korea isn't shy, Paula, about claiming responsibility for these. How long do you think it might be before we hear from North Korea?

HANCOCKS: Well, considering we know from the South Korean side, they believe this happened about an hour and a half ago. I don't think we can expect immediate response from North Korea. They tend to take a little time to come out with these announcements.

Now, I'm actually watching a news bulletin on North Korean television right now and there is no word on this at all. It is just too quick a turnaround for the North Korean state-run media. But certainly if they believe it was a success, they will be announcing this. They will be taking credit for this.

We're coming up to a very important Congress for the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. The workers party Congress. They haven't had one in more than three decades and this is happening in just a matter of weeks. So for him to be able to go to this Congress with potentially a submarine-launched missile, a successful one, under his belt as well, he will be milking this for all it's worth. He will definitely be announcing this publicly -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. Paula Hancocks, we appreciate all the information coming to you I know fast and furiously. Thank you so much.

We will continue to keep you posted as we get more information this morning.


BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell here in Chanhassen, Minnesota, right outside of Paisley Park, the home of music icon, Prince. Some of the fans have now started to come to this location to leave notes and signs, purple balloons, flowers here outside the security gates. More have started to come now that the sun is up here at Paisley Park.

They have a lot of questions, but the major question here -- what happened? Of course, that's the question that investigators are working to answer well. An autopsy we know was performed on Prince yesterday. The medical examiner's office says it will not release any information until all the tests, including toxicology, which could take weeks, are complete.

But the sheriff has ruled out suicide, has ruled out at least foul play, saying there were no signs of trauma preliminarily. And we know his body was released to his family yesterday. Well, now a memorial here at his Paisley Park compound is growing. It is growing every hour. And news of his death is turning the world's landmarks purple.

Fans across the globe a celebrating his music, his style, and mourning his passing.

And musicians we know around the world are reflecting on Prince as well. We're hearing from some of those who knew him best.

I'm joined now by Grammy Award nominated saxophonist Najee. He toured with Prince in the early 2000s. He was a friend and respected colleague of Prince.

Najee, good morning to you. First, if you could just start by telling us, what was it like to be on stage with Prince?

NAJEE, MUSICIAN: It was surreal. I can't begin to tell you, every night we were on stage, I couldn't believe I was just looking at a wall of people. I felt as if I was sitting in a fish bowl, if you will.

[07:40:01] You know, it was just amazing. Every night was just amazing to me.

BLACKWELL: Now, we know that he's been described as a perfectionist. Put some meat on that for us. What's it like to work with Prince, the perfectionist?

NAJEE: Well, I mean, he was -- he was detail oriented, to say the least. I mean, when we did rehearsals, there was nothing that went overlook. You know, he might get away with some things in a live show, you couldn't do that with him.

Every little accident in the music hurts. Every little line, as a jazz musician to myself it may have seemed very insignificant. But when you understood the total production to be brought to his audience, it made a lot of sense. He lived it to the fullest in terms of perfection when it came to rehearsal.

BLACKWELL: Having spent so much time with him on the road, what can you tell us that maybe we haven't heard that an average fan would not know?

NAJEE: Well, I think sometimes when you think about the lifestyle of the industry that we're in, there is a tendency to think that we -- life is just crazy. When you go backstage at his concerts, he was very quiet most of the time. Invited guests that came, it wasn't drugs and women and all the things people imagine it would be.

The other thing is, I think Prince was probably one of the most again with us people, quietly generous people, I have ever met in my life. I had several experiences and stories of he just doing things he probably didn't even realize people like myself were paying attention to. I have to say, probably one of the smartest, one of the most again with us artists I've ever met in my life.

BLACKWELL: You mention the atmosphere backstage. Van Jones who works at CNN who was a friend of Prince, said if you came here to Paisley Park, there would be no cheeseburgers, you had to get it before you got here. It was vegan and vegetarian at Paisley Park.

We understand you have some performances coming up to. You plan to pay tribute to Prince. What's your favorite Prince song?

NAJEE: Oh, that's hard to decide. One of the songs he designated for me to play in concert was a song called "God" that he recorded on one of his albums. So, every night that was one of the songs I played with him.

But tonight we're doing a special tribute to him, a song "Noah's Arc" which we will donate to him here in Panama City, where I'm celebrating my 30th year as solo artist in the industry.

BLACKWELL: All right. Najee, thank you for spending some time with us this morning. I know a lot of people at your performance today. We'll look forward to that as well.

NAJEE: Thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you.

Christi, back to you.

PAUL: All righty. Hey, Victor, thank you so much. Giving us a real sense of Prince and some behind-the-scene things that we might not have known otherwise. Listen, two years ago after lead entered the water supply in the city

Flint, Michigan, charges are now filed. We're taking a look at what defendants could be facing, what lawsuits may still be ahead. Are they going to court or are we going to see some plea deals here? Stay close.


[07:46:50] PAUL: After two years of drinking poisoned water, bathing their children in it, the people of Flint, Michigan are seeing officials charged now. Charges have been filed against three people, the former Flint utilities manager and two officials at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Michigan's attorney general had strong words for them as the charges were announced.


BILL SCHUETTE, MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GENERAL: They failed Michigan families. Indeed, they failed us all and I don't care where you live.


PAUL: And Michigan Governor Rick Snyder pledging to stay on the response to the water crisis.


GOV. RICK SNYDER (R), MICHIGAN: Obviously, Flint with the water crisis, we're on the ground solving it. I'm committed to getting that done.


PAUL: So, where do we go moving forward here?

Let's talk to attorney Page Pate about this.

So, Page, we know that two out of three of these men have pled not guilty. Do you foresee a trial here or plea deals?

PAGE PATE, ATTORNEY: Well, a trial is certainly possible. I don't think it is going to be so easy to prove that all of these individuals knew exactly what they were doing and committed willful misconduct in office. But these investigations usually start at the bottom, work their way to the top.

So, I wouldn't be surprised at all if one or more of these individuals who have been charged want to work out a deal with the government. They go in and say, look, I was just doing my job, I reported it to my supervisors all the way up, perhaps to the governor's office. They just told me to do what they told me to do.

PAUL: That's my question. A lot of people are calling for the governor to be charged in this as well. There is no evidence at this point that he was involved, but what is the likelihood, when you look at cases like this that the top dog, that the governor in this case, would have absolutely no knowledge of what was happening?

PAGE: Well, you would expect a governor to know what's going on when there is a change that dramatic on the water supply in Flint, Michigan. The question is how much did the governor know about the testing, about the evidence that was turned in? Was the governor part of some bigger conspiracy to cover up what problem had occurred once they made this decision to change? The state is going to need to find witnesses who can put this decision in the governor's office and perhaps one of the three people who have been charged with do that, but right now we don't know.

PAUL: How vulnerable is the city and the state in terms of lawsuits here?

PAGE: That's a great question. Normally governments are immune from this type of lawsuit, because as long as they're doing their job, they can't be sued. But if you can show that there is some criminal activity or some intentional wrongdoing, then all of a sudden they are subject to class action lawsuits, individual lawsuits. And if those lawsuits go forward, the damages here are dramatic.

PAUL: We heard from Mike Glasgow, the Flint utilities administrator, who's charged with tampering with evidence, which is a felony and willful neglect of duty, basically saying, I'm paraphrasing, I was just following orders, I was just doing what they told me to do.

Is that a true defense?

PAGE: No, it's not. You can't follow an order that is illegal conduct. Even if somebody tells you to break the law and you break the law, then you've broken the law.

PAUL: Let me, based on what we know about this case, is it possible that he did not know he was breaking the law?

PAGE: I think that's hard because he knew that the test came back different from what his supervisors were asking him to report. He intentionally excluded certain results, which made the test misleading. So, I find it impossible to believe that someone with his knowledge, his experience did not know what would happen when he provided these results which were not accurate and not complete.

PAUL: All right. Good to know.

Page Pate, appreciate you being here.

PATE: Thank you, Christi.

PAUL: As always. Thank you.

Victor, I want to send it back to you there in Minnesota.

BLACKWELL: Christi, thank you so much and here outside of Paisley Park where Prince lived and where he was found dead on Thursday. And now, after his death, because it was such a private person, there were many elements of his personality that we did not know.

Also, one thing maybe you did not know about Prince that he had game. We'll hear about his skills on the basketball court. That's coming up.


BLACKWELL: Welcome back. I'm Victor Blackwell, outside Paisley Park where Prince lived and was found dead on Thursday. His fans knew of his love of music, his love of style and fashion. But maybe they weren't aware of his deep love for basketball, both as a fan and a player.

Let's go to Coy Wire now with more on Prince's love of the game -- Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: Victor -- Prince, he loved sports in general. He loved his hometown teams. The Viking, the Timberwolves, the Twins, the Lynx, but he was an athlete himself, played sports in junior high and high school.

[07:55:04] And apparently, basketball was one of his first loves. One thing for sure, check this out. He looked the part. Check out this picture from middle school. That's Prince. The afro, the size there.

Now, he was 5-foot nothing. Only 5-foot-2 but he could run up and down that court faster than a little red Corvette.

CNN spoke to Prince former basketball coach after he learned of Prince's passing.


AL NUNESS, PRINCE'S HS BASKETBALL COACH: He was a decent ballplayer. Small, quick, played very good defense, was the type of penetrating guard that was -- would get into the middle and pass the ball off very well. He wasn't a big scorer. Very kind of low key, but he could play the game. He loved it.


WIRE: Competitive and that same competitive nature is probably what made him one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

BLACKWELL: All right. Coy, thanks so much. I think you're reminding people a lot of that Dave Chappelle show sketch if they haven't found it, go find that.

As soon as I read about that, yes, right, that love of basketball. I went back and watch it.

Coy, thanks so much. There's a lot more to tell you this morning.

Next our of your NEW DAY starts right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: Well, how good it is to see you. Just about 8:00 on a Saturday morning. Good morning to you. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning. I'm live from Paisley Park, here in Chanhassen, Minnesota, with coverage all morning on the life and legacy of Prince,.

But first we want to go back to Atlanta.