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Earthquake Survivors Pulled From Rubble 8 Days After Quake; Police Confirm Note Found On Michigan State Univ. Killer; Source: Defense To Decide Soon Whether Alex Muradaugh Will Testify. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired February 14, 2023 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: It is hard to believe but it's so wonderful to be able to report more stories of survivors still being rescued from the rubble in Turkey. Two women were pulled from the rubble just today, eight days after that massive earthquake struck the region. They spend more than 200 hours buried underneath these collapsed buildings. And also, a 10-year-old girl was found alive after all of this time as well.

Nada Bashir. She's standing by for us in Istanbul, Turkey with more on this. Nada, people still being pulled out alive. It's just amazing to see amongst the tragedy of it all.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: It really is incredible to see these remarkable rescues. And I have to say, Kate, there has been a sense that hope is dwindling that any more survivors could be found but in the early hours of this morning, the rescue team said they could still hear voices beneath the rubble. And as you said that we've already seen further rescues taking place today, more than 200 hours beneath the rubble for many of them.

In the city of Hatay, one woman was pulled out of the rubble after spending 203 hours buried there. And this is the story that we're hearing time and time again today but I have to say these stories are becoming few and far between. And as we see the death toll rising day in and day out and topping now 37,000 across both Turkey and North West Syria.

There is a real sense that the window for finding survivors is closing and closing quickly. But search and rescue teams have traveled in from across the globe and they are continuing with their operations but this is shifting now from more of a rescue operation to more of a recovery operation. And there is a real focus now on providing aid and humanitarian assistance to those who were lucky enough to survive the earthquake, Kate.


BOLDUAN: Yes. Nada, thank you for that. There's also this that we're tracking here. A new report on inflation, showing that it is easing for the seventh straight month. But like most everything with the economy these days, there's more to it than just that. So, Christine Romans is here with us once again to explain what does this all mean. What does the report mean for the Fed's efforts to try to calm down and stop inflation?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think it means the Fed's work is not done here. And I think you can expect the Fed to continue to raise interest rates here. 6.4 percent was the annual inflation rate. That is -- right, an improvement from the pace we saw in December, improving seven months in a row. But month over month, you saw inflation growth of 0.5 percent and that's a little bit troubling. Shelter, the big reason their rent prices up a record 8 percent. So, anybody who's noticed their rent is being raised, well, we can see that in these numbers.

So, the trend there is what we want to see but there's still just so much more work to be done. And again, when you look at the next chart, I'm going to show you, you know, a little bit of a spike for the first time in three months, so that's when you dig in these numbers, you can start to see the signs that show us there's still more work to be done. Food up 10 percent year over year, gasoline prices ticking up a little bit, and shelter again, a record shelter number. So that's something that is a real problem.


ROMANS: You know, you can switch different kinds of cuts of meat, you can't switch where you're living. So, this is why inflation I think is still issue number one for so many Americans (INAUDIBLE)

BOLDUAN: So, do you -- are any prices coming down?

ROMANS: Yes, prices are coming down for televisions. For used cars, those had spiked through the pandemic?

BOLDUAN: Oh, yes. That's right.

ROMAN: -- so, those are coming down. Women's apparel, smartphones, major appliances, those are all down a little bit over the past year, so there's some relief there.

BOLDUAN: All right. Christine, thank you.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BOLDUAN: Still ahead for us. Michigan State Police confirming just moments ago -- Michigan State University Police confirming just moments ago that they are investigating a note found on the map -- that mass shooter that killed three students, critically wounding five others. We're going to speak to the State's Attorney General next.



BOLDUAN: Now this just into CNN. Michigan State University Police just confirmed that a note was found on the gunman. Police located him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound last night. And police say before that is they've laid out in detail this gunman killed three students and injured five others on Michigan State University's campus. Police say the 43-year-old killer had no ties to the school that they're aware of so far. So many questions in the midst of this tragedy.

Joining me right now is Michigan's Attorney General Dana Nessel. Thank you so much, Attorney General, for coming -- for your time. CNN has some additional reporting about this note that I'm just reading, that the note included a threat to two schools in New Jersey. What can you tell us about this?

DANA NESSEL, ATTORNEY GENERAL, MICHIGAN: Yes, we don't yet know what the Nexus says specifically between this particular suspect and that note or if there was any threat. It doesn't appear as though there was. But we sure have a lot of unanswered questions that we're going to be investigating and that the public is going to need answers to.

BOLDUAN: That's so true, Attorney General Do you know -- does the notes speak to the motive at all or the nature of the note, can you give us any detail on that -- just obviously leading to the question of any indication of a motive in that note tying to the mass shooting in Michigan State's campus?

NESSEL: Yes. I can't speak to that yet, but there are a lot of other things that I think we need some immediate answers to, you know. This is an individual who just recently was off probation for a gun offense in the exact same area. We know that he had his probation extended a couple of times, I'm not sure why and I'd like to know that.

We know that the gun that he was carrying, he was obviously carrying illegal -- illegally. He was a convicted felon. It's a crime for him to even possess that weapon. How did he get it? I'd like to know that.

So, there's a lot of unanswered questions and we're going to be digging deep into this to find out if we can figure out what the answers to those questions are. And also understanding that we now at long last, have a legislature in place, as well as a governor that are committed to gun violence protection laws and the passage of those laws. How quickly can we get new laws into place, and is it possible that if we had some of those laws, would they prevented last night's tragedy?

BOLDUAN: Yes. I mean, those are key questions that you are asking that you know the community will want an answer to as well. But you also experienced this tragedy on two levels last night as the Attorney General of the State and also as a parent. I saw that you mentioned in your statement that you put out that your sons are at Michigan State. How are they doing this morning?

NESSEL: They're shaken up like all the kids are, you know. It was a bizarre set of circumstances. And honestly, not one that was surprising to me, unfortunately. But as I was trying to communicate with my special agents who are on the ground there, assisting the FBI, Michigan State Police Department, and others, I'm also communicating with my sons, both of whom are sophomores at the university. One of them had just left one of those locations where the shooting began.


NESSEL: And a neighbor child of -- in the -- you know, a kid who grew up right down the street from us that we've known since he was literally two years old, was actually in lockdown in the Student Union as the shooting began.


And the question was, should anybody try and contact him while this is ongoing, because, of course, nobody wanted to put his life into jeopardy. So, at the same time, I'm trying to communicate so we can find out what's happening from a law enforcement perspective but I'm also approaching it as a parent. And being such a large university, the largest in the state of Michigan, at any given time, you could have 50,000 students, undergrad and graduate students there. Knowing that each one of us in this state knew someone who was on that campus, some of us know dozens or even hundreds of people who were there.

When my wife and I dropped off our kids to college and move them in about a year and a half ago, I remember thinking, it is going to be a miracle if we get these kids through four years of college without some sort of an incident like this taking place because they happen so frequently. And unfortunately, as it turned out, the answer is no, we couldn't get our kids through college without subjecting them to a mass shooting at their school. And that is an incredibly sad statement to make in the United States of America.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Attorney General, it is - thank you for telling us about that. There are a lot of questions left, obviously remaining of what happened with this shooting, but also what to do going forward for -- in Michigan and beyond. As we know, just 15 months ago, it was the deadly shooting at another school in Oxford, Michigan, that this entire community and state is still reeling from and I know you've been dealing with very closely, so thank you for coming on.

NESSEL: Thanks for having me.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. We're going to continue to follow this closely. This is also ahead for us. Alex Murdaugh, is he going to testify in the murder trial of his wife and son for good -- for being charged with the deaths of his wife and son? His defense team is soon going to decide if could -- if he is going to take the stand. We have new reporting on this. That's next.



BOLDUAN: So, a source now tells CNN that Alex Murdaugh's defense team will be deciding soon on whether their client will testify in the trial for allegedly killing his wife and son. Also today, jurors are hearing evidence from the autopsy reports. Now, the court released this video we'll show you that shows Murdaugh's encounter with the first deputy that arrived on the scene that night, something we've seen in court as well.

Randi Kaye is joining us now from the courthouse in South Carolina. Randi, tell us more about your reporting about the possibility of Murdaugh testifying

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, this comes from a source familiar. And it -- basically, I'm being told that he could testify. This source is saying the defense is strongly considering putting Alex Murdaugh on the stand. This is going to be a very last-minute decision. They want to see how the prosecution's case plays out. They are expected to wrap their case tomorrow, so much will depend on where that ends and how that ends. And then they'll decide what to do about Alex Murdaugh.

But there was quite a bit of testimony as well continuing today from this pathologist about the autopsies that she performed on both Paul and Maggie Murdaugh. She did confirm that Paul Murdaugh was shot with a shotgun. The manner of death was homicide. She said the first shot was to the chest that was not fatal. The second shot was to the shoulder and the head, and that was believed to be the fatal shot.

She also said there were no defensive wounds, didn't see any signs of a struggle, and he would have been facing the shooter at the time. So, if it was his father, Kate, as the prosecution alleges, he would have been looking at him. And as far as Maggie Murdaugh goes, she was shot four or five times. And the fatal shots were delivered, Kate, while she was on the ground, including a shot to the back of the head, and the pathologist says there were no signs of a struggle with her either.

And, of course, there is that body cam video that was released by the court. It was redacted, so the most gruesome parts were blurred. But you do see Alex Murdaugh on that video talking to a couple of the deputies from the Colleton County Sheriff's Department. And he offers up his own reason as to why someone would have done this to his family, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Randi, thank you for that reporting. Joining me now for more on this is criminal trial attorney Sara Azari. So, Sara, on this question we've talked about it a little bit before, should we -- should Murdaugh get on the stand? They're going to be making this decision. What -- do you think he should?

SARA AZARI, CRIMINAL TRIAL ATTORNEY: Yes. So, there's two reasons, Kate, why we put our clients on the stand, to humanize and to explain. He does have to explain a few things, right? Because there's this, at least three or four denials, deflections or lies about being at the kennels prior to the murders. The jury is going to want to know, why did he lied. Why is he covering up if you haven't done anything wrong? Why are you lying about it?

The Lies don't make up for the lack of evidence, right? They can be explained. And the question here is who better than Alex Murdaugh to explain that he was panicked, that he had skeletons in the closet, that people were after him, you know. People react differently. I mean 85 percent of my clients who come in contact with law enforcement do lie. They talk -- you know, they say -- they tell half-truths, but I could still get a not guilty if I have a -- you know, plausible explanation for the lie.

So, I think the jury's going to want to hear from him. He has no prior criminal convictions. Yes, he's a bullshit artist, according to all the fraud evidence, but I think he can be rehabilitated. As emotions are raw, he's distraught, he's sad, he's devastated, and I think he's going to be also angry at the prosecutors for singling him out and prosecuting him. Let all that come out. Let the jury decide whether he's credible or not.

BOLDUAN: And one thing that you're -- that we were talking about before is the jury has heard a lot of testimony about DNA from these -- from a forensic expert, and you think -- you -- the way you describe it is a bit of a disaster for the prosecution Why do you think so?

AZARI: I was shocked that they even put this sled -- these two sled agents up yesterday because it just highlighted the lack of evidence. And in a double homicide where this jury is hungry for science, for DNA, they don't have it you know.


Instead, we've been served, you know nothing burger after nothing burger with a side of fraud. And it -- this is really what this case is about. So, now we're hanging on to the blue shirt. Where's the blue shirt? Was he a camo murderer? Was he a preppy murderer? What was he wearing when he shot his, you know, wife and son? I mean, that's not the issue, you know. We need the evidence of murder by Murdaugh.

BOLDUAN: All right, much more to come. It's always good to have you. Thank you.

AZARI: Good to be with you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you all so much for joining us AT THIS HOUR. I'm Kate Bolduan. "INSIDE POLITICS WITH JOHN KING" starts after this break.