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Homeowners Fight The Fire; Teen Accused Of Underage Sex In Court; Dzhokar Tsarnaev's Injuries; Explosions Rocks Navy Base; Embattled Mayor May Return To Work; Idaho Fires Keep Growing; Rains Soaking Southeast; Scientists Raise Alarm On Warming; Under Pressure To Pay Interns; Dick Van Dyke Saved From Burning Car; Kaitlyn Hunt Trial; Beau Biden Being Treated at Cancer Center for Confusion and Weakness Spell; Seven Bear Attacks This Week

Aired August 20, 2013 - 13:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Some may call them heroic, others say they're crazy. Either way, some homeowners have decided not to leave their homes while a fire in Idaho quickly is spreading. How they are now working alongside the firefighters.

Then, a young woman accused of having an underage same-sex relationship is facing felony charges. A hearing is going on right now. We'll have more on her story this hour.

And we are on Filner watch. Will the San Diego mayor return to work today? And will he resign after 16 women have accused him of inappropriate behavior?

This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. We are learning more about the condition of suspected Boston marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, when he was finally captured by police. Poppy Harlow is in New York with more details about just how badly he was injured. What kind of details are we learning now?

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Suzanne. Well, we're getting these details from these court documents. These were just released late yesterday. They come from the U.S. Attorneys' office. And they do detail what the trauma surgeon who operated on Tsarnaev after he have captured by police, what he says about the extent of the injuries. You see the photos there that we've seen previously just showing him so bloodied, so battered.

But I want to walk through what these documents call severe injuries and, quote, "multiple gunshot wounds." And the most serious injury was a gunshot wound through the left side of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev actually. It exited apparently his face on the lower left-hand side. That was a high powered injury, that's what they're calling it. And that actually affected -- it meant a skull base fracture, injuries to the middle of his ear, one of his vertebrae, his (INAUDIBLE), his mouth. That were the most severe injuries.

This court document also details multiple gunshot wounds to his extremities, and these are from testimony that his trauma surgeon gave just days after he was captured back in April. You see the extent of the wounds there on your screen. And it's apparent that these are likely from the shootout that Dzhokar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev had with police in Watertown before the manhunt for them concluded with his capture. Although there were gunshots fired, as you know, by authorities when Dzhokar Tsarnaev was in that boat, which you see right there in that surveillance video. But it's unclear whether or not he was actually hit in that encounter with authorities.

But I also I found something very interesting in here, Suzanne, and that is the fact that they talked about his state of mind. Was he lucid enough to answer questions? His doctor said, yes, he knows he's here. He is capable of answering your questions, many of them were nods. One no response but he was lucid enough to answer authorities. This is the first time we're able to see and read exactly what those injuries were.

MALVEAUX: All right, Poppy Harlow. Thank you, Poppy, appreciate it.

It was hours ago, an explosion rocked a Navy base. This was in New Jersey. Eight people were injured, one seriously. This happened at Naval Weapons Station Earle. That is just south of Middletown, New Jersey. Now, the Navy says that workers were performing maintenance on a vessel at the time of the explosion. Damage was contained in the boathouse area and an investigation is now underway.

Now, He's accused of inappropriate behavior by at least 16 women. Well, he is now facing a recall campaign as well as the city has changed the locks as well on his office. But there is a chance that San Diego mayor, Bob Filner, could still show up for work today. Filner has admitted that he acted inappropriately and he spent two weeks undergoing therapy for that. Well, now, he does say that he's not going to step down but there are some efforts underway to change his mind.

Casey Wian is joining us from San Diego. And there have been different reports here about where he's actually been located, if he's meeting with reporters, if he's actually doing his job. Are there any signs at all about what's taking place today on his first day back?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, we really don't know. We are outside of city hall. This is the entrance that the mayor normally comes into his workspace. We have been out here all morning. We have not seen him yet.

What we have seen though just in the last half hour or so, I'm going to ask my photojournalist, Greg Haynes (ph), to make sort of an uncomfortable camera move over there. You see that black SUV?


WIAN: That is actually the mayor's vehicle. Two members of his security detail just showed up about 20 minutes or so ago without the mayor. Now, we suspect that he may actually be about two blocks from here where there's a lawyer's office and these mediation negotiations have been going on. We're see that security detail actually walking toward the mayor's vehicle right now as we speak. We think that perhaps they dropped the mayor off at that building. He was there yesterday during these negotiations with members of the city council, the city attorney. Gloria Allred who represents one of his alleged victims was there yesterday. These negotiations centered around all of these investigations going on into the mayor and his political future. No one though is talking about those negotiations, where they stand, what is actually being discussed. We do know that all of the parties know, except for the mayor, we haven't seen him, but many of the other parties that we saw yesterday are back in that building. And so, we can say that those mediation negotiations have resumed again today, --


WIAN: -- Suzanne. They went for about nine hours or so yesterday.

MALVEAUX: And, Casey, we see there's a lot of attention being paid to the vehicle there. I mean, do we think the mayor is potentially inside the vehicle or those are just --

WIAN: Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: -- some folks that are related to the office? Can you hear me?

WIAN: Suzanne, I'm not hearing you if you're talking to me.

MALVEAUX: Oh, all right. We're going to let you go and maybe we can get you back there to ask some additional questions about that.

Across Idaho right now, there are more than a thousand firefighters. They are battling these wildfires. More than 100,000 acres so far have burned. This is in the resort area of Sun Valley. There are thousands of homes that are in danger right now. And the residents, they are under mandatory evacuation.

Well, Ted Rowlands, he is watching the fires. This is in Hailey, Idaho. And from what we understand, less than 10 percent now of this fire under control. I mean, are they making any progress? How quickly can they actually get a handle on this thing?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are making progress, Suzanne. Think of the fire as a Packman or a seed (ph). They are attacking from the top and the bottom. Those are the concern areas. But yesterday was a good day for them. They made some progress. The containment levels are still down around 10 percent, as you mentioned, however today's going to be pivotal. What they are concerned about is the lightning strikes in the forecast for the next three days, not only here but across the rest of the region. The bottom line here is though firefighters are cautiously optimistic, if they can make progress today from the air and they just started flying their assets, they think that they can get some -- get a hold of this fire and get some people back in their homes.

MALVEAUX: And, Ted, if you can, just show us what's behind you. ROWLANDS: Well, this is the fire camp. You mentioned the thousand firefighters. Well, this is where they come and sleep at night. They sleep in tents. They come in with their vehicles. Private firefighters are also here. They've been hired by insurance companies to basically protect high dollar homes. They come in here, check in with the fire command center. This is where all of the orders are made on a daily basis and where a lot of people have been sleeping and eating for the last week and a half, 10 days.

MALVEAUX: Yes, probably you as well. All right, Ted, thank you, appreciate it.

As we mentioned, there are thousands of homes that are in the area that are under an order of evacuating but residents in this tiny town, this is actually called Atlanta, Idaho, they have decided that they're going to stay, try to hold their ground against this impending fire. And one of the residents, Greg Johns, who's joining us on the line from Atlanta, Idaho. Greg, first of all, can you hear us?


MALVEAUX: OK, good. Thanks for joining us here. Give us a sense of who is with you. Are there a lot of people around you here? Is this a really small community that's decided to stay?

JOHNS: I would say the majority of the permanent residents or the year-round residents are here. A lot of cabin owners have left and the older people -- elderly confirmed have left, so.

MALVEAUX: And, Greg, why are you staying? I mean, there's an emergency evacuation, mandatory actually, to get you guys out of there because it is so dangerous.

JOHNS: Actually, yesterday was not -- the winds helped us yesterday. And so, they lifted the mandatory evacuation. But there were quite a few people who were involved with the volunteer fire department who have stayed and by the request of our fire chief. And so, we're here -- we're still actually waiting for equipment. But once the equipment arrives, we're going to be setting up around town. We know, as I heard earlier, that there were reporting that there is a potential for thunder storms. And so, here, there is the potential for unstable air. And so, they're concerned that, once again, since the fire is only about four miles away from us that it could push toward us. And all we need is one afternoon with good winds for it to hit us, so.

MALVEAUX: And, Greg, have you seen any signs of smoke or anything or are you just waiting, at this point?

JOHNS: Oh, yes. There's big fire storms every afternoon. So, the wind picks up about noon and really blows, you know, at 3:00, 4:00 in the afternoon and that's the time of biggest concern.

MALVEAUX: And how are you protecting your home? What are you doing?

JOHNS: People are irrigating and clearing brush, doing things like that, so that if something happens, you know, there's -- we can mitigate the problems. But, like I said, once the -- once some equipment arrives, there are some tankers trucks from the forest service, there are some hot shot crews that have, this morning I believe, have just hit the front lines of the fire up there, so they're going to start working it. And as of yesterday, there were -- you know, there was a lot of air power that was beginning. So, we're starting to see -- you know, it was a little bit better yesterday. Two days ago was a horrible firestorm and it really looked like it was coming for us. So, that night we had an emergency meeting at 11:30 at the highway district and they were basically telling everybody to leave. But, you know, like I said, at the request of the fire chief, --


JOHNS: -- a lot of us stayed.

MALVEAUX: Is there -- is there a point -- Greg, I just want to wrap it here. Is there a point that you -- that you will leave if you realize it's just too dangerous to stay?

JOHNS: Well, everybody has, you know, everything pretty much packed up in their vehicles. So, if there is -- you know, we'll be able to see it hit the ridge. And so, at that point, everybody can just, you know, drive.

MALVEAUX: All right.

JOHNS: The firefighter is really not going to impact our -- you know, the road that we have to get out of here on. So, we're hopeful that if, you know, it gets that close that we can get out.

MALVEAUX: All right. Yes, Greg, we are hopeful for you as well. We hope that you stay safe. And when the time comes that you certainly do have to leave that you take that road and you're able to get out of your community.

Greg, thank you for talking with us, appreciate it. We're going to stay in tune with you as well, touch.

Very different story. In other parts of the country here, we are talking simply about rain, lots of it soaking the southeast. Some of the damage the flooding did around -- this is Statesboro, Georgia.

I want to bring in our Chad Myers because the rain has been going on for days and days and days.


MALVEAUX: Is there any break? Any let up for all this?

MYERS: Slightly. It's less muggy today. There will be less storms today widespread. But what we've had the last couple of days and why you see pictures from Statesboro and not Atlanta from yesterday is that you get a storm. It starts, it fires up and then it doesn't move. And today, it looks like those storms are along the Gulf Coast. At the Gulf Coast, the beaches can handle the water a little bit better than the areas inland. This is a five-day map of where it has rained across the south. Panama City 10 inches of rainfall, Albany over towards Savannah. Here is Macon, Georgia this year, 55 inches of rainfall this year so far.

Now, let me go back out to the fire lines where they'd love to see some rain, 4.47 inches of rain in Boise. And that Greg was just talking about those thunderstorms, those are the dangerous ones. They can produce winds that are really uncanny and they can blow those firestorms in different directions. So, those people out there, we're really wishing for the best but I don't sew see a lot of rain for them yet.

MALVEAUX: All right, Chad, thank you, appreciate it.

The "New York Times" says that a report to the U.N. finds, make no mistake about it, that humans are to blame for global warming.

Then, should interns get paid? Well, there's a group of unpaid White House interns, they want all interns across the country to make some money, saying no person should do a job without pay. But isn't an internship all about the experience?

And Dick Van Dyke gets trapped inside a burning car. A witness comes to his rescue. How he escaped straight ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.


MALVEAUX: Happening right now in a Florida courtroom, a judge will decide whether or not this young woman should stay in jail while she waits for her trial. She's accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl when she was 18. In Florida, that is a felony. It's a case that is causing a lot of emotions on both sides, as you can imagine. This is a live picture of the courtroom inside the courtroom. Now Kaitlyn Hunt, she could face 15 years from prison if she is convicted. I want to bring in John Zarella who takes a look at the background of this case.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kaitlyn Hunt appeared to be a frightened 18-year-old, her freedom on the line.

KAITLYN HUNT, DEFENDANT: I'm scared of losing the rest of my life and not being able to go to college and be around kids and my sisters and my family.

ZARRELLA: That was February. She'd been accused of two counts of lewd and lascivious battery. The alleged victim, a minor, a 14-year- old female schoolmate.

Hunt and her family claim it was consensual.

KELLEY HUNT SMITH, DEFENDANT'S MOTHER: To hold someone accountable for a felony for having a relationship with a peer seems outrageous to me.

ZARRELLA: Under Florida law, a 14-year-old can't give consent, so if she wanted to stay out of jail pending the outcome of her trial, Hunt was ordered not to have any contact with the 14-year-old.

Prosecutors now say she did, and not just once or twice. They say they have 20,000 text messages between the two since the no-contact order.

In one, prosecutors say Hunt wrote, quote, "No matter what if they find out we talked, I'm going to jail until trial starts," end quote.

In another, prosecutors say there was this exchange. The 14-year-old texted, quote, "The assistant state attorney asked me today if anyone saw us in the bathroom when we would do stuff. Should I have said names?" Hunt responds, "No. Say nobody," end quote.

Prosecutors say the texts were sent on an iPod Hunt put in the 14- year-old's school locker after the court ordered no contact.

And there were videos sent, too, sexually explicit, prosecutors charge. If that's not enough, prosecutors are accusing Kaitlyn's mother of sending texts to the minor.

In one, quote, "Please delete everything and make sure no one finds out you've spoken to Kate at all," end quote.

Neither Kaitlyn or her mother would comment and their attorney has not returned CNN's calls.


MALVEAUX: All right, so John is joining us from Miami. John I understand that you've learned additional information that there's now an additional charge that has filed? What's behind that?

ZARELLA: Yeah, that's correct. Well, just based on the fact she had, according to prosecutors, sent these on an iPod, the video, still pictures, the text messages. They have added a third count. So not only the two lewd and lascivious counts, now the state is added transmission of material harmful to a minor by electronic equipment.

Now Kaitlyn Hunt faces another very, very, very serious charge. And you know, Suzanne, the irony behind all this is that just last month the state had offered her a deal where if she pleaded guilty to one felony count that could be expunged from her record later. and two misdemeanors, in exchange she would get no jail time, no ankle bracelet, she wouldn't have a sexual predator label attached to her name forever, and they didn't accept it and now prosecutors say that deal is gone.

MALVEAUX: All right. We'll be following this case closely. Thank you, John. Appreciate it.

The vice president son's is now undergoing some tests. This is after feeling disoriented and weak. We'll have more details on Beau Biden, coming up.


MALVEAUZ: Vice President Joe Biden's son, Beau Biden, was evaluated at a hospital. This is after what is being called an episode of disorientation and weakness. The 44-year-old is Delaware's attorney general, and he says the incident happened after a long drive while he was on vacation. I want to bring in our own Elizabeth Cohen to talk about this. How serious do we want to think this is?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDIAL CORRESPONDENT: I want to emphasis how much we don't know. What we know is basically what you just said. I think what has a lot of people concerned and asking questions is the hospital he's at which is MD Anderson in Houston, which of course is a cancer center. That's all they do. And so, he's being evaluated at a cancer center.

When we think of disorientation and weakness we don't think of cancer, but in fact that can happen. We know that Mr. Biden had a stroke back in 2010. I know this sounds weird but strokes and cancer can be related. There's some cancers that can lead to you having a stroke. This is all a maybe, maybe, maybe. Again, we don't know what's going on. But there certainly is concern when you hear that someone is being evaluated at a center that only looks at -- only evaluate and treat cancer. That's all they do.

MALVEAUX: Do we know what kind of tests or things they might be looking at?

COHEN: We don't. Everything we know is what you read. We don't know what kind of tests he's having done. One of the questions they're going to ask is the stroke that he had in 2010 and the disorientation and weakness he had more recently, are those two things connected and what role, if any, does cancer play is a question that comes to our minds because he's at a cancer center. There are pieces of the puzzle that need to be put together.

MALVEAUX: All right. Elizabeth thank you. Appreciate it.

Well, you remember the horrific limo fire on the San Francisco bridge. Well, that was the one that killed a bride to be and five members of her bachelorette party. Now, investigators finally know what actually happened, what caused that fire. We'll tell you next.

And then, in the past few weeks seven people were attacked by bears. One was a jogger.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was thinking I'm going to die. I'm not going to survive this. This bear is going to kill me.


MALVEAUX: Her experience, up next. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.


MALVEAUX: Bride to be and four friends celebrating her wedding die in a horrible limo fire. Now investigators say the fire was an accident, no criminal charges will be filed. You probably remember this tragedy. This happened in May, as a limo crossed the San Francisco bridge. Now, investigators say it was friction between the car's drive shaft and the rear floorboard that started that fire.

The 12-year-old Michigan girl who was mauled by a bear, well she is now speaking out about this whole ordeal. This is Abby Wetherell. She was out jogging at night when she was ambushed by a black bear outside her home. She said she tried to run at first but it just took her down. Then she decided to play dead.


ABBY WETHERELL, BEAR ATTACK SURVIVOR: I thought I had nothing else to lose. It might save my life so why not do it. That's what I did. The bear ran away and looked back and ran away more. He just kept looking back at me. I'm thinking he's going to come back and kill me. Then it just ran away.


Wetherell had to get dozens of stitches for the deep gashes on her leg. She also had cuts and scraps on her face. Now Michigan officials say the incident was extremely rare. They usually only have only two case a year where bears come into contact with humans resulting in injuries. There have been seven bear maulings nationwide since last Thursday.

We'll have more after the break.