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CNN International: Pope Improving, Could Leave Hospital Within Next Few Days; Trump Expected to Appear in Court Tuesday; Officials Release Some Emergency Calls of Deadly Rampage at Nashville School Shooting; Jury Finds Paltrow Not Liable in Ski Collision Trial. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired March 31, 2023 - 04:30   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: The Vatican says that the Pope Francis's health is improving and that he could in fact leave the hospital within the next few days. Sources tell us that the pontiff has spent a second restful night at Rome's Camilli Hospital. He's been there since Wednesday after complaining of breathing problems. And Barbie Nadeau is live from Rome. Barbie, this is all sounding very encouraging.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's right. The Vatican issued a statement last night saying he was responding to the antibiotics for his respiratory infection. And he tweeted from his Twitter account, Pontifex.

I am touched by the many messages received in these hours and I express my gratitude for the closeness and prayer.

And you know people around him say that he is doing a little bit of work. He's reading the newspaper. He's having breakfast, things like that.

You know, this is a very important week coming up, and it might take some sort of divine intervention to get him, you know, to celebrate the Palm Sunday mass this coming weekend. But everyone around the world, Catholics and non-Catholics alike are hoping that he can in some way be well enough to participate in the Easter week festivities a week from now, Bianca.

NOBILO: Barbie Nadeau in Rome, thank you.

In a few days Donald Trump is expected to leave his Florida home and surrender in New York on numerous charges of business fraud. Just ahead, we'll hear what some of his strongest supporters have to say about the former president's indictment.



NOBILO: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Bianca Nobilo. And here are some of today's top stories for you. Donald Trump is indicted by a grand jury in New York. Sources tell CNN

that the former U.S. president faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud. He's expected to appear in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday.

Evan Gershkovich, an American reporter for the "Wall Street Journal," is detained in Russia on suspicion of espionage. The "Wall Street Journal" categorically rejects the allegations.

And the Vatican says that Pope Francis' health is improving, and he could be released in the next few days. The 86-year-old pontiff is receiving antibiotics for a bronchitis infection.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to surrender next Tuesday in New York City after he was indicted on what sources say are more than 30 counts related to business fraud. A few dozen supporters gathered outside Trump's Florida home after the news broke late Thursday. Details of the charges remain sealed. For the latest. Here's CNN's Alayna Treene in Washington.


ALAYNA TREENE, CNN REPORTER: So, Trump's team is scrambling. They were totally caught off guard on Thursday, even though they had been expecting a potential indictment for some time, they didn't think it was going to come this soon. Now one of Trump's advisers told me shortly after the indictment that they were, quote, blindsided by the timing. They believed, like much of the media have been reporting on Wednesday, that the grand jury would be breaking for the religious holidays and potential indictment wouldn't come until mid April.

But in recent days, I would argue that the Trump team had increasingly began to question whether the Manhattan district attorney's case was falling apart. We saw Donald Trump himself right on Truth Social just hours before the indictment, that he is, quote, gained such respect for the New York grand jury and believed that they were perhaps reconsidering an indictment, which obviously was not the case.

And just to take a step back, as much as we've seen Donald Trump lean into his own defense and try to project confidence that he'll come out on top at the end of this, including in the statement that he released shortly after learning of the indictment. This is really a jarring moment for him. He now has to go through the process of getting arrested and getting fingerprinted.

And while Trump himself and his team believe that indictment will ultimately help him politically, he doesn't want to be indicted. This is a point that his advisers have acknowledged to me over the past several weeks over and over again.

It also reminds me of reporting I did on Donald Trump during impeachment. He did not want to have impeached president on his resume, regardless of how much it may have routed his face behind him, and regardless of whether his advisors and others thought that it would benefit him politically in the long run. Now what he's facing, though, is not an impeachment. It's a criminal

indictment, and he's virtually no control over how this legal process will play out.

Elena Treene, CNN Washington.


NOBILO: For more legal analysis, I'm joined now by Bernarda Villalona, a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor in New York. It's great to have you on the program. Thanks so much for joining us.


NOBILO: So, let's begin with a simple question. What is next now in this legal process?

VILLALONA: Well, the next step in this legal process for Donald Trump is that he's going to have to surrender, meaning that he will have to come from whether it's Florida or wherever he situation -- situated to New York.

And when he comes to New York he's going to be presented in front of a judge. But before he's even presented in front of a judge, he has to go to the arrest process. Which means that he has to be fingerprinted and a photograph known as a mug shot has to be taken from him.

Also he will be given a New York State identification number, because now he is a person has gone through the arrest process. Once he goes before a judge, a judge would notify him of what his charges are. The official indictment will be unsealed. So, he will know whether he's facing just misdemeanor charges or misdemeanor and felony charges.

The charges will be read out loud to him if he chooses to, and from there, he has an opportunity to either plead guilty or not guilty. And then the judge has the ultimate determination of whether to release him on his own recognizance, which is probably highly likely because it's a crime that is non-violent.

So after that, we'll get another court date. Actually a few court days to determine whether they'll be hearings and motions. But this is the first step in a long, drawn-out legal process, criminal legal process for the former president.

NOBILO: And what else would we expect to see at the arraignment reportedly next Tuesday? Who will be presiding? Might there be cameras? What more can you tell us?

VILLALONA: So, well, New York is not automatic that cameras are allowed in the courtroom. The judge has to make the determination whether he will allow cameras in the courtroom to photograph or videotape or do one or the other because it's not automatic. It maybe possible that he may just allow one photographer and one videographer.

[04:40:00] But it's all going to be to the discretion of the judge. Because, of course, Donald Trump's camp and the defense attorneys need to preserve the record and say that the unnecessary publicity may be able to determine in terms of make it highly unlikely that he'll get a fair trial in New York. But the reality is that he is the former president, so it's going to be highly unlikely that anyone will be able to sit on a jury and have not heard about this case.

But aside from that, it's going to be a quick proceeding, normal than five or 10 minutes. It is very quite common. Hundreds of arrangements take place in New York on a daily basis.

NOBILO: And Bernarda, for the benefit of our international viewers, constitutionally there would be nothing to prohibit Donald Trump for continuing to run for president facing these charges.

VILLALONA: That is correct. At this point he is presumed innocent and what he has is open charges. He hasn't been convicted of anything so he can still run for president with an open indictment.

NOBILO: But if convicted, the former president would be facing jail time.

VILLALONA: That is correct. So, if former President Donald Trump is convicted of a misdemeanor, the most he can face is one year incarceration. If he is convicted of a felony, the most he can faces four years incarceration. But I'll have to say, based on my experience of having been a prosecutor here in New York for 13 years and a criminal defense attorney, that is highly unlikely that any judge on these charges that we presume of falsifying business records that he will be sentenced to any period of incarceration on these charges that we think he's going to be facing.

NOBILO: Bernarda Villalona, thank you so much for joining us today. That was an incredibly helpful and insightful breakdown. Really appreciate it.

VILLALONA: Thank you.

NOBILO: People a grieving in Nashville, Tennessee, after three children and three adults were killed in a mass shooting on Monday at an elementary school. Coming up, chilling new details of the attack and the latest on the investigation.



NOBILO: Nashville officials have released some of the emergency calls from Monday's deadly mass shooting at a private elementary school. The audio captures some of the tense moments as the attack unfolded with caller's whispering as they hid from gunfire. CNN's Carlos Suarez has the latest on the investigation from Nashville.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We think we hear gunshots.

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): New 911 calls released from inside of the Covenant School as shots were being fired another.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I hear another shot.

OPERATOR: You did?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm hearing more shots. Yes, please hurry up, I'm hearing more shots.

OPERATOR: They're coming. They're coming. Just try -- OK, just try to stay quiet. I don't know what's going on there.


SUAREZ (voice-over): A Nashville City council member tells CNN he's been told the FBI will review a notebook that was left behind by 28- year-old Audrey Hale. And that once that review is complete, the writings should be made public. The development comes as we learn more about the efforts to prevent the tragedy. CNN obtained audio of a call made by Hale's former teammate calling for help.

AVERIANNA PATTON, AUDREY HALE'S FORMER TEAMMATE: I received a very, very weird message from a friend on Instagram. I think it was like a suicidal thing.

SUAREZ (voice-over): Averianna Patton received messages on Instagram from Hale less than 20 minutes before the shooting. According to Patton, at around 9:57 in the morning, Hale wrote, quote, something bad is about to happen.

During the call, Patton is heard saying she first called a suicide prevention hotline at 10:13 in the morning, was passed on to the sheriff's department. Then to a nonemergency line before finally getting ahold of someone at 10:21 in the morning when the shooting was already underway.

PATTON: I'm just trying to see can anybody, I just don't want it on my conscience if can somebody check on her. Only thing I have is her Instagram.

SUAREZ (voice-over): Between the first call of a shooter incident at about 10:13 in the morning, to when the shooter was killed, 911 received 39 emergency calls, 23 of those related to the shooting, according to the Metro Nashville Department of Emergency Communications.

We spoke with Hale's former teacher who said she noticed Hale appeared to be grieving the death of a friend over the last year.

MARIA COLOMY, HALE'S FORMER TEACHER AT NOSSI COLLEGE: And in the grieving process, there is a part of it that's anger and rage. And she may not have known that.

SUAREZ (voice-over): Hale took six lives on Monday. three nine-year- old children, a substitute teacher, a custodian, and the head of the Covenant School, Katherine Koonce, who may have died trying to protect the children.

A funeral for Evelyn Dieckhaus is set for Friday afternoon at Woodmont Christian Church, according to the senior pastor, Clay Stauffer. Those attending are asked to wear pink or bright spring colors instead of black. Another funeral will be held on Saturday for Hallie Scruggs at Covenant Presbyterian Church, where her father is the lead pastor.

SUAREZ: At least three 911 calls were released on Thursday. We're told that the FBI is still going through the shooter's notebook and that any information related to a motive or the writings that were left behind by the shooter will not be released this week.

Carlos Suarez, CNN, Nashville, Tennessee.


NOBILO: Coming up a jury rules on the lawsuit involving actress Gwyneth Paltrow and the collision she had years ago with another skier. That story ahead.



NOBILO: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has won her civil trial regarding a collision that she had with another person while they were skiing in 2016. A jury in Utah found that she was not liable for the accident. Terry Sanderson sued the Oscar winning actress of injuries that he said he suffered in the mishap at a ski resort. Paltrow countersued and was awarded $1 in damages plus attorney's fees. CNN's Veronica Miracle has the latest.


VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Gwyneth Paltrow was stoic when she found out that she had won her case and that the jury was awarding her that symbolic $1 in damages that she was seeking.

The jury deliberated for less than three hours. And they found that the man who accused Paltrow of crashing into him and causing him a lasting brain injury was actually at fault. This case was really a he said she said situation. Both sides completely argued two different stories.

The plaintiff, Terry Sanderson, said Paltrow skied into him, causing lasting injuries, including brain damage and broken ribs and then skied off. He was suing her for $3.2 million in damages. Paltrow claimed Sanderson skied into her. She countersued for a symbolic $1 in damages and won.

After the verdict was read, the two had a brief interaction. Here's what Sanderson says unfolded.

TERRY SANDERSON, SUED GWYNETH PALTROW: In her exact words, I wish you well. Very kind in her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's all, she said?

SANDERSON: That's all she said.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And did you respond?

SANDERSON: I said, thank you, dear.

MIRACLE (voiceover): Paltrow said in a statement that: I felt that acquiescing to a false claim compromised my integrity. End quote.

Her attorney said she is very happy with the outcome.

STEVE OWENS, GWYNETH PALTROW'S ATTORNEY: We're pleased with this outcome and appreciate the judge and jury's thoughtful handling of this case. Gwyneth has a history of advocating for what she believes in. This situation was no different. And she will continue to stand for what she believes is right.

MIRACLE: Local observers packed the courtroom today after many moments during the week-long plus trial went viral all over the world.

Veronica Miracle, CNN, Park City, Utah.


NOBILO: And here's a look at some of the stories trending this hour.

Actors Brian Cox and Alan Cumming are ready to spice up our lives.


BRIAN COX, ACTOR: Say yes, that's a good sign.

ALAN CUMMING, ACTOR: I am a closet Spice Girls' fan.

COX AND CUMMINGS, SINGING: If you wanna be my lover? You got to get my friends. Making last forever, friendship never ends.


NOBILO: The two Scottish thespians jammed out to the Spice Girls' "Carpool Karaoke" the series.


They also talked about Cox's role as domineering patriarch Logan Roy in "Succession." The new episode of "Carpool Karaoke," the series is out now on Apple TV+.


DOLLY PARTON, SINGER, SONGWRITER: Are you ready for the party of the year, Garth?

GARTH BROOKS, SINGER: You know I am Dolly.

PARTON: Let's party, party, party.


NOBILO: These two countries legends are working 9 to 5 to get their thunder rolling at the party of the year. And that is the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards. Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks will host the event live from Frisco, Texas, on May 11th. Pardon said that she can't believe that she and Brooks have never worked together before. The awards show will be streamed live on Prime Video.

Colombia is planning to spend about $3.5 million to relocate 70 hippos from drug trafficker Pablo Escobar's private menagerie. Some are going to Mexico, but most will be flown to the sanctuary in India. Escobar had a collection of exotic animals at his ranch when he died in 1993. The hippo population started with just one male and three females.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Bianca Nobilo. "CNN THIS MORNING," will have much more on the indictment of Donald Trump after a quick break, right here on CNN. Have a good weekend.