tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN April 11, 2012 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT
south korea, grave provocation. >> mass murderer charles manson comes up for parole and for time number 12 the california parole board turned him down. he didn't even show up. he was represented by a court-appointed lawyer who's never met him. that's it for me here. i'm brooke bolduan at the cnn world headquarters. wolf blitzer and "the situation room" begins now. brooke, thanks very much. happening now, breaking news. a senior law enforcement source says george zimmerman will be charged in the trayvon martin shooting death. florida special prosecutor will hold a briefing. we'll see it live right here on cnn. the fight is on as romney turns all his attention to president barack obama and turns a democratic battle cry upside down by accusing president obama of a war against women. the obama campaign is firing
right back. and north korea at this moment getting ready to fire a long-range rocket. why that launch could set up a powder keg in one of the most dangerous corners of the world. i'm wolf blitzer. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> let's begin with the breaking news in a case that has gripped the entire nation. a senior law enforcement source says george zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who shot dead an unarmed teenager trayvon martin will, in fact, be charged. florida's special prosecutor has scheduled a news conference two hours from now. of course, we'll bring that to you live. let's go to cnn's martin savidge. he's in sanford, florida, watching all of this unfold. set the scene for us, martin. what do we know right now? >> reporter: we know that sanford is, of course, the epicenter and right now there is a lot of tension in this town in the leadup to that special announcement that will come from
the special prosecutor at 6:00. what we do know is that she has said quite plainly and this was the press release, the wording and it is very carefully worded. the release says, quote, miss corey is prepared, rather, to release new information regarding the trayvon martin shooting death. it doesn't say anything about charges, but that is what cnn has learned and that is what is much anticipated here. there are those who are divided. some wish to see george zimmerman arrested and put on trial. others say it is clearly a case of stand your ground and had the right to defend himself and shot trayvon martin. i had a conversation a short time ago with the mayor who says we are, prepared, unquote. what he means is city has been preparing for weeks for some sort of determination by the special prosecutor, whether it's the charge or not to charge. they say they're ready either way, reaching out to other communities if they need backup. they don't expect they will, they hope and they believe everything will remain peaceful,
wolf. >> do we know what kind of charges will be filed against zimmerman? >> reporter: we have not heard the specific charge or charges. what's been talked about a lot is manslaughter in florida. with trayvon martin, it could get 30 years if convicted. we know it can't be first-degree murder because that's not allowed, at least not with the special pros prosecutor without a grand jury and that is not going to happen. angela corey has said that. there's aggravated battery with the use of a gun. all speculation up to this point until we hear from the special prosecutor herself and she says up to this point no charges have been filed. meanwhile, the whereabouts of george zimmerman is of concern especially to the family of trayvon martin after that bizarre news conference by his attorneys yesterday, wolf? >> they said those former attorneys for george zimmerman,
he's probably not in florida. he could be far away which immediately raised speculation in my mind. he may be right outside in washington d.c., in northern virginia where he used to live where he has family members. do we have any clue where he might be right now george zimmerman? >> reporter: no. we have no clue other than what the attorneys spoke of yesterday and they did not say that they didn't know where he was. they said that they have lost contact with him and have not spoken to him in a number of days. they implied that they did, in fact, have a general idea. maybe not the specific address, but a general idea of what community he was and that he had been in contact with law enforcement. so it's not believed that he's disappeared from the map, but it is unsettling when you have the attorneys quit, you wonder what real communication path is now in place for george to turn himself in if he has to do that. >> stand by, martin savidge on the scene for us in sanford. i want to dig deeper into the breaking news with our legal
analyst sunny hostin. she's a contributor to "in session" on our sister network trutv. based on what we know right now, do you agree manslaughter is the likely charge that will be file order second-degree murder? >> think manslaughter is the likely charge to be filed, wolf. bottom line, prosecutors don't want to overcharge cases and they don't want to charge cases they can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt and that's the evaluation made in every case and this is an especially high-profile case. the last thing the specially assigned prosecutor wants is to get this case dismissed before trial if she charges this case or to get an acquittal if she tries this case. and so when i look at the facts as we know them and to be sure, angela corey at this point knows many more facts that have been disseminated in the public domain. i would suspect that manslaughter would be the case that you could prove beyond a reasonable doubt and that's an
unintentional killing, and when you look at sort of the facts again, that case would be a more comfortable case, a safer case to charge and try. >> given that very strange news conference yesterday by the former attorneys who disassociated themselves from george zimmerman right now. is it likely that law enforcement if they are going to feel at least a charge against zimmerman that they at least know where he is, if they haven't already taken him into custody. >> i think that's anyone's guess. of course, when you're a prosecutor and you are going to lodge charges against a person whom you know is represented. you do, sometimes, as a courtesy work with those defense attorneys to allow someone to bring themselves in especially in a high-profile case where a defendant's safety is at issue. you want someone to be able to surrender themselves to authorities rather than to conduct this sort of purple.
now that we know he is unrepresented, it is possible that authorities will have to look for him and an arrest warrant would have to be issued and that really is a place that most prosecutors and investigators don't want to be. >> let's say he's in virginia or some place, out of florida and then you have to get extradition papers to send him from that state back to florida. that takes time. >> that takes time. you have to have the cooperation of other local law enforcement officials. it's done all of the time, though, wolf. it's done frequently, and i suspected that needs to be done that can be done, but again, it is just not the place you want to be especially in a high-profile case like this in a case where the potential defendant's safety has been called into question, and so perhaps we will find out where he is, if he is charged and we'll find out that he will be allowed to surrender himself and we had every indication of that
when he was represented by the two attorneys and now that he's an unrepresented party as far as we know, i think an arrest perhaps could be difficult. >> i want you to listen, sunny, to the attorney general of the united states eric holder. he spoke out on the trayvon martin case earlier today. >> in order to bring federal charges in this case, and so we are continuing in that regard we're doing forensic things to build that case while at the same time we're helping the state as it attempts to build a case as well. >> what did you think of that statement from the attorney general weighing in on obviously a very, very sensitive matter right now. >> well, it goes on show you sort of the depth of government that this case has reached, right? the president has commented on this case. now we have the attorney general commenting on this case. we've always known that there was this parallel investigation going on, that the justice
department had opened up a civil rights investigation, but i think if you listen closely to what our attorney general said he said that they're helping local law enforcement, and i suspect that this is really a local law enforcement case. this is a case that should be tried in a state court, not in federal court and not the federal civil rights violation, wolf, will be very difficult to prove. it's difficult to prove in any case, but given the facts that we know right now that are in the public domain, very difficult case, and i believe that's what -- if you read between the lines of what our attorney general said, that's where he was headed. >> sunny, i know you'll be with us throughout our program, as well. don't go too far away. the parents of trayvon martin have been speaking out and they have a news conference themselves scheduled tonight immediately following the prosecutor's announcement. cnn's lisa sylvester is joining us now. she has more on the reaction so far. what are the parents of trayvon
martin saying? i know they're here in washington right now. >> reporter: yeah. they are expected to have that news conference in about three hours at the washington convention center and earlier in the day they did have a press briefing. it's not clear if they knew what was coming down at the time, but the lawyers opened that news conference by asking the public and for people to remain calm, to have faith in the justice system no matter what the outcome is. this all began, as you know, 44 days ago with the death of trayvon martin, and it was his father tracy martin who is probing and asking the question why? why was his son killed when his son was visiting him carrying just candy and a drink at the time, and this could very well end in possible charges being brought. and the pain of the family, though, wolf, was very evident as the family spoke out at the news conference this afternoon. >> for the last 44 days it has been a nightmare, and this is coming from a mother's
perspective. i have been up and down as if i was on a roller coaster, but i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that justice will be served. >> reporter: now the lawyers and the family members, the parents, they also did address and they took a few questions and one of the questions that came up was about that for lack of a better word bizarre news conference that zimmerman's attorneys held yesterday and now his former attorneys and there was some question on whether or not he was going to be a flight risk. the parents said that they are hopeful, but the lawyers expressed some concern. >> we're hopeful that when it's time to make an arrest that they'll be able to make an arrest. >> they don't know where he's at, do they? and that's the troubling thing. the killer of trayvon martin is unaccounted for.
we are concerned that he's a flight risk. >> reporter: so now we will hear more from the parents and the lawyers after the special prosecutor has her news conference and that is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. eastern and immediately following that we are expected to hear from the family to get reaction, wolf. >> and i know you'll be on the scene for us. lisa, thanks very much. we'll have much more on this story coming up. lots of questions remaining unanswered so far. stand by. we'll continue the breaking news coverage. we also are following other important news including rather controversial remarks about americans by the outspoken governor chris christie. jack cavery is coming up with "the cafferty file" and very high tension ahead of a north korean rocket launch that could happen at any moment and i'll talk about that and more with the former prime minister tony blair. he's here in washington. it's a burning question that
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society that will not only bankrupt us financially, it will bankrupt us morally, unquote. when americans stop believing that hard work and integrity will bring them success they will turn into couch potatoes waiting for the next government handout. he didn't mention president obama, but he previously said lawmakers need to stop tiptoeing government spending. he's suggested raising retirement age for social security and that's why people like chris christie and why a lot of them were disappointed when he decided not to run for president. a brand new poll in new jersey shows governor christie with his highest approval rating yet, 59%. the man has a point here. entitlement spending is out of control, consuming an ever-growing portion of the federal budget. we recently reported in the cafferty file nearly half of household that gets government assistan assistance. it jumped 23% during president bush's first two years in
office. so here's the question, chris christie says the u.s. is turning into people sitting on the couch waiting for their next government check. is he right? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile. post a comment on my blog or go to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. >> let's not forget, you know this better than i do. new jersey is basically a democratic state and for a republican like chris christie to have those high approval numbers in that state of new jersey -- >> phenomenal. >> that's pretty good. >> i wonder if he might get on someone's short list for running mate situation. >> yeah. i suspect that's not going to happen. >> probably not. >> but i think he's still a young guy, four years from now, eight years from now he could decide to run if he wants to. >> he is refreshing. whether you agree with him or not, the guy speaks from his heart and spits it out in plain english and for a politician that's unusual. >> he doesn't mince words and that's what folks like about him. thanks very much. it's all about november now.
mitt romney is free to focus all of his attention on president barack obama and he's going right after one of the president's strengths. let's bring in cnn's national political correspondent jim acosta. >> reporter: wolf, mitt romney has spent his first full day as presumptive gop nominee, it's a move to address one of the big general election short comings. >> reporter: it was no accident mitt romney visited karen brinker, a small business woman who owns a printing shop in connecticut. >> this president has failed america's women. >> reporter: the man who is almost certain to be the gop nominee is on a charm offensive to attract women voters. according to the abc news/washington post poll romney trails by seven points among registered voters and 19 points among women why romney has slammed the president on how women have fared during the obama economy. >> 92.3% of all of the jobs lost
during the obama years have been lost by women. his failures have hurt women. >> reporter: the watchdog wen site politifact lists that as mostly false. while 92% of the jobs lost were held by women, the bureau of labor statistics show the number is much less 40% since the start of the recession in 2007. that's because men were laid off first, the agency notes, women second as with other recessions. the president's re-election team fired back asking whether romney supports the lilly ledbetter act. romney aides responded saying their candidate would not change the law and dredged up former administration communications director anita dunn who is quoted in "confidence men" calling the white house a hostile workplace, something she later denied saying. >> i was a severely conservative republican governor. >> reporter: if those aren't
enough fireworks consider this campaign web video which chronicles the conservative positions romney took during the primaries on women's issues. >> do i believe the supreme court should overturn roe v. wade? yes. >> reporter: contrast that with what richard lamb has to say that christian conservatives are warming up to romney now that his main rival rick santorum is out of the race. >> it's hard for people who are pro-life and people that are pro-traditional marriage to understand how someone as an adult could have been pro-choice and could have been for gay marriage and then convert. >> reporter: late in the day the romney called on politifact to retract the story of job losses under the obama economy. it's a sign that this could go on for days if not all of the way to november. wolf? >> jim acosta, thanks very much. a blunt assessment and very blunt on the crisis in syria. i'll talk about that and much more with the former british prime minister tony blair.
also is this man the son of charles manson? he tells us why he thinks the cult leader and convicted killer might be his father. and we're waiting for the special prosecutor in florida to announce what, if any, charges will be filed against george zimmerman in the trayvon martin case. you will see it live right here on cnn. we'll update you with information as soon as it comes in. all energy development comes with some risk, but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint
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north korea right now says it's fueling the long-range rocket and that's fueling fears that the launch could set in motion a potentially disastrous chain of events. the launch could come within hours, we are told, and there are already reports out of south korea that the north may soon follow with an actual nuclear test. as the clock ticks away, tensions are clearly rising. >> tony blair, the former british prime minister is joining us right now in "the situation room." mr. prime minister, how serious of a threat right now is north korea and what's going on? is it a little show boating on the part of the new young leader there or is there a real potential nuclear crisis under way? >> well, it is to an extent him trying to display with the new regime coming in or new leader coming in that he's not going to cower or bow down to the west. on the other hand, yes, of
course, it's serious because they're testing a serious that could have serious implications for the region. so you've got to keep up the pressure. the role of china is obviously immensely important and you have to spare the people of north korea. >> they say this is not a missile. they say this is a rocket and they're launchinga i satellite in space that it's only peaceful purposes and not a missile. >> they know what they're doing. i think we know what they're doing and the key is keeping up the pressure for them and as i said, for the people of north korea, they're impoverished and denied many of the basic necessities of life while the elite live an extraordinary life of luxury and while they carry on trying to develop this nuclear program. >> let's talk about syria. do you have any confidence at all in president bashar al arc sad that he'll live up to the so-called commitments to the secretary-general kofi annan?
>> he hasn't kept up the commit ams. >> do you trust him? >> i don't trust him. if you keep ratcheting up the pressure on him and make it clear that this isn't going to disappear, this issue is not going disappear and we'll keep coming back to it. we're going to continually to look for ways to put pressure on the regime to do the right way, then it's an outside chance of working. i hope it does. >> so many experts, syrians and others have said to me, either he survives or the rebels survive. both can't survive. this is a war of survival between the regime of bashar al assad and those close to him. >> the question is is he prepared at this stage to take the chance of a negotiated way out? there's no way you could have the situation stable again unless there's an agreed change in the way the country operates. >> do you think there can be a negotiation that will allow him to stay in power? >> no, i don't think there is a negotiation that allows him to stay in power, but it's possible that you could have a situation
in which if the annan -- kofi annan's initiative is allowed to work then you could have an agreed process of transition. >> in other words, that he goes away. he leaves the country. is that what you're saying? >> there are all sorts of possibilities as to what happens to him personally. i think the most important thing is that there's change in the country, and this -- for us, from the outside and what is important is that the people inside the country know we're not abandoning them. we're going to stick with this and we're going to make sure that this process and change continues and we're prepared to take further steps if necessary in order to put pressure on the regime to do the one good thing that's emerged in the last few weeks is the general consensus in the international community. >> you know his wife is british. she was born in britain. is it far-fetched to think give them asylum in britain given the fact that she's a british citizen? >> i've not come across that suggestion. >> you are former prime minister
of britain. >> i am. >> do you think let's escape and give them asylum in britain? >> the issue now is will they break the promises they're breaking now as they've broken previous promises? i hope not. is there a chance to keeping them with the promises is if we keep up the pressure. as for his family personally, that's for another day. >> your other job is to have peace between the israelis and palestinians, obviously a tough challenge. what are the chances any time soon that prime minister netanyahu will sit down with president abbas and you and others and work out a deal? >> there is a chance. there is always a chance. >> how good of a chance is it? >> well, somewhat better than it was maybe a few months back? >> why? >> because i think on both sides there is a willingness to engage if the negotiation's credible. the key thing is the palestinians need to know that if they're going into, sitting
down with the israelis and talking about issues like borders and security that the israelis are prepared to engage with what's necessary for a viable palestinian state and israelis need to know that on issue like security, the palestinians have a genuine concern. so over these past few months with the jordanians playing a very central role in this, we've been trying to work out a way that we can get the sides back together. >> how far apart are they right now? >> it's hard to judge, frankly. i mean, on one level i think with a bit of creativity and imagination we can actually get people in ay negotiation where the differences are clear, but not unreachable. >> do you think the israelis will bomb e ran's nuclear facilities any time soon? >> i don't know. the israelis will take a view on their national interests and security interests. what i do think is iran with a nuclear weapon is a very bad idea. so i think, here again, zee to
be strong, clear and determined. >> are you with president obama that there is no policy of containment, in other words, allowing iran that it has a nuclear weapon that it will be removed one way or another. >> he's absolutely r right. i'm in that region a lot. it would be a disaster for iran to have a nuclear weapon, and to another power in the region trying to acquire nuclear capability and i think this is one of the president's main concerns and you have the potential leakage of the technology or even of the weaponry. so, no, he's absolutely right. you, in my view, i think one of the things that submerged over this past period is a very clear and agreed position, how you can debate how we deal with it, but the clear position is we mean what we say. iran should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons capability. >> prime minister tony blair, thanks very much for coming in.
mitt romney's greatest hits. president obama's campaign has plenty to pick from when it comes to turning mitt romney's own words against him. stand by. and did apple conspire with publishers to fix the prices of ebooks? the federal government says it's costing consumers millions of dollars and now there's a lawsuit. and we're waiting for the special prosecutor in florida to announce what, if any, charges will be filed against george zimmerman in the trayvon martin case. you will see this unfold live on cnn ks and we'll update you with new information as it comes in. i'm breathing better so now i can take the lead on a science adventure. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator, working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms
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tilt rotor aircraft that marines use in the zone. they were on an exercise in morocco when it crashed. we are told two marines are killed and two others injured. this was during an exercise and no indication of any type of hostile fire. an accident now under investigation, the marine corps unit was from camp lejeune on the east coast. >> a lot of the viewers might be surprised to know that the u.s. military is engaged in joint exercises, military exercises with the moroccan military. is this something new? has it been going on a long time? what's going on here? >> wolf, this is part of the military effort to step up their presence in north africa, work with the militaries across that region. as you know, al qaeda is making a lot of moves across africa and especially in the north african region. the arab spring, with some of the efforts that has gone on there. the u.s. wants to support the militaries and help with training and assistance as they try to continue to build their
own capacity and fight against al qaeda in the region where it pops up its head. wolf? >> thanks very much. political news we're following as well, while mitt romney wastes no time going after barack obama, the president also in full campaign mode finding any way to use romney's own words against him. this general election campaign is now under way. let's bring in our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin. what's the latest over there, jessica? >> reporter: wolf, from obama campaign headquarters in chicago to right here at the white house, it is clear that camp 2012 has begun. the general election curtain raiser from the obama campaign, a look back at the other guy's greatest hits. >> corporations are people, my friend. i like being able to fire people that provide services to me. i was a severely conservative republican governor. >> the president's aides haven't been shy about their strategy. >> the top adviser said the general election would be like
an etch a sketch where you can erase your record. those things are etch immediate stone. they're not going to be erased and they'll be seared in the public consciousness this november. >> do i believe the supreme court should overturn roe v. wade. planned parenthood, we'll get rid of that. >> reporter: the president smacked down republican attacks on his tax policy. >> what they won't tell you is the truth, that i've cut taxes for ied innel class families each year that i've been in office. i've cut taxes for small business owners, not once, not twice, but 17 times. >> reporter: and got snarky about the republican primary during an event for his millionaire's tax. >> that wild-eyed socialist class warrior was ronald reagan. he thought that in america the wealthiest should pay their fair share and he said so. i know that position might disqualify him from the republican primaries these days. >> reporter: that's hotter than usual rhetoric from the president at the white house and
when mitt romney took this swing -- >> the real war on women has been waged by the policies from the obama administration. >> david axelrod snashged on twitter, tough day women tour. >> on the very first action he took as president by signing into law the lilly ledbetter pay act this president has been focused on the essential role that women play in our economy. >> reporter: wolf, it's no accident that opening day began with a fight for the women's vote. currently, the president's polling shows that he is 19 points or is double digit ahead of mitt romney when it comes to support among women, but keep this in mind, there is a reason the democrats are going after the women's vote and one part of that has to do with the fact that democrats traditionally have a ceiling of support among white men.
if they want to make up for that and win in november they have to have a healthy showing by women voters. wolf? >> interesting. the president is speaking with women behind him today. romney is speaking with women behind him. they vote in higher percentages than men here in the united states. so the president really needs these women to come out and vote for him. it will be an uphill challenge, i suspect, for romney. >> reporter: it will be a challenge, but it's one we'll hear him wage aggressively because if he wants to win the white house, he does want to win the white house, he also will have to get a majority of those women's votes. they will be a battleground in the coming election, wolf? >> thanks very much. jessica yellin at the white house. so did apple conspire with publishers to fix the prices of ebooks. the federal government is now going after the computer giant and before the killings made him infamous, did the cult leader charles manson father this man? he tells cnn why he thinks the mass murderer is his dad.
and look at this. you're looking at live pictures coming from florida. angela corey the special prosecutor, getting ready to make an announcement. we believe she will formally file charges against george zimmerman in the killing of trayvon martin. this is one of the aides for angela corey just testing the microphones there. we'll, of course, have live coverage as soon as it begins. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." [ male announcer ] if you believe the mayan calendar,
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>> the u.s. government is going after america's most successful company right now, apple. the justice department is suing the tech giant over an alleged price-fixing scheme involving e-books. cnn silicon valley correspondent dan simon is joining us outside apple headquarters. what's going on over there? what's the story all about, dan? >> reporter: hi, wolf. when apple came out with the ipad two years ago it was a big boost for electronic books, but a cording to the department of justice it resulted in a big boost in price for those same books. electronic book sales have skyrocketed thanks to the devices like the kindle and ipad.
the prices have also risen. a few years ago an average ebook might cost $10. today they can run around $13 or more s and that's exactly yet department of justice filed a lawsuit against apple and five of the nation's largest publishers alleging an illegal price-fixing scheme. >> concerned that ebook sellers had reduced prices worked together to eliminate competition among stores selling ebooks ultimately increasing prices for consumers. >> reporter: before the ipad came along, amazon completely ruled ebooks with its kindle and set its own prices for ebooks and then the ipad appeared and apple allowed the publishers to set their own prices with apple taking a cut of the proceeds. the publishers in turn demanded similar pricing from other ebook sellers said the doj, and that led to higher prices across the board and according to attorney general holder, costs consumers millions of dollars. >> during regular near quarterly
meetings, we allege that publ h publishing company executives discussed confidential business matters including amazon's ebook retailing practices as part of a conspiracy to raise, fix and stabilize retail prices. >> reporter: three of the publishers have already settle with the government which will likely mean better prices for the consumer. sales of ebooks rose more than 100% last year, generating nearly $970 million according to publisher's weekly. by their very nature ebooks generate higher profits than physical copies, and that's why the pricing is so important. apple, for now, is refusing to comment about the suit. as for those three publishers that settled, they've agreed to pay $51 million in restitution. wolf? >> all right, dan, thanks very much. dan simon reporting. on the trayvon martin killing, news that george zimmerman, the shooter is about
to be formally charged. we just got a statement from the florida governor rick scott. i'll read it to you, it's short. we are fortunate in our state that most floridians and local civic leaders are law-abiding, responsibility is zens who all want justice to prevail no matter what state attorney angela corey determines following her investigation of the trayvon martin tragedy. i trust in the goodness of all florida citizens to allow our justice system to reach an appropriate conclusion in this case. that statement coming in from rick scott, the florida governor. remember, we're standing by for a news conference, angela corey, special prosecutor about to announce what she plans on doing. there you see one of her young aides. they're testing the microphones there in florida right now. we'll go to angela corey's news conference as soon as it begins. stand by for that. meanwhile, before the killings that made him infamous, did cult leader charles manson father a son? the man on the right side of the screen tells cnn why he thinks
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cafferty file." jack? >> the question this hour new jersey governor chris christie says the u.s. is turning into people sitting on couch wait for example their next government check. is he right? gary in arizona, christie is absolutely, positively, completely correct. robinhood now in the white house has an appetite for spending and doling out money to a growing audience of deadbeats. government handouts are no longer a temporary safety net, but rather now a long-term comfort sofa, and long as obama's president it will only get worse. >> i listened to christie's comments and thought they were a little off the wall. i think his crack about people sitting on their couches waiting for the next government check is nasty. i'm sure many americans would love not to be on unemployment or welfare, but thanks to the financial mess that the government created, there just aren't enough jobs tom in texas wrights this sounds like someone
campaigning to be a presidential candidate. if nothing else he has more credibility than the last republican vice presidential candidate, that would be sarah palin. he writes, in a way if you think about it, he's right, but what do you expect when there are no jobs available and people can't get decent work. it's hard to survive, but a person would have no choice, but to apply for government aid. the american workser among of the most productive in the world, we get less time off and work at stress levels only topped by the japanese. the governor's fat, dumb and happy. the rest of us are working our arses off. >> christie would know all about that couch-sitting thingy. just look at him. if you want to read more about this, go to the blog at cnn.com/caffertyfile or on the situation room's facebook page. wolf? >> thank you. we're following breaking news out of florida and we're awaiting a briefing where a
senior law enforcement source says charges will be charged against george zimmerman in the trayvon martin shooting death. stand by. homicide of young people in america has an impact on all of us. how can we save these young people's lives? as a police chief i have an opportunity to affect what happens in a major city. i learned early on if you want to make a difference you have to have the right education. university of phoenix opened the door. my name is james craig, i'm committed to making a difference and i am a phoenix.
and now i build them. i am a bigger is better kind of guy. i absolutely love building locomotives. i knew i wanted to design locomotives from when i was very young. [ jahmil ] from the outside it looks like such a simple device. when you actually get down into the bare bones of it, there's so much technology that's submerged. [ rob ] my welds are a signature, i could tell my welds apart from anybody's. you lay down that nice bead
and you look at it, i love it. they don't go together by themselves. there are a lot of little parts, and everyone has their job. [ scott ] i'd love to see it out there on the open tracks. and when i see it, i'm gonna know that i helped build that thing. [ train whistle blows ] here she comes! [ bell clanging ] [ train whistle blows ] wow! [ charlie ] well, it's one thing seeing them built, but then to see them out here, pulling freight across america, it makes us proud. ♪ >> convicted killer charles manson has been denied parole
for the 12th time. one man takes particular interest in manson's case. he believes manson may be his father. he spoke to cnn's miguel marquez. >> i live in uncertainty and chaos. >> reporter: matthew roberts is a haunted man. is he the son, the spawn of charles manson? >> it's like holy hell, it certainly does seem like it's more than just possible, but probable. >> reporter: roberts adopted as an infant had, by all accounts, a normal childhood in rockford, illinois. in 1998 at age 30 he sought out his birth morguther, a recluse wisconsin who told him she was conceived in 1967 where she met manson in a drug-fueled orgy. >> there were four men present? >> that's what i understand. originally it was a one in four chance. >> reporter: robert said he wasn't convinced his birth mother knew manson until he began exchanging letters with
prisoner b33920. in those letters manson quoted things only his birth mother would know. so sure roberts tried to get a dna match and the test inconclusive. manson's dna sample contaminated. >> unless i see someone scrape a piece of skin off his ass and bring it to the lab i want to know what i know. >> reporter: what is unmistakable is not just that roberts looks like manson. here are two photos both in their 30s, a striking resemblance, the eyes, nose, mouth and forehead, but it is the way roberts speaks and what he says that sounds eerily familiar. >> because every time you send someone after me they can't find me because i'm not in your minds. >> i know what goes on in my head. you guys can only guess, but i know what goes on in my head. even more eerie, the similarities between the two men run deep. roberts is a militant
vegetarian, pacifist and considers himself as environmentalist claims also made by charles manson. roberts moved to l.a. in 1986 and like manson, wanted to be famous, a rock star. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: roberts' band, new rising sun is pure rock 'n' r l roll, manson's was folksy and at times, downright weird. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: today roberts pays the bills work at the blue zebra cabaret in l.a.'s san fernando valley. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: he's been accused of cashing in on manson's notoriety. roberts says it's anything but -- >> it's ruined my career. it has got me nothing but grief. >> reporter: roberts just wants to know the truth before the now 77-year-old manson dies. >> if he is my father then it would be nice to have laid eyes
on him and been person to person once in my life time. for now he lives with a hope and in fear of knowing who his father is. now roberts says if he had to do it all over again, he would not have seek out his birth mother and birth father. he said at this point he wants to know the truth, good, bad or otherwise. >> miguel marquez reporting for us. thank you. you're in "the situation room." breaking news, the man for kith killed trayvon martin is expected to be charged. we're looking at the room where the special prosecutor in florida will make an official announcement in the investigation of george zimmerman. our correspondents and legal analysts are covering all of the angles to this breaking story. stand by. also a north korea rocket could launch at any moment and trigger a dangerous new confrontation with the west. we're all over this story as well, and this hour i'll ask
newt gingrich about a campaign check of his that bounced and why he's refusing to follow rick santorum's lead and bow out of the presidential race. stand by for my interview. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, and you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> we begin with the breaking news that trayvon martin's family and supporters soon may get what they've been demanding, the arrest of george zimmerman. a senior law enforcement source tells cnn the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed the unarmed florida teenager, only 17 years old, will be charged in his death. the special prosecutor will hold a briefing about one hour from now in jacksonville, florida. we are looking at live pictures
at where that briefing will take place. let's bring in our senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin. he's joining us and also our other legal analyst, the former prosecutor sunny hostin. let me begin with you, sunny. what do we know exactly, if anything specific, about the charge or charges that will be filed? >> we're hearing, wolf, that one single charge will be filed. that's what's being reported. i haven't confirmed that, but that does make sense when you look at the packs as we know them and again sure, angela corey who must have conducted a thorough investigation must know more about the facts than i know, but in looking at the facts in the public domain at this point it would appear to me that manslaughter would be the type of charge that one would file in a case like this. that's a non-intentional killing, and i think anything more than that could be perceived as overcharge in this case and would possibly be difficult to prove especially in
light of florida's stand your ground law. >> what kind of of years in prison, if convicted of manslaughter would he face? >> depending on how they charge it, wolf, i'm looking at the statute now, and i believe it would be about ten years. >> ten years. so, jeffrey, manslaughter is clearly easier to prove as sunny points out than murder in the first or second degree. i guess the question is -- do you agree with sunny that it's likely to be manslaughter? >> probably. and the definition of -- of manslaughter is unintentional homicide, and i think given the circumstances i -- i think it is very unlikely that anyone could argue that zimmerman premeditated that he went out there that night to kill trayvon martin or anyone else, but it is still, obviously, a very serious crime to kill someone recklessly which is usually the word used
when it comes to manslaughter. the facts are going to determine this case. the jury will determine this case. you know, the one thing we know for sure is that it shouldn't be determined on cable news. the jury should hear evidence and that looks like what we will have. >> stand by for a second. martin savidge is in sanford, florida for us. he's been reporting on this story from the beginning. we'll go to him in a moment. actually, we've lost connections with martin, but we'll get back to him. sunny, tell us a little bit about this special prosecutor. we know the florida governor rick scott appointed her back in march, march 23rd to be the special prosecutor in this case. we know that she decided earlier in the week not to seek a grand jury action as far as the george zimmerman is concerned. what else do we know about this woman? we know she's a career prosecutor, wolf. she's been doing this for quite some time. apparently she's tried hundreds of cases, including over 50 homicide cases. many people say that she is --
has a sort of tough prosecutorial bent and in the time that she's been the state attorney in jacksonville, florida, even though the crime rate has gone down there's been an increase in the county jail prison population, and many people attribute that directly to angela corey impeach she's a devout episcopalian and something that's sometimes considered a no-no, when she is making statements about her cases she often says things like i'm praying for or we are very blessed. so that's something that seems to be rather unique for angela corey. also interesting is that her career hasn't been without controversy because she is responsible for charging 12-year-old christian fernandez as an adult in a homicide case. he is the youngest person in florida ever to have been charged as an adult. she took a lot of heat for making that decision. >> what happened with that case?
>> it's still pending. it's still pending. in speaking to her detractor she stood firm by that decision to charge him as an adult and that tells many people that she won't be persuaded by public opinion, by political pressure. she really is considered to be someone as a prosecutor that stands by her own gut? she's obviously a tough prosecutor. i think martin savidge is now joining us from sanford, florida. set the scene for us there because sanford is where all of this took place. >> reporter: absolutely right. this is a community that is, i guess, at the epicenter now, very anxious to hear what is the decision and what's coming down from angela corey. at this particular moment i had a conversation with the mayor, and i asked him were they ready? were they standing by? his single answer back to me is we are prepared. the preparation has been weeks in the undertaking. they have been talking to other
aspects of law enforcement, whether it be on the county level, seminole county in particular, the eoc has been meeting regular there, that's the emergency operation center, and they've been reaching out to other police departments and should they have backup reinforcement and reaching out to fire departments and they're hoping that things will be for the best, but they do have to prepare just in case. they say that they're ready. we're on the edge of goldsboro. a lot of people are gathering or will soon be gathering at a church just down the street because they will be waiting to hear. so definitely there is a charge going through this community. a lot of people are now aware something significant will be revealed and like everyone else we'll wait. >> as you point out they say they're prepared for the reaction. i saw the governor of florida rick scott issue a statement that said i trust in the goodness of florida citizens to allow the justice system to
reach a conclusion in this case. is the implication here that if in fact he is charged say with manslaughter, in connection with the death of trayvon martin that zimmerman's supporters might react negatively in the sense of being angered by all of this and there could be protests from zimmerman's supporters and friends? is that what the concern might be? >> reporter: i think the greatest concern is that if -- if in any way zimmerman could be cleared of all charges, and that, of course, is a possibility that could be out there. emotions have been running high. no one is suggesting that there will be violence either way. the mayor certainly doesn't believe there will be violence. they've had many demonstrations and they've had thousands of people in this community and every one of those demonstrations has been peaceful and there has not been a single arrest and that confrontation was totally avoided. the only serious consequence, we
should point out, is the sanford police car outside of the neighborhood where trayvon martin was shot was itself shot up by someone very early in the morning yesterday and that is of concern, no doubt about it, but it's the only incident so far in 44 days in what's been a very emotional case on both sides. >> stand by for a moment, martin. martin james is joining us on the phone and a florida attorney and well familiar, very familiar with the florida laws and the connection with this. what's going through your mind, mark, right now, as we await the formal announcement from the special prosecutor? >> reporter: well, this is obviously a serious case and she was flipping through the statute and she was very right except we have provisions to make this charge far more serious than ten years. although she was looking at guidelines and all of that, she was right on, but because of
certain aggravating factors, florida law it's even more aggravated than ten years. so what that is that trayvon being 17 years olde hoo would be a minor and it's an aggravator if, in fact, there's a manslaughter charge taken with a second-degree felony to first-degree felony and there was a firearm use that caused great injury or in this case death. in fact, we're looking at a mandatory minimum 25 years to life if convicted. >> but if she charged a 12-year-old as an adult, i assume she'll charge george zimmerman, a 17-year-old, she'll be charged as an adult, don't you think, mark? >> what i'm saying is because of the special status given to the victim. because trayvon was under 18 years old then, in account fa, a manslaughter would be elevated to an aggravated -- >> i see. because trayvon martin is only
17 years old. >> if it's battery, it's one level, but if it's battery on a law enforcement officer because of the status of the rm tcharge aggravated and the same thing would be applicable here. >> you know florida law as well as any attorney down there and you've arrested high-profile clients over the years that if, in fact, it's a one count of manslaughter he potentially could face, what? 20, 30 years in prison, is that what you're saying? >> 25 to life. yes. >> 25 to life. >> if they charge him with manslaughter with the firearm causing death then, yes, which would be, um, very serious. so just because it's a manslaughter charge i think might think that's a lot less than second degree. when all of the facts have come out and we don't have all of the facts but it does appear that manslaughter would be the more appropriate charge. there's a lot of discussion about how angela corey in duval county where jacksonville is located they typically charge
the highest offense which would be in this instance, second degree. well, there's not a great big difference between second degree and aggravated manslaughter where the death was caused by a gun. they would avoid charges of overcharging and then it should be a manslaughter charge, but because of trayvon being 17 and the gun caused the death, it's a massive penalty if convicted. >> i'd like you to stand by, sunny hostin and jeff toobin and martin savidge. we're watching what's going on. a dramatic moment right now in the trayvon martin case. we're starting to hear from the prosecutor in the case and she's widely expected to announce at least one criminal charge, if not more against the man who shot and killed trayvon martin and we'll talk about george zimmerman. also this hour, newt gingrich's campaign. a bounced check, what does that say about the state of presidential bid.
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remember, we're awaiting a news conference of the special prosecutor in florida about to file a charge, at least one charge in the trayvon martin case against george zimmerman, the shooter. we'll have live coverage. that's coming up here on cnn. stand by for that. we're going get to some other news right now, political news, important political news with rick santorum now formally out of the republican race for the white house. mitt romney holding a huge delegate league and the general election certainly appears to be under way. romney versus obama. there's one catch, though, two candidates, republican candidates are still in the race. joining us now is one of those candidates the former speaker of the house newt gingrich. newt gingrich is joining us -- he'll be joining us in just a moment. we had a connection with him. unfortunately, i think we just lost that connection. as soon as we reconnect with newt gingrich, we have a lot of
questions to ask the former speaker. stand by. we'll take a quick break. also, other news we're following any minute, literally, potentially north korea could launch a long-range rocket. much more on what the u.s. is calling a grave provocation. we're awaiting as well the charges against the man who killed the teenager trayvon martin. we also have new details about the tough florida prosecutor investing in the case there. you see there angela corey. we know she's tried hundreds of murder cases, everything else, a lot of other information coming up as well. i think we've re-established our connection with the former speaker newt gingrich. mr. speaker, are you there? can you hear me? >> i can hear you fine, wolf. >> thanks very much for joining us. i want to get to some politics and substance in a moment, but the trayvon martin case, we expect fairly soon the special florida prosecutor to file a charge, maybe manslaughter and maybe second-degree murder
against george zimmerman in the killing of the 17-year-old teenager, trayvon martin. what do you make of all of this? because it's caused a huge emotional uproar around the country. >> e on, i think she's got to do what she thinks is professionally right. i think we have to have faith in the criminal justice system. there will be, i presume, a trial. the jury will have to look at all of the evidence and render a decision. i think we can talk about it on cable tv forever or on talk radio forever. we don't have access to the evidence. we don't have access to the witnesses, and i think it's always dangerous to jump to conclusions. >> i know you were critical of president obama when he said i guess a couple of weeks ago that if he had a son that son potentially could have looked like trayvon martin and he was expressing his empathy for the family of trayvon martin and god only knows what they are going through, they lose a son and in the middle of a game he goes to
the store to buy an arizona iced tea and skittels and is killed on the way home. >> he'll have equal empathy for any american that gets killed. we've had americans killed in a variety of terrible circumstances and each of them deserve our empathy and our concern and we should be concerned about every single one of them. this particular case has become a national case where the national media can talk about it, but there are tragic cases around the country involving americans of every ethnic background and of every age, and they deserve some real concern, too, and some real effort to understand what happened to them and why. that's my only point. >> is it appropriate, in your opinion, for a president and today the attorney general eric holder spoke out about this case as well. is that appropriate? >> i think it's very dangerous. i don't know that they have any more information than you and i do, and i don't know if they are in any better position to render judgment. i think you would hope that the
attorney general of the united states would be in favor of the system of justice and you would hope that the president who is a harvard law graduate would be in favor of the system of justice, and i think at some level you have to believe that the people of florida and the state of florida are going to handle this in a serious way. apparently, this prosecutor is a very serious person. she has a considerable track record. i'm not a lawyer. she's handled 50 homicides. i'm inclined to rely on her judgment unless there's some overwhelming reason by some other expert to second guess her, and since i'm not an expert i'm not going to second guess her. >> let's get to politics right now. when rick santorum announced yesterday he was dropping out of this race you tweeted it was a two-man race, yourself and mitt romney. you tweeted it's now a two-man race. donate now to newt.org for the last conservative standing. you know, everyone else, except you and maybe ron paul -- i suspect not even ron paul
suspect it's no longer a two-man race that romney has it sewn up, and he has it in the delegate count and he'll get to the 1,144 delegates needed. why do you think you still have a chance? >> it's fascinating that you say everyone else. i was in north carolina yesterday. not a single person asked me to drop out and many, many people asked me to stay in. we had 4200 people go to newt.org and give money since 2:00 yesterday encouraging me to stay in. i was in philadelphia last night, not a single person asked me to drop out. a number said they're proud i was staying in. i've been campaigning in delaware all day today. not a single person has asked me to drop out. many have said they're glad i'm staying in. i think it's fascinating that the voters in the states that have not yet voted think it's good to have a contest and the only people who asked me about dropping out are the elite media. so i think this is a washington-new york fixation. these are unthe same people that
wanted me to drop out late last june. i didn't do it then. i'm not doing it now, and i'm very happy campaigning and anyone who wants me to continue i hope they'll go to newt.org and join us. >> let's listen to the leader of the republican party reince priebus after santorum announced he was dropping out yesterday. he said today senator santorum has made a commendable position. he has decided to put his country, party and desire to defeat president obama ahead of any personal ambition. as you well know, mr. speaker, that was seen as a direct reference to you, i guess he's suggesting that maybe it would be wise if you put yourself, the country, the party ahead of everyone else in order to beat president obama in november. >> and because it was misenter prettied reince priebus an old friend of mine called me to say that it should not be interpreted in any way except for exactly what he said about rick santorum's decision.
reince and i talked clearly about my staying in. i think he's quite happy with my staying in and he understands this brings new ideas and new energy to the party and that's been my role for my entire career. you continue to talk about things like $2.50 a gallon gasoline, creating a national debt retirement fund with oil and gas royalties, developing a program that would make us energy upon in, i am here tonight and i will talk at wesley college about a personal, social security savings account for much people much like the chilean model. if we had that system today, if we'd adopted that in 1983 we'd have -- i'm sorry, we'd have $16 trillion in savings in those social security savings accounts today if we'd adopted that in 1983. i'll do what i do best which is talk about big solutions and big approaches and i'll keep campaigning. we'll see what happens. as you yourself admitted governor romney does not have the nomination despite the
effort of people to concede it and i have a right to campaign -- >> i'm not suggesting that you don't have a right to continue or ron paul for that matter. we were only assessing the delegate count. what would you say about your employ camp that has financial problems that a $500 check in utah from your campaign bounced? >> nothing. that check was issued four months ago, and the account that it was issued to was closed in the interim. when the family finally got around to cashing it that account was closed and we simply re-issued it and they have the money. it was a technical issue, and it had nothing to do with what we have in the bank. >> to people it looks like you're in deep financial trouble on and i know you're going into debt like that. >> wolf, the nature of the media is jerry ford who was a great athlete was decided he was a bungler and "side night live"
made him a bungler and although he was a very, very good athlete. the news media picks up a serb story and reinterprets anything to it. if they called our office and if anyone asked to verify it, we would have told them the facts and it was a technical mistake. >> we issued the check in december. i think your think tank and i've spoken for it, and i know you must be sad about that, but what happened here? >> well, i am sad about it. these are good people. it turned out that one side left over a year ago and it was very, very hard for them to sustain it. it was very unfortunate particularly if obama care is repealed, the ideas and the concepts for the books they'd written and the material that accumulated and the network they had would have been very, very valuable, but this is a very hard economy and what happened to them happens to a lot of small businesses and because i had been gone for over a year
they simply weren't able to sustain the membership and momentum that i had when i was there. it was a great operation, they're very good people and i'm very sad they didn't work out. >> mr. speaker, thank you very much for coming. >> thank you. we're awaiting that news conference in jacksonville, florida, with trayvon martin case, with the special prosecutor expected to charge one charge against george zimmerman. she'll be showing up there, we believe, in about half an hour.
nighing consequences for the region and for the world. that's when the laurin window opens for a long-range rocket that officials call a grave provocation. barbara starr joins us on the risks of what the military can learn from this launch. what's the latest information, barbara, that you're getting? >> the launch window opens in 30 minutes from now and there is plenty for the pentagon to be worried about. even as the north korean sits fueled up and ready to go, the u.s. wants it stopped. >> let me make absolutely clear that any launch by north korea would be a serious, clear violation of their obligations. >> reporter: but if and when this rocket is launched, the u.s. will get critical intelligence on north korean technology that could risk u.s. security. >> the technology that's used for the launch or that would put this into space is also the kind of technology you can use for a
long-range ballistic missile. so that's really the concern is once north korea shows that they have the ability to do this, and they have the technology, it puts them a step closer to doing something for military purposes if they decide to. >> and that means north korea might be able to fly a missile with a warhead. the u.s. believes hawaii and alaska could be potential targets for those long-range missiles. north korea says this rocket will fly over south korea, japan and the philippines. various stages will fall into the the water, but u.s. satellites, ships and the huge ex-ban radar will be watching. the united states intelligence community will know what's happening. it will be monitored just like you on an operating table. >> both japan and south korea have missile defenses ready for the launch. if the rocket should veer off course or if debris should threaten to hit land then they would likely try to destroy the
debris before it landed, but the real question for the u.s., if this launch works for pyongyang how did they manage it? who helped them? >> their science and technology is certainly connected to the chinese, certainly the iranians and wouldn't be surprised if there are pakistanis involved in this development, as well. >> reporter: no one can say for sure who is helping the north koreans, of course, but already the next worry up front, the north koreans are preparing for a third underground, nuclear test. wolf? >> tensions are clearly rising, barbara, thank you. we're standing by to hear from the special prosecutor down in florida with the trayvon martin case. you're looking at live pictures. we expect to hear from angela corey. she's the special prosecutor. we expect that she will charge the shooter george zimmerman. stand by. we'll take a closer look at her background and experience as she prepares to make this major announcement.
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>> less than a half an hour o way from the trayvon martin shooting case. let's go back to sanford, florida. martin savidge is joining us. tell us more about angela corey, the special prosecutor because pretty soon she'll be at that microphone in jacksonville, florida, with this huge announcement. >> reporter: yeah, she will indeed. some described her as the perfect woman, the perfect state attorney to be in position to make a very difficult decision. there's also some controversy. angela corey, 57 years of age. she's a republican. she's held the post of state attorney for about four years now. she's up for re-election. so far running unopposed. she's the first woman to be the state attorney in the district that overcease jacksonville, florida, which, by the way, is her hometown. it's where she is born and
raised. she is one of five children. she's episcopalian and said to be deeply religious and relies on her faith in helping to make difficult decisions. that after the know is ford, police department decided not to press any charges. she is tough. she works closely with law enforcement according to those who know her. doesn't like to use the grand jury. we already know that because she said she wasn't going to rely on the grand jury in this particular case. she did have a controversy last year when she decided that she was going to charge a 12-year-old boy in adult court after he was accused of beating his half-brother to death. both sides in this particular case, though, had described her as courageous, and now she's got a very difficult announcement to make, whatever it may be, wolf. >> it certainly is a very, very special announcement and a lot of folks will be wondering what she's doing. we've been told by a law enforcement source that she will file at least a charge against
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>> all right. we're watching what's going on in connection with the pending charge we expect to be filed right at the top of the hour. we'll learn word of that from angela corey the special prosecutor in florida. she'll go to that microphone there. let's bring in cnn's newest legal contributor mark, and joining us on the phone from orlando. a lot of people expect that she will file this charge, manslaughter potentially, we don't know for sure, obviously, but tell us what you're learning because i understand, mark, you're well connected and getting new information as well. >> reporter: well, we have just gotten confirmation that he is in custody. george zimmerman is in custody right now with the department of law enforcement in the state of florida. he's been in communication with them and has apparently voluntarily surrendered. he has new counsel, mark o mara
who is in the process of meeting with fdle and mr. zimmerman and they're in communication. the terms of the bond are unknown at this time. there will be discussions with them regarding that and there will be more information. i suspect miss corey will give more specifics as it relates to the specific charge and the amount of the bond in your upcoming press conference, but it is confirmed that he is in fdle custody. he is in the state of florida and he has new counsel, mark o mara. mark o mara is an excellent attorney in the florida area and board certified in criminal and the only lawyer in the state board certified in criminal and domestic, excellent counsel and i think the case will now proceed accordingly. >> do we know if zimmerman ever left the state of florida or did he come back voluntarily over
the past, say, 24 hours? >> reporter: he was out of the state of florida as i understand it for his safety. when he heard that this was likely happening, as i understand it, it's been relayed to me, he came back in and was in contact with fdle and voluntarily has surrendered himself. >> do we know what city he's in right now? >> i spoke to mr. o'mara a few minutes ago and he asked that i not disclose that information and mainly for safety and allow miss corey to disclose that if she believes it's appropriate, but he is absolutely in the state of florida and it was a voluntary surrender as i've been involved by mr. o'mara and mr. zimmerman will be in contact throughout the rest of the day. >> in your conversation with mark o'mara, the new attorney representing george zimmerman, did you find out if he knows and if he shared with you what specific charge or charges the
special prosecutor will file against zimmerman? >> reporter: he has not seen that. it's speculation and he's simply awaiting direct information from fdle or miss corey's office that's the greater likelihood miss corey will go ahead and announce that herself. >> and what's the general formula, procedure, after she announces the charge or charges she's filing against zimmerman? at what point do we actually see zimmerman in court or walking into court or at a precinct in a police station? when with will we actually, in your experience, and you have a lot of experience, mark, in florida? when will we see him? >> reporter: well, the way it typically works is you get arrested and then there is bond. you can either afford to post that bond or you can't afford to post the bond. if you cannot afford to post a bond then -- and you don't get out of court within the first 24 hours then the first 24 hours
you have what's called the first appearance. you have an initial appearance when you go before a judge, and then there will be a probable cause determination and then they'll keep the existing bond, and a bond hearing. then, in fact, the judge will make a determination. i think that the mere fact that mr. zimmerman has voluntarily turned himself in and when we heard this was going on would stronger suggest that a lower bond would be reasonable in this case, that he's not a flight risk to the extent that he apparently turned himself in voluntarily, and i suspect mr. o'mara will be speaking to the state attorney's office and miss corey's office or miss corey and they will work out a reasonably agreeable bond and if they're unable to do so then they'll proceed to a hearing where a judge will make the determination. if the judge is not satisfied
with the fact that it should be lower or if she wants to defer to the judge assigned to the case then that will be heard by the judge. now we don't know when he will appear in sanford, so it's likely that we'll know more after we hear miss corey's press conference. >> we're waiting about 15 minutes or so, and that's when she's expected to speak there in jacksonville. how quickly under normal circumstances they file a charge and they've arrested him and he's in custody, would the whole issue of whether or not he would be free on bail and bond. how quickly does that take place? >> reporter: it should be taking place now. there will likely be a bond amount, either a no-bond situation or a bond, and whatever the bond is, with mr. zimmerman, whether he can meet the bond and the conditions of
the bond then they'll be processing that like they would any other -- any other case and then they would post the bond and then he another case would be going on. in the event there was a no bond, or a bond that he could not afford then they would appear before a judge for a bond reduction or to set a reasonable bond and that would take place at a day other than today. >> mark nejame is our newest cnn analyst and famed criminal attorney. and thanks for the information, the breaking news is that zimmerman is in custody now in florida. he had left the state of florida according to mark, but now he's back in florida and he has a new attorney named mark o'mara who is now representing him after his two other attorneys made that dramatic announcement that they were dropping out. let me get quick reaction from roland martin who has been watching this case unfold dramatically. assuming, roland, that zimmerman
is charged say with manslaughter, how will that play? how do you think that will affect the family? i know you've been close to the family. what's going to be the reaction? >> reporter: remember, first and foremost, wolf, the family made it perfectly clear that they wanted to see him charged and so they were not specific as to whether or not it was first-degree murder or second-degree murder or even manslaughter. they felt he should have been charged and including attorney ben crump and there was probable cause to arrest him. i talked to crump 30 minutes ago and they had not gotten word about a specific charge and may made it perfectly clear that the family were happy to hear justice is moving forward. and the civil rights leaders have been monitoring this case, as well. again, the most important thing from them is simply that he be charged and arrested and if this goes before a jury and the judge ask have all of the facts come out to find out what took place on the night their son trayvon martin was killed on february 26th. >> and we will expect to get reaction from the family, the
parents of trayvon martin, roland, fairly soon after angela corey makes her announcement. >> right. right. the news conference will take place right after that. so they also have several other attorneys across the country who are also speaking as well. darryl parks is one of the attorneys along with ben crump. he is there in washington, d.c. and natalie, is in orlando and she's scheduled to talk about it on erin burnett show "out front" and they have her in position as well to also share their thoughts on this case and so, you know, the family right now they're in washington, d.c., because they have been attending reverend al sharpton's national action conference where may met earlier today with attorney general eric holder. >> roland martin will be watching all of this unfold and he'll be standing by as well. lots of anticipation as well and around the country for an announcement by special prosecutor angela corey.
we'll have complete coverage, live coverage of that announcement once the special prosecutor shows up there, we expect her to announce she's charging the shooter george zimmerman. you'll see her remarks live. and we'll also look back at how the death of a florida teenager, a 17-year-old boy announcement live. national protest. a route map shows you where we go. but not how we get there. because in this business, there are no straight lines. only the twists and turns of an unpredictable industry. so the eighty-thousand employees at delta... must anticipate the unexpected. and never let the rules overrule common sense. this is how we tame the unwieldiness of air travel, until it's not just lines you see... it's the world.
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only minutes away from the top of the hour when angela corey will announce the charge or charges against george zimmerman in connection with the killing of trayvon martin, a story that has generated huge, huge emotional reaction across the country. we will have live coverage. first, let's take a closer look right now at the timeline of the events that got us to this point. here is cnn's don lemon. >> reporter: 7:11 p.m., february 26th, a rainy night in sanford, florida. george zimmerman calls 911 to report a suspicious person in his neighborhood. that call would last four minutes. >> we have had some break-ins in my neighborhood. there ace real suspicious guy.
the best ad vdress i can give you -- this guy looks like he is up to no good or he is on drugs or something. it is raining and he's just walking around looking about. >> okay. is this guy white, black, or hispanic? >> he looks black. >> did you see what he was wearing? >> a dark hoodie like a gray hoodie and either jeans or sweat pants and light tennis shoes. i have seen him just staring. >> phone records show trayvon martin is on the phone with his girlfriend. 7:13, zimmerman is giving the dispatcher directions when he says, the subject took off. >> are you following him? >> yeah. >> okay. we don't need you to do that. >> okay. >> 7:15, zimmerman hangs up with 911. >> no problem. i'll let them know to call you when they are in the area. >> thanks. >> at the same time, at 7:15,
trayvon martin's girlfriend tells abc news she is still on the phone with him. >> he said this man was watching him. trayvon said, what are you following me for? then, he said, what are you doing around here. somebody pushed trayvon. 7:16, the line goes dead. at about the same time, a neighbor's call to 911 reveals background screaming and then a gunshot. >> do you need police, fire, or medical? >> maybe both. i'm not sure. there's just someone screaming outsigh. >> okay, is it a male or female? >> it sounds like a male. >> and you don't know why? >> i don't know why. i think they are yelling help but i don't know. just send someone quick, please, fast. >> does he look hurt to you? >> i can't see him. i don't want to go out there. i don't know what's going on. they're' sending. >> so you think he's yelling help? >> yes. >> all right. what is your --
>> there's gunshots. >> you just heard gunshots? >> yes. >> how many? >> just one. >> 7:17, officer timothy smith, the first to arrive and according to the partial police report, the officer says, i was advised by the dispatch that the report of shots fired. in the span of two minutes, smith canvases the scene, spots george zimmerman wearing a red jacket and blue jeans, observes a black male wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt laying face down in the grass, questions a man in the red jacket who admits to shooting the subject and still being armed. secures the 9 millimeter gun and places the man in handcuffs. the officer observed the man in handcuffs bleeding from the nose and the back of his head, according to the police report. all of this in about two minutes. the police report says a very tight time window according to senior law enforcement instructor, alex manning. you want to know what happened
in the couple of minutes? were they still running? was he walking around looking for trayvon or was trayvon heading out of there? >> in those two minutes, you don't know what exactly happened. >> 7:19, two minutes after smith,a second officer arrives, riccardo e riccardo aei. will la, who observes zimmerman in officers custody. aiella says he tries to get a response from the subject on the ground. a sergeant arrives, checks the pulse. there is none. both officers begin cpr. another sergeant arrives and takes over chest compressions from officer aiella the fire department arrives and attempts to revive the subject. at 7 c:30, a paramedic pronounc the subject dead. then, the police report says zimmerman is placed in the back of officer smith's patrol car and given first aid. when that happened is a matter of dispute. criminal defense attorney, holly hughes. >> we don't know what time it
took the emts to arrive. if it took them five minutes, you are down to five minutes for them to perform a complete medical examination. if he is in that bad of shape, they are not going to do something that takes five minutes. they are going to bandage him if he has a gushing gash on the back of his head. >> this shows zimmerman and officers arriving at the station at 7:52, 35 minutes after the first officer arrived at the crime scene. the police station is a 15-minute drive away. >> don lemon reported for us. we are only moments away from that news conference at the top of the hour with the special prosecutor, in this the case of the slain florida teenager, trayvon martin. a senior law enforcement source says, martin's killer, george zimmerman, will be charged. that's it for me. thanks for joining us. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." the news continues on cnn. >> this is cnn, breaking news.
>> stay with us. we are tracking a very important breaking news story. c nchl cnn has learned that george zimmerman, in the custody of florida authorities tonight. that coming from his new attorney, mike o'mara. you see the live picture. florida's special prosecutor is moments away from holding a news conference in this sensitive internationally covered situation. you are seeing live pictures in jacksonville, florida. the news conference by angela corey due to begin any second. watching with us to help us bring important information and contact, martin savidge down in sanford, florida where the shooting took place. jeffrey toobin standing by in new york. another kr. nn legal analyst, mark jane is in orlando and joins us on the phone. i want to begin with you. you are familiar with florida law.