tv CNN Newsroom CNN April 15, 2013 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
former justice of peace for making a terroristic threat. the big question, is the arrest of eric williams connected to the murders of two texas prosecutors? right now authorities aren't saying. kaufman county district attorney mike mclelland and his wife were found shot dead it in their home last month. mark hasse was gunned down in january. >> reporter: this house belongs to a former kaufman county justice of the peace named eric williams. on friday, investigators spent hours combing through the house. then on saturday, those investigators descended on this storage unit 15 miles away. several local media outlets report they found a crown victoria police style vehicle. media reports this type of car was seen in the naibtd the night the mclellands were murdered. eric williams is in jail, over the weekend arrested and charged with making a terroristic
threat. he's being held on a $3 million bond. williams and his lawyer have vigorously denied any involvement in the kaufman county murders and insist they've cooperated voluntarily with investigators. >> my heartfelt condolences go out to both the mclelland and the hasse family because they were in public office doing the right thing, and for some reason that we're not aware of paid the ultimate price for that. >> reporter: williams' connection to mark hasse and mike mclelland dates back to last year. he was convicted on two felony counts. this video played at his trial shows him stealing computers from a county building and here he is during a police interrogation. >> so you just took the monitors and the memory? >> only what i can remember. >> reporter: it was a big scandal in a little town. prosecutors mark hasse and mike mclelland were front and center on that case. this is a picture of both men from the courtroom during that
trial. denise bell covered the trial for the forney post newspaper. >> it was a meg good trial for the community. the sense was a big trial. >> reporter: after the trial, mclelland told reporters that williams' connection was a sign that the good ole boy network is gone and elected officials should be held to a higher standard. he ripped into the justice of the peace called him a dishonorable liar and he was causing cough mant county as a biggy bank. williams was sentenced to two 0 others probation and lost his job and law license. denise bell spoke to mike mclelland in the weeks before his death. she says after mark hasse's murder in january, mclelland was worried about eric williams. >> did mclelland tell you that he believed eric williams was responsible for that murder? >> yes. >> he did. what exactly and in what context did he tell you this? >> in a context of, be careful, deni denise. >> he told you to be careful. >> yes. >> why would he tell you to be careful?
>> because i sat in the front row and covered this story for ten days. >> reporter: despite eric williams now getting so much attention, investigators have still not officially named him as a suspect or filed murder charges against him. >> ed lavandera joins us live from dallas, also with us our top legal team, attorney and legal analyst lisa bloom here in new york and defense attorney and former prosecutor brian silver is in miami. ed, i want to start with you because this man eric williams has been well-known to you for some time as well as others who have been covering this case for a while right now. let's start with last year. what did he cell say about his initial conviction last year? >> reporter: well thshgs is interesting. we've gone through much of the court transcript from that trial a year ago. it's interesting. you look at what he said at the end, after he had been convicted, the court transcript shows that eric williams said, my life has changed drastically because of this. i'm not the one being punished but his mother and father who he cares for as well as his wife.
remember, in all of this, eric williams lost his job as justice of the peace, but, more importantly, he also lost his law license. >> he is in custody right now, being held on bail, $3 million total. are investigators making any official statements at this time? >> no. it's been very hard to get information. investigators at least officially, the coukaufman coun sheriff's department, texas rangers, fbi investigators and other agencies who have been assisting, so far with all of this movement on friday and saturday over the weekend at his house and at the storage unit, they have not put out any official statements about what is going on. >> the question i suppose is, is that unusual? lisa, i should ask you, there was all this activity at the storage unit, at the house, this man now under arrest, in custody. is it unusual that we don't have any official statement connecting him to the case? is this slow? >> no, because the police need to build their case piece by piece. look, anyone who was convicted by these prosecutors who were
gunned down has to be ruled out as a suspect. and what they need is more than just animus, more than just motivation to kill. they need physical evidence, link the car to the crime scene, ballistics. all of that physical evidence pulled together. they don't want to come forward until they're sure. >> so, brian, let me ask you, initially after these two murders, there was a lot of talk that white supremacists might be involved, the aryan brotherhood of texas was a name, a group, tossed around a lot. now there's this evolution. we're not talking about them so much. is this an evolution or does this show inconsistencies or weakness in the overall case? >> what our viewer vz to understand is that a criminal investigation is almost like a living thing. you know, you move from lead to lead, and you're ruling ott one thing at a time. it doesn't mean that the white supremacist theory is taken off the table. i'm sure these investigators are making this case a number one priority and they're looking at everything. so the fact that they come up with a new theory and new suspect doesn't necessarily rule
out the other. >> lisa, one of the striking things about this case to me is we have sound or interviews of this man eric williams that took place after at least one of the murders. that sound on tape, those pictures, could that come back to haunt him in court? >> absolutely. we saw that in the scott peterson case. we've seen that in many high-profile cases. sometimes defendants come forward, they're very braiszen , they speak to the press, absolutely that can be exhibit a in a trial against them. >> lisa bloom, brian silver, stick with us. ed lavandera, our thanks to you. terrific reporting on this story. now to phoenix and the jodi arias murder trial. another juror is off the case. and check this out. see that look on jodi arias' face? what do you think? that's from friday. do you think she looks worried? the jury's questions to her domestic violence expert may say a lot about what they're thinking and perhaps not good for jodi arias. i tried weight loss plans...
but their shakes aren't always made for people with diabetes. that's why there's glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. and they have six grams of sugars. with fifteen grams of protein to help manage hunger... look who's getting smart about her weight. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes.
[ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities. it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away.
we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here. it will if it's new outlast stay fabulous foundation. it's a primer, concealer and foundation in one for all day flawless skin. new outlast stay fabulous from easy, breezy, beautiful covergirl. ...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. it's day 48 of the jodi arias trial, three days past the time the judge told the jurors the case would be over, and it is far from over. the defense hasn't even rested its case and we've lost 2 of 18
jurors, juror 11, the only visible minority on the panel was released friday due to an illness, now 10 men, 6 women, 4 will be alternates but what 4 we won't know until it's time for deliberations. we can, however, already tell a lot about them by the questions they've asked during the defense'ses domestic violence expert testimony. the judge read all 159 of these questions in court. >> how can you say that jodi and travis' relationship was domestic abuse when there is no proof other than name-calling on paper and jodi's word? on the one side we have demeaning multiple verbal slurs, ai slap, a slough, a choke-hold and a lunge perpetrated on jodi. on the other, we have a gunshot to the head, a four-inch-deep slit throat and close to 30 stab wounds delivered from jodi to travis. is not the perpetrator of of the
greatest dismiss tick violence jodi? >> cnn's ted row handz and "in session" correspondent beth karas join me from phoenix. truly one of the most interesting, fascinating and even strange things about this very strange case is the enormous number of questions from the jury. one question after another after another. ted, what do you think these questions tell us? beth, let me ask you that question. these jury questions, a great number of them, what do you think they tell us? >> reporter: well, of the jurors who are submitting those questions -- you know, it's not all of them, not all jurors are participating in this -- those that do seem to have a skepticism about jodi arias' story and aulyce laviolette saying travis alexander was the abuser. that question shows that at least one juror is zeroing in on what the state believes is the key issue in this case, jodi
arias was the abuser, the murder every. the defense isn't saying this is a murder, but a justified killing. >> you brought up the word "skepticism." what do you think will carry back into jury deliberations when they ultimately happen? >> reporter: there's no question those jurors who are submitting questions will probably be very vocal in deliberations. we know the jurors will consider at least one lesser charge of second-degree murder, which is an intentional killing, not much different from first degree. ju first degree adds premeditation, a little thinking and reflecting on what she's about to do. that's what premeditation is. it doesn't mean a week of planning which is the what the state's evidenced shows if you believe it. jurors are likely to have a battle over, what level of crime it is, not whether or not it's a crime at all. but just what do we call it, first degree, second degree. they may even consider manslaughter. >> what do we know about this jury at this point? over the last few weeks we've
said good-bye to two jurors, one for questionable activity, one for illness. what kind of group does that leave? >> reporter: you know, when the jurors were selected last dpes december, the questioning in open court didn't involve stuff about their backgrounds. it involved whether or not they could impose the death penalty if they ultimately get to that point in the case. they filled out multiple-page questionnaires with all of that personal information. those questionnaires are not public. but for a jury to sit for what will ultimately be five months, maybe five and a half months, it's likely that they are either retirees or, for those who are younger, between jobs or government employees and they can't lose their jobs when they're a government employee because of lengthy jury duty. so these are jurors who have been able to roll with the schedule. they thought april 11th it would be finished. none of them have a problem with extending this through may, apparently, and those two who were excused were not excused because they had scheduling
issues. they were excused for other reasons. >> it is a long haul to say the least. ted rowlands, what do we expect in court today? >> reporter: well, we're expecting in the morning session some motions will be heard by the judge. if fact, the jury has been told not to come until the afternoon. then the defense will continue its case. we expect only one more witness. we also expect that it is not going to be an alyce laviolette type witness that goes on weeks and weeks. we expect them to rest their case and the prosecution will begin a short rebuttal case. the jury theoretically, we've thought this before, should get the case in about a week and a half. >> we have a sense of what the rebuttal will focus on? >> reporter: well, we understand that there are four witnesses and one thing we can definitely predict is that there will be a psychologist or some sort of medical expert to come in and refute what the defense case basically tried to build up, that is what jodi arias suffered from domestic abuse and she had
memory loss because of ptsd. that will be the bulk of their rebuttal case. then we expect a couple of other witnesses will be re-called. >> that on day 48 of the jodi arias murder trial, now a full three days past when the judge said it would be over. ted and beth, thanks to both of you. really appreciate it. so things that some of us did that got us into the principal's office are now sending our kids straight to criminal court. so what's changed, when we come. low t treatment. m axiron can restore t levels to normal in about 2 weeks in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18 or men with prostate or breast cancer. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these symptoms to your doctor. tell your doctor about all
medical conditions and medications. serious side effects could include increased risk of prostate cancer; worsening prostate symptoms; decreased sperm count; ankle, feet or body swelling; enlarged or painful breasts; problems breathing while sleeping; and blood clots in the legs. common side effects include skin redness or irritation where applied, increased red blood cell count, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and increase in psa. ask your doctor about the only underarm low t treatment, axiron.
playing hooky, getting in fights, bad-mouthing teachers, the stuff that gets students sent to the principal's office, right? well, more and more, students that act up are ending up in criminal court. by the hundreds of thousands every year. that's according to the "new york times". the "times" says this is due in large part to the greater number of police officers in school. the "times" says that fact is a cause of alarm among both youth advocates and judges and of course this issue has gained greater attention in the aftermath of the newtown school massacre. joining us to talk about this serious issue is ron after,
professor in urban social development at the university of southern california. thank you so much for being with us, professor. the "new york times" makes the case in their article, quotes a lot of people in this article, saying that we are seeing more and more criminal charges in court filed by these police officers in cases that are best handled or would be better handled by the school, by the principal, by the disciplinarian. what do you think? >> absolutely. and this is not just the opinion of the new york times. we have years fd research showing that when you have police officers there who sniemz are trained and most of times are not trained to handle youth, adolescents, and they're not very well connected sometimes to the school setting itself, that you actually increase by quite a bit the number of referrals to courts, tickets, citations. so rather than the principal or the teacher or the educators dealing with the students in the classroom from an educational
perspective the way we've been dealing with most of our history, it becomes a criminal offense, a school fight, instead of an educational opportunity to bring in the parents and to talk to the kids, could become a court case that follows the kids for a very long period of time. and it moves us away from the whole purpose of education in our country, which is partially to educate kids on how to get along with each other. >> it seems to be two issues here and sometimes they're at odds, there's safety and there's discipline. in and of itself, do officers in schools, does it make it more safe? >> well, i think people after particularly sandy hook want to have, in some districts, police officers there. there's absolutely no research backing that these officers were able to stop any shootings in the past. there's been shootings in schools that have had security guards and police officers. in fact, when you look at the
data and you look at the research, the very best prevention we have is talking to the students, to the teachers, to the community members. because almost all of the situations that were thwarted when you look at shootings in particular or stabbings or very serious instances come because other students come forth, they trust the educatoeducators, the community feels comfortable with the school, and they actually let them know beforehand. one of the interesting facts with most of these shootings if you look over the last 10 or 15 years is that a.lmost always someone in the community, someone in the school or in the family knows about these arsenals and sometimes knows about the plans themselves, including which day it is. and it's those situations that have thwarted that the media doesn't cover very often. they usually cover after an event has happened and there's been shootings, but we've had thousands of events where kids, teachers, community members, even families themselves have come forth and told the school and averted massacres, shootings
that could have happened but never did. and i think that ought to be our goal. >> let's talk more about these criminal charges taking place in some cases for minor offenses. it does seem that in some states a very large share of those students being charged are minorities, african-americans, latinos in some cases disabled. how much of an issue is this to you? >> it's a major issue nationally, and it's not something that people are just projecting or making up chb. we have data on this. when you put police officers and security officers -- and by the way we won't be able to afford to put police officers in every school that are better trained and may have some community training, it's usually security guards -- they tend to really hit hard inner city and minority populations because those are the communities that tend to hire in large numbers these security guards. we've seen in texas, for example, huge numbers of kids being ticketed and sent to the
courts, and this is why the juvenile court judges have come out against it, most of them have, and they're not happy so many of these cases are being referred to the courts. it's something that's already happened and is continuing to happen and it's by far hitting hard low-income and minority populations for situations that shouldn't be -- they should just be in the principal's office and taken care of as an educational matter and not to the courts. so there's some that are concerned this will increase the school-to-prison pipeline. i have those concerns as well. >> professor ron astor, thanks for coming in, thanks for your help. appreciate it. 23 minutes after the hour right now. in a silhouette that could be used for target practice gets one police officer fired and now he's lashing out. we're going to hear from him next.
the proliferation of guns in this country? cnn's jill dougherty is traveling with secretary of state john kerry in japan, and she put that question to him. >> we had an interesting discussion about why fewer students are coming to, particularly from japan, study in the united states. one of the responses i got from our officials, from conversations with parents here, is that they're actually scared. they think they're not safe in the united states and so they don't come. >> kerry says officials tell him that japanese citizens feel safe in their country because guns are not readily available there. so you turn on the tv, pick up a newspaper or click through the internet and almost every day there are stories about gun violence. the u.s. outpaces every other country country. on this show, we're committed to telling the stories. there's a big development today, the u.s. supreme court said this morning it is not getting
involved in an important gun case. our crime and justice correspondent joe johns joins us now from washington. good morning, joe. >> good morning, john. the supreme court said it was letting new york's strict gun laws stand. the justices rejected an appeal from gun owners who argued the law was unconstitutional. the issue was whether the second amendment allowed individuals to carry guns outside their homes for self-defense. new york passed some of the strictest gun laws in the nation following the massacre in newtown, connecticut, since the high court refused to get involved, the state law will stay in place. john? >> a lot going on today. joe, you have new details on a story out of florida where this police sergeant was fired over the weekend because he had targets that resembled trayvon mart martin. what's the latest on that? >> absolutely. there are new details there. this police sergeant has taken to youtube to defend himself after being fired from the port canaveral police department for possessing shooting targets that some said looked like the
florida teenager gunned down last year. sergeant ron king apologized to the martin family,s and he's now trying to clear his name. he says he was using an image of an unarmed person in a hoodie as a "don't shoot" target. in other words, it was a target people in training were supposed to avoid shooting. a common practice in law enforcement listen. >> i'm being accused of using a trayvon martin silhouette target for fire arps training in a moern that is less than professional. i take these allegations seriously. and i find that others are accusing me of something that i just plain did not do. >> an interesting little twist there to a story that we've been hearing so much about. as i said, "don't shoot "targets are pretty common in law enforcement. >> you can see the picture there of that kid in a hoodie, apparently holding exit ells and an iced tea, much like trayvon
martin did. another store this weekend, a gun death at a nascar race. what do we know about this? >> authorities say the 42-year-old man's body was found in the back of a truck on the infield of a campground area of the race. this is near the back stretch of the texas motor speedway. the local medical examiner says he shot himself in the head and local reports indicate he was fighting with other spectators before he died. that race is sponsored by the national rifle association, we should point out. texas motor speedway rules say no weapons or firearms are loued allowed on the premises there. >> joe johns, great to see you. thanks so much. it is the next chapter in the steubenville rape case. two teenagers were convicted last month, but now a grand jury is locking at the role of adults and whether adults broke any laws. we'll explore this when we come back.
the recent rape case in steubenville, ohio, grabbed headlines and ended with the conviction of two teenaged boys. today a new grand jury is being seated to look into other aspects of the case, including what happened surrounding the attacks on this impaired teenage girl at different parties. among the issues, the possible cover-up by grown-ups, adults,s and the responsibility of homeowners who may or may not have hosted these parties. lisa bloom and brian silver are back with me right now. we want to focus just on the homeowners reitz now. there are three homes in question, one where the drinking took place, the second apparently a stopover for the teens, and the third where the rape happened. so, lisa, what do you think the grand jury is trying to determine, and with all three sets of homeowners here, will will all three be treat the same in these cases?
>> no. it will depend on the facts and the question for the grand jury is criminal negligence. were adults aware of criminal activity happening on their property? it or of a high probability that criminal activity would happen on their property because teenagers and alcohol being m x mixed there and they closed their eyes to it. normally this is a civil issue. i handle civil cases in my law firm. that's where i would expect this to go, probably not criminal charges for the adults rnlt r unless there's really a smoking gun. >> how aware do you have to be, lisa? if you go away, should you assume your kids will throw a party? >> yeah. the law expects people to behave reasonably. we know what happens when 16 and 17-year-olds are left to will all-night parties with a lot of alcohol. there's a high probability a crime will be committed, perhaps a dui, perhaps a sex ufl assault. so we're all charged with that. parents, this should be a wake of wake-up call. you are legally charged with supervising minors on your property. you can't just take off and close your eyes to it.
>> so the teenager who lives at the third house was given immunity for his testimony, the teenager was. does that extend to his parents in this case, brian? >> absolutely not. they would need their own special agreement. when someone is given immunity by prosecutors it's something they write in a contract. it actually has a very funny name. in federal court we call that queen for a day. in state court it may be a different name in the local jurisdiction. but it's very specific to the individual, it's signed by his attorney and the prosecutor. so, no, i do not believe the parents have immunity. >> lisa brought up the possible penalties here. what do you think these parents face here brian? >> at best for the prosecutors this may be a misdemeanor charge for culpable negligence, which as lisa explained ask criminal negligence. but the standard is very high. this is something that's rarely charged. let me give you an example. if you fire off a gun into the air and you're in a crowded area, you know, you do this in
celebration, the bullet comes down and kills somebody, that might be culpable negligence. if you're handling a firearm, maybe you're not so careful, not trained, and it accidentally goes off and you shoot someone, that would not be criminal negligence. so it all depends on the facts. but in this case i don't think the parents are going to ultimately be charged. >> lisa, i wonder if you can give me a scale of the issues here. you said if you go away, of course, you're in some way responsible, if you just leave the house and your kids start drinking. will but that's not as bad as making alcohol available to your kids. there are parents who give their kids liquor. >> yes, and there are parents who are found civilly liable for the damages that result from it. we can't let people have a blase attitude about teens and alcohol. there are civil cases all over this country every day where parents are held liable for the results of giving teenagers alcohol. yes, it's commonly done. it is also illegal and also leads to negative consequences as i say, particularly drunk driving consequences.
parents should r shouldn't do it, and if they do, their financial future is on the line in a civil case. >> doesn't sound like a good idea at all. aside from not giving kids alcohol, which you say sounds like a bad idea, what should parents know about their house and about what their kids are doing in it, lisa? >> parents should be completely responsible for everything that goes on in their home at all times. it doesn't matter if the young people are 16 or 17 years old. it is your house. you are responsible for what happens there. you are the one who's going to get sued because teenagers don't have money. parents have homeowners insurance so they're the ones who will get sued if bad things happen on their property. you have to be alert, you have to kick out kids who are behaving improperly, make sure they don't have access to alcohol or drugs. if they do, get them off your premises. >> brian, give you last word. is it that simple? >> it's not exactly that simple because as a parent, you know your kids will go out and do certain things. there's some parents that would rather have them do it at home in the safety of their home
where they're supervised. letting them go off on their own to get drunk could be worse. it's almost a catch-22. >> as is most cases with parenting, no doubt. brian and lisa, thanks so much. stick with us. we have another question for you. who owns your dna? that is a big question, a huge question before the supreme court today. we're going to lay out the case and what it could mean for you. stay with us. okay, team! after age 40, we can start losing muscle -- 8% every 10 years. wow. wow. but you can help fight muscle loss
with exercise and ensure muscle health. i've got revigor. what's revigor? it's the amino acid metabolite, hmb to help rebuild muscle and strength naturally lost over time. [ female announcer ] ensure muscle health has revigor and protein to help protect, preserve, and promote muscle health. keeps you from getting soft. [ major nutrition ] ensure. nutrition in charge! how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed: the official retirement age. ♪ the question is how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years. ♪ [ angry gibberish ] [ justin ] mulligan sir. mulligan. take a mulligan. i took something for my sinuses, but i still have this cough.
[ male announcer ] truth is, a lot of sinus products don't treat cough. they don't? [ male announcer ] nope, but alka seltzer plus severe sinus does it treats your worst sinus symptoms, plus that annoying cough. [ angry gibberish ] [ fake coughs ] sorry that was my fault sir. [ male announcer ] alka seltzer plus severe sinus. [ breathes deeply ] ♪ oh, what a relief it is! [ male announcer ] try alka seltzer plus severe sinus day and night for complete relief from your worst sinus symptoms.
>> watching a really fascinating case on the medical front today. the u.s. supreme court is hearing arguments over an issue that involves literally every human being. the question before the court, can human genes be patented? a utah firm myriad genetics found two genes linked to cancer and they patented the discovery. our senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen is with us and criminal defense attorney brian silver. elizabeth i have so many people in the legal and medical community saying this is a giant case today. what's at issue today? >> it could set a huge precedent, a giant case. basically what's at stake is, can a company own a part of you? we all have genes, these genes that we're talking about here with breast cancer. and can a company say, hey, we found it first so we own it? that means they're the only ones who can make the test to detect it. and i just got off the phone with george annas a professor
and lawyer. he was in the room for the arguments this morning. he said there was a lot of attention focused on this particular analysis, that the justices said, look, let's say you discover a plant that would be a great drug, that could really help a lot of people. you can't patent that plant. that plant occurs in nature. so the justices were asking, can you really patent a gene? that gene is in all of us, occurs in nature. >> so i understand the sort of law school legal question there which you laid out, can a company own a piece of nature? can can a company own a piece of you? like i said, an interesting sort of law school question there, but does this ahave an impact on our everyday lives? >> it does, and let me tell you why. myriad said, hey, we own the patent, therefore we're the only ones who can do a breast cancer genetic test. well, there have been patients who went to get this test and they said, if this test is positive, if i have this gene, i am removing both my breasts, i'm having both breasts surgically removed. they got an answer from the lab that says, yeah, you carry this gene. these ladies said, wait a second, i don't really know i
want my breasts removed based on results of one test. what if the lab goofed, made a mistake? it's happened. they wanted a second opinion. and they couldn't get it because this company has a monopoly on the gene. some of those people are plaintiffs in this case saying that's just not right. we should be able to get a second opinion. >> there is a lot of money at stake obviously. what is the company that owns the patent have to say about all of this? >> the company that owns the papt ent myriad said, look, we put a lot of money and energy and time into finding this gene. we were first. we developed the new molecular even entities. we did the work, it's ours, we should own it. >> let's bring in brian silver. you've been listening to this case. where do you see this whole thing landing when it's said and done? >> i think this is going to come down to the science. elizabeth is correct, you can't own a plant or human organ or thing of that nature. but the question is, the thing that they made, is it the actual gene inside our bodies, or is it another process that created
something new that aallows us to read those genes? for example, and this is my suspicion, i almost sense that this gene business is kind of like an x-ray. if i put my arm in an x-ray machine and then an image comes out, i believe that can be patented. they're not trying to patd emtded human body but what they created with science and research. if that's the case and that's what the justices find, then it should be patented and they should be rewarded for their efforts. >> is the issue how big of a change you have to make or how much they have to put in to get that gene out? >> my thought would be this is a very specialized area. i would imagine that they have to make something that is qualitatively different than the underlying gene. again, i'm not a science or expert in genetics but that would be my thought process. i would want to know what they have done different than simply let's say harvesting an organ from somebody. >> brian sillber, thanks,
facing lawsuits from thousands of nfl players now has to pay up in a high school case. a colorado jury ruled this weekend that redel owes rhett ra dolphy millions of dollars. he is now partially paralyzed from playing football. his lawsuit had two claims, first that the helmet had design flaws, the second redel did not adequately warn players about the dangers of concussions. but the jury only faulted redel for the second claim, the failure of the warning. redel gave this statement, while disappointed in the jury's decision not to fully exonerate riddle, we are pleased that the jury determined that the helmet was not defective in any way. the company plans to appeal. we want to bring in legal analyst for abu.com lisa bloom and brian silber. lisa, the jury found the company at fault only for part of the claims in the lawsuit, saying
there was no adequate warning, saying there were no design flaws. the fact that they only found one, will that help in an appeal? >> adequate warning. the fact they only found one and not the other, will that help in an appeal? >> well, it will. but let's remember they got hit with a $3 million judgment. this is clearly a victory for the plaintiffs who said that they were harmed notwithstanding wearing this helmet. these are very fact-specific kind of tort cases where somebody on the one hand has been injured, suffered a concussion playing football. and on the other hand a company says there are too many lawsuits out there. but this jury took a look at all of the facts and said there should have been more warnings, that these helmets alone were not sufficient to protect against the concussions. you are absolutely right. there will definitely be appeals. >> meanwhile $3 million is a lot of money. riddell is also listed in lawsuits by thousands of former nfl players making several claims to this high school student they were not adequately
warned about the threat of concussion. so, brian, will the colorado lawsuit, could that affect the larger nfl case? >> it certainly can. you know, the plaintiffs attorneys representing the nfl players have to play close attention to these rulings as well as the other side riddell has to look at it also. i think it still creates an issue that has to be lilt gaited. it's not a black and white win or loss for either side. there is still that one final point. and i think that's ultimately what riddell may have to decide in terms of their business. do they want to settle this one thing now after judgment or take it all the way and see if they can win and stamp out this problem once and for all? >> does the fact that the equipment was not ruled defective does that give them i want to keep on fighting? >> this is merely a question of risk and assumption of risk. if you're a football player and it's the first time you hit the field and put on that helmet,
you can probably say i've relied on the helmet and never done this before, but if you've played multiple seasons and know about football and getting tackled and know about the injuries and what a helmet can do, that argument may be a little weaker. >> lisa, what do you think this means for the larger nfl lawsuit? i'm a huge football fan and right now concussions in football are really all anyone's talking about right now. if they're being charged $3 million for not warning people they could get concussions in this high school case, will that have an effect on the nfl? >> absolutely. this is one case. multiply that times potentially hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs and i'm sure the company is taking this very seriously. many of us see warnings on all kinds of products. the question is how much do we really follow those warnings? if there were warnings all over the helmet or if materials were distributed to parents when they purchased the helmet, would it really make a difference? would kitds be yanked out of football? would they play differently? i'm sure the helmet manufacturer says no, warnings are routinely
ignored by people. >> that's a great question. i know the answer. people across the country are all talking about it. lisa bloom, brian silver, stick with us. we're going to come back in a second with this question, what would you do if someone came racing at you with an electric razor? i know it sounds funny but it was really scary for hugh jackman. and he's not the only star with a serious stalker problem. stay with us. that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. made with care, for you or your family. try align. it's the number one ge recommended probiotic that helps maintain digestive balance. ♪ stay in the groove with align.
offering exclusive products like optional better car replacement, where if your car is totaled, we give you the money to buy one a model year newer. call... and ask an insurance expert about all our benefits today, like our 24/7 support and service, because at liberty mutual insurance, we believe our customers do their best out there in the world, so we do everything we can to be there for them when they need us. plus, you could save hundreds when you switch, up to $423. call... today. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? actor hugh jackman had a
terrifying workout when a woman with an electric razor chased him down in the gym shouting "i love you." i know you hear electric razor and think that sounds kind of funny, but jackman's publicist says he's seen this woman near his daughter's school and at home. not funny at all. she was charged with stalking on saturday. singer billy joel recently hired a bodyguard for his daughter who has a stalker, according to reports. and a woman arrested atd singer clay akin's home this month. joined by legal analyst for avo.com lisa bloom and attorney brian silver. brian, what can celebrities do to protect themselves? >> well, i really feel bad for people in this position. you know, having a stalker is extremely stressful and worrisome because these people are on the fringe. there's something not mentally right with them. the legal recourse someone has
is just to file an injunction which is a court order that instructs that person not to go within x amount of feet. but the truth is if you have a mental problem and you're not stable, i don't know that that's going to stop somebody. that's the real issue here. that's the problem. >> i think that's what we commonly refer to as a restraining order here. if you're talking about a stalker, lisa, is a restraining order effective? >> a restraining order is always a good idea. i've been a stalking victim myself. it's true that a piece of paper isn't going to stop somebody who's dangerous, but police love it when you have a restraining order because you can simply hand it over to law enforcement. if that person violates the restraining order, they go directly to jail, they don't pass go, they don't collect $200. so it's a great tool for law enforcement. of course you also have to take precautions yourself. for women i always advise you have a big barking dog, that you have security, that you don't go out alone. these are normal precautions that we take in the 21st century. but please, everybody out there, if you are having a problem, you
should absolutely go to court. you don't need a lawyer. go in and get a restraining order. >> you can't fix everything, but at least it helps seems to be the message you're sending. how can you tell from a legal standpoint the difference between, gosh, i'm your biggest fan ever and, boy, i'm a stalker. lisa. >> well, you can tell because the person is harassing you over and over. they're saying creepy things like the hugh jackman stalker said i'm going to be your next wife. they start talking about your children. they start showing up inappropriately at your home or at events where they're not invited. it's a pretty clear delineation between a stalker and someone who's just a nice fan. >> and what about anti-stalking laws, brian? i guess they vary state-to-state. >> they do. in florida if it's a consistent thing that you're constantly harassing someone, whether it's harassing phone calls or cyber stalking or like lisa said showing up at their job or work, you simply go to the police and they're actually very easy charges to prove especially on the phone or internet. you bring a phone bill and say,
hey, i got 3 2 calls between 2:00 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. from this person. >> lisa, it's frightening to hear in your case that you were stalked. i'm sorry to hear that. when you talk about some of these giant megastars, hugh jackmans or bigger, i suppose some of them hire bodyguards or an entourage. are there legal repercussions or implications that come from that? >> from having bodyguards? not unless they behave inappropriately. i also represent clients who are high profile people and i always advise them to get security. security can take pictures of people too. immediately anybody who looks suspicious lingering around your home behaving inappropriately. unfortunately anyone at hugh jackman's level have to have a security, they have to live in a gated community. that's just the world we live in now. >> it is unfortunate indeed. lisa bloom, brian silbar, thanks so much for sticking with us all day. a lot of ground covered. i appreciate it. >> pleasure. >> thanks for
IN COLLECTIONSCNN Television Archive Television Archive News Search Service
Uploaded by TV Archive on