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tv   Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield  CNN  January 23, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PST

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t business. built for business. t bu --ecaptions by vitac -- hello, everyone. i'm ashleigh banfield and welcome to "legal view." we're following two different and sudden transfers of power in a part of the world where power doesn't transfer easily. saudi arabia has a new king coming with the not so expected death of the king abdullah. he moves up. of course, oil, always oil certainly does have an effect on everyone's life. the shiite militia that lay
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siege to the presidential palace four days ago and accepted peace so long as the cabinet stepped down, all of that effectively now is the way it's going to be. the other folks are in charge today, and since we opened this program 24 hours ago, yemen's u.s.-backed president, prime minister, and cabinet no longer with any say. and al qaeda's most dangerous faction may just be lying in wait. certainly can't forget about that other group, isis, and their threat to behead japanese hostages. what's frightening is there is still no word on the state of those hostages. the connections here can be very, very complicated. i turn to barbara starr at the pentagon and richard quest. barbara, if i could begin with you. the embassy is a big story.
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just days ago we were reporting the numbers there in the hundreds and now we're hearing it's more like the dozens and the drawdown of personnel in yemen has effectively begun, but what is the strategy, and do they have those roots for safety mapped out for these americans? >> well, the state department late yesterday said it was going to start reducing the numbers at the embassy. they're not saying how many have left and how many more may leave. obviously due to security concerns. and, indeed, just as you hinted at, ashleigh, they did drive the route before they took the civilians to the airport. they drove the route to make sure they could get there safely. this is all about reducing the numbers at the embassy in case you have to make a full-blown evacuati evacuation. you want to might as simple as possible. why keep americans there if they don't really need to be there
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because, of course, the embassy perhaps not really working at full speed. there isn't a government of yemen to really conduct diplomacy with it at this point. that's really at issue. who's in charge of the government. the houthis still seeking to take full power at least out on the street, uncertainty about what will happen next, the notion of u.s. dip momency by that embassy practically speaking very limited at the moment. >> and, barbara, just quickly if you could remind our viewers what happened a few days ago with one of the american vehicles outside the embassy. it took on round bs of fire. thank god it had armor protecting it. do they have enough to get them in the air and out of the country? >> at the moment the assessment is the roads are safe enough to
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drive on. i think you would find most u.s. embassies around the world have their personnel in protective-type vehicles. that is the state of things. yemen in particular because of the security. they're outside the fence line for protecting the embassy, protecting personnel as they come and go through those check points. so it will be very closely watched over the coming hours and days. are those military and security personnel still there out there manning the check points? are they still loyal? big question. no real office. >> standing by, paul kirkshank if you could weigh in on it, the kinds of programs americans need so desperately, counterterrorism program, the drone program, and just general observation in the area that is increasingly
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unstable. do we have any indication that the houthis or whomever is going to fill this volume is going to be as friendly? >> not as friendly as the united states but the houthis are virs rally opposed to all kai da. they've been taking a fight in a big way in recent months. that fight has escalated other the past few days between the houthis on one side and al qaeda on the other. >> could they be our allies? >> it's a very big question. the houthis are also anti-americans to some degree. >> their slogan "death to america." >> it's going to be much more difficult for the u.s. to cooperate with the houthi. but the big worry in yemen is that al qaeda will get a windfall if the houthis take charge of the government because it will be a shiite government essentially and they're virs rally opposed to them.
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you could see a lot more of them go over to the al qaeda side and they could expand in a big way. they've said repeatedly their number one priority is hitting the united states. >> all right. richard quest in davos, if you could weigh in on the global map and how that affects the americans with the king of saudi arabia now dead and his brother taking over the crown. what do you know of him? how much of an ally will he be to the united states and will the saudis remain the allies they have been for decades? >> let me give you the words of john kerry, the u.s. secretary of state who i've just broken to very briefly in davos. secretary kerry said -- i asked him, does he see any change or any difference in u.s./saudi relations as a result of king abdullah's death. he said, no, no, no, i don't see
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any change in the conversations i've been having. that's with very good reason. the new administration, the new king, salman, he's been running saudi arabia in recent months due to king abdullah's failing health. we've seen the head of security, the chief of staff, there will be internal changes and internal jockeying for power within saudi arabia, but as for its fundamental alliance with the united states, no, that seems to be absolutely rock solid. i'm not hearing anybody suggesting on security issues that changes. >> and if you could just touch on the oil story. americans have a keen interest in the middle east for security issues an then for that pocketbook problem. there was a spike in the price of oil. everyone wants to know is this temporary or a sign of things to come with the king's passing?
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>> well, the spike is just clearly a knee-jerk reaction. what happens next. but the new king last night very clearly, very efficiently made it clear there would be no change in saudi's policy as relates to opec. you'll remember, ashleigh, that policy says we aren't cutting, we're keep a market share. we can expect unless there's a certain change that's not being spoken at the moment that the policy remains. the tap remains open. the price remains low. you're seeing longer term it probably drifts back or stays where it is. >> all right. richard quest in davos, switzerland and barbara starr in washington. thank you. how much trouble can an american teenager get into for aiding and supporting isis, especially when this is the teenager you're talking about. she's a shiite.
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we're about to find out what it is she did and what's going to happen to her because of it. and by the way, the mid east wedding she had planned? well, it's off effective today. you think you're going? mr. mucus: to work, with you. it's taco tuesday. man: you're not coming. i took mucinex to help get rid of my mucusy congestion. i'm good all day. [announcer:] mucinex keeps working. not 4, not 6, but 12 hours. let's end this
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to be sentenced a little later on today, in fact, this afternoon, for providing material support to isis. this is shannon conley. shannon maureen conley. she's 19 years old right now but she was arrested last year at the denver international airport. she was on a little trip with a plan to marry a suspect eed isi
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leader. she made a deal with the prosecutors and she pled guilty and now she's facing maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for her infractions. first thing i thought of when i heard five years is that sounds very low for someone, an american, who is pleading guilty to materiel support to terrorism and to isis. can you sort of run down the factors that lead into where she may end up on the spectrum of up to five years? >> ultimately it's the judge's decision today to determine her sentence, but as part of the plea hearing, as part of her plea agreement, she's agreed to fully cooperate with investigators as they go after her so-called coconspirators who recruited her essentially online, and she's even agreed to testify against them before a grand jury should the time come
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to that. we know she's identified her so-called suitor, a 323-year-old tunisian man, she believes. she had his contact information on her when she was arrested back in april trying to board a plane to syria. she also told investigators she was in contact online with a so-called isis sister, a woman who was a housewife and shannon conley said she had plans to join them in syria, that she wanted to be married to an isis fighter and become a nurse in an isis camp since she had her nursing certification, but she also said she would be willing to fight and would do so if necessary and had obtained some training with the u.s. explorers prior to this trip and when they arrested her they found shooting targets inside her home that had distance on them, the number of rounds fired. theyal found information, books and lectures by anwar al awlaki,
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of course, one of the previous leaders of al qaeda in yemen. they say that's some of the evidence mounted against her. her lawyers and her parents claim she was a victim, impressionable, just 19 years old, and she had gone online to learn more about islam since she was a recent convert. listen to what her lawyers said to us right after her plea. he calls her by her muslim name. >> since her arrest in april, the news out of the part of the world to which she was headed has been just awful. the man she was on her way to marry was part of isis. like all of us, she has been horrified to learn of the slaughter and oppression at the hands of the people controlling isis. it was never her vision to have
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any role in any of that. >> reporter: now, i went to go visit shannon conley in prison yesterday prior to sentencing and when she sat down with me, she said i can't talk. my lawyers advised me not to talk. >> i asked her what she goes by. i asked her why she changed her name. she said because i'm a different person when came in. >> she's going to be a real different person when she comes out after she gets sentenced today. just quickly, ana, can you tell me this, naming co-conspirators, fingering people, naming people overseas, but did she name anyone else in america? are they after anyone else here at home that might have actually helped her? >> reporter: not that we know of. we read through all of the documents that have been released by the court, the
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criminal complaint, the plea hearing agreement, and within those documents we learn that she told her parents that everything she learned about islam she had got online through her own internet research, so her parents are really stressing that point, that they're concerned about other young people going online and if they're impressionable, they may fall trap order victim to the same thing shannon did so they're urging the mainstream leaders to come out. >> hey, there's a great idea, ana cabrera. thank you for that. we're looking forward to finding out what the final sentence is this afternoon. up next, $40,000 seized by the police in a traffic stop, and the driver didn't do anything wrong. so you would think that officer that you're looking at who's doing it is going to get in big trouble, right? not even close. he was just doing his job. and guess what? they can do it anywhere they
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there are police officers nationwide, maybe even in your own town, who are being trained in roadside tactics. one method they're getting is flat out stealing. we first told you about this story yesterday, a company desert snow. it teaches police officers to seize cash. the surprising thing is you don't each have to be charged with a crime in order for them to just clean out your trunk, take the bag, take the money, and run. just the mere thought or the
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suspicion of bad behavior on the part of the cop seems to be reason enough for the police to just take all that cash away from you. and this can happen pretty much anywhere in the country. in part 2 of a cnn investigation, our gary tuchman looks at what's happening to drivers in at least one small nevada county. >> reporter: you're looking at a desolate stretch of interstate highway in rural nevada, about two hours east of reno. if you were driving here on i-80 with cash in your car last year, this could have happened to you. >> how much money you got? that's not yours, is it? i'm seizing it. >> this is humboldt county sheriff's deputy lee dub. he's about to seize this money from this driver who wasn't even charged with a crime or a er's violation. this attorney is representing
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him and is starting a class action suit. >> tell him if he wants to protest it that they'll take his car too. he won't do any official act after that except put the money in the bank. no police reports, no lawsuit, no forfeiture lawsuit, which is generally what's done. take the money and run. >> reporter: the traffic stops are call interdictions by the authorities something called civil asset forfeiture in which cops are allowed to seize the money if law enforcement believe money may be part of an illegal enterpri enterprise. >> reporter: officer dub was so prout of himself he started autographing. on the highway he began berating motorists. >> you're already getting cash.
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that's going to be seized, okay? you're up to no good. >> reporter: this kind of language is very disturbing to michal len who happens to be deputy dub's boss. >> when i first learned about it, i guess i was in denial thinking that this can't happen, that something is being misled and that all the information isn't coming forth. >> and today how do you feel about it? >> after i viewed a videotape, i feel that these highway interdiction programs need to be looked into and make sure that people's rights are not being violated. >> reporter: records show that deputy dub was trained by debt earth snow. an oklahoma company responsible for training thousands of police officers nationwide from stopping roadside terrorists to
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motorists. we wanted to ask officer dub about this why he thought this was in any way appropriate. it was nightfall when we walked up to his how. >> deputy dub, this is gary tuchman with cnn. no answer. this happened when we pulled away. we were pulled over by other colleagues. why? they were told by him. a few minutes later we were let go. >> was in bulgaria before the fall of the wall and of the iron curtain, and it's real spooky. i think this is one aspect that you'd be worried about, but even more than that, i think that the average traveler traveling on an interstate highway in this country would never imagine this kind of thing could happen to
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them. >> the attorney and the new sheriff both say the nevada attorney general's office is investigating the situation. the attorney adding he has been informed that deputy dove and one or more of his colleagues are being investigated for at least 38 similar forfeiture stops. the sheriff says the stops have now been suspended. is he still with the department? the answer is yes. but sheriff allen would not say if he was taken off duty while during that investigation. what about the money seized from the driver. it has been returned as part of an out-of-court settlement. gary tuchman, cnn, humboldt county, nevada. part 3 of gary tuchman's report is going to air tonight on "anderson cooper 360." we woke up to this in new york. that's one of the most powerful men in the state arrested.
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alleged bribes, kickbacks, corruption. big sur prierksz right? well, youed my be surprised to find out how many places across the country this can happen because when politicians are allowed to keep their jobs and graft tunnels can stay open, this can happen anywhere. find out just how high the problem goes. (son) oh no... can you fix it, dad? yeah, i can fix that. (dad) i wanted a car that could handle anything. i fixed it! (dad) that's why i got a subaru legacy. (vo) symmetrical all-wheel drive plus 36 mpg. i gotta break more toys. (vo) introducing the all-new subaru legacy. it's not just a sedan. it's a subaru. and our big idaho potato truck is still missing. so my buddy here is going to help me find it.
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welcome back to "legal view" and this just in to cnn. secretary john kerry announcing in davos he plans to visit nigeria soon. they've massacred entire communities, as many as 2,000 people. he announced it while giving an address on violent extremism. bombing suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev's attorney is making another move to get his trial moved. the defense has filed documents saying that 68% of people who have been asked in the perspective jury pool think he's guilty and 69% asked have a person connection. some of the information is stunning like the doctor who treated both he and his brother
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before he died. that doctor is in the perspective jury pool. a story of conspiracy, corruption, and politics and one of the most powerful men in the state of new york, that guy was arrested and charged because the allegation is he used his position to obtain, are you ready for this? up to $4 million in bribes and kickbacks. $4 million. plus, we're talk about silver. he looked like a common criminal when he was hauled away in the back of an fbi car. one of the biggest fish they have ever charged and in he goes to the courthouse. the united states attorney raised and answered a lot of questions that people have asked for years. >> what exactly does speaker silver do to earn his substantial outside income?
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well, the head scratching can come to an end on that score, too, because the answer to that question today as well. he does nothing. as alleged, speaker silver never did any actual legal work. he simply sat back and collected millions of dollars by cashing in on his public office and his political influence. >> mr. silver is also accused of siphoning state funds, and he's facing up to 100 years in prison. he's out on bond right now, about $200,000 worth of bond. he says he has absolutely no plans to resign. >> i'm happy the issue is coming to be aired in the legal process, and i am confident that when all the issues are aired, i will be vindicated. >> i want to bring in cnn legal
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analyst paul and a prosecutor in new york and the former host of "judge alex." okay, you two. the charges are pretty credible. just quickly two charges of fraud, one count of conspiracy to do that. one count of extortion and one count of conspiracy to do that. when you're going after a guy this big, you really need your ducks in a row, don't you, paul? >> there's an old saying, if you shoot at the king, you'd better be ready to shoot the king. this guy is the king of the lawyers. he's the most probably powerful lawyer. the public doesn't know him because he's not trying cases but he's controlling legislation about how cases get tried in every case in new york and affecting businesses around the world. so an extremely powerful man. >> you're sitting on the bench and in front of you is the speaker, a powerful man and extraordinary lawyer. you know that.
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does that make a difference when you look at adjudicating a case like this? >> me, absolutely not. i applaud them for pursuing this because i don't think we have enough prosecutions of people in his power and if i were a judge and he's guilty, he'd be in a lot of trouble. i view white collar crime some of the most serious crimes. i'll tell you this. one, he's an elderly man. >> he's 70. >> so please give him a light sentence. too bad. i guess that means he got to live most of his life without getting caught for however long he was doing this. the second thing is he's not a violent criminal. he didn't pull a gun on anybody or rape anybody, that is true. but if you do not treat white collar crime seriously, there is no determinate. if they think, oh, wait, he got away with this, how much would it have been if he got caught.
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>> let's remind everybody he's presumed innocent at this point. >> of course. >> they've been investigating him for years and this is the first time -- >> if he's guilty, he wouldn't want me as his judge. >> this is new york. if i'm in any other state in the union, should i care as much about this because i look to congress and they're not allowed to have other jobs. our congressmen and our senators are full time in their jobs. there's no opportunity for that tunnel of graph. state to state, that's not the case. >> people should care about this because state legislatures across the nation are considered to be part-time jobs, and these lawyers, most people who serve in these legislatures are lawyers. they're running law firms on the side and they're taking fees on the side, and if they're using their influence in the legislature to get higher fees, then that can be criminal. >> absolutely. >> so this is an important case on that issue. >> the part of government that
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is most understand staffed is tt that reviews corruption. we're getting robbers, the people who commit the daily crimes, but the ones who are pocketing the millions and millions of dollars, they're the ones. >> again, these are all allegations until they're proven in a court of law. paul callan and judge alex, thank you for coming up. one of the most prestigious cities in the country is rocked. if you think you've heard it all, this one just might take the cake. yes, it's football players, yes, it's a young woman. this time, though, photos and videos that just may tell the story that the victim herself cannot. hey what are you doing?
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especially if you're the parent of a young daughter, this next story i'm about to tell you is extremely disturbing on a number of levels and it's a warning as well that some of the content we're about to provide here at cn is very graphic. it is a trial involving four former vanderbilt university football players. they're accused of an aggravated rape and sexual battery from two summers ago. the alleged victim actually took the stand on thursday and began telling her story. she and her friends arrived at a bar in nashville that night. one of the suspects named brandon vandenberg, a man she had been dating, was there. she testified he gave her a blue drink that she only sipped. that was after three other drinks but after that blue drink, she said that was the last thing she remembered until waking up in a strange room several hours later. as is cnn policy we're going to
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keep her unidentified but we have this sound from the alleged victim's testimony that came yesterday saying that vandenberg filled her in on a memory lapse this way. >> he told me that i had gotten sick in his room and he had to clean it up and that it was horrible and that he had to spend the whole night taking care of me and that it was horrible. i apologized. i was embarrassed. >> but what really happened to that young woman is beyond a nightmare. instead she was carried unconscious into a university dorm room and she was abused in unspeakable ways. the reason we know this is because many of the revolting acts were actually captured on three of the suspects' cell phones. i'm going to go to hln legal analyst joey jackson and i want to bring back judge alex ferrer, former host of "judge alex."
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this story, i can't even tell you the details, go into detail on television. it would be even difficult to write this in a magazine or news piece what is so graphic what is alleged to have happened to this young woman. joey jackson, we so often have these stories and they're he said/she said because there are no cell phone pictures. in this case, she has no memory. she did not go to get met medical help or get a rape kit and yet there could very well be a conviction in this case. >> i think a conviction is likely, ashleigh, for a number of reasons. even in a he said/she said case, you have something that's compelling. you have recent outcry afterward. when you start conferring and recognizing what happened to you, they can come in and testify. but here you have something very compelling, and that's what judge alex will address momentarily and that's the video in this case. now, remember the other day they
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show thad video in court. now, video is undeniable, and when you have video where you're showing the private parts of a person, where objects -- again, we won't discuss the specifics being inserted into her, there were things being done to her and that's detected on the video, that's compelling. make no mistake about that. we're talking about aggravated rape, minimum 15, and you can get up to 60. in addition to that, what's aggravated rape? it's not only raich wherein -- i noenlt mean to say not only but there's penetration. there's more than that. you're taking advantage of a helpless victim. >> face down. >> and you're doing it while aided and abetted by another. last point, when you have four defendants and judge alex, i'm sure this happen in your courtroom many times. what happens is you have a separate case. you have finger-pointing, it wasn't me, it was you. i don't know what will happen
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but a conviction will happen. >> i've been walking on eggshells all morning long. what can i say about this because i hate to say it. in these cases, facts matter. they make a huge difference between a charge of rape or a charge of something else. duke lacrosse, perfect example. but i will say this. i can now tell you and it's hard to even suggest it. she did suffer a penetration, a rape involved a bottle. the suspects were laughing on tape while doing this. they were slapping her allegedly which left bruises. there was some allegation that she was about to wake up and that's why the slapping happen thad left bruises on her body. when she woke up the next morning, her knee was gashed open, her shoes were at different parts of the block that she lived on, and she had no memory. and she had vomit in her hair and knew nothing else. >> i know you're going to judge alex, but they about how a jury
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digests this. think about how they respond when they see information like this that's being depicted on a screen in front of them. >> can i tell you this? this is from nashville, tennessee, from reporting there. one of the jurors gasped and another put both of her hands to her mouth. we know now what effect that video hachlts but 30 photographs. some of them had been deleted as well. judge alex, i want a bigger picture here for parents who are watching this, for young girls who may be headed to college or might be in college now. so often these cases have been he said/she said because she didn't have a lot of memory, there with nor pictures, and it becomes just a battle of the wits or the lawyers. when you have this kind of evidence, more and more going forward, does it change the nature of gang rapes, campus rapes, and who's more believable when it is just he said/she said, and there are no photographs? will this change the playing field now that we know, good god, this really happens as
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often as some of the victims say it does. >> i think it will have an effect. and you have to imagine, ashleigh, this is coming to a head because these guys were dumb enough to videotape it. if they hadn't videotaped it or taken pictures, it would have been another he said/she said, except she wouldn't have said anything because she had no memory at all. >> she began to hear the rumors. >> the rumors began to get passed around. you have to ask yourself how many times does this happen across the country at universities where the guys are so drunk they don't take pictures. being a father of a girl this age, i don't know what i would do with these guys. >> she was at a bar with friends of legal age nonld nothing slipped in her drink. nothing to do with her. >> not take drinks from people. it will affect how they look at these types of cases but that can be true too. remember the "rolling stone"
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magazine case. >> that was the university of virginia. there's one thing we can say if you're parents out there. please talk to your children. please let them know case after case after case this happens and yet we have another case that's developing. tell your children that this kind of behavior isn't funny, this is not acceptable. this is life-altering for everyone including those who go to prisons for years for it. joey jackson, thanks, judge alex, thank you for that. we'll continue to follow the outcome of this case. up next, you may have seen it by now. it is incredible at the box office. "american sniper." it's gaining attention all around the world. that's great for film. what about the case that's building, around the man that's alleged to have murdered chris kyle? the legendary american sniper. cough if you can hear me. don't even think about it. i took mucinex dm
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the new clint eastwood movie "american sniper" simply exploded at the box office unlike any previous film about the iraq war. there's something else afoot that's pretty big too. there's the real-life navy s.e.a.l. chris kyle who was able to kill 160 people as a sniper during his four tours of duty in iraq. >> on a cell phone, watching the convoy, over. >> do you think he's watching
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troop movement? you have the green light, over. >> maybe he's just calling his old lady. >> so in real life chris kyle himself was killed but it was an odd circumstance. it happened four years later and it happened at home at a gun range in texas. allegedly a fellow vet with ptsd murdered him. the man who's facing the allegations is eddie ray. by then millions and millions will have seen chris kyle immortalized not just as a hero but as a legend. in fact, he's called a legend over and over again. so can this man on your screen get a fair trial in this case? i'll ask my lawyer on that one, cnn legal analyst paul callan. when you have a high-profile
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trial and a movie, is that an injustice for this guy? >> this is sort of the perfect storm for trial publicity or pretrial publicity with the academy award nominations and the popularity of this film. i think most judges will look at this carefully and as the trial date gets closer and closer, there's a possibility it could get pushed over to a later date when it subsides. >> does that matter? do we really forget about these things or is a change of venue d it's rsh part of a two-part question. it's going to take you to somewhere else in texas. it's not going to take you to poland. do you think change of venue will make a difference? >> no, i don't think it will make a difference. i do think taking it away from the hype of the movie might help a little bit but everybody in texas is going to know who "american sniper" was about, that it's about kyle.
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frankly i'm not so sure that the publicity hurts the ralph defense. remember, this is not a defense of i didn't do it. the defense was it was caused by post-traumatic stress disorder, and in a way the theme of the mirror sort of emphasizes that a lot of our veterans have been hurt very, very seriously psychologically by being at war. >> that's great point. >> i don't know. if i'm a defense attorney, maybe i'd want to try the case while the movie is out there. >> or show clips that chris kyle suffered immelsly and sought treatment. look, we've been talking about the disease for a long time now. there are still so many people who maybe don't have a full understanding of it and surely plenty of jurors who come in from all facets of life who may think it's hokey science, who may not know the and tent of it, and you're going to true i to build a case of insanity? it's hard enough. now you're going to use some
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science that some people say is ju junky? >> you know, i think the attitude has changed. by the way, this is nothing new. back after world war ii they called it shell shocked. i think now we have a scientific way of eval yagt it. >> without question. it's a question of how many people know that all the way down to the jury pool. it is real and it is awful. it's just how many people understand. >> let's see if they learn that at the trial. >> thank you, everyone for watching. my colleague wolf blitzer starts after this quick break. the conference call.
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i've never felt so alive. get the future of phone and the phones are free. comcast business. built for business. --ccaptions by vitac -- hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here, 9:00 p.m. in saudi arabia. wherever you're watching around the world, thanks very much for joining us. we begin with turmoil and transition, major transition in the middle east and the impact on the united states and the fight against terror. here are some of the major headlines right now. a new king inherits the throne in saudi arabia following the death of king abdullah. king abdullah's half brother salman was quickly pointed to replace him. the white house says president obama will be calling the new saudi king shortly.


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