October 25th, 2013
11:28 AM ET

Through Tears, Daughter Testifies Against MacNeill

Former Utah doctor Martin MacNeill had to face his oldest daughter Thursday as she cried and visibly trembled for much of her testimony against him, the man she said she once called her best friend, CNN's Miguel Marquez reports.

Rachel MacNeill told jurors that her father moved his mistress into the family’s home within two weeks of her mother’s funeral. She also said that, in the hours after her mother, Michele MacNeill, died, her father was adamant about showing her how he found the body.

“He said that my mother was under the water. He said that her head – that she was under the water, feet sticking out,” Rachel MacNeill said, stepping down from the witness stand and hunching over the bathtub prosecutors had hauled in the Provo, Utah, courtroom. It’s not the actual tub from the family’s home that Michele MacNeill was found in, but it's the same make and model.

Legal Analyst Danny Cevallos and HLN's Vinnie Politan weigh in on the testimony.

Politan says the prosecution needs the jury to hear this type of emotion from the family saying, “It’s going to be a challenge here for prosecutors right, because they don’t have the science in this case so they need these witnesses to be powerful and persuasive.”

On cross-examination, defense attorney Susanne Gustin pulled out a medical record stating that Rachel MacNeill suffered from "delusions and psychosis" in August 2012, and when questioned, MacNeill admitted she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

The way Rachel MacNeill said her father described the position of her mother's body in the tub conflicts with the testimony of other witnesses. Several neighbors who saw Michele MacNeill the morning of her death said she was on her back and slumped down inside the tub, not slumped over the side with her head under water in the manner Rachel MacNeill said her father depicted.

Martin MacNeill has pleaded not guilty to murder and obstruction of justice in the death of his wife, who had a powerful cocktail of drugs in her system on April 11, 2007, following face-lift surgery. His attorneys say Michele MacNeill died of natural causes, but prosecutors accuse Martin MacNeill of murdering her in order to be with his mistress, Gypsy Willis.

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October 25th, 2013
11:16 AM ET

RFK, Jr. Names Two Suspects In Martha Moxley Murder

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., cousin of Michael Skakel, appeared on “New Day” with Anchor Chris Cuomo, naming two new suspects, one an “African American,” in the murder of Martha Moxley.

Kennedy was adamant that Michael and his brother Tommy Skakel did not murder Martha Moxley, and raised serious doubts about Michael Skakel’s original counsel Mickey Sherman.

Skakel, who has spent more than a decade behind bars, is accused of killing 15-year-old neighbor Martha Moxley with a golf club in 1975. Twenty-seven years after her death, he was convicted and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

For years, Skakel fought unsuccessfully for his conviction to be overturned. But a Connecticut judge gave Skakel, 53, a chance for a fresh start Wednesday, ruling that the defense during his 2002 trial had been inadequate.

State's Attorney John Smriga said prosecutors plan to appeal, but are still reviewing the judge's decision.

In a lengthy opinion Wednesday, Connecticut Appellate Judge Thomas Bishop ruled that defense attorney Michael "Mickey" Sherman's representation of Skakel was "constitutionally deficient."

"The defense of a serious felony prosecution requires attention to detail, an energetic investigation and a coherent plan of defense (capably) executed," Bishop wrote in his decision. "Trial counsel's failures in each of these areas of representation were significant and, ultimately, fatal to a constitutionally adequate defense."

Skakel's new attorneys had argued that Sherman failed to adequately represent him in court.

Sherman said Wednesday that he was happy for his former client.

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October 25th, 2013
11:08 AM ET

Europe Falls Out Of Love With Obama Over NSA Spying Claims

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, who spoke with President Obama on Wednesday after reports that her personal cellphone was tapped,  joined her french counterpart to call for talks with the U.S. to renegotiate their countries' intelligence sharing protocols, CNN's Jim Acosta reports.

On July 24, 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama addressed tens of thousands of Germans on the avenue that leads from the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. In a pointed reference to the outgoing administration of President George W. Bush, he promised a new era of "allies who will listen to each other, who will learn from each other, who will, above all, trust each other."

One German present among the hugely enthusiastic crowd said the occasion reminded him of Berlin's famous "Love Parade." No U.S. politician since John F. Kennedy had so captured Europeans' imagination.

Five years on, in the words of the song, it's a case of "After the Love Has Gone." The U.S. ambassador in Berlin has been summoned to the foreign ministry over reports in Der Spiegel that the U.S. National Security Administration (NSA) monitored Chancellor Angela Merkel's official cellphone. His counterpart in Paris received a similar summons earlier this week after revelations in Le Monde.

"The outrage is predictable, even though we know various countries spy on each other pretty regularly. German President Angela Merkel and the French President are calling for closer cooperation among the intelligence gathering services," CNN's Joe Johns reports.

Both Der Spiegel and Le Monde used documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, lamented a "grave breach of trust." One of Chancellor Merkel's closest allies, Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told broadcaster ARD there would be consequences.

France's President Francois Hollande said Friday morning: "A rule of good conduct is that you don't bug the portable phones of people you meet regularly at international summits."

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October 25th, 2013
10:46 AM ET

"New Day Midday": Viral Moments From The Show

Our digital show "New Day Midday" launches this week. It's all about the great moments we bring you everyday, but with a twist.

We want you to weigh in on your favorite video/photo/conversation, so tweet us @NewDay, Facebook, or Instagram.

Tell us your comments, good or bad, about a video or great moment that you saw on the show and we'll bring some of them back. You suggest the hashtag you think should go with the video and let us know #NewDay.

You might even hear your comment on the show.

CHRIS CUOMO'S BEEF WITH PRINCE GEORGE'S CHRISTENING OUTFIT

After seeing a picture of Prince George in his christening outfit, CNN's Chris Cuomo calls his mother on-air to chat about the baby being in a 'dress.'

Cuomo says, "I’m happy for them, it’s a healthy baby, but it’s a boy. He’s in a dress."

This is some of how the phone conversation went down:

Cuomo: “Was I in a dress when I got christened?

Mom: Yes, it was a tradition in the family also. It’s a communion garb, you don’t call it a dress.

Cuomo: Well, it looks like a dress.

Mom: No, it’s just a flowing thing for the baby, you know. So the baby is able to move nicely. Pants are confining, Christopher. It’s just a baby ... It’s a traditional ceremonial thing and you really want the baby to look like all the other children.

SEE FULL VIDEO ABOVE

AND

CAMPUS CRACKS DOWN ON COSTUMES

Halloween is less than a week away, and the dean the University of Colorado Boulder, Christina Gonzalez, is taking steps to make sure costumes on her campus - are politically correct.

Gonzalez wrote a letter to students and condemned several disguises she considers offensive, stereotypical or overly sexual, CNN’s Nischelle Turner reports.

Some of the items on her no list, are blackface costumes, sombreros, geishas, cowboys and Indians.

“She also condemned having theme parties like hillbilly parties or ghetto parties because she said, she wants the students to think about the impact that this can have on the community.”

AND

THE HUNT FOR A BOURBON THIEF 

Authorities in Kentucky might have a new clue as they try to track down some super-expensive and rare bourbon.

They're hoping surveillance video will help them identify a person of interest as nearly two hundred bottles of Pappy Van Winkle were stolen last week from a distillery. That's about $26,000 worth of missing booze!

 

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