October 24th, 2013
10:02 AM ET

Dr. MacNeill Murder Trial: Daughter Could Testify Today

Prosecutors say Dr. Martin MacNeill was having an affair when he drugged and drowned his wife, Michele, in 2007. He has pleaded not guilty to her murder.

Today, the prosecution's star witness, MacNeill's 12-year-old daughter Ada, could take the stand, CNN's Miguel Marquez reports.

Prosecutors say Ada and her sisters will provide critical testimony against their father.

Prosecutor Chad Grunander says "Ada was the first one to find her mother in the bathtub and she can testify to exactly what she saw."

But putting a 12-year-old on the stand, and Ada was only six when she saw her mother dying or dead, will require sensitivity.

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October 24th, 2013
09:59 AM ET

United States Spying On Ally?

Germany has information that the United States might have monitored Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone, a German government spokesman said Wednesday.

"We have immediately sent a question to our American partners and have asked for immediate and wide-ranging clarification," spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a written statement.

Both governments said that Merkel spoke about the issue with President Barack Obama during a phone call Wednesday.

Obama told her that the United States "is not monitoring and will not monitor" her communications, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Merkel made it clear that, if the information about the U.S. having monitored her phone were true, it would be "completely unacceptable," Seibert said.

“The White House did not specify, however, if such monitoring had taken place in the past,” reports CNN’s Jim Sciutto.


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October 24th, 2013
09:58 AM ET

Viral Confessor to DUI Gets 6 1/2 Years in Prison

The Ohio man who confessed in a viral video that he killed a man while driving drunk was sentenced Wednesday to six-and-a-half years in prison and a lifetime suspension of his driver's license.

Dressed in a green prison uniform, 22-year-old Matthew Cordle addressed the Columbus, Ohio, courtroom before Judge David Fais handed down his sentence.

"Whatever my sentence may be, the true punishment is living," Cordle said.

He was also ordered to pay court costs and a $1,075 fine.

Cordle pleaded guilty in September to aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a vehicle while impaired. He made headlines when he posted a YouTube video on September 3 confessing to driving while drunk and killing 61-year old Vincent Canzani on June 22. Several days after the video appeared online, Cordle surrendered to authorities and was charged for his involvement in the wrong-way crash.

Cordle told a judge at a September hearing that he did not remember the night of June 22 because he "blacked out" from drinking too much. He also told the judge that he had not had any alcohol since the night of the accident, and that he had attended a two-week alcohol rehabilitation program.

In an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, Cordle says he’s struggled with alcohol his entire life and he hopes to get more help to recover.

He says the end of the trial has brought him relief, however, because he has come to accept that this day was coming “a very long time ago.” (SEE PART ONE OF INTERVIEW)

“As I said in the courtroom, there is really no fair sentence when it comes to the loss of life. It's just time and time won't bring back the victim, unfortunately,” Cordle says.

“I'm just glad that the family can have some measure of closure and I hope that they find peace throughout this.”

Cordle says he hopes to take advantage of the educational and work programs prison may offer behind bars.

“As far as the prison time, I'm just going to take it as it comes and do everything I can to walk out of prison a better man than I walked in.” (SEE PART TWO)


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October 24th, 2013
07:00 AM ET

Mystery, Grief After Beloved Teacher Killed

A young, beloved teacher found killed in the woods. A 14-year-old student in custody, charged with her murder.

That much we know. But hours after both were found - one dead, one alive - in suburbs northeast of Boston, much remains unknown as to why Colleen Ritzer was brutally slain.

"It's just surreal how quickly someone can go, and how much we take for granted everyday," said Danvers High School student Chris Weimert, describing Ritzer as "the nicest teacher you could ever have. ... I can't believe it."

Authorities had been looking for the student, Philip Chism, first, after he was reported missing - with police sending out messages via Twitter and Facebook on Tuesday evening, noting he'd been last seen around 6:30 p.m. and asking for the public's help in finding him.

“Also, the prosecutor's office has indicated that it wants to try Chism as an adult,” reports CNN’s Pamela Brown. But at this point that decision will be up to the grand jury.”

The school is meanwhile remembering Ritzer as a teacher who loved her students and also inspired them to appreciate math. Nicole White and Riley Doyle say they’ll remember Ms. Ritzer’s smile and positivity. (SEE VIDEO BELOW)

White says the school is taking her loss very hard.

“We all got together last night and everybody was really touched by what everyone did,” White says.

“And we were all wearing pink last night because it's her favorite color. And we lit the candles and everything and it's just been hard for everybody, but coming together last night I think made things a lot better.”

“I think a lot of people were shocked and were really turning to each other for a lot of support because we're all feeling the same way,” Doyle says. “So it's been nice to really have classmates who are there for you.


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