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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Bill Clinton Responds To Karl Rove's Comments; Jill Hansen Arrested; Radiation Leak at U.S. Nuclear Facility; Did Led Zeppelin Steal 'Stairway to Heaven'?
Aired May 20, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Next, a quote, "eminent" and substantial danger to the public after a radiation leak at a U.S. nuclear facility.
Plus, one of the biggest bands in rock 'n roll history facing a lawsuit tonight. Did Led Zeppelin steal their most famous song?
And toxic jerky treats made in China linked to more than a thousand dog deaths. Let's go OUTFRONT. Good evening. I'm Brianna Keilar in for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with breaking news in the growing scandal about delayed medical appointments at VA hospitals around the country. The Veterans Affairs inspector general just announced it is investigating another 15 facilities for allegedly manipulating wait times.
Now, this is a story that come downs to who knew what and when, because these delays may have resulted in the deaths of at least 40 veterans at an Arizona facility, which was first reported by CNN. The White House today claiming the president first learned about that situation in Arizona from CNN's reporting.
But a damning 2010 memo from a top VA Official clearly warns of, quote, "inappropriate scheduling practices at some VA hospitals. Jim Acosta is OUTFRONT. Jim, what is the White House saying about when the president first learned of these problems?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, as you just mentioned, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the president found out about these allegations regarding the VA facility in Phoenix when he saw it on CNN, when he heard about the reports that were on CNN three weeks ago. But then came this memo.
We should point out the American legion that looks out for veterans was distributing this memo to reporters. And it basically says that back in 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs was aware of manipulated lists that were being used to conceal wait times for veterans receiving care.
Just to read to you a portion of it, it's very clear on the very first page of this memo what the department was concerned about. It says, and this is from an undersecretary of health at the Department of Veteran Affairs, it says "it has come to my attention that in order to improve scores on assorted access measures certain facilities have adopted use of inappropriate willing practices, sometimes referred to as gaming strategies."
And the memo goes on to advise these various V.A. facilities not to use these gaming strategies to hide their wait times. I asked Jay Carney if the V.A. has known about this for several years, did the White House or the president know about it? Here is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: How long has the president known about the concealing of these wait times?
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: You know what? Jim, I would urge you to wait for the investigation.
ACOSTA: How long has the secretary known about these?
CARNEY: I would refer you to the Veterans Affairs Department. I would refer you for questions about the secretary of Veterans Affairs to the VA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: And we should point out that our CNN Investigations Unit, which broke this story has pointed out they talked to the IG's Office over at the Department of Veterans Affairs. And Brianna, they've been looking at these manipulations of wait times, this concealing of wait times as a practice that goes on within many of these facilities inside the department since 2005. So nearly ten years the department has known this has been going on.
KEILAR: And, Jim, the bigger picture here, what kind of questions is this raising about the president and his management style?
ACOSTA: Well, once again, you have a scandal that the president is finding out about through news reports. And House Majority Leader Eric Cantor raised that as an issue. He said that was disturbing when he was asked about that by a reporter earlier today. One thing that we should also point out, though, there are some parallels with another recent scandal. You remember the implosion you were here at the White House of healthcare.gov.
The president did not know about the problems with that website until it went online and news reports started to surface about problems with the web site. He assigned a Mr. Fix-it inside the administration, Jeffrey Zines as you recall. And he is headed to Phoenix tomorrow to go and look at the facility that is the subject of that CNN investigation in the coming days --Brianna.
KEILAR: Jim Acosta, our senior White House correspondent at the White House. Thank you, Jim.
We're also following a developing story out of New Mexico, where state officials are warning of a potentially imminent and substantial threat to the public after a radiation leak at a nuclear waste storage site. That leak possibly the result of kitty litter. Barrels of waste are routinely packed with kitty litter before the barrels are sealed.
But an official recently switched to an organic product and that may have caused an unexpected chemical reaction contaminating 22 workers. Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT. And Tom, you know, this leak didn't just happen. Why it is getting so much attention now?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It happened back in February and there was some news of it happening. What has happened now is they have a better sense through their early investigation of what happened and that is what is raising all this agitation.
FOREMAN (voice-over): At issue, 57 barrels of nuclear waste from work on weapons at Los Alamos labs. Sludge, workers gloves, clothing and other items contaminated with plutonium and americium. New Mexico state officials fear the way this radioactive stuff is being handled represents an imminent and substantial threat to the public, and here is why. At least one of those barrels broke open when something made it unexpectedly heat up.
It happened about 2200 feet below ground after several of the barrels had been transferred from Los Alamos to this federal nuclear waste storage site. The incident in February forced officials to temporarily keep workers off that part of the site and test them. Twenty two came up positive for low level exposure.
So how could organic cat litter be to blame? Cat litter is used inside the barrels to soak up excess moisture. One theory is that maybe when workers switched to organic litter, it did not do the job as well as the inorganic cat litter that was previously used, and that triggered a chemical hot spot.
FOREMAN: But that is just a theory right now, Brianna. So the mystery remains as the news gets out, of course, that is much more frightening than if they really had answers right now.
KEILAR: Certainly it is. And, you know, we're hearing from state officials. They're clearly worried, Tom. But what are the feds saying?
FOREMAN: Look, the feds at Los Alamos and this place are saying this is a very low level exposure for these people and they're looking into it. They have the situation under control. They have a very different picture than the state officials. But it doesn't change the fact that everybody at all levels are taking this very seriously. Because any kind of radiation leak, it's big business in this country. People pay a lot of attention.
KEILAR: Serious stuff. Tom Foreman, thank you. Now Arnie Gunderson is OUTFRONT. He is a nuclear engineer with 42 years of experience joining us now. So Arnie, you have 57 of these barrels out there. You have sounded the alarm when it comes to unsafe nuclear power. What is the risk to the public here? ARNIE GUNDERSEN, NUCLEAR ENGINEER: Well, some of those barrels are underground with the barrel that exploded. Those, if they blow up like the previous one did will still be confined in that waste isolation project. So the other barrels, though, are above ground and still at Los Alamos, which is a major concern because this material gets more and more unstable as it gets warmer. And, of course, we're heading into the summer months on the desert. So those barrels that are above ground, if they were to blow like the one that did below ground, we would have a serious public health effect.
KEILAR: Sure, so kitty litter, that sounds pretty strange to a lot of people. How normal is that to use kitty litters? Is this customary?
GUNDERSEN: You know, who would have thought we'd be discussing kitty litter and nuclear power together? Kitty litter is routinely used in nuclear laboratories to pick up spills. And the old kitty litter was made with something called diatomaceous earth. But the way it absorbed the moisture was different than the new modern organic kitty litter. The new modern one uses corn. And when the corn absorbed the moisture, the nitrogen inside got very, very volatile.
Almost like in these old movies when you see somebody holding nitroglycerin. Any shake will cause it to be disturbed. That's what has happened to these canisters that have the organic kitty litter. They've got to go back through and find all of those and isolate them, and then figure out how to change the litter.
KEILAR: Well, that makes me wonder and we certainly know the uses of kitty litter, if you have ever been in a garage. You can use it to sop up oil and that kind of thing. Why wasn't there a test done? If you're switching from one substance to another, it seems like there would be a protocol, sort of an automatic thing that you would make sure it's fine to use.
GUNDERSEN: Yes, you know, most chemists would understand why the old kitty litter was terrific, because it had the ability to suck out these nitrates in a different way than the corn. But it looks to me like a purchasing manager and perhaps somebody with an environmental consciousness just saw kitty litter and replaced the old traditional way of doing things with the more modern and the more dangerous way of doing things without ever asking the chemists if it made any sense.
KEILAR: All right, Arnie, thank you so much.
GUNDERSEN: All right, thanks for having me.
KEILAR: And we have breaking news now, CNN can now project that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will win the Republican primary in Kentucky. McConnell defeating the Tea Party favorite businessman, Matt Bevin. CNN can also project that Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has won the Democratic primary. And Dana Bash is at McConnell headquarters. What is the reaction there?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Certainly not surprised. They expected to win, but I can tell you there is a relief. Because anybody who has been in politics as long as Mitch McConnell, 30 years, knows that you don't know exactly what is going to happen until it's done. So there is relief here. But already he was pitching forward to the big race he is going to have, really, the fight for his life in November.
BASH (voice-over): Mitch McConnell is trying to avoid forced retirement with sports metaphors.
SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: You can change the United States Senate and make me the offensive coordinator instead of the defensive coordinator. Yes, thank you.
BASH: Translation? Re-elect him and chances are good that Republicans take control of the Senate and he'll be in charge of sacking the Obama agenda.
MCCONNELL: Anybody who replaces me chances will never be in that position, ever.
BASH: Running on, not from his 30 years in the Senate is an interesting play for a politician getting slammed by opponents on the right and left for being too entrenched in Washington.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you all for being here.
BASH: But McConnell diffused the GOP primary threat from conservative challenger, Matt Bevin, by confronting it early with millions of dollars and support from his junior senator, Rand Paul, a Tea Party darling. He is already looking ahead to November, his real concern, 35-year-old Democrat, Alison Lundergan Grimes.
ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES (D) KENTUCKY SENATE CANDIDATE: Send Kentucky's first female to the United States Senate.
BASH: Polls show Grimes neck and neck with McConnell. She is running on a classic challenger theme, change.
GRIMES: We've had 30 years of failed leadership of Mitch McConnell. We cannot afford six more.
BASH: Mitch McConnell has made pretty clear that he is not so much rung against you that his Democratic candidate is almost beside the point. He is running against the idea of a Democrat-controlled Senate.
GRIMES: Well, this election, no matter who, you know, Mitch McConnell think she's running against, it's going to be about what has occurred on his watch.
BASH (on camera): Your likely Democratic opponent says you're exactly what is wrong with Washington. You're the personification of gridlock.
MCCONNELL: I think what Kentuckians have to decide is which direction they want the country to take, you know, do we want to go in a different direction or do we want Harry Reid to continue to be the majority leader? Do we want to vote for Barack Obama in a state that he carried four out of 120 counties?
BASH (voice-over): The president is unpopular in Kentucky, but polls show so is McConnell especially with women. He is trying to soften his image with positive television ads.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because Mitch loves Kentucky. We love Kentucky.
BASH: And campaigning with his wife. Former Bush cabinet secretary, Elaine Chao. But mostly McConnell comes back to the unconventional theme and Tea Party Times, seniority and Washington influence is a good thing.
(on camera): There are people out there who might like that idea, might like the idea of a change.
MCCONNELL: I don't think Kentuckians want to lose the kind of influence it's taken years to gain.
BASH: And Dana, you tracked everyone down there for your piece there. I wonder, it's not just Mitch McConnell who is battling these Tea Party candidates. You can see in the cnn.com headline, big showdown. Tea Party in the NRA square off. Is this the theme, the Tea Party candidates versus the establishment in all of these primaries?
BASH: It is. And the theme that is different this year and this particular race really is emblematic of it is the establishment fighting back. You mentioned the NRA versus the Tea Party. It's the NRA, the Chamber of Commerce, the more traditional establishment Republican groups have been fighting back much, much more this year. They have been spending a lot of to make sure the challenger from the right, the Tea Party candidate does not win.
And that is because they got beaten down in the last two elections in some of these key states where they ended up losing because the candidate simply wasn't electable, couldn't beat the Democrats. So there is no question that's a theme here. One little piece of news that I want to tell you about what we're going to hear from Mitch McConnell probably in the next hour is going forward.
Something that might seem a little bit antithetical to the whole Tea Party idea, which is he is going to talk very explicitly about the fact that Kentucky, again, Kentucky will be better with him in the Senate, even though he is establishment, even though he is entrenched. And he is going to say Alison Grimes, who will be his Democratic opponent, Obama needs Grimes. Kentucky needs McConnell.
That's going to be the theme we're going to hear tonight and it's going to be what we hear all the way through November. This is a real neck and neck race that he's got in front of him.
KEILAR: Yes. We'll be hearing a whole lot more of that.
Dana Bash in Louisville, thank so much.
And still to come, did Led Zeppelin steal stairway to heaven? The lawyer who is suing the band in OUTFRONT next.
Plus, one thousand dogs die after eating treats imported from China. We'll be telling you which snacks your pet needs to avoid.
And a teen shot and killed in Montana. Why the state's castle law may get the shooter off the hook.
KEILAR: Breaking news. We have just heard or just projected, I should say, that Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has won the Republican primary in Kentucky, and also that Alison Lundergan Grimes has won the Democratic's Senate primary in Kentucky as well. That's where we find our chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash.
And Dana, you know, this is an interesting race that we're watching. Over the past few years, we have seen in Congress Republicans in the establishment really try to channel or contain some of the tea party energy. But do we see this now as Mitch McConnell has defeated the tea party favorite? Do we see this now as something different, as sort of the establishment fighting back against the tea party now?
BASH: There is no question that the establishment has been fighting back big-time. That's what we just discussed not just with the actual candidates, but with the traditional Republican groups like chamber of commerce, the NRA helping those more establishment candidates.
But one thing that I just heard from a McConnell aide here, which I think is sort of illustrative of what we're talking about, Rand Paul, who was the junior senator here in Kentucky, who was a tea party favorite, he actually was one of those who early on came up out of nowhere and beat the establishment favorite back in 2010. He actually supported and still supports Mitch McConnell. That's one of the ways that McConnell was able to crush Matt Bevin, his tea party challenger by having the support of a tea party darling like Rand Paul.
When this program starts here at this victory party where I am in about an hour, one of the things that we're going to see and hear is Rand Paul. He is in Washington. The Senate is in session. But I was just told that Rand Paul is going to deliver a video.
Now why does that matter? Not only because it's about what happened now in the past with this primary, but it's the future. Because this isn't over when it comes to the percentage of the vote that McConnell is going to get from Republican voters. And that matters because it is going to be so neck and neck we expect between McConnell and his Democratic opponent. And he loses a good percentage of the Republicans that he loses today in November, it's going to be a problem. So having Rand Paul come out and give what we expect will be a unity message saying OK, everybody, it's time to get together, back Mitch McConnell. It's going to be key not just about repealing Republicans here and around the country, but about Mitch McConnell's ability to actually win in November and have enough Republican voters to do that.
KEILAR: And let's bring in political director Mark Preston to talk a little bit about this.
Mark, you heard Dana there talking about some of the mistakes there. This isn't just any old Senate primary, any old race. Mitch McConnell has a serious contender as he faces off against Alison Lundergan Grimes. What is at stake here for him and for Republicans in the Senate?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, you know, let's look at it at two different ways through two different windows. One is the general election, Alison Lundergan Grimes is going to be getting a lot of outside money. We have already seen a lot of outside money flow into this campaign on her behalf. We've seen the same thing for Mitch McConnell. But you're also going to see the Clinton factor. Will we see Bill Clinton spending a lot of time down in Kentucky, trying to help get her elected.
In some ways this could be a proxy fight for 2016. How effective will Bill Clinton be for Alison Lundergan Grimes and other Democrats in this race? At the same time, look at Rand Paul. I've got to tell you, two weeks ago I was with Rand Paul down in Memphis. He was addressing the Republican national committee, establishment Republicans. He delivered a message of unity, but he delivered a message to them. He spent a lot of time after his speech shaking hands and what have you. Four days earlier, he had endorsed a tea party candidate in the North Carolina Senate primary who lost.
Rand Paul is having it both ways right now. It's a message and path that he is trying to deliver as he runs for president in 2016. So while we have seen Mitch McConnell get through this battle right here, we've seen his political life being extended and Rand Paul in his own way is trying to extend his own political life, perhaps all the way to the White House.
KEILAR: And Mark, you're talking about the Bill Clinton test here because he has campaigned for Grimes. Let's talk about another race where I think the Bill Clinton test also does sort of apply. He has been campaigning for his daughter's mother-in-law in Pennsylvania. And we're also watching other. That's a primary tonight. We're also watching other races. Tell us about that.
PRESTON: So we have Marjorie Margolis who is a former congresswoman who lost her seat back when she voted for President Clinton's budget back when he was in his first term. She lost because of him. Just by happenstance, her son married Chelsea Clinton.
So what we have seen in the past few weeks is we've seen Bill Clinton go in to Pennsylvania. He has appeared on behalf of the former congresswoman. He has done a robocall that has been sent out. He has done a television ad. And he has also done three pieces of mail on her behalf announcing his endorsement of her. And we have seen Hillary Clinton also do a fundraiser for her up in New York.
By and large, we hadn't seen the Clintons up until the last six weeks, seven weeks or so really engaged in this race. They let her run this herself. However, if she does win tonight, a lot of people think it's going to be because of the Clintons. She is in a very tough primary. KEILAR: And I want to bring Dana bash back in. She is in Louisville following the race where we have just projected the winner there's, the democratic and the Republican primaries.
Dana, what is the possibility of Democrats losing control of the Senate? When you're looking at this big picture, we have a lot of primaries today. But as we go through the next few months here in the midterms, what is the likelihood there? Is it a real possibility?
BASH: It's a very real possibility there are so many seats so, many more seats at play than people on both sides of the aisle even thought would be possible a few months ago that it really is up in the air. You have seats like this one in Kentucky. Obviously the most high profile because of who we're talking about, Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader. He is fighting for his own seat. But he is also fighting to be one of the Republican who runs the Senate. He finally becomes the majority leader after it was so close to his sight over the last two election cycles. And it was robbed from him he thinks it's fair to say be many in the tea party. Not just Democrats.
But then, if you also look at the map, there are some seats that Democrats think they can actually steal from Republicans. One of the most interesting I think is in Georgia. It is primary day in Georgia as well. The Democrat that is trying to take that open Republican seat away is Michelle Nunn. People who are political junkies and maybe not millennials might know the name Nunn because of her father, Sam Nunn who was a veteran senator, somebody is very well regarded in the Senate and his home state of Georgia. She is somebody the Democrats say is really an amazing candidate. And they think she could take back that seat from Republicans.
KEILAR: A big political night. And Dana Bash and Mark Preston are OUTFRONT with all of it. Thanks to you guys.
And OUTFRONT next, a teen prank turns deadly. So, how far is too far when it comes to protecting your home?
And a hologram of Michael Jackson is all anyone was talking about after the billboard awards. Tonight, we have an exclusive look inside the company that pulled it off.
KEILAR: Tonight, new concerns about self-defense in America after a man shoots and kills an unarmed teenager. A Montana homeowner will be arraigned tomorrow morning for shooting a German exchange student who illegally entered his garage.
The teen's family in Germany is slamming the U.S. gun culture saying America cannot continue to play cowboy. But the homeowner, Markus Kaarma says the killing was justified. And because of an updated Castle Law in Montana, which states your home can legally be protected by force, he may have a case.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT with the story.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Guns, a way of life in Montana. Nearly every home has one. A 17-year-old Diren Dede, a German exchange student, may never have known that when according to court documents he pulled a teenaged prank called "garage hopping", slipping into the open garage of a stranger's home to steal alcohol or other items. This is Dede seconds before the homeowner shot the unarmed teen to death.
KATE WALKER, HOST MOM TO DIREN DEDE: It should never have happened.
LAH: Dede's American host family angry that Markus Kaarma would fire blindly into his garage. Kaarma and his partner have a 10-month- old baby and had recently been burglarized twice and were on edge, according to his lawyer.
In Dede's hometown of Hamburg, Germany, where legally owning a gun is next to impossible, bewilderment.
"You've got to ask yourself what kind of laws do they have over there," says Dede's former soccer coach. He adds, "It sends chills down your spine."
Kaarma's lawyer believes Montana's laws are on his client's side. State laws used to say individuals could lawfully use deadly force against an intruder who acted in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner.
In 2009, the so-called Castle Doctrine was changed to say lethal force is allowed if an individual reasonably believes the action will terminate unlawful entry.
PAUL RYAN, ATTORNEY: Prior to 2009, it was the defendant's burden. Now the state has the burden of proving that the defendant wasn't justified.
LAH: Paul Ryan is Kaarma's attorney and believes the rewritten law makes Kaarma's action legal.
RYAN: Nobody is rejoicing that we have a 17-year-old exchange student that died as a result of this. At the same time, it puts people on notice to make sure you are making right decisions, that you're not engaging in criminal activity. Otherwise there is going to be consequences.
STATE REP. ELLIE HILL, MONTANA: There we go.
LAH: Montana State Representative Ellie Hill, gun owner, and a new mom, says the Castle Doctrine expansion comes at too high a price. On the heels of Dede's death, she has drafted a bill to return the state law to its pre-2009 definition.
HILL: What happened to him could have been prevented. We're proud of our Second Amendment heritage out in the west. We're proud to be gun owners. It's OK to say we want common sense back in our laws.
LAH: Gun rights advocate Gary Marbut says the current law doesn't need any changes.
(on camera): Montana has some of the more lenient views of guns in the United States. Is that the way it should be?
GARY MARBUT, GUN RIGHTS ADVOCATE: It is. That's consistent with our culture and our heritage. And we appreciate and like our own culture and it works well for Montana people.
LAH: This already is an international dispute, and it will continue to pick up steam as the trial begins. The German consulate on the West Coast sent a letter to the governor of Montana, saying that under its national laws, it does allow state prosecutors to open up an investigation if a crime is committed to a German national even if it's overseas.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Missoula, Montana.
KEILAR: OUTFRONT tonight, CNN legal analyst Paul Callan, and Mel Robbins, a CNN commentator and legal analyst.
So, you know, Mel, I will say maybe this is not entirely a prank. This is a kid who may be stealing something. But certainly this is someone who is unarmed. We do not believe he was looking to hurt anyone.
Does the shooter still have a case?
MEL ROBBINS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Of course. In fact, I think the shooter should be acquitted because the bottom line is that bothers me about this entire story is that because it's a kid, and because they're call it a prank to enter somebody's property, break the law, basically you're putting the burden on the homeowner who is supposed to somehow know what somebody who is breaking the law in their house, whether or not they're armed, whether or not they intend to just pull a prank, whether or not they're going to harm his wife, his 10-month- old. Keep in mind he had been burglarized twice in the last week.
I think it is crazy that we're trying to say that a homeowner is the one that has the burden to act reasonably when there is a fricking crime happening in his house.
KEILAR: But you're with the prosecution on this case. You very much disagree.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, absolutely. We're talking about a 17-year-old kid being killed because he was committing a prank of trying to get some beer out of a garage. And, you know, the law in Montana -- and by the way, the prosecution decided to lodge charges here because even in Montana, a gun-friendly place, the law says you have to have a reasonable belief that you need to use deadly force to terminate an illegal entry on your property. You know what he did in this case? He went in not knowing who was in the garage and fired the shotgun.
ROBBINS: You think that a homeowner has a duty like to open up the door and, like, excuse me, are you just a kid here to have a prank?
ROBBINS: Forget it. You enter my house. You're the one that started this.
CALLAN: Wait a minute. How about this -- I have a shotgun in my hand and I say hey, I've got a shotgun. Who are you, OK?
ROBBINS: Yes, but that presumes then under the law as the homeowner you are supposed to see --
CALLAN: Shoot first, ask questions later.
ROBBINS: Of course. Because somebody has decided to break the law and burglarize my house.
CALLAN: And terminate a human life.
KEILAR: Let's talk about a part of this case that is fascinating, and that is that court records show that just before, just days before this shooting, Kaarma told a woman in a haircuttery that he had been waiting up for three nights with his shotgun to, quote, "to shoot some kid."
How does that play into this?
CALLAN: Let's get the atmosphere, OK? Legitimately, he was burglarized twice before. He has good reason to be upset.
So, according to the evidence that we know about, he was planning to wait with the shotgun. As a matter of fact, his wife's purse was in the garage. The garage door was open. He was just waiting to shoot somebody who went into the garage.
Now, that doesn't sound like somebody who is in fear. That sounds like somebody who wants revenge. And this poor German exchange student is dead as a result.
KEILAR: So the garage had been left open, Mel, so they could dip out to have a smoke, he and his wife, I believe.
KEILAR: And some people are arguing as well they left a purse in there with sort of tracking devices, that this is more than just being ready. That there was something more here, that this was premeditated. ROBBINS: And the way that Paul framed it is the way the prosecution wants to frame it, which is to basically say they baited this. They set up, they sat around with the shotgun waiting to kill a kid.
And I can frame it differently, which is you're talking to your hairdresser. You're like oh, my gosh, I've been up for nights on end, waiting with my shotgun because these kids are burglarizing me and I'm going to shoot somebody. Like that's not necessarily I'm waiting there to kill somebody. They say that they went out to have a smoke and they lifted up the garage door.
CALLAN: And the wife leaves the purse in the garage?
ROBBINS: In the corner. They didn't leave it on a chair with a spotlight on it saying, come and get me.
CALLAN: Which reminds me, by the way, this is not the occupied portion of the house. This is a garage.
ROBBINS: Oh, so I don't have a right to defend my home when the garage is attacked?
CALLAN: You know, it could have been a 10-year-old --
ROBBINS: There's a 10-month-old kid in that house, Paul.
CALLAN: It could have been a 10-year-old riding his bike --
ROBBINS: Why does the homeowner have to act reasonably? Why shouldn't bit the criminal that is going into the garage?
CALLAN: Because maybe he would kill a kid like he did here.
KEILAR: And that is the debate that is going to be playing out as this case goes on. Mel, Paul, thanks so much to both of you.
CALLAN: OK, thank you.
KEILAR: A lot to talk about here.
OUTFRONT next, still to come, did Led Zeppelin steal "Stairway to Heaven"? The lawyer suing the band is OUTFORNT next.
And a hologram of Michael Jackson was all anyone was talking about after the Billboard Awards. Tonight, we have an exclusive look inside the company that pulled it off.
KEILAR: It is one of the greatest rock 'n roll songs of all time. But was the intro to Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" stolen from the 1960s band Spirit? Well, according to an attorney for Spirit's former lead guitarist, Led Zeppelin's classic sounds strikingly similar to Spirit's song "Taurus". We'll let you decide. Here is "Taurus".
KEILAR: Sounds kind of familiar, right? Well, now listen to the intro to "Stairway to Heaven."
KEILAR: "Taurus" was released in 1968, three years before "Stairway to Heaven". So, why is this a legal issue now, more than that 40 years later?
OUTFRONT tonight, Francis Malofiy is representing Randy California from the band Spirit.
And, you know, first off, Francis, there are many songs out there that kind of sound the same, but they aren't necessarily plagiarized. You say that isn't the case here. Why is that?
FRANCIS MALOFIY, ATTORNEY: Well, there is a few things here. When you look at copyright cases, the first sort of prong is access. And if you can establish access, then you have to look to whether or not they're substantially similar.
KEILAR: Could they have known of this song?
MALOFIY: Right. In other words, they come up with it on their own by themselves, or were they influenced or lift it from another tune. And in this case, what is very unique and what a lot of people don't know is that before Led Zeppelin was Led Zeppelin, before they were this huge band that everyone knows them as guitar gods and great band in rock 'n roll, they were a fledgling band who were trying to make it in the music business.
And when they came here in 1968, and they needed to be an opening act for a band that was already established, the band that they were the opening act for was Spirit. And so what happened here is you have Led Zeppelin, who was opening for Spirit.
And what is very, very interesting and what can't be overlooked is that Jimmy Page is a guitar god. No one can discount that he is an amazing musician, amazing producer. But he also specifically looked to Spirit and Randy California as someone that inspired him. Not only was a lot of the sounds that Jimmy Page developed, the quintessential psychedelic sound in rock music was lifted from Randy California, but also those distinct and chords in the song "Stairway to Heaven" were pulled from "Taurus", the intro.
KEILAR: And it's a song they would have heard while performing in the same venues together.
So, the songs clearly have similarities. You can't deny that when you listen to it. But other than Randy's comment to a magazine that he made in 1977, he claimed that Led Zeppelin ripped off his song.
KEILAR: But no other action was taken. Why now?
MALOFIY: Well, here is the tragedy of the legal system. Justice is available to those who can afford it. And when you can't afford it in a civil system, you don't have access to the courts. And so it's very, very hard for a musician who is struggling just to keep a roof over his head, who is struggling just to keep food on the table to actually go about and fight some of the biggest giants in the music and the entertainment industry.
And that's the tragedy of our justice system as it relates to civil cases. And that's why I believe someone who is very moved by artists, someone who is moved by those who actually create and spend their whole lives on these artistic ventures and very rarely do they get the credit they deserve. So, the goal in bringing this suit on behalf of the trust of Randy California is to see that credit is given where credit is due. And you can't reap what you haven't sown.
Here we have the greatest song of all time. And what it's come down to is the greatest falsification in rock 'n roll history. And if there is one thing that can be done, it would be to make sure that Randy California's spirit stays alive. And to that end is to give him credit or some kind of recognition by those who really misappropriated his artistic expression.
KEILAR: It's a fascinating case. We'll be following it. Francis Malofiy, thanks.
And the case against Donald Sterling, how the NBA's other owners plan to oust him.
And the Michael Jackson hologram that everyone is talking about. We have an exclusive look inside the company that created it.
KEILAR: New details tonight about the NBA's legal charges against Donald Sterling. The league's commissioner, Adam Silver, telling reporters this as it stands right now Sterling is still the owner of the Los Angeles clippers. But the other owners are moving forward with what he called an unprecedented move to oust the 80-year- old from the league.
Jason Carroll is out front.
You know what, Jason, how confident is Silver that the other owners will vote to oust Sterling?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is an incredible press conference. First of all, I mean, Silver basically says he knows he is doing the right thing and he also says that he believes that the owners are behind him, but he also during the press conference in a way reached out to Silver saying, look, you have a chance to sell the team before we do. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: It is their team to sell. And so, he knows what the league's point of view is. And so, I'm sure if he wanted to sell the team, you know, on some reasonable timetable I prefer he sell it than we go through this process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: Now, as you know, Sterling had asked through his attorneys asked for three months the try to respond to all these charges. The NBA says they're not giving him three months. Basically he has until May 27th to issue some sort of a response and on June 3rd, the owners get together and place that vote.
KEILAR: So, that was -- that's it?
CARROLL: That is it.
KEILAR: June 3rd is the vote, but he doesn't get more time.
CARROLL: He does not get more time, and Silver also made it clear that whatever they do applies not just to Sterling but to applies to his wife, Shelly Sterling, as well.
KEILAR: All right. She can't take over ownership, as well.
All right. Jason Carroll, thank you so much.
Now, still to come, the Michael Jackson hologram that stole the show and there are more holograms to come. We have an exclusive, next.
KEILAR: The Michael Jackson hologram stole the show at the Billboard Awards. Some people thought it was cool, others creepy. But almost everyone agreed it looked almost like the real thing.
So, where can holograms go from here?
Here's a closer look from our own Stephanie Elam.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The comeback performance was a thriller. Michael Jackson almost five years after his death taking the stage at the Billboard Music Awards.
There was his iconic moonwalk. And that trademark voice. The only thing missing was the real King of Pop. In his place, a hologram.
ALKI DAVID, HOLOGRAM USA: What you saw at the Billboard, you saw a digital head connected to an actor. We capture the body and the head in real-time and we have the sync marks and attach the two together.
ELAM: This MJ likeness was created by Hologram USA, and it may have made some viewers a little uneasy.
But founder Alki David says the technology gives fans a chance to remember the pop icon at his best.
DAVID: What you saw at the Billboard was super Michael. You saw Michael beyond the controversy, beyond the problems that he faced in his real life.
ELAM (on camera): This is where the magic happens and a green screen room like this one, where they have 26 different cameras and lots of light so they can create a hologram and project it anywhere in the world in real time.
So, this is what I look like as a hologram. In real time, they can change my voice, my clothes, they could even multiply me. They say the possibilities are endless.
What other applications do you see in this technology?
DAVID: Education, military, politics. It can be applied across the board.
ELAM (voice-over): But this wasn't the first time a hologram performed on stage. Celine Dion with Elvis on "American Idol" in 2007.
And Tupac wowed audiences in 2012 at the Coachella Musical Festival, rapping alongside the real life Snoop.
David says we can expect even better holograms in the future.
DAVID: Light and technology has improved so much, LED technology improved so much that you can, in fact, today project a hologram in daytime without the need for darkened spaces.
ELAM: So, Michael Jackson could be performing on stage for years to come.
DAVID: There is no end to how you can apply this. All you really need to do is apply our imagination.
ELAM: Stephanie Elam, CNN, Los Angeles.
KEILAR: Thanks so much for joining us. We'll see you again tomorrow night.
"AC360" starts right now.