tv CNN Newsroom CNN April 11, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
i think in a court of law that is a case that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. but remember, we are in a stand your ground state. and george zimmerman's former attorneys have indicated that he acted in self-defense. that he was not the initial aggressor, that rather trayvon martin attacked him. and so that is something i think we will see played out here. >> sunny hostin, thank you. >> jornl zimmerman will face charges. we have learned that angelo corey will be holding a news conference three hours from now. she did clarify no charges have been brought against george zirmman yesterday. you know the story, george
zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed this 17-year-old as trayvon martin was walking along with skittles and sweet tea. the issue in florida, this is a skand your ground law. how could they defend this particular case and individual and potentially what charges could george zimmerman face. potentially manslaughter. manslaughter could be it. i want to bring in martin savidge. let's just reset this whole thing. there's obviously been no reaction yet, but whoo i today with regard to this news conference. why four hours from now and what should we expect? >> it appears that something could have happened. it was just yesterday, last evening when we got the official announcement that there would be some sort of update, some sort of information she would deliver within 72 hours. well, this is within 72 hours but actually much sooner than
the 72-hour window than most people anticipated. what as this transfired for her to come out and hold this news conference, we're not exactly sure. in her official news release, she said she was going to update with important information. it does not include charges but that's what many people are anticipating. what changed everything? could it have been the rather chaotic and very unusual news conference that was held by george zimmerman's former attorneys? we just don't know. we also know he didn't have representation. does he have it now? >> you had a recent conversation with the mayor. how is the mayor of sanford? how is the sanford police department preparing for potential rage?
i don't think anyone is expecting rage. this community has seen all sorts of things including yesterday when there was an unmanned police car that was shot out by somebody. the shooting is troubling but right now they believe that was a squad car with nobody in it. so at this point, they are not expecting outrage. they do believe the possibility is for charges. and so this community has prepared either way. they have reached out to other counties, reached out to other law enforcement entities on a state and federal level. they are all in constant communication and their emergency operation center will be operating as we go forward. >> okay, thank you in sanford, florida. cnn has confirmed with angela
corey and her office she will be holding that news conference at 6:00 eastern in jacksonville, florida. i want to bring in brad conway, a veteran defense attorney in florida. obviously knows how the state works, how the stand your ground law works. brad, question number one. the two terns say we haven't heard from him since sunday, therefore we're withdrawing our represent tag. might another attorney be at play or does he not have a defense yet? >> he's got to be thinking about a defense. his phatter is a judge so he realizes the importance sof having someone actively advocating for him. and i'm sure if he hasn't retained somebody, he's actively looking for somebody. and that's right around the corn corner. >> in the case, and again, we don't know if charges will be
brought. we know that this news conference is going to happen in jacksonville. we don't know if that means she will bring charges. but if she does, or according to the senior law enforcement officer who is telling cnn charges will be brought. and if it is manslaughter, and in a state like florida where we're talking stand your ground law, how, if you're his defense attorney, brad, how do you defend him? >> you know brooke, what this will come down to is three doctrines that are applied to the stand your ground law. equal force doctrine, disparity of force doctrine, and great disparity of force doctrine. what these are is it describes what force you can use when present wd force. in other words, equal force means a punch for a punch, kick for a kick, et cetera. distearty of force is a doctrine that enables you to use deadly
force guest an ostensibly unarmed attacker, for example, a mixed martial artist that you know to be violent coming towards you. you're of average build if you are armed, in that situation, you can potentially use deadly force. he has a right to a preliminary hearing where a judge will determine whether there's civil and criminal prosecution. it will be easy to say either he exceeded the force necessary or did not exceed it. >> what do you tell your client about where to hide, where to go? no one know where is george zimmerman is according to his attorneys. he may not even be in the state of florida. what do you say to george zimmerman now? >> one thing that is oof key
concern to everybody is mr. zimmerman's safety. i don't think anybody wants to see another innocent life be harmed, whether it's zimmerman or any of the public that are so engrossed with it. so he needs to be in a safe place. however, lawyers don't help their clients hide. and in this case, the lawyers were ready to turn mr. zimmerman in at anytime. and that's what any responsible attorney is going to have to do, have close connection with the state's attorney office. if there's an arrest or a warrant is issue turn that person in as reasonably and safely as possible. >> but if they don't know where this, now say former client is, are we to presume that someone, perhaps a federal investigator, perhaps a state investigator knows where he is and will communicate with him. look, here's the news, you're being charged, time to come in. >> brooke, i've got believe that somebody knows where he is and
will get that information to him. otherwise, he's going to find out through the media. it's going to be announced as soon as it happens and then heel billion aware of a warrant being issued for him. and i would hate to think of a defendant like this having to turn himself in without the assistance of counsel and law enforcement frankly. this is something law enforcement needs to keep an eye on and maintain control over. >> if george zirmman is even listening right now, what advice would you have for him? >> the advice i have for mr. zimmerman is find a good attorney and do it fast. >> appreciate you coming on, giving us this defense perspective here. i do want to play a little bit more sound as we the last hour from trayvon martin's parents. here's his father speaking a short time ago. >> when the special prosecutor makes her decision, that we want
to make sure that everything remains peaceful and responsible and that nothing gets out of hand. so i want to say at the very beginning before we say anything, we want all america, all the world, with we're asking who really cares about justice for trayvon martin to follow the example of sabrina fulton and tracy martin, his mother and father, to remain peaceful and having faith in our system and being prayerful. >> as a parent, losing a child, it is tough to maintain your sanity, but i told myself the second day that trayvon was dead that i would find it within
myself to do right by him. to make sure that his name wouldn't be -- his death wouldn't be in vain. >> for the last 44 day, it has been a nightmare. ands this coming from a mother's perspective. i have been up and down as if i was on a roller coaster. but i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that justice will be served. >> you heard from the person representing trayvon martin's family there and then from his parents. we're going to hear from a clinical psychologist, dr. jeff gardier. part of what zimmerman's attorneys are saying they heard he lost a lot of weight and ptsd. post traumatic stress disorder. it's something we hear about when we talk about veterans
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what in the world, wherever in the world this man is, what he must be thinking even going through, what do you think? >> well, before we get to this whole issue of possible is ptsd let's talk about what is going on emotionally with george zimmerman. this is a man right now who's extroomly scared. he doesn't know whether he's going to be charged, though we believe he will be. he doesn't know who his friends are anymore, and whether he's guilty of this or not, he actually has been involved in a shooting. he actually has killed someone, whether it was in self-defense or not, i should say, and all of that is weigh on his mind. let's not forget the $10,000 bounty. he knows there are people out there perhaps looking for him. and you're right, he is very
much disliked at this point. so all of that weighs upon his psychological stability. owe. >> when we heard from the two attorneys, they sort of go off in a different direction a little while in saying he's lost a lot of weight. he's unstable. when i think of ptsd, i think about men and women coming back from war. i'm no psychologist, what exactly is the difference and which might be it be in this case? you're looking at somebody who has flash blacks, stimuli reminding them of the event they were part of.
it has to develop within three months of that traumatic event. you don't have the same symptom which is i gave you any longer than 30 days. his toerps are saying he has the longer order, if you will. it's rally brilliant they say that because if you have it the way i'm saying that you're afraid for your life, afraid that you were going to have injury, then they can roll in this whole idea that it was self-defense.
before we go to break here, earlier on cnn, soon after announcing they lost contact with zimmerman, they say they don't know where he is but did suggest he's no longer in florida. listen. >> for those people who might be thinking of staking out family's homes or causing them any distress, there's no point in doing that. he wouldn't have called the prosecutor's office if he was fleeing. >> they'll see that george zimmerman acted in self-defense. right now, get 5% cash back at restaurants. it pays to discover. do about medicare and social security...
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>> we are now less than three hours away from this news conference. i'm looking over at a quote, george zimmerman will be criminally charged if hes hasn't been charged already. we ied confirm with angela corey's office, he has not been charged yet. this is being investigated in the local level, the state of florida and the local level. interestingly, we heard today from the attorney general. we heard from eric holder. and he hooz referenced this case in the past. this is the first time he's referenced this case by name. take a listen. >> we have a high barrier, we have a high bar that we have to
meet in order to bring charges in this case. the fbi has been on the scene doing forensic scenes to try to build that case, while at the same time, we're helping the state in its attempts to build a case as well. we want to allow the legal process to run its course. if there is to be charges that are going to be filed, if there's to be a trial, to let that play out. i have great faith in our justice system and i'm confident through the investigative process that the truth will ultimately be determined and the appropriate actions will be taken.
the notion of having to bury a child is some ways the ultimate pain. so there's that reaction. we also have i think a reaction that was based on the issue of this nation over the years. it brings to the surface many of those issues. so there was that reaction as well. >> the president weigh ing weig parent, i would have reacted. as you're looking at this and listening to the attorney general weigh in, why is that significant? >> you know, it just goes to show you the import of this case. and the reach of this case. you know, this has reached the highest level of government and is just a story all around the
world. and i think people have reacted to this case much like the casey anthony case. because there are so many people, parents that have children. and i think they have real empathy for this family who are under just tremendous strain have acted very elegantly throughout. i think it just sort of underscores why this case has struck a cord in our nation. i myself has a mother and as a lawyer met with trayvon martin's parents. it's clear they're under a tremendous amount of stress. it's important to them that somehow something happens to push this case forward. they've been asking for an arrest for quite some time. perhaps now we're hearing that's going to happen.
>> forgive me, i'm listening to eric in my ear. we're going to talk to the reverend of the trayvon martin's family. [ man ] may ford. hi, yeah. do you guys have any crossovers that offer better highway fuel economy than the chevy equinox? no, sorry, sir. we don't. oh, well, that's too bad. [ man ] kyle, is that you? [ laughs ] [ man ] still here, kyle. [ male announcer ] visit your local chevy dealer today. right now, very well qualified lessees can get a 2012 equinox ls for around $229 a month.
>> it's been more than a month since the shooting and killing of trayvon martin. now the day i know trayvon martin's parents have been waiting for potentially, i should say. we have learned here from cnn from a senior law enforcement source close to this investigation saying that george zimmerman will be charged. will that news break today? perhaps, perhaps. we're hear with the
representative for the family of the trayvon martin parents. reverend brian first, how are they? how tense are they? >> i think they're strong considering this is a protracted process. they're on edge, waiting to hear exactly what the charge is going to be, but they're at peace because their faith has been able to be there through the process. we're waiting to hear exactly what the attorney is going to say and it will be reflective for liberty and justice for all. >> they're wondering what the charges are. how much does that matter for them? it's been 44 days. with with an arrest would a charge be good enough? >> we're no not looking for symbolism, we'ring looing for justice. at this point, we don't want anything that is political.
we want something that's equitable for an innocent life that was snatched unprovoked and unwarranted. here's a person who had absolutely no record. these parents have really been grieving through their strength and through their support and prayer of all of those around the world. >> if it is manslaughter, is that good enough for the family. >> we're going to begin discussion after the teern shares her comments in a few moments. then we'll share what exactly we plan to do at that point. >> i understand we're going to be hearing from the prosecutor about 2 1/2 hours from now. what will mr. martin and mrs. fulton be doing in that 2 1/2-hour time.
how will they be spending that time? >> we just finished praying together as a family. and really just trying to unwind. you can't even imagine what kind of stress that is because they still have not found any closure in this for trying to push forward. and then family member, friends, well wishers to hear what's going to happen. we're asking everybody to keep them at peace. >> we know you're all in washington. i want to play a little bit of sound from to tracy martin. this is trayvon martin's father. let's all take a listen. >> this fight wouldn't be an easy fight. we have to fight all the trayvons that were out there that haven't been heard of.
and still today, with events that have been occurring oorks even after all of this is over, i vow to trayvon that i would not stop pushing to get laws rectified and try to get some kind of conclusion and understanding within our community. >> kwloez sure is possible. no matter how waneful it is, jesge jesus dpied on the cross. this mother this father want to be able to say it's finished, they're hurt. they found justice for our son. and trayvon stands as a symbol
for so many americans who have had a loved one gunned down and wants to know, does the justice system work. who the system is broken and who has the wrench to fix it. millions of people around the world are waiting to see america step up to the plate and see if the constitution does what it tells us it can do. >> you say this will be the longest 2 1/2 hours of their lives. thank you for calling. we appreciate you with family there in washington. >> what happens if and when george zimmerman is charged. next. [ male announcer ] the 2012 m-class continually monitors blind spots, scans the road to reveal potential threats, even helps awaken its driver if he begins to doze. so in the blink of an eye it will have performed more active safety measures
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what happens next? once george zimmerman is financially charged, which we're hearing he will be, i want to dig into exactly how this will work. i want to go to death karas. so death, i have this e-mail i'm looking at from you and your editor. you're going to help me walk through legally what happens, step one, the prosecutor in this case, files an information with the court. what is that? >> it's an accusatory instrument. some places file indictments. that's what a grand jury returns. sometimes there's a complaint that becomes information after a particular hearing. the prosecutor files this accusatory instrument hmm or herself, but does not get an arrest unless a judge agrees to it so the information is simply the filing of the charge. >> so just to be clear, if this
is the filing of the charge, you're telling me it's possible he could be charged but not be arrested? >> well, the information isn't the arrest warrant. the arrest warrant has to be signed by the judge. so the state attorney has to go with an affidavit signed by usually a plefr or a lead investigator who compiles a lot of information based upon the investigation and says here's my probable cause to believe this crime or crimes were committed. and a judge has to look at it and say you know what, i agree or i disagree. i agree it was probable cause. i will sign this arrest warrant. so that follows the filing of the information. >> so it's the information that the probable cause package is presented, step three, if and when zimmerman is arrested he has his first appearance before a judge. >> correct. now, he could surrender if they know where he is.
or if the police have to go looking for him, they'll find him, put handcuffs on him and bring him in in a car. there are different ways to surrender to charge and get handcuffed and brought in. but zimmerman expected this to happen, so i would hope that law enforcement knows where he is. he will either walk himself in with family to the office or have the place come pick them up at the police station. he'll get backed and within 24 hour, they will read him the advisement of the charges and set bond. now, the judge in setting bond will set ties to his community, the severity of the charges against him, hi his exposure, a typical bail or bond hearing or application. he will be held in custody until he posts that bond. i suspect le he eel be in
protective custody, though. >> what if he resists arrest? >> well, if he resists arrest, that will add another charge. you could have a charge of assaulting abofficer. resisting arrest is a misdemeanor charge. i believe it's a hmd unless there's assault involved in florida. so you run the risk of having additional charges if he resists. he'll be brought in. i don't expect him to resist pop moving along with her steps, step four, he's arraigned. >> okay. arraignment may happen within two or three weeks. it's not immediate. it's not that fist appearance before a judge. it's different in florida. some states you have to be arraigned where you enter a plea of not guilty or you plead guilty.
it cube little bit longer if somebody want mrs. time. >> and we know that florida is up with of 26 or 27 states with a stand your ground law, the defense then files a motion to discuss, right? based upon that. >> yes, the defense will file a motion at arraignment asking for a hearing on this law. that's what we anticipate will happen. he said he was justified. and this immunity hearing as it's called will be critical. a lot of witnesses, ear witnesses, eyewitnesses, people the police talk to will be expected to testify. i wouldn't be surprised if zimmerman himself testified. because this is the shot at getting the case dismissed. the defense has the burden to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. the defense has a burden to prove yus justification by a
preponderance of the evidence. if the defense wins, then he's immune from prosecution and the case is over. but that decision by the judge can be appealed by the prosecution. >> ultimately, we're talking pretrial. we look at the trial. that's a look at what we could be seeing for the foreseeable future. i want to look back now as we just heard the reverend speaking in washington. he said there's been 44 days. you know they' been counting. back to february 26. we're going to look at the time line all the way back to those 91 1 daals from that night. don't miss it. [ male announcer ] a car is either luxury or it isn't.
>> well, we know that george zimmerman says he shot and killed 17-year-old trayvon martin in self-defense. it was the night of february 26 in sanford, florida. let's just take a quick look back at the last 44 days. don lemon has the story. >> 7:11 p.m., a rainy night in sanford, florida. george zimmerman calls 911 to report a suspicious person in his neighborhood. that call would last four minutes. >> we've had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there's a real suspicious guy [ bleep ] the best address i can give you [ bleep ] this guy looks like he's up to no good or on sdrdru
or something. >> is he black, white or hispanic? >> he looks black. >> did you see twha he's wearing? >> a dark hoody, like a gray hood dee, either jeans or sweat pants. he's just staring. >> 7:12, phone records show that trayvon martin is on the phone with his girlfriend. 7:13, zimmerman is giving the dispatcher directions when he says the suspect took off. >> are you following him? >> yeah. >> okay, we don't need you to do that. >> okay. >> 7:15, zimmerman hangs up with 911. >> okay, i'll notify them to call you when they're in the area. >> thanks. >> reporter: at the same time at 7:15, trayvon martin's girlfriend tells abc news, sh e's still on the phone with him. >> he says there's a male
watching him. then the man said what are you doing around here? somebody pushed trayvon because the phone fell. >> 7:16, the line goes down. a neighborhood's call to 911 reveals background screaming and a gunshot. >> there's someone screaming outside. >> is it male or female? >> it sounds like a male. >> you don't know why? >> i don't know why. i think they're yelling help but i don't know. >> does he look hurt. >> i can't see him. i don't want to go out there. i don't know what's going on. >> you think he's yelling help? >> yes. >> all right, what is your phone number? >> there's gunshots. >> you just heard gunshots?
>> yes. >> how many? >> just one. >> 7:17, officer timothy smith, the first to arrive. the officer says, i was advised by the dispatch by the reports of shots fired. in the span of two minutes, smith canvases the scene, spots george zimmerman wearing red jacket and blue jeans. observes a black male wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt laying down in the grass. questions the maen in the jacket who admits to shooting the suspect and still being armed. secure asp 9 millimeter gun and places the man in handcuffs. the officer observes the man in handcuff s bleeing from the nos and the back of the head according to the police report. all of this in about two minutes. the police report says, a very tight time window according to senior law enforcement instructor. >> you really want to know what happened in that couple of minutes. was he still running? was he talk walking around looking for trayvon or was
trayvon heading out of there? in those two minutes you don't really know what happened. >> 7:19, two minutes after smith, a second officer arrives. who observes zimmerman already in officer smith's custody. sometime between 7:19 and 7 :30, ayella says he tries to get a response from the suspect on the gro understood. a sergeant arrive, checks for a pulse. there is none and both officers begin cpr. another sergeant arrives and takes over chest compression. the fire department arrive attempts to revooi the subject. and at 7:30, a paramedic pronounces the subject, trayvon martin, dead. then the police report says zimmerman is placed in the back of the police patrol car and given first aid. but when that happened is a matter of dispute. criminal defense attorney holly hughes. >> we don't know what time the emts took to arrive. you're now down to five minutes for them to perform a complete
medical examination on him. if he's in that bad of shape, they' ear not going to do anything that takes five minutes. >> reporter: the time stamp shows zimmerman and officers arriving at the station at min first officer arrived at the crime scene. the police station is a 15-minute drive away. >> don lemon with a look back here over the last 44 days. you know, chances are this is a story, no matter how you feel about it, you've talked about it. you've talked about it over lunch with your colleagues. you've gone home and talked about it perhaps with your loved ones over dinner and a lot of people have perspectives on the story. imagine if and when this case goes to trial? how do you find an impartial jury in we'll ask that of sunny hostin after this quick break. e. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them.
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>> 44 days since the shooting death of 17-year-old trayvon martin. we are now hearing from a senior law enforcement official with inside knowledge in this case that charges will be brought upon the shooter in this case george zimmerman who, again, maintains he shot and killed the 17-year-old in self-defense, but if and when this goes to trial how do you have an impartial jury? i want to bring in sunny hostin. sunny, i can't help, but think of the casey anthony trial where again, it was a similar story in the sense that everyone knew about it, everyone was talking about it. the trial was in orlando and they were bussing jurors in from pinellas county. how did they do this in sanford? >> that's right. you and i talked about that during the casey anthony trial, brooke. you know, it can be done. you can certainly bus in jurors from another jurisdiction.
this is a special prosecutor, not from sanford. this special prosecutor is from jacksonville, in fact. you certainly can bring in jurors from other places. i don't think that there is going to be any person in florida that hasn't heard about this case. this is an international story at this point, brooke, but when i was a prosecutor i sort of thought about the flipside. when you handle a high-profile case or a celebrity case you don't necessarily want a juror that hasn't heard of the celebrity, hasn't heard of the case because that's a juror that's sort of out of touch, and a juror that's been under a rock somewhere. >> that's interesting. >> so i think the goal is not necessarily to find someone that's never heard about this case, but rather a person that has heard about the case and yet can still be fair and impartial. i can tell you from my years of experience trying cases that is a real possibility. we find jurors all of the time in their communities, even
jurors who have heard about particular crimes. >> that is so interesting. finding a juror with just the right sort of balance in these cases and perhaps we will be talking about that in time, but again, we do not know when, but we do know it will happen. charges will be brought against george zimmerman. sunny hostin, my thanks to you and also breaking to you, the feds are suing apple. let me say this again, the u.s. government is suing america's most profitable company and these allegations here not only involve the secret deal and the possibility that you paid more than you should have. that's next. i've had surgery and yes, i have occasional constipation. that's why i take doctor recommended colace® capsules. i have hemorrhoids and yes, i have constipation. that's why i take colace®. [ male announcer ] for occasional constipation
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the u.s. attorney general eric holder just announced the federal government is going after apple and two book publishers for allegedly trying to fix the price of ebooks. the publishers are mcmillin and pwen and harper collins and simon & schuster they settle with the department of justice today promising they will no longer take part here. holder says ebook buyers have been paying $2 to $3 more per book because of this, to quote him, conspiracy. also president obama gave a speech to millionaires and to their secretaries in washington and he came to promote what's really become known as the buffett rule. it would tax millionaires at a minimum rate of 30%. president obama says it's really just all about tax fairness. he's even considering a name
change. >> what he was calling for then is the sail thing that we're calling for now, a trourn basic fairness and responsibility. everybody doing their part, and if it will help convince folks in congress to make the right choice, we could call it the reagan rule instead of the buffett rule. >> and it is day one of the general election campaign. mitt romney emerges as the republican's choice to challenge president obama and guess what romney's talking about today? he is talking about women. he is trying to appeal to women voters, but still, when you look at the latest washington post/abc news poll, really it's the economy and jobs. that is what people want to hear about. also the fueling process under way in north korea. some time in the next couple of days the north plans to launch a long-range rocket and the goal is to put a satellite in orbit, but the u.s. calls this whole maneuver a disguise for ballistics missile