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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  July 10, 2013 11:00am-1:01pm PDT

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them. >> okay. >> the defendant can't take the stand. >> okay. got to leave it there. we're going to be watching every minute of this. my friend and colleague brianna keilar is going to take the helm from here. thank you very much. i'm brianna keilar in for brooke baldwin. thank you for joining me. minutes ago george zimmerman let the judge know there is still a chance he could testify in his defense in his trial. interesting exchange. let's listen to this between judge deborah nelson and the florida man charged with second-degree murder. have you made a decision, sir, as to whether or not you want to testify -- >> i object to that question. >> overruled. have you made a decision as to whether or not you want to testify in the case? >> i object to that question. i think that's -- >> overruled. the court is entitled to enquire of mr. zimmerman's determination as to whether or not he wants to testify. mr. zimmerman, have you made a decision as to whether or not you want to testify in this case? >> no. not at this time, your honor. >> okay.
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when is it -- how long do you think you need before you make that decision? >> your honor, may we have an opportunity to speak? the case isn't concluded yet. >> i understand that. and i've asked mr. zimmerman if he needed more time to talk to his attorneys. if he does, i will afford it to him. mr. zimmerman, how much more time do you think you're going to need to discuss this with your attorneys? >> i assume it would depend on how long the recesses are, your honor. at the end of the day. >> okay. well, if your attorneys have finished with two witnesses before the end of the day, do you think you would then know whether or not you would want to testify -- >> your honor, on mr. zimmerman's behalf -- >> i am asking your client questions. please, mr. west. >> i object to the court inquiring of mr. zimmerman as to his decision about whether or not to testify -- >> your objection is overruled. mr. zimmerman, i will give you more time, sir, to discuss this
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with your attorneys. thank you very much. >> a very testy exchange there between judge nelson and the defense. we will be analyzing that exchange with our legal experts in just a moment. testimony has continued again in the zimmerman trial. let's listen back in. >> angry, upset, frustrated with? >> yes, sir. >> have you actually been involved in situations where you had to try and break up disputes, be they domestic disputes or fights where people are yelling and creaming at each other? >> yes, sir. >> and has that been sort of throughout the entirety of your career? >> yes. >> is that just one thing that police officers do as a part of their job? >> yes, sir, it is. >> have you seen and heard people in various states or stages of anger and hatred and ill-will as they're yelling at people or each other? >> yes. >> using that basis as an experience foundation for your testimony to this question, did -- was any of that evident
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to you in the way mr. zimmerman said the words [ muted ]. >> -- frustration about the totality of everyone he's called in on or an element in and of itself, not specifically one particular person. my interpretation of the comments he made were in general that they always get away. >> [ muted ]. -- or mr. martin? >> no. >> there was another expletive that mr. guy questioned you about. could you even hear the words f'ing punks when you listened to the tape? >> initially, no. that was something that you really had to try to break down and listen to. >> at some point, then, when you went back to listen to it enough to hear it, did it -- did there
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come a time when you ever go back and listen to it enough that you actually could hear the words? >> yes. the interpretation. again, it was after being told they were there. >> similar question, then, based upon your years of law enforcement experience. did those two words evidence to you any ill-will, hatred or spite that mr. zimmerman -- evident towards trayvon martin? >> no. not individually. >> and it was your understanding from your review of that telephone call that the frustration was aimed towards who? >> i would say -- >> objection. calls for speculation. >> sustained. >> there were two questions that mr. guy asked you. and that was, one, about a
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responsible gun owner and, two, about other options that mr. zimmerman may have had. so keeping those two questions from mr. guy in mind, was there anything in mr. stimzimmerman's of his firearm that you would consider to be reckless? >> no. >> why not? >> because the use of the firearm -- >> judge, i'm going to object as to a motion previously heard. >> i might be heard on that? this question was -- >> then approach. >> yes. >> okay. so we see the attorneys here approaching the bench for a side bar. let's bring in our legal experts here, tanya miller, defense attorney, former prosecutor, i think i have that right, as well as eleanor odom, a prosecution attorney. so we're watching this right now. first off, one thing i would like to analyze before we talk about this witness was that exchange that we saw between the
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judge and the defense. everyone wants to know, is george zimmerman going to testify? and she got pretty testy with him. what did you think, eleanor? >> i was a little bit surprised. usually judges will let the defense attorney answer for their client and not press the defendant right away. she really wanted to get an answer. do you intend to testify? what is your intent? a defendant can always change his mind. which is the beauty of that. what do you intend to do right now and do you need some time to talk to your attorney about that. so she was giving him that opportunity but she wanted to know. >> why did she get upset, do you think? >> i think don west has this persistent problem of not knowing when to stop. not knowing when enough is enough. he objected. she overruled. and he kept making the same objection. he had made it for the record. he didn't need to continue on. and he aggravated the court. >> she said it is overruled, right? she kept going. now the question is, what -- does george zimmerman for his defense, does he need to testify? we just saw a witness on the stand that a lot of observers
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will say hurt the defense. and was obviously answering a lot of questions that went to the heart of what was george zimmerman's state of mind. well, isn't it only george zimmerman who can really truly testify to what his state of mind was? >> i think that's true. only he can do that. and as a prosecutor, i love it when the defense attorney -- i mean, the defendant testifies. then you can go at them with all those inconsistencies. however, if zimmerman's smart, his story is already out there. he does not need to testify, in my opinion, in order for the defense to put up a strong case. >> let's bring in sunny hostin. she's there in sanford, florida. cnn legal contributor. sunny, if i'm just putting myself in the place of a juror, i want to hear. and i think if i'm someone who is on trial, i would want to defend myself. might a juror think, why doesn't this man want to definitely get on the stand and defend himself? or is that not the case? >> you know, generally juries do
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want to hear from the defendant. i've heard juries over and over again ask that question after deliberating and after coming to a verdict. and especially in a self-defense case, you usually do have to get on the witness stand if you're the defendant and explain why you had to defend yourself. because it's somewhat of an affirmative defense. you've got to put it out there in front of the jury. but it's already out there in front of the jury. the jury not only has heard his voice on the 911 call, they've seen a re-enactment of his own re-enactment with police officers as to what he says happened that night. so it doesn't do him any good to get back on the witness stand -- or to get on the witness stand and once again say or tell this jury what happened. because he's bound to say something differently than what he said before. his story's out there. and they heard from him already. it's much like the conrad murray case. remember, he never got on the
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witness stand. but we all remember his interview with police. that interview was an audio recording. in this case you have his picture. you have a video re-enactment. it just -- i don't think the jury would fault him for not getting on the witness stand because they've seen him and heard him already. >> if he thinks he's going to hurt his own case perhaps he wouldn't want to get on the stand. still to be decided, we'll get a quick break in while there's a pause in the action there in the george zimmerman trial. will george zimmerman testify for himself? right after this break. everybody has different investment objectives,
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zimmerman's defense today. today, zimmerman's attorneys put on the stand dennis root, a private investigator, a former police officer, taser instructor, hand to hand combat teacher and overall expert on the use of force. root explained how witness testimony often conflicts in high stress situations. zimmerman did not have the abilities of a fighter. and that trayvon martin appeared to be physically fit. let's listen in right now as he continues his testimony. >> did you know how far away approximately the gun was from mr. martin when it was fired? >> yes. >> and what do you know that to be, approximately? >> if i remember reading correctly, it was within six inches. >> same objection. >> overruled. move on to your next question, please. >> yes, your honor. and i told you about two questions that you were asked. the other question is whether or
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not in your opinion based upon the facts and circumstances that existed at the time of the shot whether or not mr. zimmerman had any other options available to him. >> again, judge, i'm going to object as calling for speculation. >> i think he's already testified as to options as a response to a question from you. overruled. >> judge, i'll object to the pending motion and the content of the answer. >> overruled. >> so, mr. root, based upon your training, experience, and knowing what you knew about the facts surrounding the event that night, particularly at the moment of the gunshot, did mr. zimmerman have any other options? >> based on my knowledge and understanding of him, the environment, the situation, the totality of everything, i don't believe he did. >> there was inquiry as to whether or not you took this
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case on for the pure notoriety of it. i want to ask you some questions about that. t did you? is that the main reason why you took on this case? >> absolutely not. >> for whatever purpose, certainly some of the benefit of having a high profile case, does that or has that impacted in any way on any of the answers to your questions presented to you by me in direct examination or in cross-examination? >> no. because the same type of negative media coverage comes from this case as positive media coverage. nothing had any influence on my answers other than my evaluation of the facts as i understand them from this case. >> does the possibility of some future payment to you from me for your testimony here today, did that impact at all in the way you presented your testimony? >> not at all. >> had -- a question was posed
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as to how many times you've testified as an expert. i think you said this is your first time testifying in a self-defense case? >> in a criminal trial, yes, sir. >> how many times have you testified in a criminal case? >> oh, i couldn't -- a lot. i mean, throughout a 22-year career in law enforcement. many times. >> have you ever been cross-examinationed by a prosecutor? >> no. >> normally you are actually on the side of the state, correct? >> yes. this is a complete opposite of where i normally sit. >> i want you to presume for a moment that you don't have any information about where the fight started.
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the location of mr. zimmerman's little small flashlight, anything else like that. focus for now just on the 40 seconds of screaming and the injuries. with that set of circumstances, would you change your opinion at all about mr. zimmerman's lack of options? >> no, i would not. >> would your opinion be the same even if there was a two-minute delay between the ending of mr. zimmerman's phone call and the event that happened which caused those injuries? >> no. that would be irrelevant to me. >> what are the only real relevant factors that you look at when, in this case, when evaluating the use of force? >> the primary elements i look
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at are the event as it's unfolding, at the moment that the use of force was taking place. and the perception of the individual involved in the event itself. what did they perceive their position to be presented as. that's the ultimate thing that i have to look at when i look at a use of force case and come down to the nuts and bolts of things. it's at the moment the force was used, given everything else, at that moment, the perception of that person that was using force, what was their perception at that given second. and how would that affect the outcome. >> okay. we talked about the flashlight for a moment. the key chain flashlight. did finding or noting that that key chain being there, was that relevant at all in helping you determine where the altercation may have occurred or begun? >> it helped create a picture in my mind as where it possibly
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started at. >> you were asked about blood flowing down, blood flowing back. in your experience, both from law enforcement and, i guess, more particularly, from your experience as a -- do we call you a fighter? >> sure. >> as a fighter, what happens when you get hit in the nose? >> well, there's a variety of things that take place with a nose strike. i mean, there's -- one of the most immediate things because of the nerve at the base of the nose with a nose strike, it can cause immediate tearing of the eyes. if the blow is significant enough and it does result in bleeding, there's a free flowing of blood which, depending on the person, how it's flowing and so forth, it can fill the nasal cavity, drain out of the nose. that can have an effect on your ability to breathe. obviously the most primary -- >> we will be right back to the zimmerman trial after a quick break. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪
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he who controls the ebb and flow of the fight, the rhythm of the fight, generally can become victorious. >> you've seen this picture before, of course? >> yes, sir. >> is this consistent with a strike to the nose? >> yes, sir. >> if this was the first strike of the fight, would it be a -- as you testified, a significant
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maneuver to control the ebb and flow of the fight. >> judge, i object as calling for speculation. >> as far as experience and training, your honor. >> you're showing him a picture of something else. so you need to ask a different question. rephrase it. >> yes, your honor. you talked about your criminal justice degree, correct? but you talked earlier about the police academy. i want to see if there's any difference between the two. in your training -- well, it's going to be difficult, but -- you got your criminal justice defwree after you started training as a law enforcement officer? >> oh, yes. i pursued my degree well into my
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career. >> i'm going to try and separate the two. did you learn any of your striking techniques or resistance techniques or takedown techniques in school for your criminal justice degree, or was just that in the academy and your further law enforcement training? >> there was no physical courses like that required in my criminal justice degree. criminal justice degree is geared toward more educating you about the criminal justice system. about the courts, the processes, and things like that. the academy is about applying the enforcement of the laws. what laws are to be enforced, how to enforce them, physical ways to enforce it, how to conduct traffic stops, how to conduct every day business as a professional law enforcement officer. where as a criminal justice degree is kind of like the -- the bookend, if you will, of criminal justice. it's the how the system works in and of itself.
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>> and having done it for, now, i guess, 20, 25 years, did you enjoy being a law enforcement officer? >> i did. i enjoyed being a police officer very much. >> do you think it was for you a noble profession? >> absolutely. >> would you encourage or discourage -- say, you had a 20-year-old nephew or son. would you encourage them or discourage them from taking on a life of law enforcement? >> depends on the child. i have a stepson, for example, very physically fit. i would encourage him without question to pursue it. my daughter, on the other hand, who doesn't like confrontation, i would not encourage that. anybody who really wants to make a difference and is able to take on the stressors of that type of position, it's a very noble career and i would recommend it to anybody. >> you had mentioned early in
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the conversations about the continuing force. that a certain act can allow a response. so if you say to me, go over there and sit down, and i go, no, even more colorful words, then you get to respond verbally? is that sort of part of what we're talking about? >> that's a piece of it, yes. >> okay. so -- and that continue of force sort of goes up the scale all the way, ends at deadly force, correct? >> yes. >> and are there markers along the way that allows you to increase your response to force? >> absolutely. >> so let's just say that i walked up to you and pushed you. what would an appropriate increase in force be based upon your training and experience? >> i'm going to object as to relevance as this relates only to police officers.
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>> i'll broaden it. i want you to answer the question based upon your experience as an adult, based upon your experience as a fighter, and based upon your 20 years of law enforcement experience. and also based upon your expertise in looking at use of force events. so with that context, let me ask a couple questions about that. when you look at use of force events, does that go across the spectrum of use of force? >> yes. >> okay. we're not just talking about -- you don't just specialize in use of force of deadly force, correct? >> no. use of force is force. whether it starts from the very beginning from verbal communications and goes all the way up to and including deadly force. it's a very wide playing field. >> so if you were aware of a situation, one of your, i don't know, cadets or one of your people you would end up helping to train where they were just using inappropriate verbal force, screaming too loud and doing whatever, would you then
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counsel those people? maybe i'm not saying it right. >> yeah. >> let me try again. when you do your use of force training within your experience, both law enforcement and as a trainer, does that include training law enforcement officers and whoever wants to be trained as to how to use even verbal force where you use the command voice? >> all of our force training, whether it's law enforcement or for individuals, the idea behind any level of training related to force is to explain the variables involved in deciding how to apply force and what justifies it. if somebody's being verbal, obviously we would recommend to them that if possible, our number one recommendation for everybody, if confronted by an aggressor, is try to avoid it if you can. but it all depends on your environment, your ability, the ability to leave, the ability -- sometimes people don't give you the opportunity to leave. sometimes they could be yelling at you from 40 feet away. all these variables come into
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play. when you look at each event, you have to take into consideration all of these variables. so if i was yelling at you and cussing at you from 40 feet away, my recommendation for you would be just to -- you've got 40 feet. walk away. clear the area. if i'm up personal, in your personal space within six feet, three feet, within arm's length of you, and now i'm getting that same hostility and everything, and i'm very animated, now that verbal confrontation becomes a more significant issue for you because of the distance that we've closed. so really it's very difficult to answer "a" and "b" because the totality of everything comes into play when you consider when and how force should be used.
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we are monitoring the zimmerman trial. this is dennis root on the stand, a defense witness and expert in law enforcement as well as the use of force. let's listen in. >> -- that you're referring to really come into play based on what you're capable of doing, not simply because this event's
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happening, you have another option. >> don't the options also depend on what the other person is doing? in this case, trayvon martin? >> well, absolutely. >> so your determination as to what trayvon martin was doing at the time he was shot came from him, right? >> that was one of the elements that i considered for that. but when you take the small portion of weight given to a statement and then you add in the other evidence that surrounds the event, the injuries and everything, to see if it corroborates to a point that it seems plausible that this exactly is what took place and everything lines up to say yes, based on what i see here physically, the injuries and so forth, this all makes sense. so the opinion is that based on what he told me in combination with all the other variables involved, that's how i formed my opinion. >> yes or no. do you know what trayvon martin was doing at the moment he was shot?
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>> yes. >> you do? >> you're asking my opinion. based on the information i was given the opportunity just like i could look at you and say, i don't know what mr. zimmerman was doing, i don't know what mr. martin was doing. if you're looking for me to say that i don't know if trayvon martin was doing this one specific thing, we're talking about the totality. it's how i formed my opinion. you're asking me about what was he doing at that time. it appears clear through the evidence, if you want me to just surprise and say that, well, based on your perspective he wasn't doing this or george zimmerman wasn't doing that. >> i asked you a very simple question. do you know what trayvon martin was doing at the moment he was shot? >> i personally was not there. so i cannot attest to specifically knowing exactly what mr. martin was doing at the time. i can only base my opinion on the totality of the evidence as i've learned it throughout my exploration of this case.
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>> which includes your perceptions or his perceptions as he told them to you, right? didn't you say the defendant's perception is important? >> the perception of an individual involved in any conflict is what you have to take into consideration when making a force decision. so the perceptions, if i told you i had a perception that the jolly green giant was jumping on me, that would be ridiculous. but if i was in this booth right behind here and said i had the perception that one of these wires were wrapped around my ankle, it was plausible. the perception is taking in the totality of the event as it unfolded to see if the perception that was related by mr. zimmerman was plausible. >> the perception as related by him. >> absolutely, yes, sir. >> and your conversation with him came about two or three months before his second-degree murder trial, right? >> sure. that sounds about -- about
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accurate, yes, sir. >> you were asked about testifying -- this isn't the only time you've ever worked in a criminal case, right, on behalf of a defendant, is it? >> no, sir. >> you've been consulted on plenty of cases on behalf -- on behalf of defendants, right? >> you're going to have to qualify that a little bit more. in saying i've been in a bunch of cases on behalf of the defendant. >> have you ever been retained, hired, by a defense attorney in testify on behalf of or consult on behalf of a criminal defendant. >> a criminal defendant i believe retained -- it's in my curriculum vitae. i don't want to misspeak this. twice, maybe, i think. one would have been i think the chambers case. the other one would have been where i consulted, didn't have to testify either by deposition or in trial, the name of the gentleman is escaping me.
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but it's toward the bottom of my cv. >> this is just the first time you've testified in front of a jury? >> yes. in a criminal case in this way, it is the first time i've done this, yes. >> and you mentioned the continuum of force. the force continuum, that applies to law enforcement, right? >> the force continuum is a con acceptable model. when you look at use of force, florida state statute, that's a continuum. it's a systemic approach to the escalation and deescalation of force. the use of words "continuum" came out of law enforcement, yes. the actual application of a concept is regardless whether you're in law enforcement, you're in the military or you're an individual on the streets or. a continuum is still part of the conceptual variables when looking at a use of force event. >> you were asked about getting punched in the nose. you don't know when george zimmerman was punched in the nose during this confrontation, do you?
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>> no. he was punched during obviously repeatedly during the event. the exact time that injury to the nose was sustained, i cannot tell. >> it may have not even been from a punch, right? at no time you say earlier it could have been when he hit it on something else? >> no. i never said that. i never said george zimmerman hit his face on anything. >> could it have been caused by something other than a punch? >> in this event, i'm not aware of anything else that was present to have resulted in that injury. >> you're not aware of the concrete? >> i do not believe that a facial contact of that nature with concrete, without seeing other types of abrasions to the face and the eye areas. because when you're talking about a force significant enough to cause that damage to his nose, with an impact on a flat, hard surface, you're going to have continued roll over which is fwoing to increase injuries in some area around the face. it was pretty clear that the abrasions around the eyes or anything like that. i wouldn't recommend the position that concrete caused that nose thing. >> let me ask you this. you've been punched in the nose before, right, during a fight?
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>> absolutely. >> you didn't quit, did you? >> i didn't quit? >> did you keep fighting? >> no. i'm a fighter. >> you kept fighting? >> absolutely. if you're a fighter, that's a whole purpose of entering into a fight is you fight. >> and you've seen other people continue to fight after they've been hit in the nose, right? >> i have seen both. i've seen people that when they've been struck, it exits the fight right there. the fight continues, but they are not able to respond in any form or fashion. and then i've seen others. i mentioned earlier about the warrior mindset. not everybody has that. so when you look at an individual, if they're involved in a physical altercation and they don't have that internal fire to be involved in that way, they're not going to fight. when the fight starts, they're going to have that person that's just beaten. where conversely if you have somebody that's got the warrior mindset, and they're struck, they're going to return in like fashion. and then you have two individuals with the same mindset going about one another and you have tremendous damage
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so it's possible you can shoot somebody almost at any angle because we have arms and wrists and elbows, right? >> anything's possible, yes. >> you were asked a question, i
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think, before the lunch break about was it your opinion that george zimmerman's perception of the threat had disappeared because trayvon had run off? is that what you said? >> i'm not sure i was very clear on that. when i listened to the call and i heard mr. zimmerman mentioning mr. martin in the recording where he was facing him, my perception of that call at that time, i sensed stress in his voice about the fact he was approaching him, looking at him, his hand was going toward his waistline. as he left, that tension diminished. that, to me, also reinforced what i'm already heard from mr. pollack and saw from, again, reviewing the information in this case. he's not the confrontational one. he's not that i'm going to get on you type. when mr. martin ran, basically
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he's running, there's no immediate threat to him. his perception is, he's taken off running. so he gets out and that's where he is now trailing or following, i would say following the person, to see where they went. because that's what he was doing for them. >> well, didn't you hear the defendant say i don't want to give up my phone number because i don't know where he is? >> yes. >> doesn't that indicate to you that he still might be a little concerned about what's going on? >> mr. zimmerman? >> yes. >> oh, absolutely. i mean, when we look at it that way also when we're talking about timelines, if we're thinking about the "t" and he took off running to make it home, it's my understanding home wasn't that great a distance away. considering his age, how come he wasn't able to make it the exact distance. if he's still in the area, it's presenting a concern for mr. zimmerman because he's lost complete sight of him. he's n visual acuity is minimal because of the darkness. you're looking at an individual
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that's walking back and he's uncertain as to whether or not he's actually still there so he opportunity want to give out his phone number. >> let me ask you one more question about the firearm. are you aware that the defendant was trained by a federal marshal how to shoot. >> yes. >> you said an interview is better if it's delayed? >> not all interviews. we're talking about the use of deadly force. it's a common practice to delay the interview because of the known memory loss issues and the extended time before you conduct a thorough investigative interview of a police officer. >> but --
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talked to in that regard was mr. pollack, the gym owner. his description of mr. zimmerman was not confrontational. everything i've reviewed in this case would indicate the opposite. he was not the type that had what we would refer to as a warrior mindset. that -- that inner fire that compels you to be a fighter, that come pepels you to be that person that you want to get in the ring to test your skills against another person. >> was there anything but for the gunshot the lack of injuries on mr. martin that helped you with that decision. >> based on the injuries that i -- we've all seen on mr. zimmerman and the lack of injuries on mr. martin, i would take that as evidence that he didn't have any striking. even though he's on the ground and in this tussle, he did not do anything of any significance that would have been able to even result in an injury to him. that would support again the
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same information i already derived from another source. >> he didn't even land a strike, at least one that left a mark, did he? >> i'm going to object to that as calling for speculation. >> sustained. >> how about any evidence gathered from this event that suggested that trayvon martin did have a warrior mentality or mindset? >> i'm going to object to that as beyond the scope and in violation of an earlier motion. >> my response? >> sustained as to the violation. >> the door was opened, your honor. it was this prosecutor that asked that very question. i'm just asking him to focus -- >> you've already asked your questions about that. >> i'm now asking about mr. martin, not mr. zimmerman any longer. >> my objection -- my ruling remains sustained. >> yes, your honor. is there any evidence in the case that you've looked at that
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would suggest that even through the 45 seconds worth of screaming, that the attack stopped? >> judge, i'm going to object to that as calling for speculation. >> he asked him if he's aware of any evidence. i'll allow it. >> no. i saw nothing that would indicate that to me. >> thank you. nothing further, your honor. >> i thank you. may mr. root be excused? >> subject to recall, your honor. >> thank you very much, sir. >> may we approach on the issue of recall for a moment? >> we can address that later. but i will tell him he's subject to being recalled. then we'll address the issue about being recalled later. you're excused from the courtroom today, but you're subject to being recalled. please call your next witness. >> may i just have a moment? >> yes. >> let's go ahead and bring in cnn legal analyst sunny hostin, watching this trial in sanford, florida. sunny, many days, including when prosecution witnesses were on
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the stand, it really looked like the defense seemed to be having a better day. but looking at today, and even just the body language of mark o'mara, they don't seem to be quite as confident. this defense witness doesn't seem to have served george zimmerman ea zimmerman's case particularly well. >> yeah. this was a mistake by this defense. and let me make it clear, the defense has been doing a really good job. these are excellent attorneys. no question about that. but sometimes when you're in the thick of it, you can't really see the forest for the trees. you just can't see. you lose somewhat of a sense of how well you are doing. and this witness just didn't need to be called. i don't know that he added anything for the defense. and the prosecution did such an effective job of cross examining the witness, he came off as being biased. he came off as being very speculative. >> sunny, i'm so sorry to
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interrupt you. there is a new defense witness on the stand that we want to listen in on. >> t-a-l-a-n. >> and at one point back in february of actually early 2012, did you live in the retreat at twin lakes area. >> yeah. >> have you since moved out. >> yes, i have. >> are you married? >> yes, i am. >> do you have any children? >> two. >> their ages? >> 2 1/2 and 4 months. >> okay. going back, then, to when you still lived at retreat view circle, did an event happen at your residence where a crime was committed? >> yes. >> could you explain to the jury what happened with that? >> i was home on a wednesday with my son. he was, i think, 9 months at the time. and i heard someone ring my doorbell repeatedly. so i went to check upstairs. because i didn't have a peephole. and i saw two young
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african-american guys ring my doorbell repeatedly and they kept on looking up at the window. i called my mom because i didn't know what to do. they left. then after a while, i went back upstairs to check one more time. and they were walking in front of my house. one came towards my house and i called -- i was on the phone with my mom at the time. i started crying. i called the police. they broke into my house. i heard some bangs downstairs. the dispatcher told me to grab any weapon i had because i had my son in my arms. he had woken up. and just prepare to use it if i had to. the guy was it sha-- i was lock my son's bedroom. he was shaking the doorknob trying to get in. i was sitting there with a pair of rusty scissors and my son in one arm. and the police came and they ended up leaving. >> do you recall approximately when this happened? >> august 3rd of 2011.
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>> and did you then take a place of refuge or hiding while this was occurring? >> yes, i did. >> where did you go to hide? >> my son's upstairs bedroom. >> in the closet? >> i wasn't in the closet. i was in the far corner because the closet was closer to the door. she said to get away -- as far away from the door as possible. >> did you have your son with you during that time? >> yes, i did. >> when -- did the people who were downstairs at some point, did they leave the house? >> yes. i guess they escaped before the cops got there. >> did they take any items with them? >> yes, they did. >> what did they take? >> my camera, our laptop. they tried to get our tv. it was unhooked. but he had it hooked up to our computer so they couldn't get it off. i think there was something else. i can't remember what it was. definitely our camera and my laptop. >> at some point, then, one of
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those people -- at least one of those people were arrested and found and arrested and charged with that crime? >> yes. >> and do you know what happened? do you know the person's name? >> his name was emanuel burgess. >> and is that the reason why you moved from that area? >> yes. >> nothing further, your honor. >> thank you. >> miss bertalan, good afternoon. you had some contact with george zimmerman after that event, did you not? >> i did. >> okay. >> judge, outside the scope of direct. >> judge, it's -- it's the basis of her testimony, i believe.
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>> i would ask to proffer it at the bench. >> we can't proffer it at the bench. ladies and gentlemen, if you'd please put your notebooks down by the chairs. i'll have the deputy take you outside the courtroom. >> the jury is about to be excused here for a moment in the george zimmerman trial. we are going to get a quick break in. and we'll explain everything that just happened right after the break.
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the jury has been sent out of the courtroom in the george zimmerman trial. we are watching testimony by a defense witness, olivia bertalan. the mother of two small kids who live in the community where
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trayvon martin was shot by george zimmerman. she is describing -- has described a home invasion that happened while she was in her house several months before the -- before trayvon martin was killed. and she is describing the conversation that she had with george zimmerman right after that incident. now, while we are waiting for the jury to come back in, tanya miller, one of our legal experts here, defense attorney, former prosecutor, who does this help? it's interesting. because they're trying to sort of get her to talk about how she had this conversation with george zimmerman. how initially the suspect wasn't caught. why is the prosecution trying to bring this out of this witness? who seems very credible?
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>> right. i think it cuts both ways. with what you see the prosecutor trying to do with this witness is is show that, one, george zimmerman was acting sort of like a cop when he comes to her house, questions her about the incident, gets a description of the perpetrators. and, two, it's more likely that george zimmerman would have viewed trayvon martin as one of those bad guys on that night. and more likely to have been aggressive toward him. >> now, it also seems though, eleanor odom, that this is a witness who is effective at maybe describing the fear that some people in the neighborhood had of crime that they were experiencing. is it effective? >> i think she's being very effective and very credible. it does describe that fear. but it also portrays george zimmerman as a bit of a vigilante. going out there, looking for trouble. if he's out there and he's looking for trouble, and he killed trayvon martin during that mindset, then he's guilty. >> because his mindset is very key to this. sort of the state of mind that he was in leading up to shooting
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trayvon martin. >> absolutely. >> that's what it all comes down to is what was in his mind. and that's for the six jurors to decide. >> and to be clear, george zimmerman has said that he got out of his car to look at a street sign. that has been his official story. that he wasn't -- and we've heard many witnesses testify that they don't believe he had ill will. what the prosecution is trying to draw out of this witness, who is for the defense, this sort of the opposite, that he had this vigilante mindset. you think that's very effective? you think jurors will say -- actually, you know what? hold on just a moment. testimony beginning again with olivia bertalan. let's listen. >> that day did you get a visit from a man named george zimmerman? >> i did. >> is he the gentleman seated to my left at the end of the table. used to live in your neighborhood. right? he used to live in your neighborhood? >> sorry, yes. >> he actually came to your house, that day, correct? >> correct. >> i need you to speak up. >> sorry. >> he talked to you, the reason
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he came to your house, he didn't know you, right? >> right. >> he came to you because you had been a victim of something, right? >> yes. >> and you described for him what had happened to you that afternoon? >> yes. >> and you described to him the people that had vikt imized you, right? >> yes. >> you described the number of people? >> yeah. >> how many did you tell him? >> two. >> did you describe the sex of the people? >> yes. >> and what was that? >> male. >> did you describe the race of the people? >> yes. >> what was that? >> african-american. >> did you describe the age of the people? >> i didn't know the age for sure. but i'm sure i told him assumed they were late teens. they looked that age. >> and after that, you and he continued to talk about that very case, right? >> mm-hmm. >> yes? >> yes. >> okay. approximately 20 times? is that fair? >> yeah. >> and you and he discussed that the person or persons involved
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had not been caught, right? >> right. >> and you discussed that it was your belief, i say your collectively, you and him, that that person responsible or one of the people actually lived in the retreat at twin lakes, right? >> it was confirmed by the police. >> that they lived inside? >> yes. >> and you discussed that with the defendant? >> and other neighbors. >> and you discussed that that person lived in retreat at twin lakes near the back gate, right? >> yes. >> and then it's your understanding that at some point that person was arrested? >> yes. >> and released prior to february of 2012? >> correct. >> you -- have you watched the proceedings in this trial? >> briefly. >> what parts did you watch? >> i believe i saw his uncle testify.
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>> who else? >> i don't know any by names. i haven't watched very much. >> have you tweeted about this case? >> i -- not since -- no, i have not. >> not since what? >> maybe last year when it first happened. >> you haven't tweeted about this trial? >> i don't believe so. >> this week? >> i don't believe so. >> you do have a twitter account, correct? >> yes. >> and you follow -- you actually follow mr. o'mara, do you not? >> yes. >> and you follow an account or a site called zimmerman legal case, right? >> i do. >> and you have been on nancy grace? >> yes. >> in regards to this case? >> over a year ago, yes. >> may i have just a moment, your honor?
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ms. bertalan, thank you for your time. >> redirect? >> thank you. just a few follow-up questions, ma'am. when mr. zimmerman came to you to talk to you about having been victimized by a home invasion, t did you consider that strange? >> no. >> were you appreciative of his efforts to help you out? >> very. >> tell me about that. >> we were terrified when this happened. and we came home after we were having car troubles, and we came home and he was just saying that he wanted to make sure we were okay. we weren't home, my sister was. and she didn't answer the door because she was scared because of what had gone on. so i was just appreciative that he was offering his hand and had told me i could spend time with
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his wife if i needed to go somewhere during the day. because i was so afraid. >> he told you his wife was a nursing student, correct? >> correct. >> objection as to hearsay. >> sustained. >> did he tell you -- what did he tell you about his availability, if any, of his wife to be there for you if need be. >> judge, object to that as hearsay and relevance. >> it's -- >> well, i -- i'm not really having any problem with the relevance. >> i was just following up on -- okay, your honor. i'll just focus it again. were you aware that ms. zimmerman was there for you as well if need be? >> yes, sir. >> did you then at some point shortly thereafter go to the homeowners association and discuss the issue of the home invasion? >> i don't believe i went. my husband did.
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>> and then in addition to your conversation with george zimmerman, tdid you talk to othr people about what happened to you? >> yes. >> who was that? >> a couple of my neighbors. neighbor named pete. another neighbor, chris. >> was this home invasion then something of a point of conversation because of the trauma that you had with it? >> yes. >> matter of fact, did mr. zimmerman after the homeowners association that started neighborhood watch, did he bring to you a lock to help you with the sliding glass door? >> yes, he did. >> did you consider that weird or unusual or strange? >> no. i was very appreciative. >> were you made aware that there was a issue with problems with the sliding glass doors in your neighborhood? >> i don't believe so. >> was that actually how they got in the house, the sliding glass door? >> yes.
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>> they actually came in through the backsliding glass door? >> mm-hmm, yes. >> did this lock then help secure that problem? >> yes. it sits behind it and it locks it tight so they can't pull it open. >> and before you moved out, you even had -- what, didn't you get a dog to help? >> yes, we did. >> was that part of trying to just stay more secure in a neighborhood where you'd been burglarized or invaded? >> yes. the cops told us to get a dog. >> do you know the person who arrested -- who was arrested was emanuel burgess, you said? >> yes. >> and that he was released? >> yes. >> did you know he was rearrested on february 6th of 2012. >> i didn't know when. i got a letter after we moved out. so i didn't know exactly when he was arrested.
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>> did any of your interactions with mr. zimmerman in this regard leave you with some impression that he was just -- just too involved in trying to help you out? >> no. >> did you think that his behavior was helpful to you? >> very. >> still have the dog? >> yes. >> thanks very much. nothing further, your honor. >> thank you. may ms. bertalan be excused. >> she may. >> yes, your honor. >> thank you very mufch. you're excused. please call your next witness. >> defense would call robert zimmerman sr., your honor. >> and as this witness leaves, olivia bertalan, in through those doors will be the father of george zimmerman. this could be the final witness
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in the defense case. this is george zimmerman's dad. he has not been present in this courtroom. there's a witness sequestration rule. they are not allowed to sit through proceedings. but as you just heard olivia say, she's been watching some of them. there's no rule about watching it on television. here comes robert zimmerman. let's listen as he swears in. >> do you solemnly swear or affirm your testimony will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> yes, ma'am. >> thank you. >> you may inquire. >> thank you, your honor. good afternoon, sir. state your name, please. >> robert zimmerman. >> and you live here in central florida, correct? >> yes, sir. >> how long have you lived in central florida? >> almost seven years.
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>> okay. you know -- you know george zimmerman as your son, i imagine? >> yes, sir. >> understand, of course, that he's here on a second-degree murder charge? >> yes, sir. >> i'm going to limit my questions to you to an event where you had an opportunity to hear a -- what we have been calling a 911 tape or ms. lower's 911 call. do you know what i mean when i ask you about that? >> yes, i do. >> it is a tape that includes in it some screams and a gunshot. have you heard that tape? >> yes, i have. >> we have it available. the jury has heard it dozens of times now. i'll only play it for you if you need to hear it again. but do you have a memory of it such that you remember listening
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to it and forming an opinion as to who you heard? >> yes, sir, i do. >> if you would just tell me the setting of the circumstances around the first time that you heard it. >> i believe the first time i heard it, it was on the third floor of this building. it was in the state attorney's office. i was there, i was put under oath. they asked me some questions. as i was getting ready to leave, they asked me if i would mind listening to this tape. i said, certainly. so they took me to a really small room where there was a computer. they provided me headphones. and they reminded me i was still under oath and would i listen to it. i said, yes. so i listened to it. and then they asked me, did i
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recognize the voice. >> and what did you tell them? >> i told them, absolutely. that's my son, george. >> is that an opinion that you still have through today? >> certainly. >> nothing further, your honor. >> thank you. cross? >> good afternoon, sir. >> hi, sir. >> i think you've listened to it six times. is that correct? >> i'm sorry? >> i think you've listened to that recording six times, correct? >> no. >> you have not? >> no. >> okay. let me have a moment, your honor. >> i've listened to it a number of times. i have no idea if it's six or -- >> oh, okay. i would probably say at least six. >> more than six times? >> i would guess at least six. >> okay. >> but i really -- >> thank you very much. >> -- can't be accurate.
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>> thank you, sir. >> any redirect? >> no. thank you, your honor. >> may mr. zimmerman be excused? >> yes, your honor. subject to recall, your honor. >> thank you. you're excused from the courtroom subject to being recalled, sir. thank you. call your next witness. >> i think this might be a good time for a break, if i might, your honor. >> okay. ladies and gentlemen, we'll take a 15-minute recess. if you'll please put your note pads down on the chair and follow the deputy back into the jury room. >> and there goes robert zimmerman out of that courtroom. it was all of three minutes. the father of the accused. and there was only one issue this defense attorney wanted to get out of this father. whose voice was that on the 911 call? robert zimmerman said quite clearly, after listening to it in the state attorney's office
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with headphones, obviously that's my son. he was certain of it, he said. he's listened to it more than a dozen times. now they're going to a recess. so you're not going to miss anything. let's just listen to the judge. >> are there any other witnesses you wanted your attorneys to call on your behalf, sir? >> no, your honor. for this hearing? >> for this trial. you've been here through the trial. we've had -- let's see. we've had 40 witnesses that were called by the state.called by t defense. some of them were called -- i'm sorry. i'm talking to mr. zimmerman. some of them were called a couple of times. such as ms. singleton. it's really less than 19. my question to you is, mr. zimmerman, were there any other witnesses that you wanted your attorneys to call on your behalf at this trial? >> no, your honor. >> okay. thank you very much. when we get finished with the recess, i'm going to ask you about whether or not you're going to testify. take the time you need to talk
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to your lawyers. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. court will be in recess. >> george zimmerman looks a little bit bewildered. i have to say, i have not seen in many cases a judge addressing a defendant three times in one day about specific questions as to the process of the case. and the progress of his case. and the bewildered face might be because he's not exactly sure if that's the answer he's supposed to give. listen, i need a little help here. mark nejame is criminal defense attorney who practices a lot in this state. not in front of this judge, necessarily. is it just me? i felt -- i felt it was very unusual to see this constant questioning of a witness who looked confused -- or rather a defendant who looked confused who seemed to need the help of his attorney. and the attorney was being told in no uncertain terms, stop.
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i am talking to the defendant. >> yeah. i've been in front of this judge. >> oh, you have? >> yeah. i just haven't had trials in front of her. i've been in front of her. she runs a very tight courtroom. as you see throughout she's very knowledgeable. she's just covering all of her bases. she's going to make sure that if he, in fact, does not testify, that he's knowingly giving up his right. >> mark, i just don't understand why a judge would ask a defendant, are there any other witnesses you'd like to bring forth at this time. doesn't he need to ask his attorney if we're done? >> it's to anticipate in the event he's convicted an ineffective council claim. that he participated fully in his defense. he was asked about it. he went ahead and knowingly said i don't want anybody else, i don't want to testify, whatever. what often happens if he gets convicted, you lose on your apeoples, you go off the lawyers. >> i'm not a lawyer. you are. it felt odd to me that this witness looked confused an
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seemded -- look, i don't know. but it seemed to me, the casual observer, he needed some help. he needed to confer with his attorney to say what do i answer here? and he wasn't being given that opportunity. is there any issue there that could be, oh, i don't know, appellate? >> i don't see it as an appellate issue, per se. i'm a little bewildered by his bewilderment. it's almost as if he hasn't been actively participating in this trial for these many weeks now. but what this is all about is the judge protecting the record to make sure it's absolutely clear if anybody's looking at this in the future that it's crystal clear that he was properly advised of his absolute right to remain silent. >> that's it. darren. >> of course. >> i would be bewildered. darren, i cover court. i have been in court. >> you would not be bewildered, a ashleigh, i know you. >> i would be bewildered if the judge was asking me to go on the record in my murder trial, my murder trial, give an answer
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that's definitive before i had a chance to double-check with the experts, the guys who know the law. >> that's the thing that's been so unusual about this. frankly, my headline for this is unnecessary roughness. this all could have been handled in a much more elegant way for the judge to simply inquire whether or not he's made his final decision about whether he's going to testify. because it impacts scheduling. it impacts obviously making the record. she could have been much kinder about it. obviously we had a moment with don west earlier where he could have handled that situation in a much more effective fashion. but at the end of the day, what this is all about is making sure that the record is crystal clear. because zimmerman has the absolute right to keep his mouth shut or to take the stand and tell his story. >> well, you know what? we've had three shots right now. she has asked this defendant three times since we opened on the gavel this morning if he's
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going to testify. number one is think about it because i'm going to ask you. number two, are you going to do it? at which point his lawyers were trying to say, judge, we've not even finished our case. you're overruled. sit down. now number three, once again, have you got any other witnesses you want to bring? listen, i'm going to squeeze in a quick break. the great seal of the state of florida in the courtroom right now. you're not missing any live testimony. they will resume very likely. guess what they're fwoigoing to resume likely with? the answer to that question, mr. zimmerman, do you plan to speak on your own behalf and take the stand in your own second degree murder trial or do you want to remain silent? you have every right to remain silent. we're back hopefully with that answer after the break. ♪ [ male announcer ] the distances aren't getting shorter. ♪ the trucks are going farther. the 2013 ram 1500
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you are not missing any testimony. there was a brief recess called in this courtroom. i emphasize brief. there's one issue that has yet to be resolved in this case. that is will or won't george zimmerman take the stand in his own defense in his second degree murder case. he's got, oh, i don't know. about eight more minutes left to make that decision. if he hasn't already. here's the question. don't they make that decision early on? or do they truly wait until the very end to determine if a tft should take the stand in his own defense? once again, no testimony at this moment. it's about to resume at any moment with the answer to that question. you will likely see this judge, deborah nelson, once again, for the fourth time today asking this defendant to stand and answer the question. are you going to do it, george? she'll put it a different way. far more eloquent than i just did. here's what happened this afternoon. the second time the judge addressed george zimmerman about the issue of taking the stand. and it at no tididn't go well.
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have a look. >> have you made a decision, sir, as to whether or not you want to testify -- >> your honor, i object to that question. >> okay. overruled. have you made a decision as to whether or not you want to testify in the case? >> i object to that question. i think that's -- >> overruled. the court is entitled to inquire of mr. zimmerman's determination as to whether or not he wants to testify. mr. zimmerman, have you made a decision as to whether or not you want to testify in this case? >> no. not at this time. >> okay. and when is it that you -- how long do you think you need before you make that decision? >> your honor, may we have an opportunity to speak? the case isn't concluded yet. >> i understand that. and i've asked mr. zimmerman if he needed more time to talk to his attorneys. and if he does, i will afford it to him. mr. zimmerman, how much more time do you think you're going to need to discuss this with your attorneys? >> i assume it would depend on how long the recesses are, your honor. at the end of the day.
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>> okay. if your attorneys have finished with two witnesses before the end of the day, do you think that you would then know whether or not you want to testify? >> your honor, on mr. zimmerman's behalf -- >> i am asking your client questions. please, mr. west. >> i object to the court inquiring of mr. zimmerman as to his decision about whether or not to testify -- >> you're objection is overruled. mr. zimmerman, i will give you more time, sir, to discuss this with your attorneys. thank you very much. >> woo. that's what you call uncomfortable. especially if you're a defense attorney. you need to confer with your client and you cannot stop the judge from asking your client questions he may not know the answer to just yet. ryan smith, hln anchor. a guy who watches trials for a living. i have never before seen four different questions on the same day about will you or won't you testify, is your case done, to the defendant.
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is it unusual to you? >> it is a little bit unusual. because usually the defendant just answers. but i will say it's also a little bit unusual for her to be asking before the defense's case is completely over. so what that was doing is it was putting don west in an uncomfortable situation. he thought his client might have to say at that moment whether he was going to testify. what i heard from the judge, she's trying to get the timing down. she's trying to get a sense of whether or not he has made the decision. i think don west jumping in made her change a little bit. that led to that uncomfortable moment. ashleigh, you and i both know the defense already knows whether or not they're going to testify or not. they just don't want to say it just yet until that case is completely over in case any curve ball comes in that forces them to change strategy. >> and that is their province. come on, he's trying to defend himself from a life in prison. he should have the right to keep the strategy that every other defendant walking through court has. i found it very unusual that you don't just allow the case to
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actually be completed, the defense case in chief, then ask the defendant the way it always goes. kind of by rote. i expect it to happen that way. hold on for one second. there is one thing our viewers should know if they don't know already. that is that this judge is performing two roles. she's the judge. but she's also effectively the lawyer for the jurors. there are nine people who have not gone home for 2 1/2 weeks. do you remember what you did july fourth? they were here. do you remember what you did three weeks ago? they were getting ready to be here. and they want to go home. their only advocate really in this courtroom is her. so if you think she's being tough on these lawyers and making them go fast, there's a very good reason. nine people that need to get back home to their families. it's a long time. think about what you were doing all that time. i'm going to squeeze in a break while the great seal is what you're watching. because that's kind of boring. we're going to get back into this courtroom because the answer to the question we've been waiting for for a year and a half. will george zimmerman take the
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stand and plead in his own defense why and what he was doing that night when trayvon martin was killed? or will they stop talking and move on. we're back after this. ♪ [ male announcer ] some question physics. some question gravity. and some... even have the audacity to question improbability. with best-in-class towing and best-in-class torque these are some of the bold, new ram commercial trucks -- built to blow your imagination. guts. glory. ram. built to blow your imagination. peoi go to angie's listt for all kinds of reasons. to gauge whether or not the projects will be done in a timely fashion and within budget.
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welcome back to the criminal justice center in seminole county in sanford, florida. i'm ashleigh banfield reporting live. the players are filtering back into court. it was a brief recess of about 15 minutes. the decision has to be made. will george zimmerman take the stand or not? mark o'mara is speaking. let's listen. >> and then not have an objection, that would be the last one that's going to be entered in by stipulation. >> composite exhibit 30. >> yes. it's just -- it's one -- it's only one document. it's just seven feet long. >> oh. what is it? >> it is a timeline. >> okay. defense timeline? >> your honor, we just want to verify some of the times on there. it will take us a little while.
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i hope other than that we won't have an objection. i'm assuming it is. >> the only two other slightly loose ends -- i'm sorry. >> whoever wants to speak first. >> go ahead. >> those items contained item 30. we were already up to item 30. >> oh, okay. >> i'm sorry. i don't understand what you just said. >> they had me mark them for exhibits. they stipulated them to be entered in as evidence. we haven't marked them as evidence. i marked them items 30 through 38. >> i don't understand what you're saying they are. because what mr. o'mara showed me is a long line. >> i'm sorry. if i might, these are now in evidence as 30 through 38. >> okay. >> and we'll identify those from your list. you want me to go through them? >> i do. 30 being? >> give me -- >> i'll take care of it.
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30, your honor, is a picture of the back of mr. zimmerman's head. >> 31? >> 31 is the front of mr. zimmerman's head. >> okay. >> 32 a still photograph of mr. martin in the 7-eleven. 33, a picture of mr. martin's pants. 34, a second still of mr. martin at the 7-eleven. 35, an aerial view of the retreat at twin circle -- twin lakes, i'm sorry, area inquiry. >> 36 is a larger aerial photograph of the entire area of that portion of sanford.
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37 is a large aerial of retreat at twin lakes. and then 38 is a medical m.e. investigator's picture of the scene. then if it -- if admitted, then 39 would be the timeline we talked about. there are two other loose ends. one is what we talked about with the judicial notice of the weather. we came up with a more accurate one for the 26th. that's going to be substituted. that's close to me, but not in my hands. i'll get that to you as soon as we can. >> is that stipulated as a substitution for state's exhibit 213? >> yes, it is. >> as soon as you get it, trish, will you allow that to be substituted for the one you have. >> the next one would be the same exact type of exhibit for the 27th of february. >> do you want that as
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composited state's -- >> we planned them as separate so we would not mess up -- >> we'll substitute 213 for the new one. and we'll make the second one for the february 27th defense exhibit 40. >> yes, your honor. >> and, your honor, the only other one was that there is an exhibit that in order to move matters along, when ms. jeantel was being questioned we used a very small portion of the cd to question her. and we acknowledged it in court that we would present to the court that as its own just redaction or its own one portion of it. that hasn't been brought into evidence yet. that needs to be presented as
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well. because we used that, as you might recall, to refresh her recollection as to what she said. but we used the entire interview of her, which would not be appropriate to go back to the jury, just the one portion that was played. and we're going to get you that cd. that's the last matter. >> my recollection is she was just able to either listen to it or something, but not in front of the jury. >> it wasn't played in front of the jury. >> i don't think it was. >> the jury was sent out. and i said since she -- it wasn't impeachment, so it wasn't played in front of the jury. >> may i just have a moment, your honor? >> yes, you may. >> just to be clear, my understanding was -- and i may just be wrong. i apologize. i understand that the part that was played was the portion of it
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where she said that could be trayvon, that might be trayvon, and those words. i believe the jury was present -- >> okay. if we could get the court reporter's note from the date that ms. jeantel testified, it was two different dates. i believe is it defense exhibit "dd"? is that how it was identified? i have that as a tape of jeantel interview with the state attorney's office. >> i believe it was, your honor. >> is that "dd"? it was not played in front of the jury, but we can verify it. is there any way to get -- >> it looks as though there may be an issue. we'll have some time between now and the time the jury would get it. we'll take care of fixing it. the only concern was that this is now in evidence as "dd" -- >> not in evidence. it's identified. >> so this is just marked.
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i apologize. >> it's marked for identification purposes. okay. were there any more of those house -- any more housekeeping matters? >> we'll get you the weather information. i think that's it, your honor. >> okay. mr. zimmerman, please stand up. i'll remind you, sir, that you're still under oath from when we had you sworn in earlier before the break. did you now have sufficient time to discuss with your attorneys whether or not you wanted to testify in this case? >> yes, your honor. >> i don't need to know what was said. but after those discussions, have you made a decision? >> yes, your honor. >> and what is your decision, sir? >> after consulting with counsel, not to testify, your honor. >> okay. you understand that no matter what counsel says to you, it's still your decision. do you understand that? >> yes, your honor. >> okay. and i need to know, is it your decision to not testify in this case? >> yes, your honor. >> and are you making that
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decision freely and voluntarily? >> yes, your honor. >> has anybody promised you anything to get you to make that decision? >> no, your honor. >> has anybody threatened you? >> no, your honor. >> and this is clearly the decision that you yourself have made? >> yes, your honor. >> thank you very much. is the defense going to rest subject to any more evidence being entered? >> that's correct, your honor. thank you. >> is the state going to have rebuttal evidence? testimony? >> yes, your honor. >> and how many witnesses are you going to be calling for rebuttal? >> at least two today. and one who is not available today, but should be available tomorrow. which we may not end up calling anyway. >> okay. i still haven't seen the proposed jury instructions. it's my understanding that a copy has been provided to the defense and a copy has been provided to mr. zimmerman. is that correct, sir? >> yes, your honor. >> okay. can i please have a copy? are these two witnesses going to be lengthy? >> i don't think so, your honor.
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>> can we do a charge conference after we excuse the jury for the day? >> i don't see a reason we can't. >> we can start. we have some special jury instructions to prepare. we can at least get a feel. i think might now be the time for my need to review my -- >> then you'll rest in front of the jury and we'll go forward. >> yes. >> okay. you may proceed. >> may i have a seat, your honor? >> i'm sorry. yes. >> i think with the length of the presentation to you earlier, i'm going to certainly abbreviate and not readdress the arguments nor the case law that i address. i would certainly ask you to reconsider those. i think that the factual basis, however, has changed somewhat. i'm not going to recount it because i know you were sitting here along with us during the whole time of hearing it. but that the defense case has presented now evidence that i believe -- uncontroverted evidence that sports my client's
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contention that he acted in self-defense. that includes, of course, the most recent witness, mr. root. it includes dr. di maio and his expert testimony in regard to the gunshot. also other injuries my client suffered. we also have a number of voice witnesses, if you will, those witnesses who have come back and testified before this court that they had no issue whatsoever of affirming their pgs and belief and testimony under oath that it was my client who was screaming for help. again, i don't want to belabor the point of the previous case law, but i think that you would need to decide at this point basically that there is -- that the state has excluded at this point in the trial a reasonable hypothesis of my client's innocence. now with the strength of the defense presentation that they have failed to do so. i would ask the charges be
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dismissed in full. >> response? >> thank you, your honor. if anything, the state's position is that dr. di maio certainly portrayed at least one alternative scenario where the defendant could have absolutely committed second degree murder against trayvon martin. just by virtue of his answer to mr. de la rionda's questions. that being that mr. martin was attempting to pull back or disengage when he was shot and murdered by this defendant. moreover, to say that mr. root's testimony was uncontroverted is, i think, overstretching it. even more than mr. root did. certainly he was very eager to draw conclusions, but he also had to admit finally that he had absolutely no idea what exactly went on at the moment that this defendant shot and killed trayvon martin. so we believe that while the defense may have presented people to sort of enhance the dispute of facts and the inferences that can be ariseari in other words to make it perhaps even more disputed, that
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the state has certainly submitted sufficient evidence and will again continue to do so in rebuttal to indicate that both the facts and the inferences that can be drawn therefrom would support a jury verdict as to both murder and the lesser included manslaughter. >> i would just ask that either the state or perhaps the court, if you're going to rule, identify the state's factual scenario, their theory of the case, anything for which there is -- that excludes a reasonable hypothesis of innocence of my client. now that they've finished their case and we've finished our case i would ask that be articulated in some form or fashion either by the state's, you can make a ruling or the court, that actually suggests legally this judgment of acquittal should not be granted. >> thank you. the court has sat here and listened to all the witnesses.
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i think i have previously said how many witnesses had testified both on behalf of the state and the defense. and have listened to the arguments both at the end of the close of the state's case and now at the close of the defense case. the court's decision is the same. there is evidence, both direct and circumstantial, to allow this charge to go to the jury. so we need to bring the jury back in. you need to rest in front of the jury. and the state be prepared to call your first rebuttal witness. are we ready to bring the jury in? >> is there a chance to find out who the rebuttal witnesses are so we can see if there are discovery issues? >> and then we have to at some point in time deal with the mr. the on donnelly issue. we could do that after we've talked about it. who's the witness you're going to call next? >> first one will be adam -- >> can you tell us who the second one is going to be? >> david lee. >> david in. >> lee.
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>> thank you. >> they had a third. >> they didn't know if they were going to call that person or not. >> i have to ascertain his availability or not. >> when you find out tonight could you e-mail the defense and let them know so they can be prepare zb prepared. >> i know the state knows this is not a rekpp examination of him, but just a rebuttal to some particular fact we presented in this case. >> if it's not, you can object and i'll rule sfwl yes, your nor. >> are we ready to bring the jury in? >> you need to again rest on the record in front of the jury. please bring the jury on. >> there you have it. boy, oh, boy. that was lightning fast. we just went speeding through the last defense witnesses. we had a judgment of acquittal request. denied. not surprising. although i will say, sometimes it happens.
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believe it or not. sometimes you go through the whole thing and get a judgment of acquittal. never goes to a jury. this one's going to the jury. in fact, that's what's happening right now. in deference to this jury, the entire court and defendant, everyone stands. jury will filter in and we are moving right along. we're going right into the rebuttal case. we had the state's case in chief. we had the defense case. now we get the rebuttal case. at least two witnesses. the prosecution has said it will call likely today. maybe one tomorrow. but maybe not. we may have closings tomorrow. this jury actually could have the case by midday, if the closings are quick. i've seen closings that are half an hour. i've seen closings that are four, six even. i think this judge will probably put a limit on things. mark meacham, i want you to jump in with me. you know this judge better than me, better than darren ckavinok. better than ryan smith. >> i thought it might be longer.
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i thought maybe four hours or so. they're moving through this. going to call two, maybe three, then that's it. we go into jury charges. you're going to hear closing arguments. i suspect the closing arguments will be a couple hours apiece. first the state, then the defense. then the state will be able to do cleanup. >> jury instructions will be critical in all of this. there's going to be that charge conference. the charge conference is where the lawyers for both parties go into judge's chambers, i'm assuming it's judge's chambers here like in most jurisdictions. they say here's what we want the jury to look at. >> it could be. she could do it -- we don't know how she's going to do it. yes, it's likely going to be in her chambers. it could be in open court. the one thing we didn't hear was the marijuana. >> didn't hear it. done. rested. >> i don't know if it was stipulated to and they didn't make an issue. >> there's an evidentiary issue going on. let's listen in. >> 38 and potential of 39. >> yes. >> then some other judicial notice matters concerning whether that we'll address to the court.
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with all that in mind now, the defense would rest. >> thank you very much. does state have any rebuttal? >> yes, your honor. call adam pollack. >> those big doors, the rebuttal case for the prosecution is adam pollack. he's the gym owner. the personal trainer. the guy who knows a lot about mma. he was the guy who actually trained george zimmerman. we heard from him earlier this week. if i'm not mistaken. unless it was last week. days are going by pretty fast. but he testified to the softness, the -- he was so guarded in the way he worded it. what did he say? he lost between 50 and 80 pounds. yes, he did well getting in shape. but, no, he wasn't a fighter. no, he wasn't good.
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it was really embarrassing. but, you know what? those are the ugly words you want to hear when you're a murder tdefendant. as they get ready to bring this witness up on to the stand to begin the rebuttal case, ryan smith, remind me. a rebuttal case has to be narrow, doesn't it? within the scope of everything that the defense already did. >> right. it's got to be rebutting the witnesses, the evidence, the defense already brought up. it can't be beyond that. it's got to stick within that. so this particular witness coming up, it's got to be rebutting his testimony. can't bring up a lot of new stuff or things that he didn't offer. i expect them to really attack the idea that he said george zimmerman came in sometimes six hours a week but only registered a one in terms of his fighting ability even though he took these mma lessons. wup would think he had a lot more skill. >> a .5. on a scale of one to ten a .5 in terms of overall fitness. i want to jump in. rich mantei is going to start the questioning. i have to catch this before we
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miss any. let's listen. >> you may inquire. >> thank you, your honor. mr. pollack, just to remind the jury, you were the trainer at the defendant's gym? >> yes, sir. >> are you now marketing the training you gave to george zimmerman on your website? >> i'm sorry. >> are you now marketing the training you gave to george zimmerman on your website? >> absolutely not. what's actually going on -- >> may i object, your honor, if i might. that's improper rebuttal testimony. seemingly impeachment. >> okay. well, we need to have argument about that. approach the bench. >> okay. i believe about -- i think about 30 seconds ago i asked ryan smith if the -- if the rebuttal questioning needs to be within the scope of the defense case. right out of the gate, ryan smith, was that beyond the scope of the direct examination? wow. >> it was -- it was a little bit. but they're still keeping it within the idea that he was the trainer. they're questioning him on that. you heard the big information there. the prosecution is alleging that
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he's marketing the fact that he trained george zimmerman on his website. that's a problem. >> darren kavinoky was quickly, it was no, no. then objection. now side bar. why would the prosecutor be able to do that if there was no issue of marketing george zimmerman on your website in the defense case? >> yeah. i'm just waiting to hear the words. he's a paluka! zimmerman took a dive. it's ultimately it could be something to deal with his credibility. it could be very relevant to his bias in the case or how he's using this to garner his own fame. and therefore provide some information that would be helpful to the defense. and ryan is exactly right. this has got to be like a funnel. we're narrowing our scope here. >> what about the optics of all of this, mark meacham? you're about to start your final word. let's not forget, the state gets a rebuttal case because the state bears the burden here. the state is the one that has to
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do all the work. they bear the entire burden of proving that george zimmerman was not defending himself. was not acting out of self-defense. so they get the final word in this criminal process. what are they talking about up at side bar? right out of the gate, the optics can't be lost on the jury. >> yeah. te defense is simply claiming that this is all about bias. this is just going to try to show bias. this has already been touched on, covered, this is not anything new. this is not true rebuttal. the state is trying to get it in through the back door claiming it's an extension and they are, in fact, rebutting what he previously said. we all know, though, that if they get it in, it's going to be trying to show that he's got some sort of economic bias which tends to influence his testimony. because if he makes money off of zimmerman by promoting that he was his trainer, then, of course, any time you have a financial influence, it's going to have -- >> that sounds fair. that sounds fair to me. that doesn't sound beyond the scope. where am i missing something, ryan? i don't feel like if he's now marketing i'm george zimmerman's trainer, that shouldn't come in as a rebuttal to the defense
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witness who said i was his trainer and he stunk. >> i don't know. you know, it's a tough call. that's why the judge is going to hash this out. in some ways, yeah, maybe it is a little bit beyond the scope. maybe it does go a little bit beyond it. darren brought up the point about credibility. he got up there and he talked about his experience with george i think mark makes a great argument, but that back-door argument may work. >> the question will actually be when did he do this marketing? is this something that either side frankly should have known beforehand, it was not rebuttal. just because you missed the opportunity the first go-around, doesn't make it rebuttal this time. >> thank you. you have every right to object and cross-examine during that case in chief. while they're in this break and dealing with it, it's taking longer than we expected, let me squeeze in a quick break, so when we come back, we're in live testimony. intoic in a moment.
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all right. i want to bring you some breaking news while you're in sidebar. you're not missing any testimony. still on sidebar dealing with this first rebuttal witness. this breaking news is via boston, the suspect in the boston bombing has pleaded not guilty to all of the 30 charges that he's currently facing. i say currently, because there can always be more. he pleaded not guilty, but not before he looked back in the courtroom at the victims who were present. he looked back before he entered his not guilty plea. you will probably remember that 17 of the charges that he ace facing are very, very serious, they include the possibility of
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the death penalty. that's a strange notion, because there is no death penalty in manage massachusetts but this is a federal case. there's not been a death penalty executed in massachusetts in 66 years, but this is a federal case. tsarnaev has been out of sight for 11 weeks, because he's been prison hospital trying to get - better from the night you surrendered, climbing out of a boat after a bloody gunfight. he suffered very serious wounds to his neck and legs. he was unable to speak, unable to sit up, and slowly, he has been able to convalesce in that hospital. just in case you're wonders some of the charges -- killing four people in the bombing, and then also an m.i.t. campus police officers during the manhunt after the bombing. he's also charged with using a weapon of mass destruction, and a serious charge of bombing a public place. those are the ones that carry
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with them the death penalty. the people in the courtroom, that was a quiet moment, because the victims' families were invited to be in that courtroom today, along with the people who were wounded in the attack. it would have been the first time they would have come face-to-face with joe car tsarnaev. of course they will never come face-to-face with his brother, because he's dead. he died the night that joe car tsarnaev was found. i beg your pardon, a few nights before. so back here in sanford, florida, the gripping top story, that the united states has been watching for 2 1/2 weeks now, if not a year and a half. quite frankly the riveting case of george zimmerman and whether or not in fact he'll be convicted of second-degree murder of trayvon martin, who was out on a rainy night wearing a hoodie. so the question here is -- that
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they're going to have to determine is what have we seen in this courtroom? not what we have seen in the media for a year and a half, what has been presented in front of us. one of the issues they have been going over has been some of the evidence. state's evidence, i think this was -- defense evidence 32 through 38, pictures of george zimmerman's head that they said entered into the evidence and pictures of trayvon martin at the 7-eleven. also some picture of the twin lakes area, aerial shots, blown-up shots and where it is in relation to sanford. there was something else that was intriguing, a seven-foot-long posterboard of a timeline. it's a defense timeline, and the prosecution wanted a chance to go over it. those are the evidentiary issues that we were dealing with before. things move so quickly, i didn't even have a chance to ask my guests about the final witness in the defense case. george zimmerman's father, who was long expected to make an
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appearance in this courtroom, he has been a sequestered witness, not able to be in the courtroom for the entire duration, because you can't appear in that courtroom and listen to testimony. it might actually jade your own testimony. there he was, he walked in, he wasn't in that courtroom, but, what three or four minutes. mark, i expected to hear more from the father of the accused, the defendant, and it was just as simple as this -- whose voice was it on the tape? >> yeah, and i think the defense was looking to salvage something relatively strong at the end. this to me was rather uneventful after we've heard about seven other people say in fact it was george zimmerman. >> yeah, but it's the dad. >> it shows that he's a son and he's got family and it humanizes him all the more, but it still was the best the defense could do. >> darren after a hard-fought
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battle introduced evidence that there was very small levels of thc in the system of trayvon martin the night he was killed, and nothing, nothing. >> and as mark pointed out earlier, if it's in the subpoenaed records, we may still hear that in argument, but i see that as a double-edged sword. in my experience, people that consume thc are far more likely to be passive it, perhaps going for a little munchy time, some skittled and a fruit drink, not likely to be violent. so it doesn't -- it doesn't really get the defense where they want to go. and frankly i think it may end up backfiring on them if they choose to go there. >> yeah, you can't beat up a 17-year-old kid constantly, i get it. that's what the strategy is so often for a defense attorney, you've got to beat up a victim to save your client. about you ryan smith, i want you to come in on this, had they brought that up, there could have been a lot of people saying really, trace amounts, barely
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any thc, and you're telling me that could make a guy violent? that could make the defense attorneys looking like they're kicking a while while he's not just down, he's dead. >> exactly. it's a fine line the defense has to toe, right? they're defending george zimmerman, and understandably -- but is this what you choose? you're talking about trace amounts. there are so many different arguments that come up with that. when did he have it, and thirdly how did that even impact that night? you put on the idea that you're dirtying up the victim, which i don't think is necessary in his particular case. they had to tread a fine line with that. i understand the fact that it still can come in i think at this point they want to stay away from it. >> we are coming up against the top of the hour. thank you for joining me today.
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we're still insidebar, but i'm going to hand over the reins of our liv coverage to the very capable jake tapper, whose program begins right now. good afternoon, this is jake tapper, this is "the lead." you're watches live continuous coverage of the george zimmerman murder trial, which has brought -- and self-defense, and captured millions. the court is in a sidebar. the defense wrapped up its case moments ago, and we learned the answer to one looming question -- would george zimmerman take the stand in his own defense? let's listen when the judge asked zimmerman about his intentions in court. >> did you now have sufficient ti to discuss with your attorneys whether or not you wanted to testify in this case? >> yes, your honor. >> i don't need to know what was said, but after those discussions, have you made a decision? >>