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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  July 10, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer, who will have more as well as a live coverage of the san francisco press conference with the flight crew from the asiana airlines flight. jake, thanks very much. happening now, george zimmerman's trial clearly crunch time. it's winding down. the defense has rested its kay after the judge pressed zimmerman to make a decision. a lot of drama in the courtroom today, with lawyers using a dummy to demonstrate the fatal fight from zimmerman and trayvon martin. the former sanford police chief tells cnn why he believes he was the fall guy. he's speaking out publicly now for the first time. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." >> george zimmerman's lawyers have rested their case after a
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testy and dramatic day of testimony in this second-degree murder trial. we're standing by for a news conference by the defense after the court resists for the day. they have not done that yet. zimmerman did not take the stand to personally explain his claim that he shot trayvon martin in self-defense. the judge reminded him several times that he had a right to do so. >> did you now have sufficient time to discuss with your attorneys whether or not you are 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. >> what is your decision? >> after consulting with counsel, not to testify, your honor. >> you understand that no matter what counsel says to you, it's still your decision, do you understand that? >> yes, your honor. >> okay. i need to know, is it your decision to not testify in this case? >> yes, your honor. >> the final witness on zimmerman's behalf was his father. he testified that his his son
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who was heard screaming on the 911 call made on the night that trayvon martin was short and killed. he had this powerful visual today, we did as well, both the defense and the prosecution used a mannequin during their questions of an expert, demonstrating house he was strad you would during the scuffle. >> and the defense attorney mark nejame. marks first to you, the your are not in the courtroom, but the proceedings is continuing with the judge deborah nelson. they're discussing the temperature early explain what's going on right now and why this is significant. >> the prosecution, wolf, would like to see this testimony struck, essentially that the jury would be told to ignore it. basically because donnelly
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apparently had been in the courtroom several days before he gave his testimony, so that's what the prosecution is contending should not happen. as you point out, he is a friend of george. he was a powerful witness. he was a vietnam era medic, in vietnam, asked if he could identify that screaming voice in the darkness, which he did as george zimmerman. he is the only witnessic say who was asked for make such an identify who would hear voices under stress, which is why he was so powerful. >> and he clearly was emotional as well in that testimony, his eyes welling up. let's listen in briefly to what this argument is all about. >> sort of an interesting take on the evidence presented or in view of it. and then sergeant raymondo came in, sort of to bring in information, no substantive testimony. similar with diane smith, she came in and identified a lot of
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exhibits. he was able to sit through that, but nothing having to do with voice identification whatsoever. the second day he was in the this morning for mr. duikers' break. that was during that proffer when mr. west noticed he was in the -- so he was able to hear of first half during which he didn't say anything about anything. but even if he was here for that, you know the testimony to be that she heard somebody scream. so he was out of the courtroom at that point. he of course is present and waiting all day to testify, but also to be clear to what he changed. i contested the state's contention -- well, he added to it, but the case law we talk about and i'll talked to you about in a moment really speaks
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to the inflection of that testimony, how a witness has changed their opinion regarding something. what he did was not change hess testimony. he added to it by, for whatever reason, waiting until two or three days before a jury trial to make the -- whatever that emotional decision was he went through to listen to something, which he listened to, but that was not a change in testimony, though it is added to it. and then the question is, did the violation of the rule that obviously occurred infect that testimony. i would suggest since what he heard had nothing to do with ha he eventually testified to, didn't. did it prompt him to finally come to grips that he should listen to the tape? maybe so, maybe it did, but to the substance we have to look to some of the cases i presented to you.
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sort of gives us insight. you ed to look into the circumstances to what you should do it, where man tie was straight far when he talked about the sort of acceptable case talking about this, which is the dumas case. basically what that means that you need to look into is to get an identification of whether there's been some connivance or some collusion between the two, and whether or not we did this in some form or fashion to just in effect violate not only the geography of the rule, was he in the room, but the underlying substance of the rule. i would suggest under the dumas
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case, woefully failed to suggest any case law that identified a willful violation okurd or substantive violation that may have occurred. the other case law, if i might have just a moment to find it deals again with this court -- to makes an i had fix of the violation, and whether or not it's propose to issue any sanctions. if so, you have the right to the most significant of which, or the most severe of which is you can excluded the witness who testified. certainly there's nothing in the way this marine occurred that suggests not only was it not the defense collusion or connivance or even knowledge, but needs mr.
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donnelly -- you'll hear testimony from him at the moment, when the family -- i'm sorry. we weren't calling him as a witness, he was on the witness list. as you know, what we did call him for specific to the voice, that we were not calling him for any other reason. nothing we were bringing him for substantively until saturday came and i found out that he was even being called for the witness. just so we're clear about that. i'm not suggesting that that takes him out, but i think it does affect our presentation and what we were going to do so the idea he may have been around that the idea would not have even been effective to us, and i think what happened is once the state invoked the rule and refused to allow mr. and mrs. zimmerman to be here and shelly
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zimmerman was here by herself, that she requested mr. donnelly to join a -- i guess the row behind her. that's just so you understand how this whole thing began with mr. donnelly coming in to offer support to ms. zimmerman. insurgence, since i had never met him, mr. west i think met him at his deposition, but we had certainly not pre-tried him as a witness, because just so you're clear, we had no intention of calling him. that sort of comes in mind with the suggestion that we had any connivance. with the fact -- and there was a technical violation of the rule, the question is, what is the remedy? before you consider any remedy, i think you need to find that not only was a there a technical violation, there was a true
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substantive violation. and there's been no finding of that, there's been no evidence or suggestion of that, and in reality, we know what his testimony was, because it was quite limited, limited to testimony that he created, if you will, on saturday -- mark o'mara, the defense attorney for george zimmerman making the case while the testimony of john donnelly on behalf of george zimmerman should remain as evidence -- should be allowed for the juries to consider, even though the state, the prosecution is arguing that mr. donnelly violated the so-called sequestration rules by watching the trial, talking about the case after -- at least until -- he had not yet been excused, and as a result this debate is going on. that testimony from donnelly was very significant, a vietnam war veteran. he testified that it was in fact george skipper man's voice crying out for help on that 911
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tape, whether or not that will be allowed to remain as evidence, that's what they are arcing about right now. we will continue to watch what's happening in the courtroom. stand by for that. also, there was a dramatic demonstration in the courtroom earlier in the day, dueling lawyers with dummies. what did both sides accomplish? and later, the former sanford, florida, police chief speaking out to cnn for the first time. he says he was a scapegoat in the shooting and the racial tensions that followed.
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...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. we're told the pilots will be speaking, explaining what happened. we should have live coverage. it should be dramatic. also inside the courtroom in the george zimmerman's second-degrees murder trial, the judge hearing arguments pro and con whether or not to allow one of the defense witnesses john donnelly, whether or not to allow his testimony to be used as part of this case because he violated what's called the
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sequestration rule that calls for witnesses to avoid watching the trial and talking about the case until they had been excused from the trial. he had not yet been excused. this is important, because he had made the point that it was george zimmerman's voice on that 911 auld yeo tape that was crying out for help. he's a vietnam combat medic, who has heard people crying out for help many sometimes. tanned by. we'll go back into the courtroom shortly. meantime earlier, a dummy had a cameo role earlier in the day. both lawyers straddled the mannequin to try to demonstrate the fight. it happened when they were questioning a witness who is an expert on the use of force. watch and license to this. >> george zimmerman, trayvon martin. were the injuries on mr. zimmerman's head consistent with someone doing this on cement?
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>> i don't think so. >> how about someone -- if someone was resisting me pushing down? >> i believe so. i believe it was a culmination of downward force from pushing on are striking. i know clearly by the injuries to his face that would drive him back hard. >> in your experience, would someone resist. >> of course. someone normal instinct would try to move away from the pain stimulant. >> would that okur not the first time, but every subsequent time. >> whether it's a push or strike, every time you drive a strike or push straight downward, the body goes until it hits a body that will stop it. >> do you remember this as being
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a human type -- >> yes, sir. >> it's actually got a belly button. >> surely does. >> did it appear to be anatomically correct? >> for the bull le button, yes, sir. >> as the defendant described it to you, is this the way he described it, in the area of a belly button. >> number one, you have your -- have a squat, but in the. >> here's his belly button. >> by the way, did you have the defendant do this? >> no, sir. >> if this person, this mannequin were carrying a firearm on their waist, where would the gun be right now in relation to me? >> at your left inner thigh. >> right here, right? >> yes, if he was right-handed, it would be at your left inner thigh. >> underneath my leg?
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>> yes, inside your leg. >> were you aware that the defendant described to his best friend that when the defendant slid down that trayvon martin was up around his armpits? were you aware of that? >> no, i had not heard that. >> where would the gun del now? >> be hind your left leg. >> significant point. martin is with us our legal analyst, former federal prosecutor sunny hostin, and mark nejame. sunny, if his knees were above george zimmerman, trayvon martin, it would be hard, the state is arguing, to reach inside his pant and get to it action and then shoot him if he were on top of it. that's the whole point from the demonstration from the state attorney. >> that's right. it would just show that inconsistency, that physical impossibility of zimmerman's
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story. that's been thematic for this prosecution. not only would trayvon martin not have been able to grab it. he wouldn't have been able to see it. remember, in one of george zimmerman's statements, he says that the reason he shot trayvon martin is because he thought trayvon martin, one, either saw the gun and was reaching for it, or saw the gun and tried to grab it. it's a bit different to see a gun that's behind your leg. that was one of the first accounts that he gave his best friend, so the notion is, why would you like to your best friend? perhaps this is what really happened. i think the prosecution did a very good job of taking what was a defense witness and turning him into a prosecution witness. >> the argument being, mark, if trayvon martin's knees, if you will, legs were over his shoulders, he wouldn't reach in and get that gun. wo got the better of those wo demonstrations, in your opinion, mark? >> i think it was a bit of a draw, but i think what we really
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saw come out of that, wolf, is the state changed its tactic. they realized for the first three quarters of this case, they gaskly were trying to to indicate it was george zimmerman on top of trayvon martin. now with the way they portray this, they're pretty much conceding it was george zimmerman on the bottom. so now you see a transition going on action and they're trying to establish that in fact maybe trayvon martin was trying to get away. so they really changed up their tactic, a good smart thing to do, they need to be flexible. if they continued on the road that it was trayvon martin on the bottom, this el would have no chance. they've now transitioned, trying to take the fact that they believe the jury is believing, and make them follow a direction they hope they can get a conviction on. >> the private investigator, the expert who was testifying named
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dennis root, martin, i want you to listen to what he said in the courtr course of his testimony you see about this altercation. >> we have a golden rule that if you have not successfully completed the fight, won the fight in 30 seconds, change tactics, because the tactics are not working. within 30 seconds you have depleted just about everything you have as far as giving 100%. if you haven't physically been able to succeed in the first 30 seconds, from that point forward you are diminishing on return physically. in this particular case, just going off the timeline of the 911 call, given the period of time, you know, and i personally have sat there and timed it myself where it's about 40 seconds of time, that's a very long time to be involved in any kind of if the altercation.
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smarten, the argument he was making is that 40 seconds could be an eternity. if he thought he was saving his own life, reaching out, getting that gun may have in fact been justified. i guess that's the upshot of what den knit root is trying to say. i wonder if that was your reading of his testimony. >> i think it was. i was very surprised to how long that witness actually was on the stand president i mean, i think it was quite clear, that the prosecution was able to take his testimony and really bend it to their advantage. he certain was no dr. vincent di maio. many people believed that he really nailed it on the part of the defense as showing quite clearly that the body, trayvon martin's body was the key evidence that verified george
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zimmerman's story here. that could have been the time for the defense to rest, but they didn't. they brought this person on, it went on for hours, it had mixed statements about what he was able to determine, and you weren't insure what sort of expert witness was he? so i'm not sure that they gained a lot by putting him on the stand. i'm talking about the defense. >> all right. stand by, everyone. we're going to continue to monitor what's happening inside the courtroom. right now they're arguing whether or not some key testimony from earlier in the week should be allowed to remain testimony for the jurors to consider, even though the person who delivered that testimony, john donnelly, a vietnam war combat medic, violated what's called that sequestration rule to avoid watching the trial, talking about the case until he had been excused.
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also a former neighbor of george zimmerman gives emotional testimony about her terror when someone broke into her home. how might that i have swayed the jury? stand by for that as well. later, the former sanford, florida, police chief speaking out for the first time, telling cnn why he resisted pressure to arrest george zimmerman. dad. how did you get here? i don't know. [ speaking in russian ] look, look, look... you probably want to get away as much as we do. with priceline express deals, you can get a fabulous hotel without bidding. think of the rubles you'll save. with one touch, fun in the sun. i like fun. well, that went exactly as i planned.. really? now save up to 60% during summer hotel sale. use code "summer" on priceline's.
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all right. the judge in this trial, judge nelson, has judd denied the
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state's motion to sanction john danielly, the vietnam war, combat medic, who testified earlier on behalf of the defense, saying it was in fact the voice of george zimmerman on that 911 call crying out for help. judge deborah nelson saying that for all practical purposes, there was no violation, not enough to make his testimony go away. sunny hostin, mark nejame, let's get your quick analysis. railroad surprised by her decision, or do you think you anticipated she would allow john donnelly's testimony to stand? well, the state was asking for the most severe sanction, that is a complete elimination of the testimony. according they're loathe to do that, but i did think it was possible she would have said something to the jury to say that in fact he was there. that could have been a sanction that was less than the complete exclusion of the testimony. i thought that might be a possibility. so i think it could have gone
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either way, and it's not an unfair ruling. to exclude testimony completely could be a strong appellate issue if in fact there's a conviction in this case. so i think she took the safe route. >> pretty apparent that testimony was effective, he goss very emotional, ahead men cries out for in a time of warfare. as a result, he said he had no doubt that was the voice of george zimmerman crying out for help. that testimony the judge has ruled will now stand. >> yeah, it was very important testimony for the defense, no question about it. that i think is one of the reasons why the state argued so vigorously. they wanted it completely stricken from the record. i agree with mark, though, i thought perhaps she would split the baby. i thought perhaps she may give a curative instruction, and
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explain that he had been in the courtroom and had the opportunity to listen to other witnesses testify. i don't know that that would have been a huge appellate issue the i think that would have been more appropriate than doing nothing. it really is significant that he was in the courtroom during parts of witness testimony, and seemed to have changed his testimony from what he said at deposition on what he said on the witness stand. so i'm surprised that the judge is refusing to do anything. let me listen in quickly to see what she wanted to do. >> some of the substantive once, the court wanted to go through the general instructions at this time to see if he can at least have an agreement to those. first one, though it's not numbered, just thanking the jury for their attention during the trial and paying attention to the instructions i'm about to
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give. are there any objections from the state to this instruction? >> no, your honor. >> from the defense? >> no, your honor. >> okay. mr. zimmerman, you don't have to stand up. do you have a copy of these instructions that you can look at them with us? >> yes, your honor. >> if you'll police do so, i would appreciate it. the very first page is the style of the case. the second is what i just read. i wanted to make sure mr. zimmerman had a copy in front of him. in objection from the state? >> no, your honor. >> from the defense? >> no, your honor. >> neither one of you have to stand while we go through these. we'll reserve to the homicide instruction, because it's substantive. any suggested changes, if you could give them to the other
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side tonight via e-mail, so we can discuss them tomorrow. the next one is possession of a firearm, and causing death. are there any objections to this by the estate? >> no, earn. >> by the defense? >> substantively no, i believe it's appropriate based on the charge. might we address that, but i think it's accurate. >> the next one is one of the lesser included crimes, and what the state has listed. is the state requesting these lessers? >> yes, your honor. >> any objection from the defense? >> we object, and i think that would be something to take up tomorrow. >> all right. >> mahan slaughter is an substantive one, we'll bring it up tomorrow.
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discharge of a weapon causing deathsh is that -- is that the same as the one that -- >> second time, your honor, i thought he just u.s. just addressed that one. >> it is as relates to the aggravated assault, lesser is where it is. >> but it's the same instruction, and when the instructions are read, would there be any objection to not reading it a second time? okay. >> i think as long as there's a reference made -- if the aggravated assault lesser is given, as long as there's a reference made to the use of a firearm, because that's the 1020 life enhancement, and there are separate ones for aggravated
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assault than there are no second-degree murder. >> all right. >> the next instruction is justifiable use of deadly force. that's going to be subject to discussion tomorrow. please both sides take into consideration the changes that are currently before the supreme court on that instruction. so we need to have some agreement to how that's going to be presented to the jury. a plea of not guilty, reasonable doubt and burden of proof, any objection from the state? >> no, your honor. >> from the defense? >> no, your honor. >> date of crime, any objection from the state? >> no, your honor. >> from the defense? itches no, your honor. >> venue, any objection from the state? >> no, your honor. >> from the defense? >> no, your honor. >> weighing the evidence. there's 1 through 5 are always given, and then 6 through 10. is the state requesting any of the 6 through 10? >> i believe certainly 8 should apply.
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and -- i believe that is the only one the state would be requesting. >> is the defense requesting any others of 6 through 10? >> none of those, your honor. a presentation by the state on the inconsistent testimony. >> well, both sides have tried to impeach by deposition testimony or other testimony of certain witnesses, so i do think that does apply. >> fair enough. >> are there any, 6, 7, 9 or 10, that either side is requesting? >> no, your honor. >> can you prepare a new instruction that haz 1 through 5 and number 8 as number 6? >> yes, your honor. >> thank you. expert witnesses, any objection from the state? >> no, your honor. >> from the defense? >> no, your honor. >> defendant testifying will not be given, so defendant not testifying. any objections from the state? >> no, your honor. >> from the defense?
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>> no, your honor. >> defendant's statements, any objection from the state? >> no, your honor. >> from the defense? >> no, your honor. >> rules for deliberation, any objections from the state? >> no, your honor. >> from the defense? >> other than i think i don't know what we want to do with possibly 7, i don't think there were any questions written that were not asked by the court. a couple of the jurors asked oral questions more along the lines of could a witness speak up, so i don't think 7 needs to be there. >> does the defense agree with that? >> we do, your honor. >> number 7 will not be given if i can have an instruction that takes out number 7? >> yes, your honor. >> next instruction is regarding notes, any objection from the state? >> no, your honor. >> from the defense? >> no, your honor. judge deborah nelson going through the formal charges that will be read out -- the instructions that will be read, i should say, to the jury tomorrow morning, as they begin
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the closing arguments. one significant difference between the state and the defense over whether or not a lesser charge or charges might be allowed to be considered by the jury, manslaughter, for example as opposed to -- you heard mark o'mara saying they would resist that. quickly, quickly weigh in on this, how big of a fight is this going to be? it's clearly a lot easier to convict someone of manslaughter, if you will, as opposed to second-degree murder. >> i think that's right. these are lesser-included offenses that are generally asked for, and judges generally, if there's evidence to support, giving the instructions to the jury, the judge gives the instructions to the jury. so i suspect i'm going to defer to the florida lawyer that practices here in florida action but what is surprising to me is not only did the prosecution asked for manslaughter, they also asked for aggravated assault, which is something i don't think we've talked about
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before, so now the jury, if the judge so instructs them, now they have sort of a cornucopia of possibilities in front of the them. they have murder 2, manslaughter, ag assault. that's pretty good. >> if they get that, though. they're going to resist that, the defense. very quickly, martin. >> yes, that's correct. category 1 lessers will be included, the defense is going to make a record, but they're going to get in. the interesting thing in, ago assault has mandatory minimums applied, whereas manslaughter doesn't. they could go to the lower, and that subject, because it's an enumerated offense, whereas if they get manslaughter, it's not necessarily. >> so really interesting, and the jury will never know this when they get told this. >> in other words, if he's convicted of a lesser, he dao even get more time. >> they might thing they're doing a favor by coming up with a compromise verdict, and it could end up being more time.
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the defense will fight this real hard. we're going to continue to discuss this. hold on for a moment. we're going to continue to monitor what's happening in the courtroom. also, the former sanford, florida, police chief is now for the first time speaking out. he's telling cnn why he resisted pressure to arrest george zimmerman. stay with us. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ hooking up the country helping business run ♪ ♪ trains! they haul everything, safely and on time. ♪ tracks! they connect the factories built along the lines. and that means jobs, lots of people, making lots and lots of things. let's get your business rolling now, everybody sing. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ helping this big country move ahead as one ♪ ♪ norfolk southern how's that function? ♪ [ whirring ] [ dog barks ] i want to treat more dogs. ♪ our business needs more cases.
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the judge in the zimmerman trial, judge nelson, has just announced the final statements by both the prosecution and the defense will begin tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. eastern. that's when both sides will make their final arguments before the jury. earlier they'll have some preliminary instructions that they will go through with the judge, beginning in the morning, but the jury woman be present for that. the judge will deliver the jury the instructions, 1:00 p.m., and then -- actually, there will be the arguments, the final closing arguments by both sides, then the instructions, and then they'll go forward. the jury will deliberate on the
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guilt or innocence or not guilty verdict for george zimmerman. we'll of course have live coverage of that. for today they have wrapped up their coverage and wrapped up the session in the courtroom. judge nelson has released the attorneys and everyone else from the courtroom, at least for the day. the former police chief of sanford, florida, was fired after he let george zimmerman walk free. now lee is speaking out publicly for the first time in an interview with cnn's george howl. he's in sanford, florida. how did it go, george? >> reporter: wolf, good evening. bill lee tells me he's been watching this trial throughout. you'll remember he himself had to testify in court. he says when you look at what his then officers said on the stand action it came out in court, he believes, that they did their job to the letter. though unpopular at the time, he believes he upheld hess oath, but he lost his job.
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there were protests and heated rallies. angers echoed throughout the nation, because the man who shot and killed 17-year-old trayvon martin, george zimmerman, wasn't immediately behind bars. the criticism built, the pressure increased to make an arrest. it all came down to this man action former police chief bill lee. when you look at what happened, was there a lot of pressure on you to make an arrest? there was pressure applied. the city manager asked several times during the process, well, can an arrest be made now? i think that was just from not understanding the process, the criminal justice process. i had one of the city commissioners come to me on two different occasions and say, all we want is an arrest. i explained to them, well, you just can't do that. you know. you have to have probable cause to arrest somebody.
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and, it was related to me that they just wanted an arrest. they didn't care if it got dismissed later. you don't do that. >> reporter: on the night of the shooting, february 26th, 2012, police took zimmerman into custody for questions, but later let him go. >> your lead investigator suggested manslaughter on that initial police report. >> um-hmm. >> why is it for 40-plus days george zimmerman walked as a free man? >> the laws of the state of florida and the constitution require you to have probable cause to arrest someone. the evidence and the testimony that we had didn't get us to probable cause. >> reporter: police passed the case on to the state attorney's office. the governor assigned the case to special prosecutor angela cory, who charged zimmerman with second-degree murder, but it was too late for bill lee, pushed aside after only ten months on the job, then fired. there was political pressure on one hand, would you agree?
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i want sure. >> there were outsigh influences on the other? >> yes. >> reporter: did you get a fair shake? >> i don'tening so. i upheld my oath. i upheld my oath to abide by the laws of the state of florida and the constitution. i'm happy that at the end of the day, i can walk away with my integrity. i'm at peace with it on most days. i'm a man of faith, but it stings. >> reporter: lee also talked to me about the 911 audiotape and the non-emergency tapes that were played for trayvon martin's family at city haul without law enforcement present. he says he advised city officials not to play the tapes, and certainly with a law enforcement officer present to see it, wolf. >> george howl, with a good exclusive interview, thanks very much, george, for that report. coming up, a former neighbor of george zimmerman gives emotional testimony about her terror when someone broke into her home.
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all right. here's the schedule that judge deborah nelson just announced for the remainder of this zimmerman trial. the court is in recess until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. that's when attorneys will meet with the judge to go over final instructions, making sure that everyone is on board to what the instructions should be to the jury from the judge. the state will then at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, the state will deliver its closing arguments, the prosecutors will deliver their closing arguments. the defense will deliver its closing argument friday morning. friday morning, then the state 'rebuttal. in effect the state will get the last word later on friday. the jury will get the case for deliberation friday afternoon. we don't know how long that jury will deliberate. so certainly one of the most gripping witnesses of the day today was a former neighbor of george zimmerman. she testified she is was home with her infant son when two young men broke in, an incident
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before trayvon martin was killed. here's some of her testimony. >> i was home on a wednesday with my son. i think he was 9 months at the time. and i heard some one ring my doorbell repeatedly. i went upstairs to check. i didn't have a peephole. i saw two young african-american guys ring the doorbell repeatedly. i kept looking up at the window. i called my mom. i didn't know what to do. and they left, after a while i went back upstairs to check one more time. and they're walking in front of my house. one came toward my house. and i called, i was on the phone with my mom. 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 -- i was
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locked in my son's bedroom. and he was shaking the door knob trying to get in. and 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. >> let's discuss what we heard. joining us, our cnn legal correspondents. jeanne, this was powerful testimony. she was later comforted by george zimmerman, spent a lot of time with her as a result of this break-in, into the house. how important was her toaestimo. >> i think it was important. the jury heard about the home invasion. they got to hear the victim. and how close in time it was to february 26th. take the state of mind of george zimmerman. that was freshly on his mind. of course they got character evidence in the back door, george was right there to help her. >> what about that, mark? how important was her testimony? >> yeah, jeanne hit it on the
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head. basically, it showed he was a good guy, a good neighbor. and that he was a reasonable -- he had a reasonable thought that, there would be somebody in the neighborhood. there had been break-ins and such. look, he is fighting for his life. i misstated something earlier, ag assault, mandatory 3 years, even lesser if the state is seeking, even if he gets the smallest he has mandatory prison time. the defense is going out to show his actions are reasonable. don't want to leave any stone unturned and settle for manslaughter and ag assault. that will be prison time if lessers come in. >> sunny? >> i thought it was helpful for the prosecution. it shows what he had on his mind. he had on his mind that trayvon martin was a criminal, perhaps one of the other african-american teens that had broken into the neighbor. i got to tell you. i don't understand why the defense called that witness. i don't think it was helpful at all. >> hold on for a moment. we'll continue our analysis of what happened. coming up, what happened in and outside when the boston marathon bombing suspect went to court
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today. we'll have full details of that. first time we have seen tsarnaev, obviously in weeks and weeks. plus the shocking hit-and-run, all caught by a security camera. i don'without goingcisions to angie's list first. with angie's list, i know who to call, and i know the results will be fantastic! find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. "that starts with one of the world's most advancedy," distribution systems," "and one of the most efficient trucking networks," "with safe, experienced drivers." "we work directly with manufacturers," "eliminating costly markups," "and buy directly from local farmers in every region of the country." "when you see our low prices, remember the wheels turning behind the scenes, delivering for millions of americans, everyday. "dedication: that's the real walmart"
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monitoring some of the top stories in the "situation room." mary what else is going on? >> a federal judge ruled apple
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took part in a conspiracy with publishers to team up against amazon and fix the price of e-book. apple denies any conspiracy and was trying to break amazon's publishing monopoly. apple is expected to appeal. >> in arizona, flagpole now marks the spot where 19 members of an elite fire fighting squad died last month. it is visible for anyone driving on u.s. highway 89 north of phoenix. the 19 were members of the prescott fire department's elite granite mountain hot shots wildfire crew. they died june 30th when a wind shift blew the fire back over them. to see how you can help support the families of the fallen fire fighters. go to our impact your world website at >> and police in muskegon, michigan asking for help tracking down the driver whose minivan backed into a woman and stroller. the van dragged the stroller a
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short way and drove off after the woman pulled her 1-year-old son to safety. both are okay. police found the van that day but haven't found the driver. the young man on the surveillance camera photos. and really is so fortunate that mother and child are okay. >> really happy about that. what a mess though, what a horrible, horrible situation. all right, mary. thank you. >> when we come back, we'll reset the george zimmerman trial. take a closer look at the closing arguments set to begin tomorrow. we'll continue through friday. and we'll profile the two colorful lawyers on the defense team. you really couldn't have come at a better time. these chevys are moving fast. i'll take that malibu. yeah excuse me, the equinox in atlantis blue is mine! i was here first, it's mine. i called about that one, it's mine. mine! mine. it's mine. it's mine. mine. mine. mine. mine. it's mine! no it's not, it's mine! better get going, it's chevy model year-end event. [ male announcer ] the chevy model year-end event. the 13s are going fast, time to get yours. current chevy truck owners can trade up
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. >> happening now, the defense rests without george zimmerman taking the stand. and tension flares between the judge and the lawyers. stand by. victims of the boston bombing watch the accused bomber in court. cnn was inside as dzhokhar tsarnaev entered his pleas to dozen of charges. >> crew members of the asiana flight 214, speaking out about the deadly plane crash. i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world.
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you are in "the situation room." let's go right to sanford, florida, right now. o'mara, the defense attorney is speaking out on this day after the trial has wrapped up. at least for this -- >> reach out to him. and with the evidence the way it is i, i think that we have a very, very good chance with the jury right now. and with the evidence as presented. he has already given his story, a statement, five, six, seven times now. so the jury has that. and weep just deci just decided was enough evidence and didn't need to present any more. [ indiscernible question ] >> i think he wanted to tell his story. he really wanted to interact with the jury and say to them. this is what i did. this is why i did it. and as importantly, this is what was happening to me at the time that i decided to do what i had to do. so, in that sense, yes, i think
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he wanted to tell the story. you know -- we give the doctors the scalpel for a reason. we look at, you know, and trust those. and i think he trusted us the way we looked at the case and the way things were. if, you know i think that's the way the decision went in his mind. [ indiscernible question ] >> the what, evidence, i'm sorry? that's, these things are a judgment call all along the way. i think that it was relevant evidence. i don't think that it would have been -- i agree with the judge's final ruling that it should be available to us should we decide to present it. and that's what the judge ruled. at that point, we knew we had the option. then you fit that into your game plan. you fit it into what you are looking at. you know, i think that we are done with the evidence, i hope that everyone understands -- i hope that they believe that we presented this case in a way
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that -- did what we could and what we had to do to defend george zealously. but still protected the memory, of the loss of a 17-year-old son of two people in the courtroom each and every day. so we had to sort of focus, what we had to present to the jury in context of trying to be respectful to the event that happened, you know, late that night, in a rainy night back in february of 2012. and i think that impacted on the decision a lot. [ indiscernible question ] >> it doesn't apply. self defense is self defense to everything. self defense to murder, manslaught manslaughter, battery the what happened out there was not a crime. so in that context, there shouldn't have been a second degree murder charge and shouldn't be any lessers. in addition i don't believe that factu factually, that's where the charge would be presented. what george did was an intentional act. he knew he was pulling the trigger.
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the reason why he did it was self defense. that doesn't --uggest a manslaughter charge would be appropriate. [ indiscernible question ] >> no, no, it is going to be much longer. [ indiscernible question ] >> in like form, we wanted to make sure that was our decision. in order to make that decision. and i think that the judge should have left that up to our discretion. but i certainly respect her decision. i think that, i am not going to revisit a court's ruling. i respect her decision. we have our reasons for wanting to have that option for us. and i'm fine with that moving forward the way we are. [ indiscernible question ] >> sure, i believe so. a great piece of demonstrative evidence or tool to give the jury an idea what was happening that night. we now have, you know, i think
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the vantage point movie connection that mr. ruth said is perfect. what we have is a lot of different people, hearing, seeing a lot of different things. i want to present them in one cohesive form to the jury. i think they probably get it. but we have -- >> what is your client's state of mind knowing his fate will be decided in a couple of days? >> he is very worried. he is happy with the way the evidence has gotten out. happy to have his lawyers present his case for him. but we still have a case where the state of florida is trying to put him behind bars for the rest of his life. that is a very scary possession to be in. he is worried. >> mark, adding to that, how does florida, 10/20 lifelong come into play here? >> it doesn't. they need a conviction before that applies. so, we are going to deal with that if we have to. certainly it just add to the stress. and adds to the fright of somebody who acted in a way where he had to do something he had to do to defend himself and protect his own life.
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now the state is trying to take away his liberty. >> -- if you could look at how you presented your whole case. what do you hope the jury goes back with in their mind. what do you think -- you want people to think? >> george had no other choice. and he did what he had to do to protect himself from great bodily injury already being visited upon him. if we presented evidence that helps the jury understand that, then we have done our job. [ indiscernible question ] >> no, we are done. [ indiscernible question ] >> we are done. there is no further evidence. they made the decision not to move forward. we both rested. my understanding there is no further rebuttal nor any surrebuttal. >> one of the judgment calls. but the reality is we wanted his ses tone. we wanted him as a witness.
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we wanted his deposition. now that we have all of that, we fit that in. we have the -- had the decision been made to present to him. we would have. but we had to fit it into the overall context of how you present this particular defense case. there are 200 witnesses identified. and 80, i think, 75, calls. so there are 125 witnesses who decided not to call. [ indiscernible question ] >> am i concerned about that? >> if lesser charges are included. are you concerned the jury could use that? >> absolutely. i do not want this jury looking at this and feeling that -- that the law suggests sympathy should be kiddeconsidered. this should not be a compromised verdict. whatever their decision should be it should be an affirmative, just decision based upon the facts. i don't want a jury par dovenlt which would let my client off because they feel sorry for him. i don't want a compro is mied
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v -- compromised verdict. the jury get evidence they should get. didn't get evidence they shouldn't get. they will follow the law. apply the law. i don't want compromised verdicts or jury pardons. [ indiscernible question ] >> does that give some indication he may not have been as confident that the case was strong enough? >> i think he was confident enough in the talk to the jury. not the lack of confidence in the way the case was presented. [ indiscernible question ] >> my understanding, manslaughter is a category 1 lesser. aggravated assault may be another one they kid. i don't think factually appropriate at all. we well talk about that tomorrow with the judge. the only ones that will be considered. [ indiscernible question ] >> yes. >> aggravated assault with a gun? >> correct. all variables. >> mandatoryminimums? >> yes.
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>> there will not be in any way accessible to the jury? >> that is correct. >> not even in the autopsy report? >> of course not. is not part of the evidence. >> what would have been the down side for the defense to bring in the marijuana evidence? >> again, it's hard to say, to take out one string out of it complete defense strategy. say, okay, let's look at this string by itself. you want to know what the tapestry looks like. if you want me to take the string out it didn't seem to be significant enough intoxication evidence that it was worthwhile making the -- the focus on that. because i am concerned about the jury's sensitivities. so, you know, whatever we do is always taking into consideration how the jury is going to view what we present. but of course, impacted things like having to call tracy martin and other people to the stand. you have to look at that. weigh the positives, negatives with any presentation of evidence. that was one of the decisions we made.
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>> your strategy can change day-to-day was your intention to begin with george's mother and finish with his father? >> no. >> did you plan to get on that this morning or was that impromptu? >> the doll? no that was impromptu. sometimes those things come over you. >> the state has -- perhaps, discovery, or misconduct. should be sanctioned. >> where, if any place did their actions hamper youen your p ein opinion? >> in a lot of ways i could say easily i am still frustrated some of the phone evidence we got so late that we weren't able to do some of the background work that may have otherwise made it more admissible. that is a point of frustration. particularly. we scrapped through it. you know? we took what we got. we kept fighting till we got what we thought we needed. it is more that i wish i would
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have had. but i think within that context. we still were able to put on a pretty decent case. >> just remind me in a case like this where the judge discharged the jury, and the time that takes, all that paperwork to be done. >> reading the instructions. seems like forever when you are listening to it. it probably is a solid, 10, 12 minutes. that's about it. of course in florida, we are allowed to have a copy of the jury instructions go back with the jury. so, i used to, started when the days when you heard it once. went, tried to remember it. at laes neast now they will hav with them. [ indiscernible question ] -- the judge has to include them. is that your understanding? what makes you think that they could not get in? >> category 1s are mandatory upon request. however the judge still need to make a determination there is a factual base ills t to support . you could not for example ask
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for a fact, a charge that is not based and in any kid raegs of the facof -- consideration of the fact. they couldn't ask that he be charged with marijuana, because there are no facts. the state position believe there are facts to support the lessers. i don't think there are. >> back to the jury, the lessers, what's the sentencing range? >> well the sentencing range from life imprisonment to he will walk out a free man. >> what about the manslaughter charges? [ indiscernible question ] >> face up to 30 years, upon one k consideration of how they may charge. >> the jury won't know what the sentencing guidelines are when they kid the charges. >> that is one problem for for defense attorneys, not problem but concern, under florida law we can't advise them as to the penalties. that's up to the judge. having said that. somebody may look at a second degree murder charge and say, i
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know that is serious. maybe they think manslaughter is not. i really do believe that this jury has been listening intentatively. and i think they're going to listen well to the instructions and seem in to tiftuitive. they'll look at the law. apply the facts to the law. don't think we need to worry about sentencing, jury pardons or something look that. [ indiscernible question ] >> oh, no. she will not. no, no, no. they will not be, nothing will be mentioned about sentencing to this jury. >> mr. o'meara, what will it mean to your clooient to have h parents in the courtroom? >> very much so. [ indiscernible question ] >> i think he is very worried about his safety. personal safety going forward. because those same people who portented to fear and hatred
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laegd leading up to the trial are probably not going to accept an acquittal. though they should. the system is working. we -- >> glad to hear that. [ indiscernible question ] >> haven't made the decision yet. >> all right. mark o'mara wrapping up a news conference at the end of the day of the george zimmerman trial. obviously expressing concern if there is an acquittal about the safety of george zimmerman. he also made the point, george zimmerman wanted to testify on his own behalf. he listened to his attorneys and agreed that was not necessarily going to happen. zimmerman himself will not testify. let's quickly bring in our legal analyst, sunny hostin, and in s sanford, florida. how worried should he be, lesser than second degree, murder, conviction, conviction onor agg
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assault? >> very. manslaughter with a firearm is 30 years. assault is three years in prison. do not pass go. go to jail. three years, prison. so he, he understands the dynamics that a jury might be looking for a compro is my, compromise verdict here. he doesn't want one. i think you are going to hear that was a good part of his closing argument to tripe y to jurors to understand, self defense is a applicatorable to all charges and lesser includeds. >> what do you think, sunny? >> yeah, i agree with that. any time your exposure is prison time, real prison time. you have got to be concerned. i have visited enough prisons in my career, wolf, to till you even one day in prison for many people is, is extremely difficult. and we are talking about someone who has been described as the most hated man in america. i would imagine any priztson ti
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for george zimmerman could be in solitary confinement. looking at, convicted of the lowest. three years. >> aggravated assault. minimum, three years. more on the case coming up. mark o'mara a special guest tonight on "ac 360" 8:00 p.m. other news we are following in the situation room. the boston bombing suspect. enters his pleas in court today. cnn was inside the courtroom. we have details of his demeanor, the reaction of the victims and a whole lot more. wi drive a ford fusion. who is healthier, you or your car? i would say my car. probably the car. cause as you get older you start breaking down. i love my car. i want to take care of it. i have a bad wheel - i must say.
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dramatic day in the george zimmerman second degree murder trial. i want to bring back sunny and mark, to, to, a quick question to both of you. and sunny, i will start with you. was it smart for george zimmerman and it was his decision as the judge admonished him throughout. he could have rejected the advice of his attorneys, was it smart for him, in the end, to tell the judge "i have decided i will not testify on my own behalf?" >> it was not only smart it was brilliant. first of all, he didn't really need how to do it because his statements are already out there. albeit they're conflicting. he would have only done damage. because he would have been cross-examined by very skilled, very seasoned prosecutors. wolf, prosecutors dream about the opportunity to cross-examine a defendant in a high-profile trial that has given
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inconsistent statements. so this was a brilliant move by the defense. i don't know what they said to him to get him not to testify. because my sense was that he wanted to. he wanted to talk. he wanted to tell his story. there are people that are just like that. i think he is one of them. but this was -- a very good move. by george zimmerman. >> a lot of us remember, a year or so ago, mark, he may have accepted or rejected the attorneys, when he did a tv interview with sean hannity on fox. most lawyers would not want hair client in a case like this to go out and start speaking at length about what happened or didn't happen. earlier in the day, you saw the one exchange before the final exchange with the judge when he said, yes, i will not testify. he seemed still at that late moment to be in doubt whether or not he was, i don't know if we have the clip. maybe we have the clip of that exchange he had with the judge. we don't hatch it. but, we'll get that clip for you. but he, he clearly was sending
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signals that, maybe he does want to -- tell his story, one more time, in his own word. to those six women on the jury. the jury. >> yeah. you are right, wolf? look, 10, 15 seconds later he might have gotten another answer. i think they were going back and forth. i know mark o'mara, they advised him not to go on sean hannity's show. he insisted upon it, he being zimmerman. and that he has a price to pay. that did not help his case in any way, shape or form. so, hopefully, i can't believe there was any other way. he went ahead and listened to his attorneys. remember the person that gave a drive-through, through the neighborhood with a camera and law enforcement on hand. when is that ever done? you have got somebody who has been wanting the world to hear what he has got to say. thankfully from the defensor
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speck tif -- defense perspective he listened to his council. i can't remember a case where somebody not taking the stand was more warranted than this case. >> listen to this clip. the clip from the proceedings, the trial earlier in the day. zimmerman's lawyers trying to pour frrtray him as soft, not a fighter listen to this. >> in this case, did you have information made available to you about mr. zimmerman? >> yes. >> if you would explain it to the jury what information you reviewed to assist you in your analysis of his physical abilities or interaction-abilities. >> i spoke directly with his, i actually -- spoke with mr. zimmerman once. and i spoke with excuse me, the gym owner, the personal trainer
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about him. and i was inquiring as to -- what his background training and experience was because that becomes a very important variable for me when reviewing the use of force. you know if i was dealing with -- chuck norris, i would expect a completely different response to any kind of physical altercation than if i was dealing with peewee herman. i do the best i can to find any resource material or people that can provide me with a background on an individual. >> and -- i presume the two of you can sort of speak the same language having similar background in fight training and kickboxing or whatever else it is? >> yes. >> within that context then, what information were you able to glean concerning mr. zimmerman's physical prowess or abilities? >> well, not sounding offensive. he really didn't have any. mr. zimmerman was described as -- being a very nice person
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but not the fighter. >> all right, let's look at some analysis of what we heard. because that was pretty important testimony on behalf of george zimmerman that he really was looking for a fight, given, given that experience. what did you make of that, sunny? >> i don't know that that was helpful, wolf. >> helpful to zimmerman, you mean? >> yeah. you are talking about a man now being painted as someone who took mma classes, wanted to be a cop, wasn't a good fighter but carried a gun. one would think that -- you know he could act unreasonably when confronted with someone who -- its defending himself. and, so, i don't know why the only inference that comes out of that is george zimmerman isn't confrontational, george zimmerman is some one that is a kro creampuff that can't fight. he was a creampuff with an armed pistol, an armed weapon. i don't know that that kind of
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testimony is helpful. i see it differently. >> i see the point you are making, mma, mixed martial arts. why was he taking mixed martial arts if he wasn't interested in fighting? >> mark? >> yeah. >> well, to listen to everybody else, he lost 90 pound. i guess a good exercise regime is something. but this all the more emphasizes why it was smart not to take the stand. imagine, most guys sitting up there, i am a wimp, i am a marshmallow, i was working out all this time, i can't lift more than 10 pound, not a very good fighter. the prosecutor would have had a field day. saying you were there sick hours a week. you were tough. you learned how to do this. you learned how to dupe thio th. he would have been in conflict with his witnesses. this emphasizes why you don't take the stand. he shouldn't have in this case. >> i wonder why he was considering it given all those arguments that both of you are making. guys stand by.
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coming up, a tale of two attorneys. a former dj, told a joke on the first day of the trial didn't go down very well. and his down-to-earth co-counsel. a closer look at zimmerman's defense lawyers. members of the american postal worker's union handle more than 165 billion letters and packages a year. that's about 34 million pounds of mail every day. ever wonder what this costs you as a taxpayer? millions? tens of millions? hundreds of millions? not a single cent. the united states postal service doesn't run on your tax dollars. it's funded solely by stamps and postage. brought to you by the men and women of the american postal worker's union. ♪ unh ♪ ♪ hey! ♪ ♪ let's go! ♪ [ male announcer ] you can choose to blend in. ♪ ♪ yeah! yeah! yeah!
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happening now -- the defense lawyers have stolen much of the spotlight in the zimmerman trial. why they're making such an effective team? stand by. crew members from the asiana flight hold an emotional news conference. ntsb investigators are also speaking out about the san francisco plane crash landing. >> the nsa leaker has an offer
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of asylum in venezuela. taking a closer look at how he might be able to actually get there. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." it is the first time he has been seen since his bloody capture. the boston bombing suspect, dzhokhar tsarnaev, arriving in a white van in court in boston today. and pleading not guilty to 30 federal charges that could get him the death penalty. also in court, some of his victims. cnn national correspondent is joining us from boston. deb, tell our viewers what happened in the courtroom? >> well, we can tell you that some 30 victims and family members of victims sat shoulder to shoulder in a very full courtroom. one woman had crutches. when tsarnaev entered the room, some of them shifted to try to get a better look at him. and in his row, reserved for his family members, one woman wearing a white head scarf,
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gasped awedly, you could hear her sob. you looked in her direction. throughout this very short hearing, didn't last more than 10 minutes. he continued repeatedly looking back and smiling at the two women. now, he did have some signs of injury. the left side of his face, seemed to have suffered nerve damage. he was wearing a cast. his fingers were bent. he really looked almost uninterested in what was going on around him. he kept moving. fidgeting. the judge was speaking to him. he wasn't making eye contact. kept touching his face and niz neck. so, it was rather interesting that he really was almost, he was ignoring the proceedings that were going on around him. he did enter a plea of not guilty, repeatedly to the 30 charges against him. what was interesting, he had a very thick russian accent. and after the hearing, i spoke to a couple of his wrestling buddies from high school who had shown up, they wanted to see the guy they had known so well and thought was a good guy. they were really, really
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surprised. when they knew him he had no soon of a russian accent whatsoever. the reason they came, they wanted to see if there was any of the old dzhokhar left. and the person they saw in the court, they said, it wasn't him. again, he pleaded no guilty to 30 charges against him, wolf. 17 of the counts, excuse me, carry the death penalty. >> you say he looked physically okay? strong if you will after the recovery from the injuries? >> yeah, absolutely. he did. he is much taller than i expected. probably 6 feet, maybe a little taller. again, his body language, demeanor in the court. he was really not focused on the judge. he turned around. sort of looked back at some of the people back sitting in the courtroom. it was really the two women who, or relatives, possibly sisters, it is those two he had the most interaction with. one of them had a small child. and, that child was sort of fussing throughout the court
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proceedings. so, certainly interesting, wolf. >> thank you. by the way, a busy day at the federal court house in boston. the tsarnaev hearing held right next to the courtroom where james whitey bulger was on trial as well. >> canadian town devastated by a runaway train explosion its treated as a crime scene. dozens of people are missing, and their remains may never be found. survivors are reliving the nightmare. and they're asking hard questions. let's go live to cnn's correspondent in lac-meganeuc, quebec. and another day. what is the latest? >> wolf, a dramatic day. a day of great sadness here, just come from a police press conference, they confirmed the figures, 20 dead. 30 missing presumed dead. basically, wolf, 50 people killed in this train disaster. a staggering number. as we say, sadness, grief, also
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a great deal of anger. anger because people are wanting answers as to how this could have happened. also, why it has taken five days for the president of the company that owns the freight train to come here, come to site, meet the families, meet the community, and also, confront the media. i can tell you, wolf, he certainly falgs faced a hostile reception. under tight security the man in charge of the company that owns the runaway train finally confronted an angry community now at the center of one of the worst rail disasters in recent history. >> i understand the extreme anger and -- beyond that i, we'll do what we can to address the, the issues here. we can't roll back time. >> five days ago a freight train carrying 73 cars of crude oil derailed and exploded. wiping out the heart of
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downtown. officials on the ground believe 50 people were va pr iporized. only 20 deaths confirmed at this stage. >> if i lid heved here i would very angry. >> reporter: police found tampering on the locomotive and launched an investigation. the engineer suspended without pay, over whether or not enough brakes were engaged on the train. but that didn't stop local residents from directing their anger at the train company. as the this morning township demands answers. >> why is it normal, acceptable? >> reporter: for those reliving the horror of the night they describe the scene as apocalyptic. >> the end of the world. >> reporter: for this woman, her world will never be the same. her son lived in the town center
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and hasn't been heard from since. his home no longer standing. today i live in hope that my son would call that he is still alive. but i know in my heart he is gone. the family has given dna samples to investigators but this 79-year-old mother is fearful they will never locate her son's remains. i don't know if they will ever find his bed she saody she saysl ever be able to bury my son. there is nothing left down there. that is my greatest fear. for real's younger brother. he was filled with sadness and regret. >> we always said we are busy, but we realized that we are -- never always too busy to visit our family, huh, and when, when that arises it is --
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>> so much pain. so much suffering in this community, wolf. and they're also having to deal with the fact that the body have probably been incinerated. i know it is gruesome imagery. at the end of the day it really explains the ferocity and the power of these explosions. but you know, wolf, this is a community that may not be able to bury its dead. >> what a story, horrible story, anna coran in quebec for us. up next, a tale of two attorneys. one a former dj, told a bad joke at the trial. the other methodical and even-keeled. we're taking a closer look at the lawyers in this case. [ phil ] when you have joint pain and stiffness... accomplishing even little things can become major victories. i'm phil mickelson, pro golfer. when i was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, my rheumatologist prescribed enbrel for my pain and stiffness, and to help stop joint damage. [ male announcer ] enbrel may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis,
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closed arguments in the trial of george zimmerman expected tomorrow morning. they will begin according to the judge, we now know his attorney, mark o'mara will make closing arguments. he and co-counsel, don west have been stealing a lot of the spotlight during the three week legal trial. brian todd here, fascinating lawyers what are you finding out? >> wolf, two lawyers with reputations as courtroom wizards in florida but handling the white hot spotlight of this trial in different ways. he is tied to some of the more dramatic moments in this trial. a testy exchange with the judge. >> i object to the court inquiring of mr. zimmerman as to his decision about whether or not to testify? >> your objection is overruled. >> reporter: late night burst of frustration. >> i'm not physically able to do this case much longer. it is 10:00 at night. we started this morning. we have had full days every day.
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weekend, depositions at night. >> a poorly received joke. >> knock-knock. who's there? george zimmerman. george zimmerman who? all right, good. you're on the jury. >> reporter: and a photo from his daughter posted on instagram, with a caption, we beat st beat stupidity cones. don west may be the untinnentional bad cop of george zimmerman's defense team but no one doubts his skill. >> don west enjoys an excellent reputation over in central florida, very zealous advocate for his clients. he believes in his clients, come across, in this trial, you can see his passion. >> a former disk jokey in major markets like l.a. west carved a courtroom reputation as a lawyer's lawyer, dubbed a murder specialist for taking on some of florida's notorious homicide
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cases. west once got a former motorcycle gang member, crazy joe spazziano off death row after he was convicted of raping and murdering a teenager. his co-counsel, no less, a demeanor, even-keeled. cnn legal analyst, who has worked with and against o'mara in court says heap is a tireless student of the law, a grindstone worker. >> but he is not one of these lawyers who comes across as over the heads of everybody. he is very home -- very homespun kind of feel to him. >> reporter: o'mara, a devoted husband. married late in life, has no children and often seen with his wife on his harley. he once defended a man accused of killing a woman crashing into her car while being chased by police. getting a second degree murder charge reduced to dui manslaughter. two years ago he was a legal analyst on local tv for the
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casey anthony trial. >> i don't think there is any argument this is not a -- >> reporter: win or lose there should be more of that post zimmerman for mark o'mara and don west. >> i do think you are going to see them over and over again, either as talking heads, writing books, yeah, all that is there. >> analysts contrast that with their chief opponent, bernie de la rionda, so engrained in the justice system they don't see him leaving the state attorney's office soon. >> don west, he showed exasperation, especially last night with the judge during the course of today's -- is he known for that? >> not really. analysts we spoke to. he is nknown to be rock solid, never loses his cool. that speaks to the pressure of the trial. if you have never gone through anything like this from the inside you cannot imagine the pressure these attorneys are under. >> she is tough, debra nelson.
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overruled. overruled. she keeps walking. tell it to the courtroom. mark o'mara tonight only here on cnn. a news conference by flight attendants speaking publicly about the deadline airline crash in san francisco, some of them weeping as they recall the disaster. hourly associates. there's opportunity here. i can use walmart's education benefits to get a degree, maybe work in it, or be an engineer, helping walmart conserve energy. even today, when our store does well, i earn quarterly bonuses. when people look at me, i hope they see someone working their way up. vo: opportunity, that's the real walmart. these chevys are moving fast. i'll take that malibu. yeah excuse me, the equinox in atlantis blue is mine! i was here first, it's mine.
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we are now hearing from the cabin crew of the asiana jumbo jet that crashed in san francisco saturday. some have been called heroes. they spoke in an emotional news conference just a little while ago. some of them weeping as they talked about the disaster. cnn's dan simon is in san francisco and has the latest for us. dan, what happened? >> well, hi, wolf. we just saw six of the flight attendants together here at the airport. this was probably more of a photo opportunity a way to put up a united front. they didn't take any questions but did appear to be emotional. the lead flight attendant spoke in korean. paraphrasing here -- the families who suffered losses are
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in her prayer and added the airline is working quickly as possible to recover from this accident. these were five women and one male flight attendant. there were a total of 12 flight attendants on the flight. some suffered severe injuries. we now know three of them were actually ejected from their seats and have extensive injuries. wolf? >> the ntsb, national transportation safety board, had a news conference a little while ago, what did we learn from them? >> we are getting more information from the ntsb. some had to do with flight preparation for two pilots in question. we know there was nothing abnormal about it. they beth had eight hours of sleep. what has become clear, wolf, the flight controls that control the flight's speed are a central part of this investigation. investigators want to know if they were working properly or if the pilots actually set them correctly. we are also learning, wolf, a little bit more about the timeline, for instance, we know it took just two minutes for the
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first responders to arrive. and in three minutes they began putting out the fire. but questions still remain about why the lead flight attendant was initially told to delay the evacuation. there are also questions, wolf, about the automatic chutes. one of them actually rolled inside the plane pinning two flight attendants who actually had to be freed. we know that the flight attendants really acted bravely in the aftermath of the crash. some of whom grabbed fire extinguishers themselves and began putting out the flames. >> they did save lives. thank you, dan simon. up next, the nsa leaker holed up still in the moscow airport but has an offer of asylum in venezuela. here is the question -- could he actually get from moscow to venezuela?
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moscow airport but the nsa leaker edward snowden has offers of asylum. venezuela may be his best bet. if and when he does how can he get there without being intercepted? what are you discovering?
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>> he has been 17 days in the moscow airport and could be in for a bumpy ride if he tries to travel to venezuela or any other latin american nations which might take him in because all of his options involve some risk. the first one that we have to talk about is the idea of simply boarding a commercial flight. there is a plane every afternoon around 2:00. it arrives in havana, cuba about 12 hours later and from there it will be a simple jump. this is the most direct and probably the cheapest route. yet it involves one big danger as he passes into cuba. he has to fly right over the eastern united states. if a passenger had a heart attack or the plane developed mechanical problems and made it land during the passage snowden could find that he is trapped. he might be able to piece together a series of commercial flights and some charter flights that would take him down through
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africa and then across the atlantic or maybe he can do the same thing with a combination of commercial and charter flights to fly to the other side of russia and cross the pacific. all of that involves a lot of miles which can translate into a lot of time being exposed to possible capture. >> that raises the idea of him trying, for example, a private route, hiring a plane, somebody chartering a private jet for him to make the trip. is that possible? >> technically it is. he some of his allies could charterer a private jet. you need a substantial jet. this is a high grade private jet. it can travel almost 7,800 miles without stopping for fuel now, the plane would have to get into moscow. it would have to pick up the passenger and get out without somehow being tripped up or caught in some kind of
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bureaucratic tangle or a secret deal for snowden's capture. if it did all of that the pilots could cut a zigzag pattern up here avoiding all of the dangerous air space and spiriting snowden right down directly to one of the potential host countries. what is the problem in all ooft that? cost. his ticket to ride this way would probably be around $200,000 and that is a lot of money to put out right now. >> he has a lot of supporters who might be willing to put up that kind of money if necessary. thanks very much. we will see what happens. a good samaritan on two wheels zooms to the rescue. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] some things are designed to draw crowds. ♪
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so did you ever leave a coffee cup or something more important on your car and then drive off? we have a story of a good samaritan. >> reporter: riding on his motorcycle nate boss is used to seeing the gorgeous snow cap mountains near utah. what caught his eye was the snow white of the cup on the dark
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suv's bumper. >> when i saw the cup i thought this lady has a cup on her bumper. >> to the rescue nate gave chase. and then as calmly as if he were picking it up at a starbucks drive through window. >> getting close to her i wasn't that nervous. >> reporter: he figures he was doing about 40 and decided to deliver the cup to the driver on a whim. >> make her day, i guess. >> when she made a turn he followed her. a few seconds later managed to show her the cup. she saw but didn't pull over. >> i kind of thought it would be cool if i was able to do the handoff while moving. she just rolled her window down. >> when she poured it out i was like man. >> reporter: nate said he sort of wished she would have taken a
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dru drink out of it. >> reporter: there are worst things than a mug that you can accidently leave on a car. a seattle police officer drove a few blocks with this assault rifle lying on the trunk. a teen mom got arrested when she left her baby in a car seat on the roof of her car and drove 12 miles. sdwl the car seat toppled and was discovered by a motorest later. >> reporter: the baby was fine. the mom pleaded not guilty to child abuse and dui. police said she told them she just smoked marijuana. better a mug than a mug shot. one other time nate spotted a pontiac with a dangling gas cap. >> i crewed it up. >> he is santa on two wheels we heard him exclaim as he drove
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out of sight. >> amazing story. everybody is fine. thanks for joining us. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. another big day in court. we have it all covered. the judge asks george zimmerman directly if he wants to testify. she gets teste with the lawyers and sets the time table for closing arguments. we are going to go live tonight from san francisco where investigators late today say the pilots of asiana flight 214 told the crew not to evacuate the aircraft. why? and then what made them suddenly want to change their minds. and then the man accused of setting the boston marathon bombs with his brother. you will see his face. there is a big change on that. let's go outfront.