Skip to main content
CNN.com /transcript

CNN TV
EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS

CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Nathaniel Brazill Takes Stand in Murder Trial

Aired May 8, 2001 - 14:35   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Now, live to West Palm Beach, where Nathaniel Brazill is taking the stand. Mark Potter is covering the story.

MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nathaniel was just sworn in, 14- year-old Nathaniel Brazill on the witness stand. He is described by his defense attorneys as their most important witness, and the judge questioned him a moment ago, making sure that this young man understood the potential consequences of going onto the witness stand, facing cross-examination by prosecutors. Nathaniel answering all the judge's questions: yes, sir; yes, sir.

Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

ROBERT UDELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: And on the bottom of one of them, you put do not send to the media, correct.

NATHANIEL BRAZILL, DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.

UDELL: And why did you do that? Why didn't you want the media to see the letters?

BRAZILL: So they wouldn't get them.

UDELL: And you didn't want them to have them -- let me rephrase the question. Nathaniel, are you some kind of psycho?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Are you demented?

BRAZILL: What does that mean?

UDELL: It means are you a cold-blooded killer?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did you ever intend to harm Mr. Grunow?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Let's take you back. How old you are you today, sir? BRAZILL: Fourteen.

UDELL: Fourteen, and on the day of the shooting, you were how old?

BRAZILL: Thirteen.

UDELL: When were you born?

BRAZILL: September 22, 1986.

UDELL: OK, and where were you born?

BRAZILL: I think St. Mary's Hospital.

UDELL: Here in West Palm Beach?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And your mother's name is.

BRAZILL: Polly Powell.

UDELL: And your biological father is?

BRAZILL: Nathaniel Brazill Sr.

UDELL: OK, and at the time of your birth, were Polly and Nate -- is it Nate Sr.?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Were they married to each other?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK, how -- the first few years, where did you live?

BRAZILL: In Lake Worth.

UDELL: In Lake Worth?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And who did you live with?

BRAZILL: My mother.

UDELL: And where did Nate Sr. live?

BRAZILL: I do not remember.

UDELL: How old were you when you first went to school?

BRAZILL: I don't remember.

UDELL: OK, do you remember -- did you go to a prekindergarten school.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Do you remember how old you were when you first went to kindergarten?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. Prior to kindergarten, did you live together with Polly?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: Where was that you said?

BRAZILL: In Lake Worth.

UDELL: OK, and what kind of house did you live in: apartment...

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And it was just the two of you?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Any brothers and sisters at that time?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did you go to preschool?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: Did you enjoy preschool?

BRAZILL: Yes -- well, actually I don't remember.

UDELL: You can't remember back that far?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Before you went to, say, kindergarten, were there other family members around?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You had other relatives that lived in the area?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Without giving us the names, what were their relationship to you?

BRAZILL: How do you mean?

UDELL: Were there aunts around? BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Uncles around.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And Nate's dad, your grandfather.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And how about on Polly's side? Her parents, your maternal grandparents, were they around?

BRAZILL: My grandmother was.

UDELL: And her name is...

BRAZILL: Evelyn (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UDELL: And did all these people live within the Lake Worth area?

BRAZILL: Most of them did.

UDELL: OK. How far away -- was your dad, Nate Sr., living in the Palm Beach County area during those first few years?

BRAZILL: Yes, he was.

UDELL: OK, and who did he live with?

BRAZILL: I don't remember.

UDELL: OK, do you know whether he lived with his father?

BRAZILL: No, I don't.

UDELL: OK. Were these people around to support you during the time you grew up?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Were you very close to them?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: I assume were you close on your mother.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Have a normal mother-son relationship?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did your mother give you -- provide for you the best she could?

BRAZILL: Yes, she had.

UDELL: You had a house, a roof on your head and buy you clothes and feed you.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: I assume you love your mother.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Were you close to Nate Sr. during those the first few years?

BRAZILL: Not really.

UDELL: OK. Do you know how old you were when you first went to elementary school?

BRAZILL: No, I don't.

UDELL: How many years -- which elementary school did you go to?

BRAZILL: Barton.

UDELL: OK, and what grades are those?

BRAZILL: Kindergarten through 5th.

UDELL: Kindergarten through 5th. And where is Barton Elementary School?

BRAZILL: On Barnett Road -- or Barnett Drive. Not Barnett -- Barton Road.

UDELL: And is that close to where were you living at the time?

BRAZILL: I'd say about a half a mile.

UDELL: During the years you were attending Barton Elementary School, who were you living with?

BRAZILL: My mother.

UDELL: Any siblings around at that time?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did you enjoy Barton Elementary School?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: Liked the students?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Liked the teachers. BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Any of the teachers that you, for any reason, didn't get along with?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did you do well in school?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: What kind of grades did you have, generally speaking? Were they all passing grades?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You have been described in the media when this shooting first occurred as a straight-A student. Is that true?

BRAZILL: No. Well, I've had straight As several times -- before.

UDELL: OK. But you concede that you're not that -- you're not this straight-A student? There were A's and B's and C's and D's?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Correct?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You work hard at school?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: School important to you?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You entered Lake Worth Middle School for 6th grade and 7th grade, correct?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: That was the end of your education at this point?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: At some point in time did you develop an interest in law enforcement?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: OK. Would that have been during the years at Barton Elementary School, or once you entered Lake Worth Middle School?

BRAZILL: At Barton.

UDELL: At Barton?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Why did you have an interest in law enforcement?

BRAZILL: I'm not really sure.

UDELL: Is that what you wanted to do with yourself?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Go into law enforcement?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you also develop an interest in the military?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Was that similar to your interest in law enforcement?

BRAZILL: Yes, it was.

UDELL: Did you consider the two somewhat a similar career?

BRAZILL: Somewhat.

UDELL: Is that what you wanted to do?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did it matter to you whether it was strictly law enforcement or the military?

BRAZILL: Not really.

UDELL: Did you have any specific goals as to what you would do in law enforcement or with the military, or just never got far enough to really develop it?

BRAZILL: Never got far enough to really develop it.

UDELL: OK. I've placed before you what's been admitted to evidence as defense 16 and 15. Ask you to just look at these. First No. 15 and then No. 16. First look at 15. Tell us briefly what it is.

BRAZILL: It's a letter that I received from the White House.

UDELL: Why did you get a letter from the White House?

BRAZILL: I wrote them about three months previous to -- previous to getting a letter, that I was -- I wrote the president that I was interested in becoming a Secret Service agent. UDELL: When would you have written the letter?

BRAZILL: Let's see, I got this back in May. So it probably would have been, maybe about February or March. Somewhere around there.

UDELL: Of what year?

BRAZILL: Of 2000.

UDELL: OK. And you were writing to the White House, why?

BRAZILL: Because I wanted to become a Secret Service agent.

UDELL: OK, and was that related to your interest in the military and law enforcement?

BRAZILL: Yes, it was.

UDELL: Did your interest become a little bit more directed, in wanting to join the Secret Service?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK, and why did you want to join the Secret Service?

BRAZILL: Because they -- because the job, what I have seen them do, like on TV and movies and stuff like that, seems kind of exciting.

UDELL: OK. What's the job of the Secret Service, as far as you know?

BRAZILL: They protect the president of the United States.

UDELL: Is that why you wanted to be in the Secret Service?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Was there a particular movie that spurred this interest along?

BRAZILL: Yes, it was.

UDELL: And what was that movie?

BRAZILL: "Air Force One," which came on last night.

UDELL: Did you happen to see it?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you happen to see it?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: The state presented documents that were referred to as defense 50. These were located in your room?

BRAZILL: Yes, they were.

UDELL: Defense 16 is a lot of -- 15 pages. Tell us generally what that is.

BRAZILL: Let's see, some of them are pictures of helicopters, which are -- some of them are used by the military, the army. And others are guns which are used by both military and law enforcement.

UDELL: Where did those documents come from?

BRAZILL: Off the Internet.

UDELL: You have access to the Internet?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Do you have a computer at home?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is that the reason why you had those documents?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is that the sole reason why you have pictures of firearms?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Sure you didn't have those pictures of those firearms so you could go wreck havoc on the community?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Strictly related to your interest in law enforcement.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Have you ever obtained any of those weapons?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Have you ever written to obtain any of those weapons?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Let me take you back a little bit. I sort of diverged, there. When you were growing up, what did you do for fun?

BRAZILL: Played with my cousins, watch TV.

UDELL: You played with your cousins. Would that be in the house, out on the street?

BRAZILL: Out on the street.

UDELL: And what were the nature of the games you played?

BRAZILL: Hide and go seek, games in that area.

UDELL: Say it again, sir?

BRAZILL: Hide and go seek and games in that area.

UDELL: What would be a typical day as you were growing up? What time would you wake up?

BRAZILL: I assume about 7:00.

UDELL: And I assume if school was in session, you'd go to school?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And after school what would you do?

BRAZILL: Come home, do my homework first, then go outside or whatever.

UDELL: And play with your cousins?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK. And at night, what would you typically do?

BRAZILL: Watch -- take a shower, watch some TV, then go to slept and get ready to bed.

UDELL: OK. Then...

POTTER: We have been listening to the testimony of Nathaniel Brazill in his first-degree murder trial. The defense attorney has been covering the preliminaries, the early days. And we expect much more testimony to come. We're going to take a break, and then we will come back to covering this testimony live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

POTTER: We are watching the testimony of 14-year-old Nathaniel Brazill, charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his teacher, Barry Grunow, last year. Let's listen in.

UDELL: Do me a favor. Would you lean forward and speak up nice and loud right into the microphone, please?

BRAZILL: OK. Sorry about that.

UDELL: Taking back at that time photographs of the helicopters and the law enforcement-related documents, where did you get that? Where did you find that information? I know you took it from the computer, but where did you initially see it? BRAZILL: On what Web site?

UDELL: Yes, sir.

BRAZILL: I don't remember the name of the particular Web site. But it was -- I'm not quite sure what Web site it was. I don't remember. I'm not quite sure what Web site it was. I don't remember.

UDELL: OK, some of the documents contain what appeared to be law enforcement codes.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: What is that about? Why did you get that?

BRAZILL: Those are the codes that the Los Angeles Police Department, and various police departments use.

UDELL: Why were you pulling that off the computer?

BRAZILL: Just so I can kind of see what their codes are.

UDELL: Was that in connection with your interest in going into law enforcement?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: In one of the photographs that was admitted into evidence, during state's case in chief, it showed a lot of these documents --specifically, draw your answer to state's, 52 in evidence.

And you see some of the same documents, correct?

BRAZILL: Yes, I do.

UDELL: Also a pair of handcuffs.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Why did -- why did you have a pair of handcuffs?

BRAZILL: I had bought those from Washington, D.C. on my trip to -- on my trip to Washington, D.C. with the safety patrol.

UDELL: What is the safety patrol?

BRAZILL: It's a -- in 5th grade -- let's see. They are the ones that make sure no one gets hurt and stuff like that.

UDELL: Were they real law enforcement or was it like a play thing?

BRAZILL: It's something that the school -- elementary schools do.

UDELL: The residence that you -- where were you living on the day of the shooting?

BRAZILL: You mean by the address or...

UDELL: Yes, the address.

BRAZILL: 825 South H Street Apartment 1, Lake Worth, Florida 33460.

UDELL: How long did you live there, prior to the day of the shooting?

BRAZILL: About five years.

UDELL: About five years. You lived there with whom?

BRAZILL: My mother, my sister and my step dad.

UDELL: Now, your sister is who?

BRAZILL: Abiney (ph) Powell.

UDELL: How old is Abiney (ph)?

BRAZILL: She's three.

UDELL: You saw the video of your statement to law enforcement, correct?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: And there is a little girl in that who comes into the cell; is that Abiney (ph)?

BRAZILL: Yes, it is.

UDELL: OK. So, when -- Abiney (ph) was born when?

BRAZILL: September 16, I think, 1999.

UDELL: OK. So on H Street, you were living with you, and Abiney (ph) and Polly and did somebody else join you in that residence?

BRAZILL: Yes. Abiney's (ph) father, Marshall Powell.

UDELL: OK, Marshall's your stepdad.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And he lived with you, for how many years until the day of the shooting?

BRAZILL: About three or four.

UDELL: During that period of time, was he good to you?

BRAZILL: Yes. UDELL: Ever strike you?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: How about his relationship with your mother, as far as you could tell, did he ever abuse her?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: If he did, was it ever down in front of you?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: All right. I show you what has been previously marked (UNINTELLIGIBLE) State's 48. Are you familiar with that?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is this your room?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Are you sleeping in there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK, this is your computer.

BRAZILL: Yes, it is.

UDELL: The desk would you sit at and do your work?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: The top of the computer, there are four pictures. Who's depicted in those pictures?

BRAZILL: Vane Chacoby (ph), Vanessa (ph), and Anita.

UDELL: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is not in any of these four?

BRAZILL: No, she's not. She didn't take a picture.

UDELL: Ok, why did you have a picture of those four girls on your computer?

BRAZILL: Those are my friends.

UDELL: OK. You then went -- started Lake Worth Middle School for 6th grade; correct?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: And you started 6th grade there; correct?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did. UDELL: How did you do in school during the 6th grade?

BRAZILL: 6th grade, during my entire year, I got A's, B's, and C's and one D.

UDELL: One D. Who gave you the D?

BRAZILL: Ms. McKing, my science teacher.

UDELL: Did you get along with her?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you hold any grudge against her because she gave you a D?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did you deserve the D?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: No F's, though, at that point in time.

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. Let me ask you about 6th grade; did they work the same way as 7th grade? Did you have four quarters?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And you get a report card after each quarter?

BRAZILL: Yes, after each nine weeks.

UDELL: After each nine weeks.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: If one looked at your report card for the 6th grade, do any of the reporting periods show D's?

BRAZILL: The first quarter does.

UDELL: Now, does that mean if you get a D in the first quarter, that's your grade for the end of the year?

BRAZILL: No, it's not.

UDELL: How do you change it?

BRAZILL: You talking about my report card or on a progress report?

UDELL: Well, if your first reporting period is a D -- let's back up. In each reporting period, do you get progress reports? BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: During the 6th grade?

BRAZILL: Yes, we do.

UDELL: And these progress reports, tell you how you are doing at the moment?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Based upon the work you have submitted to date?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And before you are actually get a report...

BRAZILL: Before we actually get the final grade?

UDELL: Well, before you get a grade from any reporting period, do you get progress reports?

BRAZILL: Yes, we do.

When you get one in -- and it shows you are not doing well, you can go to the teacher and talk to the teacher about it?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is that what you are asked to do?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Does the teacher tell you what you need to do to get a better grade before the reporting period ends?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And the teacher tells you, you need to report this, or do that assignment, maybe things you missed?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Maybe extra things you can do.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And you can pull up your grade.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you do that sometimes?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Sometimes you would find out from your progress reports during 6th grade that you weren't doing as well as you'd like and you could re-submit work and the grade would go up.

BRAZILL: I got that D just that first semester in science, because I wasn't really good at science, I'm just getting used to it. But all my other grades in science were B's and A's.

UDELL: OK. How did you do in your other classes?

BRAZILL: Good. As and...

(CROSSTALK)

UDELL: Any special class that you liked more than the other?

BRAZILL: Math.

UDELL: Is that what you like now?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is that what you are best in?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: How about reading?

BRAZILL: That would probably be about second.

UDELL: Anything that you are not really good at?

BRAZILL: Science.

UDELL: Did you graduate from the 6th grade?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And you entered 7th grade.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: That was at Lake Worth Middle School?

BRAZILL: Yes, it was.

UDELL: How can -- well, how did you do during the first reporting period in the 7th grade?

BRAZILL: Two D's, A's and B's and C's.

UDELL: How many teachers did you have in the 7th grade? How many different classes would you have?

BRAZILL: Well, we have three classes a day, which was six teachers.

UDELL: Who were your teachers during the 7th grade?

BRAZILL: For the first semester, I had Mr. Grunow, Mr. Packard, Mr. James, and Mr. Lock and Mr. Bermudez, and Ms. Sunderland.

UDELL: Let's take them one at a time: Mr. Grunow was one of your teachers.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: What did he teach you?

BRAZILL: Language arts.

UDELL: And Mr. Packard.

BRAZILL: He taught geography.

UDELL: Mr. Lock.

BRAZILL: Science.

UDELL: Mr. Bermudez.

BRAZILL: Band.

UDELL: And the last one was...?

BRAZILL: Ms. Sunderland and Mr. James.

UDELL: And Mr. James taught what?

BRAZILL: Math.

UDELL: And the lady?

BRAZILL: Ms. Sunderland, she taught Spanish.

UDELL: How about in the second reporting period during the seventh grade? How did you do?

BRAZILL: I had the same first five teachers, except Mrs. Sunderland, which my new teacher became Mr. Osley (ph), which was shop.

UDELL: OK, and how did you do in the second reporting period?

BRAZILL: Good.

UDELL: Third reporting period.

BRAZILL: Good.

UDELL: OK, if we look at your report card for the first three reporting periods, why there any D's in there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK, and who was that from?

BRAZILL: Mr. Packard) and Mr. Lock.

UDELL: OK.

BRAZILL: No, Mr. Packard and Mrs. Sunderland.

UDELL: How about Mr. Osley (ph)?

BRAZILL: Mr. Osley? No.

UDELL: No. Did you dislike those teachers because they gave you D's?

BRAZILL: No, I did not.

UDELL: Did you get along with them?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you ever threaten them?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: At the time you got the D's from them, did you think your schooling career was over.

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: As a result of getting those D's, did you bear those teachers any ill will?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did you think you deserved D's?

BRAZILL: I assume so, yes.

UDELL: Well, they didn't have anything out for Nathaniel Brazill, did they?

BRAZILL: I hope not, because my other grades were good. In Spanish, it went from a D to an A, and in geography, I think, went from a D to a B.

UDELL: You told us that one of your teachers was Mr. Grunow.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And Mr. Grunow taught what?

BRAZILL: Language Arts.

UDELL: And did you get along with Mr. Grunow?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: Did you enjoy being his student? BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Was he a good teacher?

BRAZILL: Yes, he was.

UDELL: You've heard the testimony from just about every teacher and student who testified that Mr. Grunow was a special teacher. Everybody liked him. He went out of his way to help his students. Would you agree and confirm that?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did he treat you similarly?

BRAZILL: Yes.

POTTER: This is the preliminary questioning of 14-year-old Nathaniel Brazill in his first-degree murder trial in West Palm Beach, Florida. More specific questions about the shooting of his teacher, Barry Grunow, are expected soon.

We're going to take a break, and we'll come back with more of the testimony.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

POTTER: We are watching the testimony of 14-year-old Nathaniel Brazill, accused of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his teacher Barry Grunow last year. On the witness stand, he is now talking about his relationship with that teacher.

Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UDELL: Were you born then?

BRAZILL: I was About 1 1/2.

UDELL: About 1 1/2. Can you read the letter to the jury, and stop after -- I know it says, "Dear Mr. Grunow." Read each sentence.

BRAZILL: Dear Grunow, this was a bad year for me.

UDELL: OK, let me back you up there. When did you -- did you ever hand that in?

BRAZILL: Talking about as a grade?

UDELL: Well, you know how law enforcement found that. Where was it found?

BRAZILL: I don't know.

UDELL: It was in your room, was it not? BRAZILL: I assume so, because I gave it to Mr. Grunow, he read and he gave it back to me. But I didn't give this to him as a grade.

UDELL: OK, well tell us about that. You were given an assignment to do. You were given some place in the book to look at.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And you started to write it.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And then you handed it in incomplete?

BRAZILL: This right here?

UDELL: Well, did you hand in that document?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: And what did Mr. Grunow do with it? Do you know?

BRAZILL: He read it and gave it back to me.

UDELL: OK, and then what were you supposed to -- it appears to never be completed. Was it every completed?

BRAZILL: This was not my original one. I went back and did my one I was supposed to do.

UDELL: Similar to that?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK, just a completion of that?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And did you submit that?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK, now, take me back. What was the first line again?

BRAZILL: This was bad year for me.

UDELL: OK. You handed this in approximately when in the seventh grade?

BRAZILL: About, maybe about two, three weeks before the last day of school.

UDELL: OK, and up until that time, was that a bad year for you?

BRAZILL: No, it was not.

UDELL: OK, so, why did you write that?

BRAZILL: This was more of a -- not really a joke but it was fake. When I wrote this, I was just joking around. I wasn't real. I wasn't being serious when I wrote this.

UDELL: OK. What's the next line?

BRAZILL: Things that happened to me this year were all bad.

UDELL: Is that true?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. What's the next line say?

BRAZILL: Chacoby (ph) was beating on me.

UDELL: And who is Chacoby (ph)?

BRAZILL: One of my friends.

UDELL: Is that a boy or a girl.

BRAZILL: Girl.

UDELL: Is she bigger than you, smaller than you?

BRAZILL: About high size.

UDELL: Would Chacoby (ph) often beat on you?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Were you guys friends?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is that true or are you just making that up again?

BRAZILL: What -- again.

UDELL: That Chocoby would beat on you, did she?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. What's the next line?

BRAZILL: Mr. James beat me with his stick.

UDELL: And Mr. James is who?

BRAZILL: Mr. James is my math teacher.

UDELL: How did you get along with Mr. James?

BRAZILL: Good. UDELL: Did Mr. James ever beat you with a stick?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: That wasn't true, was it?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Why did you write that?

BRAZILL: It was more of a joke.

UDELL: OK, in line with what you told us before.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: When you were given the assignment, was there any specific assignment as to what the nature of what you were supposed to write?

BRAZILL: Like what do you mean?

UDELL: Well, were you told to write a joking letter or just nobody cared.

BRAZILL: We were told to write a letter.

UDELL: OK. The instruction or the assignment did not specify the nature of the letter?

BRAZILL: A letter to be, I think one paragraph was to be about how the seventh grade was for you; another paragraph was to be about what you want -- what you want the eighth grade to be about, to be like for you; another paragraph was something else, but all referring to the school year.

UDELL: OK. What's the next sentence?

BRAZILL: Susie was punching me in the head.

UDELL: And who is Susie?

BRAZILL: One of my other friends.

UDELL: Did Susie have a habit of punching you in the head?

BRAZILL: Not that I can remember.

UDELL: OK. That was not true, then, when you wrote that, right.

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: That's because you were kidding.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Part of the assignment.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: What's the next sentence?

BRAZILL: Dinora stabbed me with a pencil in the neck.

UDELL: Say that again.

BRAZILL: Dinora stabbed me with a pencil in the neck.

UDELL: And who is Dinora.

BRAZILL: One of my friends.

UDELL: Dinora Rosales?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Now, you have a deep affection for Dinora, right?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did she have a habit of punching you in the neck with a pencil?

BRAZILL: Stabbing, no.

UDELL: And you wrote that as part of the assignment.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is that the end of the letter?

BRAZILL: My...

UDELL: Read the rest of it for us.

BRAZILL: My teachers were all mean and calling me names.

UDELL: Let me ask you that. Is that true?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Were any of your teachers mean and calling you names?

BRAZILL: No, they were not.

UDELL: OK. Next.

BRAZILL: The things I don't like about seventh grade was everything.

UDELL: Is that true?

BRAZILL: No. UDELL: Did you like 7th grade.

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: You told us that you enjoyed kindergarten and elementary school, correct?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: 6th grade?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: How about 7th grade -- did you enjoy 7th grade?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: Were you looking forward to going on to the 8th grade?

BRAZILL: Yes, I was.

UDELL: OK. What's the next?

BRAZILL: "The teachers gave me so much work."

UDELL: Now, that could be true. Was that true?

BRAZILL: Sort of.

UDELL: OK. Is that why you're writing it or did you write it because it was just, again, part of the assignment?

BRAZILL: Again, part of the assignment.

UDELL: OK. Did you ever complain about getting too much work?

BRAZILL: No I didn't.

UDELL: OK. Is that the end of the letter?

BRAZILL: No, it's not.

UDELL: What else does it say?

BRAZILL: "I don't think they like me."

UDELL: Who are you referring -- who is that? Is that back referring to the teachers?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And any reason to believe any of your teachers didn't like you?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Any of them ever tell you that?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Why did you write that?

BRAZILL: As a joke.

UDELL: OK.

BRAZILL: Just to get through with the letter.

UDELL: Keep going.

BRAZILL: "The teachers tried to drown me at the Rapids Water Park."

UDELL: OK. Now, tell us about that. Had you gone in fact to the Rapids Water Park?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: It was a couple of weeks prior to the last day of school.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK. And did any of the teachers try and drown you there?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. Was there horsing around there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Keep going.

BRAZILL: "They said they were playing, but I think they tried to hurt me."

UDELL: That wasn't true, correct?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. Keep going.

BRAZILL: "I hope I never see them again."

UDELL: Well, is that really the way you felt?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. Keep going.

BRAZILL: "There was nothing I liked about 7th grade."

UDELL: Is that true?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Keep going.

BRAZILL: "I hope I'll never be in the 7th grade again."

UDELL: All right, I guess -- that was true. You hoped to go on to 8th grade.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is that part of the assignment? Is that why you wrote that?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK. Keep going.

BRAZILL: "There was nothing about this school year that I liked."

UDELL: Is that true?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Is that part of the assignment?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Keep going.

BRAZILL: "People were mean to me."

UDELL: OK. Is there a follow-up line? What's the next line?

BRAZILL: "They were always beating on me."

UDELL: Is there another line or is that the end of it?

BRAZILL: "I think I might commit suicide."

UDELL: Is that the end of it?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Well, let's take those one at a time. What was the first of those three lines you read?

BRAZILL: "People were" -- "People were mean to me."

UDELL: Well, were they?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: What's the next line?

BRAZILL: "They were always beating on me." UDELL: Was that true?

BRAZILL: No, it was not.

UDELL: What's the next line?

BRAZILL: "I think I might commit suicide."

UDELL: Did you really feel that way at the time?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Let me ask you about that. Suicide. You saw the video, correct?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: In there you were asked about how you felt, and you said after the shooting you wanted to jump in the lake and drown yourself.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is that really the way you felt then?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK. Back me up. Other than that occasion have you ever had suicidal "ideations"?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Ever fantasized? Is it something you thought about?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Is that the end of the letter.

BRAZILL: No, it's not.

UDELL: What's the last thing it says? Just read the whole thing.

BRAZILL: "I don't think I'm going" -- "I don't I'm going to 8th grade. If I go to 8th grade, I expect my teachers ..." -- and then it ends.

UDELL: Say that again. "I expect ..."

BRAZILL: I don't think I'm going to 8th. If I go 8th grade, I expect my teachers ..." -- and then it ends. There's nothing else after that.

UDELL: OK. And why did you stop there? I mean, was there any particular reason or you just stopped?

BRAZILL: Because this -- I have to do my original one. This wasn't my real one.

UDELL: OK. Do you know where the original is?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK.

OK, you can put that down.

Let me ask you about your relationship with Mr. Grunow. Did you like Mr. Grunow?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: One of your favorite teachers?

BRAZILL: Yes, he was.

UDELL: What did you like about Mr. Grunow?

BRAZILL: A lot of things. He was a nice guy, good teacher. He made his class fun.

UDELL: More than any other teachers?

BRAZILL: Somewhat, yes.

UDELL: OK.

Now, there's been -- I think there's some testimony about this mediation, peer-group mediation. Tell us about that. What was your understanding of what the mediation thing was?

BRAZILL: From what I was told that they talked -- they talked to kids that are having problems with each other and to prevent them from having any conflicts, such as fighting or whatever. They talked to them and tried to resolve whatever problems they are having.

UDELL: OK. And What was your understanding about who got together and picked the mediators?

BRAZILL: The teachers on the team.

UDELL: OK. And was Mr. Grunow one of those?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And were you nominated by Mr. Grunow and the others to be a mediator for the following year?

BRAZILL: Yes, I was.

UDELL: Was that significantly important to you? Did you care?

BRAZILL: Not really.

UDELL: OK. Did you have a conversation with Mr. Hinds one day about that?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: And he asked you, do you want to be a mediator, right?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Was that the end of the year?

BRAZILL: Wednesday. The last week of school on Wednesday.

UDELL: Wednesday, prior to the shooting on Friday.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And what did you tell him? You wanted to be in the program or you didn't?

BRAZILL: I didn't.

UDELL: Because?

BRAZILL: I wanted -- I chose Spanish instead.

UDELL: It conflicted with Spanish.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: That was more important to you?

BRAZILL: That's what I wanted instead.

UDELL: OK.

In Mr. Grunow's class, were there any like school plays put on?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And were you involved in that?

BRAZILL: Yes, I was.

UDELL: And what character did you play?

BRAZILL: First I was picked to be whoever those little witches are, and then I switched with Dinora and...

(CROSSTALK)

First I was chosen to be whoever those witches are that are in Greek mythology, the three witches that have the one eye and the one tooth.

UDELL: OK. Did you have to dress up as a Greek goddess?

BRAZILL: Yes. UDELL: And were you concerned that people were going to laugh at you?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did you mind being the butt of jokes?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Let me ask you your relationship with your friends and your students. Were you one of these guys who would bully other students?

BRAZILL: No, I was not.

UDELL: How about were you the little nerdy one that always got bullied by others?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: But you didn't mind being the butt of jokes?

BRAZILL: No, I didn't.

UDELL: Something you could laugh at, laugh at yourself.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK. And you're sure you didn't kill Mr. Grunow as a reaction because you're getting back at all these people for being mean at you?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Also taken from your room was a piece of paper that said, "Add to the hit list."

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Familiar with that?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You wrote that?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And the one document you added Kervin.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Kervin

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Who is that? BRAZILL: My best friend.

UDELL: The gentleman that testified.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: What's his real name?

BRAZILL: Kervin Dieujuste.

UDELL: OK. And you know him as what?

BRAZILL: Kervin.

UDELL: Kervin.

Tell us about the hit list? What's this hit list?

BRAZILL: Well, I didn't really have a hit list. I was just joking -- I was just joking around with my friends, saying, oh, you're on my hit list, or whatever like that.

UDELL: OK. And who would go on your hit list?

BRAZILL: Most of my close friends: Kervin, Shakobe (ph), Dinora, Renee (ph), Susie (ph).

UDELL: All your friends?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And you put them on the list when you were made at them?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And take them off when you were not mad at them?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you create a hit list because these are the people that you wanted to harm?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did everybody know that was a joke?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Was it in fact a joke?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You heard a lot of people describe you as somewhat of a jokester or prankster. Is what consistent with your personality?

BRAZILL: Yes. UDELL: Like to play jokes and pranks on people.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Because you like making fun of them and fooling them or you like to see people laugh?

BRAZILL: I like to make people laugh.

UDELL: I want to take you to, say, the period about a month prior to the Friday of the shooting. How were things going on in your life at that time?

BRAZILL: Good.

UDELL: Were there any storms brewing in your life at that time?

BRAZILL: Not that I can remember.

UDELL: OK. Anything bothering you significantly?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Looking forward to the school year ending?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Going on to 8th grade?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Career in law enforcement?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Was your mom picking on you for any reason or just treating you normally?

BRAZILL: My mom?

UDELL: Yeah.

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. Was there anybody at home that was -- was there anything going on at home that was causing turmoil in your life?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Just a regular end of the 7th grade?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK. At some point in time you went to the...

POTTER: We are watching the testimony of Nathaniel Brazill talking about the relationship he had with the victim in this case, teacher Barry Grunow. We'll take a break and come back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

POTTER: On the witness stand, 14-year-old Nathaniel Brazill testifying in his first-degree murder trial. He has been talking about his relationship with the victim in this case, teacher Barry Grunow, and his relationship to his classmates, who testified for the prosecution. Let us listen in.

UDELL: And where did you stay that evening?

BRAZILL: I stayed at my godmother's house.

UDELL: And where do they live?

BRAZILL: In Boynton.

UDELL: And was that the first time you'd ever stayed there?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: How often would you stay there on a monthly basis or yearly basis over the years?

BRAZILL: Weekends, holidays, summer vacation.

UDELL: OK. And on Friday the 19th, do you remember how you got there?

BRAZILL: My -- let's me. My goddad came and got me.

UDELL: Where did he get you from?

BRAZILL: My house.

UDELL: And you went there that evening, Friday?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And who stays there?

BRAZILL: Stays at my godmother's house?

UDELL: Yes.

BRAZILL: My goddad, my godmother, my godniece, my goduncle, and my granddad.

UDELL: OK. Anything -- did you do anything unusual that evening?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Do you remember what you did?

BRAZILL: No. UDELL: OK. How about Saturday the 20th? Do you remember what time you woke up?

BRAZILL: About 5 o'clock, 5:30.

UDELL: In the morning?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And why did you get up so early?

BRAZILL: To go to Islands of Adventure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) go to?

BRAZILL: Islands of Adventure.

UDELL: And who did you go to Islands of Adventure with?

BRAZILL: With the band.

UDELL: With what?

BRAZILL: With the band.

UDELL: OK. This is a school band.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And were you a member of the school band?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And what instrument did you play?

BRAZILL: From 6th grade I played the trumpet, and then beginning of 7th grade I played the trumpet, and then I switched to the tuba.

UDELL: OK. Did you like being in band?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: In fact, you told us Mr. Bermuda (ph) was your band teacher.

BRAZILL: Yes, he was.

UDELL: In 7th grade or 6th grade?

BRAZILL: Both.

UDELL: Both?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And did you go with the kids to Islands of Adventure? BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And what happened there?

BRAZILL: We had fun.

UDELL: And what were you doing there?

BRAZILL: Getting on rides, playing games and stuff.

UDELL: OK. Was it a band activity in particular that you were playing there that night?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. You just went there with the band?

BRAZILL: Yes. As an end-of-the-year band trip.

UDELL: OK. How about Sunday? I guess that'd be the 21st. Do you remember what time you woke up approximately that day?

BRAZILL: Possibly 7, 8 o'clock.

UDELL: In the morning?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: What did you do all day?

BRAZILL: Watched TV, watched -- that's about it. Watched TV and watched movies.

UDELL: Anything unusual happen?

BRAZILL: Like what do you mean?

UDELL: Well, anything that you can remember other than watching TV?

BRAZILL: That's when I found my granddad's gun.

UDELL: OK. I want to ask you about that. Do you have relatives in South Carolina?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And whose family is it, do you know? Your mom's, your dad's?

BRAZILL: My mom's.

UDELL: Mom's?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Do you know where in South Carolina they lived?

BRAZILL: No, I don't.

UDELL: And would you go up there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: For vacations?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And did any -- were these aunts and uncles?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Do you know their names?

BRAZILL: Oh, my. I can't really recall them off -- off the back of my head.

UDELL: OK. How many times had you been there prior to this particular -- well, how many times had you been there in the past?

BRAZILL: A lot.

UDELL: Did you do that every summer?

BRAZILL: About two or three times a year.

UDELL: Sometimes during the summer?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK, and was there a plan to go there that summer?

BRAZILL: OK.

UDELL: Obviously your arrest interrupted that.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And when you would be in South Carolina, were you introduced to firearms?

BRAZILL: Yes, I was.

UDELL: And who introduced you to firearms?

BRAZILL: My uncle.

UDELL: And prior to that, had you ever held a firearm in your life?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Other than that and on the day -- well, let me rephrase it. What kind of firearms did they have up there?

BRAZILL: Rifles.

UDELL: And did you get a chance to fire them or hold them?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And did you get a chance to fire them?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: OK. And was that with them present?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did they ever introduce you to handguns?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Prior to Sunday, when you took the handgun, had you ever had a handgun in your possession before?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. Now, about what time of day do you remember that you were -- do you remember what did you that day?

BRAZILL: No, I don't.

UDELL: Anything in particular.

BRAZILL: No, I don't.

UDELL: OK. Where was the gun that you held in your hand that shot Mr. Grunow? Did you obtain that weapon from that residence?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: OK.

BRAZILL: From which residence?

UDELL: From grandpop's residence.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK. Had you ever seen it there prior to then? Did you know he had it?

BRAZILL: Yes. About three years before he was shooting it into the tree on New Year's.

UDELL: And you saw that?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK. Any other time?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. On Sunday the 21st, the day you took the gun, did you particularly remember it was there?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Had you even remembered it? Any reason that you had remembered it?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK.

Were you looking for it?

BRAZILL: No, I was not.

UDELL: OK. Now, what was it that -- what were you looking for that caused you to go into -- what room was the gun taken from?

BRAZILL: The gun was in my grandfather's room. I was in there watching TV, and then I remembered about the phone that he had in the drawer. And I went into...

UDELL: OK. Let me back you up. This is your grandpop's room, correct?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You didn't know the gun was there?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: I assume you agree you did not have permission to take that gun?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Grandpop did not know that?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: You didn't ask permission?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. What was it that brought you to that gun? What were you looking for?

BRAZILL: I was looking for a telephone.

UDELL: And what -- any phone in particular?

BRAZILL: He has an old phone that is not hooked into any wall socket and I would use that and play jokes on my godmother.

UDELL: Again, what was the joke?

BRAZILL: I would hand her the phone, tell her someone was on the phone, and then she would go and start talking on the phone and realize there was no one on it.

UDELL: A little joke you had with her?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: and what was your godmother's name?

BRAZILL: Levena Corbitt (ph).

UDELL: OK.

Did you go into -- you were in the room watching TV?

BRAZILL: Yes, I was.

POTTER: We are watching the testimony of Nathaniel Brazill in his first-degree murder trial. He is talking about finding the handgun that he ultimately used to shoot his teacher, Barry Grunow. We're going to take a break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRAZILL: A little bit.

UDELL: At the moment, did you happen to remember: That's the gun I saw three years ago. Or didn't -- either way it didn't mean anything to you?

BRAZILL: No. Not at that particular time.

UDELL: What was the gun in? Was it in something?

BRAZILL: It was in a box.

UDELL: Were there bullets there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And were they in a box, or were they separate?

BRAZILL: They were in a box, too.

UDELL: OK, and what'd you do? You didn't take the phone.

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did you tell the jury that that's why you went in there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you get sidetracked?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: When you saw the gun, what did you think?

BRAZILL: I think, "Oh, wow."

UDELL: "Oh, wow," what?

BRAZILL: "Oh wow, a gun."

UDELL: OK. And did you take the gun?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Why'd you take the gun?

BRAZILL: I was -- I remembered that I was going up to South Carolina with my uncle again, and so I was going to take the gun up there and have him show me how to fire a handgun.

UDELL: OK. And you concede that you did not have the right to take the gun?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you to tell Grandpops?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Would he have let you taken the gun if you told him?

BRAZILL: I'm not sure.

UDELL: OK. You weren't taking any chances?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Prior to that time, did your mother let you play with guns?

BRAZILL: No. Well, water guns and other stuff.

UDELL: Say that again, sir?

BRAZILL: Water guns.

UDELL: OK, but real guns?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did your mother have a habit of letting you play with guns?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: She taught you better than that.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You didn't tell her you had the gun, right?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: You didn't tell her you had the gun, why?

BRAZILL: Because then I knew she would say something about it.

UDELL: Well, she would have done more than say something about it, wouldn't she have?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: What would she have done?

BRAZILL: I don't know.

UDELL: Did you think you were going to be punished?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: She wasn't going to praise you for fooling around with guns, was she?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: You didn't tell her: "Look, Mom, I have this gun," right?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Because you knew you were going to be reprimanded for it.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Now, when you first took the gun out, you also took some bullets?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Are you sure when you took the gun out and the bullets, you didn't say, you know -- did you have any thoughts at that time of killing anybody with it?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Sure you didn't take the gun so you could kill Mr. Grunow a week later?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did you have any thoughts of hurting anybody with that weapon? BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: That was Sunday?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Where did you stay Sunday night?

BRAZILL: I stayed at my god parents house.

UDELL: OK. Anything unusual? What did you do with the gun?

BRAZILL: I put the gun in my bag.

UDELL: And the bullets?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And you hid it from Grandpops.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And Levena (ph).

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: She's your godmother, you said?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Was somebody else in the house at that time?

BRAZILL: My goddad, my godniece and my goduncle.

UDELL: OK. Monday morning, did you wake up?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Where did you go?

BRAZILL: My godmother took me home.

UDELL: Took you home to your residence?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And what's the address there?

BRAZILL: 825 South H Street, apartment one. Lake Worth, Florida 33460.

UDELL: She drove you there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And about what time would you get there, would you guess? BRAZILL: I'd say maybe about 7:00, 7:30.

UDELL: In the morning?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And how did you get from there to school?

BRAZILL: I walked. The bus stop is down the street. I walked from my house to the bus stop and catched the bus to school.

UDELL: OK. How far is the bus stop from -- well, if you have to walk from your house to the bus stop, how do you -- I know you walk there, but what direction do you walk out of your house and go?

BRAZILL: North.

UDELL: How far?

BRAZILL: About 1/8 of a mile.

UDELL: How do you know that?

BRAZILL: Because I used the -- our school runway is 1/4 of a mile, I used half of that to measure distance.

UDELL: OK. Is that how got to school each day?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You'd walk from your house to there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And the bus stop is where?

BRAZILL: On South 6th Avenue.

UDELL: Did you go to school that day?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And did the bus take you home, or how did you get home?

BRAZILL: The bus took me home.

UDELL: Back to South H Street?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Sixth Street, and then you walked to H?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: What did you do that day, Monday?

BRAZILL: Then my goddad came and got me.

UDELL: Picked you up from there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And took you where?

BRAZILL: Took me back to their house.

UDELL: In Boyton?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You went back there -- let me -- where was the gun? Sunday you were -- you took the gun on Sunday.

BRAZILL: The gun was still at the house.

UDELL: Whose house?

BRAZILL: At my godparent's house.

UDELL: OK. You didn't bring it to your house on Monday?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Where did you hide it at their house?

BRAZILL: It was still in my bag.

UDELL: What kind of bag is this?

BRAZILL: Like a little Winn-Dixie bag.

UDELL: OK. Did you have a particular room that you slept in there?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Just left it in the bag?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Didn't take it to school on Monday?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Monday night, did you sleep there?

BRAZILL: Yes, I did.

UDELL: Anything unusual happen?

BRAZILL: Nope.

UDELL: Tuesday, what happened on Tuesday morning? BRAZILL: Tuesday morning, my -- I woke up, that's when I got my bags. My godmother took me home. I went home, put the bags and put the -- took the gun out of the bag and put it in my drawer. Went down to the bus stop, went to school.

UDELL: You took the gun home.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Put it in your drawer.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: The gun and the bullets.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Now, at that point in time, had you tried fooling with the gun or anything?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Not at all?

BRAZILL: No -- the clip.

UDELL: Well, tell us, other that -- I assume you took the gun out of the drawer and put it in your bag.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Took the bullets out of the -- cookie tin, put it in the bag, right?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Until you took it to your house on -- was that Monday, you said?

BRAZILL: Tuesday.

UDELL: Tuesday. Had you played with it at all?

BRAZILL: No, except I put on the safety.

UDELL: Put on safety. Did you see the safety?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Familiar enough with guns to know that that's what it was.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And you'd never seen a handgun before, right?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: But you are familiar with guns from your interest in law enforcement.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And you knew what a safety was.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And why did you put the safety on?

BRAZILL: To prevent -- to prevent accidental firing.

UDELL: OK. You understand that's what its purpose was.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you put the bullets in the clip prior to Tuesday?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Any time at your Granpop's house?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Had you done that?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: How many bullets had you put in the gun?

BRAZILL: Five.

UDELL: Were those the same five bullets that were in the gun on the day of the shooting?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK. Tuesday, you went home, correct?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Took the gun and the bullets. and put it where?

BRAZILL: In my drawer.

UDELL: Were the bullets in the gun at that time?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you take any of the bullets or just those five?

BRAZILL: Just those five.

UDELL: OK, I understand, if I get it correctly, in the drawer where you found the gun and the bullets, were there other bullets?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you take those?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Why only five bullets?

BRAZILL: Because I could have showed my uncle what the bullet looked like, then he would know what kind of bullet to buy.

UDELL: OK. Sure, you weren't planning on wreaking havoc on the community?

POTTER: We are watching the testimony of Nathaniel Brazill, 14 years old. He is talking to the jury under oath in his first-degree murder trial about the days preceding the shooting of his teacher, Barry Grunow. We're going to take a break. We'll be back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are now at about a 15-minute break in the first-degree murder trial of 14-year-old Nathaniel Brazill. The young man has been on the witness stand, under oath, facing the jury answering questions from his attorney, Robert Udell, about the days preceding the shooting of his teacher, Barry Grunow.

He described Mr. Grunow as a teacher he liked very much. He said he meant him no harm. He said when he found a gun at his grandfather's house days before the shooting, he had no intention at that time of harming anyone. Certainly had no intention, he said, of harming his teacher, Mr. Grunow.

The court is in recess, so the jury can take a break. When we come back Nathaniel will continue on the witness stand. He is being interviewed by the defense attorney who describes him as his most important witness, his best witness. He said this case all boils down to whether the jury believes Nathaniel Brazill. If the jury believes him, this was an accidental shooting. If does not believe him, this was a premeditated murder of the teacher at the hands of this young man as alleged by the prosecution.

We have not yet gotten to the meat of the shooting. These are the preliminaries: Where he lived, where he went to school, his relationship with the teacher, how he was doing this school. And we will hear more shortly as this case proceeds along.

Now let's go to Natalie Allen in Atlanta.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

 Search   


Back to the top