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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

14-Year-Old Nathaniel Brazill Takes Witness Stand

Aired May 8, 2001 - 16:49   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.
JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: Back to West Palm Beach, Florida: Nathaniel Brazill, testifying in his own defense, talks about bringing out the gun that killed his favorite teacher. Let's listen.

ROBERT UDELL, NATHANIEL BRAZILL'S ATTORNEY: OK. So did you ever ask her to come back with you?

NATHANIEL BRAZILL, MURDER SUSPECT: No.

UDELL: Why?

BRAZILL: Because it would -- how would she get -- how would we get back.

UDELL: OK. You recognized the fact the car wasn't functioning.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK. Brief discussion with her?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Got the key.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Where did you go next?

BRAZILL: Than I want to my auntie's job.

UDELL: OK. And this is Auntie who?

BRAZILL: Liz, Elizabeth.

UDELL: And how far is it from grandma's house to Auntie Liz's job?

Let me ask you this: What direction do you have to go from grandma's house to auntie's?

BRAZILL: Well, north for about -- about an 1/8 of a mile, then you go west.

UDELL: OK. Now, you've heard the testimony of Mr. Spann? BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Who says he spoke to you during that part of your trip. Correct?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: As you sit here today, do you remember having met with Mr. Spann?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. Is it your testimony that you did not meet Mr. Spann or you do not remember?

BRAZILL: There is possibility, but I do not remember.

UDELL: OK, now let me ask you about Mr. Spann. How long had you known him?

BRAZILL: I didn't really know him. I would just see him.

UDELL: OK. He is how old?

BRAZILL: Nineteen.

UDELL: Did you hang out with him?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: I believe he testified that he knew you through some cousins or something.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Was that the relationship?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you ever have any lengthy -- ever have any discussions with him other than, "hi, hello", prior to that?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. Did you ask him for a gun?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: When he told the jury that, is that not true?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And you told the jury you don't -- do you remember even having a conversation with him or...

BRAZILL: No. UDELL: Is your position that you could have spoke with him and you are not denying it, you just don't remember it?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK, well, how do you know you didn't have a -- if you had a discussion with him you didn't have a discussion...

BRAZILL: Because I had a gun at home.

UDELL: OK.

BRAZILL: So what would be the use?

UDELL: Did you all of a sudden get stupid and forget that the gun as at your house?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: And you heard him say that part of your discussion you told him you were going to go to your aunt's house and get a car?

BRAZILL: OK, yes.

UDELL: In fact, that was the plan was to your aunts house, right?

BRAZILL: I went to my aunt's job.

UDELL: OK, but you were going to go to her house if she wasn't at he job?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is it possible you had that part of the discussion with him about going to your aunt's house?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: In fact you were hoping that she would -- you could get in her car and she'd drive you back to school?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: For what purpose?

BRAZILL: To get the suspension lifted.

UDELL: OK. You heard him tell the jury that you asked for a gun, and when asked, you basically lie. You said it's so you could go back to the school and F-up the school. Did you ever say that to him?

BRAZILL: No, not that I can remember.

UDELL: Any reason to believe that -- were you mad at the school at that point, that you would go F-up the school? BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK. Did you go you your aunt's job?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And that's -- where does she work?

BRAZILL: IHS.

UDELL: What is that?

BRAZILL: It's a nursing home.

UDELL: And did you go into her place of work?

BRAZILL: No, I did not.

UDELL: Why not?

BRAZILL: Because her car wasn't there.

UDELL: Did you look for it?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is that what you did before you went into wherever it is she works?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Recognized car wasn't there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: I assume that you assumed from that she wasn't there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is that why you didn't go into her place of work?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And the purpose of going to her place of work was again why?

BRAZILL: To get her so she can to go back to the school.

UDELL: OK. From there, where did you walk?

BRAZILL: Then I walked from her job to my house.

UDELL: OK, and how did you get in?

BRAZILL: With the key.

UDELL: And how long were you in there for?

BRAZILL: A few minutes.

UDELL: What did you do while you were in there?

BRAZILL: I got my bike, and then, that's when I got the gun.

UDELL: OK, where did you debt the gun from?

BRAZILL: Out of the drawer.

UDELL: And were the bullets already in it?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Same five bullets?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And was the safety on at that time?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And where did you put the gun?

BRAZILL: In my right pocket.

UDELL: OK. How long were you there for?

BRAZILL: A few minutes.

UDELL: And what did you do while were you there, other than getting the gun?

BRAZILL: I got my bike, got some water.

UDELL: Cooled off?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And -- ten million dollar question: Why did you take the gun?

BRAZILL: I was just carrying it. I didn't have plan on using it.

UDELL: Was there any plan other than to carry it?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Do you remember later that day, after you were arrested, being asked by the police, what was plan with the gun, right?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: What did you tell them? BRAZILL: I don't know.

UDELL: Well, you saw the statement this morning. You told them there was no plan. The plan was to carry it.

BRAZILL: I think so.

UDELL: OK. Was that, in fact, true?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK. Where did you go from there?

BRAZILL: From my house?

UDELL: Right.

BRAZILL: I went to my aunt's house.

UDELL: OK, what's the plan now? Why are you going to your aunts house?

BRAZILL: To get her so she -- to see if she could go back and get the suspension lifted.

UDELL: OK, you're sure it wasn't to so you could get a ride with her so you could back there and kill someone?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did you go to your aunt's house?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And what direction do you have to walk to get there?

BRAZILL: North.

UDELL: And how far is that walk?

BRAZILL: Oh, maybe about a half mile. No, not even that far. About a fourth of a mile.

UDELL: OK, and what happened when you got there?

BRAZILL: Well, I knocked on the door, waited, knocked -- I went to her room window, knocked on the window, still no answer, went back, rung the doorbell, no answer, knocked on her door again, and there was still no answer. So, that's when I got back on my bike and went back to the school.

UDELL: OK. Well, did you try and get into her house?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: How would you do that? BRAZILL: With scissors.

UDELL: What do you mean, scissors? What are you going to do, cut -- you described it as picking the lock in your statement. Is that what you tried to do?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK, now how do you pick a lock?

BRAZILL: You use scissors, and you put the scissors in the door thing, and you open the door.

UDELL: Why were you going in?

BRAZILL: Because her car (UNINTELLIGIBLE) soon, but she might have been there. And maybe something might have been wrong.

UDELL: OK. You had knocked on it and got no response?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You were wondering, were assuming she's home, but getting no response?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is that why you entered?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you go in, or did you just open the door, do you remember?

BRAZILL: I opened the door, went in, her room window -- her room door was locked. I knocked on the door, waited, knocked on the door again, got no answer, wrote a letter, put the letter up on her caller ID, and then left.

UDELL: Tell us about that. You did what?

BRAZILL: I wrote a letter letting her know I was there.

UDELL: How do you do that? I mean, a piece of paper?

BRAZILL: A piece of paper and a pen.

UDELL: You just left it there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK.

BRAZILL: I put that Nate was here, and I put up on the caller ID, somewhere where I thought she would check when she came home.

UDELL: All right. You put it up next to the caller ID?

BRAZILL: Yes, well, on top of the caller ID, next to the phone.

UDELL: OK. At this point you tried to get grandma on to help you?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Tried to go to aunt's place of work?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Tried to get to her house?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And here you were, no one could help you go get the suspension lifted?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Where did you head?

BRAZILL: I went to the school.

UDELL: OK. Now, at that point, what was your thinking, what was the plan?

BRAZILL: I was going to go see Dinora and Vonay (ph) .

UDELL: OK, at that point had you given up on trying to solve the suspension?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You got on your bike?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Gun is in your pocket?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Safety is on?

BRAZILL: Yes, well, I assume so.

UDELL: OK. It was on when you put it in there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And you drove to school?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: This is about 3 o'clock? BRAZILL: I don't know.

UDELL: OK. And how far did you have to pedal bike at that time?

BRAZILL: Maybe about a mile.

UDELL: About a mile?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Pretty hot out?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Now, you pedal up north on what street? What street do you take to get north, to get to the school?

BRAZILL: Well, I rode down B street to about, I think it's Lakeworth Road, and then I got over on A street. I rode north on A street to North 10th Avenue.

UDELL: Then?

BRAZILL: And then I went west on North 10th Avenue, went down to Barnett Drive, made a right, went north on Barnett Drive, rode down, went around the back of the school.

UDELL: OK, let me stop you there. At that point were you going to see Mr. Hinds?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: In fact, you knew Mr. Hinds wouldn't let you about there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you intentionally avoid going to Mr. Hinds?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Because of that reason?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK. Instead you went left, in front of the school?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Pedaled all the way around?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Went past -- went through a gate?

BRAZILL: Yes, the gate in the back.

UDELL: It was open?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And dropped the bike?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And why are you going back there?

BRAZILL: Because the -- our building was right in the back.

UDELL: OK, but what was the purpose of going back there? Nobody knew about the suspension back there. What was the plan?

BRAZILL: I was going to go see Dinora and Vonay (ph).

UDELL: OK. Is that why you went there?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Are you sure you didn't go there to kill Mr. Grunow?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Now, was there a plan? I'm going to go see Vonay (ph) first, go see Dinora first? Any specific plan, or are you just there to see both of them?

BRAZILL: Both of them. I was going to see Vonay (ph) first, then go and see Dinora.

UDELL: OK. Vonay (ph) was supposed to be in who's class?

BRAZILL: Mr. Grunow's.

UDELL: And you assumed that Dinora would be where?

BRAZILL: In Mr. Packard's.

UDELL: Is that your understanding as to where they should have been?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You went to Mr. Grunow's class?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You approached the door?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK, and what happened next?

BRAZILL: I knocked on the door, Mr. Grunow opened the door, I asked Mr. Grunow if I could speak to her, and then I saw Dinora, so I asked him if I could speak to Renee and Dinora.

He told me to come in. I told them, no, that I can't come into the classroom, that I wanted to talk to them in private. Then I asked them if they could come out, so I could talk to them. He told me, no, that they couldn't come out.

And then I asked them -- he told me that they couldn't come out, but I could come in and talk to them.

UDELL: OK. Go on.

BRAZILL: And I told them that -- I couldn't -- I didn't tell them I wasn't supposed to be there.

I told him that I wanted to talk to him out in the -- out in the -- in the hallway area.

UDELL: Was your intention to talk to them privately?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You were going to say good-bye to them?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Hugs and kisses?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you not want to do that in front of the whole class, is that why you wanted to speak to them in private?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK, and what did he say?

BRAZILL: Let's see. Then he told me -- he told me no. He told me to go back to class. He told me to go back to class.

UDELL: Apparently, he didn't know that you were not supposed to be there.

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Go on.

BRAZILL: And then he put his hand out and talk me to go back to class.

UDELL: OK. When he put his hand out, was he being rough with you or...

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Show the jury what he did with his hand.

BRAZILL: Just barely touched me. Sort of like, go back to class.

UDELL: OK.

BRAZILL: Like, putting your hand on the shoulder.

UDELL: OK. And, what happened next?

BRAZILL: Then, I took out the gun; I told him...

UDELL: Why did you take out the gun?

BRAZILL: Hopefully, he would let me talk to him -- speak to him.

UDELL: OK. You took out the gun, because you thought that that would get him to let you speak to the two girls in private?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK. Now, didn't you realize at the time that second you took out the gun, that was the last thing that was going to happen?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: What made you think that, if you pointed a gun at somebody, that they would (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to your wishes?

BRAZILL: OK, I thought about it this way. If you have a million dollars and I point a gun at you and tell you to give me a million dollars. Are you going to keep the million dollars? Or are you going to give it to me?

UDELL: Same type of analysis.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You thought if you pointed the gun at him, then he would actually let you see the girls?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And what was the plan after he let you see the girls? What were you going to do with the gun?

BRAZILL: I was going to put the gun away, talk to him, and then leave.

UDELL: What did you think that he was going to do, say, no big deal?

BRAZILL: Nope, I figured he might have would have called someone -- called someone from the office.

UDELL: And why would he be calling someone at the office?

BRAZILL: For different reasons.

UDELL: Well, in response to your pulling out of a gun?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Weren't you afraid that you were going to get in trouble?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: It was that important for you to see the two girls.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Why?

BRAZILL: Tell them good-bye. .

UDELL: When you asked Mr. Grunow to see the two girls and he wouldn't let you, did he appear to be taking you seriously?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: As a result of that, here you are pointing the gun at him, and he's still not take you seriously.

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: In fact, he said, get that thing out of my face.

BRAZILL: Yes. Did it -- could you even tell whether he knew if it was a real gun at that time?

BRAZILL: I don't think that he knew that it was a real gun.

UDELL: Did you get the impression one way or the other, or is this all with hindsight? As you are standing there...

BRAZILL: He sort of had a smile on his face. He wasn't really scared or nothing like that.

UDELL: He wasn't -- wasn't taking you seriously?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: So, what did you do to make him take you seriously?

BRAZILL: Then I pulled the -- the -- what thing? The chamber -- not the chamber. The chamber or the barrel or the...

UDELL: Show us what you did, if you don't know.

BRAZILL: The thing on top of the gun; I pulled that back.

UDELL: OK. Why did you do that?

BRAZILL: So hopefully, he would think it was a real gun.

UDELL: Think you were serious. BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is that the only reason you did that?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Are you sure you didn't do that so you could then shoot him?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: At that moment, you know, you were asked later, were you mad at Mr. Grunow? Were you mad at Mr. Grunow?

BRAZILL: No. Just except the part of him not taking me seriously.

UDELL: OK. But that's what you were mad at?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: He seemed to be blowing you off and not taking you seriously? .

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Are you sure you weren't mad at him, because you thought gee, gee, maybe, I screwed up and I'm getting an F and I am going to kill him.

UDELL: No.

BRAZILL: Did have you any desire to kill Mr. Grunow, or harm him at that moment?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Took out gun, pointed it at him?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You racked it?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: What happened next?

BRAZILL: Then, like, when he told -- when he said, get that out of my face, right after that, like, immediately after that, that's when the gun went off.

UDELL: OK. Do you remember pulling the trigger?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Physically, what was going on with you at that moment? BRAZILL: I was holding the gun with two hands, to avoid from dropping the gun.

UDELL: Why didn't you want to drop the gun?

BRAZILL: Because I didn't know what would happen if I was to drop the gun.

UDELL: OK. Were you shaken?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: How about your eyes? What happened to your eyes?

BRAZILL: My eyes were blurry. They began to get blurry.

UDELL: OK; you described it in your statement as watery?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: If we'd asked you at that very moment and stop in that point in time, did you know whether the water was just normal liquid from your eye, was it sweat, was it tears, would you have known at that -- that very moment?

BRAZILL: No. I probably would have assumed that it was tears.

UDELL: Is that what you think today?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Now, why tears?

BRAZILL: I was thinking -- you are standing there, thinking about what's going on, and that makes you sad.

UDELL: Now, when you say tears, are tears streaming down your face, or just water in your eyes?

BRAZILL: Just water in your eyes.

UDELL: And tell it to the jury again. You're thinking what? What is it that you are thinking that's causing you to tear?

BRAZILL: You're thinking about what's going on.

UDELL: You realize that, what you were doing was ridiculous?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And you were mad at yourself?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And that's what happened naturally?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Next thing that you hear is an explosion?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: At that moment in time, did you think the safety was on?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Is it only after the gun exploded that you realized, obviously, the safety was not on?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And you heard people say you said, oh, shit. Do you remember saying that?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Were you scared?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Were you able to tell whether or not you hit him?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did you see any...

BRAZILL: Yes. Yes, I saw blood on the floor.

UDELL: But you didn't know whether you had hit him?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: And you took off?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And you ran down the hall?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You scared?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you ever have a gun go off in your hands like that?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Pretty loud?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Scare you? BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did the blood scare you?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You knew that you had screwed up.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You ran towards -- instead of going through the double doors, you ran the other way?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Why that way? Were you thinking or were you just running?

BRAZILL: I was just running.

UDELL: If you wanted the most direct route out, you would have gone back through the double doors?

BRAZILL: Yes, that was the closest.

UDELL: OK, you ran the other way instead.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Pointed the gun at Mr. James?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: All of these people were coming toward you.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Were you scared?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: You ran past Ms. -- Ms. Burnetti (ph).

BRAZILL: I think that was her name, yes.

UDELL: OK, did you know her at the time?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did you know her name at the time?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: Did you say anything to her?

BRAZILL: No. UDELL: You ran through her classroom?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: OK, where did you go next?

BRAZILL: I went outside, towards the back of the school, I ran through next to the gates where I had entered that, that I saw Officer Baxter, and another officer alone with a few other students.

UDELL: Go on.

BRAZILL: I turned around.

UDELL: Let me just back you up for a moment. When you pointed the -- you pointed the gun at Mr. James in his direction.

BRAZILL: Yes, yes.

UDELL: Do you remember what you said to him?

BRAZILL: I told him, don't bother me.

UDELL: Is that what you said?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Don't bother me, Mr. James.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Were you attending to assault him or -- what were you trying to indicate to him?

BRAZILL: OK, assault is what?

UDELL: Well, were you taking -- pointing the gun at him, so that you would attack him or why did you say, don't bother me, Mr. James?

BRAZILL: I thought that he was going to attack me.

UDELL: Not to hurt you, but in response to what you had done.

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And you just said, back up, don't bother me?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Did you have any intention of harming him at that moment?

BRAZILL: No.

UDELL: OK, and then you ran through Ms. Burnetti (ph) classroom. You ran where?

BRAZILL: Through the back. I went towards the gates where I had entered that were in the back.

UDELL: Go on.

BRAZILL: Officer Baxter and another officer, along with a few other students, they were back there. Officer Baxter had my bike on the back of the cart...

UDELL: Did you observe that?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Go on.

BRAZILL: I turned around, ran through the port -- ran near the portables. There was a gate in the back. I jumped over the first gate, which was a higher gate. Then there was a lower gate. I jumped over that gate, went -- ran up -- maybe took about two steps and I noticed a sign on the gate which I was -- I was viewing the sign from the back.

I assumed it meant "Beware of Dogs," so I jumped over it into the next gate, over the next gate, into the next yard. I ran through, jumped over the gate that was in the front, walked along the street, got on the -- got on the road -- on the railroad, walking along the railroads. Got off on, I think it was 17th, walked east towards -- what was the name of that park? Barrett (ph), Bret Park, or something like that.

UDELL: OK. Now, why were you going to the park?

BRAZILL: I was going to call the police.

UDELL: OK. Just back you up a moment. After the gun goes off, why didn't you just stop right then and there? After the gun went off and, I mean, that was your moment to say, "Gee, this was an accident." Why didn't you stop?

BRAZILL: I was scared.

UDELL: Scared about what?

BRAZILL: Scared of what was going on.

UDELL: The repercussions of what you had just done?

BRAZILL: Repercussions, what's that?

UDELL: I'll rephrase it. You ran to the park?

BRAZILL: Yes. Ran into -- in the direction of the park.

UDELL: And why were you going to the park?

BRAZILL: To call the police.

UDELL: OK. And what happened next? BRAZILL: Then I saw Officer Mahoney (ph).

UDELL: Did you know Officer Mahoney (ph)?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Do you know him by the name Mike?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Had you known him for a long time?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And how did you know Mike?

BRAZILL: He used to be at my elementary school and also the Osbald (ph) Center.

UDELL: OK. And that's a recreation center?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Good guy?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: Get along?

BRAZILL: Yes.

UDELL: And what did you do next?

BRAZILL: I stopped him, got on the road, got on my knees, put my hands behind me head and told him about what happened. He put the handcuffs on me, took me over to his car and then put me in the back. Then a few minutes -- maybe about a minute or two later, other officers arrived.

CHEN: Fourteen year-old Nathaniel Brazill, speaking in his own defense, on trial at West Palm Beach, Florida, for the killing of Barry Grunow, who was, as he has described -- Nathaniel Brazill has described it -- his favorite teacher at school. Grunow died last year in the altercation.

Joining us from West Palm Beach, covering this trial, is CNN correspondent Mark Potter, who has been listening in as Nathaniel Brazill has been giving his testimony.

Mark, can you talk to us a little bit about this? Have we gotten additional -- much additional information as we listen to Nathaniel Brazill?

MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, the recitation that he has given here before the jury is pretty much what we have heard for his lawyers in their opening statement, and from Nathaniel in the statement that he gave police.

But of course, this is the first time that the jury has seen him face-to-face, so this is an important moment for Nathaniel Brazill and for the defense team. They see him as their main and only witness, and this is critical to them. Now, a point that must be made is that he is being led here, very gently, by his attorney, Robert Udell. And he, at some point, maybe tomorrow, is going to face a very different form of questioning at the hands of the prosecution.

He will be cross-examined, and that will not be nearly as gentle as this hand-holding session, if you will, that he is receiving from his -- from his own attorney. He is describing the events as he says they occurred -- that he did not intend to hurt his teacher; that events just got out of hand. He wanted to see the girls in his classroom. He pointed the gun at his teacher, simply to convince the teacher that he was serious about his demand to be able to say goodbye to his girlfriends. And the gun went off.

The prosecution's point, of course, is that this was a premeditated killing; that the young man was angry at the teacher; that he was angry at school system -- and that this was not an accidental shooting, that the gun did not go off accidentally.

They claim to their firearms experts that it could not have done so and so there will a very different sort of questioning when he faces cross-examination.

And knowing that it's going to be like that, the judge wanted this young man, 14 years old, to understand that. And he asked him before this session began if he understood fully the potential consequences of opening himself up to cross-examination by trained prosecutors, veteran prosecutors.

He's only 14 years old. The boy said he wanted to testify. He knew the risks and he wanted to go forward, and that's indeed what happened. And he's been on this witness stand most of the afternoon testifying under oath before this jury.

CHEN: All right. We do know that it is now late in the afternoon. CNN's Mark Potter for us in West Palm Beach. It's 5:15 Eastern time, as it is in West Palm Beach, Florida, as well. We have been watching throughout the afternoon as the testimony of Nathaniel Brazill has continued. This has been going on now for several hours and CNN's continuing its coverage, continue to watch and see if there's any more testimony that we want to bring you for today.

We do expect, as Mark Potter noted, that there could be cross- examination as early as tomorrow, depending on how late things wrap up today. CNN, of course, will continue to follow that story. Nathaniel Brazill, being tried for the murder of his teacher, Barry Grunow, down in West Palm Beach, Florida.

That wraps up our coverage for this hour. We'll take a break here and when we return on CNN, "INSIDE POLITICS" today from Washington with CNN's Frank Sesno.

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

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