CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Witness, Attorney Spar in Battle of Words

Aired June 27, 2013 - 19:00   ET

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


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: We`re going back into court in just a moment. But first tonight, explosive verbal combat in the George Zimmerman murder trial.

Good evening, I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

Trayvon Martin`s friend, the star witness for the prosecution, faces day two of fierce cross-examination, but she fights back.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via phone): Oh my God. And I just heard people screaming, help me, help me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I heard the yelling of help.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, ON TRIAL FOR SHOOTING TRAYVON MARTIN: I kept yelling help.

MARY CUTCHER, WITNESS: I heard the crying of the little boy. As soon as the gun went off the crying stopped.

RACHEL JEANTEL, TRAYVON`S FRIEND: I heard him saying, "Get off, get off."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to know what happened. Why would -- this man just shoot him?

DON WEST, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: So the last thing you heard was some kind of noise like something hitting somebody.

JEANTEL: Like Trayvon got hit.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Moments before the 17-year-old was shot dead, Rachel Jeantel was talking to him on the phone. She is absolutely crucial to the prosecution`s murder case against George Zimmerman. Because she says what she heard showed Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman was the aggressor.

But the defense came on strong, grilling her, trying to shatter her story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WEST: So the last thing you heard was some kind of noise like something hitting somebody?

JEANTEL: Like Trayvon got hit. Trayvon got hit.

WEST: You don`t know that, do you?

JEANTEL: No, sir.

WEST: You don`t know that Trayvon got hit.

JEANTEL: I could -- he had to...

WEST: You don`t know that Trayvon didn`t at that moment take his fist and drive it into George Zimmerman`s face. Do you?

JEANTEL: No, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, more of her blockbuster testimony and what two other women who lived in Zimmerman`s neighborhood, his gated community, say they heard that night. And one of them even gave a demonstration in the courtroom.

Straight out to the Lions` Den where our incredible panel is ready to debate this particular witness. Did she work for the prosecution, or did she backfire? Starting with Natalie Jackson, an attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family.

NATALIE JACKSON, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN`S FAMILY: Thanks, Jane. I will tell you, today I think that Rachel Jeantel handled herself appropriately. And she made a crucial statement that it was George Zimmerman who confronted Trayvon. What she did today was force George Zimmerman to take the stand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank Taaffe, a former neighbor of George Zimmerman and a friend and supporter.

FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Jeantel was very good for the defense. She created so much doubt in that jury`s mind. She was precious. Those are the words I could use. She was just precious for the defense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you making some kind of joke there? Because if you are, it`s not funny to me. Are you making a reference to the movie?

TAAFFE: No. No, not at all. I thought her testimony was precious. It was priceless. It was priceless as precious.

JACKSON: Frank. I will tell you my thing, Rachel Jeantel speaks three languages. How many do you speak?

TAAFFE: I speak three. I speak three also. Italian, Spanish and English.

JACKSON: I`m sorry. I could guess what they are.

TAAFFE: Yes, OK.

JACKSON: Well, we`re all multilingual, and I think that, if you do speak three languages, that`s a good thing, right?

I want to go to Phillip Schneider, criminal defense attorney out of Miami. How do you think this witness did?

PHILLIP SCHNEIDER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane, I thought she did very poorly. I think if we had to pick her favorite pair of clothing, it would be flip-flops. She was all across the board. And she came off as aggressive. She came off as confrontational and she was disrespectful. This was the star witness for the state, and it was a bust.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jordan Rose, a Phoenix, Arizona, attorney, yes, I will say this. Sometimes you forget it`s the prosecution`s case and you think it`s the defense`s case because the cross-examinations are going on so long.

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: Absolutely. And you know, first I thought, like yesterday I thought, wow, she`s not good for this prosecution. But today I think it turned a corner. Because that defense attorney took her on and ridiculed her, and it was just absolutely sympathetic. You felt sorry for her. You thought, "Oh my gosh. Here`s a girl who can`t read, and he`s attacking her." She`s doing her best in the society that she grew up in, and he is attacking her.

And I thought she came on strong for Trayvon Martin because people feel sorry for her. My gosh, she just went through a tragedy and he`s beating the heck out of her. He`s absolutely ridiculing her because she didn`t go to Harvard. Because, you know, the scales of justice are blind. That woman with the justice scales has a blindfold. It`s because we don`t discriminate between testimony. Educated or not. It doesn`t matter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me say this. Later on in our show we`re going to play a clip and debate whether or not the defense attorney, Don West, seemed to be trying to humiliate that witness.

But speaking of multilingual, we`re going to go back to that courtroom where Selma Mora, a neighbor, is testifying through a Spanish translator about what she heard. She was a neighbor and heard something or several things that were significant the night that Trayvon Martin was shot dead. Let`s go back into court.

MARK O`MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: So I`m going to ask you to demonstrate for me something.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

O`MARA: Because I`m wondering if you can tell us, and then I want you to show us in the courtroom, when you heard the noise...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

O`MARA: What you did in the kitchen or with the coffee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

O`MARA: How you left the kitchen, got to the sliding glass door, got through it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

O`MARA: Got to the patio and looked down. Can you do that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

SELMA MORA, WITNESS: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course.

O`MARA: Your honor, I would ask that the witness step down. I am going to presume that you are not wearing high heels. I either apologize for asking you to do it in high heels or I suggest that you take them off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

O`MARA: Sorry. To set this up I need your help. So tell me where the kitchen, if it works, sliding glass door, if it works. You set the stage and tell us where you were and then what you did and what you had to get around to do it. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Similar to our architecture.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could be that the sliding door could be in this area.

O`MARA: Now here, this is the sliding glass door. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: Column.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Column.

O`MARA: Then you go out and look that way, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

O`MARA: OK, column. I don`t want to be the one testifying, so you do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: In the kitchen they have like about...

O`MARA: You can say it in English if you`re comfortable, tell us.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is where the counter is.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have the counter here.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there`s a wall here on the other side.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this would be the work area where we have the sink and the window.

O`MARA: OK.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this was my position.

O`MARA: So here`s what I`m going to do. As close to speed as you think you did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

O`MARA: And don`t go slow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

O`MARA: I`m going to clap my hands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH).

O`MARA: And if you looked out the window when you heard the noise, I want you to look out the window. If you had a cup of coffee in your hand, I want you to put it down. You tell me what you did and do it in the timing as best you can that you did that. OK?

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water was already in the bathtub.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I put the cup, and at that moment I heard the cries.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

O`MARA: I`m sorry. I`m going to stop you for a second. The point that I`m at is when you heard the noise. Not the cries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sound? I ran.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I held onto the column, and I went like this.

O`MARA: OK.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I went like that to look around.

O`MARA: And I`m going to ask you to do it again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

O`MARA: Because I just want to make sure that the jury has a chance now, now that they know what you`re doing, to just watch you do it one more time in about the time that you did it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the other person who was in the kitchen with me was Mary.

O`MARA: OK.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was right on the side. Like reclining.

O`MARA: OK.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard the noise.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I ran. I went across and I peered.

O`MARA: Great. And then when you peered out, you looked -- thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re seeing an extraordinary demonstration in the George Zimmerman murder trial. A neighbor describing through an interpreter and actually walking through her penthouse or complex where she goes out and makes a right and sees something.

But you see how complicated this case is? It`s a dark, rainy night. Nobody was standing there from beginning to end except the two individuals, one dead. One`s on trial for murder, and everybody else who saw it is seeing bits and pieces. Then you add a language barrier.

Can we say unequivocally what happened that night? And is all that murky confusion something that could create reasonable doubt? We`ll debate it in the Lions` Den on the other side. Stay right there for more testimony.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WEST: I thought, in fact, that you said that it could have been, for all you know, Trayvon Martin smashing George Zimmerman in the face is what you actually heard.

JEANTEL: What?

WEST: Yes, just earlier today.

JEANTEL: By who?

WEST: By you.

JEANTEL: You ain`t getting that from me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WEST: Are you claiming in any way that you don`t understand English?

JEANTEL: I understand you. I do understand English.

WEST: My question is when someone speaks to you in English, do you believe that you have any difficulty understanding it because it wasn`t your first language?

JEANTEL: I understand English really well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go straight out to the Lions` Den. You heard the comments. The defense attorney asking this witness, "Well, are you claiming in any way you don`t understand English?"

Straight out to Sheryl Lee Ralph. Is the defense trying to humiliate this star witness for the prosecution?

SHERYL LEE RALPH, ACTRESS: Jane, I`ve got to tell you. I felt so bad, because it seemed to me that he was absolutely trying to humiliate her or at the very least make her seem stupid. As to say just because you speak another language you don`t understand English. He spent an awful lot of time trying to make her seem dumb or stupid and on top of it a liar, too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A quick response from Frank Taaffe, former neighbor of George Zimmerman.

TAAFFE: Not at all. I thought Mr. West was very methodical, and he was very courteous to her. She was very combative, and she was extremely belligerent at times. She was toned down today.

But you`ve got to realize a man is on trial for his life. His lawyer is doing his job.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to go to Rachel Samara, deputy editor, GlobalGrind.com. You`ve been editorializing about this very issue. Is there a culture clash in the courtroom, Rachel?

RACHEL SAMARA, GLOBALGRIND.COM: A hundred percent it`s a culture class. A hundred percent.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean, how so? What`s the point of -- what was the point that you were trying to make?

SAMARA: Well, I wrote a blog today about the cultural differences, because I want to bring to the forefront the issue that white people and black people live in a different America. And white people are totally naive to this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, I don`t think we can stereotype. As somebody myself, I`m Puerto Rican on my mother`s side. I`m Irish on my father`s side. I`m many things, and the one thing that I hate more than anything else is people stereotyping other people based on what they were born as.

And I don`t think one can generalize today, in today`s society, where we have an African-American president of the United States that everything is black and white. I -- honestly, I know you had a good point to make in the editorial, but when people say things like that -- and I`ll throw it back to Natalie Jackson -- it irritates me, frankly.

JACKSON: I will tell you, and it irritates me that people are bringing this into the courtroom.

Here`s the thing that we need to consider, is that Rachel Jeantel`s testimony today with Don West, Don West took the fact that she may not have been as clear as a communicator that she was not intelligent.

She said -- Don West asked her if -- did she -- did Trayvon Martin sucker punch George Zimmerman? She said, "No, are you crazy? I was on the phone with him." I think that was, like, the most -- the best testimony she gave today. Because it put in that jury`s mind, why would -- why would Trayvon Martin attack him when she`s on the phone with him?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`ve got to go back into court. Selma Mora, who just did an extraordinary demonstration of where she was in her townhouse when she heard noises and ran outside and what she saw. And we`re going to go back into court. This is the witness speaking through an interpreter. And she is saying essentially that she saw one man on top of another man. The person on top said, "Call the cops."

O`MARA: You saw the people in the area that you talked about already, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s correct.

O`MARA: And I think you said at that point when it was still dark.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that`s correct.

O`MARA: And I think you testified that you could not see very well, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What little light there was from the different houses did not allow you to see clearly, but you could still see the silhouettes, the shapes.

O`MARA: And the silhouettes you saw, I think you testified to, was that there was a person crouching down over another person?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.

O`MARA: And did that person -- you`re looking from the down perspective. You`re seeing his back. Is that correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

O`MARA: So you see that person like this, correct? Not on his knees, but standing like this, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I have always said it seems to me more that what I saw was the person with the knees on the ground.

O`MARA: The person on top with the knees on the ground?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH).

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

O`MARA: And you said that they had their hands on the person who was underneath?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He must have had it -- he must have had it in some part -- on some part of the other person because of what the person was doing.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In order to maintain balance.

O`MARA: OK. The way he was leaning over?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.

O`MARA: But you also said you thought he did something with his pocket?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And she also said the person on top asked her to call the police. That would have to be George Zimmerman, because he is the survivor. The other person on the ground would be dead. Is she helping the prosecution by saying George Zimmerman was on top? We`ll debate it on the other side and more testimony. Stay right there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WEST: Did someone talk with you last night about your demeanor in court yesterday?

JEANTEL: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

WEST: I can`t hear you. Can you speak up just enough?

JEANTEL: I said F-D-L-E.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WEST: He didn`t want you to know about it.

JEANTEL: That`s hard to do that to someone when you don`t know the person.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Our panel standing by in the Lions` Den, waiting to debate the impact of Rachel Jeantel`s testimony and the fierce cross-examination.

But first, we`ve got another extraordinary cross-examination going on right now in court. Selma Mora, who had a townhouse in the complex, ran out, looked to the right, and saw a man who was, by default, George Zimmerman on top of another man. Because she said at the end of the confrontation the man on top said, "Call the police." He was the only one alive to call the police. Let`s go back inside and hear exactly what Selma Mora is saying through an interpreter.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Absolutely not.

O`MARA: Then the person who was on top. Could you see if they were moving, the person on the bottom was moving their hands or their arms at all?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you repeat the question?

O`MARA: Sure. The person on top, could you see if that person on top was moving the hands or the arms of the person on bottom?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

O`MARA: And the person on top did not respond to the first three times that you called to him, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.

O`MARA: And then the third time he said, "Just call the police"?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.

O`MARA: And he then got up, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.

O`MARA: And you said he was walking around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He walked into the -- he walked in the direction of the trash can, and then he returned to the body.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I would assume that he did it about two or three times before this person with the flashlight showed up.

O`MARA: And he was putting his hand on his head?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.

O`MARA: How did he look to you? What did it look like he was doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it`s not a matter of me giving an opinion.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he had one hand on his head.

MORA: (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would assume, like in a position, like a person who`s concerned.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that witness, Selma Mora, being cross-examined by George Zimmerman`s defense attorney, Mark O`Mara, describing what she saw the person on top, would seem to have to be George Zimmerman because at the end of the confrontation he`s the only one of the two who`s alive. What was he doing?

Now George Zimmerman says on the tape that he moves Trayvon Martin`s hands out. You saw Mark O`Mara ask her, "Did you see the person on top moving the hands?" She said no. Not good. Especially, it was elicited on cross-examination. Not good for the defense there.

We`re going to take a short break. Back with more compelling testimony and our expert panel debating every nuance. Explosive testimony.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via phone): The person is dead laying on the ground! Oh my God!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Help!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was screaming, "Help me, help me," and this person shot him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Martin was lying face down with his head oriented generally towards the north and his hands underneath his body.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A young boy. I`ve never seen anyone killed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON WEST, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: What culture is that? Where people describe other people as creepy (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?

RACHEL JEANTEL, WITNESS: Pervert.

WEST: Do you understand what I mean by the culture? The culture that you were raised in?

JEANTEL: The area I was raised in, you`re trying to say?

WEST: Right. I`ll say it this way. Do people that you live around and with call white people creepy (EXPLETIVE DELETED) crackers?

JEANTEL: Not creepy, but cracker, yes.

WEST: Do they use the "n" word regularly?

JEANTEL: Yes, sir.

WEST: And you`re saying so did Trayvon Martin? Trayvon Martin referred to white people as crackers, correct?

JEANTEL: I don`t recall, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: We`ve already seen these heart- wrenching photos of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin shot dead that night. Straight out to the "Lion`s Den" -- do the reported words of the victim hurt the prosecution of George Zimmerman?

This young lady reporting that her friend, Trayvon Martin, who is not here to speak for himself, said "crazy bleep cracker" in reference to George Zimmerman and used the "n" word. I mean should the victim be on trial here?

Sheryl Lee Ralph?

SHERYL LEE RALPH, TV PERSONALITY: Absolutely not. And that is what I keep saying. It is so hard for the dead man because now people are putting words in somebody else`s voice -- in somebody else`s mouth trying to make like it came out of his mouth. And it is very distressing when you see what they did. They tried to make her speak for him. It`s like oh my God, there is the truth.

PHILIP SNYDER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Her whole testimony was her speaking for him.

RALPH: Mine, yours and somebody else`s.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Hold on. Philip Snyder?

SNYDER: Her whole testimony was her speaking on him. For her to say the words creepy expletive cracker did not resonate well with the jury. They looked at her and they thought that`s the type of words coming out of his mouth? I thought it was a mistake. And I know that the state and the defense was very surprised when she made that comment.

RALPH: I didn`t even know that word is still around.

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: No way. No way. That was so insulting how he just attacked this young lady, and made fun of her.

RALPH: Thank you.

ROSE: He was completely making fun of her. It was disgusting.

RALPH: That`s right.

ROSE: I have never seen anything like that. I don`t care what she and her society calls these white or black or who cares what people, it doesn`t matter. He`s making fun of her just like he did that inappropriate knock-knock joke and made fun of the jury itself as if outside of this whole case. It was ridiculous.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank Taaffe, friend and supporter of George Zimmerman?

FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Didi, Diamond Eugene, Jeantel, whatever she goes by -- there was a melange of inconsistencies --

RALPH: Her name. Her name. Call her by her name.

TAAFFE: Ok, Jeantel.

RALPH: Do not make fun of her.

TAAFFE: Well, she goes by different names. No, I`m not making fun of her.

RALPH: And don`t raise your voice, Frank. Everybody --

TAAFFE: Please -- I`m not raising my voice.

(CROSSTALK)

ROSE: So what if she is not smart? So what if she is not smart. She`s well intentioned.

TAAFFE: Please let me speak. Please let me speak.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. All right wait. Ok. Let Frank speak and then - -

TAAFFE: Those are rules.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- we`re going to get your response.

TAAFFE: Jane, tell them the rules. Please them the rules, please.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just said it. Speak and we`re going to get a response. Go ahead.

TAAFFE: Thank you. There was a melange of inconsistencies. She goes by the name -- she testified that she goes by Didi, Diamond Eugene, Jeantel.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, we don`t really care what her name. Let`s just get to the issues at hand. The issue at hand here is --

TAAFFE: She coated the jury -- she coated that jury with a paint brush, with a five-gallon can of inconsistencies. It was so discombobulated that even Bernie de la Rionda --

RALPH: She was so consistent.

TAAFFE: -- was grinding in his chair.

RALPH: I don`t know what you were listening to, Frank, but she, like the other two women of the day, were very consistent.

TAAFFE: I was listening to the same thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s bring in Natalie Jackson, the attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family.

(CROSSTALK)

TAAFFE: -- conforming her story for who she was talking to.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Natalie?

NATALIE JACKSON, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN`S FAMILY: That`s the key. There were inconsistencies in the story. Frank is right on that. I will give you that, Frank.

TAAFFE: Thank you. Thank you, Natalie.

JACKSON: However, the inconsistencies were the irrelevant things. All the things --

TAAFFE: Let me tell you something.

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: Let me finish. They were consistent. All the testimony --

TAAFFE: I admire that young girl for getting up there. I`m with you Natalie.

JACKSON: The prima facie case were consistent so that goes into it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.

JACKSON: And then this jury will not only listen to her testimony, they`ll listen to her testimony in context with the other four witnesses.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fabulous "Lion`s Den" panelists, we have to go back into court. Let`s go back into court.

Selma Mora who has a townhouse or had at the time, saw parts of the confrontation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK O`MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Just a moment if I might, your honor. Did he -- was he acting as though he was confused?

SELMA MORA, WITNESS (through translator): Not to my understanding.

O`MARA: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you remember in a deposition we asked a question about your impression that he might be confused about what just happened.

MORA: It`s possible that was so, yes.

O`MARA: And do you remember your answer?

MORA: Well, I had mentioned that for me, I would think he was acting like concerned.

O`MARA: Sort of like he couldn`t believe what just happened? Then I`ll approach with her answer to the deposition if I might.

(CROSSTALK)

DEBRA NELSON, PRESIDING JUDGE: If she needs it to refresh her memory.

O`MARA: Sure. I want to do. If I might approach the witness. Let me do this and show you -- this is the deposition that we took of you.

Focus your attention on page 25.

Starting with a -- line six. Let`s start there.

If you would. Have you had a chance to review that?

MORA: Yes.

O`MARA: In that statement did you see him go back towards the body. Yes.

JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: Still cause for speculation.

O`MARA: Well, it may be speculation, your honor. She testified to it in her deposition. I`m refreshing her recollection. I want to now question her about that.

NELSON: The proper way to refresh somebody`s recollection is to say, "Have you now read it, does that refresh your recollection?" And see if it gives her ability to give an answer.

O`MARA: Ok. I`ll question her that way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. And she is being cross-examined about what she saw. She says she saw the man who was George Zimmerman because he was alive and other man was dead underneath him, look, hold his head and look concerned, but there`s some question about the nuance of what she saw.

Stay right there. We have more extraordinary testimony and our debate panel standing by in the "Lion`s Den" to debate it all.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEANTEL: Now the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is following me. And then I just told him to run. And he said "No".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You told him to run?

JEANTEL: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what if, if anything, did Mr. Martin say?

JEANTEL: He said no, he`s almost right by his daddy fiancee`s house.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEANTEL: I had told you. You listening? I had told you what happened in the interview had rush on it. Are you listening?

Yes, sir.

Yes, sir.

Yes, sir.

Yes, sir.

Yes, sir.

Yes, sir.

Yes, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s Rachel Jeantel, the prosecution`s star witness who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin when the prosecution got under way. Many consider that she had a hostile attitude. But today she was much more reined in.

Now let`s go back into the court and Selma Mora, a woman who had a townhouse in the complex where this confrontation occurred describing what she saw.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NELSON: By reading that, does that refresh your recollection?

O`MARA: I thought I did that. That`s what I`ll do.

Did that refresh your recollection in what you said in your deposition?

MORA: Yes.

O`MARA: Now let me ask you again. How would you describe his behavior?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection -- they`re forming speculation.

NELSON: It`s her description. Overruled.

O`MARA: Yes. How would you describe how he acted?

MORA: Well, if I remember correctly and I had just mentioned it a little while ago, too, he was acting like in a concerned manner. I mean -- well, really in a way like what just happened, like confused.

And in my own words, I could probably use a lot of other words to describe from my point of view what it appeared like.

O`MARA: Is it accurate to say that he looked confused to you?

MORA: It could be.

O`MARA: And he walked away from the body? And he walked towards the dog?

And you said he had his hand here at one point, also here, correct?

MORA: From the silhouette and the shadows -- he definitely had one hand touching the head and the other one was around the waist.

O`MARA: Was it like this -- somewhere here or here?

And hand over here and walking?

MORA: He walked in that direction, came back, and then he walked in that direction again, came back again, and then he walked in that direction and the man with the flashlight turned up.

O`MARA: Walked up, walked back, walked up, walked back, walked up and the man with the flashlight came?

MORA: Correct.

O`MARA: Was that part of what led you to believe --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WEST: So the last thing you heard was some kind of noise, like something hitting somebody.

JEANTEL: That Trayvon got hit. Trayvon got hit.

WEST: You don`t know that, do you?

JEANTEL: No, sir.

WEST: You don`t know that Trayvon got hit.

JEANTEL: He could --

WEST: You don`t know that Trayvon couldn`t at that moment take his fist and drive it into George Zimmerman`s face. Do you?

JEANTEL: No, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go into the "Lion`s Den". Quick round-robin with my expert panel. That was the prosecution`s star witness. Was she good or bad for the prosecution? Starting with Jordan Rose.

ROSE: Jane, I think she became endearing. The fact that she had no desire to be there was very evident.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re doing good or bad? So you`re saying good?

ROSE: Good.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go to Sheryl Lee Ralph. Good or bad?

RALPH: Absolutely. She was good. She was the person who had that mass memory, and somehow she was able to share it with the audience. That`s what I think.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, all right. We`ve got to keep moving. Sorry, my dear. Philip Snyder, good or bad?

SNYDER: She should have been a shining star instead of a cloud of doubt.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Natalie Jackson, good or bad for the prosecution?

JACKSON: She was good. She told the story as she knew it, and she told it in her own words.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Rachel Zamora (ph), good or bad?

RACHEL ZAMORA: I thought she was good. She made Zimmerman look like the aggressor, which is all she needed to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you, Rachel. Frank Taaffe, good or bad?

TAAFFE: Bad for the prosecution because of her inconsistencies and her skewed time lines.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Ok. We have to go back --

JACKSON: -- her timeline.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok.

We`re going to go right back into court to a neighbor who saw and heard.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`MARA: I think you were asked if you had known George Zimmerman before that night. Had you?

MORA: Never.

O`MARA: Did you ever, when the man with the flashlight was there, did that flashlight allow you to get a better look at who you now know to be George Zimmerman?

MORA: No.

O`MARA: Never saw him again that night or --

MORA: You mean the person with the flashlight or Zimmerman?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORA: Yes.

O`MARA: Thank you, Judge. That`s all I have.

NELSON: Ok, thank you. May Miss Mora be excused?

O`MARA: She may.

NELSON: Ok, thank you very much. You are excused.

Ok. Ladies and gentlemen, we`re going to recess.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. There you see, that witness, Selma Mora, leaving the stand. She is a neighbor. What she saw and heard, a little bit murky, like a lot of the other witnesses. And that`s part of the problem with this case. It was a dark, rainy night.

It all happened very quickly. People heard things, people saw things. But nobody saw and heard the entire thing beginning to end, except one man who is dead and another`s on trial for murder.

Nancy Grace is next.

END