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Zimmerman Trial on Lunch Break; Jimmy Carter Says Forgive Paula Deen; New Hope for Ship Lost at Sea; Armstrong Comments; Heat Wave Broils Western U.S.

Aired June 28, 2013 - 12:30   ET



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: They're in the lunch break now, but George Zimmerman's trial is expected to resume about half an hour or so from now.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: We've been hearing a very different account today from what we've been hearing from previous witnesses. This is about the night that Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin.

Now the latest testimony came from a neighbor who witnessed the fatal fight, and he indicates that it was Trayvon Martin on top of Zimmerman moments before Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin.


BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: All right. If you could, could you tell at that time in terms of describing who was on top and who was on bottom?

JOHN GOOD, NEIGHBOR: I could only see colors of clothing.

DE LA RIONDA: OK. The color on the top, what could you see?

GOOD: It was dark.


How about the color of clothing at the bottom?

GOOD: I believe it was light a white or red color.


HOLMES: All right. Let's bring in legal analysts Sunny Hostin and Jean Casarez. They're outside the court in Sanford, Florida. Our legal analyst Mark Nejame is with us from Orlando.

Now, guys, we all know that Trayvon Martin was wearing the black hoodie the night he was killed, and George Zimmerman was wearing that red and black jacket.

Now the witness also making clear the light-skinned person, as he put it, was on the bottom during the fight. Now, Sunny, let's start with you. What is this saying about the status of the defense and prosecution?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: All right, I mean, this is a significant win for the defense, but we always knew that this witness was coming. This witness statement was released in discovery, and I think that's why the prosecution called this witness even though it really was a defense witness.

We also just learned that the defense had subpoenaed this witness, and has asked him to stay around.

I think the prosecution called him because they didn't want to give the jury impression that they were trying to hide this version of events. Remember, he's the only witness that places Trayvon Martin on top of Zimmerman. Every other neighbor that has testified, all the other neighbors say it was Zimmerman that was on top of Trayvon Martin.

So this testimony really corroborates what George Zimmerman is saying, which is that he was pummeled, basically, MMA-style by Trayvon Martin and that's why he feared for his life, and that's why he felt he needed to protect himself by shooting Trayvon Martin.

So, again, this testimony came in through the prosecution, but just a terrific, terrific witness for the defense because it corroborated what George Zimmerman has been saying.

MALVEAUX: And, Mark, tell us how unusual this is for the state to actually call that kind of witness to the stand.

MARK NEJAME, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It was a smart move by the state. They knew, as Sunny just said, that he was going to be called. He was going to be a defense witness.

So what they didn't want to do is lose credibility in front of the jury. They have been running a perfectly clean timeline on this and to have left out a critical witness would have made the jurors appropriately suspicious.

So I think what they is they tried to take the wind somewhat out of the defense's sails by calling this witness up first, knowing that it was going to be incredibly damaging, which he was, to the state's case.

They also, through a backdoor way, were able to establish a little bit in light of Mr. (Inaudible) testimony the other day, they were able to show that he wasn't asked all the questions and he didn't answer or provide all the information without being asked certain questions.

So it's backdoor way for them to at least try to rehabilitate her from the other day, from yesterday, so it was a very smart move.

With all that said, I think that the defense really, really -- it was a crushing blow for the state in this case as it relates to this witness. HOLMES: Right.

Now, Jean and Sunny, you were both in the courtroom, and we touched on this yesterday, trying to read the jurors, if you like.

What did you see on this occasion? Did you see the jurors, I don't know, connect to this witness compared to yesterday, Rachel Jeantel?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Jurors were so focused in the courtroom, and I did see some note-taking, but this witness tried to crack some dry jokes.

They weren't laughing because they were so focused on his testimony, and I think the critical nature of his testimony is that the defense must prove that George Zimmerman reasonably believed he was going to die or have serious bodily injury and that is what this witness described.

But I do think the prosecution's theory came out through this witness like we haven't heard it before, that the noise was heard in a distance. Well, that means there could be a confrontation where George Zimmerman was the aggressor that then moved to this area, that Trayvon Martin could have simply been holding down George Zimmerman because he was in fear of his life.

And the prosecution tried to float that maybe there was a gun pointed, but, of course, this witness said I didn't see anything like that. But I think that could be the prosecution's theory with this witness.

MALVEAUX: Sunny, I want to talk about Rachel Jeantel from yesterday because social media is blowing up over this witness who was on the stand.

She was the last person to speak to Trayvon Martin on the phone before he was killed. And people are trying to dissect both sides of this, whether or not she helped or hurt the case here and whether or not there were so many other things that went into it, you know, her socioeconomic status, her race, the way she looks.

Everybody is talking about, even her demeanor and how she spoke. What do you make of now that she's become such a phenomenon?

HOSTIN: Yeah, it's pretty incredible, you know, as a commentary on where we are in our society I don't know, but I will say this.

I have prosecuted cases in D.C. and I put many different people on the witness stand from all different races, from all different socioeconomic backgrounds, and I think what juries really want to see is someone who is being authentic, someone who is credible in that authenticity.

And that's what I saw when I was in the courtroom. She was who she is. She spoke with conviction about her version of events about what she recalls.

And I think ultimately, even if the jury sees that she was kind of rude and agitated the first day, much different the second day, if they believe that she was being authentic, they'll believe that she's credible.

HOLMES: Mark, how did you think the defense did in that exchange?

NEJAME: With Miss Jeantel?


NEJAME: I think Miss Jeantel did not come across well at all. I think that she was much better on the second day, but compared to her first day really anything could be better.

The reality of it is, is that she's a 19-and-a-half-year-old woman. She is young, but she's a woman. Eighteen-years-old in the eyes of the law is an adult, so she's held to the same standards as everybody is. This is about telling the truth.

And regardless of socioeconomic status, regardless of her background, she should always be telling the truth, and we know of several instances, and she's acknowledged it on the stand, where she simply did not tell the truth and she lied.

HOLMES: But from the defense, Mark, did the defense attorney handle it well?

NEJAME: No, I think that on the second day they went way too far. I think they had what that he need on the first day and I think they gave her an opportunity to rehabilitate herself and make her seem more sympathetic.

I think that you can always ask that one question too much and I think they went way too far the second day. They should have hit their points and moved on. They didn't do that, and they give her chance to rehabilitate herself.

MALVEAUX: Jean in 30 minutes or so we're going to be back in the courtroom, live coverage. What do we expect to see?

CASAREZ: We haven't been officially been told who the next witness is going to be, but let me tell you what is left. The lead investigator is left. We also have officers that were at the scene, the officer, Tim Smith, that was initially there that George Zimmerman allegedly said, I just shot him. I was crying out for help, but no one came to help me.

And then we've got all of George Zimmerman's statements, including that video recreation, and we expect to have inconsistencies in those.

MALVEAUX: All right, thank you to all three.

Of course, 30 minutes away, we're going to be watching and tuning in very closely.

HOLMES: She's back at it.

All right there, yes, thanks, everyone.

Now don't miss Anderson Cooper tonight, "Anderson Cooper 360." He's got a special on, 10:00 Eastern. It's called "Self-Defense or Murder, the George Zimmerman Trial."

You'll see that, of course, only on CNN.

MALVEAUX: And coming up, my exclusive interview with former president, Jimmy Carter. Hear his thoughts on same-sex marriage, Edward Snowden and Paula Deen.


MALVEAUX: I was at the Carter Center earlier this morning for an exclusive interview with Jimmy Carter. He's holding a human rights forum, which is his passion.

One of the things that was surprising in our interview is the news he made on Paula Deen. The two of them grew up in rural towns about 40 miles apart here in Georgia. Turns out they are good friends.

Deen reached out to him for his advice around her using the "N"-word. Here is what he told me.


JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT: I've known Paula Deen quite well. I advised her to let the dust settle and make apologies.

She has some very beneficial human programs in Savannah, Georgia where she lives that benefit almost exclusively oppressed and poverty- stricken people.

I advised her to get some of those people who she is helping every day to speak out and show she's changed her relationship with African- American people, minorities in the last number of years.

My heart goes out to her, but there's no condoning the use of a word that abuses other people.


MALVEAUX: Surprising news from President Carter. He said he did not believe the Supreme Court went far enough in legalizing same-sex marriage. He believes it should be legal nationwide.


CARTER: I believe over the next coming years the legal cases to be brought is going to show that not only within 12 states, but any other states as well that men and women should have equal rights to marry each other as to marrying just men and women.

So this is something that's coming.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MALVEAUX: And it's really been an evolution on his part, personally as well as publicly.

We also had a chance to talk about fugitive Edward Snowden who gave up those secrets about the U.S. surveillance program.

Well, he's believed to still be in that transit lounge in Moscow's airport, and President Carter defended him.

Here is what he said after I asked him if Snowden was a traitor.


CARTER: I think he's obviously violated the laws of America for which he is responsible. But I think that the invasion of human rights and American privacy has gone too far. And I think that the secrecy that has been surrounding this invasion of privacy has been excessive.

So I think that bringing of it to the public notice has probably been in the long term beneficial.


MALVEAUX: And this is his passion, really. Finally, he is taking on institutionalized religions that he says continue to oppress women around the world.

He is teaming up with human rights activists at the Carter Center, including Muslim feminist Zainah Anwar, to challenge corrupt leaders and those who use Islam to cast women aside.


ZAINAH ANWAR, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Feminism is the radical idea that women are people. You know, what is so difficult about accepting women as human beings of equal worth and dignity?

CARTER: A hundred million slaves in the world, about 80 percent of them are women and about 80 percent of those are sold for sexual purposes. And Atlanta is kind of a trafficking central point for this abuse.


MALVEAUX: And always outspoken, President Carter also urging President Obama to do more to address sexual abuse in the military.

We also talk about this. He expressed his admiration for Nelson Mandela, who he met right after his release from prison. He told me that Mandela's legacy is going to be like those of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Gandhi, one of the most inspirational leaders of all time.

A really fascinating interview. I got a chance to ask a whole host of questions. And there -- he's there this weekend for the human rights convention. But very open to talking about all kinds of things.

HOLMES: He's always a fascinating interview. He really is.

Thanks, Suzanne.


HOLMES: All right. We're not done here yet, of course. Lance Armstrong says it is impossible to win the Tour de France without doping. The cycling world reacts to that little comment, comment up next. And it's fair to say they (INAUDIBLE) with him.


HOLMES: Welcome back.

New hope perhaps for a ship lost at sea about a month ago. An American family, they went missing after they got caught up in a storm. They were sailing from the northern tip of New Zealand to the east coast of Australia.

MALVEAUX: Actually, the captain's mother thinks that the might have called from the ship. Our Miguel Marquez has the story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell me what vessel you're sailing on?


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's David Dyche, a highly experienced sailor from a 1992 Atlantic crossing. He's sailed the high seas on the 85-year-old schooner, the Nina, for decades. Now him, his wife, their teenage son and four others are missing. Maybe lost at sea.

CHERIE MARTINEZ, DAVID DYCHE'S SISTER: It's like a roller coaster, actually. You know, you get good news and then you get bad news.

M. MARQUEZ: Dyche's sister says the Nina left New Zealand for Australia on June 3rd for a 12 day, 1,200 mile journey across the Tasman Sea. Later that day, a member of the schooner's crew named Evi Nemeth called a meteorologist by satellite phone saying the winds were 60 miles per hour, the waves 18 feet high. Where could they go to get away from it. The meteorologist advised head south and brace for a storm. The next day he got a text message, "any update for Nina? Evi."

C. MARTINEZ: My mom, she got overseas phone call and she heard her name and then it kind of cut out. She didn't think anything of it at the time. She goes, that's David trying to call me again.

M. MARTINEZ: Cherie believes that David's experience and the seaworthiness of the Nina will keep them alive.

C. MARTINEZ: And as we always say, Nina always comes back to port. She might get disabled, but she always comes back to port.

M. MARTINEZ: Dyche's son is due to start college next month. On his FaceBook page he posted, I am not prepared for seeing him leave, but I do have an inner peace that says all is well.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, Los Angeles.


HOLMES: All right, Lance Armstrong getting into some hot water again. This time over comments about the Tour de France, which is about to get underway.

MALVEAUX: Yes, just a day before the 100 anniversary, he told a French newspaper that it is impossible to win that tour without doping. Amanda Davis joins us from the French island of Corsica.

And tell us, this is coming from somebody who basically was stripped of seven Tour de France wins because of doping. How does he explain it?

AMANDA DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Suzanne, so much for a new chapter in Tour de France history. We thought we were done with Lance Armstrong in so many ways after his name was taken out of the record books. And certainly the organizers of the Tour de France, people involved in cycling, very much wanted that to be the case.

As you said, this is the 100th running of the sport's biggest event. People wanted to draw a line in the sand, but Lance Armstrong had other ideas. He's given an interview to a French newspaper, a very wide ranging interview, that covered all sorts of aspects, like the U.S. anti-doping agency report that was so instrumental in his downfall. They also talked about the leadership of cycling.

But, yes, there was a very big section on doping in the sport as well. And Armstrong basically said that he felt that at the time he was riding it was impossible to win the Tour de France without taking drugs. He said this. "It is impossible to win the tour without doping because the tour is an event where oxygen is too important."

At the time people took that as maybe he was saying it's impossible to win the tour full stop. But he has since clarified it saying, he meant he is talking about time when he was riding. He said he's unable to comment about the state of cycling now. But whatever he meant, what it's done is it's meant that this ferry that I'm standing on, which has been brought in to Porto Vecchio to be the media center is completely abuzz with people talking once again about Lance Armstrong and drugs and not about the race, which kicks off here on Saturday.

HOLMES: Yes. Yes. All right, Amanda, good to see you. Amanda Davis there in a beautiful place, Corsica, in France. It's interesting, too, the tour director actually came out and said that Armstrong, in his words, would never have won without doping, that's for sure.

MALVEAUX: Can you imagine how people are reacting to this, though?

HOLMES: He's (ph) like Mr. Credibility here?

MALVEAUX: I mean here they are, you know, and this is what he comes out with. HOLMES: Yes. Yes. Yes. And they're trying to make the sport look clean. And, anyway, yes, good luck on the tour. Hopefully it gets back on track.

MALVEAUX: We are watching this, the Zimmerman trial. It's on lunch break right now, but we're going to take you back inside of the courtroom. More on what happens the night Trayvon Martin was killed, at the top of the hour.


HOLMES: It didn't seem too bad outside today here in Atlanta, but there are parts of the western U.S. that are broiling, you know.

MALVEAUX: Yes, we are talking really hot. This is a heat wave expected to push temperatures to almost 130 degrees.

HOLMES: Unbelievable.

MALVEAUX: Isn't that crazy?

HOLMES: Yes. Samantha Mohr is in the CNN Weather Center over there. That's seriously hot.

SAMANTHA MOHR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is seriously hot. I will tell you what, you know, I lived in Phoenix for 11 years, so I'm very familiar with this type of weather pattern.

And, check it out, we have excessive heat warnings all in the areas you see marked here in pink and that means we are in for some records most likely. You need to see shade, stay very well hydrated and, of course, seek air conditioning when you can.

The all-time record, by the way, for Death Valley is 134 degrees and we'll be coming very close to that over the course of this weekend. We'll definitely be seeing some records broken here as high pressure sets in.

This is the pattern we see in late June, early July. We see substance from high pressure. An upper level high sitting over the southwest that causes the air and sink and it warms via the compression. So we see a lot of sunshine, some very dry heat here. I mean what happens as it sets up the monsoon pattern so eventually we'll see some moisture getting worked in here and we'll see some relief moving in. And that means we will see some much improved temperatures.

But in the meantime, we're going to be dealing with this excessive heat for a while, so do take great care. It is a killer heat wave.

Michael and Suzanne.


MALVEAUX: Dangerous.

HOLMES: Isn't it. MALVEAUX: Yes.

And you were saying that highest you've ever experienced, a hundred -

HOLMES: One hundred and twenty-four in Iraq. And in the back of an armored vehicle one day, 128. Yes, that was hot. That was unnecessarily warm.

MALVEAUX: Unbelievable. Yes. So you need a lot of water in there.

HOLMES: Summer in Iraq, I don't recommend it.

MALVEAUX: All right.

HOLMES: All right, got to go. Thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD.

MALVEAUX: Appreciate it.

CNN NEWSROOM continues right after this.

HOLMES: Have a good weekend.

MALVEAUX: You too.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: The screams on the 911 tapes. The gripping testimony. A courtroom drama people can't seem to turn away from. The George Zimmerman trial is in recess right now, but we'll bring it to you live once they return from lunch. They are now getting back to business inside that courtroom.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting.