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First Responder Testifies in Zimmerman Trial

Aired June 28, 2013 - 14:30   ET

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


MARK O'MARA, ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE LAWYER: Of what sort? What happens when the nose bleeds? How does it start (ph) bleeding?

STACEY LIVINGSTON, FIREFIGHTER/EMT: Specifically?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, as best you can, if you can, describe how a shot to the nose would cause bleeding like that. What has to happen to it?

LIVINGSTON: I mean blood vessels

LIVINGSTON: I mean, blood vessels would initiate bleeding.

O'MARA: OK. And the blood vessels that exist up in the nose, correct?

LIVINGSTON: Yes.

O'MARA: Any idea what happens to the blood that break or that escapes from blood vessels when you're laying on your back? What if you had that injury and you were laying on your back, where would the blood go?

LIVINGSTON: You would probably swallow it.

O'MARA: It would go back up into your sinuses?

LIVINGSTON: Correct.

O'MARA: Then back down the back of your throat.

LIVINGSTON: Correct.

O'MARA: And then if you could you'd be swallowing your own blood, right?

LIVINGSTON: Right.

O'MARA: The lights if you would, thank you very much. The injuries that we talked about in the back of the head, similar they -- you saw them that night the same way, correct?

LIVINGSTON: Yes.

O'MARA: And then you cleaned them off? LIVINGSTON: I did.

O'MARA: And you could see lacerations that you identified as being about an inch long each. Correct?

LIVINGSTON: Approximately.

O'MARA: Right. Not actively bleeding when you saw them?

LIVINGSTON: No.

O'MARA: What is -- do you have a concern with head injuries? When you see a head injury similar to this, what concerns come to you?

LIVINGSTON: Concerns meaning --

O'MARA: Well, what medical issues -- if you were to see as you did those two one-inch lacerations in the back of his head, did you have any concerns for any medical condition that may be happening to Mr. Zimmerman because of those injuries?

LIVINGSTON: Yes. We had -- in questioning him. We asked did he lose consciousness. I think he's the one that said he had felt dizzy. We just continued to question him about that.

O'MARA: Sure. You would be concerned as a first responder to possible concussive injuries from an injury like that?

LIVINGSTON: Correct.

O'MARA: Where you can get a concussion when your head is hit that way?

LIVINGSTON: Correct.

O'MARA: And even brain injury, is that a possibility from an injury like that?

LIVINGSTON: Possibly.

O'MARA: And something that you need to be aware of?

LIVINGSTON: Yes.

O'MARA: And you were only aware of that and concerned about it as you were treating him, correct?

LIVINGSTON: Yes.

O'MARA: Reasonable in your opinion for somebody who's incurred those types of injuries to be concerned about their own continued safety?

LIVINGSTON: I'm sorry, repeat the question.

O'MARA: Do you think a person who sustained those types of injuries in the back of the head should be concerned about their medical safety?

LIVINGSTON: Possibly.

O'MARA: And how about the nose -- would that cause you concern about a person's medical safety if that injury was caused to them?

LIVINGSTON: Possibly.

O'MARA: What is the normal procedure for head injuries and getting them x-rayed?

LIVINGSTON: Well, we -- they would have to be transported to a medical facility to receive an x-ray.

O'MARA: Sure. You can't get x-rays just in the back of your ambulance, right?

LIVINGSTON: Right.

O'MARA: So you'd have to take them to the hospital.

LIVINGSTON: If they choose to go.

O'MARA: Who helps make that decision?

LIVINGSTON: If the patient is fully awake and alert, it's -- they can make the decision.

O'MARA: So that final decision, is that actually left up to the nonmedical personnel?

LIVINGSTON: It was discussed, and we explained that we would be happy to transport him, and I'm not exactly how the determination of made. But I knew that it was determined that if he was going receive medical care, the police was going take him.

O'MARA: So it became the police responsibility at that point, correct?

LIVINGSTON: Correct.

O'MARA: Had it not been for the police involvement, would you have suggested to the person who had that injury and the injuries in the back of his head to go get some x-rays?

LIVINGSTON: We would have said the same thing that -- that we would be happy to transport him, but it would have been up to them.

O'MARA: If I might just have a moment, your honor.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: And Stacey Livingston, still on the stand, member of the Sanford Fire Department. Again, talking and we have guests in the studio depending on when this continues. You know, one point that was made, the picture specifically of George Zimmerman is really, since you've been hearing a lot of different conflicting testimony. This is really the one objective piece of evidence here as you see the nose and you saw the back of his head. A quick break, more on the George Zimmerman trial in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Right this moment, Stacey Livingston has finished the redirect, it took a half second. Now we are waiting for this next witness to take the stand. We're looking together, perhaps another member of the fire department because -- let's wait.

Let me just bring in both Darin and Vinnie here in the studio as we await. Really talk about so much quicker, you know, today with all these different bits and pieces of testimony versus you know to the last few days. But so far what is this all about, setting the scene?

VINNIE POLITAN, HOST, HLN'S "AFTER DARK": This is about what was George Zimmerman like that night. You know, the first responders that came there, what did he look like, what did he sound like?

BALDWIN: Was he compliant?

POLITAN: Was he compliant? Prosecution trying to establish that he wasn't that hurt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've got to minimize it because from their point of view that would go to the fact that deadly force was unnecessary. That unless he believes he's at risk of death or grievous bodily injury, that he's got no right to escalate it from a fist fight to a gunfight.

BALDWIN: That's why they're going on and on and asking questions of this particular woman.

POLITAN: Getting as much detail, as much as George Zimmerman was able to do and comply and answer questions and not complain and stand up, and not -- that's good for the prosecution. The defense is going to strike to maim him more hurt. You -- to make him more hurt. You look at the cut, the blood --

BALDWIN: Did they see it, did they not see it. Back to your point, Darin, the fact that, you know, we heard all these different bits of testimony from different men and women who were there, who witnessed different iterations of the story. Here the picture -- the picture of George Zimmerman. You're saying the most objective piece of evidence we've seen thus far.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. It's the only piece of truly objective evidence.

BALDWIN: How do you mean?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we know that eyewitnesses and ear witnesses, as much as we think they're very reliable, we know that they're not. There are problems. And I mean this across the board. Just human beings, the way that we perceive, recall, and report events, we're not like computers. We know, for example, that there have been over 1,000 exonerations in other cases because of DNA and other factors. The biggest contributing factor in false -- in false convictions is faulty eyewitness identification. And here we have all these witnesses who have perceived these events in different ways. But we know one thing's for sure -- he had the cut on the back of his head, he had that injury to his nose.

BALDWIN: Let's go back to the trial. Looks like another police officer with Sanford police. Here we go.

JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: Shots fired --

OFFICER TIMOTHY SMITH, WROTE INITIAL REPORT ON INCIDENT: Yes, I was.

GUY: And what was that address if you recall?

SMITH: I believe it was 1231 Twin Trace.

GUY: And where were you when you received the update?

SMITH: Entering the gates of the community.

GUY: Is it a gated complex?

SMITH: Yes.

GUY: How did you get through the gate?

SMITH: With the gate code.

GUY: How did you get the gate code?

SMITH: Dispatch.

GUY: All right, may I approach the witness? Would you dim the lights?

UNIDENTIFIED JUDGE: Yes, you may.

GUY: I was to bring state's exhibit 2. Let me give you a pointer to press that. Do you recognize that?

SMITH: Yes, I do.

GUY: Is that an aerial photograph that includes the retreated Twin Lakes complex?

SMITH: Yes, it is.

GUY: Can you show the members of the jury first where the complex is with your -- with the laser pointer, if you would.

SMITH: Right here.

GUY: OK, and show them your location when you first received the dispatch.

SMITH: Right here.

GUY: All right, and can you show what route you took to get to the complex?

SMITH: Sure. I would have gone northbound on Rinehart to Oregon, down Oregon to the front entrance right here.

GUY: All right, may I ask you to look at State's Exhibit One. Do you recognize that to be a -- an aerial photograph of the retreat at Twin Lakes complex itself?

SMITH: Yes, I do.

GUY: All right, can you show the members of the jury where you went first when you entered the complex?

SMITH: Through these -- through the front gates here, down through here, Twin Trace.

GUY: And I think you said you went first to 1231. Was there an update to the location after you got in the complex?

SMITH: At 1231 is what I was originally given, so I arrived there first.

GUY: Can you show approximately where 1231 is?

SMITH: Right in this area.

GUY: OK, and where did you go?

SMITH: From there, I was given an update from an address on retreat view, advising that the incident was taking place behind that location.

GUY: All right, and do you recall the address on Retreat View Circle that you were given?

SMITH: At 2821 Retreat View.

GUY: All right, so where did you go?

SMITH: Down Twin Trees toward Retreat View, and the address would have been in this area.

GUY: All right, as you were en route to the 2821 address, did you stop anywhere and observe things or use your flashlight, spotlight?

SMITH: I did.

GUY: Where was that?

SMITH: Down here in between the sets of townhomes.

GUY: OK. What did you do at that location?

SMITH: I used the spotlight on the patrol vehicle to shine it down that walkway.

GUY: All right, did you get out of your car or you were sitting inside and can maneuver it from inside the car?

SMITH: Inside the car.

GUY: What did you see when you shine your spotlight down there?

SMITH: Towards the end of the walkway, I saw at least one person standing outside.

GUY: Could you see any more than that other than a person standing outside?

SMITH: Not from where I was, no, sir.

GUY: All right, so did you continue on Retreat View Circle to the 2821 address?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

GUY: Show the members of the jury that again about where you parked and what you did when you got out of the car?

SMITH: I parked roughly in this area here.

GUY: And where did you go?

SMITH: As I exited, I went around to the left to go in between the townhomes on the walkway.

GUY: All right, what were the lighting conditions like when you got in between and behind the townhomes?

SMITH: It was dark.

GUY: Did you have a flashlight with you?

SMITH: I did.

GUY: Did you use that?

SMITH: I did.

GUY: What were the weather conditions like?

SMITH: It was raining.

GUY: When you got behind the townhomes, did you see anyone?

SMITH: I did.

GUY: How many people did you see?

BALDWIN: Got to get a quick break in. This is Officer Tim Smith. He was first officer responding on the scene. He's the one who actually slapped the handcuffs on George Zimmerman. He's setting the scene, a murky, dark, rainy night there back in February of last year. Quick break, more on the George Zimmerman trial after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Again, still on the stand is Sanford Police Officer Tim Smith being questioned by the state still. You know, questions that we've been hearing with the last couple of folks who have been on the stand. You know, from the fire department or the police department, talking specifically about George Zimmerman that night. How was he responding to police, was he, you know, being direct? Was he being compliant with some of the police commands? So that's where they are right now in this questioning. Let's go back.

GUY: -- the gun or the holster?

SMITH: The gun and the holster.

GUY: What did you do with the gun and holster, where did you put it?

SMITH: It was currently on me because I was away from my patrol vehicle.

GUY: Where did you put it in on your person?

SMITH: It was tucked between my magazine pouch and my vest.

GUY: All right. Do you recall whether or not the defendant's holster was inside his pants or on the outside of his pants when he showed it to you?

SMITH: I don't.

GUY: All right. Could you see the defendant's gun when you approached him?

SMITH: No.

GUY: Could you see the holster when you approached him?

SMITH: No.

GUY: All right. What did you do with the defendant after you placed him in handcuffs?

SMITH: He was seated in the rear of my patrol vehicle.

GUY: When you walked the defendant to your patrol car, did he appear to have any trouble walking?

SMITH: No, sir.

GUY: Did other Sanford Police Department officers respond to the scene in short order after you?

SMITH: Yes, sir. GUY: Do you recall who the first officer was who responded after you?

SMITH: I believe it was Officer Ayala.

GUY: What did Officer Ayala do when he arrived at the scene?

SMITH: He went to attend to Mr. Martin.

GUY: OK. Do you recall any other officers going over to Trayvon Martin's body at that time?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

GUY: Who is that?

SMITH: Sergeant Raimondo.

GUY: Were you wearing gloves when you first made contact with the defendant and removed his holster and firearm from his person?

SMITH: I was not.

GUY: Did you handle the firearm in any special way when you removed it?

SMITH: No, sir.

GUY: Why not?

SMITH: Why did I not handle it in a certain way?

GUY: Yes, sir.

SMITH: There was not enough time.

GUY: And did you secure or make safe the defendant's firearm at some point?

SMITH: I did.

GUY: And how did you do that?

SMITH: I removed the magazine from the firearm, and I locked the slide to the rear.

GUY: All right, when you say you removed the magazine, we're talking about semiautomatic pistol?

SMITH: Correct.

GUY: And when you pulled the slide back or locked it into position to the rear, there was a round in the chamber?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

GUY: What happened to that when you moved the slide? SMITH: It was ejected.

GUY: Did you collect it?

SMITH: I did.

GUY: Did you keep that round and all the rounds in the magazine together with the firearm?

SMITH: Yes.

GUY: And where did you put them?

SMITH: They were secure in my patrol vehicle until I could obtain a gun becomes.

GUY: What's a gun box?

SMITH: That's a cardboard box that we use to secure firearm as evidence.

GUY: Pretty much a standard box to secure any handgun?

SMITH: Correct.

GUY: And ultimately, what did you do with the ammunition, the magazine, the holster, and the firearm?

SMITH: It was all submitted to evidence.

BALDWIN: Got to get another quick break in. Officer Tim Smith still on the stand, still being questioned by the state. We will be right back. Don't move.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Once again Officer Tim Smith being questioned by John Guy, one of the co-counsel of the stateside. It looks like since the lights are dimming, they're about to show some images in the courtroom. And this appears to be somewhere within this, obviously the area where this altercation happened last February. Let's listen again.

GUY: Is that the approximate area that you parked your patrol car on -- on retreat view circle?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

GUY: In State's 132, a daylight photograph. Is that a photograph of the entrance, the front entrance of the retreat at Twin Lakes?

SMITH: Yes, it is.

GUY: In State's 133, do you recognize that to be a closer shot of the front entrance of the retreat at Twin Lakes.

SMITH: Yes.

GUY: In State's 134, is that a shot of going into the complex with the clubhouse in the right of the picture?

SMITH: Yes.

GUY: In State's 135, what is that?

SMITH: That's the front of the clubhouse.

GUY: In State's 136. Do you recognize that?

SMITH: That would be the mailbox kiosk.

GUY: In State's 137, is that a close up of the mail box kiosk by the clubhouse?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

GUY: In State's 138, is that a depiction of the rear gate of the retreat at Twin Lakes?

SMITH: Yes, it is.

GUY: Let me show you, State 79. Do you recognize that?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

GUY: Is that, to your knowledge, the photograph that Officer Wagner took of the defendant when he was seated in your patrol car?

SMITH: Yes, it is.

GUY: In State's 76, does that depict the defendant's head or close I it, fair and accurate depiction of when you came close to it?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

GUY: Do you recall what the defendant was wearing that evening?

SMITH: Red and black jacket and blue jeans.

BALDWIN: Again, this officer looking at some of the pictures of the clubhouse and this neighborhood where this happened and some of the pictures we saw that was the back of George Zimmerman's head, the bloodied head that night. So he's being questioned, what exactly did you see? Does that match the photos that we're showing in court. That's basically what they're still going through, facts and figures, getting the story straight and on the record here in this courtroom. Quick break, back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Welcome back. Top of the hour, you are watching continuous coverage of the George Zimmerman trial out of Sanford, Florida, as you know, Zimmerman on trial for second-degree murder. The last couple of folks we've seen take to the stand were member of the Sanford Police Department, fire department basically setting the scene of what happened, what they saw, the positioning, the body of Trayvon Martin, the demeanor, compliance or lack thereof of George Zimmerman that night as they slapped cuffs on him.