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Neighbors Testify about Trayvon Martin Shooting

Aired June 28, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Breaking news tonight. High drama in court, as we hear for the first time in George Zimmerman`s murder trial testimony claiming it was Trayvon Martin who was on top as they struggled.

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

The evidence photos we`re about to show you are very graphic. We have to warn you about that.

Tonight, testimony from the very first person on the scene, right after the shot rang out, the deadly shot. You`re going to hear what Zimmerman`s neighbor says about how George Zimmerman acted as he stood next to the teenager`s body, and what Zimmerman asked him to tell his wife.


















UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a sad case.

SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON`S MOTHER: I don`t want any other mother to have to experience what I`m going through now.


RACHEL JEANTEL, FRIEND OF TRAYVON: He told me he tried to get home, sir, but the man was still following him, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are no monsters here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He described him as a "creepy-ass cracker."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Neighbor Jonathan Manalo heard the gunshot, and he went out to investigate. He found a bloody, out-of-breath George Zimmerman, he says, standing next to a lifeless Trayvon Martin. Manalo then snapped, with his cell phone, chilling photos at the scene. You`re going to see them: Trayvon`s body, OK, lying face down. Take a look at that.

Zimmerman told his neighbor he`d been beaten up, and that he shot Trayvon Martin -- there he is under the body dag -- in self-defense. Take a look at that.

Then Zimmerman asked this neighbor, "Please call my wife, Shelly."


JONATHAN MANALO, NEIGHBOR: I said, "Your husband has been involved in a shooting. He`s been handcuffed and will be held for questioning at the Stanford Police Department."

At around that time, he kind of cut me off, and he says, "Just tell her I shot someone."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How would you describe the defendant`s demeanor?

MANALO: Like I was taking too long to say what I had to say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the defendant appear calm, sir?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. What do you think? 1-877- 586-7297.

You heard it. That witness says George Zimmerman was calm and even showed a little impatience as he delivered the jaw-dropping news to his wife that he just shot somebody, shot somebody dead.

Straight to the Lions` Den. Does this testimony make George Zimmerman seem like a vigilante, wannabe cop who`s so calm after shooting somebody dead, or an innocent guy who was beaten up and shot Trayvon Martin in self- defense? We`re going to debate it.

We`ve got a friend of George Zimmerman. We`ve got the attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family, and we`re going to start with her, Natalie Jackson.

NATALIE JACKSON, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON`S FAMILY: I think that you have to put this in context with all the testimony today. Today we heard from George`s physician assistant who said that he was seeing a psychologist.

So if you put that into context of what Jon Manalo said, that he was calm, he did not feel like -- he didn`t think that he was frantic or in shock. And he also said that George Zimmerman was on the phone and had the phone up to his ear when he came outside, and that George Zimmerman dropped the phone.

So I mean, I think you have -- the jury is going to take this all into consideration and wonder what`s wrong with George Zimmerman?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Frank Taaffe, a supporter of George Zimmerman and a friend.

FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: I believe the conditions were correct for George. He had just been traumatized. And there`s a key component here, when humans go through a traumatic scene. Our -- we have an adrenaline gland that produces adrenaline. And at that time, after he went through the trauma that he did, the adrenaline rush, which is our fight or flight, took over. That`s why he was calm in that situation.

I`m sure if you`ve ever been in a fight -- and he did know the imminent danger of Trayvon, being dead in the grass, the danger was over at that point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what? Here`s the thing, Rolonda: They made a big deal today, the defense did, about the fact that he didn`t flee. But if he had a wannabe cop vigilante mentality, he wouldn`t want to flee, because he would regard what he did as, "Well, I`m entitled to do that."

So the idea that they made a big deal about the fact that he said, "Here`s my gun. Take it." You know, very, very compliant. So what?

ROLONDA WATTS, TV PERSONALITY: Uh-huh. Jane, I agree with you. Because I think anybody knows that if you really felt that your life had been threatened, if you had been through a battle to save your life and shot somebody, your adrenaline would be going bonkers. You would be very much overly excited. That`s just natural human behavior. I don`t care what they say in that courtroom.

TAAFFE: I disagree.

WATTS: I know.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy -- OK, Wendy Murphy...

WATTS: I know you disagree. That`s pretty much understood. But the fact is, I don`t...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come on. Wendy.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Hey, listen, bottom line, there is no book with a chapter nor even a footnote that says, after you kill in self-defense and you`re worried about your wife finding out what happened, say this and act like this, not like that. There`s no such thing.

And every -- I think everyone can agree that how he acted is just as consistent with self-defense as it is consistent with being a vigilante. But it doesn`t matter, because the objective medical evidence...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Skolnik.

MURPHY: ... the objective medical evidence proves that he was on the ground being beaten to a cement ground.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: To that point, Michael Skolnik, does the prosecution have to explain why George Zimmerman has injuries to his nose and to the back of his head? Have they done enough to explain that?

MICHAEL SKOLNIK: No, the issue isn`t "Does George Zimmerman have injuries?" We see the injuries. We know he has injuries. No one can`t see that he has injuries.

The issue is, did he use deadly force when he didn`t have to? There is no evidence that George Zimmerman`s life was in dangers...

TAAFFE: Excuse me, Michael...

SKOLNIK: Let me finish. Let me finish, Frank.

MURPHY: That`s not the law. All he needed to face was bodily injury. Don`t misstate the law. That is not the law. You can use lethal force in self-defense if you have bodily injury.


SKOLNIK: Absolutely it`s the law. You have to feel your life is being threatened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a second, guys. OK. Everybody is talking and nobody is talking because everybody is talking over each other.

I want to go on to the next key point. We heard this week from the prosecution`s star witness. You might call this next person the defense star defense witness, even though we`re in the prosecution case.

Prosecution witness John Good seemed to be more effective for the defense. He is the very first witness to testify that he believes Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman and striking him. Listen.


JOHN GOOD, WITNESS: I could tell the person on the bottom had a lighter-skinned color.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The color of clothing on top, what could you see?

GOOD: It was dark.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about the color of clothing at the bottom?

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


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now here is Zimmerman in the red jacket that night. So what this gentleman essentially is saying, he saw the person on the bottom in a red jacket. George Zimmerman is wearing a red jacket. He also said in other ways the person on the bottom fit the description of George Zimmerman. So how bad is that for the prosecution?

Look, this is the prosecution`s case. And when you start thinking, "Wait a second, are we in the defense case or the prosecution`s case," which sort of happened to me a couple of times today, that`s not a good sign, Natalie Jackson, attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family.

JACKSON: This is -- this is not bad for the prosecution. They have admitted that there was a struggle. So I mean, it would be just as Michael says: there was a struggle going on. This witness could not tell you how this struggle started or who was the aggressor, who confronted who.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean, look, I`ll throw it to Wendy Murphy. You`re a former prosecutor. You know fights don`t just happen like this. As I saw my friend Ashleigh Banfield say, they go like this. So maybe at the time he saw it, Trayvon Martin was on top, but maybe previous to that, it had been some other way or after that.

MURPHY: The jury is only going to do one thing to figure out who to believe about who was on top or bottom. They`re going to look at whose clothes were wet, George Zimmerman`s, on the back. That`s right. Who had the injuries? George Zimmerman. Who didn`t? Trayvon Martin. And they`re going to match that up with...


MURPHY: ... trying to tell the truth. It`s not going to fly.

Let me tell you what`s going on here. The prosecution had a terrible case to begin with, and it is going down so fast.

TAAFFE: That`s true.

MURPHY: I`m beginning to think the only reason the prosecution keeps putting on all these terrible witnesses...


MURPHY: ... is so they can say to Trayvon Martin`s family at the end, "Sorry, we did our best, but all those bad witnesses blew the case for us."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Skolnik. Michael.

SKOLNIK: Here`s the thing. Here`s the thing. I think you`re clearly wrong, Wendy.

John Good said he saw the end of the fight, but he did not see George Zimmerman`s head being pounded into the pavement. George Zimmerman, in his statement to police...

MURPHY: Doesn`t matter.

SKOLNIK: ... said that his...

TAAFFE: Michael...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. Let everybody speak. Oh, my gosh!


WATTS: Listen, isn`t this about -- isn`t this about the victim? Isn`t this about the victim here? I mean, you`re right, who knows who was on top, what move?

TAAFFE: The victim, belong felonious assaulted, George Zimmerman.

WATTS: And what about Trayvon Martin defending himself? What about him defending himself from a guy...

TAAFFE: From what?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Hold on. You use -- you raise a good point. And that is neighbor John Good used a term that`s associated with mixed martial arts...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... to describe the tussle between Zimmerman and Martin. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The person on top was ground and pounding the person on the bottom?

GOOD: That`s what it looked like, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So explain what "ground and pound" is in your mind.

GOOD: The person on top being able to punch the person on the bottom, but the person on the bottom also has a chance to get out or punch the person on the top, back and forth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which is the dominant position?

GOOD: That would be the top position.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The person who you now know to be Trayvon Martin was on top, correct?

GOOD: Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he was the one who was raining down blows on the person on the bottom, George Zimmerman, right?

GOOD: That`s what it looked like.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But here`s the odd part. And I`ll bring in Jean Casarez for this. She`s the HLN legal correspondent who has been in court for all of this testimony.

Jean Casarez, mixed martial arts, isn`t that what George Zimmerman has been studying and working at leading up to this fateful night?

JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: And guess what? That came before the jury today, because one of the last witnesses of the day was the physician`s assistant from Altamont Family Practice, and there were medical records. And the jury had to go out of the courtroom for a long time while they went through and redacted some things from the medical records.

But in August of 2011, George Zimmerman was complaining of not being able to sleep, not being able to get back to sleep. And so he had started mixed martial arts. And three days a week, three hours at a time, it sounds like, and that came before the jury.

Of course, on cross-examination, it also was referred to on the medical records as aerobics.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But the point is that it`s sort of odd that the person who studied mixed martial arts is not the person who was doing the mixed martial arts move...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... according to this witness. It`s the other person, which people thought that`s kind of odd, that doesn`t make sense, but maybe it does. Life doesn`t make sense in a lot of ways is what I`ve noticed over the years.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Earl, Indiana, your question or thought, Earl?

CALLER: Yes, my name`s Earl Koch (ph). I`m calling from Indianapolis, Indiana. And this is my theory.

Now, George Zimmerman, knowing that he`s got a gun on him, followed this young man, Trayvon Martin, and lured him into an altercation, where he knows that, by maybe picking on him, maybe he had slapped him or did something to him, caused him to defend himself, and he made sure that this young man got the best of him in order to give him a reason to shoot him. And the fact that he shot him point blank in the heart like it was preplanned what he was going to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, Earl, I think you make a very good point.

Natalie Jackson, that was the point of talking about what this witness who saw him right after testified to, that he was calm, that he was very compliant. I mean, is the theory -- you`re close to Trayvon Martin`s family and probably the prosecution, in a sense. Is the theory that George Zimmerman kind of goaded Trayvon Martin into perhaps smacking him, because obviously, if George Zimmerman has a laceration to his nose and the back of the head, something happened.

JACKSON: Right. We`re not privy to the prosecution`s theory, so we don`t know what their theory is.

I`ll tell you, my theory is that George Zimmerman wanted to play cop, and he wanted to make an illegal citizen`s arrest of Trayvon Martin. And like we see when cops do it, and do it without the proper technique, people get hurt. And that`s what happened here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Frank Taaffe, quick response.

TAAFFE: You know, in a week of a lot of inconsistencies, we finally have a witness, Jonathan Good, who I deem the best. He`s now Jonathan Best. He was the most consistent with the crime scene, George`s stories, and it all came together; all melded together today. And this witness is going to prove George to be innocent.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`ll see. This trial is just getting started. This is week one, and we`re back with your calls. More crucial testimony today, and more debate from the Lions` Den. Stay right there.


DON WEST, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: You told Mr. Crump that you had lied -- no, I`m sorry you told Mr. Crump that you`d gone to the hospital instead of the wake, which was a lie?


WEST: And you also lied and said that you were 16?

JEANTEL: I don`t remember saying that.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The person is dead. The person is dead, lying on the ground!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody is screaming, "Help me, help me," and this person killed 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: I`ve never seen anyone killed.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The details in the dark, rainy night, so murky and after listening to some conflicting and murky testimony, as well as live demonstrations from attorneys and witnesses alike.

Check out defense attorney Mark O`Mara dropping to the ground to try to illustrate what a witness is saying.



GOOD: At the beginning, no.

O`MARA: OK, how was he, and just sort of point to how he was when you first saw him.

GOOD: You`d have to go all the way to the ground.

O`MARA: Like that?

GOOD: No. It was more just flat on flat.

O`MARA: OK. So one person horizontal on top of the other?

GOOD: Correct.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And witness John Good actually took it upon himself to draw his own sketch to show exactly what he was talking about. I mean, he went and got a poster board and drew a sketch. Now, that`s how complicated this case is.

This is the area where it all happened, the gated community. But add rain, add the lights are dim, because it was in an area where the lights were nonexistent, practically. That`s why people were walking around with flashlights.

Given all that, given the murkiness of all the accounts, where -- and the fact that people saw ten seconds, eight seconds, three seconds, and there`s the phone calls to the 911 operator. Is it just too confusing? And in confusion, is there reasonable doubt?

That`s what I want to debate with my panel in the Lions` Den. And I`m going to start with -- I`m going to have to start with Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, because you`ve prosecuted cases. You`ve got to wonder if it`s just too confusing.

MURPHY: Look, I call them like I see them. I really do, and I know that often I`m the prosecution`s voice, but when it`s illegitimate, it`s illegitimate.

I believe that Trayvon Martin was offended. I believe he was profiled. I believe there are serious racial issues in that community, as there are all over the country.

But you don`t deal with tension around something as serious as racism by prosecuting a man for murder when you know the objective evidence demonstrates that he had a right to shoot in self-defense, because he had serious bodily injuries. That`s how I feel about this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? Natalie...

MURPHY: ... because I`m worried about the...


TAAFFE: I`m waiting for the Wizard of Oz to show up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me then go to Rolonda Watts. You know, here`s the problem with this.

We have people talking about all these racial divisions. What I`ve noticed and I`d like to point out is that the vast majority of people taking the witness stand who live in that area are of all backgrounds. You have somebody who`s Asian, somebody who`s Latina, somebody who is African-American, somebody who`s white -- somebody -- every -- it`s a rainbow. And everybody is getting along except this exception, this aberration.

TAAFFE: Jane -- Jane...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: go ahead, Rolonda Watts.

WATTS: I just find it so disturbing that nobody is even considering here that Trayvon Martin might have been defending himself. Where is his right to defend himself?

TAAFFE: He had no defensive wounds on his body.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let her finish.


TAAFFE: He had no defensive wounds.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank, let her finish.

WATTS: Listen, here is a child in the rain, in the dark, being followed, chased, hunted down like a dog by a man with a gun.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jane -- right.

WATTS: He was not only -- he not only premeditated, he prepared. This was his...

TAAFFE: He`s chasing him.


WATTS: ... is looking for this day, preparing for this day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Please, stop.

TAAFFE: Why didn`t he just tackle him when he had him?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let her finish. Please stop.

WATT: ... following you in the rain.

TAAFFE: Oh, yes, he was following him. He was following him. He went into pre -- defense.

Let`s go back to the beginning. We had seven burglaries in 11 months. All committed by young African-American males.

WATTS: The beginning is when he was told to stay in the van.

TAAFFE: That`s not true.

WATTS: ... about Trayvon.

TAAFFE: Stay with the facts. Stay with the facts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me stay with the facts. The beginning of this interaction is George Zimmerman calling the police and saying, "These bleeping bleeps, they always get away."

And we know that Trayvon Martin was returning with Skittles. That`s what he had. He didn`t have a gun.

SKOLNIK: Jane, if I can for a minute, if I can for a minute to frame...


SKOLNIK: Frank, hold on one second. If I can for a minute.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank, wait!

SKOLNIK: George Zimmerman -- George Zimmerman said he couldn`t see anything, it was so dark, he got sucker punched and Trayvon jumped out from the dark.

But John Good -- John Good today said he could see the color of their jackets. Why couldn`t George Zimmerman see Trayvon?


TAAFFE: Michael, listen to what John Good said. And Bernie said that the light from the globe just emitted into an area right outside of his patio. And that`s where...

SKOLNIK: And there`s lights on every patio.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. We`ve got quite a panel, don`t we? An incredible group of very argumentative people. We`re going to take a short break, and we`re going to be back right after this.

And we`re taking your calls.


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.


WEST: Yes, just earlier today.


WEST: By you.

JEANTEL: You didn`t get that from me.




ZIMMERMAN: Something`s wrong with him. Yes. He`s coming to check me out. He`s got something in his hands. I don`t know what his deal is. These (EXPLETIVE DELETED), they always get away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you following him?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we don`t need you to do that.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happened on that dark and rainy night in Stanford, Florida? All we know right now for sure: a 17-year-old boy dead, and George Zimmerman on trial for murder in the second degree.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Shannon, Nevada. And I understand you`re a dude, Shannon. Your question or thought?

CALLER: Hey, Jane, thanks for having me. I`m Shannon from Las Vegas, Nevada.

The question I have, and I don`t really understand: if Trayvon Martin is so scared that someone is following him, why didn`t he get off the phone with his girlfriend or friend and call the police himself?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s an interesting question. And I want to throw that to Michael Skolnik, because I think one of the things that is so odd about this case is that people are critiquing what this person, who was coming home from buying Skittles, should have done and why didn`t he go straight home? Why did he -- I mean, he did not initiate -- based on the 911 call we just heard -- we just played it -- where it`s George Zimmerman initially saying, hey, I see somebody suspicious. These punks, they always get away.

It turns out that Trayvon Martin was not doing anything untoward. Nobody challenges that. He had his ear buds on, and he was talking to a girl. If you`re going to do something like break into a house, you`re not on the phone talking to a girl.

SKOLNIK: Trayvon Martin was in the right place at the right time. He was doing the absolute right thing any teenager should be allowed to do: walk home with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. He was doing nothing wrong.

Not just people, Jane, Don West talked about in the courtroom -- why didn`t Trayvon Martin just go home? Why didn`t Trayvon Martin just go home? This is not South Africa apartheid. Black people in this country have the right to walk through a community and not be harassed, Frank.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Frank, it`s not...

TAAFFE: ... OK? Let me share this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank -- let Frank talk. Let Frank talk for a second.

TAAFFE: Thank you. Michael, please, we`re not saying that he did not have a right to walk home in the rain.

No. 1, the injuries and the forensics prove that George was attacked. Would you agree with that? I mean, how did he get these mysterious...


TAAFFE: You didn`t see the bloodied head and the broken nose?

SKOLNIK: He was not attacked. There was a confrontation.

TAAFFE: How did he get it?

SKOLNIK: There`s a confrontation with the two of them. I don`t know how he got those injuries. A confrontation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. Let`s see -- let`s see our panel. Let`s see our panel. OK.

TAAFFE: You`re kidding me!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? I think that the prosecution does have to address and offer an explanation for how the injuries happened. Otherwise, we leave it up to the imagination.

SKOLNIK: They already addressed it. They said..


TAAFFE: What do you think, there`s a Wizard of Oz?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank, you talked. Now it`s Michael`s turn. I feel like a teacher.

SKOLNIK: We all agree that -- Frank, we all agree that there was a confrontation and there was a fight between the two of them. Hold on, Frank. Hold on, Frank. We all agree there was a confrontation.

TAAFFE: You just said there wasn`t one.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. We`re going to take a break for a couple of minutes. We`re going to be back with more from our very feisty panel. And we`re taking your calls and playing the key moments of the day. Got plenty more where that came from.


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

JEANTEL: I understand English. I do understand English.

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

JEANTEL: I understand English really well.




GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, KILLED TRAYVON MARTIN: He got on top of me somewhere around here.

JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: And what did the person on top say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just don`t call the police.

GUY: Did you ever hear the person on the bottom say anything?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The yells turned to "help."

ZIMMERMAN: I thought my head was going to explode.

MARK O`MARA, ZIMMERMAN DEFENSE LAWYER: Could those screams come from somebody having this done to them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This guy was beating me up and I shot him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, I was done myself and I shot him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a debate erupting as the trial boils down to who was the aggressor, George Zimmerman or teen Trayvon Martin who is no longer here to explain his side of the story. The prosecution, building its case against George Zimmerman around a slew of witnesses. But it seems like everybody saw something different on that dark and rainy night.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you also hear some kind of movement outside the back of your residence?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Can you describe that to the jury, please?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It sounded like running from left to right.

JEANTEL: He said, why are you following me for? Then I heard a hard breath man say what are you doing around here? Then I heard Trayvon saying, get off, get off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The yells turned to help.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The second yell for help, it was like a yelp. It was excruciating. I really felt it was a boy`s voice.

JOHN GOOD, WITNESS: I could tell the person on the bottom had a lighter skinned color.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe it was Zimmerman comparing the size of their bodies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did the person on top say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just don`t call the police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever hear the person on the bottom say anything?




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to the lion`s den. Is this a case of too many witnesses with too many different viewpoints? Here is the thing, in most killings, in most murders and this is a murder case, you don`t have any witnesses. In this case, it seems to be the opposite of too many witnesses.

And I got to start with Wendy Murphy, because you were a prosecutor. I mean, this is the most witnesses that I`ve ever seen in a typical murder case.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, I don`t know about that. It does depend. You know, I`ve prosecuted murder trials. They are often complicated in part because the only really important witness is dead, and you have to put pieces of the puzzle together to prove your case. It`s quite doable, it happens all the time. I have to say that I don`t think this is much of a mysterious case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But how can you possibly say that, Wendy? How can you possibly say that when we have two people -- we`ve got a dark and murky night, two people who one person says one thing, a lot of the other people who came out and saw it say various other things. It`s the ultimate mystery as far as I can tell.

MURPHY: Let me tell you why I think it`s not in just for a second.


MURPHY: Because while there`s a lot to the story and the narrative around, you know, all that happened leading up to it, what we really have is only one issue in dispute, which is whether this is self-defense. That is not particularly controverted. There is really good forensic and physical evidence proving George Zimmerman`s case. That`s why it`s not complicated.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what, you`re giving me an asthma attack because the prosecution had ten-plus -- 13 lies that you heard two sides of the story. He told cops, just after he hang-up with 911 operator, that Trayvon Martin approached him and punched him and knocked to the ground, that did not happened. Phone records show Trayvon still on the phone, two minutes later, he said Trayvon had him on the ground and covered his mouth and nose. No blood or Zimmerman`s DNA on Trayvon`s hand. I mean, the list goes on and on.

FRANK TAAFFE, FORMER NEIGHBOR OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Can I address the second part? The EMT stated today under direct when George was laying on his back and Trayvon was trying to cover his mouth, his nose, that if you sustain an injury to the nose, the blood doesn`t come out, it goes back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It doesn`t matter. We have all watched CSI. You all see it. Your DNA will be a little bit -- the DNA will be on your hand.

TAAFFE: Not that night. It was washed off.

MURPHY: We know Trayvon punched him, we know he slammed his head on the ground. We know that it is true. It`s not controverted.

MICHAEL SKOLNIK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, GLOBALGRIND.COM: Yes, but we do not know if George`s life was in danger. That we do not know. A fight is a fight.

MURPHY: It doesn`t have to be in danger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot bring a gun to a fistfight.

MURPHY: That is not the law.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second.

Natalie Jackson, weigh in here. You`ve been quiet too long.

NATALIE JACKSON, TRAYVON MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: The only evidence that has been testified and is in evidence before this jury is Rachel`s testimony that George Zimmerman confronted Trayvon Martin, she heard it, and she heard George Zimmerman say get off. I know the law, Frank, you don`t.

TAAFFE: You cannot prove that.

JACKSON: It`s in evidence. What are you talking about? Her statement is in evidence.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, this debate is why we have a criminal justice system, because you can`t scream in court. The judge said to, even one of the attorneys who started yelling a little bit, lower your voice.

All right, I`m going to go to a caller. Bob from Ohio, you have been waiting very patiently, sir. Your question or thought, Bob, Ohio?

BOB, CALLER, OHIO: Yes, Jane. Hi, how are you doing? I got a quick question for you. Has anybody -- we heard the other night that he was brought up from his mom`s house for (INAUDIBLE) and burglary, did I hear that right?

JACKSON: That is not true, and that`s not in evidence. Talk about what`s in evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Well, wait a second.

BOB: Here is the story to this, first, and then understand where I`m coming from. Could this have been the same time all these burglaries started when Trayvon come up there and George knew about this? Because I thought George was guilty at first. The more I watch of it, the more I see that maybe there`s more to it than meets the eye, and why would Trayvon go home when he was so close, and was he watching something or hiding and confronted George about this?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Bob, we want to address your questions, and we`re going to go to the expert.

Jean Casarez, you`ve been in this case from the start. We know that there had been some burglaries, but they had made an arrest is my understanding, involving at least some of those burglaries, and they predated Trayvon Martin`s visit. That`s my understanding, but clarify.


No, you`re exactly right. Now, what the facts are, the jury will never here. Trayvon had been suspended from high school and that is why he was here. But that door is being closed, unless for some reason it is opened by a prosecution witness or a defense witness even and then the defense possibly could argue to get it in. But the jury just knows that Trayvon was visiting his father here in Stanford.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. We`re going to take a short break. We`ve got more testimony and we got more debate, we`ve got more phone calls, more of everything.

Stay right there. We`ll be right back.


JEANTEL: He said, why are you following me for? Then I heard a hard- breathed man come and say, what are you doing around here? Then I started saying, Trayvon, Trayvon, what`s going on? Then I heard a bump. Then I started hearing grass sounds. I kind of heard Trayvon saying get off, get off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then what did you hear?

JEANTEL: Then suddenly the phone hung up.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re going to handle the situation from here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s going to be best if you stay inside your home for the time being, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know, but I can see someone is killed. He was saying help. Why didn`t someone come out and help him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, we don`t know if they`ve been killed, OK? We know they have probably been --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just said he shot him dead. The person is dead lying on the ground!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who did what? Who should have done what?

Now, listening to the testimony of a neighborhood watch recruiter, the one who trained George Zimmerman, trained him. And she was representing Stanford police. Now, here is the instructions she gave to George Zimmerman, which I found quite extraordinary. Listen to it and we`ll debate it on the other side.


WENDY DORVAL, NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH TRAINER: Sometimes I would get questions like that, people say well, how do I know if it`s suspicious? I don`t want to call you guys for no reason. I said call us anyways. Let us check it out. Get to know your neighbor. Get to know who lives in your community because then when someone who doesn`t belong there, you can identify them, hey, wait a minute, I don`t know this person. They probably don`t belong here and you can call the police and have them check it out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Let`s go into the lion`s den.

Now, I do have to point out that George Zimmerman lived in a gated community, so that might make a difference. But Rolanda Watts, the idea that this woman, who is a person of color by the way, is saying, you know what, you should be calling if you think somebody doesn`t belong there. Those are the words she used. She was the person who trained George Zimmerman. I find that peculiar in this day and age.

ROLANDA WATTS, HOST, SUNDAYS WITH ROLANDA ON BLOGRADIO: Well, I find everything peculiar in terms of this word, suspicious. What made this child so suspicious other than he was a black child walking that. And if he was that suspicious and he is so trained as guardian of this bright community --

TAAFFE: Can I answer that?

WATTS: No, you cannot answer that, and stop throwing hand grenades into my conversation to try divert the attention.

TAAFFE: You want the truth?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let her finish, then we`ll go to you, Frank. Just finish up, Rolanda.

WATTS: And if -- no, no, forget you right now, Frank, because if Zimmerman was all of that, that he claims he was, then he would have walked up to that young man and said, excuse me, are you lost? Can I help you? I know it is raining. Can I help you find something? Instead of a confrontation and chasing him down and going against the rules of how you handle these situations. Everybody said no, I`m calling the police. He said, come help me. No, I`m calling the police. Even the dispatcher said, stop, do not go anywhere. So who was the aggressor here?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Frank, I want to give you the opportunity to respond. You live in the community.

TAAFFE: Thank you. And no disrespect to you, Rolanda, but you know, forget you, too.

But let me share this with you. This all started right there at my house where three weeks prior to this entire tragic episode, and it is a tragedy, I`m sure you would concur. There is a dead 17-year-old. He wasn`t a child. He is of legal age, OK?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, let`s stick to the point. Why is the recruiter saying somebody doesn`t belong when you have visitors, you have relatives. Remember, Trayvon was visiting --

TAAFFE: Trayvon Martin was an unescorted, un-chaperoned guest in our community.

SKOLNIK: Un-escorted? Frank, when does a black person need to be escorted to our community?

TAAFFE: He was here on --

WATTS: What do you mean, un-chaperoned? He had a parent, Frank.

TAAFFE: Good point. You just opened it up. The father gave two different statements to police to Sanford police. One, he went on the air and he told the public that he saw Trayvon at 8:00 that night.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I was talking about what the recruiter had advised them. And we all live in a community. The idea that, if somebody visits you, they are scrutinized. If somebody comes to the work on your house. It`s not like everybody else is running around in a tuxedo in that neighborhood. It`s not like Buckingham palace. I mean, it`s a place in Florida where everybody wears shorts and t-shirts and flip-flops. I mean, the idea --

OK. We`re going to take a break. We`ll be right back with more, I promise you.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The second yell for help that was, like you know, a yelp for help. You know, a yelp. It was excruciating. I really felt it was a boy`s voice.



BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, STATE PROSECUTOR: They`re having trouble hearing you, so take your time.

JEANTEL: Creepy (bleep) cracker is now (bleep) following me. And then I just told him, run.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got breaking news, just in, as we speak. And it concerns the George Zimmerman trial, the first week of the George Zimmerman trial, now chock-full of even more controversy. The drama continues outside courtroom.

Defense attorney Don West`s daughter posted this to Instagram. The caption reads quote, "we beat stupidity celebration cones" and includes the hashtags Zimmerman defense and dad killed it. This apparently on Tuesday, the day after opening statements, when the press reached out for comments. Communications director for the defense team, Sean Vincent said, quote, "as parents, we are not always proud of the things our children do, then we move on. We understand the context of the comments is grossly insensitive."

Wow! "we killed it!"

Natalie Jackson, attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family, your reaction to that breaking news?

JACKSON: You know, I don`t have a comment on that. I`m not going to talk about his family. People can take from that what they want.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, does anybody have any thoughts on it? How about Michael Skolnik?

SKOLNIK: I agree with Natalie, we shouldn`t talk about those families, but the bottom line is a lot of black people in our country were upset the way don west treated that witness. And to talk about the stupidity I think is once again, you know, just nailing, you know, into the coffin this idea that she was stupid or she was not --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. I have to clarify something. She testified on Wednesday and Thursday and that tweet was on Tuesday. So it wasn`t about Rachel Jeantel. But it was the sense that they were celebrating the opening statement.

By the way, Don West was the one who did the knock-knock joke during the opening statement, which he had to apologize for and is now going to go down and insinuate.

All right. We`re going to go to break. Panel, hang in there. We`re back in a sec.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ll be back tonight at 10:00 as we continue to analyze the breaking news just in. A controversial Instagram by the family of the defense attorney. Nancy, next.