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CNN NEWSROOM

Live Coverage of the George Zimmerman Trial

Aired July 2, 2013 - 09:30   ET

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


MARK O'MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: -- let everyone know you're the person in charge, correct?

DET. CHRIS SERINO, SANFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: In that context, you're not actually yelling at the person like you're angry with them, are you?

SERINO: No.

O'MARA: It's a technique to gain control of a situation. Correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: Similar in the challenge interview, it's not as though in this context you're actually angry with Mr. Zimmerman, correct?

SERINO: No, anger is not a part of it, no.

O'MARA: Right. It's just a technique or a tactic that you use to try and undermine his confidence in his own story so that you can see if he breaks, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: That's the purpose of it, correct?

SERINO: Yes.

O'MARA: So that when you challenge him -- an example, you said to him, you sound kind of frustrated on the phone conversation. Everyone's going to hear these things, you know, what was your purpose in that?

SERINO: Which phone conversation? (INAUDIBLE) On which phone conversation?

O'MARA: I presume, having read the entirety of your interview, that you're talking about how he sounded on the non-emergency call.

SERINO: Okay.

O'MARA: Was that in an attempt to sort of, again, undermine his confidence in himself so that you might get some movement in his story?

SERINO: Not necessarily. I mean, it could have been. I'm not quite certain what my comment might have been and what tone I might have used.

O'MARA: Okay. Would you then defer for the jury's consideration to the (INAUDIBLE) what you presented yourself in the challenge interview rather than just me going over or repeating it in sort of bare words?

SERINO: Yes, sir, yes.

O'MARA: You agree your purpose was to challenge Mr. Zimmerman?

SERINO: It could have been, yes, sir.

O'MARA: Try to undermine his confidence in himself, such that he might tell you more or change his story in some way, which would then give you an opening, correct?

SERINO: I would classify more trying to extract truth if he's hiding it, yes, sir.

O'MARA: Sure. And did you extract any truth or anything, any change in his story through this technique?

SERINO: No, sir, I did not.

O'MARA: He was, in fact, consistent throughout, correct?

SERINO: Yes, he was.

O'MARA: He was also consistent with both all of his prior statements, correct?

SERINO: To my knowledge, yes.

O'MARA: As the chief investigating officer, you had availability of those prior statements, correct?

SERINO: Yes.

O'MARA: There were some changes. I think you said yesterday there were certainly some expansions and even some minor inconsistencies, right?

SERINO: Yes, there was some, yes, there was some variations of accounts.

O'MARA: Nothing that you considered significant.

SERINO: Nothing major, no.

O'MARA: Nothing that evidenced to you that he was lying to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection, your honor. Improper argument.

JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, SANFORD FLORIDA: Sustained.

O'MARA: Any inconsistencies you consider to be significant?

SERINO: None which I can challenge him with, so I would say no.

O'MARA: With some help, hopefully this will work, I'm going to play with you a portion of the tape that you heard yesterday. I understand that it's -- I'm going to play it. If you can't hear it, I'll play it a second time. I believe this is a part to focus you on the investigation where you are playing for Mr. Zimmerman the 911 call, which has the screams in the background, to put it in context. I'm going to try to get the volume correct here. I may need a couple tries. Sorry. It is 182. It is the --

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it a male or female?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a male.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't know why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know why they are yelling help.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O'MARA: Did you hear Mr. Zimmerman?

SERINO: I'd have to hear it again.

O'MARA: Sure. I'm going to keep it low, your honor, until we get back to that point.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

(INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're here to work with you here, okay? Got to open your mind, okay, if there's anything that needs to be changed --

(END AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your honor, I ask you play at the same level so that the jury can establish a context.

(CROSSTALK)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't do this anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911, do you need police or medical?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hear that voice in the background?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, I'm not sure, but I hear someone screaming.

UNIDENIFIED FEMALE: 911, do you need police or medical?

UNIDEIFIED FEMALE: Maybe both, I'm not sure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hearing screaming (INAUDIBLE)

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O'MARA: In the transcript, and I think it was pointed out on two occasions by Mr. De La Rionda yesterday that there was a suggestion that Mr. Zimmerman said doesn't even sound like me. do you remember that?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: Is it your opinion -- your opinion, did you interpret that, that Mr. Zimmerman was denying that it was him or just that it simply didn't sound like him?

UNIDENIFIED MALE: Your honor, I'm going to object just to having this witness testify about what the defendant was thinking based on what he said.

NELSON: Sustained.

O'MARA: Did that change the direction of your interrogation of him, that statement that he said, doesn't even sound like me, did that change the direction of your interrogation of him at all?

SERINO: No, it did not.

O'MARA: Did that cause you any concern whatsoever?

SERINO: No, it did not.

O'MARA: If I might just have a moment, your honor. I want to make sure that I get the --

(END LIVE FEED)

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to take a quick break. We'll be back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: All right. We're heading back to the courtroom. Zimmerman's lead defense attorney is asking Detective Serino about comments he made during the investigation that George Zimmerman's wounds appeared minor. Let's listen.

(BEGIN LIVE FEED)

O'MARA: And you saw him on the 27th after midnight, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: And then he went to work the next day and then saw you for the 27th in the afternoon for the recreation of the recreation video, correct? SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: Then he came back to talk with you, again, voluntarily, on the 29th, correct?

SERINO: That's correct.

O'MARA: And did you talk with him after that?

SERINO: Yes, we had conversations.

O'MARA: And that was over the phone?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: Did you talk to him again in person?

SERINO: Not that I can recall.

O'MARA: When you spoke to him on the phone, that was in order to, again, sort of forward your investigation of both the crime and the defenses to it, correct?

SERINO: I believe he contacted me, but, yes, the ultimate goal would have been to forward the investigation.

O'MARA: And all of his -- in all of his communications with you, even after the 29th, he was cooperative?

SERINO: Yes, he was.

O'MARA: Answered any questions you had from him?

SERINO: Yes, he did.

O'MARA: Presented himself to do whatever it is that you wanted him to do?

SERINO: Yes, he did.

O'MARA: You have done even more than just take the interviews of my client as part of your investigation in this case, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir, from other aspects of the investigation, yes.

O'MARA: Met with other witnesses?

SERINO: Yes.

O'MARA: You met with Tracy Martin, correct?

SERINO: Yes, I did.

O'MARA: At your office?

SERINO: Yes, there and at his residence also -- the residence (INAUDIBLE) yes.

O'MARA: Why did you meet with him at your office?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection, beyond the scope of direct and calls for hearsay, too.

O'MARA: Actually --

NELSON: Let me take them one at a time. It was not covered in direct. It's not hearsay, the question and the answer that it would elicit. I have to sustain on wasn't covered --

O'MARA: May I respond?

NELSON: Yes, you may.

O'MARA: I would just allow a little bit of leeway for the chief investigating officer in the case to ask him what else that he has done in doing exactly his duties.

NELSON: You could do that in your case.

O'MARA: So I will call him as my witness.

NELSON: If you choose to do so.

O'MARA: Then I will do that. Thank you, your honor. And I need to get this back to the clerk. If I can just have a minute.

(CROSSTALK)

NELSON: Redirect?

O'MARA: I actually do know how to use a laptop on occasion. Thank you very much.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Good morning, sir.

SERINO: Good morning, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: I'm not going to ask you to the opinion of anybody or to guilt or anything, understand it's improper and I can't ask you that.

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: My question is --

O'MARA: Let me object, your honor, as to that non-question of this witness. A comment under the previous ruling, which is inappropriate.

NELSON: Sustained.

DE LA RIONDA: My question is, Mr. O'Mara, on behalf of the defendant as council, asked you some questions about anger and disdain, do you remember that, about ill will, hatred, all that stuff?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Do you remember him asking you a series of questions regarding that?

SERINO: To somewhat, yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Specifically asked you about your interview with the defendant, that you had reviewed it, and also Investigator Singleton's interview and whether you found any evidence of hatred, spite, anger, disdain, ill will, do you recall a series of questions regarding that?

SERINO: Somewhat, yes.

DE LA RIONDA: I want to play something for you, sir. If I can figure out how to do this. (INAUDIBLE) Okay. Okay. First play from the non-emergency call the defendant made.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, DEFENDANT: These assholes. They always get away.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: Is that something you would use in reference to somebody that you're going to invite over for dinner, would you call them these -- does that seem like, to you, a --

SERINO: No, sir, it's not.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

ZIMMERMAN: He goes straight in --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay, which entrance is that that he's heading towards?

ZIMMERMAN: The back entrance.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: Did you hear that last comment the defendant stated? (AUDIO BREAK) is (AUDIO BREAK) are you saying are you to testify when you were cross-examined that those two, these (AUDIO BREAK) Trayvon Martin for dinner that night?

O'MARA: Excuse me, your honor, that would be speculation.

NELSON: Sustained.

DE LA RIONDA: Are you saying that those words were uttered by a defendant in reference to wanting to meet the victim?

O'MARA: Excuse me, your honor, that would be speculation.

DE LA RIONDA: I'll be glad to rephrase it. Does that not indicate ill will, hatred, and spite against somebody else, sir? SERINO: No, it does not.

DE LA RIONDA: In your opinion, calling somebody a (AUDIO BREAK)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

ZIMMERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) Punks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you following him?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay, we don't need you to do that.

ZIMMERMAN: Okay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, sir, what is your name?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: Sir, you were asked by Mr. O'Mara on behalf of the defendant in terms of whether it was evidence that he followed him or not, do you recall being asked that?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And you recall and you in fact, to use Mr. O'Mara's words, challenge the defendant regarding that. Do you recall that?

SERINO: Yes sir.

DE LA RIONDA: -- about whether the defendant was following him, or not. Do you recall that?

SERINO: Yes sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Did you hear the word there by the non-emergency operator about whether he was following him or not?

SERINO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: And did the operator not tell the defendant not to do that?

SERINO: In so many words, yes.

DE LA RIONDA: Ok.

In your interviews in review of investigator Singleton's interviews -- sure -- sorry. In your interview and review of Singleton's interviews, did the defendant, in your interviews of him, did he ever say he was excited? You want me to rephrase -- I'll be glad to rephrase it. I apologize.

In your interview, and also your review of investigator Singleton's interview of the defendant, which you've had an opportunity to do, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Mr. O'Mara asked you about those and did the defendant ever indicate that he was happy that there were burglaries being committed at the retreat at Twin Lakes?

SERINO: No, he did not.

DE LA RIONDA: Did he ever say he was excited that his neighborhood was getting burglarized?

SERINO: No, he did not.

DE LA RIONDA: In fact, didn't he say this, sir --

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this the correct one?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible). Are you looking for it? you tell me the story. You tell me what happened that night. Ok?

ZIMMERMAN: Just that night?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes whatever led up to this. Anything you want to tell me about what happened and why it ended up what it ended up to, this -- this boy got shot.

ZIMMERMAN: The neighborhood has had a lot of crimes. My wife saw our neighbors get broken into, and she got scared.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you're talking about the residents or vehicles?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The residents.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I decided to start a neighborhood watch program in my neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok, what is the name of the neighborhood?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Retreat at Twin Lakes.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: Now, investigator -- I'm sorry, Singleton asked the defendant what led up to this in terms of the shooting, correct?

SERINO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: And that's how you replay, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir, it is. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Neighborhood watch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok.

ZIMMERMAN: Sergeant Parks, Officer Buchanan and I am the coordinator. And there's been a few times where I've seen a suspicious person in the neighborhood. We call the police, the non-emergency line, and these guys always get away --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What made them suspicious?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: Do you recall hearing that in terms of investigator Singleton asking him, the defendant, about what was going on and he's stating, as he stated there, that they always get away?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Did you follow that?

SERINO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: Didn't he say that to the nonemergency operator also, but he used more colorful language? (AUDIO BREAK) -- within minutes of the actual shooting, weren't they?

SERINO: Yes, they were.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

ZIMMERMAN: I called before and police had come out, but these guys know the neighborhood very well and cut in between buildings.

DET. DORIS SINGLETON, SANFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT: You're saying these guys. Who are these guys?

ZIMMERMAN: The people committing the burglaries.

SINGLETON: So you've seen more than one person like looking suspicious and doing these burglaries?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, ma'am.

SINGLETON: Ok.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: Now, investigator Singleton had him clarify when the defendant in that interview on the 26th stated these guys, you had him clarify or describe what he meant, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And the defendant said the people committing these burglaries, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And then to the nonemergency operator earlier that evening, when he spotted Trayvon Martin, he made reference to using -- (AUDIO BREAK). So when Mr. O'Mara asked you about profiling, isn't it accurate that he was profiling Trayvon Martin as a criminal? He assumed that he was a criminal that night?

O'MARA: Objection, your honor that would call for speculation.

NELSON: Sustained as speculation.

DE LA RIONDA: Do you recall Mr. O'Mara asking you about whether he was profiling the defendant -- I'm sorry, Trayvon Martin?

SERINO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: If somebody were to believe that another person is a criminal, could that be a form of profiling?

O'MARA: Objection your honor, that would be either speculation or irrelevant.

NELSON: Overruled.

DE LA RIONDA: If I were to believe that you're a criminal and I followed you and did something, wouldn't that be profiling you?

O'MARA: Object, based upon improper opinion testimony unless we're opening that door.

NELSON: He can testify if he knows in his experience as a law enforcement officer.

O'MARA: As long as we're going to his opinions.

DE LA RIONDA: Let me make sure it is clear. If I were to believe that somebody was committing a crime, could that not be profiling that person --

O'MARA: Object, your honor, leading.

NELSON: Overruled as to leading.

DE LA RIONDA: Do you understand my question, sir?

SERINO: Yes, I do. It could be construed as such, yes. Construed as such, yes.

DE LA RIONDA: Your review of the evidence there, was there any indication that Trayvon Martin, Trayvon Benjamin Martin, the young man I think 20 days past, had just turned 17, was committing a crime that evening, sir?

SERINO: No, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Was there any evidence that that young man was armed?

SERINO: No, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: You were asked by Mr. O'Mara several times, and I think he made reference to your last interview being a challenged interview, I think. I don't know if you completely agreed with him on that or just agreed to use his terminology on that. Did you agree that that was a challenging interview?

SERINO: I wouldn't quite classify it as that. However, it could be viewed as a challenging interview, based on his view of it.

DE LA RIONDA: Ok his being Mr. O'Mara's?

SERINO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: Let's assume for purposes -- let's call it a challenging interview, but you know what I'm referencing to --

(CROSSTALK)

SERINO: Exactly.

DE LA RIONDA: -- your last interview with the defendant on February 29th.

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Ok and Mr. O'Mara asked you whether there was inconsistencies or not.

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Ok. And I want to play certain parts of you where I believe you at least questioned him about whether he had said something inaccurate before or said something different. Do you recall that?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And I want to ask you about these, if I could.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we got them on the way. Just let me know if there's anything else.

(AUDIO BREAK)

(END AUDIO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: Do you recall you playing that recording for the defendant and asking him about that? Somebody may refer that to a challenge. Do you recall questioning him about that?

SERINO: I -- yes, sir, I pointed it out to him.

DE LA RIONDA: And he made reference to when he made (AUDIO BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZIMMERMAN: Told me not to follow him. And I wasn't following them, I was just --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So basically you were off --

ZIMMERMAN: Right. I was on the other side.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: You were questioning him, pointing out an inconsistency, were you not, that the defendant was claiming he was not following him and you were telling him that's following him, correct? Do you recall saying that?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Running, getting out of my car to make sure I don't lose sight of this guy. That's what it sounds like. Are you following him? That's what it sounds like you're doing. That's why he asked you the question. It sounded to the dispatcher like you were running and that's why he asked you that question, are you following him, and your answer is yes, ok.

But then you get to the other side and you're concerned about walking past this guy when you've already been chasing him essentially. He's telling you to go back to your car and now you want to pretend -- or not pretend, you want us to believe that you're concerned about having a flashlight to go back where you just ran. Do you know what I'm saying?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: Do you recall you and investigator Singleton questioning you about that.

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: About there could possibly be an inconsistency about what the evidence showed?

SERINO: I think it's to see (inaudible) -- I think he was using his words to clarify.

DE LA RIONDA: And by the way, while we're at this point, Mr. O'Mara asked you about videotaping. Do you recall that you had questioned the defendant about videotaping and you showed him the victim's camera that was at the scene near where his body was? Do you recall that? SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And you stated, I believe, on direct and cross examination that you were bluffing him. You were telling him that the victim had potentially videotaped the whole thing?

SERINO: At that point that was a bluff.

DE LA RIONDA: Correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And you knew that not to be true, correct?

SERINO: At that point, yes.

DE LA RIONDA: And my point is, and the defendant made a comment like, oh, I hope to God that it was videotaped. Do you recall that?

SERINO: Yes, sir, I do.

DE LA RIONDA: Mr. O'Mara asked you about stores and other places that have videotapes out there, correct?

SERINO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: Now, the defendant, I believe you've already testified, was head of the neighborhood watch, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And had lived in that neighborhood for a while, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: So he would have been aware whether there was videotaping or not in any of those buildings, correct?

SERINO: I would assume so, yes.

DE LA RIONDA: And I know you weren't there when it happened. But you would agree that the interaction between a defendant and the victim in this case, the defendant was aware of whether the victim, before he got shot, took out the video and videotaped the defendant, correct?

O'MARA: Objection, your honor. I would object, that would be speculation.

NELSON: Sustained.

DE LA RIONDA: Was there any evidence that the victim before he got shot said hold on, before you shoot me, let me take out my camera and take a picture of you as you're shooting me.

SERINO: No, there was none. DE LA RIONDA: Was there any evidence that the victim, as the defendant was following him, said hold on, I'm going to take a photograph of you so there will be a record before you shoot me that you're following me?

O'MARA: We object, your honor, that was asked and answered.

NELSON: Overruled.

DE LA RIONDA: Was there any evidence that the victim, as the defendant was following him, said hold on, stop right there, let me take a photograph of you or let me videotape you before you shoot me -- or before you follow me and then shoot me?

SERINO: No, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And so when Mr. O'Mara asked you about whether the defendant knew that or not, he would have known that, correct?

SERINO: I would assume so, yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: So he basically knew you were bluffing is what I'm getting at?

O'MARA: Objection, your honor. That would be speculation.

NELSON: Sustained.

DE LA RIONDA: Let me play another recording for you, if I could, sir.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were concerned about having a flashlight to move back where you just ran?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're looking for --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know what I'm saying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounded you're looking --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You brought a flashlight with you?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, ma'am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You wanted to go see him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You wanted to catch the bad guy? (AUDIO BREAK). we are in a whole different area right here. This is where --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DE LA RIONDA: You were questioning him about what he had said, about evidence, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir. DE LA RIONDA: Is that what you were doing there?

SERINO: Yes, sir.