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Zimmerman's Police Interview Played; Detective: Zimmerman Seemed Frustrated

Aired July 2, 2013 - 10:00   ET


BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, LEAD PROSECUTOR: Is that what you were doing there?



SERINO: Do you recall at what point the suffocation happened? Prior to you shooting him he was on you, correct?


SERINO: And you shot him at point blank range. He was on top of you, right?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

SERINO: And nobody came out to help you that night. I can't pinpoint where you were smothered. That's the problem I'm having. Nobody is saying they saw him smothering you. They saw him on top of you, but they didn't see the smothering part.

ZIMMERMAN: It doesn't sound like there's a hesitation in the screaming, it sounds like it's continuous. We don't hear it stop.


DE LA RIONDA: Do you recall you and Investigator Singleton challenge, to use Mr. O'Mara's words, challenging him about whether he was being smothered or not?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: If I can have a moment, your honor. Do you recall watching on direct and then on cross examination, I believe it was on direct, I apologize, being asked questions about the videotaping, the re-enactment?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: That occurred on the 27th. Do you recall that, when you took him back out to the scene? Do you recall that?

SERINO: Yes, sir. DE LA RIONDA: You were present for that, is that correct?

SERINO: Yes, I was.

DE LA RIONDA: And do you recall at some point the defendant walking -- as he's walking, he's walking the route where he claimed he went. Do you recall that?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: OK. And do you recall him at some point saying that he went to look for an address and there were no addresses to the left because those were the back of the buildings. Do you recall that?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: OK. And I'm going to try to key to this point specifically, but do you recall --


ZIMMERMAN: I think I told the operator --


DE LA RIONDA: I'm sorry.


ZIMMERMA: He said are you following -- for a street sign.

SERINO: Right.

ZIMMERMAN: So I got out of my car and I started walking.

SERINO: Go ahead.

ZIMMERMAN: I was still on the phone with nonemergency, and I started walking.


ZIMMERMAN: This way. Because I didn't see a street sign here, but I knew if I went straight through, that that's true view circle and I could give him an address. He said just give me an address of the house that you're in front of, and there's no address because this is the back of the houses.


DE LA RIONDA: Do you recall that testimony, sir?

SERINO: Yes, sir, I do.

DE LA RIONDA: Sir, do you recall --


ZIMMERMAN: I don't know an address. They asked me where he went, what direction, and I said I don't know. Then I thought to get out --


DE LA RIONDA: Right there on that corner, do you recall that?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: I want to show you a photograph of the front of Miss Lauer's residence. Isn't there a numerical address right there in the front of her house?

SERINO: Yes, there is.

DE LA RIONDA: Isn't her address 1211, sir?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Stay right there on that photograph. So the defendant in that re-enactment, when he's pointing at all the back of these houses, where he's claiming he doesn't have an address, there's an address right there staring at him, isn't that true, sir?

SERINO: Yes, there is.

MARK O'MARA, ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE LAWYER: That would be leading. This is still redirect.

DE LA RIONDA: I'll be glad to rephrase the question.


DE LA RIONDA: When the defendant points to this side and saying there's no address because it's the back of the house, right to the right, what is there? Is there a house with an address?

SERINO: Yes, there is.

DE LA RIONDA: For the record State's Exhibit 33. Let me show you State's Exhibit number 1, and I'm going to put a close up of part of that. For the record, State's Exhibit number 1 is an aerial photograph of the retreat at Twin Lakes, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And as you pointed out when you were, used Mr. O'Mara's words, challenging the defendant in that interview, you pointed out there was only three actual streets in the whole neighborhood, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And this street the defendant claims he does not know is twin Tree Lane, which is the main entrance that you come in and out of that retreat at Twin Lakes. And right here that I'm pointing to is Miss Lauer's address, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: So the defendant in that interview claims that he did not know this street and didn't happen to see the address here, but specifically did not know this street, correct?

SERINO: Yes, correct.

DE LA RIONDA: OK. Thank you, your honor. Do you recall also on cross examination defense counsel asking you about inconsistencies or consistencies, correct?

SERINO: Correct.

DE LA RIONDA: Do you recall the defendant in the interview that he gave me and Investigator Singleton stating that after he had shot Trayvon Martin, Trayvon Martin said, or something, put his hands up, correct? Do you recall that?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And do you recall that he then stated that Trayvon Martin somehow fell on the ground face first. Do you recall that?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And do you recall the defendant stating that he put his arms out, correct?

SERINO: Correct.

DE LA RIONDA: Do you recall him saying that?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Now, sir -- if I may approach, your honor. Do you recall, sir, that one of the first -- in fact the first person that actually came out before the officer was a person named Manalo?

SERINO: Yes, Jonathan.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We've got to take a break. We'll be right back.


COSTELLO: Fascinating part of the trial, Detective Serino is being questioned by the prosecution about inconsistencies. He's specifically talking about exaggerations that he felt George Zimmerman was making during his interview. In particular, the extent of his injuries that Zimmerman says he suffered the night he killed Trayvon Martin. Let's listen.

DE LA RIONDA: Do you, at the point -- at that point, and even further, had you gotten any results back from FDLE regarding the analysis done of the clothing or anything else regarding that, sir?

SERINO: No, sir, I had not.

DE LA RIONDA: Had you gotten the medical examiner's report or examination in terms of final findings regarding that?

SERINO: No, sir, I had not.

DE LA RIONDA: Had you got any results regarding possible DNA?

SERINO: No, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Had you gotten any results in terms of ballistics, the firearms, the trajectory, the stippling, whatever evidence regarding that?

SERINO: No, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Had you spoken to a girl or lady that was speaking to the victim on the phone at the time or right before the time that this murder happened?

SERINO: No, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Had you analyzed the phone records and the conversations between the victim, Trayvon Martin, and this lady that he was speaking to? Her name is Rachel Jeantel.

SERINO: No, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Had you seen the 7-11 video?

SERINO: No, sir, I had not.

DE LA RIONDA: You also did, obviously, reports in this case, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And in some of those reports did you in some way write down some inconsistencies, what you felt were inconsistencies based on the statements that the defendant had given you?

SERINO: Concerns of mine about his statements, yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: OK. You mentioned at some point -- or you were asked about the size of the individuals, correct, Mr. Martin and the defendant, correct?

SERINO: The physical sizes?

DE LA RIONDA: Yes, I'm sorry, the victim. I apologize. Did you describe the victim as a skinny kid or something to that effect?

SERINO: Yes, sir, I did.

DE LA RIONDA: Would you classify the defendant, when you came into contact, as a skinny kid?

SERINO: Would I classify the defendant as skinny?

DE LA RIONDA: Yes, as a skinny kid?

SERINO: No, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Would it be fair to say the bottom line, sir, is after February 29th and after a later date, the investigation was turned over to somebody else, is that correct?

SERINO: As of what date, sir?

DE LA RIONDA: After that interview, at a later date in March, the investigation was turned over to another agency?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: So Mr. O'Mara asked you about phone calls that you had, telephone conversations with the defendant. Do you recall that?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: OK. Was your intent to eventually, if you could, attempt to interview the defendant again and challenge him, I guess to use Mr. O'Mara's words?

SERINO: Absolutely, yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: If I could have a moment, your honor.

NELSON: Yes, you may.

DE LA RIONDA: I don't have any further questions.

NELSON: Thank you. Any recross?

O'MARA: Yes, your honor. I'll go through some of the areas that Mr. De La Rionda talked about. I'm giving a blanket apology for using some curse words, but when they exist in the case, they exist in the courtroom. So, Mr. De la Rionda was wondering -- would you agree that if you were talking to somebody --

SERINO: I have used it. Yes.

O'MARA: OK. And sometimes it's just used as just a slang term, would you agree?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: Mr. De la Rionda said --

O'MARA: OK. He didn't say it with the screeching voice that Mr. De La Rionda did, did he?

SERINO: No -- O'MARA: The way he said it, not the way Mr. De La Rionda just said it, let's put that aside for a minute and speak more importantly about -- as to the way he said it.

SERINO: No, sir.

O'MARA: Didn't show any ill will or --

SERINO: It seemed like more of a generalization.

O'MARA: Sure, right. And of course he was generalizing a little bit, correct? Because you know from your investigation that he was a bit frustrated that his neighborhood was being assailed by burglars, right? You knew that?


O'MARA: You knew that -- as a matter of fact, you investigated and found out that a person, Emmanuel Burgess, was arrested two weeks before this event, a young black male, for having burglarized several homes in the neighborhood, right?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: Late teens, tall, thin, just been arrested, right?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: Sentenced to five years in prison for having burglarized both in Retreat View Circle and outside, but still in your jurisdiction, right?

SERINO: I wasn't involved in that, but yes, sir.

O'MARA: But you found that out in looking into everything you were looking into to find out what was going on in the neighborhood. Not only had Emmanuel Burgess been arrested two weeks before for burglarizing, but there were a lot of other burglaries in that same neighborhood, right?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: Were you concerned that he was concerned about that? Did that cause you any concern that somebody who involved themselves in protecting the community, being on neighborhood watch, would be concerned about a bunch of burglaries in the neighborhood?

SERINO: Him being concerned, if I may --

O'MARA: Sure.

SERINO: -- is one thing. As far as my personal feelings towards his actions the night of is a little bit different.

O'MARA: Sure, and we'll get to that in just a moment.


O'MARA: But talking specifically to the issue -- not necessarily a derogatory way, correct, just as sort of a slang term.

SERINO: Being more towards derogatory, sir.

O'MARA: So ever if guys walk into the squad room --

SERINO: I see what you're saying, but it could be viewed that way.

O'MARA: OK -- don't suggest that that evidence is any hatred or ill will on his behalf, do you?

SERINO: As I interpret that, that was said with the infliction as a sense of urgency, as if something was happening bad.

O'MARA: Right. Because he was just running away, correct?


O'MARA: And then -- when Mr. Zimmerman -- Mr. De La Rionda just recounted it to you?

SERINO: No, sir.

O'MARA: Do you know why Mr. De La Rionda yelled it at you?

SERINO: To stress a point, to emphasize.

O'MARA: Right. But you heard it on tape, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: And how was it said on tape?

SERINO: It was said more as a as a matter of factually -- matter of fact as far as --

O'MARA: -- correct?


O'MARA: OK. Frustration based upon the fact that other people in the neighborhood who have burglarized the place seemed to get away on occasion, right?


O'MARA: And in that sense, you said that there was no evidence that Trayvon Martin was doing anything wrong, correct?

SERINO: None whatsoever.

O'MARA: You don't know that, though, correct?

SERINO: No, I do not. O'MARA: Right. You know that whatever he may have been planning just wasn't completed, correct?

SERINO: I wouldn't know. I wouldn't know. There was no evidence to suggest that at all.

O'MARA: As a matter of fact, there was a type of a tool found in the area where Trayvon Martin may have been hiding, wasn't there?

SERINO: Approximately five, six days after the investigation at the scene, yes.

O'MARA: Right. When you went back, you looked in the bushes and you found, what was it?

SERINO: It was a piece of an awning belonging to -- I believe it was a piece of a window -- piece of hardware basically. Looked like a slim Jim.

O'MARA: Slim Jim, and what's a slim Jim?

SERINO: A slim Jim is a device used to jimmy locks on vehicles primarily.

O'MARA: To break into a vehicle?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: And that was found a few days after this event?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: Not particularly tied to this event by you, but it was there, wasn't it?

SERINO: Yes, it was.

O'MARA: In the bushes just off of one of the residences, correct?

SERINO: In the bushes behind Jonathan Manalo's residence.

O'MARA: So, would you suggest that the focus beyond how Mr. Zimmerman --

SERINO: I can't speak for Mr. Guys, but Mr. De La Rionda's was different.

O'MARA: Now, he also asked you that you were questioning Mr. Zimmerman on the fact that he was following Trayvon Martin, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: And Mr. Zimmerman said?

SERINO: Words along --

O'MARA: He said yes, right? He said, wait a minute, were you following him? And in the interview his word was yes, right?

SERINO: In one of the interviews, yes.

O'MARA: He acknowledged to you that he was following him at one point, correct?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: Anything wrong with following somebody like that?

SERINO: That was --

O'MARA: Let me ask you this way, anything illegal?

DE LA RIONDA: Objection.

O'MARA: I'm sorry. I'll let him answer that one.

SERINO: Repeat it, please.

O'MARA: Did you think there was anything wrong with him following him to see where he was going?

SERINO: Legally speaking, no.

O'MARA: OK. As a matter of fact, it was -- and you heard the nonemergency call, right?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: And it was twice on that, that the nonemergency operator asked Mr. Zimmerman, tell me if he does anything else.

SERINO: Yes, I believe that was said.

O'MARA: All right.


O'MARA: Does that indicate that he wants him to keep an eye on him?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: You said following him is not legally improper, correct?

SERINO: That's not illegal, no.

O'MARA: Even approaching somebody is not illegally improper, is it?

SERINO: That's open for interpretation.

O'MARA: Tell me what crime you believe would occur if I were to walk up to you on the street and say hi?

SERINO: In that manner, none whatsoever.

O'MARA: How about what are you doing here? I don't like the fact that you have gray on. Get out of my face.

SERINO: That could be construed at confrontational, not illegal.

O'MARA: True. But is that a crime?

SERINO: No, sir.

O'MARA: And when the operator who said twice "tell me if he does anything else" then says "are you following him?" what does Mr. Zimmerman say?

SERINO: He says yes.

O'MARA: And in your investigation, is there anything at all to suggest at that time that Mr. Zimmerman continued to follow Mr. Martin?

SERINO: At which point, sir?

O'MARA: At the point that the officer said -- or the 911 -- nonemergency operator said we don't need you to do that and Mr. Zimmerman said OK.

SERINO: I would say yes, there was.

O'MARA: And what evidence would you have?

SERINO: His end location.

O'MARA: I'm sorry?

SERINO: His end location, the location where the incident ultimately ended.

O'MARA: OK. So the fact that -- may I approach the witness, your honor?

NELSON: You may.

O'MARA: For identification purposes I show the witness State's Exhibit 139. Because you know the event started where?

SERINO: The event as far as I'm concerned started off that map.

O'MARA: OK. I'm talking about the physical altercation, I apologize. My understanding from -- what's your understanding as to when Mr. Zimmerman got to this area, what path he took?

SERINO: May I stand?

O'MARA: Please do.

NELSON: Can you face forward?

SERINO: Yes. My understanding and interpretation is he's coming this way. He walks -- OK. He walks, per his statement, all the way over here. He says he doesn't see him. He says he doesn't see him and the altercation, physical altercation started right there approximately.

O'MARA: OK. Great, thank you. So with that as context then, do you know exactly where Mr. Zimmerman was when the nonemergency operator said we don't need you to do that?

SERINO: Based on his statement, he was at his vehicle, which would have been, I believe, wherever he parked it.

NELSON: Based on his statement he was at his vehicle?

SERINO: Wherever he parked it on Twin Trees.

O'MARA: It's your understanding of the investigation that Mr. Zimmerman was at his vehicle when the officer said we don't need you to do that?

SERINO: That's when he was exiting his vehicle. That's my understanding.

O'MARA: OK. And then how many seconds went forward as he was walking before that conversation occurred?

DE LA RIONDA: Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence that he was walking.

NELSON: Sustained.

O'MARA: How many seconds -- you heard the tape where you can hear him getting out of the car, correct?

SERINO: Where I heard the sound of the door being opened, which I interpreted that.

O'MARA: That he got out of the car?


O'MARA: And then you know that he was going -- he was walking in some direction, because he said to the officer in response to "are you following him," he said yes, right?

DE LA RIONDA: Objection as to facts not in evidence. Walking and assuming a fact not in evidence.

NELSON: Please rephrase your question.

O'MARA: You know that he was following him because he told the nonemergency operator that he was, right?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: And you know from the conversation that Mr. Zimmerman indicated to the nonemergency operator that he had cut between the buildings, right?

SERINO: Yes, sir. O'MARA: OK. So, if I might approach again. To be more clear about what you just testified to, he parked his car somewhere in this area, correct?

SERINO: Correct.

O'MARA: Go ahead.

SERINO: Like around here somewhere.

O'MARA: Right. So he's --

NELSON: Could you face forward?

SERINO: I'd have to hear it again obviously, but somewhere very shortly thereafter leaving his car, that's when it was asked are you following him.


SERINO: And he said yes.

O'MARA: And Mr. Zimmerman had indicated that Mr. Martin had gone between the buildings, he was out of sight, correct?


O'MARA: Yet you testified a moment ago that pursuant to Mr. Zimmerman's statement, he had gone down to true view circle, correct?

SERINO: That was his statement but as far as a visual as to when he got out of the vehicle, I don't know. I wasn't there, but he could see him at any point which way he was running. Am I making myself clear?

O'MARA: Well, the jury can decide that. I'll try to walk you through a little bit more. My question a while ago was whether or not you had any evidence to support any contention that Mr. Zimmerman continued to follow Trayvon Martin after being told not to. Do you have any evidence to support that?

SERINO: I would answer I have information, yes, that there was -- just based on where we located Trayvon and the fact that the altercation happened after his conversation. That's my interpretation.

O'MARA: Let me ask it this way. Do you have anything to contradict Mr. Zimmerman's statement that he walked the rest of the way to and was coming back to his car when the interaction between him and Trayvon Martin occurred?

SERINO: Nothing tangible, no.

O'MARA: Go intangible on us, then. What do you mean nothing tangible? SERINO: In the circumstances, the totality of the whole thing that I'm looking at as I interpret it, when he says follow, walking behind and trying to find a direction, I think of that as follow. He was trying to do something in the same direction as Trayvon was going.

O'MARA: He was trying to see where he was?

SERINO: As far as the word follow, as my report may indicate, it's open for interpretation.

O'MARA: And as your report indicates, there's nothing to suggest that Trayvon Martin went --


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, you're watching NEWSROOM. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining us. As you can see, George Zimmerman's attorney is now questioning Detective Serino after a spirited series of questions by the prosecuting attorney to this witness.