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Zimmerman Interview on Sean Hannity; Zimmerman Trial Continues.

Aired July 2, 2013 - 13:30   ET



SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: George Zimmerman's trial set to resume any moment now. They'll be getting back from a lunch break. We'll get it to you live in just a moment. Right now, I want to bring you up to speed. Zimmerman's best friend, Mark Osterman, he was the last person on the stand before the break. His account of Zimmerman's story follows hours of testimony from police detective, Chris Serino. He's critical to the case because he's the lead investigator. Serino conducted three interviews with Zimmerman, including a video walk- through of the scene where Trayvon Martin was killed.

I want to bring in George Howell, outside the courtroom in Sanford, Florida.

George, first of all, I want to reverse this. Flip this, if we could. The person we most recently saw was the best friend, Mark Osterman. His testimony, he describes Zimmerman as wide eyed and detached after the shooting and he was trying to comfort his hysterical wife, Shelly. What do you think is the significance of the portrait that he played for the jurors?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, when you look at Mr. Osterman, it's important for two different reasons. First, we're getting insight into those moments immediately after the shooting. We're hearing that George Zimmerman seemed detached. His wife seemed upset about what happened. This is the same person who wrote the book defending your best friend, "The Most-Hated Man in America." He wrote that book. He says George Zimmerman told him point by point exactly what happened on February 26th, the night of that fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

The story goes somewhat like that. He says that Zimmerman told him that Zimmerman reached for his phone to call 911. He was walking back to his car. Then he says that Trayvon Martin ambushed Zimmerman and punched him squarely in the face. Says Zimmerman fell to the ground, Trayvon Martin on top. And he says and Martin started throwing punches and also Martin put one hand over his mouth, one over Zimmerman's nose, and started to reach for the gun.

I want you to listen to this sound bite here.


BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: You quoted him as saying, "He took his hand covering my nose and saying something at that point," correct?


DE LA RIONDA: He said, what words did you utter?

OSTERMAN: He said you're going to die. and he used the M.F. term again. I'm sorry. I don't like to curse in front of ladies.

DE LA RIONDA: For the record, he used the words you're going to die now, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), correct?

OSTERMAN: That is correct.


HOWELL: What that does is, in that book, the details in that book show that, according to Osterman, according to Zimmerman, that Martin reached for the gun. Remember, the prosecution told there was no DNA evidence on that gun. This could very well, Suzanne, open the door for a ballistics expert, for a DNA expert to step on to the stand and explain their part to this jury that there was no DNA from Trayvon Martin on that weapon.

MALVEAUX: George, let's talk about Serino's testimony. This guy who is the lead investigator, and he testifies, however, that he thinks that George Zimmerman was telling him the truth when he laid out the story to him on numerous occasions. That's not usually the place for the lead detective to be talking about truthfulness of the defendant. Do we have a sense of who this might benefit?

HOWELL: Right off the bat, you could tell the prosecution were upset about this. Right off the bat, they said, for the defense attorneys to ask this lead investigator if he thought George Zimmerman was credible and truthful, but that couldn't be allowed. You'll remember that Serino said that he did. The judge agreed with the prosecution this morning. They told the jury to ignore that question and to ignore that answer.

MALVEAUX: George, we'll get back to you.

We're going to take a quick break. We'll be back live inside the courtroom after the break.


MALVEAUX: We're going to go back into the courtroom. We've been listening to a recorded interview with George Zimmerman by Sean Hannity that was broadcast earlier. Let's dip in and see what the relevance of this is.


GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER: There was a home invasion. A young lady was home with her 9-month-old baby. And they broke in her sliding-glass door. She barricaded herself in the upstairs bedroom. My wife was home by herself and she saw the people that burglarized her, run through our backyard with their belongings. And even though my wife wasn't certain what happened, that was enough to scare her and shake her up. And I promised her I would do what I could to keep her safe.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, HANNITY: Your gun was legal? You had a legal weapon in the state of Florida?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: Why did you feel the need to carry a gun? A lot of people maybe have a weapon inside their home but you decided to carry yours. Why did you think it necessary to have a weapon with you? And did you carry it at all times?

ZIMMERMAN: I carried it at all times except for when I went to work.

HANNITY: A lot of this case has to do with Stand Your Ground. You've heard a lot about it. I was just curious, prior to this night, this incident, had you even heard Stand Your Ground?


HANNITY: You had never heard about it before?


HANNITY: On the -- it was very interesting, the 911 call that everybody has heard, you said that, all of a sudden, you found somebody that looked suspicious. He may be on drugs. That was one of the earlier comments that you made in that 911 call. What made you think he was suspicious? And what made you think he might be on drugs?

ZIMMERMAN: I felt he was suspicious because it was raining. He was in-between houses, cutting in between houses, and he was walking very leisurely for the weather. I didn't -- it didn't look like he was a resident that went to check their mail and got caught in the mail and hurrying back home. He didn't look like a fitness fanatic that would train in the rain. He just seemed like --


HANNITY: He was walking. He wasn't standing still and walking closer to the House which is back from the sidewalk?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: Am I understanding that right?

ZIMMERMAN: The overhangs are just in front of the doors.

HANNITY: You said at the beginning of that 911 call, you said he came towards you and he seemed to reach for something in his waistband? Did you think it was a gun?

ZIMMERMAN: I thought he was just trying to intimidate me. HANNITY: To make you think there's a gun?


HANNITY: Of some kind?

ZIMMERMAN: Possibly.

HANNITY: You said, "Something's wrong with him. He's checking me out. I don't know what his deal was." It's almost from the very beginning, you felt -- you say on that 911 tape that you felt threatened at that moment when you said that to the dispatch?

ZIMMERMAN: No, not particularly.

HANNITY: What did you mean with, "I don't know what his deal is. He's checking me out."

ZIMMERMAN: The way he was coming back. I was on the phone but I was certain I could see him saying something to me, and his demeanor, his body language was confrontational.

HANNITY: Do you remember what it was that you said specifically on the tape?


HANNITY: You said -- then we get to the issue where you said he's running. You said that to the dispatch. Is there any chance, as you look back on that night and what happened --

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: -- trying to maybe get into the mind set, because we have learned that Trayvon was speaking with his girlfriend at that time that maybe he was afraid of you and didn't know who you were?


HANNITY: You don't think -- why do you think he was running then?

ZIMMERMAN: Maybe I said running but he was more --

HANNITY: You said he was running?

ZIMMERMAN: He was like skipping, going away quickly. He wasn't running out of fear.

HANNITY: You could tell the difference?

ZIMMERMAN: He wasn't running.

HANNITY: He wasn't actually running?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir. HANNITY: That's what you said to the dispatch that you thought he was running. At that point, we could hear the unbuckling of the seat belt and then dispatch asks you at that point, and this became a very key moment that everyone in the media focused on, and the dispatcher asked you are you following him and you said yes. Explain that.

ZIMMERMAN: I meant that I was going in the same direction as him to keep an eye on him so I could tell the police where he was going. I didn't mean that I was actually pursuing him.

HANNITY: This moment where someone suggested you were out of breath on that tape, you were not running?


HANNITY: You made a statement to the police that it was the wind as you were getting out of car and moving and that's the sound you heard, not you out of breath?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." We continue with more of my exclusive interview with George Zimmerman and his attorney, Mark O'Mara.

What did you do with that moment forward? This is where we get in that minute gap. What did you do when the dispatch said we don't need you to follow him? What did you do next?

ZIMMERMAN: I walked across the sidewalk onto my street, retreat view circle where I thought I would meet a police officer that I called.

HANNITY: You did not continue to follow him?


HANNITY: All right. You continue from there. You sounded a little bit distracted. What was the distraction? Were you looking for him?

ZIMMERMAN: I wanted to make sure that -- I believe they asked me for my address. I wanted to be sure that nobody was lingering and could hear my address and come back. I was making sure there wasn't anybody that was going to surprise me, and just trying to give them an accurate location.

HANNITY: They said, could we meet you here at a certain location, you said, have them call me.


HANNITY: Why did you want them to call you?

ZIMMERMAN: I hadn't given them a correct address. I gave them the clubhouse vicinity. However, I was walking through to my street, Retreat View Circle. I was going to give them the actual number and name. HANNITY: How long was it, George, after that that you saw Trayvon again? You said you stopped. You did not continue pursuing him. When did you next see Trayvon Martin?

ZIMMERMAN: Less than 30 seconds.

HANNITY: OK. Where were you? Where exactly were you at that point? And how far way were you from your car at that moment?

ZIMMERMAN: I guess about 100 feet or more.

HANNITY: You never went further than how far approximately from your car?

ZIMMERMAN: I estimate it to be approximately 100 feet.

HANNITY: You never went further than that from the car?


HANNITY: At that point Trayvon, all of a sudden you turn around and there he was?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: What happened next?

ZIMMERMAN: He asked me what my problem was.

HANNITY: Expletive problem?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir. I was wearing rain jacket and I put my cell phone in my jacket pocket as opposed to my jeans pocket where I normally keep it and I immediately went to grab my phone to call 911 instead of non-emergency. When I reached into my pants pocket, because that's where I keep it out of habit, it wasn't there. I was shocked. I looked up and he punched me and broke my nose.

HANNITY: One shot?


HANNITY: He said to you, you have (EXPLETIVE DELETED), you have a problem? Those were the exact words? You remember it?

ZIMMERMAN: Do you have a problem? What's your problem?

HANNITY: You said, I don't have a problem.

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: You reached for your phone?

ZIMMERMAN: I reached for it, as I was saying, I don't have a problem.

HANNITY: At that point you just got hit? ZIMMERMAN: He was already within arms length.

HANNITY: Was that the punch in the nose that broke your nose?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: Right there, and you went immediately down to the ground?

ZIMMERMAN: I don't remember if I went immediately or if he pushed me to the ground, but I ended up on the ground.

HANNITY: What do you remember happened from there? There were police reports and descriptions that you gave and you were a little bit dazed obviously --.


MALVEAUX: You've been watching, this is a recorded interview of George Zimmerman by Sean Hannity back in July 18, 2012. This is during the live trial of George Zimmerman.

We'll take a quick break and we'll bring you more of these after a few moments.


MALVEAUX: We'll go back into the courtroom. We're watching this. This is July 18, 2012. This is an interview of George Zimmerman by Sean Hannity. Let's take a listen.


ZIMMERMAN: -- over my mouth and nose. Particularly, because it was excruciating having a broken nose and him putting his weigh on me. That's the point in time when he started telling me to shut up, shut up.

HANNITY: Why did he tell you to shut up?

ZIMMERMAN: I don't know.

HANNITY: We heard the screams on the one recording from the neighbor that was calling the police and there's been some dispute whose voice that is. Was that your voice screaming or was it Trayvon Martin's voice?

ZIMMERMAN: That was my voice.

HANNITY: Absolutely. That was your voice?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: And the police even said at one time they heard 14 screams. You were screaming that loud?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir. HANNITY: And you said to the police at one point that he put his hand over your mouth. Do you think that was to silence you from screaming?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir. I believe that he -- from what the investigators told me, he knew that I was talking to the police and I was yelling, so that I believe the police officer was there and they just couldn't find me, so I was yelling in the hopes that they were in the vicinity and they would come when they heard me.

HANNITY: Do you remember when you, yourself, reached for your weapon? Do you remember that moment?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: Tell us about that.

ZIMMERMAN: At that point, I realized that it wasn't my gun, it wasn't his gun. It was the gun.

HANNITY: Did he say anything, because you said he was talking a lot about the gun. Did he say he noticed the gun?

ZIMMERMAN: He said, you're going to die tonight, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), and took one hand off of my mouth, and I felt it going down my chest towards my belt and my holster, and that's when I -- I didn't have anymore time.

HANNITY: Do you think he acted more out of a conscious thought? I mean, I know these events happened very quickly. Do you remember consciously thinking, I've got to grab my gun, or did you just do it? Was there a conscious thought that went through your head that you thought you were going to die and that you had to take this -- you had to get your weapon and fire?

ZIMMERMAN: I'd love to give you an answer.

HANNITY: You don't know?

ZIMMERMAN: It just happened so quickly.

HANNITY: Now there was an eye witness that was out from the very beginning that, in fact, did tell the police the night of the shooting that he saw Trayvon on top of you and did see the beating. There is no witness to the actual shooting itself, right?

ZIMMERMAN: Correct, besides myself.

HANNITY: Besides yourself?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: When you think back and -- there was one report or a police report that actually said you didn't know after you fired, you didn't think -- you thought you missed?

ZIMMERMAN: I didn't think I hit him, yes. HANNITY: Yeah.

So what -- so what happened immediately after the shooting then, George? I understand one guy came out, he said he had a flashlight, that he spoke to you, and you said to call your wife, tell her what happened, I shot somebody. Do you remember that conversation?

ZIMMERMAN: The conversation I had with the gentleman or --


ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: You do remember that conversation? And he did talk about it, and his suggestion was is that you were very matter of fact about it. Do you remember what you said to him? Do you think you were a state of shock? Did you know that Trayvon -- when did you know that Trayvon had died?

ZIMMERMAN: When I went -- probably, about an hour after I got to the police station.

HANNITY: After the shooting, did you -- and you saw that he was laying there and obviously injured, there was a moment where you realized that he was shot?

ZIMMERMAN: Like I said, he sat up and he said something to the effect of, you got it or you got me. I assumed he meant, OK, you got the gun, I didn't get it. I'm not going to fight anymore. At which point, I got out from under him.

HANNITY: Is there anything you regret? Do you regret getting out of the car to follow Trayvon that night?


HANNITY: Do you regret that you -- you had a gun that night?


HANNITY: Do you feel you wouldn't be here for this interview if you didn't have that gun?


HANNITY: You feel you would not be here?

ZIMMERMAN: I feel that it was all God's plan and for me to second guess it or judge it --

HANNITY: Is there anything you might do differently in retrospect now that time has passed a little bit?


HANNITY: You know, the detective said, you know, that you had -- (END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: Going to take a quick break. You've been watching and listening to an interview George Zimmerman was undergoing through Sean Hannity. This was back in July 18, 2012.

We'll get right back to the live testimony in just a minute after this quick break.


MALVEAUX: We'll go back to the live George Zimmerman trial. Let's dip in.


ZIMMERMAN: -- 15 to 30 seconds.

HANNITY: It was that quick?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: So in other words, they had already been on their way. They were there in 15 or 30 seconds. What do you make of all the national media attention in this case? There are crimes that happen every day, the nation is focused on your case? Why do you think that is and what do you make of it and what does it mean to you?

ZIMMERMAN: It's surreal. I don't like that they've rushed to judgment the way they have. I feel that any time they have a story that's remotely positive, they interpret it negatively.

HANNITY: You had called police on at least four prior occasions and had mentioned "black male suspects." I want to give you a chance to respond why you called, what were those instances, and how.

ZIMMERMAN: The -- I also stated that -- and I never volunteered that information. It was always at their request that I describe them, and even when I described them, I didn't volunteer their race until they asked me. And there was also Hispanic kids, some white kids that were in the neighborhood.

HANNITY: That you made calls about?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: Let me ask you this. I want to go back to someone specific case, if I can. And it's the issue of you following him. And I want to go back to the dispatch call. You said you stopped, you didn't follow him. There's one moment that you were, apparently, as you look at the grounds of where this took place, there's the apartment, there's the overhangs and then there's another street on the other side, you had gone to the other street, correct --

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: -- at some point? How do you get to the other street if you're not following him? Where were you going at that point?

ZIMMERMAN: I was walking from where I had parked my car towards my street. He went right down in between the houses. I walked straight across.

HANNITY: In that sense, were you following him?


HANNITY: You weren't following him?


HANNITY: And this is after the 911 call?


HANNITY: During the 911 call.

ZIMMERMAN: When they stated, we don't need you to do that.

HANNITY: Why were you walking back to your street and not back to the car at that point?

I'm trying to get the chronology.

ZIMMERMAN: Certainly. Where I had parked my car was the back of the townhouses. There wasn't a way to know what the street number was. And I knew if I walked straight through, it's a circle, Retreat View Circle, and if I walked straight through to there, that would be Retreat View Circle, and I could tell them exactly, one, two, three, four Retreat View Circle and not just a general area where my car was, like I had done previous.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. So I'll open my mic and say hello to you. I am Brooke Baldwin, as we are watching and waiting, as we have been continuing this live coverage of the George Zimmerman trial here in Sanford, Florida. Let me just roll back and sort of explain to you what you have just seen or, if you're just joining us. What they're doing now, they've just come back from this lunch recess. And for the last 10 minutes of so, they have been showing inside the --