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George Zimmerman Trial Continues; Protests in Egypt
Aired July 2, 2013 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARK O'MARA, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: OK. And the jury will, of course, make that determination, right?
VALERIE RAO, MEDICAL EXAMINER: Correct.
O'MARA: And then there could be -- how many maximum times could the back of the head have been hit on the cement?
RAO: Well, to me it was consistent with one, but, as you suggested, by turning the head in different ways, it could be two. That is possible.
O'MARA: Three or four?
RAO: With no injury, yes, if the head is in contact with no injury, yes.
O'MARA: How about the swelling below the lacerations?
RAO: The contusion.
O'MARA: Below, right.
RAO: The contusion, yes.
O'MARA: Could that have been a separate injury?
RAO: (INAUDIBLE) possible.
O'MARA: Well, if the head was hit so that just the crown hit the cement one time, let's say his head just snapped back and it hit here, that could have caused one of the lacerations, correct?
RAO: Yes, but it's so close to each other. That's the proximity that really kind of makes it possible.
O'MARA: OK. I appreciate that. So if the head was tilted one way and then snapped back so that this was the crowning point, that would be one laceration injury, correct?
RAO: It's possible.
O'MARA: And if the head was this way, another laceration injury. Correct? RAO: That's possible.
O'MARA: And then if I was able to resist one of the toss-backs of my head, I can actually keep the crown higher and that back bruising that you just identified could have occurred, right?
RAO: It's unusual because, you know, you're talking about a flat surface. So the head will have to be really contorted to be able to give you all those injuries from different impacts.
O'MARA: Change it now that it's not the cement, OK? Change it that it's here. Change it that what was hitting -- that the bruise on the bottom wasn't flat, that it was against the side. Would that cause the bruising down here without the lacerations?
RAO: The side of what?
O'MARA: The side of the cement. You know that it was a cement sidewalk, correct?
O'MARA: And you know that they were at the very edge of it, correct?
O'MARA: So you know that there is, in fact, an edge of cement. Correct?
RAO: It's possible.
O'MARA: I'm sorry?
RAO: The injury is possible like you are suggesting, yes.
O'MARA: Here is the cement. And we have been talking and discussing as all the injuries are on the flat surface, right?
O'MARA: So let's introduce now that there could have been some injuries here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your Honor, I object. That's facts not in evidence.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hypothetical with an expert. Overruled.
RAO: It's possible.
So the possibility is that the head being hit against the cement could easily be two lacerations above may not have ever impacted again when the bottom bruising occurred, right?
RAO: It's possible.
O'MARA: OK. Mr. Guy focused you on life-threatening injuries, right?
O'MARA: Did they suggest to you in your testimony that this had anything to do with life-threatening injuries?
RAO: I'm sorry. I didn't get that.
O'MARA: Did the state attorney's office when they prepped you for your testimony here today suggest to you that life-threatening injuries was an element of anything having to do with this case?
O'MARA: OK. You understand that the extent of injuries are not significant in this case, do you not?
RAO: I'm sorry. I didn't get that.
O'MARA: OK. You understand that the extent of any injuries that Mr. Zimmerman incurred in this attack have nothing to do with the case itself, correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I object to that. It's calling for our legal conclusion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) question, please.
O'MARA: I will.
Were you prepared for the examination to identify whether or not you could testify that there were life-threatening injuries or not?
O'MARA: OK. None of these injuries you identified as they turned out were, in fact, life-threatening, were they?
O'MARA: What about the next injury?
RAO: The what? Sorry?
O'MARA: The next injury.
RAO: What is that?
O'MARA: The next injury he would have sustained.
RAO: I'm sorry. I didn't get that.
O'MARA: Could the injury that he didn't have to survive, could that have been life-threatening? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection. That is calling for speculation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sustained.
O'MARA: If I might just have a moment, Your Honor.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. So perhaps we're waiting for a little redirect from the state.
In the meantime, Carrie and Mike and Darren and Sunny all standing by to talk about what we have just seen. And I was just tweeting because again as we were talking, I'm just curious. The people who are watching so closely with us, if you're a juror to your point as we're chatting watching along, if you're a juror and you're listening to the minutia of the swelling of the laceration and the contusions, are you falling asleep or are you taking copious notes?
CARRIE HACKETT, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It depends on the juror. Mike Brooks was saying this is so interesting to me and as a lawyer it's less interesting to me because I don't think it's legally relevant in this case.
I think it very much depends on who you are and what audience they're telling to.
BALDWIN: OK. State's back up. Let's listen.
RAO: Absolutely not.
JOHN GUY, FLORIDA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: All right.
You were shown some photographs by defense counsel. Were you provided with all of those photographs prior to trial on the disc that you referred to?
GUY: In fact, I think you referred to 36 photographs of the defendant.
GUY: Did that also include photographs of his hands?
GUY: Would you expect someone who was undergoing a severe attack to try to defend themselves?
O'MARA: Objection, Your Honor. Outside of scope and also speculation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sustained on both grounds.
GUY: You were asked about a scenario where the defendant may have hit his head on the edge of concrete. When you watched the defendant's walk-through or recreation, did he describe his head getting hit on the edge of concrete?
GUY: Judge, thank you. That's all I have.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. May Dr. Rao be excused?
O'MARA: She may.
GUY: Yes, Your Honor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you very much. You are excused.
Call your next witness, please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your Honor, the next witness isn't available, but can counsel (INAUDIBLE) briefly?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
BALDWIN: All right. The next witness is not available at the moment. Let's chat here.
Sunny Hostin, you have listened to the testimony and the cross, the quick redirect. Where do you think, talking about the jurors moments ago, where do you think the jury stands on all this, all this science?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, jurors actually I think do like M.E.s. I think that they like the forensics given the sort of CSI effect our society is going through. She was a witness that really wouldn't deviate much from her testimony on direct, which was these are insignificant injuries. Could have been consistent with one hit slamming to the ground, perhaps a few more.
And so any way you sort of look at that, even with the cross, I think it's clear that it sort of rebuts what George Zimmerman said, which was that his head was repeatedly slammed to the ground. He was hit in the face, I don't know, 25 times, however many times he's testified to or been deposed different times.
But I got to tell you I think ultimately in something like this, the jury is going to go back into the jury room and look at the pictures and decide for themselves whether they think the injuries are significant because that's what we're asking them to do.
We're asking them to not leave their common sense at the jury room door but take it back with them, look at all the evidence and make the determination by themselves. I don't know if this advanced the ball that much for the prosecution.
MIKE BROOKS, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: If you go back and look at the testimony of the lead investigator, Chris Serino, he also thought that the injuries were minor. But he also said that he thought there were no major inconsistencies in his story. So, OK, what are the injuries here? Are, as Dr. Rao said, so minor as she said a number of times? And then you heard the chief investigator thought that they weren't that big and much to it at all. If you take that testimony together, then you go back, was George Zimmerman in fear of his life? That's the main question.
BALDWIN: It was his mind-set whether or not then he would have taken the gun and used deadly force. As you point out, Carrie and Darren, also to you're point, that in Florida, in the state of Florida it's not whether or not you think that there is imminent danger as far as death. It's whether or not there is -- what's the legal phraseology? What is it?
HACKETT: Reasonable fear of serious bodily injury.
BALDWIN: Reasonable fear of serious bodily injury. Thank you, defense attorney.
DARREN KAVINOKY, ATTORNEY: Yes, absolutely.
But it's interesting as we watch the medical examiner witness. Sometimes the importance of a witness is not that they show up for some big moment while they're on the stand. Sometimes it's just so one side or the other can elicit some nugget of information that they can later get mileage from in their closing argument when there's really that battle for the hearts and minds of the jurors, or sometimes it's to elicit something from a witness that's either going to support or contradict something we heard from another witness and Mike talked a little bit about that.
That may be another reason why this witness could be so important in the overall tapestry of this case.
BALDWIN: I think the contradictions and the themes of pointing out inconsistencies obviously is pervasive in a trial like this.
Coming up, by the way, in case you're keeping score, there's now a 15- minute recess. We're going to take a quick break. When we come back, if you have not been paying as close attention as the rest of us have, I know many of you have in this incredibly important trial in Sanford, Florida, we will go back and revisit some of the witnesses who took the today, again that lead detective continuing this morning. We will hear from Detective Serino.
We will hear from who is self-described George Zimmerman's best friend wrote a whole book about this whole ordeal. But will that book come back to haunt George Zimmerman? We will play his testimony, what the state might be trying to prove about an inconsistency in that book next.
BALDWIN: So once again the court in the George Zimmerman trial taking a 15-minute recess. Let's just revisit what we have seen today since the very beginning in court right around 9:00 Eastern this morning.
There has been this revealing testimony here this morning from Zimmerman's best friend who saw him the night Trayvon Martin was shot. Want you to listen how this man by the name of Mark Osterman describes George Zimmerman's demeanor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK OSTERMAN, FRIEND OF ZIMMERMAN: But he had a stunned look on his face.
O'MARA: When you say stunned --
OSTERMAN: Wide-eyed, kind of a little bit detached, perhaps from maybe not realizing he had just gone through a traumatic event.
OSTERMAN: Odd to describe, very, very difficult to describe it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Important to remember here he is not just George Zimmerman's friend. He also co-wrote this book called "Defending Our Friend: The Most Hated Man in America." And it's the words in this book that could actually really hurt his friend and hurt the defense.
Quoting Zimmerman Osterman wrote this -- quote -- "Somehow I broke his grip on the gun where the guy grabbed it between the rear site and the hammer. I got the gun in my hand, raised it toward the guy's chest and pulled trigger."
But -- here's the big but here -- in every reported police interview with George Zimmerman, the recreation of the crime as he walked out there the next day, there he is, this is George Zimmerman saying that Trayvon Martin says he reached for his gun which was holstered but didn't actually lay a finger on it, didn't actually grab it, huge distinction there between this book from the best friend, the guy you're looking at here, and George Zimmerman himself.
This is certainly something the state jumped on today. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The defendant was claiming that the victim actually grabbed the gun, grabbed the --
OSTERMAN: That was my understanding, that he grabbed the gun. That would have been the only place that was available to grab.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then he said he, the defendant, managed to get the gun in his hand and raised it towards Trayvon Martin's chest and pulled the trigger, correct?
OSTERMAN: Unfortunately, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So let's bring in our team of legal experts. Is this a sign Zimmerman was dishonest about what happened that night or was he misquoted by his best friend? We will talk to our experts in a moment, but there's also this, this exchange that got the state hot under the collar. Here he is for day two.
He was the lead detective here in this investigation initially, Chris Serino, saying George Zimmerman was telling the truth about what happened that night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERINO: I believe his words were, thank God. I was hoping somebody would videotape it.
O'MARA: The fact that George Zimmerman said, thank God, I hope somebody did videotape the event or the whole event, his statement, what did that indicate to you?
SERINO: Either he was telling the truth or he was a complete pathological liar.
O'MARA: Is there anything else in this case where you got the insight that he might be a pathological liar?
O'MARA: So if we were to take pathological liar off the table as a possibility just for the purposes of this next question, do you think he was telling the truth?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So that specific exchange actually happened in court late yesterday today, has since been struck from the record here. There was a hearing this early morning as to whether or not that could be included.
But you think of jurors. Can they entirely strike it from their minds? That's a whole other discussion. You think about it, the jurors go home and they have an entire evening to digest what you have heard, the last thing you have heard inside this courtroom in Sanford.
Let me bring in Darren Kavinoky, attorney and host of "Deadly Sins" on Investigation Discovery. Also with me, Sunny Hostin, CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor. Also Carrie Hackett, criminal defense attorney, and Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst.
Let's go back to Mark Osterman, Darren and Sunny. I want to begin with you two. Let's chew on what Mark Osterman said, specifically the issue that the state is hoping to seize upon because, again, this guy talked to his buddy George Zimmerman 2:00 in the morning, George Zimmerman tells him exactly what happened, and according to George Zimmerman as is now in this book which he wrote some four months later, and the defense was country clear and trying to get him to say, listen, this wasn't corroborated. You just wrote this book. He said yes.
The fact was that according to George Zimmerman, he said that Trayvon Martin -- this is the first time that we heard this, that Trayvon Martin grabbed Zimmerman's gun. This is totally contradictory, Sunny Hostin, to what George Zimmerman himself told police over and over.
HOSTIN: Yes, that's right. Bottom line is that his best friend, George Zimmerman's best friend, Mr. Osterman, did him no favors. He was a terrific witness for the government.
He started out his testimony by saying he was the one who encouraged George Zimmerman to get a gun.
BALDWIN: Get a gun.
HOSTIN: And even went over what type of gun he should get. That, I'm sure didn't go well with the jury. And then on top of it, you're right, he writes a book, which I haven't read it, but I hear is more like a pamphlet. But this book is published.
And he describes something completely different to his best friend from what he described to police and others. I have got to tell you, what the prosecution is doing is textbook prosecutorial strategy. They are gathering all of George Zimmerman's statements in front of the jury and then they're going to overlay them in cross-examination and they're going to show each and every inconsistency. And what will that show the jury? That will show, you know what? He's all over the place.
BALDWIN: Mike Brooks is shaking his head.
BROOKS: You know, Sunny, absolutely. I can't understand why that his attorney, who went with him, would have him interviewed by Sean Hannity. That's just another, something else that they can go back on, Sunny and Darren.
It's just -- I thought it was really a bad move by his attorney. This book, this guy, why write a book until the whole case is adjudicated? Why did you do this? Was it to help raise money for his defense fund? There's a possibility.
BALDWIN: Here's the other question though, because -- hang on, Darren. Let me ask you this.
BALDWIN: Because on the Sean Hannity interview, and this was his key -- this was actually played in court a little while ago, Sean Hannity, host of -- on FOX News Channel, sits down with this whole interview with George Zimmerman.
It was a huge get July 18 last year. They played bits and pieces of this interview in the courtroom today and then like crickets we move onto the chief medical examiner and I'm sitting here wondering, aren't they going to chew on that? Why not, Darren?
KAVINOKY: Right. Right. Right. And of course, it seems like felony stupid that a defense team would allow him to do that interview in the first place.
This is wrong for so many reasons and then for the prosecution to not take the opportunity and as you point out, Brooke, to really run with it and drive the points home, that was a big gap as well.
But there's one other thing and we were just looking at that tape of Zimmerman's interview with police where he's showing on his shirt how Trayvon was reaching for the gun and he gave that statement then that he had forgotten that he had the gun on him until he felt Trayvon's hands reaching for it.
And I have talked to Mike Brooks about this at length and I have talked to lots of people that carry guns at length. No one, no one is buying for a second that somebody forgets where their gun is. As a matter of fact, I don't think there's any way that Zimmerman gets out of his car without knowing he's got the gun because he's got no idea who he's going after.
That gun makes him feel powerful. That gun makes him feel invincible and no one should be buying for a second that he didn't know that he had that gun on him.
BALDWIN: On that point, guys, we have to take a quick break. I hear you. I hear you. I know you want to jump in. Carrie, I promise you, you get first at bat on the other side the break. We will be right back. Stay with me.
BALDWIN: Want to take you to a major story that has been unfolding here, thousands and thousands of protesters not just in Cairo, but all around Egypt.
Look at this and just listen to the throngs of folks really in what was the heart of the soul of the revolution some two years ago. And now it's a revolution of a different kind.
Our senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, is there to explain to us.
Ben, two deadlines, both with these protesters who are furious with their president, Mohammed Morsi, and also with the military, who are giving deadline tomorrow night. BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right.
That deadline is going to run out. The military says that if the Muslim Brotherhood leadership of the country, President Mohammed Morsi, and the opposition do not keep to some sort of agreement on how to run this country, the military has what they call a long-term road map to deal with this country's many, many problems.
And what we're hearing from the president is that they're not at all happy about this ultimatum. They say they were not consulted beforehand. They're worried that it's too vague and it could lead to increased tensions. And certainly on that point, they do seem to be correct.
We have a massive demonstration here in Tahrir Square, people coming from all over Cairo. There's another demonstration in front of the Ittihadiya Palace, which is Egypt's equivalent of the White House. But then in other parts of Cairo, there are demonstrations for President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. They argue he was elected democratically a year ago and he should fulfill his term.
The problem is, there are small clashes breaking out in various parts of Cairo. We're hearing there are some casualties, some fatalities already. The worry is that what is now a series of relatively peaceful demonstrations could turn violent -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: I see what I believe are fireworks behind you. Ben Wedeman in Cairo, we will stay obviously on that story.
And again the deadline tonight. You see these protesters. They say if Morsi does not step down tonight, they're marching on his presidential palace. If you want more on this story, go to CNN.com.
Meantime, we will take you back to the George Zimmerman trial. It has resumed. Got to get a quick break in. We will talk about the momentum both on the defense and the state side here as they move along and call another witness and also Carrie's point on whether or not this lead detective this morning, if he lost some of his sting at the end of his questioning.
Back after this.
BALDWIN: All right, the jury is out of the room here in this courtroom in this George Zimmerman trial, so we're going to explain to you exactly what is happening right now.
We're keeping one eye on this and one on you, Carrie, because back to your point, this morning, sort of the whole -- the testimony wrapped with the lead detective this case, Detective Serino, and do you feel like some of the zing from some of his testimony was lost at the very end?
HACKETT: It was diminished a little bit at the end. But I think that jurors do find police officers, detectives, investigators to be so credible and they do find their testimony to be very persuasive. So, I thought it was really helpful to the defense that Detective Serino said that he did find Zimmerman to be truthful.
I think that that's going to go a long way with the jury to have a police officer, an investigator, a detective, somebody that's been through all of this training give an opinion as to the truthfulness of this person despite the fact that the judge told the jury to disregard it.
BALDWIN: He was asked -- you're saying that George Zimmerman said thank God somebody did videotape the whole event, and then he was asked either he was telling the truth or he was a pathological liar and said, no, he didn't think he would be.
Tell us what's happening right now.
BROOKS: I think what's happening right now, they're talking about one of the teachers that George Zimmerman had when he was taking his criminal justice classes.
And from the bits and pieces I have been able to get, I think they're talking about George Zimmerman's course of studies and maybe some reports that he had done for his schoolwork and dealing with how much did he know, how much role was he trying to play as a neighborhood watch coordinator, saying he wanted to catch these people, because they really were banging on him for using the word, referring to Trayvon Martin as a suspect in his written statement. Is that because of the classes he took?
BALDWIN: Well, didn't also at some point in time -- and this could be very relevant -- didn't he want to be a police officer?