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George Zimmerman`s Best Friend Testifies for Prosecution

Aired July 2, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, stunning testimony in court as accused murderer George Zimmerman`s BFF -- that`s right, his very, very best friend -- is called to the witness stand. Did the defendant`s best friend help the prosecution or did he sneak in some zingers for his good buddy?

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


GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, ON TRIAL FOR SHOOTING TRAYVON MARTIN: He jumped out from the bushes, and he said, "What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is your problem, homey?"


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he`s yelling "help"?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. What is your...


CHRIS SERINO, FORMER LEAD DETECTIVE ON CASE: Either he was telling the truth...



ZIMMERMAN: He said, "You`re going to die tonight, (EXPLETIVE DELETED."

SERINO: ... or he was a complete pathological liar.

ZIMMERMAN: The operator said, "Are you following him?"

I said yes.

They said, "We don`t need you to do that."

I said OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... and you don`t know why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know why...



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman claims he killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin as a last resort in self-defense.

But the medical examiner got on the stand and told the jury that none of Zimmerman`s injuries were life-threatening. And she said Zimmerman could have suffered only one punch. Zimmerman claims he was repeatedly pummeled.

Mark Osterman, Zimmerman`s best friend, is an ex-deputy and an air marshal. He helped George buy his gun. Mark wrote a book about this case called "Defending the Most Hated Man in America," a book he hoped would help George. But prosecutors say what he wrote in that book contradicts what George told the cops. So could his buddy inadvertently help prosecutors and help send George to prison? Listen.


MARK OSTERMAN, ZIMMERMAN`S BEST FRIEND: He said that he went for the gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said Trayvon Martin went for the gun? Correct?

OSTERMAN: Grabbed for the gun.

ZIMMERMAN: He looked at it and he saw -- he looked down, and said, "You`re going to die tonight, mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED)." And he reached for it. I felt his arm going down my side.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The defendant is claiming that the victim grabbed the gun, grabbed the...

OSTERMAN: That was my understanding, that he grabbed the gun.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But today, an expert testified no DNA or fingerprints from Trayvon Martin were found on the gun or the holster.

Osterman`s testimony also contradicts what Zimmerman told police about the nuances of that puzzle. The prosecution needs inconsistencies to discredit George Zimmerman.

So how much damage did this guy do to his so-called BFF, if any? What do you think? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to the Lions` Den. Is Mark Osterman George Zimmerman`s best friend or worst enemy? And we`re going to start with Kate Fox, radio and TV personality, out of Los Angeles.

KATE FOX, RADIO AND TV PERSONALITY: You know what? Who cares about what this best friend has to say. First of all, can we talk about how he was sweating profusely on the stand? I mean, what is going on with his body language? He had a whole smirky smile about himself. And he`s not credible.

I mean, this conversation is based on a 15- to 20-minute conversation that he had in a car ride with Zimmerman, and he wrote a book about it, seriously?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, here`s the thing, Michelle Suskauer. This case is going to boil down to the details. He said in the book that Trayvon goes for the gun or the holster, which he described as one and the same, and grabbed it.

But actually, there was a different story told on the reenactment video by George Zimmerman who said, oh, his shirt came up or his clothing came up and there was the gun. And it`s much more nuanced than that, and then there`s the lack of DNA or fingerprints or palm prints on that holster, anything from Trayvon Martin.

MICHELLE SUSKAUER, ATTORNEY: But you know what? I think that the inconsistencies are insignificant here. Because you have to look at the incident itself, which basically took a matter of seconds.

Also, it`s not George Zimmerman writing the book. It`s his friend writing the book. It`s like a game of telephone. So there are going to be changes and differences. Look, it`s insignificant. It wasn`t him; it was his friend.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon Leiberman.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: The reason why I believe these inconsistencies are potentially very significant is because this jury is going to have to decide the credibility of George Zimmerman. He`s either going to be convicted of something or he`s going to be acquitted based on his own words: all of the statements he made, the 911 tapes. And that`s why it is important, because if the jurors don`t believe...


LEIBERMAN: ... some of his words or if his story starts to not add up, that`s where this is significant.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank Taaffe, former neighbor of George Zimmerman and his friend and supporter, what say you about this? Gosh, first of all, do you know Mark Osterman?

FRAN TAAFFE, FORMER NEIGHBOR OF ZIMMERMAN: I don`t know Mark. I just know of him after the book came out, which I thought to myself was just a little bit premature. But I guess he had his own agenda on that one. Anyway going back to your question -- go ahead, I`m sorry.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. No, go ahead; go to the point.

TAAFFE: I believe that the so-called inconsistencies are just mere nuances, an add word here and there, but it does not change the facts of the case that he sustained injuries to his head.

And Jane, let`s go back to what the statute is, which the jurors will be read to what the statute reads on self-defense, is he or she believes that they are reasonably in imminent danger of loss of life or great bodily harm, that deadly force can be used. That`s...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me jump in here for a second. I want to jump in, because we had some testimony on that. Zimmerman told cops time and time again that Trayvon punched him many times, slammed his head against the concrete over and over. He thought his head was going to explode. We all remember that.

Well, today, the medical examiner said the evidence tells a very different story. Listen to both, and then we`ll debate it.


ZIMMERMAN: I tried to sit up, and that`s when he grabbed me by the head and tried to slam my head down and kept slamming it and slamming it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are any of the injuries depicted in State 75 life threatening?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And in terms of severity, how would you classify the contusions or abrasions in this photograph?

RAO: Yes. Very small injuries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could all the injuries exhibited in State 75 have come from a single blow?

RAO: Yes. One impact against concrete, yes.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So even though we have been inundated with photos of George Zimmerman`s bloody head and his bloody nose, this medical examiner is saying these are minor ,insignificant injuries.

Larry Kobilinsky, famed forensic scientist out of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, we are going to show you again the bloody photos that we have seen of George Zimmerman, with his nose and the back of his head. How can two people have such completely different descriptions, where he says his head was slammed against the concrete, it was going to explode, he was pummeled; and she`s staying, "Nah, it`s minor; there`s nothing really wrong with this guy"?

LARRY KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, first of all, Jane, pathologists work on dead people. And I`m wondering if she ever examined George Zimmerman? Probably not.

I think she`s basing all of her comments on the photographs, which is really not supposed to happen.

I think if there were a neurologist that examined George Zimmerman, he would have asked for radiographic evidence that there wasn`t any more serious injury.

And it looks to me like these lacerations on the head, this is what we call blunt trauma; did not arise from one impact. It looks to me like there are multiple impacts.

And let me just tell you that, although they are -- they look -- they appear to be superficial, one can have what looks like something -- like superficial trauma, but in fact there is deeper injuries, subdural hematomas, for example, can occur, and they can lead to death.

So I think this medical examiner ought to take a closer look at what she`s saying and think about making statements before making judgments about a serious case like this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Indeed, Jean Casarez, HLN legal correspondent, you`ve been in court for the duration. There was an attempt, I think, I heard, by the defense to try to imply that this woman, this doctor was not exactly objective, that she may have a back story. In other words, that she`s really piling on for the prosecution.

JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, like she`s a paid, you know, paid talking head for the prosecution. She is the chief medical examiner, though, of Duvall County. Now of course, that is where the prosecutors are from. But the defense was trying to make that point.

Another thing she said, though, as the expert: all the lumps that were on the defendant`s head, she said that they were just the shape of his skull, that that`s the way he was formed. But I was looking at the -- because I was noting all those lumps and bumps, and then the recreation video the next day, I didn`t see all the lumps and bumps. So I think there definitely was swelling all over his head.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And you know, getting back to this friend, Zimmerman and his BFF or frenemy or enemy, whatever you want to call him, Mark Osterman, his buddy, I think we`ll all agree they`re like two peas in a pod. They`re both very interested in law enforcement. Osterman helped George Zimmerman buy his gun. Listen to this.


MARK O`MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Did he tell you the reason why he wanted to get a firearm?

OSTERMAN: He asked whether -- whether he should or shouldn`t to start with.


OSTERMAN: I recommended that he should. I think everybody who`s not a convicted felon should -- should carry a firearm.

O`MARA: That`s your sort of life philosophy?

OSTERMAN: That`s my opinion, correct.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go back into the Lions` Den. There`s the gun that this friend helped George Zimmerman buy.

Jordan Rose, noted attorney out of Phoenix, we got to be friends during the Jodi Arias trial, standing out there in the sweltering heat outside the courthouse.

This guy does a couple of things. On the one hand, you might say he humanizes George Zimmerman. He`s a friend. He describes how George was worried about his wife, Shelly, who was hysterical after she found out about the shooting. But on the other hand, does he also make George Zimmerman seem like a cop wannabe, because he was a deputy, because he`s very involved in law enforcement, because he is very into that, too?

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: I think that`s right, Jane. And in fact, this guy was put on a stand for a reason, and it`s because he will drive home these inconsistencies and potentially force Zimmerman to testify himself.

Because right now, as you know, we may or may not see Zimmerman. But with all of these different inconsistent stories, we`re going to see him.

And Zimmerman`s -- this story of the friend shows us that Zimmerman was just a crime waiting to happen. He`s a wannabe police officer. He...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Michelle Suskauer, do you really see him as a crime waiting to happen, or do you see this guy as humanizing his friend?

SUSKAUER: Listen, I think that what the prosecution did here is they really tried a little too hard to bring out that whole cop wannabe and the fact that, you know, this is, you know, that he was overly aggressive and he`s just like this guy. But I think they failed. I think what is...

ROSE: He`s walking around with a gun. He`s the Neighborhood Watch with a gun. How is that -- he`s absolutely a cop wannabe. It`s crazy.

SUSKAUER: But what I`m saying...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kate Fox, is he a cop wannabe or not?


SUSKAUER: ... not a cop wannabe.

FOX: We call them flash-white (ph) cops. He was definitely overzealous, and it seemed like he was trying to please his boss and say, "Look. Look at what I did, and please somebody get what I..."


TAAFFE: Who`s his boss? He was a volunteer.

FOX: ... of what they wanted.

ROSE: He was a community guy who should stay and just watch what`s going on. He has an overinflated sense of what he needs to do, and he has a gun.

TAAFFE: He was a volunteer. A volunteer.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. He didn`t have a boss. He was a volunteer when it came to the Neighborhood Watch stuff. He may have been trying to impress somebody, but not a boss.

All right.

LIEBERMAN: Did he get paid?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Short break. We`re back with the Lions` Den panel, fired up tonight. Stay right there. And we`re taking your calls.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The head bashing on the concrete stopped, and Trayvon reached for the firearm that was at his side, grabbed ahold of it. He didn`t have it to go out and commit a crime of hunting someone down and harming them. It was for self-protection. And I`m glad that firearm was used to protect George.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said he`s got a gun. The person is dead lying on the ground.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s screaming "help me, help me," and this person shot 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: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I`ve never seen anyone killed.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All day, I`ve been watching coverage of the case, and let me tell you, the best legal minds in America are disagreeing. Some of them are saying, "Oh, this was a great day for the prosecution."

Others are saying, "This was a great day for the defense. The prosecution`s case is crumbling."

Who knows? Only the jurors know what`s going on in their minds.

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

CALLER: Yes, thank you for taking my call. Pertaining to the evidence that the expert witness was testifying to, the bump and the swelling on the head, if we all can see that Mr. Zimmerman`s gained weight, has grown his hair back. Do you think the defense would offer to have him come in the next day with his head shaved away that it was the night that this incident took place and if it`s still there, then it`s the shape of his head? It`s very simple.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa, whoa, wait, wait. That`s fabulous. That is fabulous.

All right. Let`s go to Larry Kobilinsky. This woman, this doctor said, "Hey, you know, some of the things that are being attributed as injuries to George Zimmerman are actually the shape of his skull." This caller had a great idea. Shave his head and have him come in and see is it the shape of his skull? What do you think?

KOBILINSKY: I think it`s nonsense. I looked at the photographs. I saw swelling on both sides of the head. I don`t think you have to be an expert. I don`t think you have to be a medical doctor. A view of the front of his skull shows swelling on both sides of the head. He was beaten. There`s no question about that. I don`t think there should be a debate about that. I think a medical examiner is just plain wrong.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean, you raise an important point. And I have to say, to bring our expert panel back, our Lions` Den -- they`re waiting there -- Kate Fox, I`ll throw this one at you.

The prosecution has to explain why George Zimmerman has a swollen nose and a bloody nose and blood on the back of his head. I think that it`s what they call -- I don`t like to be species-ist, but the big elephant in the room. How do they do that?

FOX: Well, that`s a very good question, Jane. But let`s talk about - - let`s talk about the fact that a boy`s life was lost. Let`s talk about...

TAAFFE: No, answer the question. Answer the question. Answer the question.

FOX: His DNA was not on the gun.

TAAFFE: Answer that.

FOX: Let me finish my statement.

TAAFFE: How are they going to answer that?

FOX: If someone is coming at me for my life, I`m going to fight for my life, because there`s a gun right there. So if there was a scuffle, that`s understandable. He is fighting for his life.

TAAFFE: George is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Jon Leiberman.

LEIBERMAN: We know there -- we know there was a struggle. There`s no question there was some kind of struggle. Back to the wannabe cop thing. The question is this: had George Zimmerman simply said, "Sir, I`m George. I`m with the Neighborhood Watch."

TAAFFE: He didn`t have time to say anything. There was no time for that dialogue.

LEIBERMAN: He had plenty of time.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Give everybody a chance. Frank wanted to say something.

LEIBERMAN: I`m not saying that he`s guilty. I`m not saying -- Let me just finish.


TAAFFE: He didn`t have time for that dialogue. It was one, two, three. He didn`t have time to say it.


LEIBERMAN: ... pointing out -- Frank, he watched him. And he followed him.

TAAFFE: ... Neighborhood Watch.

LEIBERMAN: He admits following him. Frank, he admits in his testimony seeing him, following him, being within earshot that he could see him. He could have said, "My name is George. I`m the Neighborhood Watch volunteer." That`s all he needed to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on, hold on! Knock, knock, knock. Michelle Suskauer.

SUSKAUER: Yes. The important point is that there`s no question, pictures speak louder than words. Louder than the expert, and they have to explain the fact that he looks like he had, you know, the heck beat out of him.

But you need to understand something. He doesn`t have to have life- threatening injuries for him to be acquitted. It doesn`t have to be life- threatening. And everyone thinks he does, and he doesn`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle, you are an attorney in Miami. Answer this question for us, because there is a general sense that, in order to use deadly force, there has to be a sense that you`re going to die. You`re saying in Florida that`s not true?

TAAFFE: Or bodily harm. Or great bodily harm.

SUSKAUER: No, no, Jane, Jane, that`s right, but I`m not saying you have to have bodily harm committed on you. You have to feel that you are going to be the victim of that. He didn`t have to have life-threatening injuries.

LEIBERMAN: Jane -- Jane...


LEIBERMAN: This is why George Zimmerman may take the stand, because he, in large part, might be the only one to explain exactly how he felt in that moment with these contradicting states.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t think he`s going to -- I personally do not think he`s going to take the stand. I personally think he`s not going to take the stand. Why?

TAAFFE: Jane...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s already told his story on videotape every which way: audiotape, videotape, written. He doesn`t need to take the stand. That`s my personal opinion.

Frank, have a quick point, and then we`re going to go to Jordan.

Clock`s ticking. What do you want to say, frank?

TAAFFE: Jane, this all extends to one thing. If a woman is being raped, does she have to wait for the actual penetration to happen before she kills her attacker? No.

LEIBERMAN: Come on, Frank.

TAAFFE: The injuries are sustained...

ROSE: That`s horrible, frank.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jordan Rose. Jordan Rose. Your hair is on fire.

ROSE: He`s on the phone. He`s on the phone, and the -- and the police department says, "Walk away. Take it back. Go away. You don`t need to follow him. We`re coming out for help." And he follows the guy. He pursues him.

TAAFFE: He didn`t pursue. The state did not -- the state did not prove that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Funny you should mention that, because on the other side of the break, those of you in the Lions` Den and at home, we are going to listen to some testimony about whether or not his excuse for continuing to walk, mainly that he was looking for an address, is bogus. On the other side.


ZIMMERMAN: I was walking slowly on the sidewalk. Something`s off, so I called in an emergency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Profiling. Had this person been white, would you have felt the same way?





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does he look hurt?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t see him. I don`t want to go out there. I don`t know what`s going on. They`re sending...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he`s yelling "help"?





VELEZ-MITCHELL: George Zimmerman claims that he did not continue to follow Trayvon Martin after the nonemergency operator told him to stop. He says he was just looking for a street sign or an address to give to the operator.

But is he telling the truth? Listen and watch. Got a photo for you there.


ZIMMERMAN: I didn`t see a street sign here, but I knew if I went straight through the back streets of this circle, then I could give him an address. There`s no addresses on the back of the houses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the defendant turns and points on video to this side when he`s staying there`s no addresses because it`s the back of the house, right to the right, what is there? Is there a house there with an address?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Huge point. The address, according to the prosecutor, is clearly visible in this photo. My eyes are gone, so I can`t see it. Because I can`t assume that they would put something up when that photo wouldn`t be there.

So what the prosecution is saying is that he`s claiming that he`s going, looking for an address, but the address is right there for him to see. He doesn`t have to go anywhere.

Let`s go into the lion`s den. Kate Fox, was George Zimmerman following Trayvon Martin? One of the key questions of this case.

FOX: Yes, he was following Trayvon Martin. He profiled him: he had on a hoody, you know, young, black male walking through the streets where he probably figured he didn`t belong. He pursued him, called 911, asked what to do. They called him -- they told him to fall back, and he pursued him. Where was he going? Why was he going to that address?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle Suskauer?

SUSKAUER: You know, first of all, about this whole address thing, again, it`s more of the prosecution grasping at straws, throwing as much as they can up against the wall, a shotgun approach, hoping to make him look as bad as possible when they don`t have what they need. So it`s really important that the prosecution drives home the fact that he`s the aggressor here, as opposed to just doing his job and his volunteer job and following.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I saw Jordan`s jaw dropping. What do you have to say, Jordan?

ROSE: It -- that`s ridiculous. He`s a community member. And he`s in the neighborhood. This is just one more story he took up when he was questioned about the crime. I mean, if you`re an honest person, and you didn`t do what he did and you weren`t pursuing it, you certainly wouldn`t have answered...

TAAFFE: Why would you -- let`s...


TAAFFE: Why would you be on the phone with the police if you knew you were going to kill somebody? George was ambushed. Why would you be telling the police, "Meet me at the mailboxes before I shoot this kid"?

ROSE: By the way, nobody is saying that this is a plan, by the way, OK? Nobody said this...

TAAFFE: What are you trying to say? The police arrived within 30 seconds or a minute and a half. If you know that the police -- he asked for the police to come! He says...

FOX: The police told him to walk away.

SUSKAUER: That`s a very good point.

TAAFFE: You need to turn the volume up and listen to the 911 call. He is compliant. He`s complicit. He says, "I`ll meet you at the mailboxes."

They say, "Don`t pursue them. Are you following him?"

He says, "Yes."

"We don`t need you to do it."

What does he say? Tell me? Does he say no?

FOX: Why is he still following him?

TAAFFE: What does he say? What does he say?

LEIBERMAN: All right.

SUSKAUER: It`s a good point. Why call 911 to begin with if he was planning on being that aggressor?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think that the prosecution would say that when you`re a wannabe cop and you have a vigilante mentality -- I`m not saying that, but I`m speaking as if the prosecutor were speaking -- that you don`t feel you`re doing anything wrong. You feel entitled. But that`s not an objective position. That`s a subjective judgment that`s faulty. I think that`s what the prosecution is saying.

We`re going to take a short break. We`re going to be back with more fiery debate from the Lions` Den and play more of this controversial key testimony today. And your calls.


SERINO: Why suspicious?

ZIMMERMAN: It was raining. He was looking into the houses, looking behind, looking at me. He wasn`t walking quickly to get out of the rain. It didn`t look like he was trying to get home.

This guy looks like he`s up to no good.




ZIMMERMAN: You go straight in, don`t turn and make a left. (EXPLETIVE DELETED), he`s running.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s running? Which way is he running?

ZIMMERMAN: Down towards the other entrance of the neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. Which entrance is that that he`s heading towards?

ZIMMERMAN: The back entrance. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) punks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you following him?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. We don`t need you to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The other day you told me you got out of the car because dispatch was asking your location and you wanted to orient yourself.

You did not tell yes that, you said "Oh, bleep, he`s running." And then got out of the car and went in the same direction at the same time. See where the problem is?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I asked you "Did you look for him?" And you told me "No".


VELEZ-MITCHELL: One of the investigators in the case tried, tried to trip Zimmerman up by claiming the incident was all caught on videotape. We have it all on tape. Zimmerman`s response was, quote "Thank God, I was hoping somebody got it on tape."

Now, the defense pointed out that reaction would indicate he had done nothing wrong. He was telling the truth. But the prosecution countered that George Zimmerman being the volunteer neighborhood person that he was likely knew that the detective was bluffing.

Listen to this extraordinary confrontation.


BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: You were telling him that the victim had potentially videotaped the whole thing and the defendant made a comment like "I hope to God it was videotaped." Do you recall that?


DE LA RIONDA: 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 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, direct?

SERINO: I would assume so, yes.

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 not.

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


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The prosecutor quite sarcastic there. Straight out to "The Lion`s Den" -- did George simply call the detective`s bluff or was his exclamation that he was thrilled that somebody caught the whole thing on videotape a sign that he had done nothing wrong, was telling the truth? And I`m going to start with -- let`s see, eenie, minnie, mini mo --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Whoever said "me" goes first.

MICHELLE SUSKAUER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Me, I did. You know, this was a perfect answer that George Zimmerman gave. I mean, I would love if my clients would give answers this great. It was -- it just showed his state of mind that he felt he did absolutely nothing wrong. To say that he was so sinister that he knew -- maybe someone could have caught this on a cell phone video. So I think to go it the wrong way -- to spin it I think that`s ridiculous.


FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND AND SUPPORTER OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Jane, all the time George was at the police, he never -- they asked him if he would like to have an attorney present at the station. Let`s go back, these are facts. At the station, when he wrote out a statement, he had a voice print analysis and the re-enactment. They asked him three times under Miranda, and each time he said, "I don`t need an attorney."

If you have something to hide --

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: But Frank, that doesn`t prove or disprove a crime was committed.

TAAFFE: Would you -- ok, let me ask you this --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But isn`t this part -- ok, hold on a second. Isn`t that part and parcel, though? And I`m just speaking as a prosecutor would for a second of the vigilante mentality? I`ve done nothing wrong here. I`m totally entitled to shoot whoever.

SUSKAUER: Oh, please. Oh give me a break. You could just --


SUSKAUER: -- everything and say it`s vigilante. Please.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What? Please what?


JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: There`s no question about that. So was the fact that he decide there`s no camera -- it was raining. It was dark. There`s like a less than 1 percent chance that a camera would have photographed this. So of course he called his bluff.



K. FOXX, RADIO AND TV PERSONALITY: He definitely called his bluff. If he`s a part of this volunteer watch program, wouldn`t he know if there were cameras in the facility or not? Wouldn`t he know the inside and outside of the --

TAAFFE: No, no, no. And I want to answer that. I can answer to that.

LEIBERMAN: Well, he wouldn`t know -- he wouldn`t know if somebody was filming him, he wouldn`t know if a witness for example filmed the whole incident. So I have to think --

SUSKAUER: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We just got through with the Jodi Arias trial where practically the killing was caught on tape, inadvertent photos, so these days, who knows. I assume a camera is trained on me at all the time. Unless I`m in the tub.

So I don`t know that you could say for sure that he wasn`t -- that he might have thought maybe somebody did videotape it. It`s in a place where there`s a lot of homes.

Let me go out to the phone lines. Jackie, Illinois, your question or thought, Jackie, Illinois?

JACKIE, ILLINOIS (via telephone): Hi Jane, thanks for taking my call.


JACKIE: I have a question. George said that Trayvon had his hands on his face, nose and mouth. He then got -- he then shot him -- he got free, shot him and he says he got on top of Trayvon, turned him over, spread out his arms because he wanted to make sure that he had nothing in his hands. He said this in his re-enactment.


JACKIE: He said when he hitting him he thought that he may have had something in his hands.


JACKIE: It doesn`t make any sense to me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jean Casarez, there was so much controversy about that. Tell us.

JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: We don`t have an answer. Jackie brings up to me something that I want to know the answer to, because he did say that he thought he was still alive, got on his back, spread out his arms, but his arms were found under his chest. Where is the consistency here? We don`t have the answer, Jackie. We have to wait.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, what do you say about this? George Zimmerman on tape, on that tape you`re looking at right there, says he spread his arms out, but the photo shows Trayvon Martin on the ground and his arms are underneath him.

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC EXPERT: It`s a dilemma. I really cannot get a handle on this. If you try and get out from underneath, you probably roll over, roll that person over. So I can`t get a handle on this.

Certainly when the EMT people come, they`re certainly going to try to resuscitate and they need to have --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, this was before. Because I can tell you right now that there was a neighbor who came by, arrived like seconds after the gunshot and took a photo of Trayvon, and that`s when you see him lying like this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So it really is a direct contradiction of what George Zimmerman said.

KOBILINSKY: It is just very hard to understand how the hands would get underneath the body. It`s just not clear.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I mean, I don`t have an answer to it. Frank Taaffe, I`ll give you a shot at it, because that`s probably the biggest inconsistency that the prosecution has been able to point out so far.

TAAFFE: Sure. The consistent statement George said he got on top as the neighbor witnessed that. He spread his arms out and that`s when the police came and he identified himself. In that moment, according to the medical examiner said, he could have lived 30 to 45 seconds longer. And if you are given a shot to the chest, that`s where the pain is, the last moments of his life, he could have curled his hands up under his body like this. After they were spread out, he could have curled them back under, and that`s the position which they found him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kate Fox, I want to give you an opportunity to respond to that one.

FOXX: Oh, my God. This sounds like a mess right here. What I want to know is, why is this wannabe cop carrying a gun anywhere? This is giving him authority to take someone`s life --

TAAFFE: He had a concealed weapons permit. He had a Second Amendment right as a stand-up --

FOXX: Ok. You can do that. But if he is -- if this is his job as a --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re looking at one very, very gruesome and graphic photograph of the shot penetrating the clothing and the body of Trayvon Martin. These are evidence photos. Quickly, whoever is talking -- we`ve got to go to break.

All right, nobody is talking. We`ll be right back with more of your calls. More debate, more key testimony from an extraordinary day in the courtroom.


SERINO: Either he was telling the truth or he was a complete pathological liar.

MARK O`MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: 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?





ZIMMERMAN: 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 them an address. Because he said give me the address to the house you`re in front of. And there`s no address because this is the back of the house.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Osterman, the BFF, the best buddy or maybe frenemy of George Zimmerman says, you know, he spoke to George about what happened that night, and he ended up writing a book about it all and he laid out a series of events for the jury from George Zimmerman`s point of view.

Check it out. Let`s see if it backfired or not.


O`MARA: I think you said he`s your best friend?

MARK OSTERMAN, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Best one I`ve ever had. He said he was on his back and Trayvon Martin straddled him and began punching him in the face.

DE LA RIONDA: I think you quoted him as saying he took his hand that was covering my nose and went for the gun saying something at that point, correct?


DE LA RIONDA: He said -- what words did he utter?

OSTERMAN: He says you`re going to die and he used the MF term again.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I had another question, but I have to talk about the sweat on that guy`s face. He is drenched in sweat head to toe.

And Jean Casarez, you were in court. You see it on camera there. Just because I had heard about it, I had heard news reports, I was reading wire copy that said he was sweating. I was like oh well, that`s not that important. Now that I saw it, and it will come around again, oh, my gosh, wait until it zooms in on his face. It`s going to get closer. What up with that as they say?

CASAREZ: Well, here`s the thing. I had my coat on. It was absolutely freezing in the courtroom at that time, absolutely freezing. So I don`t know. Maybe the air conditioning was back where I was and not where he was.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is that about? I guess we have to bring in a shrink to analyze that. But listen I want to go to Dr. Kobi, forensic scientist extraordinaire about the fact that this guy is saying that Trayvon Martin punched and punched and pummeled him, pummeled him and we saw that George Zimmerman had a bloody nose, but there`s no blood on Trayvon Martin`s hand.

KOBILINSKY: Well, again, that`s another very interesting fact. There were no lacerations or anything of the kind to Trayvon Martin`s hands. It was raining. I`m not sure the extent of the rain, if that could have washed anything away.

It`s another dilemma but clearly --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But could it -- could it, Koby, because you know we all watch these shows where it doesn`t matter, you bring luminol and you find blood after the suspect has washed it 80 million times and put it in the wash -- I`m referring to the Jodi Arias case. And you`re saying a little rain would wash off the blood or the DNA?

KOBILINSKY: Well it`s possible. And it could have been a very small amount of blood. They certainly didn`t test Trayvon Martin`s hands with luminol or any kind of sensitive test. They didn`t see anything, and therefore, they didn`t do any testing. That does not mean that he did not hit George Zimmerman. I mean these wounds were not self-inflicted. I don`t think there`s any question that there was a struggle, and there were fisticuffs and George Zimmerman took a beating. I think those are facts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think on the other side we have to ask if the prosecution is saying that what George Zimmerman is saying is a lie, then what are they saying did happen in terms of the confrontation? That`s the missing piece of the puzzle.

And I find with cases like this, you always have to answer and fill in those blanks for the jury. We`re going to talk about that on the other side.


O`MARA: Did he tell you the reason why he wanted to get a firearm?

OSTERMAN: He -- he asked what would -- whether he should or shouldn`t to start with. And I recommended that he should. Anybody who`s not a convicted felon should carry a firearm.

O`MARA: That`s your sort of life philosophy?

OSTERMAN: That`s my opinion, correct.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for "Pet of the Day", send your pet pics to Maggie, she`s simple and classic -- a fabulous look. And Bugg Hopkins says, "Well, I just like to be out on the town and I`ve got a special collar that I wear, and it`s quite the in thing these days." Moo, she likes to hang around in the yard. And she said she found a little spot to snuggle in. And look at Tiger. How precious and innocent and gorgeous. That`s a head shot if I ever saw one.



ZIMMERMAN: He was walking slowly and he didn`t (inaudible) -- something`s off. So that`s why.

SERINO: You`re profiling -- had this person been white, would you have felt the same way?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to debate this one in "The Lion`s Den". Everybody could join in this question because it just occurred to me -- it`s a missing piece of the puzzle. Ok? We know what George Zimmerman said happened. The prosecution says he`s lying, it didn`t happen that way. We have heard nothing about his injuries being staged or self-inflicted. The prosecution is not suggesting that. So what is the prosecution saying happened if it didn`t happen the way George Zimmerman said it did?

And I want to start with Jean Casarez as our panel thinks about that. You`ve covered this from the beginning. Do they have to offer an alternate theory of what they think really did happen?

CASAREZ: Yes, I think what they`re going to do -- I don`t think they can contest the injuries. The injuries are there, right? George Zimmerman didn`t give them to himself. I think the two issues will be did he reasonably believe he was going to die from what they say will be minor injuries? But even more important than that the initial aggressor --


CASAREZ: -- that he confronted Trayvon.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s what I`m saying. George Zimmerman has painted this picture. The prosecution says no, it didn`t happen that way. Do they need -- Jordan Rose, you`re an attorney out of phoenix -- to offer an alternate picture for the jury?

ROSE: I think they may offer an alternate picture. But you know what? They don`t have to. They just need to create doubt. And the more these witnesses get up and testify about different scenarios and different things that Zimmerman told them, it forces the question of will Zimmerman get on the stand? And if he does, the prosecutor is just going to slaughter him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I respectfully disagree. I don`t think you`d want to leave a question mark in the jurors` minds. And we`re going to talk about that on the other side. I`ll get you on the other side, Jon. I want to hear what you have to say.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your point, Jon Leiberman.

LEIBERMAN: It`s not good for the prosecution because you`re asking the jury to create scenarios in addition to interpreting Zimmerman`s frame of mind both before and during this crime.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I believe the prosecution needs to paint a portrait of what they believed happened so that it`s not a big question mark in the jurors` minds. It`s absolutely crucial.

Nancy is next.