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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Muslim Brotherhood Leader Arrested; Obama On Egypt: Return Authority Back To Civilian Government; Coverage and Analysis of the George Zimmerman Trial; Morsy Held by Authorities
Aired July 3, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: A military coup in Egypt. The security forces there have now arrested the Muslim Brotherhood's political party leader and not just him also the deputy leader, all of this within hours of ousting the president of that country, Mohamed Morsy. Meanwhile, the president of the United States has just issued a statement saying how concerned he is, deeply concerned by the military coup that has taken place in Egypt. He is calling for the swift return to civilian government there.
CNN's Ivan Watson has been live above Tahrir Square. He has been watching the hundreds of thousands of protesters in the street. Ivan, what is the latest on these arrests that is so disconcerting to our government here?
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think there have been reports trickling out from a shrinking number of Muslim Brotherhood officials that we've been able to talk to warning about the closure of three pro-Muslim Brotherhood TV stations in the last couple of hours including -- not including an Al Jazeera affiliate TV station here as well and the arrest of at least one of those TV stations of staff employees at that station.
So that is providing in the background a bit of an ominous back drop to the enormous party that we are still seeing here in Tahrir Square at 1 a.m. local time with fireworks still going on, the biggest party I have seen here since basically the overthrow, the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
It's very clear that some of the Egyptian security forces seem to be going after some of the organs of influence and information distribution that were in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood when the statement was made calling the suspension of the constitution and for Egypt's first democratically elected president to be replaced by the --
BANFIELD: We have the top military leader going on television and announcing that President Morsy has been deposed. Where is President Morsy? Does anyone have a beat on him at this hour?
WATSON: It is a very good question. We don't know where President Morsy is right now. According to his Facebook page, he has denounced what he has described as a full-fledged military coup and he has called both civilians and military officials to continue to abide by the constitution and not to listen to this announcement from the military.
But as again you can hear from the crowds behind me, a lot of people in Cairo right now are very happy with the decision made by Egypt's top military officer to suspend the constitution and oust Morsy even though that decision was announced by a military commander who had been appointed by Morsy last May.
BANFIELD: And this is what is so backwards about all of this. We are watching these people who back in the day came to Tahrir Square to protest their current president and the military came sweeping in there on horseback and on camelback at times killing people. Now, they are thrilled that the military has affect waited a coup. What's happened to other protesters, Ivan, all of those pro-Morsy protesters who occupied a whole other area in Cairo? Where are they?
WATSON: Well, they occupied several areas around the city. Our own Ben Wedeman has been at one of those locations watching very unhappy demonstration there where Mohamed Morsy, some kind of statement was read out to the crowd denouncing military rule. Another location is in front of the University of Cairo. It's just about maybe 2 miles from where I'm standing now and there about an hour or two before the final announcement was run out by the defense minister, we saw Egyptian army soldiers and Special Forces, riot police being deployed around that protest camp with Morsy supporters in force really.
Saw more than a dozen military vehicles and armored personnel carriers. They were set up about 200 yards away from the barricades. We talked to supporters and they repeated their line that they refuse to accept the military coup and they are willing to die to defend their man, Mohamed Morsy.
BANFIELD: So this might lead to why we are now getting breaking news coming to us via Reuters. That is there are now arrest warrants for 300 members of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is a political party. They are issuing 300 arrest warrants for politically minded people. I'm only guessing that many of those would be in those crowds, those pro- Morsy crowds. This sounds extremely dangerous. What is going on?
WATSON: Well, you know, I can't independently confirm that, but based on the Reuters report and the few signs that we have seen of pro- Muslim Brotherhood TV stations being shut down it does seem like the long knives are out right now, in the sweeping changes that have been announced that now a round up or a witch hunt is now underway. It is all the more remarkable when you consider that until a few hours ago officially the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party was the party in power.
Again, Mohamed Morsy was the first democratically elected president ever in Egyptian history and very quickly we have seen that the tides have turned. The people that I talked to in Tahrir Square behind me, many of them object very angrily if you call what we are seeing a military coup. They insist that this is a move that has been approved by what they assist is the majority of the population. They say that the military is all that it is doing is basically defending the will of the people. I think if you ask any Muslim Brotherhood supporter right now you get a very different answer. BANFIELD: So Ivan quickly, we are watching fireworks going off on the eve of the Fourth of July where in this country it is a celebration of freedom. In that country I am curious as to whether they will have blood lest after this, are they going to go after those who are pro Islamists? Is there going to be battling in the streets now and a little bit of justice in the streets or is there a concern about this at this point?
WATSON: Certainly there was fighting in the streets last night. In Cairo alone about 18 people killed around that University of Cairo where there was a pro-Muslim Brotherhood protest camp. I was looking at trails of blood in the asphalt there this morning. And the Muslim Brotherhood supporters were furious about that and warning about the possibility of war. I think some of the people who are supporting the action of the military right now to oust Mohamed Morsy as president, some of them have admitted to me that they, too, are concerned right now that some Islamists may decide to use force.
If you think back to the 1990s it was a dark and violent time in Egypt when there were Islamists carrying out deadly attacks. That is in the back of some people's minds right now. That is also why some people I have talked to in the street say they welcome the deployment of the soldiers and the police in the streets. Some of the supporters saying we want protection from the Islamists.
BANFIELD: All right, Ivan Watson live for us over what's just a remarkable development in Tahrir Square. As we mentioned the president of the United States just released a statement on this situation in Egypt. It says in part, "I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to the democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible and through an inclusive and transparent process and avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsy and his supporters."
I think that is critical now that we have this Reuters report looking for 300 political arrests. Warrants for 300 members of a political party not something you see in finest democracies in the world.
I want to bring in Wolf Blitzer who is live in Washington, D.C. Wolf, the significance cannot be lost. This country is critical in the Middle East. It held a pinnacle role for principles and the Saudis have been reacting to this as well. Encapsulate for me what this means to the United States government and to the president.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S "THE SITUATION ROOM": Well, this is a very, very strong statement that the president of the United States released, Ashleigh. It wasn't released by a White House press secretary. It wasn't a statement released by a spokesman for the National Security Council. It wasn't the vice president or the secretary of defense or secretary of state. It wasn't the national security adviser. It was the president himself. They clearly worked on this statement literally for hours all day since the Egyptian military certainly took steps to remove Morsy from power.
The White House, by the way, I don't know if we have it yet, I just got it tweeted to me. The White House released a photograph of the president sitting in the White House situation room with the top national security advisers and they have been reviewing what to do. We will put it up on the screen. What is so significant, you read the operative line here. The line that the president says we are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsy and suspend the Egyptian constitution.
That line alone is going to anger a lot of the supporters of the military, those who oppose Morsy in Egypt. The president goes further. I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsy and his supporters.
That further will inflame many of those who wanted Morsy out, millions of people on the streets of Egypt. Finally he issues this threat. It is a direct threat to the Egyptian government and the Egyptian military. Given today's developments I have directed the relevant departments and agencies that would be of the U.S. government to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the government of Egypt.
As you know the U.S. provides Egypt with about $1.3 billion a year in direct military grants that pay for U.S. hardware, planes, fighter jets, tanks, other equipment and another $250 million a year in non- military assistance, economic aid including foreign aid and humanitarian assistance.
Under U.S. law there is a provision that if this is deemed to be a coup that assistance would have to be suspended unless the president decides it is in the U.S. national security interest to waive that clause. So this is a very tough statement, a carefully written statement by the president of the United States. I'm sure it is going to have dramatic shock waves and ramifications in Egypt and elsewhere in the region -- Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: But Wolf, look, that's the knee jerk reaction from so many people when they see this kind of unrest. Let's pull our money. If we are funnelling billions of dollars that is easy, let's just stop. It is never that easy. When you say a coup changes the dynamics, does it or is there more to the agreements that we strike with these countries whereby it matters what we give to the countries next door. I'm thinking of Israel and the aid we give to Israel because so much of it is also tied to that. Is it as simple as it is a coup, you lose your money?
BLITZER: I would be shocked if the U.S. were to suspend military assistance to Egypt. The U.S.-Egyptian military relationship has been very, very strong over these years since the signing of the Camp David Accords, since the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty back in 1979. The U.S. has strong interests for continuing this military assistance with the largest of all of the Arab countries. That military to military connection is very, very powerful.
That military institution in Egypt has been one of the major supporters of the U.S. in that part of the world. I would be very surprised if the U.S. were to do so. For the president to even raise that threat in this kind of carefully written statement sends a powerful message right now. They don't want to see more arrests. They don't want to see Morsy arrested. They even want to see what they call the democratically elected civilian government return as soon as possible.
Now they didn't say the democratically elected civilian government. They said a democratically elected civilian government. So there may be a nuance there, but certainly it is still a very powerful message directly from the president, not one of his advisers or aides or spokesman, a direct important message to the Egyptian leadership, right now, the military and civilian leadership that has been appointed effectively by the military.
If they want to see this U.S.-Egyptian relationship thrive in the years to come they have to make sure they do the right thing. One of the things I know, Ashleigh, and I know you have been following this, as well, that the U.S. is deeply concerned about is the military right now, they are shutting down TV stations that supported Morsy, the Muslim Brotherhood stations and they have even shut down Al Jazeera in Cairo. That is a significant development in and of itself.
BANFIELD: And I believe Mohamed Morsy was getting messages out through Al Jazeera earlier today so perhaps that's not surprising. But that article that you mentioned the difference between A and B could be significant because the military leader today said new parliamentary elections will be held. So a new parliament or the old parliament could be so critical. Wolf Blitzer live for us in Washington, D.C. And again, can't reiterate strongly enough 300 arrest warrants have been issued for members of a political party in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood. It was the party that was in power. And we don't know the whereabouts of the former - now former, at least deposed, president Mohamed Morsy. We are going to continue to watch that and find out the developments.
But also big developments here in Sanford, Florida. We have been following this really significant and remarkable story that has been developing in a small courtroom in Sanford, Florida. The George Zimmerman second degree murder trial. Yet again testimony is dramatic. Just when you thought it maybe got barring because they got to the DNA. Not a chance. But which side had a stronger case today? Our legal analysts are going to weigh in on this.
Also, the gun, key piece of evidence used to kill Trayvon Martin. Does the type of gun that George Zimmerman was carrying prove that this was self-defense or murder? Those answers coming up.
BANFIELD: Welcome back to Sanford, Florida. I am Ashleigh Banfield reporting live from the site of the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial.
OUTFRONT tonight, yet another explosive day in this courtroom. Everything from the CSI experts to the gun expert. And then Trayvon Martin's own blood paraded around in that court just feet from his parents. But when it all comes down to it, did the prosecution make its? Here is the day wrapped up in a nut shell. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talk to me a little bit, Professor, about what kind of student you remember the defendant to be.
CAPT. ALEXIS CARTER, ZIMMERMAN'S FORMER INSTRUCTOR: You know as you always kind of remember your smartest student, the one that stood out the most, the one that probably wasn't the best student. And he was probably one of the better students in the class.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the issue of injuries, though, when you talk about that with the class and your understanding of the law, is that the focus is what is going on in the person's mind, not whether they have actually been injured? It's the fear of the injury, is it not?
CARTER: The fact alone that there isn't an injury doesn't necessarily mean that the person did not have a reasonable apprehension of fear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't have to wait until you are almost dead before you can defend yourself?
CARTER: No. I would advise you probably don't do that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So tell me what sort of things you addressed as it relates to the law of self defense in Florida.
CARTER: With Florida and other states they have what is called the Stand Your Ground law which evolved from the Castle (ph) doctrine through case law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you cover that specifically?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you discuss specifically self defense and Stand Your Ground laws in connection of violent crimes such as murder?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you take that to mean that Mr. Zimmerman had a problem with his credit?
CARTER: Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that would be a reason why you wouldn't be accepted as a police officer.
CARTER: That is the reason why we did not consider him further based on that record, yes sir.
AMY SIEWART, CRIME LABORATORY SPECIALIST: I'm Amy Siewert.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you employed?
SIEWART I am employed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Orlando Regional Crime Laboratory.
MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S TRIAL: There is no evidence, for example, that would show up that you would take a gun nuzzle and push it into the shirt somewhere where the shirt would fold around it, was there?
SIEWART: No, it was consistent with the muzzle of the firearm touching.
O'MARA: It was consistent with this, correct? Shirt, firearm. Wasn't consistent with this, right, pushing or anything?
O'MARA: A firearm used in self defense has to be ready to use, correct?
O'MARA: You would not want a firearm that has an external safety on a double action that would require an additional step to make it ready to fire, would you, for self defense application?
SIEWART: I can't really say as to whether that would be -- that would be more of a personal preference, I do believe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ms. Siewart, you were asked questions about whether or not that firearm could be used for self defense can also be used to commit a murder.
SIEWART: The firearm can be used for any purposes --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I object, Your Honor. That is speculation. (INAUDIBLE)
ANTHONY GORGONE, CRIME LAB ANALYST: My name is Anthony Gorgone. That's spelled G-O-R-G-O-N-E.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your occupation, sir?
GORGONE: I am a crime lab analyst at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in the biology or DNA section.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: DNA that you develop from the pistol grip from the defendant's gun is positive for blood, correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then there was a mixture. The major was matched to the defendant, George Zimmerman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you were able to exclude Trayvon Martin as having DNA on the pistol grip. Is that correct?
GORGONE: Yes. Trayvon Martin was excluded as a possible contributor to this mixture on the grip.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So as to the holster where you have a major, it matches George Zimmerman. Is that correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In other words, from the right fingernail scrapings of Trayvon Martin, you did not find any of George Zimmerman's DNA there is that correct?
GORGONE: No, there was nothing foreign to Trayvon Martin. The left- hand stick was not tested for the possible presence of blood. It did not have any staining on it whatsoever. I swabbed that, performed the testing and did not get any DNA results from that swab.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you dry the evidence at that point?
GORGONE: I left it out to dry as long as I could. However, I needed to transfer that item to a firearms examiner, Amy Siewart. So I can't -- when we transfer from one section to another section, I just can't take the sweatshirt and hand it to her and say here you go. That needs to be put back into the original packaging for the transfer. So I did package that back up. And it was still wet when I packaged it back up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is well known in the process of collecting and preserving biological evidence how you should handle wet evidence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In fact, a wet evidence that is believed to contain biological material is supposed to be air dried.
GORGONE: Yes. Anything wet that might have blood or any kind of biological material should be dried down because if it remains wet that moisture -- if you package it, that could get trapped in and you could develop microorganisms, bacteria, mold, whatever. And all of those things degrade the DNA that might be there.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BANFIELD: So, just over a half dozen witnesses taking the stand, which means over a half dozen cross examinations of those witnesses. Who won the day and just how was it for Trayvon Martin's parents seeing his sweat shirts covered in blood, paraded for almost the entire day throughout the courtroom? Our panel weighs in coming up after this.
BANFIELD: Welcome back. Live from Sanford, Florida, I'm Ashleigh Banfield reporting. And just before the break, you heard sort of the encapsulated, most riveting moments of today's testimony in the George Zimmerman murderer case. Some scored for the prosecution, some scored for the defense. But who effectively won for the day? Because it's what the jury does everyday. They weigh what they hear and think it through overnight until they're presented with more witnesses.
Well, I'm not the best person for this. But OUTFRONT tonight, I have the best panel. Criminal defense attorney Midwin Charles joins us live as well as Holly Hughes, who is a criminal defense attorney and also a former prosecutor. And I'm delighted to be joined again by Daryl Parks, an attorney for Trayvon Martin's family who can shed a little light as to what it was like inside that courtroom today. Going to get to that in just a moment.
But first I want to show pictures of what the family of Trayvon Martin was looking at throughout most of the testimony today. Sure, there were forensics. Sure, there was the murder weapon. Sure, there were witnesses paraded up and down.
But this drew the silence. This is what Trayvon Martin was wearing under his black hoodie the night he was shot dead. You can see exactly where the bullet wound entered his heart and killed him. You can see the blood that leaked out on to that sweatshirt.
And it was the subject of much forensic discussion. Because it matters, folks where that gun was when it went off. The woman who you see on your screen, a gun expert testified it was a contact wound, contact with the clothing. She couldn't say contact with the body. That's likely to come up and be very key later on in the trial when we get to the actual autopsy.
But, Daryl Parks, you have been sitting with the mother and father of Trayvon Martin all day long as they have watched that evidence and the blood of their son being marched for the courtroom for everyone to see. That had to be really hard on them. DARYL PARKS, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: It was tough on them. You may have noticed I asked them to take a break. They did take a break. They were right outside of the courtroom.
But, you know, it's very hard to sit there day after day and to listen to the testimony. As you know, those same exhibits being paraded in front of them time and time again both on direct and cross examination. And so, they continue to endure -- BANFIELD: Look, you're a lawyer and these are lawyers. And those Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators, this is their life blood. It's their every day. They deal with evidence all the time.
But Sybrina and Tracy are parents. And this is the kind of thing that many of us may forget in a courtroom, there is a real life drama playing out here. And those parents have to sit through all of this.
Holly, let me go to you for a moment. I want to play something that happened in court before the hoodie and sweat shirt came out. It is a significant moment in the trial. It highlights just how much education George Zimmerman had in law enforcement and what kind of a student he was in law enforcement before the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Let's have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talk to me a little bit, Professor, about what kind of student you remember the defendant to be.
CAPT. ALEXIS CARTER, ZIMMERMAN'S FORMER INSTRUCTOR: You know, you always kind of remember your smartest student or the one that stood out the most, the one that probably wasn't the best student. And he was probably one of the better students in the class.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: All right. So, key here, Holly Hughes. The prosecution pointing out George Zimmerman knew a lot about law enforcement. Is the theory here that he can craft the story real quick if the cops were to show up, a story that lined self defense to a T?
HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, that's absolutely why they call this witness, Ashleigh, because they are trying to establish, remember there was a neighbor who testified last week, John, not John Good but the other John who was a neighbor, he was describing George Zimmerman's affect after the shooting.
And what did he say? He was calm. He was not upset. When this neighbor went to call the wife, George Zimmerman erupted and said, "Just tell her I shot somebody."
So, what they're trying to prove is this was a man who was in his right man. He was clear. He was thinking. And he had the knowledge to craft a story that would work in court at some point if he were to get charged.
BANFIELD: I think Midwin wants to jump in on this. I'm not going to let you do it. I have to get you to jump on something else. There was a lot of testimony and a lot of evidence today and the gun made an appearance. It is what some might call the murder weapon and others would call the self-defense weapon.
But the weapon was in court, and the expert was a very slight woman who knows a lot about guns. I want to play for you that moment in court when she describes specifically what kind of weapon this is, Midwin, and what kind of weapon it isn't. And I want you to listen for the words self-defense.
Have a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK O'MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The firearm used for self-defense has to be ready to use, correct?
AMY SEIWERT, CRIME LABORATORY SPECIALIST: Potentially.
O'MARA: You would not want a firearm that has an external safety that -- on a double action, it has an external safety that would require an additional step to make it ready to fire, would you, for self-defense application?
SIEWERT: I can't really say as to whether that would be -- that we be more of a personal preference I do believe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see, you were asked questions about whether or not that firearm could be used for self-defense can also be used to commit a murder.
SIEWERT: The firearm can be used for any purposes --
O'MARA: Redirect your honor? I might because that is speculation and would affect the ultimate fact before the jury or the question before the jury.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Midwin Charles, wow. To me that was a huge moment, the cross examination tries to point out this is the kind of weapon you use in self-defense. And that prosecution stands up right away and says it's the kind you can use for murder, too. Big objection, but you can't unring that bell, can you?
MIDWIN CHARLES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That's right. And I think that was a really masterful comeback, because I think Mark O'Mara's question about whether or not this is a self-defense weapon would speculative as well. You can tell by the gun expert's reaction to his question that she was uncomfortable in answering that question. He basically, Mark O'Mara, was trying to decide or talk about whether or not this was the perfect weapon, the type of weapon that someone would want to self-defend themselves.
But I thought the prosecution was masterful in coming back by asking, but this is also a murder weapon. I mean, let's face it, this is the gun that killed Trayvon. Whether it was self-defense or murder or whatever, it's still the weapon that killed that 17-year-old kid.
BANFIELD: Well, and there's a lot more to that weapon, as well, which we are going to get into, the gun expert is going to tell us a little later on in the program what these guns are typically used for and why they actually are good for self defense and maybe not so good if you are in law enforcement perhaps.
All right. I have to cut it off there, but thank you to all three of you. You are shedding fantastic light on what I'm sure are some really big questions for these jurors as they head into the July 4th holiday weekend. They've got a lot of time to think this through before new witnesses hit the stand.
We are expecting some big ones, perhaps even the mother of Trayvon Martin might take the stand. We have not yet heard from the medical examiner who performed the autopsy. There are forensics there that are going to matter and they'll be tough.
OUTFRONT next -- well, so what does the prosecutor do to wrap up a case? What's the most powerful way to leave a jury? Will Trayvon Martin's both parents testify? Will the brother take the stand, just the mother?
And who else could possibly round out this case? And make it even stronger than some say it is and some say it isn't? That's coming up next.
BANFIELD: Welcome back. Live in Sanford, Florida, where the George Zimmerman murder trial goes into possibly week three. We are going into a vacation day tomorrow and the prosecutors aren't over yet.
So, they are close to wrapping up their case. But you know what? Two weeks to present the evidence against Zimmerman. Sometimes the evidence seems more like defense evidence.
So, did the prosecutors do enough?
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He has been portrayed as a gun-toting wannabe cop, an exaggerating liar, and a reckless profiler.
BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: Is it inaccurate that he is profiling Trayvon Martin as a criminal?
MATTINGLY: But after eight days, the prosecution may have also handed George Zimmerman the key to avoiding conviction on second degree murder. It came in the form of a simple question and a single one word answer.
O'MARA: Do you think he is telling the truth?
CHRIS SERINO, WITNESS: Yes.
MATTINGLY: The lead investigator in the case puts his stamp of approval on George Zimmerman's story, that he was acting in self defense, an extraordinary moment for any trial.
MARK NEJAME, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The lead investigator, the number one person in charge, said there were no material discrepancies. So, you're prosecutor who is trying to make him -- a claim (ph), but the person spend all the time investigating this case says there are none. How do you better than that as a defense lawyer?
MATTINGLY: It was potentially so damaging that the prosecution convinced the judge to throw the statement out and tell the jury to somehow forget about it.
FAITH JENKINS, ATTORNEY: The jury has heard it. So, they are instructed to disregard it, but they are human. They've already heard it. And that's going to be something that they take into consideration and carry with them. MATTINGLY: Regardless, Zimmerman himself may have already emerged as his own best witness. His story of self-defense remained relatively consistent through multiple police interrogations, from video --
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, MURDER DEFENDANT: And then he was here, and he punched me in the face.
MATTINGLY: -- and from audio.
ZIMMERMAN: He just started punching me in the face. And I started screaming for help.
DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: George Zimmerman gets to put his story in front of the jury without being subject to cross examination. That is gigantic for George Zimmerman.
MATTINGLY: And now, Zimmerman may not have to utter a single word in the courtroom.
(on camera): What would have to happen now for George Zimmerman to take the stand?
O'MARA: I would have to convince myself the state has proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt today, or when that decision is made in order to decide it to put George on the stand.
MATTINGLY: A possibility that seems increasingly remote, giving rise to speculation that if Zimmerman is to be found guilty it might be of a lesser charge than second degree murder.
BANFIELD: Ah, the lesser, as David Mattingly is here with me live.
That is something that a lot of people have talked about.
BANFIELD: Did the prosecution go too far with second degree murder? Were they aiming high, hoping to end low on a compromise by this jury?
MATTINGLY: It certainly appears that they are headed that way. The way this has to work, the prosecution and the defense has to ask for it. The judge has to agree with it and then the jury has to go with it.
What we're seeing right now, there was no real change in strategy. The prosecution is still going after the emotion, showing us the bullet hole in Trayvon's clothes, showing us the gun, and then the defense is going after the details. That's where they think they're going to find acquittal no matter what the charge might be.
BANFIELD: Oh, the devil is in the details.
BANFIELD: Got it.
Well, usually, that's a really good defense strategy. But the weird thing is, I'm watching these witnesses and they seem like defense witnesses. Not always, but for a large part you don't need to pick apart a lot of what they say.
MATTINGLY: That's right. And for anyone at home who has been watching this trial, it seems like a lot of the witnesses called for the prosecution have been very, very helpful to the defense. And even when they put George Zimmerman on the stand so to speak, be it video when he was talking to police, via audio when he was talking to police, it always came out better for him.
BANFIELD: So, stand by for a second. I think, listen, we have been juggling a lot of breaking news at CNN today, not only here in Sanford, Florida, but also, David and I have been watching on other monitors what's going on in Egypt.
So, we are keeping a live eye on Egypt. And we are hearing some breaking news out. We are trying to scramble our reporter. Ivan Watson has been doing an amazing job because there is this report that the ousted president Mohamed Morsy is actually being held now, that he is being held by authorities.
We have been asking all day, where is Mohamed Morsy?
Ivan Watson, I know you are live with us. If you can hear me now, out of Tahrir Square, this report is coming from "Reuters". And it's according to a Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson and security personnel that the former and ousted president is being held.
Do you know anything more about this?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The only follow up we have from that initial "Reuters" news agency report, Ashleigh, comes from one of the spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, Gehad El-Haddad, who has put out a note on Twitter saying that Morsy is being held at this point by Egyptian authorities. So that's about all we have right now.
I'm sure we're going to ill perhaps learn a little bit more. It is remarkable to consider that Mohamed Morsy is Egypt's first elected president ever in the history of this really, an ancient civilization, the first elected leader and after barely a year in office, now according to these preliminary reports has not only just been stripped of the position of president but now appears to also be being held by Egyptian security forces.
Within the last couple of hours, it's not just Morsy who appears to be a target but the Egyptian security forces have also moved to shut down a number of media outlets supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood, at least three TV stations and some of their employees have been arrested. But also have been rounding up top officials in the Muslim Brotherhood, as well.
All of that going on while the people back here are celebrating with fireworks and waving Egyptian flags, what they argue is the Egyptian military simply defending the will of the Egyptian people or at least one part of the Egyptian population -- Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: Well, and I think that's critical. There have been so many other protests in favor of Mohamed Morsy. I think it begs repeating, Ivan Watson, that this is a "Reuters" report saying the ousted president is being held by authorities, that according to the Muslim Brotherhood.
I'm actually going to tell you, CNN has been able to get confirmation. That "Reuters" report is also a CNN report that Mohamed Morsy is being held by authorities. This flies in the face of what the United States president said in a strident statement: no arrests, no political arrests the president or of people of his party. We will be watching this carefully.
"A.C. 360" is working very hard on this story as well. Ivan is collecting more information. They're going to have a whole lot more coming up just moments from now.
In the meantime, again, two breaking stories all day long here in Sanford, Florida, small place with a very big issue on its hands, the guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman. Crucial DNA.
The CSI effect taking center stage in this small courtroom. What was found on the gun? What was found under Trayvon Martin's fingernail? Why does all of that matter?
We're going to find out all of that in just a moment.
BANFIELD: Welcome back live in Sanford, Florida.
It is inevitable in any criminal justice procedure that eventually you're more than likely going to get at the CSI effect of a trial. It almost like jurors expect a molecular smoking gun. They want the science, and they're not happy if they don't get the science. And sometimes the prosecutors have to give the since, even when the science may not support their case completely.
I want to turn to a DNA expert Michael Baird, and also bring back defense attorney, or bring in to our coverage tonight, defense attorney Bradford Cohen. OK. You, two, the reason I gave that big intro is because sometimes I get confused to whose witness I'm watching in this case. Sometimes, I think it's very strong for the prosecutors and then I think why on earth did they call this person but for the CSI demands of most juries? They all watch the shows at night.
Let me just play this one moment of testimony. It had to do with Trayvon Martin's fingernails. Often times, a victim's fingernails are clipped and analyzed for whose DNA might be underneath.
Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In other words, from the right fingernail scrapings of Trayvon Martin, you did not find any of George Zimmerman's DNA there. Is that correct?
ANTHONY GORGONE, CRIME LAB ANALYST: No, there was nothing foreign to Trayvon Martin. The left hand stick was not tested for the possible presence of blood. It did not have any staining on it whatsoever. I swabbed that on the testing and I did not get any DNA results from that swab.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Michael Baird, the best way I can formulate this question is, was this that kind of moment, bum, bum, bum, or was it really just falling flat because, of course, Mark O'Mara and his team got ahold of this witness and did some cleanup?
MICHAEL BAIRD, DNA EXPERT: Yes, great question. Fingernails are often times a great source of biological evidence in a situation like this. But a lot of things can affect whether or not there is anything there. In this particular case, (INAUDIBLE) other than Trayvon Martin's DNA under his fingernails.
BANFIELD: And so, does that speak to the prosecution's case? Does that speak to the defense case? Can anybody explain it away?
BAIRD: Well, there's a number of possibilities. It could mean that he didn't have his fingers extended if he was fighting with George Zimmerman because typically under your fingernails, you get skin from scratching someone. So if the fingers were extended that would happen. If they weren't extended, you wouldn't get that.
BANFIELD: This is a story about punching, not scratching, so perhaps that is a bit of a wash.
BANFIELD: Who knows how the jury will take it, though.
All right. This next moment may be more significant because it involves the murder weapon. George Zimmerman has maintained an, "oh, I don't know" seven different iterations of what happened, whether it's on TV, to his friend, to police officers on video, in a walk through the sc crime scene or written statement. He said I think I could feel Trayvon Martin going for my gun.
So specifics about the gun matter.
Have a listen to how the Florida Department of Law expert testifies about DNA on the gun. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: DNA that you developed from the pistol grip of the defendant's gun is positive for blood, correct? GORGONE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then there was a mixture, the major was matched the defendant George Zimmerman?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you were able to exclude Trayvon Martin as having DNA on the pistol grip, is that correct?
GORGONE: Yes, Trayvon Martin was excluded as being a possible contributor to this mixture on the grip.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So as to the holster, where you got a major in matches, George Zimmerman, is that correct?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Bradford Cohen, you're an expert in stand your ground. You know a thing or two about self defense. Does it matter, given what we know what Zimmerman said or at least his version of the story, does it matter the DNA story of the gun is?
BRADFORD COHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, why it matters is because the jury may say that he wasn't telling the truth, but if you look at his statement like he felt like he was going for the gun, they both had a sweatshirt on, Trayvon Martin had a sweatshirt on. If it was true, the fact that he felt him going for the gun, it could have been over a sweatshirt, it could have been the sweatshirt was in the way. I don't know.
I think it affects more his credibility as to whether or not he was going for the gun as it affects, you know, his self-defense story. His self-defense story is he was getting his head slammed into the concrete, and he got punched in the face and he got his nose broken, and he thought his life was in danger and he shot him.
I don't think you actually need the additional of he was going to grab my gun and shoot me because you have enough of what he said. But it does go to his credibility as to whether or not that is true.
BANFIELD: Well, look, to that credibility, let me be real clear what that expert said. He said that on that holster, absolutely George Zimmerman's DNA was there. That was the major profile. But we found a minor profile. We found a minor profile. The trouble is, we just can't identify what minor profile that is. We have no results on that.
BANFIELD: So, that's just -- again, leaving the jury in the dark.
Bradford and Michael, thank you both. We do appreciate your expertise. We are back right after this.
BANFIELD: I'm Ashleigh Banfield live in Sanford, Florida. Thanks so much for watching our coverage and we have more coverage of the Zimmerman trial, as well as all of that breaking news that is coming to us live out of Egypt and it starts right now with "A.C. 360."
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Ashleigh, thanks very much.
Good evening, everyone.
Two big stories dominating the hour, potentially vital testimony in the Zimmerman trial about whose testimony was where and the prosecution gets ready to call it's final witnesses, possibly, including Trayvon Zimmerman's mother.