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The Night Trayvon Martin Was Shot

Aired July 4, 2013 - 20:00:00   ET



GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, CHARGED WITH MURDER: These (EXPLETIVE DELETED), they always get away. This guy looks like he`s up to no good, or he`s on drugs or something. Something`s wrong with him. Yes. He`s coming to check me out. He`s got something in his hands. I don`t know what his deal is.

DISPATCHER: Are you following him?


DISPATCHER: OK. We don`t need you to do that.


I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. And I did not know if he was armed or not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It sounds like a male!

911 OPERATOR: And you don`t know why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know why. I think they`re yelling help, but I don`t know. Just send someone quick, please!

911 OPERATOR: OK. Does he look hurt (ph)?

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




NANCY GRACE, HOST: It has now been over a year since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot dead.


911 OPERATOR: What`s your phone number?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s gunshots!

911 OPERATOR: You just heard gunshots?


911 OPERATOR: How many?



GRACE: One concern is that this does not boil down to a popularity contest for either the defendant or the victim. We have heard reports that Trayvon Martin had been suspended from school, that he had used drugs, that he was a thug. I don`t even know if that`s true. And if it is true, does it matter?


TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON`S FATHER: It`s 44 days later, George Zimmerman is still walking free. It`s 44 days later, my son is in a mausoleum. As a father, it hurts. But I promised myself that I will stand strong for my family. I will stand strong for everyone who is in support of us. And most of all, I will stand strong for Trayvon, just to make sure that his name lives on.

PROTESTERS: No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace!


GRACE: We`ve also heard similar things about George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old former neighborhood watch person charged with gunning down 17- year-old Trayvon, claiming he thought Trayvon was about to break into some of the residences in an apartment complex.

We`ve heard he`s a racist. We`ve heard all sorts of claims about George Zimmerman. The truth is, none of this matters. What matters is what happened that evening. And it`s very, very murky indeed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trayvon Martin walked out of this convenience store, buying a bottle of iced tea and a pack of candy, goodies in preparation for watching the NBA All-Star game. He would have easily made it back to the condo where he was visiting in time for tip-off.

It`s possible that Trayvon entered the neighborhood here, cutting between these two buildings off of the main road there on his way home. It should have been about a 10-minute walk, a little less than half a mile.

And even though it was a little after dark, his family probably wasn`t concerned at all. This is generally regarded as a safe neighborhood, a safe place to be after dark. One of the reasons for that safety was 28- year-old George Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watch captain. But a recent break-in had people worried.

And someone broke into this one right here, during the daytime?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Frank Taaffe believes Zimmerman kept him from becoming a victim a month ago, alerting police to a suspicious person outside his condo.

What was your perception of him?

TAAFFE: George seemed to be a very congenial, amiable person, and we admired him for stepping up and taking over the job as a neighborhood watch captain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taaffe says residents didn`t know Zimmerman was armed or about a scuffle with police seven years ago that got him arrested. The case was later dropped.

Zimmerman drew a hard line for people parking in the wrong place and playing loud music. Yet on this Sunday night in February, Zimmerman had his eye on Trayvon Martin, a lone black 17-year-old walking in the dark. Zimmerman alerted police to a suspicious person.

It`s probably about right here where Zimmerman made that call to police. You can see we`re not very far from the entry gates into this neighborhood. At the time, it was a little after dark, and it was raining. So Trayvon very likely had his hood up over his head. And his family says it`s very likely he was listening to music on his iPhone, not aware of what was going on around him.

Dispatchers told Zimmerman police were on the way, to not get out of his vehicle. But that`s not what happened.

NATALIE JACKSON, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: He got out of his car, and he -- there was some confrontation with Trayvon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Natalie Jackson is Trayvon Martin`s family attorney, who says it`s clear the young man was walking away from Zimmerman, down this sidewalk, around a corner. Police won`t say how the encounter turned violent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is only one person alive who knows what happened, and that`s Zimmerman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One resident tells CNN she saw fighting, heard shouting and screams for help, then a gunshot. Trayvon Martin was shot in the chest, pronounced dead at the scene, less than 100 yards from making it home.


GRACE: To help the state and the defense decipher what happened, a major component of this trial is going to be a call Zimmerman made at the time he was following Trayvon Martin.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seven 911 calls in all, beginning with this one from neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.

ZIMMERMAN: These (EXPLETIVE DELETED), they always get away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s Zimmerman`s first impression watching Trayvon Martin walking alone and acting strangely.

ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he`s up to no good, or he`s on drugs or something.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Zimmerman says Martin then comes toward him.

ZIMMERMAN: Something`s wrong with him. Yes. He`s coming to check me out. He`s got something in his hands. I don`t know what his deal is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Less than a minute later, Martin is running away. Zimmerman gets out of his car.

DISPATCHER: Are you following him?


DISPATCHER: OK, we don`t need you to do that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But then, just a few minutes later, there`s another call.

911 OPERATOR: 911, do you need police, fire or medical?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe both. I`m not sure. There`s just someone screaming outside.


GRACE: In that phone call to 911, he claims that he`s onto a guy. He thinks he`s about to break into a residence. He`s repeatedly told, Don`t follow him, don`t follow him. Go back, go back to your car. Zimmerman doesn`t do it. That`s not a crime. That is not a crime.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve seen his picture everywhere, but who was Trayvon Martin? This is what the 17-year-old looked like days before his life was cut short. Jerome Horton knew Martin since he was a 5-year-old boy, playing football on his youth team.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was so funny, he was volunteering at the park, and I told him, I said, What are you doing? He`s going, I just got into aviation school. And I said, What are you doing in aviation school? And he was, like, Oh, I want to fly planes. I said, No black people want to fly planes. And he goes, I`ll be the first one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Martin`s parents enrolled him in Experience Aviation in had 2009, a summer program that teaches kids all things aviation. The following summer, Martin returned to the program to work as a volunteer. And it was during that time, his long-time friend and football coach says, the teen made a big decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He played football all his life, and just one day he just said he doesn`t want to play football. He wants to be a pilot. And I mean, we back him on whatever he wants to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trayvon Martin`s close friend, Darryl Green (ph), better known as D.J., remembers that day.

Were you surprised?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s just -- it`s a dream that he wanted to be. I was just hoping that he could make the dream and accomplish it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Martin attended Dr. Michael M. Crop (ph) High School in Miami. His mom described him as an average student. Horton says the teen`s parents shared custody since their divorce, and both played a very active role in raising him.

But the teen still had a bumpy road in school. According to a report by "The Miami Herald," Trayvon was suspended from this school three times for writing graffiti on walls, for truancy, and his most recent suspension, which his parents have acknowledged, suspended for 10 days after a school investigator here found an empty baggie with traces of marijuana in it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whatever he had dealings with school, it was not criminal. It was not violent. He`s never been arrested.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So when you hear about these things, you feel it`s just...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel that`s just -- that`s him being a youth. We`ve all -- I`ve done things when I was 14, 15, 16, 17 years old. But I look at me now. It all depends on -- I thank God for my mom and my dad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Horton says that`s the reason Trayvon Martin was in Sanford. His parents insisted he stay with his father during his suspension from school. Tracy Martin was out to dinner with his fiancee the night of the shooting. He left his son at home so he could watch the NBA All-Star game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only reason he got a chance to go to the store is because he begged his dad to go to the store.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When Martin`s father returned that night, he then assumed his son was out with his 20-year-old nephew, so he didn`t panic. With when the 17-year-old didn`t return the next day, Tracy Martin tried calling his son`s cell phone and got voicemail. He then called a police non-emergency number for the sheriff`s office. Martin didn`t learn his son had been killed until officers showed up at his front door with the news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was Trayvon doing? Went to the store, and he was coming right back. The sad part is, he never made it back.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Breaking news overnight. George Zimmerman was released from jail, out of jail straight into hiding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... appeared to be wearing a bulletproof vest under that brown jacket.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Part of the deal for him getting out on bond was that he had to be electronically tethered by an ankle bracelet that would give a GPS signal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to grant the motion and set bond in the amount of $150,000.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the 10 percent cash payment customarily made to secure bond, Zimmerman`s family needed $15,000 to post this bond.

ZIMMERMAN: I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. And I did not know if he was armed or not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... and surrendered his passport. He`s also not allowed to drink alcohol or handle firearms or try to communicate with Martin`s family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Think about the crusade that they`ve had to finally have Mr. Zimmerman arrested, and now he walks free again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But just where he is headed remains quite a secret.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are several possibilities that we have to where we can, hopefully, keep him safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he had nothing to say to reporters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing was said. Nothing was shouted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still very worried about the fact that he`s facing a life sentence on a second degree murder charge.


GRACE: Zimmerman says Trayvon Martin turns around and comes back on him. That`s when the shooting occurs.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The only thing in Trayvon Martin`s hand was a bag of Skittles. On March 9th, 12 days after the killing, Trayvon`s father publicly called on Sanford police to arrest George Zimmerman, saying justice hadn`t been served.

On March 13th, police wrapped up their investigation. They say no arrest has been made because they have no evidence to contradict Zimmerman`s self-defense story. Two days later, witness Mary Cutcher (ph) speaks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We believe in our hearts, 100 percent, it was not self-defense.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: March 16th, the next day. Police release 911 tapes from the night of Trayvon Martin`s death.


GRACE: Is it self-defense? Is it a classic case of self-defense? Impossible. Because self-defense is only allowed under the law when the victim uses reasonable force to match the attack. In other words, if you slap me, I can`t pull out an Uzi and gun you down. That`s not the way self-defense works.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Although George Zimmerman admitted he had been following the unarmed 17-year-old the night of the shooting, believing him to be suspicious, an "Orlando Sentinel" article says Zimmerman told police he was actually walking away to his vehicle when Martin viciously attacked him. The neighborhood watchman doesn`t deny opening fire, but says it was self-defense under Florida`s so-called "stand your ground" law.

Joe Oliver (ph) is a friend of Zimmerman`s.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George felt like and believed with all his heart he had to make a decision to defend himself and to save his life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it tears me apart to sit here and listen to the slander that they`re giving to my son and listen to not arresting the murderer of my son!


GRACE: Zimmerman would have, under his own scenario, only been allowed to use force reasonable to fend off Trayvon Martin.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two people are now speaking out about the Trayvon Martin shooting, George Zimmerman`s brother, Robert Zimmerman, and an eyewitness who talked to CNN and claims to have been watching when the fatal gunshot went off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the shot went off, were both people on the ground, as well?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And one was still on top of the other.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The eyewitness says it started with loud voices before turning into a scuffle, then a gunshot. The police report says George Zimmerman was injured, but the eyewitness tells another story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn`t appear hurt or anything else. He just kind of seemed very -- you know, I can`t speak for him, but very worried or whatever, walked, like, on the sidewalk at that point, and put his hand up to his forehead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Zimmerman`s brother, Robert, has a different account.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pulled out a gun and shot him. That`s absolutely not fact.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it is not what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did pull out a gun and shoot him, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he stopped someone from disarming him and shooting him. He`s the neighbor that everybody would want to have. He`s the kind of guy that sees somebody struggling with changing a tire and stops to help them, or helps older people with their groceries. He goes out of his way to help people. He always has.


GRACE: Now, did Trayvon Martin beat Zimmerman`s head into the cement? That`s an issue of fact for the jury to decide. Somebody on that jury may very well think, Hey, if somebody was beating my head into the cement, I`d shoot them, too.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you recall hearing anything about the case, even if you didn`t really pay attention to it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I probably heard it on the news, but never paid attention to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like you to tell me one or two other things you`ve heard about this case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was two people being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and two people instigating something that probably could have been avoided.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the first time for George Zimmerman to see the people who could decide his fate.


GRACE: But you`ve got the conundrum of Zimmerman following Trayvon Martin, by his own words. You know, when somebody is following you and following you and following you, at some point, is it wrong to turn around and go after them? Many people on the jury may feel that Trayvon Martin was justified in turning around to confront the man that had admittedly been following him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you talked to people in the community or family and said, Hey, this is what this case is about, and then they gave you their two cents` worth?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Assuming it`s a normal thing to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it comes up in conversation with family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In order to fill these seats, a juror must prove he or she can be impartial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever acknowledged your support for one side or the other, like in a rally or a support meeting or anything like that?



GRACE: Bottom line, it`s a powderkeg set to blow up in that Florida courtroom.



ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he`s up to no good, or he`s on drugs or something.

DISPATCHER: Are you following him?


DISPATCHER: OK, we don`t need you to do that.


911 OPERATOR: So you think he`s yelling help?


911 OPERATOR: All right, what is your...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s gunshots!

911 OPERATOR: You just heard gunshots?


911 OPERATOR: How many?


ZIMMERMAN: Walking, like, in the grassy area, like, up towards -- kind of between these two poles. Like I said, it was raining. And he wasn`t -- he was just leisurely looking at the house. I passed him, and he was -- he kept staring at me.

I actually walked all the way to the street. And back there, they said, Are you following him? And I said yes because I was, you know, in the area. And they said, We don`t need you to do that.

And then when I got to right about here, he yelled from behind me, to the side of me. He said, Yo, you got a problem? And I turned around. And I said, No, I don`t have a problem, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where was he at?

ZIMMERMAN: He was about there, but he was walking towards me. And he said, You got a problem now. And then he was here and he punched me in the face.

That`s when my jacket moved up. And I had my firearm on my right-side hip. My jacket moved up, and he saw it. I feel like he saw it. He looked at it. And he said, You`re going to die, (EXPLETIVE DELETED). And he reached for it, and I felt, like, his arm going down to my side. And I grabbed it, and I just grabbed my firearm and I held it.


GRACE: At issue is not only the 911 call, but there`s another call that`s going to take center stage in the courtroom.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s right outside my window, I mean, like, two feet in front of me, it`s, like, 10 feet out my window. Oh, my God! why would somebody kill someone like that?


GRACE: A neighbor apparently saw what was going on outside. It was at night. It was very difficult to see. But interesting, Zimmerman had on a red jacket that really stood out. So I don`t think there`s a way that the neighbor who was in their apartment at home could confuse the two figures even if they were of similar height or complexion. One had on a red jacket and one didn`t. Even in the dark, they should be able to differentiate between who is who.

So this neighbor calls police and in that call, she hears voices and hears a gunshot.


911 OPERATOR: So you think he`s yelling help?


911 OPERATOR: All right. What is your...


GRACE: Here`s the problem. The defense says they need more time for audio enhancement of that call. Well, it`s been a year. They`ve had time. Everybody`s had time to get their ducks in a row.



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

DISPATCHER: Are you following him?


DISPATCHER: OK, we don`t need you to do that.


911 OPERATOR: So you think he`s yelling help?


911 OPERATOR: All right, what is your...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s gunshots!

911 OPERATOR: You just heard gunshots?


911 OPERATOR: How many?





ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... you`re appearing here for your first appearance at this time for the charge of...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Murder in the second degree.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just said he just shot him! yes, the person is dead, laying on the grass!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Zimmerman has made the statement of self- defense.


ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t believe that it was an accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Special prosecutor says George Zimmerman profiled an unarmed teen.

ZIMMERMAN: Real suspicious guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Believing he was a criminal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My son was not committing any crime!

DISPATCHER: Are you following him?


DISPATCHER: OK, we don`t need you to do that.

SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN`S MOTHER: He had an intent in his mind and he carried out the intent.

MARK O`MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: George realizes that he was involved in the death of another young man.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And spent much of his first night in jail weeping.

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, JR., GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S BROTHER: George has been telling the truth the whole time. The truth will come out.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Zimmerman`s attorney now says his client is open to directly reaching out to Trayvon Martin`s family.

FULTON: The absolute worst news that you can tell a mother. Her child is dead. I didn`t believe it then. I still have issues believing it now.

NANCY GRACE, HLN HOST: To add to the mystery, Trayvon`s own father has been on our show several times. He listened to the audiotape and he says it wasn`t his son or he couldn`t make out if it was his son. Now later his lawyer claims that they enhanced the audiotape and the father now recognizes his son screaming. But when you`ve got a witness with conflicting statements, that statement is not worth as much.

FULTON: On the 911 tapes, Trayvon is running away from him. Trayvon was just trying to get back to the house. He wasn`t looking to do any harm to anyone. He wasn`t looking to commit any crime. He simply went to the store. So it`s just very difficult for me to just listen to all the negative things that they have said about Trayvon, and I know my son. He`s just an average teenager.

GRACE: You know what, I`ve heard it all. It hasn`t been repeated on our show, Miss Fulton, I can guarantee you that. Because I do not tolerate slurring and throwing mud at a crime victim. And regardless of what a jury does or what the facts come out in this case at trial, he is a victim. Regardless of what anybody says. So all of that -- that doesn`t mean a hill of beans, Miss Fulton and Mr. Martin, what people are saying about Trayvon. Except that it is hurtful to you.

FULTON: It is.


GRACE: Just to top it all off, we have a perjury charge brewing. During all of this, apparently there was a Web site set up regarding Zimmerman`s camp. And people had been donating money for his defense. At a bond hearing, it was stated in court that Zimmerman was broke. That he needed an indigent representative. In other words, a pro bono lawyer. A good lawyer, but a free lawyer. That we, the taxpayers, would pay for the lawyer.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: When Zimmerman took the stand in that bond hearing, he was using it as a orchestrated, calculated method to try to favor -- win favor with the court. He misled the court. He misled them with his testimony. The things he said. And the things he did not say.

George Zimmerman looked at my clients in their eyes, these grieving parents, and misled them. He told them that he was sorry, even though we believe that was very insincere, because he has had so many opportunities to say he was sorry. And then he told an untruth in that apology, that alleged apology. He said that he did not know how old Trayvon Martin was. And on the night that he shot Trayvon Martin in cold blood, he said to the dispatcher that Trayvon was in his late teens.

But now today we find out what is most important is what George Zimmerman did not say to the court when he heard his lawyer, he heard his mother, his father, his wife mislead the court, either intentionally or unintentionally, by saying they didn`t know anything about how much money was in this Web site. And they tried to portray themselves as being indigent, not having any money.

GRACE: Well, as it turns out, there was money in this Web site account. So the wife of George Zimmerman has now been charged with official perjury. That doesn`t help your credibility when you take the stand, when you`ve got a perjury count brewing against you.

O`MARA: I`m not certain that he thought in some sense that they were available to him because even after the bond was granted, it was the family who was trying to come up with enough money for the bond. And I guess if they thought that they had full, easy access to it, they simply could have used that. But now that I`m aware of it, we`re certainly going to deal with it in a much more transparent way. Probably bring in someone like an accountant to assist me with administering and just deal with it very openly.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: posted this surveillance video of George Zimmerman arriving at the police station the night he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The video shows the neighborhood watch volunteer getting out of the patrol car in handcuffs. Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense. His lawyer said he believes Zimmerman`s nose was broken and that he suffered a cut in the back of his head during the incident. The video appears to show an officer looking at the back of his head.

In another development, Martin`s 16-year-old girlfriend spoke with ABC`s "World News." She described a phone call she had with Martin moments before the fatal shooting. She said he told her he was being followed.

RACHEL JEANTEL, TRAYVON MARTIN`S GIRLFRIEND: He was walking fast. When he says that his man behind him again. He come and say, this look like he about to do something to him. And then Trayvon come and said, the man was still behind him. And then I come and say, run.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Also talking Wednesday, Zimmerman`s father. He asked that his face not be shown. He claims Trayvon Martin attacked his son.

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, SR., FATHER OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of, you`re going to die now, or you`re going to die tonight. Something to that effect. He continued to beat George. And at some point, George pulled his pistol and did what he did.


GRACE: Also at issue with a credibility problem of her own is Trayvon Martin`s former girlfriend. She claims that she was on the phone with Trayvon Martin at the time the encounter occurred, and that he was telling her he was being followed by a guy he didn`t know, and he was getting very scared. Trayvon and the unknown male exchanged words and then suddenly Trayvon Martin`s phone went dead.

JEANTEL: He said a man is following him, behind him. I said, run. You going to run. He said, you know I`m not going to run because I know he`s going to run because he`s out of breath. Then he told me the guy is getting close to him. I told him, run. And then I said keep running. He`s not going to run. And then he say, I tell him, why are you not running? He said, I`m not going to run because he`s tired. I know he`s tired.

GRACE: Here`s her credibility problem. She doesn`t come to Trayvon Martin`s funeral. Why? She gives a statement that she was in the hospital. Well, according to hospital records, she was not in the hospital at the time of the funeral. Why did she lie?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: In a courtroom where Judge Debra Nelson spent hours outlining a roadmap for George Zimmerman`s trial, her decisions often spelled out roadblocks for Zimmerman`s lawyers.

O`MARA: How could you keep us from arguing our theory of defense?

JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, SEMINOLE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: It`s because the Rules of Evidence keep you from doing it.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Nelson blocked the defense from bringing up a number of things about Trayvon Martin. The unarmed teenager who was shot by the neighborhood watch volunteer.

GRACE: As I said at the outset, this trial should not boil down to a popularity contest. Nobody is going to be crowned Miss Congeniality here. What the state may try to do is introduce, for instance, the fact that Trayvon Martin was on a 10-day school suspension because a plastic bag with trace amounts of marijuana was found in his backpack.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Off limits for now, Martin`s text messages, his alleged familiarity with guns, previous fights and previous drug use.

NELSON: Communication about previously used marijuana, the state`s motion will be granted, that will not come in.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The judge did say that she will wait to hear from defense experts to rule whether to admit Trayvon Martin`s toxicology tests. Zimmerman`s defense team says they could show Martin had smoked marijuana just a couple of hours before the shooting.

O`MARA: I don`t have the luxury as a criminal defense attorney to look at this and say, I`m just going to ignore this and never ever use it under any circumstances.

DARRYL PARKS, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: They were tipping to try this case about marijuana, guns, and fighting. None of which had anything to do with the seven-minute period on that night of February 26th when Trayvon Martin was killed.

GRACE: There are claims that on another occasion he had a burglary tool and several pieces of women`s jewelry in his backpack. At the time of the incident where he was shot dead, he had THC, one of the main ingredients of marijuana, in his bloodstream.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The battle for public opinion continues along with the legal battle. Zimmerman`s brother called for dropping the murder charge. Martin`s family stood with their lawyer.

GRACE: I doubt very, very seriously whether the prior incidents, such as the jewelry or any other infractions at school, will be brought in as evidence. Now, the THC in his bloodstream is a different matter. Because having THC in your bloodstream lends to the state`s argument that he may, he, Trayvon Martin, may have been acting aggressively or erratically because he was under the influence of drugs.


GRACE: There are already arguments that a fair and impartial jury cannot be selected. I only have two syllables to answer that. O.J. Same thing was said then. Simpson was acquitted. Not only him, tot mom Casey Anthony in basically the same area. The Orlando area. Robert Blake. All of these high-profile cases ended in acquittals. So clearly a fair jury can be struck.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: When George Zimmerman was worried about an aggressive neighborhood dog in 2009, he decided to buy a gun. And went to his friend, Mark Osterman, for help.

MARK OSTERMAN, FRIEND OF ZIMMERMAN: He had felt that once you -- once he gets married, once you get married, you kind of -- he said that he possibly changed his perspective in life. And that he was responsible not just for himself anymore, but for his wife.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Osterman, a federal law enforcement officer, helped Zimmerman weigh the pros and cons before he settled on a thin, lightweight .9 millimeter. It was easy to conceal, easy to carry. And acting on Osterman`s advice, Zimmerman carried it everywhere.

OSTERMAN: Always. He carried it always. And I -- the one thing I did tell him for the reason for doing that was if it is on your person, it can`t be anywhere else.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It was on Zimmerman`s person the night he encountered Trayvon Martin. And he told Osterman how Martin grabbed the gun during their fight.

OSTERMAN: According to what he told me was, when the head bashing on the concrete stopped and Trayvon reached for the firearm that was at his side, grabbed ahold of it --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Osterman wrote about it in a book, quoting Zimmerman, "Somehow I broke his grip on the gun where the guy grabbed it between the rear sight and the hammer. I got the gun in my hand, raised it toward the guy`s chest and pulled the trigger."

GRACE: The defense has filed a very peculiar motion to allow the jury once they are seated to go to the scene of the homicide. That is fraught with danger to take a jury out of the laboratory condition of the courthouse is begging for a mistrial. If one person comes up and says, hey, he`s innocent, or hey, he`s guilty, you`ve got to start all over again probably with a brand new jury.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And this is where the problem lies for George Zimmerman, because comments quoted by his friend Osterman do not match what Zimmerman told police. Listen to what he says as he walks investigators through the crime scene.

G. ZIMMERMAN: And he reached for it, but he reached like I felt his arm going down to my side and I grabbed it and I just grabbed my firearm and I shot him. One time.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: In multiple recorded interviews Zimmerman never tells police that Trayvon Martin ever touched his gun. DNA testing seems to agree. There was no trace of Trayvon Martin`s DNA on the gun`s grip.

GRACE: So the judge is going to require the defense to jump over several hurdles in order to prove why the jury must be taken to the scene of the shooting. What is so critical for the jury to see there that cannot be described or demonstrated in the courtroom? Recall the O.J. Simpson trial. The jurors did go to the home. That ended in an acquittal.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Prosecutors list Osterman`s book with Zimmerman`s conflicting account as potential evidence, possibly to challenge Zimmerman`s credibility. As for his connection to the gun Zimmerman was carrying, Osterman says it`s hard to answer the question, does he feel regret?

OSTERMAN: 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 that firearm was used to protect George.


NELSON: In the jurors that I announced, were you able to hear the six members of the jury and the four alternate?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, your honor.

NELSON: And is this jury panel acceptable to you, sir?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, your honor.

GRACE: Five potential jurors and it all comes down to this. Six women will decide the fate of George Zimmerman. An all-female jury struck in the murder two trial, Zimmerman accused in the 2012 shooting death of an unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin.

There are four alternates, two women and two men. They will also hear the case. Zimmerman agreeing to the all-female jury consisting mostly of white females.

Zimmerman claims self-defense. The prosecution accusing the neighborhood watch captain of profiling and then gunning down 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The trial now under way.

A provision in Florida law called Stand Your Ground may come into play in the prosecution of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: On the anniversary of the killing of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin that sparked protests and rallies across the country, there is now a renewed fight over the controversial Stand Your Ground law that could make his killer, George Zimmerman, a free man once again.

MICHAL SKOLNIK, TRAYVON MARTIN FOUNDATION: Can you start a fight, lose the fight, and then claim Stand Your Ground?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Michael Skolnik of the Trayvon Martin Foundation believes Stand Your Ground laws are ineffective and should be repealed.

SKOLNIK: It promotes vigilantism. It promotes the idea that you go out there and you take care of the situation, and don`t listen to the police, and don`t listen to law enforcement.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Late last week a task force commissioned by Florida Governor Rick Scott at the height of the public outcry returned its final report supporting the law. It asserts all persons who are conducting themselves in a lawful manner have a fundamental right to stand their ground and defend themselves from attack.

GRACE: Stand Your Ground is really very simple. It is a statute passed by the Florida legislature that says if you are being confronted you don`t have to run, you can stand your ground and defend yourself. It`s not your duty to retreat.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Kishawn Jones claimed he was standing his ground when he shot and killed a Florida man during an argument over $20 and a gun. He now has two words of warning for George Zimmerman.

Anything you want to say to him?


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Kishawn Jones argued Stand Your Ground in front of Circuit Judge Debra Nelson, the same judge now handling George Zimmerman`s case. Jones` attorney thought the law was in their favor.

What was it that made you feel like you had a strong case for Stand Your Ground?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I knew right away that he was not looking for any trouble and that trouble came to find him. And that is a classic stand your ground type of scenario.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And just like George Zimmerman, Kishawn Jones claimed he believed his life was in danger the moment he pulled the trigger. He even had a witness backing up his story. But in the end, Jones was denied.

Where did you go wrong?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This wasn`t, obviously, a jury trial. This was a Stand Your Ground hearing. The judge was the juror, only juror, in that situation.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: In this case, Judge Nelson not only looked at the facts but sized up Jones as well. His demeanor, his frankness, his emotions, voice, even his body language, played into her decision. And that could be a problem for George Zimmerman. His last judge said that Zimmerman tried to deceive the court about the money he had raised for his defense and may have actually planned to leave the country to escape prosecution.

Will he have enough credibility now to convince Judge Nelson that he was standing his ground when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin?

Is there any advice you want to give George Zimmerman, something that he needs to be prepared for when he goes in front of this judge?

You`re shaking your head like it`s not going to be easy for him.

JONES: No. Not going to be easy. That`s all I got to say.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: If you`re wondering why Kishawn Jones is a free man today it`s because when his case later went to trial, he was acquitted. The argument of Stand Your Ground didn`t work with the judge. But it did with the jury.

What were you able to say to the jury that worked that you weren`t able to do with the judge?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I asked -- essentially I asked the jury in a roundabout way to think about how they would react in that situation.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A question Zimmerman`s defense will no doubt be asking as well.

GRACE: Interesting the defense is not using Stand Your Ground at this juncture. The defense is saying, they may bring it up as a defense later in the trial. Now that`s a problem. Because Stand Your Ground defense up until this point has been viewed similar to the machinations of an insanity defense. It`s something that is invoked prior to trial so the state can reasonably prepare for evidence to meet the defense.

You don`t get midtrial and suddenly change from self-defense to insanity. Insanity is something that has to be pled before the trial begins. Experts are called in from both sides. Both sides are allowed to interview the defendant in order to prepare both sides for an insanity defense.

You don`t just come up with that at the 11th hour or much less midtrial, mid-stream. So it`s going to be interesting since the defense is not invoking Stand Your Ground pretrial, will they be allowed to invoke it midtrial or even toward the end of the trial after the defense has already put up their entire case?