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Martin's Mother and Brother Testify; 28 Injured at Simi Valley Celebration; 195,000 New Jobs in June; Live Coverage of the George Zimmerman Murder Trial
Aired July 5, 2013 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- with Mayor Jeff Triplett in the mayor's office and also with the city manager. She said she never had heard the tape before, Carol, that she was not warned about what could be on that tape and the first time she heard it, she said she believed that was the voice of her son.
Keep in mind, at the same time, we know that Tracy Martin, Trayvon Martin's father, he did not believe initially that that was the voice of his son, but later came to the conclusion that it was the voice of his son.
And the other important point to make here. When you hear what the audio analysts said, he said specifically that it would be a family member who would best determine who was screaming on that tape. However, he made the point that it would have to be in the same situation. A similar scenario, the same type of scream. That question was posed to Jahvaris Fulton and he said he heard him yell, not like that, but, yes. So, he did answer that question. The same issue that was brought up by that audio analyst.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: You would hope he wouldn't hear his brother yelling, if, indeed, it was Trayvon Martin's voice on that tape. There was a gun involved in the tussle, right? He was screaming in terror. You wouldn't hear your brother screaming like that in normal, everyday life.
That's very important because what the defense is doing, they are trying to look at any inconsistency or difference in the story that he gave in court as opposed to what he told the reporter and also trying to figure out if he heard a similar type of scream.
COSTELLO: And, Page, actually when Trayvon Martin's brother phrased it that way. Yes, I heard my brother scream, but not like that before. You thought that was effective.
PAGE PATE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I do because it's honest. I don't think any brother -- I have a brother -- play with each other, you're never going to hear your brother scream like he is about to die when there is a gun in his face. I think it is legitimate and adds credibility to his testimony. I think it was important.
COSTELLO: Do we have the tape now of Trayvon Martin's mother? We don't have it. We are working to get it for you because it was very emotional and very powerful. George, I want to go back out to you because one of the things that was kind of confusing to all of us. Why did Sybrina Fulton and others listen to this tape in the mayor's office?
HOWELL: This was the first time the decision was made to release that 911 audio tape and this was really a meeting that was called together by city officials to discuss it. Also called together by Benjamin Crump, the attorney who represents Martin's family. This is the first time they heard that audio tape from what we can understand in court. The first time for Sybrina Fulton to hear it without any warning as to what could be on it, according to her words, her account of it, and she says when she heard that tape initially, she knew that was the voice of her son.
COSTELLO: All right, we're going to take a break and be back with much more in NEWSROOM.
COSTELLO: Welcome back, I'm Carol Costello. Court is still in recess in Sanford, Florida. They are apparently having some kind of problem getting the evidence locker open. They need to present some kind of evidence in court, but it's locked in this locker and they can't get it open. Once they figure it out, we expect court to resume. Very emotional testimony from Sybrina Fulton. She was asked on the stand by the state who was screaming on that 911 call. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While he was growing up and you were raising him, have you heard him crying or yelling?
SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to play a recording for you, ma'am.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911, do you need police, fire or medical?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe both, I'm not sure. There is just someone screaming outside.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMA;E: What is the address that they're near?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 1211 Twin Tree Lane.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twin Tree Lane? Is it (INAUDIBLE) in Sanford?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it a male or female?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It sounds like a male.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't know why?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know why. I think they're yelling help. But I don't know. (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does he look hurt to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't see him. I don't want to go out there, I don't know what's going on. (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he's yelling help?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, what is your --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's gunshots.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just heard gunshots?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma'am, that screaming or yelling, do you recognize that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And who do you recognize that to be, ma'am?
FULTON: Trayvon Benjamin Martin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Now, keep in mind it's an all-women jury. Some of the women on the jury have children themselves. So, now Mark O'Mara gets up . That's George Zimmerman's lead attorney, and he's going to cross examine his grieving mother. Let's listen to that part of the testimony.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK O'MARA, LEAD DEFENDING ATTORNEY: Imagine it was probably one of the worst things you went through to listen to that tape?
O'MARA: If it was, in fact, your son screaming as you testified, that would suggest that it was Mr. Zimmerman's fault that led to his death, correct?
O'MARA: And if it was not your son screaming, if it was, in fact, George Zimmerman, then you would have to accept the probability that it was Trayvon Martin who caused his own death, correct? FULTON: I don't understand your question.
O'MARA: Okay. If you were to listen to that tape and not hear your son's voice, that would mean that it would have been George Zimmerman's voice, correct?
FULTON: And not hear my son screaming? Is that what you're asking?
O'MARA: Yes, ma'am.
FULTON: I heard my son screaming.
O'MARA: I understand. The alternative, the only alternative, would you agree, that would be if it was not your son screaming, that it would be George Zimmerman, correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection as to speculation.
JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, FLORIDA: Sustained.
O'MARA: You certainly had to hope that was your son screaming, even before you heard it, correct?
FULTON: I didn't hope for anything. I just simply listened to the tape.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: All right, so you kind of get where Mark O'Mara was going. Page Pate was listening to this part of testimony along with me and at times you grimaced. Why?
PATE: Well because, again, it's tough for a defense lawyer to cross- examine the victim or the alleged victim's mother. She is going to be sympathetic. She's going to be very emotional. You're not going to shake her testimony. You're not get her to change her answer.
What the defense lawyer is trying to do is to suggest to the jury a very important point. As a mother, you don't want your son to be the one to blame for what happened to him. If it means you hear his voice in that tape, then you hear his voice in that tape. Some lawyers would not have tried to do that during questioning. They would have waited until closing argument. Mr. O'Mara is always been pushing the envelope and he did it here, again.
COSTELLO: So, he's saying like as a mother you would be predisposed to think any screaming on a 911 call would be of your son and not the guy that just shot him.
PATE: Right, because you don't want it to be your son's fault that it happened.
COSTELLO: Courtney, let me ask you this. I mentioned before that the jury is comprised of all women. When women jurors are listening to such testimony, do you think it makes a difference as opposed to if there were fathers on that jury? COURTNEY PILCHMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely. You always hear mothers say, I can hear my child in a screaming shopping center or mall. Mothers seem to know their child's voice. For the jurors, I think it was especially compelling that you had this grieving mother who has lost this wonderful child of hers and she's articulating that, yes, that is his voice and there's no doubt about it and she would be the best person to be able to identify his voice.
COSTELLO: All right. Court is still in recess. Evidently, still trying to get that evidence locker open. They can't get it open for some reason. Although, we did see George Zimmerman enter the courtroom, again so it might not be long before court resumes. We'll take a break and be back with much more in the NEWSROOM.
COSTELLO: Welcome back to NEWSROOM. I'm Carol Costello. As you can see, court is still in recess but we expect it to resume soon. Also on the stand this morning, Trayvon Martin's brother, Jahvaris. He testified he thought the screaming on the 911 tape was that of his brother, but he also testified that initially he had his doubts. Mark O'Mara, the defense attorney, wanted to present into evidence this TV interview done at a local CBS station where Trayvon Martin's brother told the reporter questioning him that he wasn't really sure if it was his brother's voice on that tape. Now, the judge in the end did not allow what I'm about to show you to be presented into evidence in court. But I'd like you to listen to it anyway. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you first heard the news, what did you think about?
JAHVARIS FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S BROTHER: I didn't believe it. And I kind of still don't believe it, which is why it's not easy for me to talk about it. I just think he's coming back. His dad, I was listening to Zimmerman's father speak yesterday and he said something like, my brother was on top of his son and said, you're going to die tonight. That doesn't sound like my brother at all.
Yes. Because I think it sends the wrong message. It tells people that, you know, you can murder someone, no one sees it and you say self-defense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: So, wasn't that exact part of the interview that defense attorneys wanted admitted into trial, right Page Pate? It was the part of the interview where he told the reporter, "When I first listened to that tape, I wasn't sure it was my brother or not."
PATE: Right that's exactly what the defense lawyer wanted in although that would have been a great part of the tape for the prosecution to introduce.
COSTELLO: Yes. PATE: But that's not going to happen either. I think the judge made the correct ruling here. Mr. O'Mara was trying to suggest that he was inconsistent in his testimony today and the judge said, no, he's inconsistent about a minor thing what the question was but not his answers. So the tape should not have come in.
COSTELLO: So during that Trayvon Martin's brother's testimony on the stand, he said pretty much what he said in that interview. At first he wasn't sure and he said on the stand it was because I just didn't want to believe that was my brother.
COSTELLO: I was -- I was delusional. I wanted to be because I wanted my brother to still be alive. Still the jury left the room while the lawyers argued that that tape should be allowed into evidence at trial and now Courtney, I wanted to ask you about this.
So the jury left for a lengthy period of time. What are they wondering while they're out of the room?
COURTNEY PILCHMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That's a great question. Because jurors are always wondering when these 10 minute breaks take 30, 40 minutes. They're wondering what's on that tape, I mean obviously they're not supposed to speculate as to what may or may not be presented to them. But they may be wondering based on the line of questioning -- the questions by Mr. O'Mara, what's on that tape. Does it help the defense you know what could it be?
COSTELLO: Ok I'm sorry. I didn't hear the end of your answer. But I'm sure -- so, once the jury comes back -- well let me ask you this, because I'm sure our audience heard you. Once the jury comes back into the courtroom will there be any explanation from the judge?
PILCHMAN: None. There shouldn't be, absolutely not. The judge will now refer to it, they're going to move on and maybe they've forgotten about it, for all we know.
COSTELLO: Also in court, which I found kind of disturbing because they can't get this evidence locker open, Page. So, Trayvon Martin's mother will have to again, take the stand. I'm just curious what kind of evidence they're trying to get out of that locker?
PATE: I don't know maybe they're going to have his mother identify the sweatshirt maybe some other article of clothing he had on him at the time. We'll just have to see.
COSTELLO: What if she had a tape of her son screaming, I mean is that possible?
PATE: Wow that would be unusual. I think if you were going to do that, then you would have allowed the defense to have experts to come in and say yes we compared this voice to this voice and it is the same. I don't anticipate we're going to see that kind of evidence.
COSTELLO: What was interesting Courtney is Trayvon Martin's brother, Jahvaris he was on the stand -- on cross the defense attorneys could be much tougher with him than they could be with Trayvon Martin's mother?
PILCHMAN: You know I don't know, Carol. Because it is his brother and I think that Jahvaris is doing a tremendous job. He is composed, he's answering questions. Mr. O'Mara is asking the questions very almost softball like he is being very respectful of his -- his presence in the courtroom.
But I don't think that you beat up. I mean, you know, the defense attorneys have -- have created some sort of blunders in the trial with the sensitivity issues. And I think that maybe, hopefully, they've learned that they have to treat these witnesses respectfully. And they have to, you know, not attack them. That's not going to ingratiate these defense attorneys and Mr. Zimmerman with a female jury if they're going to keep attacking family members from the prosecution witness list.
COSTELLO: All right, we're going to take a break. The court is still in recess. We'll be right back.
COSTELLO: Court is still in recess, so at 51 minutes past the hour let's go over the top news of the day. A day of celebration turned dangerous for many across the U.S. At a fireworks display in California's Simi Valley, at least 28 people were hurt when fireworks started shooting into the crowd.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh boy --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Authorities are calling what happened an accident. In Washington State, illegal fireworks set off this fire. You're looking at $1.5 million in damage after a firework landed on a boat cover at a storage facility. 14 boats were destroyed in just seven minutes.
And an explosion in the North Myrtle Beach celebration sent one worker to a hospital after a shell exploded early. That same blast also blew a hole in a pier.
We are going to the jobless numbers. The numbers are out. Ok Friday's jobless numbers are out and the report is actually fairly good. So let's head to New York. And Alison she'll break down the numbers for us. Good morning.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. And this was a good-looking report Carol. 195,000 jobs were added in the month of June. The unemployment rate held steady at 7.6 percent. If you look deeper in that report you see that these numbers were led by gains in this category called "Leisure and Hospitality" these are you know jobs like at restaurants. So that's actually a good sign in another way because it shows a lot of us maybe going on vacation. We're spending more at restaurants. These restaurants feel they need to add more jobs there. So you look at the total number. It brings the average number actually of jobs added per month just this year from January to June to about 202,000 per month. So that's pretty good. You know we may finally be back on track to break two years of stagnant growth for the labor market.
Now the bad news is this thing called the participation rate. It's still too low. There are a lot of discouraged workers who've just kind of thrown their hands up and are not getting into the labor pool to find jobs.
But let's end with the glass half full. We're seeing a good average of the number of jobs being added to this economy per month, especially when you look at the first half of this year -- Carol.
COSTELLO: All right Alison Kosik thanks so much. So they've got things fixed apparently with that evidence locker because court has resumed. Trayvon Martin's brother again takes the stand. Let's listen.
(BEGIN LIVE FEED)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're ready, your honor.
JUDGE DEBRA NELSON: Please be seated. Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize for the extended break. But we were having some technical difficulties in the courtroom that have now been resolved. You may proceed.
MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you, your honor. Good morning, sir.
JAHVARIS FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S BROTHER: Good morning.
O'MARA: When we took a break I was asking you your -- your memory of the question that Mr. Benitez asked you and I think what you said was you didn't remember the question specifically. Is that correct?
O'MARA: Ok but leading up to that, we talked about -- after you had listened to the tape and the Mayor's office in Sanford some time a couple weeks before. Do you agree?
O'MARA: That was with all the other family members.
O'MARA: And the civil attorneys representing the family, the civil attorneys representing the family Ben Crump and Natalie Jackson. Correct?
O'MARA: Ok. You actually listened to it more than once that day. You listen to it at least twice. Correct?
O'MARA: And it was even played for other family members more often than twice, right?
FULTON: I'm not aware of that.
O'MARA: Ok. You don't recall whether or not you had listened to it between the first two times you've heard it in the Mayor's office and your conversation with Mr. Benitez?
FULTON: I don't know -- I don't remember.
O'MARA: It was, of course, available to you. Correct?
FULTON: What do you mean by that?
O'MARA: Well, at that point the City of Sanford made the decision to release the calls to the general public, right?
FULTON: I don't know. But I've never had the tapes myself.
O'MARA: Ok. Did there ever come a time in between the first two times that you heard it in your conversation with Mr. Benitez that you wanted to listen to it again but couldn't?
FULTON: Say it again.
O'MARA: Ok in the two-week period between the first two times you listened to it the time you talked to Mr. Benitez about that during that period of time did you ever ask someone to listen to it again and be denied?
O'MARA: So in your mind listening to it the first two times was what you needed to hear, correct?
FULTON: Not what I needed. But I didn't want to listen to them again.
O'MARA: Ok. And yet your answers earlier remained the same, of course. You said what you said to Mr. Benitez about not being sure who it was on the tape, correct?
O'MARA: And there you said a moment ago that the more you listen -- the more you actually have listened to it many more times since, haven't you?
FULTON: Yes. O'MARA: Ok. Was there a reason why in between the first two weeks you didn't want to listen to it but you were ok with listening to it 10, 15 times afterwards?
FULTON: Yes. It's emotional. I didn't want to listen to it again.
O'MARA: You have listened to it at least ten times since, correct?
FULTON: Well, no, in total ten times. So maybe eight separate occasions.
O'MARA: You said a moment ago that you lived in the house with Sybrina Fulton and Trayvon Martin, correct?
O'MARA: Tracy wasn't living there at that point?
O'MARA: So when you say you considered Tracy Martin to be your dad he actually left the home a long, long time ago, correct?
FULTON: Yes. They got --
O'MARA: How old were you when he actually left the home?
FULTON: About nine or ten.
O'MARA: And that would have put Trayvon at approximately what age -- Trayvon Martin?
FULTON: I was nine -- he might have been five.
O'MARA: The two of you didn't really hang out together, did you? You and Trayvon Martin.
FULTON: Yes. I mean it depends what you're talking about.
O'MARA: You didn't have the same friends, correct?
O'MARA: If you were to go out somewhere you might go out and do something with your set of friends and he would want to do something with his set of friends.
O'MARA: Certainly, as brothers I think you said you would do things together whatever that might be, correct? You didn't run in the same circles, did you?
O'MARA: You didn't interact with him on Facebook. FULTON: Not really, no.
O'MARA: Nor on Twitter.
O'MARA: But you did interact with your other friends and on the social media sites, correct?
FULTON: Occasionally, yes.
O'MARA: May I have a moment, your honor?
NELSON: Yes, you may.
O'MARA: When Tracy Martin left the home he actually got remarried, didn't he?
FULTON: Yes. Some years later, yes.
O'MARA: And was Trayvon Martin then spending a lot of time -- the new wife was Alicia, correct?
O'MARA: Ok. Did you spend a lot of time with your dad at that house?
O'MARA: And did Trayvon Martin as well spend a lot time over at that house?
O'MARA: He was more living there a lot of the time in the last few years, wasn't he?
FULTON: Not really.
O'MARA: What do you mean by that?