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Live Coverage of the George Zimmerman Trial

Aired July 5, 2013 - 11:00   ET


BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: I want to talk about the position of the body when shot.


DE LA RIONDA: In the movies and on TV, they say, oh, we can tell you how it happened.

Are you able, based on the autopsy, able to say exactly the position that Trayvon Martin was ...


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": Good morning. I'm Ashleigh Banfield live in Sanford, Florida, and we are at the top of the hour where Bernie De La Rionda, the prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin, second-degree murder case is questioning the medical examiner, and possibly the final witness in this case.

Critical so far today to get you up to speed on how this case is wrapping up today. First on the stand with powerful testimony, Trayvon Martin's mother, second on the stand, Trayvon Martin's brother, both of them testifying to who it was screaming on the 911 call the night Trayvon died, both of them testifying that was Trayvon Martin.

But the brother having to admit, I wasn't so certain when I was questioned earlier on in this case.

Now back in with the medical examiner testifying as to the injury that Trayvon Martin suffered, the bullet wound and whether there was contact made with that droopy sweatshirt, that hoodie sweatshirt, so critical as to the position of Trayvon's body during the fight.

Let's listen.


DE LA RIONDA: ... conscious, at least for a few minutes, based on your opinion (inaudible) ...

BAO: First, I need to explain to the jury how I have an opinion. Opinion is based on the fact and my lifetime-learning experience.

DE LA RIONDA: You're talking about other autopsies that you've done in your life. BAO: Yes.


BAO: I believe Trayvon Martin was alive for one to 10 minutes from when he was shot.

DE LA RIONDA: You are giving a range.

BAO: I gave a margin offer error. The reason I gave ten minutes was because three weeks ago ...

DE LA RIONDA: Let me stop you. They don't need to know. You have prior cases you dealt with.

BAO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: That's fine.

OK. Are you saying his brain is technically alive in other words?

BAO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: That's what you mean by still alive in terms of conscious. His brain is still alive?

BAO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: He can still feel pain in other words. Can you say one way or the other?

BAO: Many my experience another autopsy we did three weeks ago, I don't believe he can move after shot.


Let me go to the bullet fragments. Your honor, may I approach the witness?


BANFIELD: A critical moment in the trial, this medical examiner saying Trayvon Martin could have been alive for up to 10 minutes after being shot.

Did he feel pain? Yes, according to this witness. Could he have moved? Perhaps. His arms, no. Let's listen.


BAO: We recovered fragments of bullets from Trayvon Martin's body.

DE LA RIONDA: So that is all in one exhibit. Is that correct?

BAO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: Your honor, may I publish that to the jury.


DE LA RIONDA: Dr. Bao, I'm going back to state's exhibit 89, and you mentioned the hands, and you mentioned an abrasion on his left hand. But I want to ask you specifically about state's exhibit 89.

When you did the autopsy and observed the hands, other than the abrasions that we are going to talk about, did you observe any blood on his hands?

BAO: No.

DE LA RIONDA: Did you observe any other injury to his hands other than the one that's documented.

BAO: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection. Asked and answered.

NELSON: Sustained.

DE LA RIONDA: If you had observed other injuries to his hands, would you have taken photograph of those injuries?

BAO: Yes, I should.

DE LA RIONDA: I'm going now to state's exhibit number 97, and I'm going to ask you about what's depicted in the photograph.

If you could, tell us about this right here that I'm circling right here. When you said abrasion, what do you mean by that?

BAO: It's a superficial injury from blunt force trauma. This injury, in my opinion, could have happened before Trayvon Martin met George Zimmerman.

Could have happened during the physical ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not responsive to a question. This is, again, a narrative.

NELSON: Overruled. But go ahead now and ask your next question.

DE LA RIONDA: My question is, are you able to say when this occurred? And tell us in terms of what you mean when this occurred, when this injury could have occurred.

BAO: It could have occurred two hours before he died. Could have happened right after shooting on the way down to the ground. Could have happened during the physical struggle.

DE LA RIONDA: OK, so it could have happened two hours before he even came into contact with the person who shot him.

Could have happened during the shooting and even after he was shot when he fell to the ground?

BAO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: OK. If you could, tell us, the state's exhibit number 97, the size of this abrasion.

BAO: One-quarter by one-eighth.


And when we say abrasion, can you compare it to other types of injuries to the skin in terms of contusions or lacerations? Can you tell us what you mean by abrasion versus the other two?

BAO: Yeah, there's three types of blunt force trauma.

First, superficial injury of the skin, we call abrasion. Second, laceration means there is a break of the skin which caused the bleeding.

Third is a contusion, means skin is still intact, but there is hemorrhage under the skin.

So aberration, laceration, contusion.

DE LA RIONDA: And so you're getting from less severe to more severe. Is that correct?

BAO: Yes. Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: And so the abrasion would be least severe, is that correct?

BAO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: OK, so you didn't have evidence of contusion to this finger right here, or did you have any evidence of contusion?

BAO: No.


And you mentioned there was something on his, I guess, the fifth finger or the pinky of his left hand.

BAO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: Am I circling it right there?

BAO: Yes. This too small abrasions -- this too small. I have no opinion.


And would this abrasion cause bleeding? In other words, would you expect bleeding to occur from that abrasion? BAO: The blood is still inside.

DE LA RIONDA: I'm sorry?

BAO: The blood still in the capillary, that's why we see this red stuff.

DE LA RIONDA: So would this be classified like a scratch to the skin?

BAO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: Dr. Bao, as part of your autopsy, did you also -- I apologize, your honor. We don't need the light back on. Thank you.

May I approach the witness again, your honor?

Dr. Bao, as part of the autopsy, did you do what's referred to as fingernail scrapings?

BAO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: OK, let me show you ...

BAO: The technician did. I did not do that. I wasn't ...

DE LA RIONDA: Persons under you?

BAO: Yes.


State's exhibit 191, do you recognize that, sir?

BAO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: And are those the two -- I'm going to call them as little sticks. I don't know how you referred to them.

BAO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: Are those each used, one for the right hand and one for the left hand?

BAO: Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: And what is done? Does the stick actually go underneath the fingernail all on like the right and then the left.

BAO: Every fingers.


Also, as part of the autopsy, is DNA or a blood card taken from Trayvon Martin's body, specifically state's exhibit 186?


And finally, sir, let me show you state's exhibit number 98. Is this what's called an identification photograph?

BAO: Yes.


Your honor, at this time, I believe there is a stipulation, if the court could read that to the jury.

NELSON: Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the state of Florida, his defendant and his attorney hereby stipulate to the following -- the body examined on February 27, 2012, by Dr. Shiping Bao, bearing the medical examiner case number of 12-24-043 is that of Trayvon Benjamin Martin.

DE LA RIONDA: And, Dr. Bao, I know you talked about the gunshot wound entrance was from the front and it was straight to the heart. Is that correct?

BAO: Yes.




NELSON: Keep your questions or comments to me, not to each other.

DE LA RIONDA: State's exhibit number 96 -- and I apologize. This should be, actually, 95.

I guess -- is this -- the heart would be directly behind this gunshot wound or where would it be if you were looking at this photograph right here, state's exhibit number 95?

BAO: No, I cannot tell from this photo.


BAO: I -- we removed the skin, removed the ribs. At that point, we saw the pericardial sac.

We cut the pericardial sac and then we see the heart. We cannot tell.

DE LA RIONDA: So you can't tell from this photograph itself, but it would be -- in other words the gunshot ...

BAO: You cannot tell from this photo that the bullet went through the heart. You have to open the body to see that.


Thank you, your honor.

May I have a moment, your honor?

NELSON: You may.


Ladies and gentlemen, we'll take a 10-minute recess. Please put your notepads face down on the chair, and follow Deputy Jarvis back into the jury room.


BANFIELD: And as George Zimmerman stands for the jury to leave the courtroom for a very brief break, we also will take a brief break and tell you the significance of what we've just heard in a moment.

We're right back, live from Sanford.


BANFIELD: Live in Sanford, Florida, at the criminal justice center where George Zimmerman is facing second degree murder charges and the prosecution's case in chief is coming to a close. Straight out to George Howell reporting gavel to gavel on this case. What a morning, George.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What a morning, indeed. What we're talking about now, we saw Tracy Martin several times holding back tears. Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mother, actually left the courtroom with attorney Darryl Parks, an attorney for the family after Shiping Bao, Dr. Bao, started to really get into graphic testimony about the bullet wound, about exactly how Trayvon Martin died.

We know first of all that he says the bullet went into the right side of his chest. There was an entry wound but no exit wound. Dr. Bao says that he can give zero opinion on the position of Trayvon Martin during that struggle when the shot was fired, but he also indicated that Martin was likely still alive, Ashleigh, alive for one to ten minutes after the bullet was shot, was fired into his chest. So that was really difficult, you could tell, for the family to listen to.

BANFIELD: Very difficult, very powerful, and very critical as well. George Howell, stand by if you will.

Famed criminal defense attorney Mark Nejame live with me here in Sanford, Florida, has been watching from the beginning of the case as well, and not just the coutroom beginning -- the beginning last year in February when this happened. The significance of Dr. Bao cannot be lost. What he said today was so critical for this jury.

MARK NEJAME, CRIMINAL DEFESEN ATTORNEY: Well, to me, the biggest issue that he brought up is that he doesn't believe Trayvon Martin could move after he was shot. Because we still have the unanswered question as to George Zimmerman's testimony that he laid his hands out, but we know when the first responders came there, that Trayvon Martin's hands were under his body. And so we don't have an answer as to how that discrepancy, that significant discrepancy, could have in fact occurred.

BANFIELD: And yet he felt pain, so that could be speaking to the defense where the defense's contention is he said, "You got me," or something to that effect. The speaking that's also been contentious.

NEJAME: Yes, because he had not yet -- to be graphic -- bled out. So he still had life in him. Whether that life was enough just to talk or whether that life was enough to move his hands is a good question.

BANFIELD: Former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney Paul Callan, I'm not sure how to take this, but that is a very solid, solid argument that the prosecutor can put forward. If you're Mark O'Mara, how are you going to cross this witness to try to make this your story?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I will be interested to see how this develops because having tried murder cases as a prosecutor and a defense attorney, I always find the medical examiner sometimes they really push too much and they reach conclusions that aren't medically supportable. And they really get hurt on cross-examination.

And to say that Trayvon Martin was in pain for this extensive period of time but at the same time could not move, that's going to be a big area that the defense will be coming at this doctor to say, "Hey, you know, are you speculating? Or where is the scientific basis of that?" So that's what we're going to see, I think, coming up.

BANFIELD: OK, Paul Callan, hold your thought for a moment. We have other big breaking news and it's coming from overseas.

Undoubtedly. you have been watching what's happening in Egypt. A former president under arrest. No one knows where he is. Not only that, but his supporters starting to feel a little bit of payback on the streets. And it comes in the way of blood and death. We're going to update you as to who these supporters are and what is happening between the competing supporters out on the streets and where this country is going. All in a moment live.


BANFIELD: I want to take you live directly now to Egypt where our Ben Wedeman is standing by with throngs of pro-Morsy supporters. These are supporters of the man who was just ousted. And let's call it what it is -- a coup. There has been a lot of bloodshed. People injured, people killed. Some of the supporters attacking army. Army attacking back.

Ben, what's the circumstance? Is it ramping up? Is it under control? Where is this going?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ashleigh, where I am, it's calm. This has been a peaceful demonstration beginning at Friday prayers. There have been clashes in other parts of Cairo on Harram Street (ph), which is in this part of Cairo but not quite here. We're told one man has been killed, a pro-Morsy person. And outside the republican guard in Cairo itself, we're told according to one eyewitness that four Morsy supporters were killed there. But here, very peaceful. But the crowd very passionate in their support for Mohamed Morsy.

Now I am joined Abded Ahmed Gamel (ph). He's a doctor who has come here. And what's interesting is Abded Ahmed, like a lot of people here, are not actually members of the Muslim Brotherhood. They simply feel that he is the legitimate president, Mohamed Morsy is the legitimate president of Egypt. And as you said, they believe it's a coup.

Abded Ahmed, there's been a lot of talk. Is it a coup? Is it a revolution? What do you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are hear to call on free world, Mr. President Obama, America, Europe, Asia, Africa, to all the world -- we have a military coup. We are Egyptians. We are free. We are human. We are not animals. We will not accept the military coup. We will not accept al-Sisi. We will not accept what he do. He is now killing us. He is killing Egyptians. We are refusing that.

I am a doctor. Workers, farmers, all the Egyptians, a new revolution, will not accept this military coup.

WEDEMAN: Thank you. We're also joined by Fadhi (ph), who's a tour operator, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I'm a tour guide, English tour guide. I work in (inaudible). I want to tell a message for all the world, that generals of the Egyptian army - the generals are different from the army. The army is my brother, my family. But the army is the leader of the army, OK? You are always speaking about democracy but you are real dictators. You're speaking about democracy but you are real dictators. You want to (inaudible).

WEDEMAN: OK, our time is up, Fadhi (ph), thank you.

All right, so clearly, Ashleigh, despite the scenes you've seen in Tahrir, there is passion here, there's conviction here, that there has been a coup d'etat and these people are not shy to express it. Ashleigh?

BANFIELD: It's just -- I keep shaking my head, Ben Wedeman, seeing members of the Muslim Brotherhood appealing to America for support. It's not often that's what you hear from the Muslim Brotherhood about America.

But Ben, keep an eye on it with that group three and let us know if anything changes. Ben Wedeman live for us at Cairo University, again with the supporters of the ousted president, who we don't know where he is at this point. We don't know where he's been arrested and where he's being detained.

I'm watching a live monitor and you're not missing any live testimony or any courtroom action in the Zimmerman case here in Sanford, Florida. That jury is about to come back. We're going to squeeze in a quick break. When we come back, you'll be live back in that courtroom after this.


BANFIELD: Live back in Sanford, Florida. Right back as testimony resumes. Dr. Bao has retaken the stand. He is now under cross- examination by attorney Don West. Two things to note. Don West does the questions when it gets technical, and when it gets technical, you don't see the pictures. The court is not offering this. You're not going to see the autopsy pictures. And, I'll be honest with you, even if they did, we would not be broadcasting them.

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, has left that courtroom because she didn't want to see it. However, Trayvon Martin's father, Tracy Martin, is in the courtroom. Let's listen.


DON WEST, ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: And the bag is opened. And you see the individual there in the manner in which they were transported from the other location.


WEST: And in this instance, there were no plastic bags around Mr. Martin's hands. Is that correct?

BAO: Yes. Correct.

WEST: And you're familiar with the term?

BAO: Yes.

WEST: It's a crime scene investigation-type technique where if there may be blood evidence or other kinds of evidence on the hands --

BAO: Yes.

WEST: Then they can be just literally put in a plastic bag and sealed.

BAO: There's no plastic bag on the hand. There's just the body bag.

WEST: Yes. So what you are saying is that Trayvon Martin's hands did not have those plastic bags that sometimes accompany a body from the scene of the incident to the medical examiner.

BAO: Actually, you cannot use plastic bags on the hands. It is the standard -- it is the right practice that every time you should have used paper bag instead of plastic bag on the hand. On the body is a different story.

WEST: Let's talk about the hands just for a moment.


WEST: Because I'm assuming that we saw a sequence here with the evidence photos of the way that Mr. Martin's body was presented to you and to your staff.

BAO: Yes.

WEST: And there were no paper bags on the hands.

BAO: Yes.

WEST: Which meant they were not put on the hands at the scene of the incident.

BAO: Yes. They did not do that.

WEST: And yu are familiar with that procedure.

BAO: Yes.

WEST: And the purpose of it is to preserve the integrity of any evidence that might be located on the hands.

BAO: Yes.

WEST: You would have shown a photograph of that, I take it.

BAO: Yes. If the hand was bagged, we would take the photo before the bags were removed.

WEST: In this instance, am I correct that Mr. Martin's body remained at the scene prior to it being transported by the delivery service for about three hours?

BAO: I don't have that information.

WEST: Don't you have the notes, I'm sorry, from your investigator that went there?

BAO: I did not go there.