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George Zimmerman Trial Continues; Unrest in Egypt Continues as Morsy Supporters Take to the Streets
Aired July 5, 2013 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARK O'MARA, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: And you certainly had to hope that that was your son screaming even before you heard it, correct?
SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: I didn't hope for anything. I just simply listened to the tape.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Sybrina Fulton there on the stand, tough cross-examine to watch there. We're going to go back to that with our legal experts.
Also, we just saw this associate medical examiner, Dr. Shiping Bao. He was just excused. He was on the stand for quite a chunk of the day. He is the person who conducted that final autopsy on the body of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
And earlier today, this is pre-recess, something happened that you actually rarely see in a court of law.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON WEST, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Are you reading from something now?
DR. SHIPING BAO, ASSOCIATE MEDICAL EXAMINER: Yes, yes. I typed down myself.
WEST: May I see what you're referring to, please? May I approach the witness?
BAO: Because I puzzled by that. I could not remember the thing. And other people can.
WEST: Your Honor, may the witness not answer until I have had...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
WEST: Show me what you're looking at.
BAO: Before this testimony, I told you I spent hundreds, hundreds of hours. I typed down potential answers to your potential question. These are my notes.
WEST: May I see them, please?
BAO: I rather you do not see this, my notes. Nobody saw that before.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dr. Bao, if you're going to be reading from your notes, both attorneys are entitled to see what you're reading from.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So please allow him to do so. You may approach the witness.
WEST: Perhaps it would be convenient if we made a copy for counsel. I can continue with some questioning and then we can look at them at our leisure.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have got people here behind you. You can make a copy if you wish.
BAO: So they can make a copy? It's my -- it's my notes I type myself. Nobody read that before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So it was kind of a "What?" moment today in the courtroom.
Also on the stand today, Trayvon Martin's older brother, Jahvaris Fulton, took the stand. And we will a little play sound from him momentarily as far as what he heard. This was all about that 911 call and whether or not those help screams came from Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman.
To talk about all of this, we have Sunny Hostin, CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, joining us from Sanford,Florida, along with Mark NeJame, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney. Here with me in studio seven, Eleanor Odom, veteran prosecutor, and Tanya Miller, defense attorney and former prosecutor.
So welcome, welcome to all of you.
I think we need to begin with the mother. We need to begin with Sybrina Fulton, who we all knew, we all assumed she would be one of those final witnesses. This was when the state really had to bring home the story about the 17-year-old young man who was shot and killed last February.
Did she, Eleanor? Did she help them do that? Tough for her.
ELEANOR ODOM, PROSECUTOR: Well, it was tough. And it always is for the victim's mother.
But what was so important after we heard all that forensic evidence, remember, the day before the Fourth of July, on the 3rd, everything was about his sweatshirt and everything...
ODOM: ... this finally brings Trayvon Martin back into the courtroom. It makes him, I hate to say it, come alive. It really humanizes the person that he was. And I think it's so important to bring that up again in front of the jury as often as you can and especially after all the forensic evidence has been laid out.
BALDWIN: Sunny Hostin, let's talk about the emotions, because this is an adjective that's been used to describe Sybrina Fulton many, many times. She's the strong patriarch. She's stoic. Do you think jurors were anticipating tears, more emotion from this mother describing, yes, those were my son's screams on the 911 call?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's hard to tell what the jury expected of her. But she does come across as very stoic, very elegant. I was in the courtroom for her testimony. Remember, five out of the six women on the jury are mothers. They were leaning forward.
I can tell you one juror in the very back did not take her eyes off of Sybrina Fulton, especially when they were playing the tape of the screams. While she may have appeared to be stoic on camera, I will tell you in the courtroom that was not the feeling that was there. It was very intense. And certainly she came across as being elegant.
I will tell you what was very surprising to me, Brooke, was Mark O'Mara's cross-examination. I think he is a very skilled attorney, very good attorney. But I think he made a rookie mistake. I mean, they will tell you in law school and at the U.S. attorney's office and in most training places that, you know, it's very difficult to cross- examine the victim's mother.
And most professors will tell you not to do it. And I think his line of questioning where he almost tried to go into blame the victim, asking Trayvon Martin's mother, the victim's mother, isn't it true that perhaps Trayvon was responsible for his own death really fell flat in the courtroom. And the jurors in my view didn't appear to like that.
BALDWIN: Yes. I'm glad you brought that up. And guys in the control room, get in my ear and tell me if we have a little Sybrina Fulton sound we can play, just sort of to Sunny Hostin's point as far as her testimony.
And, Tanya, to you, off of Sunny's point, but also the second Mark O'Mara sits up there, and immediately there's an objection. He is saying, I'm sorry for your loss. There's an objection from the state. But then to Sunny's point, he does continue to question -- him. She called it a rookie mistake. Do you agree?
TANYA MILLER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I agree. I think that he really didn't make any point with his cross-examination. Everything that he has to argue this is already in evidence. You're never going to get the victim's mother to really give you anything more. She was solid. She was convinced that that was her son's voice on that tape. Nothing he asked her was going to change that. It was really kind of a pointless cross.
BALDWIN: Mark, here's my question to you. This is something I was just curious. In terms of standard operating procedure, when you are a mother of a 17-year-old who has been shot and killed and you know you are going into -- it's actually not at the police precinct. It's at the mayor's office. She testified that she wasn't told what she would be hearing, perhaps not to color her view, perhaps not to bias her toward one voice or another. But is that standard or not?
MARK NEJAME, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No. The proper control is you have it without a crowd of people around you and without all the suggestions or the subliminal messages or somebody trying to navigate you.
I don't think it's going to make any really big difference in this instance. But, no, you should have a neutral, unbiased control that's simply an investigator playing it in the sanctity of a room with a grieving parent or whoever might be looking to identify a voice. And that's the better control, rather than all sorts of other people around you.
But, all in all, it shouldn't have been done that way, but I don't think it'll be a big deal.
BALDWIN: OK. I want to come back to the four of you because we have a lot more to talk about, especially with this associate medical examiner, also the older brother of Trayvon Martin. Again, trial in Sanford is in recess, probably about five minutes left, and then we will take you back to that live, I promise.
But I have to talk Egypt this afternoon quickly here. In Cairo, shooting has now erupted outside these government barracks where the overthrown president, Mohammed Morsy, is believed to be in military custody. But look at this. Look at these crowds. It's after 9:00 at night there in
Cairo. You have the Islamist local political party saying that five of its people have been killed. Sporadic clashes in other parts of the country have left dozens of people wounded. And I want to take you to this. Again, these are live pictures coming out of eastern Cairo. These are supporters of the ousted president, Mohammed Morsy.
Now it is their turn to take to the streets and to protest.
Joining me now, Karl Penhaul on the phone from Cairo.
And, Karl, just describe for me what you're seeing. I'm hearing about clashes. I'm hearing about on this October 6 Bridge which I know gets you to Tahrir Square, you have pro-Morsy and anti-Morsy folks now going back and forth.
KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Brooke.
Really the rallying point, the supporters of the deposed president, well, that was Friday prayers. And so after Friday prayers, they began marching to different points of the city. One of the points that they did march to was the Republican Guard headquarters, where they believe that President Morsy is still being held. There were clashes there. Army and police opened fire with tear gas.
And we also understand from protesters they say that the soldiers opened fire with live bullets. Now Egypt's Health Ministry has confirmed that at least one protester was shot dead there. That was during daylight hours. Now nighttime has fallen and more columns of pro-Morsy supporters are trying to cross the October 6 Bridge from the other side of the Nile coming towards Tahrir Square.
Clashes have broken out there again. We believe this is a civilian- on-civilian clash, pro-Morsy demonstrators against anti-Morsy demonstrators. The police may also be involved there, we understand. But we hear from a CNN team on the ground a car has been set on fire. There are shotguns apparently being fired. And Molotov cocktails are also being thrown there.
It is a very fluid situation. And what we have heard at Friday prayers were calls from the sheiks, from the preachers, calling on pro-Morsy supporters not to go home, to stand and even die for their cause if necessary. As I say, right now, night has fallen, but no sign of pro-Morsy demonstrators are heading back to their homes, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Now fatal clashes in Cairo according to Karl Penhaul, as we look at these live pictures and that burning car you were just describing. Karl Penhaul for us in Cairo, Karl, thank you.
We will continue to monitor the developing situation here in Cairo, Egypt, as clearly people are furious that Mohammed Morsy has been ousted.
Coming up next, though, we are looking also at these live pictures inside this courtroom in Sanford, Florida. I am seeing activity which tells me this is about to get going once again. Quick break. Back in two minutes.
BALDWIN: Back to Sanford, Florida. Just a little heads up as we can eavesdrop more on less on what's happening inside this courtroom. You can see that these attorneys have approached the bench. They're discussing maybe some evidence. We just saw a huge board with a timeline as far as the events that took place back in February of last year. Maybe one of the questions is with the jury out of the room right now can this evidence or perhaps the tweaking of this which looks like with a sharpie perhaps will be admissible? Let's listen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, just as long as the wording is the same. What is this next thing? WEST: The next exhibit is the one that we asked the court to take official notice of. (INAUDIBLE) I would like have the court make a ruling so that we can move on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can I hear the objection?
O'MARA: Certainly, Your Honor.
We have had about half a dozen witnesses testify as to the weather, particularly at the scene of the event. This is a much more generic it happened somewhere in Sanford. Matter of fact, Mr. Guy told me the park...
O'MARA: Even though I have been around for a while, I have never heard of Ravina (ph) Park. Maybe you have, but I don't know where it is in Sanford.
But I can tell you it is not as close as the witnesses have already testified to the actual conditions that night. I don't think it's relevant in that it is some generic overview of some other area I guess in Sanford, but not close to (INAUDIBLE) circle.
And it was a necessary element for the state to bring out, I might see the need for judicial notice. But since we already have sufficient, I think, more than sufficient testimony from witnesses, then that issue has already been addressed and I don't want the confusion of some other location to be before the jury.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Thank you.
JOHN GUY, FLORIDA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: To my knowledge, it's the closest weather station to the scene. And I believe it is permissible pursuant to the Florida statutes cited in the state's notice. Ultimately, it's up to the court, but again it's offered to show -- there's been testimony whether or not it was raining, what the wind was like. This provides an hour-by-hour analysis of those two...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I see that. But could you please tell me how far it is from the retreat at Twin Lakes?
GUY: Judge, I think it's -- I believe it's right off of 1792 and 417, somewhere in that location, not too far from this courthouse, so within a few miles.
O'MARA: If it's that far away, then I truly have an objection, because that's several miles.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does anybody have -- be able to get on their computers to give me a distance?
I can tell you where Ravina (ph) Park is. But my objection is I don't -- even if it was down the street, the testimony that exists is the testimony...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I understand what the testimony exists. But we have people testifying as to different times to what the weather conditions were.
Some say it was raining. Some say it was drizzling. Some say it was misty. Some say it was raining hard at different times. I don't see any prejudice if we were to have a weather report that showed time for time what the temperature, dew point, pressure, wind, humidity and rainfall were. There would be no prejudice. My only concern is how far away this is.
BALDWIN: Yes. So, again, listening to this hearing, this back and forth with this judge, which Eleanor just mentioned, she's running a tight ship. I tend to agree with you. I think a lot of attorneys on either side will as well. Quick break. We will see what's happening in this hearing and when the jury can come back in and when the state will rest. Be right back.
BALDWIN: This hearing is still taking place, this sidebar hearing. The jury is still out of the room. Let's just try to understand maybe not necessarily what's happening because we're not in there and you're not the attorneys there. I don't want to put you in an awkward position, Eleanor and Tanya.
But let's just talk about the process of resting a case. This is not a clean, easy -- oh, the state just officially rested. This is what I'm getting in my ear from the control room. So jury is still not in the room. To rest without the jury, is that typical?
ODOM: Well, not necessarily. But then they could bring the jury back in and you could say on the record the state rests.
BALDWIN: OK. Just big picture today. Here we have -- we start with the mother. Then we see Trayvon Martin's brother. Then we have this Dr. Bao, who, you know, threw a curve ball in there a little bit with those notes before and then got into the minutia on the cross with regard to distance of shooting and how long -- you know, whether or not he based an opinion based upon something that happened a couple weeks ago or a while ago.
There was a lot of back and forth, back and forth. But I was asking you all as we were watching this, that is all typical in a final day, right, in a day of resting?
MILLER: Absolutely. Absolutely.
I think what you're seeing right now is they're sort of getting the exhibits ready. The state is making sure they're crossed the T's, dotted the I's before they officially say we're done, Your Honor, this is our case. Definitely, very normal. Not sexy, but normal.
BALDWIN: And what next? I guess the big question, Sunny Hostin, let me go to you in Sanford, because this is all -- we haven't had any lists of witnesses who've been taking the stand.
We now know officially, I presume the jury is still out of the room, guys. Let me know if they're not. We now know that the state has rested. Do we even know if the defense will just continue to roll right through and begin their witnesses or might they begin on Monday?
HOSTIN: We don't know yet.
But this judge is always reluctant to take any time off. So I suspect that if they're prepared, that the defense will begin today. What usually, though, happens at the end of the government's case is that the defense will ask for what's called a motion -- will make what's called a motion for judgment of acquittal. What that basically means is they're going to argue, listen, the state didn't prove its case. There's not enough evidence to take this to the jury.
These motions are always made. They are rarely, rarely granted, because the evidence is looked at in the light most favorable to the government. So I suspect that that's something that may happen as well. And after that -- and those motions sometimes are very quick. And sometimes they take a long time. So depending on how long that takes, then we may see the beginning of the defense case.
BALDWIN: Mark NeJame, what do you think of this final witness the state called today, this Dr. Bao, this associate medical examiner? Because I know a lot of times in cases like this, obviously you want to have that final witness that really hits it out of the park for depending on your side -- here now it's the state, right? Do you feel like Dr. Bao was able to do that or was his testimony diluted after all the cross-examination, the back and forth with Don West?
NEJAME: Yes. It fumbled and bumbled along the way. That's clearly not what they hoped for.
But I was even surprised they called him at the end. I thought they would call Trayvon's mother or his brother as the last witness. But I understand their strategy. That was they were going to have the mother, the brother giving very emotional, impactful statement for the jury. Then they were going to conclude it with what they thought would be a simple M.E. presentation, medical examiner presentation, and then showing the body, the autopsy of this young 17-year-old, thin young man who as I understand it looked quite young from the pictures.
And then that would have been very impactful. So, I started figuring out where they were going by then, but they didn't get what they were hoping for. This M.E. was all over the place. He did not give the closing that the state would have only hoped for as they would in any case. He really did not help them.
BALDWIN: I believe the words I heard in here from these ladies was wishy-washy.
Let me pull away though and go back to the trial as -- and this is typical here. The defense is arguing for an acquittal. Let's get back in.
O'MARA: ... exclude every reasonable hypothesis except that of guilt.
The standard still is to the extent we can look at direct evidence and the court may consider the expletives that have been used as some -- well, I would argue with it. But I guess the court could look at it and say the words that he used might evidence -- may be direct evidence of ill will and hatred. I would suggest that though maybe the way other people have said it or screened it in the courtroom, the evidence that's before the court and before the jury, the way my client used it, can certainly -- the entire context of the way he used it in his conversation on the nonemergency call does not suggest anywhere near the level necessary for ill will, spite and hatred.
Under that -- suggested, if you were to even consider that direct evidence -- short of that, I would suggest that there is no other direct evidence to support any contention whatsoever of second-degree murder as to the ill will, spite and hatred argument.
The circumstantial evidence, then, that may exist, and they have tried to present to you that my client is some -- I'm not exactly sure what the state's case is yet. But to the extent that what they're trying to say to you is that my client was a frustrated neighborhood watch and cop wannabe and just sort of had had enough, and that is supported by some circumstantial evidence, I don't think that they have any direct evidence to suggest that.
In effect, what they have shown is that my client has, in fact, been frustrated, because he's called before. And on occasions, the people he's called on have gotten away. However, rather than just having the huge bridge that needs to happen from that suggestion to ill will and hatred, that circumstantial evidence has to negate any hypothesis of innocence of my client, even in the judgment of acquittal standard, that being you look at that evidence in the light most favorable to the state.
But still, pursuant to Walker (ph), has to exclude any reasonable hypothesis of innocence. And I will suggest to you that now what you have before you, what the jury has before it is not only some reasonable hypothesis of innocence, but a very well-founded reasonable hypothesis of innocence.
And that is that my client acted in self-defense, because though you do look at all the evidence in the light most favorable to the state, you have to look at all the evidence. You can't -- I don't mean to suggest this as though you don't know the standard. But you have to look at all the evidence. You can't just call out parts of evidence and say if I take these four pieces of evidence and look at these in the light most favorable to the state, then I can see where judgment of acquittal should not be granted.
You have to look at the entirety of the evidence that's before the court and therefore the jury. And what is before the court is an enormous amount of information that my client acted in necessary self- defense. We will not know yet, and you don't know yet, who was screaming.
And if you are to look at any evidence in the light most favorable to the state, you have equivocal statements of the only two people who have talked about it. You have Jahvaris Fulton, I really want it to be him, I'm not sure. And then, of course, you have Ms. Fulton, who, though she did testify that is her son's voice, you have to take it in context. You have to understand reasonably why she would say that, how she would say that, and quite honestly also the circumstances under which it was done.
That piece of evidence, in and of itself, a mom saying it has to be my son who passed away, that has to be his voice, because any other possibility means my son caused his own death, you could consider as evidence. However, you have to take it in context. You have to take it in the reality of the other undeniable circumstances that existed that night.
And here's what existed that night in the evidence that you have to consider, my client's immediate statement to those who listened to him that he was screaming for help before he knew that that was being recorded. You can have an argument that he's this cop wannabe who would know it's going to be recorded. But the reality is, the first person on the scene he told it to, the second person on the scene he told it to, the officer, that's Manalo and the officer.
And he has the undeniable injuries that evidence nothing other than a violent attack by Trayvon Martin. There is no other reasonable hypothesis that that could come from that undisputed evidence, other than my client was attacked by Trayvon Martin in some form or fashion. Is it determined quite yet how, in what precise moment? Maybe not.
I would suggest that there is absolutely no evidence to contraindicate what my client now has before you and before the jury, which is that he was at the T-intersection when he was attacked, approached and then attacked by Trayvon Martin. So, there's no evidence to contraindicate that,and that he was hit in the face. And there's no evidence to contraindicate that, and that it did what we all know now it did to his nose.
That violent act, in and of itself, I would suggest to you, is sufficient for immediate response with great -- with deadly force. But he didn't. What we have is 40 seconds of somebody screaming. Of course, you know, my client through his statement said it was him screaming, 40 seconds, and receiving additional injuries consistent with -- and even the state's own experts said it was consistent with my client's head being bashed against concrete, hit, contacted, without using the emotional word of smashed -- against concrete at least several times.
That type of injury, in and of itself, the way it was presented by my client, that injury and the ongoing nature of that injury supports the right my client under 776 to reasonably believe that he's in fear of future bodily injury, because it was ongoing. The state's own witness, Captain Carter, said one really good indication of future bodily injury is when you have already been injured and it's still ongoing.
You can presume that it's going to continue to occur. And that is, in effect, why my client acted in self-defense. And there is nothing, most importantly -- under Walker, there is absolutely no interpretation of the state's evidence which excludes that as a reasonable hypothesis of innocence.
And if you read Walker, the very words that I said about the whole case is quite instructive. It allows for no other determination that, since my client now has presented self-defense through the state's case, but it is now affirmative evidence, of why he acted in the way he acted, that, since the state cannot exclude a reasonable hypothesis of innocence based upon their circumstantial evidence, that the judgment of acquittal should be granted. That's under Walker.