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Famed Forensic Pathologist Testifies for Zimmerman Defense; Zimmerman Packs on Pounds Behind Bars?

Aired July 9, 2013 - 20:00:00   ET



BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: In this particular case. you just focused on the defendant`s statement, correct?


DR. VINCENT DIMAIO, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST, GUNSHOT EXPERT: The only one present there is Mr. Zimmerman, so you have to go by what he`s saying.

DE LA RIONDA: Well, I respectfully beg to differ with you. There was another person there, wasn`t there? He can`t speak because he`s dead!

DIMAIO: He`s going to be dead within one to three minutes after being shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the injury you see consistent with having been punched in the nose?


DE LA RIONDA: You can`t testify as to who threw the first punch.

DIMAIO: That`s correct, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: You can`t really testify whether there was a first punch thrown.

DIMAIO: That`s correct, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: You can`t say whether it was Trayvon Martin defending himself or George Zimmerman defending himself in terms of when this first started.

DIMAIO: That`s correct.

ZIMMERMAN: He had pressure on my nose and my mouth, suffocating me.

DE LA RIONDA: I put the hand over there, right?


DE LA RIONDA: What do you expect my hand to have on it?

DIMAIO: Blood.

DE LA RIONDA: Do you need some water or something?

DIMAIO: No, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this injury consistent with Mr. Zimmerman`s head having impacted a sidewalk?


DE LA RIONDA: I`m struggling with you, we`re wrestling, we`re doing all that, and then I push you and you hit the tree (ph). Isn`t that (INAUDIBLE)

DIMAIO: Whatever. Now I`ve lost my train of thought.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us.

We are live, Sanford, Florida. A 17-year-old walking home gunned down by the captain of neighborhood watch. Tonight, all eyes on that Sanford courtroom.

Bombshell tonight. Does gunshot powder prove high school junior Trayvon Martin trying to escape Zimmerman at the time Trayvon is gunned down, or does it prove Trayvon Martin on top of Zimmerman landing potentially deadly blows? This is as the courtroom blows up in turmoil over just who throws that first punch, all the while, the defense arguing Zimmerman`s too obese, too fat to commit murder. Zimmerman secretly eating his way to a not guilty verdict?

We are live and taking your calls. Straight out to Jean Casarez at the courthouse. Jean, explain to me and explain to the viewers exactly what the controversy is about the gunshot powder residue and stippling or tattooing. Go ahead.

JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: It`s all about the distance of the shot, and does this align itself with George Zimmerman`s theory and his statements, all right? Vincent DiMaio, famous forensic pathologist, testified that the shot was a contact shot with the hoodie, with the clothing, and it was an intermediate shot two to four inches from the skin of Trayvon Martin.

In other words, Trayvon Martin could have been over George Zimmerman, and the weight of his hoodie was down and the gun was right next to the hoodie.

GRACE: OK. Stop! Stop. Stop! Come to me, please, New York. What we mean by a contact wound is the gun is touching his heart. It`s touching. That`s contact. It`s making contact. That`s the easy way to remember it.

Intermediate -- there`s a way to do that when you`re coming back. It`s like -- just very similar to how they talked about a water hose. The spray gets bigger. But when you come back, the gunshot residue is coming out of the gun and it diffuses in a greater area, all right? Contact, you`ll get a very small area of stippling or intense, concentrated gunshot powder residue and a small area around the entrance wound. Pull it back, you get a bigger spray of gunshot residue. You pull it back past 36 inches, you don`t get anything. Three feet, it`s over. OK, you can sit down.

Go ahead, Jean.

CASAREZ: And so what the defense wants to show by this is that George Zimmerman was fighting for his life with Trayvon over him, and the gun then shot right next to and touching the hoodie and then went into the right chest.

GRACE: OK, straight out to Frank Taaffe, good friend of George Zimmerman. You told me a while back, Taaffe, that there was going to be a big bombshell and that had to do with the tattooing or stippling -- I don`t see Taaffe. Let me see Taaffe. There he is -- the stippling or the concentrated gunshot residue on the body and on the hoodie, as you said that the only thing this could show is that Trayvon Martin was on top of Zimmerman. So he`s the bad guy. He`s the attacker.

But then today, on cross-examination -- and it`s an excellent medical examiner, DiMaio. I know him very well. But he had to admit that it could also be Trayvon trying to pull back. Could it not, Mr. Taaffe?

FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely not. He also went on -- first of all, I thought Dr. DiMaio was very unbiased. Even though he was paid by the defense, his answers, even to Mr. De La Rionda, were spot on. And it stole (ph) the defense...

GRACE: Taaffe, let me try to get you back in the middle of the road. If you could just focus on the question I asked you. And that is, under cross-exam, isn`t it true that DiMaio...

TAAFFE: And I answered you...

GRACE: ... said -- couldn`t it be...

TAAFFE: No, it`s...

GRACE: ... based on the residue, the gunshot residue...


GRACE: ... that Trayvon was actually pulling back? Did I hear you say sure?

TAAFFE: It`s preposterous! It`s preposterous that he was pulling back. And I told you on your show, I shared with you that Trayvon had grass stains on the front of his knees, on the khakis. That still wasn`t brought up, and that`s in evidence. Let`s look at the facts here!

GRACE: You know what?

TAAFFE: It was clear...

GRACE: Mr. Taaffe...

TAAFFE: It was clear that...

GRACE: ... do you have children?

TAAFFE: I have one left, yes.

GRACE: OK. Then you know that people that play in the dirt get very dirty.

TAAFFE: No, no, no, Nancy!

GRACE: You know...

TAAFFE: You said he might...

GRACE: That could have been from...

TAAFFE: ... have fell down in the grass...

GRACE: ... anything!


GRACE: He could have fallen.

TAAFFE: Absolutely not!

GRACE: He could have skid. He could have been on his knees at any point.

TAAFFE: No. No. Those were fresh grass stains that night. And I want to answer to your question if he had fell down on the sidewalk. Well, if that was true, he would have had abrasions on the inside of his hands. The only thing...

GRACE: I didn`t say fall down on the sidewalk.

TAAFFE: Maybe you did. I think you did before.


TAAFFE: What I remember. But going back to your question, he never pulled away. It was an intermediate shot, as I shared with you before on your show...


TAAFFE: ... that the gravity of the hoodie made contact with the muzzle of the gun. And it was clear it was not a contact shot that the state said in opening because, as I shared with you, that particular gun, the Keltec 9, when it`s placed flat up against the body...

GRACE: Please make your point.

TAAFFE: OK. The slide would move back. Therefore, the gun -- preventing the gun from firing.

GRACE: You know what?

TAAFFE: It`s called out of battery.

GRACE: Hold. Let`s go in the courtroom.


DE LA RIONDA: You`re now saying the account, where he`s saying he grabbed the gun and how he took it out -- you`re just saying when the gun is out already, is that correct?

DIMAIO: That`s correct. That`s correct, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: I mean, I want to make sure the jury understands that. You`re saying at the time, he had the gun out already and was pointing it at the person he ended up shooting.


DE LA RIONDA: Correct?

DIMAIO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And at that point, you don`t know if Trayvon Martin was backing up, backing away in terms of providing an angle, or whether he was going forward. You can`t say.

DIMAIO: All that I said was it`s consistent with his account, Mr. Zimmerman`s account. That`s all.

DE LA RIONDA: But it`s also consistent with Trayvon Martin pulling back in terms of providing the same angle.

DIMAIO: I told you that, too. Yes, sir.

The medical evidence, the gunshot wound, the tattooing, is consistent with his opinion, with his statement as to that. And the reason it is -- don`t forget, the simplest thing is the gun was in his right hand. So if you`re going to shoot somebody and you`re right-handed and you`re really close to them, there`s the natural inclination to, with a twist, the hand, that the bullet will tend to go from the deceased`s left to his right, OK? But that`s a minor point.

The most important point is the nature of the defect in the clothing and the powder tattooing. That is, if you lean over somebody, you will notice that the clothing tends to fall away from the chest. If, instead, you`re lying on your back and somebody shoots you, the clothing is going to be against your chest.

So that the fact that we know the clothing was two to four inches away is consistent with somebody leaning over the person doing the shooting, and that the clothing is two to four inches away from the person firing.


GRACE: OK, out to you, Deborah Roberts, news anchor, Florida News Network. So the bottom line is that the hoodie, for whatever reason, was a few inches away from his body. And the one side is going to argue it`s because he was pulling back from Zimmerman, trying to get away. The other side is going to argue that he had Zimmerman down on the ground pounding him.

Jean Casarez, what about it?

CASAREZ: Well, here`s what I think is interesting. The shot, since it was contact right next to and touching the clothing, Zimmerman`s arm was really back, right, Nancy? It wasn`t extended outward two to four inches into his chest. Well, it could be arguing that he wasn`t able to get his hand all the way in that direction. And if he was pulling out, Trayvon, he would have had that ability, right?

GRACE: Matt Zarrell, weigh in.

MATT ZARRELL, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER (via telephone): I think a couple of points here. Experience on cross-examination, DiMaio is shown the photo of George Zimmerman`s bloody face, and he admits on the stand that you -- if Trayvon Martin covered his mouth, as Zimmerman claims, then there is no way that Trayvon Martin would not have blood on his hands.

When the police examined Trayvon Martin, he did not have blood on his hands, which is inconsistent with George Zimmerman`s story.

GRACE: OK, the state`s got a problem, and that problem is named Dr. DiMaio, OK? You saw him on the stand, the way he came across to a jury. Now look at Dr. Bao. Take a listen.


DR. SHIPING BAO, ASSOCIATE MEDICAL EXAMINER: I do not have any recall. I do not have any memory of the day of autopsy. I do not remember any, zero. Why I cannot remember anything on the day of autopsy, and other people can remember.


GRACE: You know what? I would have done a back flip if my medical examiner had gotten up on the stand and talked like that.

Unleash the lawyers. Darryl Cohen, defense attorney, Atlanta, Renee Rockwell, veteran trial lawyer. Also with me, Jasmine Rand. She is the attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family.

Before I go to Ms. Rand, let`s go to the two practicing defense attorneys. Darryl Cohen, before you became a defense attorney, you were a felony prosecutor along with me. And isn`t it true, Darryl, that before you put a medical examiner up on the stand, that would be the witness that I prepped typically the longest. And I wouldn`t call it so much prepping as learning from them, hearing what they`re going to say about the case and then trying to translate that into regular English for the jury to understand.

But I would have refreshed his recollection before he got up on the bench and ruined the state`s case. What about that?

DARRYL COHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Certainly, Nancy, this shows that the state attorney`s office has not done the job they`re supposed to do.

GRACE: I don`t know about that.

COHEN: But this is a very interesting case -- well, I do.

GRACE: Don`t blame the state for his performance.

COHEN: I`m blaming the state for bringing a case that never should have been brought. It`s interesting...

GRACE: Can you stick to...

COHEN: ... that this particular case...

GRACE: ... the question?

COHEN: I`m trying, Nancy. But the truth is, in this case, the defense is the one going straight for it, and the state, as you and I both know, normally goes straight for it. Here there`s smoke and mirrors and it`s a complete reversal.

GRACE: Darryl...

COHEN: They don`t have any evidence. Simple.

GRACE: Daryl, every time you can`t think of something to say and you don`t want to answer my question, you blurt out something like smoke and mirrors, and that`s supposed to answer the question. But let me tell you something, Mr. Cohen. I know what you`re doing. I`m talking about a specific question. So don`t throw cliches at me, smoke and mirrors.

Renee, I`m going to give you a shot at it. What went wrong with Dr. Bao`s testimony? You don`t get up and tell a jury, I don`t know, I don`t know, I don`t know. Those were a few clips of him going, I don`t know.

COHEN: Nancy...

GRACE: The next thing I thought he was going to say was, I wasn`t there. He...


GRACE: He performed the autopsy!

COHEN: No, I like this move. He says, I remember nothing. He gave you the goose egg. That -- there`s no excuse for that. You sit down with him, and you sit down and go over it until he remembers something. How many bodies has he examined since then?

GRACE: Well, I`ll tell you what. Yes, that`s true, but that`s true for every medical examiner. Renee Rockwell, you practiced law in the same courthouse with me as a defense lawyer. Do you think there`s one murder trial that I tried that I don`t remember the facts on? No. And that should be the same with this doctor because his memory should have been refreshed, as we call it in the law!

To Jasmine Rand, the attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family. Jasmine, DiMaio scored big today. The state has a problem with DiMaio. What happened with Bao? And do you believe the state will come back, will come back on a rebuttal case and try to mend the torpedo that they just got from DiMaio?

JASMINE RAND, ATTORNEY FOR MARTIN FAMILY: Nancy, that`s interesting. I actually don`t perceive it as a big score for the defense today. I think what came out of today is that Dr. DiMaio did not bolster their self- defense claim for George Zimmerman.

He said very specifically that he could not tell whether or not George Zimmerman was leaning over Trayvon Martin, or whether or not Trayvon Martin was backing away.

GRACE: I agree with you on that, Jasmine, but -- you`re a lawyer. You`re a trial lawyer. What I`m saying is that juries, like me, like everybody else, when they get somebody on the stand that they can understand, that speaks to them, that explains things to them, they appreciate that. They will gravitate toward that. They will side with that.

That didn`t happen with Dr. Bao. It did happen today with DiMaio. Hold on, Jasmine. Take a listen to DiMaio. New York control, take me back into the courtroom. I want to hear DiMaio.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You may consider in your opinion, as well, that the clothing was wet. Mr. Martin`s shirt was described as being damp, that it had been raining that night, and that when it was photographed at the medical examiner`s office the next day, it was obviously wet in places.

You may also consider that the responding officers found an unopened can of a beverage...



GRACE: Today, the courtroom in turmoil in Sanford, Florida, everyone trying to determine who threw the first punch. Big question. Does it matter?

It does matter. This case is built on self-defense. George Zimmerman claiming that he was the one being attacked. Trayvon Martin ends up dead. He`s got a couple of bruises.

Out to you, Jean Casarez. Why is it so important to establish who throws the first punch?

CASAREZ: Well, you know, Nancy, let`s look at it legally. It is important because that is an illegal act, to throw the first punch. So you can`t then claim a justified killing, generally speaking, if you threw the first punch. But there is no evidence, Nancy, of that, except for Rachel Jeantel saying that Trayvon said, Get off, get off.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did I understand you correctly that if you came over here, you pulled my heart out, that I could sit there and walk and talk for how long?

DIMAIO: About 10 to 15 seconds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You pull my heart out now, I could keep talking and just keep talking and talking and talking without a heart?

DIMAIO: That`s right.

You can punch someone and not get bruises and punch someone and get bruises. It`s just too variable.

I have to interpret the objective evidence. I`m not going to base my opinion on witnesses because witnesses are wrong all the time.


GRACE: Welcome back. We are live and taking your calls. Straight out to Deborah Roberts joining us, news anchor, Florida News Network. The biggest score in the courtroom today, Deborah?

DEBORAH ROBERTS, FLORIDA NEWS NETWORK (via telephone): Was definitely the fact that the forensic pathologist seemed to bolster the defense`s case, and yet at the same time, when the state came in under cross-examination, we were right back to square one. Who threw the first punch? Who was the aggressor? Who is the one to blame for a 17-year-old boy being shot to death on his way home from buying Skittles and iced tea?

GRACE: To Dr .Michael Arnall, board-certified forensic pathologist joining me out of Denver tonight. Dr. Arnall, thank you for being with us. You have studied the autopsy report. What does it reveal?

DR. MICHAEL ARNALL, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: It reveals precisely what Dr. DiMaio said. While the clothing was directly adjacent to the barrel, the barrel was several inches from the skin. In short, while it doesn`t prove that Zimmerman was telling the truth, it reveals that he may not have been lying.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the muzzle of the gun had been pressed into Trayvon Martin`s chest, even with the clothing in between, what would you see differently than what you see here?

DIMAIO: What you know is, is that the muzzle was in contact with the clothing at the time of discharge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In other words, it was not precisely a straight-on shot.

DIMAIO: It does not appear so. It doesn`t appear radical, but there`s -- but the bullet was going from -- coming from Mr. Martin`s left to his right.

Because what the clothing would do is, it disperses the soot. It doesn`t disperse the powder. The powder would be inside the body.


GRACE: We are live in Sanford, Florida, and taking your calls. Is the new defense going to be that George Zimmerman is simply too fat, too obese to commit murder?

OK, take a look at what -- oh! Ouch! Country gravy, hash browns, biscuit, jelly, Mexican corn tortilla, mac and cheese, cornbread, cake, beverage -- some of the things that are -- he has been ordering -- root beer barrels at 1,200 calories, strawberry pop tarts, 1,000 calories, Tostito chips, PB&J, cheddar popcorn, chocolate cream cookies, buffalo wings.

Wow, country -- crunchy Cheetos, corn chips, Jolly Ranchers, Twix, peanut M&Ms, peanut butter cheese crackers, Grandma`s Chocolate Chip Cookie, lemonade, fruit punch.

Has nobody heard of bottled water around here? So 10,000 total calories.

Don`t laugh yet, everybody. Don`t laugh yet. Take a listen to this.


MARK O`MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: When he came to your gym, was he grossly obese?


O`MARA: And was that a main focus of his workout regimen?

POLLOCK: That was the main focus why he was there, is to lose weight and throw people in the ring. You know, there are some gyms that they`ll throw somebody in the ring. They`ve been there for a couple of weeks. They`ll just throw them in there. If the person gets hurt, well, too bad for that person. I don`t do that. You know? So if somebody is not skilled, they don`t get in the ring. That`s all there is to it.

O`MARA: Did Mr. Zimmerman ever get in the ring?


O`MARA: Why not?

POLLOCK: Because he wasn`t skilled enough for that. Mr. Zimmerman, you know, worked diligently at learning how to control his body better than what he had. And, you know, the steps that we`ll start off is after -- with all those calisthenics then we`ll put the person on the heavy bag. We`ll go start to learn how to throw a punch with shadow boxing and heavy bag work.

And once they get proficient with that, then we`ll start pairing them up with a partner for doing defensive counters where somebody would throw a punch at them and they learn how to go and defend the punch, catching, pairing, redirecting, clever stopping, et cetera. And then once they got proficient with that, then they`ll start learning how to move with slipping and weaving and shuffling and bring strong movement to it.

O`MARA: And what point did George Zimmerman get to in that training sort of progression?

POLLOCK: He never got off shadow boxing and even heavy bag and learning how to punch.

O`MARA: So tell me or explain to the jury what that means.

POLLOCK: He`s still learning how to punch. He didn`t know how to really effectively punch.


GRACE: Zimmerman can`t throw a punch. OK.

Frank Taaffe, what your guy is eating his way to a not guilty verdict? He`s claiming he`s too obese, he can`t throw a punch, he`s so out of shape?

I can`t hear Frank Taaffe.

FRANK TAAFFE, GOOD FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Sound like discomfort food to me instead of comfort food. Can you hear me?

GRACE: Yes, I hear you. I`m waiting for you to answer the question.

TAAFFE: No. George was never a fighter and that was clear by the coach from the gym. He said on a scale of one to 10 on his intake he was a .5.

GRACE: Mr. Taaffe, that`s not what I`m asking you. I heard that. We just played that testimony. What I`m asking is, he is consciously eating, gobbling down ring dings behind bars so he can then effectively argue to the jury that he`s too obese.


TAAFFE: Sure he is. Then he`s going to Taco Bell at midnight, eating Churros and he`s eating Taco Bell at midnight, you know, run for the border. I mean, he`s doing all kinds of stuff to keep himself occupied. I mean, how would you feel if you --

GRACE: He`s not going to Taco Bell because he`s in -- he`s been behind bars. He`s not --

TAAFFE: Well, I`m sure --

GRACE: He`s not going to midnight runs at Taco Bell. You know what, let me go to the lawyers.

Renee Rockwell, Darryl Cohen and Jasmine Rand.

Renee Rockwell, they`re making the point in court -- I don`t know what Taaffe is talking about. They`re making the point that he is too obese to fight. That`s where they`re going with this. Can it work, Rockwell?

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: And Nancy, that`s what they have to do for a self-defense claim. If he`s getting his head bashed and his nose punched then he responds with a gun if he`s in fear for his life. And that`s what it`s all about.

GRACE: You know what they say, Darryl Cohen? A gun makes a big man little and a little man big? So what are they going to say, he`s obese so he carries a gun?

You know, Darryl Cohen, do you have a dog?

DARRYL COHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I certainly did. I don`t now.

GRACE: All right. When you had the dog and you would take the dog for a walk, did you feel you had to carry a Kel-Tec .9 millimeter with live ammo in it and no safety? Thoughts?

COHEN: No, Nancy, because I don`t fear for it. I know that I`m physically fit and I felt like I can take care of myself.

GRACE: Oh I can`t believe this. You`re buying into too fat to kill?

COHEN: No, I`m buying into the fact that George Zimmerman had his head beat up, he had abrasions on his hand. Trayvon had his knuckles torn up and I`m buying into the fact that Dr. Di Maio testified that clearly there was two to four inches, two to four inches. That`s all we`re talking about where the gun went off and went through his shirt.

GRACE: OK. Jasmine.

COHEN: That`s the way it is.

GRACE: Jasmine Rand here, the attorney for the Trayvon Martin family. You know, for a period of time Zimmerman was behind bars racking up a big bill at the commissary. Now, according to Taaffe, he -- now that he`s out from behind bars, making midnight runs to Del Taco -- Taco Bell getting whatever that was. Basically he`s arguing he`s gotten obese and he can`t throw a punch so therefore it was Trayvon Martin`s fault. That`s where this is going.

JASMINE RAND, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: I think the argument is ludicrous. First of all, at the beginning of this case George Zimmerman was much more physically fit than he is now. Second of all, to say that he`s not a fighter, he has a former battery against a police officer.

And then a third point, Nancy, and I hope your people can find this during a break, Kokopelli`s Gym is now advertising George Zimmerman training.

GRACE: OK. Frank Taaffe, is that true? That the gym is advertising? That`s where they trained George Zimmerman?

TAAFFE: Absolutely not. No. That`s just scuttlebutt. That`s not true. It`s --

GRACE: I`m showing it right now.

TAAFFE: It`s a falsehood, OK?

GRACE: I just showed it to the viewers.

TAAFFE: OK. Well, that`s -- well, I`m just sharing with you, I haven`t heard that, I haven`t seen that.

GRACE: It says --

TAAFFE: But I want to go back to this gun issue.

GRACE: Information about the training --

TAAFFE: I want to go back to this gun issue.

GRACE: -- George Zimmerman received at Kokopelli`s Gym. They`re advertising that this --

TAAFFE: Is it on the internet?

GRACE: Yes. It`s Kokopelli`s gym.

TAAFFE: Right.

GRACE: They are basically saying that they trained a killer, I guess is what they`re trying to imply. People are asking where did George Zimmerman train.

TAAFFE: Well, I think right now there`s enough advertising out there for that gym that they really don`t need to advertise on the Internet anymore.

GRACE: OK. That`s a good point.

TAAFFE: I want to talk some more points.

GRACE: That`s a good point. Go ahead.

TAAFFE: I want to talk about -- I want to talk about something more important here. You know you keep talking about this gun. George had a concealed weapons permit. He had a legal right to carry that weapon with him. OK?


TAAFFE: And we talked about the Second Amendment.


TAAFFE: And you said something about before the -- before the civil war. Well, in the state of Florida --


GRACE: The civil war? What in the hay? OK.

TAAFFE: You said --

GRACE: Mr. Taaffe, it was the --

TAAFFE: -- something about the civil war before.

GRACE: It was the Revolutionary War --

TAAFFE: I want to talk about the gun issue here.

GRACE: -- when the Brits --


TAAFFE: Miss Grace, he had every right to carry that weapon. OK? He had every right to carry that weapon. He did -- he was a legal concealed weapons permit carrier. OK?

GRACE: A legal concealed weapons carrier? Did you just say that? A legal concealed weapons carrier?

TAAFFE: He had -- he had a permit. OK?

GRACE: I don`t care.

TAAFFE: He had a permit to carry that weapon.

GRACE: I don`t care. And you know what? Jeffrey Dahmer --

TAAFFE: He has a legal right --

GRACE: Jeffrey Dahmer had a legal right --

TAAFFE: Just like --

GRACE: -- to have knives and a boiling pot. And that doesn`t mean it`s OK.

TAAFFE: Just like you have the legal right to vote, you have the legal right to bear arms. And you know this being a constitutional lawyer on top of everything. So let`s not go there that he was just sauntering about what a gun -- looking to gun down a young black male.

GRACE: That`s exactly --

TAAFFE: That`s the furthest thing from the truth.

GRACE: That`s exactly -- he was sauntering around --

TAAFFE: It`s the furthest thing from the truth.

GRACE: -- with a gun and again, Mr. Taaffe.

TAAFFE: He was not.

GRACE: I appreciate you trying to --

TAAFFE: He was on his way to the Target that night --

GRACE: I appreciate you trying to recite history --

TAAFFE: -- when he saw Trayvon on drugs.



TAAFFE: He said he`s on drugs and they found THC in his system, did they not? He said this guy looks suspicious and he`s on drugs.


TAAFFE: And what did they find in his system?


TAAFFE: Tetrahydrocannabinol.

GRACE: Sadly, we had to cut his knife. OK. Mr. Taaffe, I appreciate your attempt at history but it was the Revolutionary War when we got the Bill of Rights after that, and yes, everyone has a right to carry a gun but that doesn`t -- it`s still extraordinary that you think it`s so normal that he carries a loaded gun, live ammo, no safety to walk his dog.


GRACE: Welcome back, everyone. We are live in Sanford, Florida. All eyes on that Sanford courtroom.

Mr. Taaffe, I hope you`ve had the opportunity to calm down and address the issues that we`re talking about.

TAAFFE: I`m chilled out.

GRACE: The issue --

TAAFFE: There`s no THC in my system. I`m chilled out.

GRACE: In court today and in court today Zimmerman`s own medical examiner who I have a very high regard for had to admit on the stand that it was entirely possible that Trayvon Martin was actually pulling away from Mr. Zimmerman at the time he was shot dead.

TAAFFE: Sure, possible but not probable. Possible but not probable, OK? It`s another theory --

GRACE: Because?

TAAFFE: -- which clearly shows that Dr. Di Maio was unbiased in his testimony. He presented to that jury many different views and he agreed with the prosecution. Just to show that he was strictly unbiased. And guess what they bought into? The fact that, and according to the witness, Jonathan Good -- stay with the facts and the evidence and the testimony and we`re not going to get off on this running for the border scenario. OK?

GRACE: I don`t even know what you`re talking about.

TAAFFE: Jonathan good saw Trayvon -- Jonathan Good -- we`ll talk about the friend of George Zimmerman --


GRACE: Running for the border scenario?


GRACE: Well, look it was his witness --

TAAFFE: Trayvon was on top of him --

GRACE: -- that said that Zimmerman was obese and can`t throw a punch.

TAAFFE: He ID`d --

GRACE: I didn`t bring it up. Zimmerman did.

TAAFFE: He ID`s -- OK. He -- OK, he ID`d him. I can`t throw a punch either. Maybe George -- George is not a fighter.

GRACE: All right. All right. Great. Out to the lines, Lynette in Georgia.

Hi, Lynette, what`s your question?

LYNETTE, CALLER FROM GEORGIA: Hi, Nancy, I love you show. And I think you should get a lot more respect from people than you get. I think you`re a great person. So I wanted to say that first.

GRACE: Thank you, I think.

LYNETTE: No. It`s good. I think people should respect you more and stop talking --

GRACE: Your question about the case, Lynette, please? Don`t pay any attention to what people say on the Internet. They should be at work, working. If they were out working or taking care of their children they wouldn`t have time to go on and write zany stuff. Now your question is?

LYNETTE: OK. My question is people are saying how all these injuries happened to Zimmerman and all this bad stuff, and how he`s fighting in self-defense and no one is saying how Trayvon`s life was on the line and he`s scared to death of this man. He`s fighting --

GRACE: Right. Right.

LYNETTE: So listening to one of the witnesses I wanted to ask --


LYNETTE: She said that Trayvon was on the bottom and didn`t move. How do they know if George`s hand wasn`t underneath Trayvon and the gun was shot - -

GRACE: OK. I think because the fact that the hoodie that Trayvon Martin was wearing was away from his body. He could not have been lying face down at the time of the shooting and he could not have been lying flat really at the time of the shooting because that hoodie was away, it was not in contact with his body and that`s absolutely shown from the residue, the gunshot residue.

I see where you`re going with that, Lynette in Georgia.

Out to Michael Knox, crime scene investigator, author of "Intermediate Range."

Michael Knox, thank you for being with us. I`d like to hear your opinion.

MICHAEL KNOX, CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATOR, AUTHOR, "INTERMEDIATE RANGE": Well, you know, Nancy, the thing with this is that the forensic evidence is pretty clear as far as the fact that Trayvon Martin has to be over the top. Now, like you said, that doesn`t say anything about, was he pulling away, was he hitting Zimmerman, none of that. It just says that in terms of their positions, Trayvon Martin has to be above and leaning over George Zimmerman.

But you know ultimately as much as they can create this issue --

GRACE: Right.

KNOX: -- the defense is working on creating that reasonable doubt.

GRACE: You know, to Dr. Leslie Austin, I hear what Michael Knox is saying. Michael joining us from Knox and Associates out of Sanford, Florida.

But, Dr. Leslie, I thought that it was a bad argument to suggest that George Zimmerman may have gotten injuries, the injuries to his head from a tree. See, I think for the state to put that out there that George Zimmerman was attacked by a tree, a tree branch during all of this? See, to me, that lessens their position, Leslie.

DR. LESLIE AUSTIN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I agree with you, Nancy. There`s a singular lack of common sense here. Look, George Zimmerman started this. He was stalking Trayvon Martin. He was the initiator. The police told him to stop. He didn`t. Common sense says even if they`re fighting, whoever is on the top, whoever is on the bottom, they`re both going to have injuries. But who started the entire incident. Zimmerman. Trayvon Martin was ignoring him.

And I think the state really needs to focus on that and stop talking about tree branches and things that don`t make sense. There`s a certain basic psychological emotional logic here that`s not being argued or talked about.

GRACE: You know, Dr. Leslie Austin, the way that you crystallized that was perfect. I`m going to go to Jasmine Rand. She is the attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family.

You know, Jasmine, the state had a good thing going. All right? But then when they muddied the water with arguments like a tree attacked George Zimmerman, that Trayvon was armed with the sidewalk? That`s his deadly weapon? I mean when you get -- when you make a perfectly sane, strong, convincing argument and then you come in with that, it makes -- it makes you lose credibility in front of the jury. Come on. Zimmerman attacked by a tree?

RAND: I think that argument was just not necessary. I think what Dr. Di Maio said, he said much more pertinent things. George Zimmerman didn`t have a concussion. He said that his nose was not broken. He said that the scratches on the back of his head were less than an inch. Those are not life-threatening injuries. And that`s what we really should have focused on today.



DR. VINCENT DI MAIO, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: How long was he conscious? Significantly shorter than the time necessary to die. Unless psychologically he just blacks out.


GRACE: Welcome back. We are live in Sanford and taking your calls.

Out to Dr. Michael Arnall, board certified forensic pathologist.

Dr. Arnall, again, thank you for being with us. Testimony came out today that Trayvon Martin high school junior bled out in about two minutes. Explain. Would it have taken two minutes? Because the state has waffled back and forth. And I don`t know why they did that. It was like Dr. Bao on the stand that it could have been three minutes, it could have 10 minutes.

DR. MICHAEL ARNALL, BOARD CERTIFIED FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: They`ve waffled because no one knows for sure. When that bullet went through, it is possible that he lost consciousness --

GRACE: Ten minutes?

ARNALL: I`ve actually talked to an individual myself who was stabbed in the heart. And it is sometimes difficult to predict how long a person is going to live after they experience a severe injury. I understand 10 minutes is an awful long time, but I myself talked to someone with a knife wound in their heart. So it`s difficult to predict. And all they`ve done is give you a range of time. They didn`t specify. And that`s because we don`t know.


GRACE: We remember American hero Army Sergeant Brian Pedro, 27, Rosemount, California. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal. Parents David and Lululima. Wife Shanna.

Brian Pedro, American hero.


BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: Whether it was George Zimmerman who attacked Trayvon Martin or whether it was Trayvon Martin who attacked George Zimmerman, you can`t say to that, correct?

DI MAIO: That`s correct, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: In fact, you can`t really testify whether there was a first punch thrown.

DI MAIO: That`s correct, sir.


GRACE: Welcome back. We are live in Sanford and taking your calls.

Dorothy, North Carolina. Hi, Dorothy. What`s your question?

DOROTHY, CALLER FROM NORTH CAROLINA: Hi. Yes, I want to know while they`re trying to act like Zimmerman is so innocent, he`s sitting there so innocent in the courtroom and here we have Trayvon, he`s not going to be able to tell his side. How come he won`t get up there and say what really happened?

GRACE: Good question. Renee Rockwell, Darryl Cohen, Jasmine Rand, lawyer for Martin`s family. If he is so innocent, as Dorothy properly pointed out, why isn`t he up on the stand? Is he going to take the stand?

ROCKWELL: Is that to me, Nancy?

GRACE: What?

COHEN: To me? Or to who of us?


ROCKWELL: Is that to me?

GRACE: Rockwell. Renee Rockwell. We`ve --

ROCKWELL: Rule number one, you never let your client take the stand if there`s already a video that the state can plug in or the defense can plug in where he`s already explained the story. You don`t have to tell the jury what happened if he`s already told it. So he doesn`t need to take the stand.

GRACE: But why not, Darryl?

COHEN: Shouldn`t take the stand. The evidence is not there. All he can do is hurt himself. Keep it short, stupid. Keep it simple, stupid. All you have to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

GRACE: Jasmine, will he take the stand?

RAND: I don`t believe that he will take the stand. George Zimmerman made a movie. I think a man takes the stand. But I don`t think that we`ll see George Zimmerman take the stand. But I think he has an obligation to explain to the American people why he killed an unarmed child.

GRACE: He`ll probably do that in his book. His book with a $7 figure that he`s going to get after this trial.

Everybody, court is over. But "DR. DREW" is up next. I`ll see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.