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Prosecution Continues Closing Argument in Zimmerman Trial

Aired July 11, 2013 - 15:30   ET


BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: Defense made a big deal, oh, he was washed up. Well, you've got this bloody photograph here, and you've got that.

I guess -- and according to Dr. Di Maio, I guess one of the EMS people out there just kind of put it back in place. Put the nose back in place.

You heard from Ms. Fulgate. She didn't see anything. It might be fractured, I don't know. What she recommended is go get X-rays. That's how we verify it.

Defendant refused or declined to do that. That's his privilege.

They're going to argue to you, oh, he had a broken nose. First of all, who was following who? Who started the fight or struggle?

I circled this because in reviewing the evidence, I thought this might be interesting to you, and what I've circled up there are his shoes.

The defense claims defendant told the police that he was on his back the whole time and the victim was just whaling on him. Well, you can look at the actual photograph. There's actually some grass on top.

It appears wet as if he at some point was on top of the victim, some minor point, kind of corroborates some of the evidence, the witnesses' testimony, the back jacket of the defendant.

Wow, where's all the scratch marks, something to reflect all this tension with this concrete that occurred out there? How come it's missing?

Back of his head, you recall in testimony there was two. How small were they? Do you recall the testimony of the witness, Ms. Fulgate? I think I had her tell me how big it was. I think she was -- it was hard to keep -- anyway. She remembered.

Why are his hands not injured? If this 17-year-old young man is whaling on him, how come he's not defending himself?

Again, these are just little parts of the interview that he gave. You obviously heard this. I just want you to take a second to read that.

But he talks about these guys. He talks about not knowing the places. Again, he's trying to make up one lie after another after another. Yes, he was circling my car. As soon as I saw him coming, I rolled up the window because I was so scared of him, because he was a criminal.

I didn't know the name of the street that I was on. Then he talks about, you know, they remind him, we didn't need you to do that. Had already gone through the dog walk. Told them where my car was, make and model.

Jumped out of the bushes, hey, man, do you have a problem? Jumped out of the bush.

He grabbed my head and hit it into the sidewalk. When he started doing that I slid into the grass still yelling for help. Help, he's killing me!

Of course, this criminal put his hands over my mouth and said, you're going to die tonight. That's what, of course, led me to the gun. He's got that legal training, that he's aware of in terms of what he's got to say.

He, the victim, said, you got me, after being shot, and he was still talking. I said, stay down, don't move. I got on top of him. He said, ow, ow.

And then talking about that, he's telling the people that came out, I don't need you to call the police, I need you to help me with this guy.

But he holsters his gun, too, at the same time. It's always dark. You know, they always come out around nighttime.

And he talks about still not having seen the victim. He's struck in the nose. I screamed help probably 50 times. Anything else important? No. You didn't try to make contact with him? No.

Then, you know, you can see the map. You can track down when you looked at the timeline in terms of does it match when he's claiming where he's at when he's talking I would submit to you it doesn't, but again, you rely on what the evidence shows.

Came out of the bushes. I don't recall if he came from the front or behind. He punched me in the face and I fell backwards. When I backed -- when I walked back towards him I saw him coming at me.

He catches himself in mid-sentence. That is the truth. When I walked back toward him, meaning I was going towards where he was. Then, oh, no, he was coming at me.

In that written statement again to the police, my purpose in showing you this is he now refers to the suspect, not, pardon my language, "effing" punk ...


DE LA RIONDA: ... suspect, over and over, trying to impress the police, like he knows the stuff.

Hey, you know, I want to be a police officer one day, suspect this, suspect that, suspect that. Fired one shot into his torso. You know, he's got all the language down.

Said to Detective -- or Investigator Serino followed him outside, had a flashlight but it was dead. You've got a problem? No. You've got a problem now. And all of a sudden, he beat him, started beating him, smothered my mouth and nose.

Felt him slide his hand down. You're going to die tonight, M.F. You got me. I spread his hands away from the body, still talking but I don't remember what he said.

Let's talk about ...


GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, DEFENDANT: There's been a history of break-ins in that building, and I had called previously about this house.


ZIMMERMAN: When the police arrived at this house, when I called the first time, the windows were open and the door was unlocked. The police came and secured it.

So I said, you know what? It's better to just call and I kept trying. I passed him. And he was -- he kept staring at me and staring around looking around to see who else was -- I don't know why he was looking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he walk off from there or did he stop there last night?

ZIMMERMAN: He stopped. He, like, looked around. And that's why I ...

DE LA RIONDA: This is what he claims this criminal is doing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where was he standing at?

ZIMMERMAN: Right there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the sidewalk or in the grass.

ZIMMERMAN: In the grassy area.


DE LA RIONDA: Boy, that's a crime at RTL on Sunday night, February 26th, standing out there in the grass.


ZIMMERMAN: I went to the clubhouse.


ZIMMERMAN: When I got through, I parked at the clubhouse.


ZIMMERMAN: And they asked me, you know, where I was. I told them the clubhouse. I think I gave them the address of the clubhouse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where'd you park at?

ZIMMERMAN: Right up here next to that green truck. I don't think that truck was there. But I just pulled up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just pulled up here?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is where you got out?

ZIMMERMAN: No. This is where I just stopped to call. To call.

Then he walked past me and he kept looking at my car, still looking around at the houses and stuff.

Then the dispatcher said, where did he go? What direction did he go? I said, I don't know.

I lost -- because he cut down in here and made a right. I guess it's Twin Trees Lane.


DE LA RIONDA: Did you catch that? Did you catch him in one lie right there? He originally told the police over and over before and even after this interview, he didn't know the name of the street.

Then when they just kind of let him talk, he gives the name right there. It's common sense. There's only three streets. He's lived there four years.

Again, why did he have to lie about that? Because he does not want to admit that he was following this innocent young boy, a 17-year-old.


ZIMMERMAN: He made a right there. And they said what direction did he go. I said, I don't know, I can't see him.

They said can you get to somewhere where you can see him? I said, yes, I can. So I backed out.


ZIMMERMAN: And I parked right about where that sign is in the yard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In front of the Ford truck?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes. And I saw him walking back that way, and then cut through the back of the houses.

He looked back and he noticed me and he cut back through the houses. I was still on the phone with nonemergency.

And then he came back. And he started walking up towards the grass and then came down and circled my car.

And I told the operator that he was circling my car. I didn't hear if he said anything.


ZIMMERMAN: But he had his hand in his waistband. And I think I told the operator that. And they said, where are you? And I could not remember the name of the street. Because I don't live on this street.


ZIMMERMAN: Retreat View Circle goes in a circle.


ZIMMERMAN: I said, I don't know. He goes, give me an address. I said I don't know an address. I think I gave them my address.


DE LA RIONDA: Two minutes earlier, a minute earlier he'd given him the street name. Now he's telling this investigator that's the reason why he had to go and follow -- I'm sorry, not follow.

He had to go find the address because he wants to justify as to why he would go down that route.

Just by coincidence it keeps kind of tracking where this criminal is going.


ZIMMERMAN: ... out and look for a street sign.


ZIMMERMAN: So I got out of my car and I started walking.


ZIMMERMAN: I was still on the phone with the nonemergency. I started walking.


ZIMMERMAN: Because I didn't see a street sign here, but I knew if I went straight through, then that's Retreat View Circle and I could give him an address because I couldn't get the address of the house here in front of me.

There's no address because these are the back of the houses.


DE LA RIONDA: Did you catch him there? Did you see that? There's a -- there's an address right there to the right.

But, of course, he directs the attention to the investigators, see, this is the back of the houses. There's no address there, like they're just fools.


ZIMMERMAN: And I didn't see him at all. I was walking. I looked around. I didn't see anybody. I told non-emergency, I said, you know what? He's gone. He's not even here.


ZIMMERMAN: So I still thought I could use their address. So I walked all the way through. I actually walked all the way to the street.

And I was going to give them this address, and they said, well, if he's not there, do you still want a police officer? And I said yes.

And they said, you still want a police officer? And I said yes.

And they said, are you following him? Oh, I'm sorry. Back there they said are you following him? And I said, yes, because I was in the area.


DE LA RIONDA: He's only following because he happens to be in the area.


ZIMMERMAN: We don't need you to do that. And I said OK.

So that's when I walked straight through here to get the address so that I could give the police officer.

And then they said -- I said, he's not here. They said, do you still want me to come. I said, yes.


ZIMMERMAN: I pass here. I look -- I didn't see anything again. I was walking back to my truck. And then when I got to right about here, he yelled from behind me, to the side of me.

He said, yo, you got a problem? I turned around. I said, no, I don't have a problem, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where was he at?

ZIMMERMAN: He was about there. But he was walking towards me.


ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir. Like I said, I was already past that. So I didn't see exactly where he came from. He was about where you are.


ZIMMERMAN: I said, I don't have a problem. I went to go grab my cell phone. I had left it in a different pocket. I looked down in my pant pocket.

He said, you got a problem now. Then he was here and he punched me in the face.


ZIMMERMAN: Up around here.


ZIMMERMAN: I don't remember exactly. I think I stumbled. And I fell down. He pushed me down. Somehow he got on top of me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the grass or on the sidewalk?

ZIMMERMAN: It was more over here. I think I was trying to push him away from me.

And then he got on top of me somewhere around here. And that's when I started screaming for help. I started screaming, help, help, as loud as I could.


DE LA RIONDA: Notice what's right here, one of those sprinkler boxes. Could that have caused some of the injury?


ZIMMERMAN: And that's when I started screaming for help. I started screaming, help, help, as loud as I could.

And then my jacket moved up, and I had my firearm on my right-side hip.


DE LA RIONDA: Did you see where he's pointing to? Did you see where he's grabbing? Where he's got his firearm?


ZIMMERMAN: My jacket moved up. And he saw it. I feel like he saw it. He looked at it.


ZIMMERMAN: He grabbed it. I just grabbed my firearm.


DE LA RIONDA: One of his other versions is that he actually grabbed the victim's arm and removed the arm so he would have a better shot.

Again, he's able to do all this. I guess the victim has two or three hands or arms. See if that all makes sense, what he's describing.


ZIMMERMAN: I don't remember how I got on top of him. I'm sorry. (Inaudible), but I got on his back, and I moved his arms toward me.

His hands were repeatedly hitting me in the face, in the head. I thought he had something in his hands.

So I just -- I moved his hands apart.


DE LA RIONDA: You saw the photograph taken by Mr. Manalo, again, lying about that because he's trying to justify to the police that he was searching because, of course, the victim had to have something in his hand, meaning some kind of weapon that would have caused him to resort to the shooting him.


ZIMMERMAN: He, like, sat up.


ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir. He was on top of me like this, and I shot him. And I didn't think I hit him because he sat up. And he said, oh, you got me. You got me. You got me. You got it. Something like that.

So I thought he was just saying, I know you have a gun now. I heard it. I'm giving up.

So I don't know if I pushed him off me or he fell off me. Either way ...


DE LA RIONDA: First. he says he assumed he hadn't shot him. But then he had to push him off of him. Does that make sense?

I guess when he said you've got me, he just kind of fell into him? When he hasn't been shot?

Again, this is just in written form, some of the stuff you've already heard just to kind of remind you of some important stuff.

You've also got, and I'm not going to play it for you, but you've got a clubhouse video. It's very short. There's clips of it. By coincidence. it appears there's a vehicle going and you might even see a person. I don't think you see a full figure. That's just impressions or shadows, but you definitely see a car.

Around the area where? Where the mailboxes are, by coincidence, what Rachel Jeantel told you all in terms of where the victim was describing he was, under that shaded part when it was raining. He was in the mailbox where he described the defendant looking at him.

He kept yelling, that is he claims the victim kept yelling. Of course, nobody else heard this, but he told the police it happened.

Did Mr. Good say anything about when he came out that he heard the victim say or the person on top say ...


DE LA RIONDA: ... when you watch the video.

Defendant's interview on the 29th.



ZIMMERMAN: When that neighbor came up and I saw him, he used (inaudible) did you position yourself strategically like that?


He seemed nervous.

ZIMMERMAN: I thought the four of you kind of got in between ...


ZIMMERMAN: But you kept your arm away from him (inaudible).


DE LA RIONDA: Just a minor, minor point. What was the relevance of that? And why did I think it was important for you to hear it again?

Because, in terms of wanting to be a police officer, he wants to know what she was doing to safeguard the firearm when somebody's around. Again, he's trying to talk the police jargon.

He's trying to be impressive, impress these police officers, like, yeah, I'm one of you all. You know, I can understand police officers and all that stuff. I've got criminal justice stuff.

You know, you know how it is. You just kind of come into contact with people and, you know, sometimes somebody attacked you and all that, trying to befriend them. But he's talking that police jargon. He's curious as how to do that. The other thing that's important, and you've seen it by the photographs and by the video that you're seeing, you saw how he was because I think Mr. Pollack said, OK, he's this overweight person.

OK, he's a little overweight. Technically, he's 204, I believe, 5'7", but he's fit there when you see him walking around because you might contrast that in terms of, you know, if you see him now in terms of he's big, he was pretty fit then.

So compare how he appeared then and, most importantly, compare how Trayvon Martin appeared in the M.E. photographs.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... go ahead and actually ask this person what he was doing out there?



DE LA RIONDA: A very basic question, you didn't bother to ask, if this guy was suspicious, what he's doing circling the car. You didn't even ask him what he's doing?

No, sir. He's a criminal! You don't have to ask criminals what -- you know what they're doing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you had two opportunities to identify yourself as somebody who was actually (inaudible) in his mind's eye, which I can't get into because he's passed, that he perceived you as a threat, OK?

He perceives you as a threat. He has every right to go and defend him, especially when you reach into your pocket to grab your cell phone, OK?


DE LA RIONDA: Very insightful question by Investigator Serino. Like you reach in your pocket, have like a gun?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ever see him on neighborhood watch?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did it not occur to you?

ZIMMERMAN: No, I didn't have a problem. I started backing away from him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you kind of did have a problem, that's why you were following him.

ZIMMERMAN: I was scared.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were scared to tell him that you were Neighborhood Watch? You were afraid to tell him that is.

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, ma'am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not trying to put you on the spot.


DE LA RIONDA: Now, when they're pressing him on that issue. Oh, he's backing away and consistent with what somebody said earlier.

He's scared of them. He's scared of this person he's following all over. Of course he doesn't have his gun out, nor does he feel the need to, but he's scared of him.

Can't have it both ways.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No safety feature, the gun was inside your pants?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was mounted on you? It was on your upper chest?

ZIMMERMAN: When he was mounted on me, but he had pressure on my nose to my mouth suffocating.

And when he ...


ZIMMERMAN: ... I guess fear. I didn't want to confront him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were afraid then?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, ma'am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you say he ran?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then you got out of your car and went after him.

ZIMMERMAN: I didn't run after him, no. I walked to find a street sign and he had already run -- cut out between the houses.

So I knew that if I walked straight through that little sidewalk, I knew that was my street. But ...

(END AUDIO CLIP) DE LA RIONDA: Again, he does not want to admit at all that he is following him or chasing him or profiling him.




DE LA RIONDA: They ask him, what do you mean?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't know why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know why (inaudible). I don't know.


DE LA RIONDA: This is where he tells Investigator Serino it doesn't sound like my voice in terms of the yells.

Again, we covered this already but I just wanted you to be able to read it, too. Talking about the video camera, all I knew all along it was there.

And they ask how did you not know the street name? Oh, I have a bad memory. Always has an excuse or they catch him in a lie or he explains it away or tries to.

Then when they confront him, OK, well, he didn't really circle the entire car. And he tries to explain why this individual, Trayvon Martin, is suspicious to him.

He's determined to go get that address. It's not to follow the guy. It's not to follow the victim. It's to just get the address.

Again, is it he just wants to catch the bad guy, the "effing" punk that gets away? Is that why he's saying that?

Then we move on to July 20th, 2013. Mr. Hannity, easy questions, can't even get that right because he tells one lie after another. Listen.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Then we get to the issue where you said to the -- on the 911, that he's running. You said that to the dispatch.

Is there any chance in retrospect, as you look back on that night and what happened, try to maybe get into the mindset -- because we also have learned Trayvon was speaking with his girlfriend supposedly at the time, that maybe he was afraid of you, didn't know who you were?


HANNITY: You don't think -- why do you think that he was running then?

ZIMMERMAN: Well, maybe I said running but he was more ,,,,

HANNITY: You said he's running.

ZIMMERMAN: Yes. It was like skipping, going away quickly. But he wasn't running out of fear.

HANNITY: You could tell the difference?

ZIMMERMAN: He wasn't running.

HANNITY: He wasn't actually running?



DE LA RIONDA: Hannity just asked him a very simple question. Well, perhaps Trayvon Martin was scared of you since you're following him and he's running away from you.

And so he realizes at that time -- the defendant realizes, oh, that doesn't look good because that means I'm chasing him. That means Trayvon Martin is the one that's scared. That doesn't look good for me.

So what does he say? Oh, he's skipping away, la, la, la. That's what he's claiming.


HANNITY: The unbuckling of the seat belt, hear you opening the car door.

This dispatch asks you at that point, and this became a very key moment that everyone in the media focused on, and the dispatcher asked you, "Are you following him?"

And you said, "Yes." Explain that.

ZIMMERMAN: I meant that I was going in the same direction as him to keep an eye on him so that I could tell the police where he was going.

I didn't mean that I was actually pursuing him.


DE LA RIONDA: I'm not following my daughter when she's out in the street and I'm scared something's going to happen. I'm just kind of going in the same direction that she's in.