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Zimmerman Prosecution`s Closing Argument
Aired July 11, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: A teenager is dead. The defendant in this case, George Zimmerman...
-- he profiled him as a criminal. He was minding his own business. But apparently, this defendant decided that he was up to no good.
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, MURDER DEFENDANT: These (EXPLETIVE DELETED), they always get away.
DE LA RIONDA: One of those (EXPLETIVE DELETED) punks. Why is he uttering that word, other than that`s how he feels? He`s a wannabe cop.
Defendant claims that he was the only one yelling out there. If he`s yelling and if he`s down, how`s he going to talk? Or is he lying about that?
Look at the gun. Look at the size of this gun. How did the victim see that in the darkness?
Is it just another lie that he tells?
ZIMMERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) that way, and then cut through the back of the houses.
DE LA RIONDA: He was following this innocent young boy. So what does he say? Oh, he`s -- skipping away, la la la!
How does he get the gun out? Armpits! The truth does not lie. When he claims Trayvon Martin (INAUDIBLE) 25 slams.
And somebody hears the flash.
The defendant, George Zimmerman, two people, one shot to death and (INAUDIBLE)
Trayvon Benjamin Martin no longer walks on this earth. The man, the defendant, George Zimmerman, the man who is guilty of second degree murder. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GRACE, HOST: 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. In the last hours, the courtroom explodes as the state changes its mind on why Zimmerman is being prosecuted, trying to convince the judge that the jury should convict on felony murder in the third degree.
After the judge gives prosecutors an in-court smackdown for 11th-hour maneuvers, the state comes out guns a-blazing in closing arguments, screaming from the floor of the courtroom as George Zimmerman shakes his head no in anger. This as the trial judge vows to keep that jury deliberating Saturday and Sunday until they bring home a true verdict, as reports now surface the Zimmerman defense camp is a money-making machine, raking in up to $30,000 a month on line in, quote, "donations."
We are live and taking your calls. I want to go straight out to Jonathan Beaton joining me at the courthouse, WDBO. Jonathan, now, how did it go from -- which I thought it should have been charged murder one. But it was charged as murder two. How did we somehow end up with the state arguing that this should be a felony murder in the third degree? How did that happen?
JONATHAN BEATON, WDBO: Well, Nancy -- Nancy, it really seemed to come out of left field. I mean, you heard it this morning when Don West first found out about it, he seemed genuinely shocked and he was outraged. And you heard Judge Nelson pretty much put him in his place and referred him to court protocol and said, you know, You`ve got to calm down here.
But I don`t know why the state did this. If I had had to speculate, I`d say I think they thought maybe their backs were against the ropes and they had to do something because I think in the back of their minds, they know they can`t get George Zimmerman on murder two, and they have to have some lesser charges there, including manslaughter, in order to put him away for at least some period of time.
GRACE: All right, out to you, Matt Zarrell. What happened in the courtroom? Everybody just went berserk. Now, I`ll tell you this, to come in the morning of your closing argument and suddenly introduce a brand-new charge -- and a very, very weak charge, I might add, felony murder in the third degree, basically that a felony that -- a death occurred while a felony was being committed, and they`re claiming that that felony was child abuse? That`s the new theory?
It sounds like everybody went out drinking last night and came out with a great idea and decided to approach the judge with a brand-new charge this morning.
MATT ZARRELL, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER (via telephone): Nancy, the only way I can describe it is that attorney Don West went absolute nuts when he found this out. He stood up, and the first words out of his mouth were, Oh, my God. Just when I thought this case couldn`t get more bizarre, the state is seeking third degree murder for child abuse?"
He mentions -- he goes on to say that the prosecutor dumped this on them at 7:30 this morning with an e-mail. Oh, by the way, we`ve included lesser of third degree felony murder based on child abuse.
GRACE: So where does this stand right now? Out to you. With me is Steve Helling, also at the courthouse, staff writer for "People" magazine. So what will the jury have as choices?
STEVE HELLING, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Well, they`re not going to have third degree murder. That`s off the table. The judge said no way, that`s not going to happen. So they have their choice, basically, of second degree murder, or else they have a manslaughter, which is the lesser included. And so they can go either one of those ways, but not third degree. That`s just not going to work out.
GRACE: Now -- yes, you know, as it should be. I mean, you know, when I`ve prosecuted a case -- and I certainly was not the best prosecutor in the world. I gave it my all, that`s true. But this is the kind of thing you plot out and you think through all the way back to the time of the original grand jury indictment.
And yes, you can add in lesser charges as long as the law and the facts support that. But to come up this late in the game -- it`s closing argument time with a new theory of the case? Very, very disturbing.
So bottom line, also, Matt Zarrell, wasn`t there a time when the state wanted an aggravated assault charge, as well?
ZARRELL: Yes, Nancy. That was actually just about 12 hours ago. Last night, the state sought an aggravated assault charge, and then this morning they dismissed it because they realized, as the judge did, that aggravated assault was not going to work at all.
Another thing I should note about this argument, Nancy, is that the state had over 20 prior cases they presented this morning. It was obvious they had worked on it for months. And the defense accused them of waiting to spring it on them at the last minute.
GRACE: Well, let me tell you something. There is something called Lexus-Nexis, Matt Zarrell. And all you do is plug in a few words, just like a Google search for lawyers, and it spits out cases for you to use as cites. Don`t be so sure that they worked on this for months on end, OK?
Let`s go in the courtroom. Liz, take me into the courtroom. Take a listen to this, the prosecutor literally screaming from the courtroom floor in closing arguments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DE LA RIONDA: Do you see what he is saying now? He`s saying that armpits -- how does he get the gun out? Armpits! How does he get the gun out? The truth does not lie.
Mr. Hannity -- he`s giving him home runs, easy questions. Can`t even get that right because he tells one lie after another. Listen.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS "HANNITY": Why don`t we get to the issue where you said on the 911 call that he`s running. And you said that to the dispatch. Is there any chance in retrospect, as you look back on that night and what happened...
ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.
HANNITY: ... that maybe he was afraid of you, didn`t know who you were?
HANNITY: Why do you think that he was running, then?
ZIMMERMAN: Well, I`m -- maybe I said running, but he was more...
HANNITY: You said he was running.
ZIMMERMAN: Yes. He was, like, skipping, going away quickly. But he wasn`t running out of fear.
HANNITY: You could tell...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And there, you are seeing an interview that Zimmerman gave on the Fox network. I think that was just Sean Hannity.
OK, back out to you, Steve Helling. How did the jury respond to seeing him interviewing on Fox?
HELLING: Well, you know, the thing about this jury is that they`re paying very close attention to everything that`s going on, lots of note- taking. And they did the same thing today. They`re very fascinated to see what did he say and when did he say it.
And so obviously, it is going to stand out to them. Anythings that are -- that he says there are going to be discrepancies with each other. So that`s what the jury is doing. They`re paying very close attention. They`re doing their jobs, actually.
GRACE: You know, Frank Taaffe is joining me tonight, a friend of George Zimmerman`s. You know, I noticed that Zimmerman kept shaking his head, No, no, no, no, in anger during the closing arguments by the prosecution. If he was so opposed and he had so much opposition to what the state is saying, why didn`t he take the stand to tell the jury his side?
FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Nancy, he already took the stand. He made four statements to the police. And I`m going to quote Bob Shapiro (ph), who was...
GRACE: Did you say he took the stand?
TAAFFE: No, I said it was like taking the stand through his testimony that he gave to police.
GRACE: Oh, OK. Well, could you tell me when was he cross-examined?
TAAFFE: He was cross-examined today by Bernie De La Rionda in the courtroom when he kept poking holes in his testimony. And I`m surprised they didn`t charge him with the Lindbergh kidnapping. I mean, they`ve tried everything and...
GRACE: Jonathan Beaton...
TAAFFE: ... first of all, they`re going to have to disprove...
GRACE: Let`s clear this up so the viewers are not misled, Jonathan. Did Zimmerman ever take the stand? Was he ever cross-examined, regardless of what Mr. Taaffe says.
BEATON: Nancy, George Zimmerman has not taken the stand in his own defense. And we saw that yesterday. He has not taken the stand. I know that for a fact.
GRACE: And yet today in closing arguments, Mr. Taaffe, he was all over his seat going, No, no, no, no, no, every time the prosecution would say anything. If he was so verbal and was so opposed to what the prosecution was saying, why didn`t he take the stand and tell his story?
TAAFFE: Nancy, he made four statements under oath to the Sanford Police Department. And that, in essence, in itself is like taking the stand. Why would you take the stand...
GRACE: (INAUDIBLE) stop (ph)!
TAAFFE: I`m glad he didn`t take the stand. He already said everything he could under oath to the Sanford Police Department.
GRACE: Sir, I appreciate...
TAAFFE: ... in four testimonies without a lawyer!
GRACE: ... how you feel. But your feelings are not the issue, and it`s certainly not what I`m devoting my time...
GRACE: ... to how you feel.
GRACE: I am asking why didn`t he take the stand?
TAAFFE: Nancy, he made four statements to the Sanford Police Department without an attorney! That`s just as good as going on the stand! He`s an innocent man! And in about two days...
GRACE: Unleash the lawyers...
TAAFFE: In about two days...
GRACE: ... Carmen St. George out of New York, Alex Sanchez out of New York. Carmen St. George, Alex Sanchez -- first to you, Alex. Regardless of what side you`re taking tonight, I believe you`re going to give me a straight answer. He didn`t take the stand because he did not want to be subjected to cross-exam. Would you agree with that?
ALEX SANCHEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, and I think it was a mistake that he did not take the stand. Especially in a case where you`re arguing self-defense, the jury wants to hear from you personally, why you engaged in certain actions, and to clear up any details that have not been clarified by the defense attorney.
SANCHEZ: What the attorney is saying is that those statements made outside of court to newspaper reporters somehow is a substitute for cross- examination. You know, that just doesn`t make it. I`m sorry. Not in this case.
GRACE: Go ahead, Carmen.
CARMEN ST. GEORGE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, you know, he does have the problems that he had given misstatements before or different statements. But the fact that he didn`t take the stand is going to cause this jury to really think about whether the self-defense claim has been proven.
But in the end, I would agree that he has made enough statements out there that the prosecution has failed to prove this case.
GRACE: Let`s go back into the courtroom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DE LA RIONDA: He`s got this gun and this holster. And you`ll see in a few minutes -- maybe more than a few minutes -- one of the things that he does, he demonstrates to the police where he had the gun. And it wasn`t right here in the front. It was towards the back, and it was hidden. And he`ll demonstrate to the police out there where it was.
Look at the gun. Look at the size of this gun. How did the victim see that in the darkness? Where was it? It wasn`t outside. It was tucked in behind. And he`ll demonstrate to the police where it was. How did the victim see this gun? Or is it just another lie that he tells?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DE LA RIONDA: How many arms did Trayvon Martin need for punching, moving to the sidewalk, grabbing the head, smothering the mouth and nose, grabbing for the gun all at the same time? How many arms did he need?
How much (INAUDIBLE) can you pack into 70 seconds? That`s what we`re talking about. Assuming it began immediately after the Rachel/Trayvon phone call, moves what, 40-plus feet from where he claims he started? Man, somebody there`s the flash!
When he claims Trayvon Martin hit him 25-plus times, 25 slams, how`s he alive? How is the defendant alive? Or is he exaggerating that to justify in his mind what he had to do?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: There you see prosecutor De La Rionda on many occasions actually screaming from the courtroom floor.
Closing arguments from the state are done for now. Let`s go straight back into the courtroom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIMMERMAN: My jacket and my shirt came up. And when he said, You`re going to die tonight, I felt his hand go down on my side and I thought he was going for my firearm. So I grabbed it immediately, and as he banged my head again, I just pulled out my firearm and shot him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. And then what happened?
DE LA RIONDA: So the gun wasn`t exposed earlier. He`s getting beat up, but he hasn`t taken the gun out. It`s only when the victim starts reaching for the gun -- he tells Osterman that he actually grabbed the gun or touched it. But he says he`s reaching for the gun, and then I realized, as he`s holding my hand -- one hand over my mouth, one hand over my nostril, and I can`t breathe, but I see it -- he`s got that third hand that he`s going for the gun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Let`s go straight out to Susan Constantine, jury consultant, body language expert, who carefully watched that jury in the courtroom today. Everybody, we are live and taking your calls.
Susan, thank you for being with us. What did you observe?
SUSAN CONSTANTINE, JURY CONSULTANT, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT: Well, what I observed today in the first row, everybody was kind of silent. They were very still. And when they`re still like that, it`s because they`re already finished and they`ve already made up their mind. They`re leaning back. They tilt their head. They`re in an active listening position, but they`re not making any notes.
Second row back, we still have a couple of jurors that are taking notes. And I really think that E-40 is actually still struggling. Every single time when there`s key points on this case, she keeps making note about, you know, the photographs and chasing after him. All those, she`s making notes.
I really think, at this point in time, we don`t have a jury that`s both (ph) pro-prosecution or full defense. I think we still have a split jury here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did it not occur to you?
ZIMMERMAN: No. I said, I don`t have a problem, and I started backing away from him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you kind of did have a problem. That`s why you were following him, right? You had a concern then.
ZIMMERMAN: I was scared (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are scared to tell him you had a concern? (INAUDIBLE) You were afraid to tell him that?
ZIMMERMAN: Yes, ma`am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, I`m not trying to put you on the spot.
DE LA RIONDA: Again, now when, they`re pressing him on that issue, Oh, he`s backing away. Inconsistent with what he said earlier. Then he`s scared of him. He`s scared of this person that he`s following all over in the darkness out there. But of course, he doesn`t have his gun out, nor does he feel a need to because -- but he`s scared of him. Can`t have it both ways.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: The courtroom exploding in the last hours as the state comes in with a brand-new reason why this jury should convict George Zimmerman.
Now, I`m not saying I think that Zimmerman is innocent. What I am saying, it`s a day late and a dollar short to come in with a legal theory on a charge, which coincidentally was felony murder in the third degree. They wanted a new charge given to the jury.
That`s something that you think out way back when, when you get an indictment by a grand jury or a special prosecutor. That`s not something that you jump up the morning of closing arguments, all right, within hours of the jury charge, and go, Hey! Yes, we just had an idea last night. The jury should convict him on felony murder in the third degree. How about that?
No, that is not the way it works in American courtrooms! That is trial by ambush. I`m very, very disturbed at that maneuver in the courtroom today. Again, not to say that George Zimmerman by any stretch is innocent.
Right now, let`s go straight back into the courtroom, stunning closing arguments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIMMERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) away.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
ZIMMERMAN: And when I walked back towards him, I saw him coming at me.
DE LA RIONDA: Did you hear that? "When I walked back towards him" -- he switches mid-sentence. I saw him coming towards me. He acknowledges at that point that he is the aggressor. He`s the one that`s going and pursuing the victim. But he catches himself when he says that, and then he goes, Oh, he walked towards me.
ZIMMERMAN: And I went to get my phone. I don`t remember if I had time to pull it out or not.
DE LA RIONDA: And he claims he went for the phone, see, because he`s got to then explain why he, being a 5-7, 204-pound perfectly healthy 28- year-old man, is overpowered by this 5-11, 158-pound kid.
And he being the one that`s tracking him or following him, he`s on guard. He`s got two flashlights. He`s got a gun. This kid is the one that`s scared because this guy`s following him. He`s got to explain why this kid got the upper hand. Oh, I was going for my phone and I just got distracted. Was he going for his phone or was he going for his gun? Were they in the same place?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Now he`s talking! Now he`s finally cooking with gas in that closing argument, pointing out that Zimmerman, a 200-plus-pound man, nearly 30 years old, and a 158-pound kid, one armed and one dead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: Because he`s got a gun. He`s got the equalizer. He`s going to take care of it. He`s a wannabe cop. The defendant is lying. Or is he lying about that? Lies. Or is it just another lie? One lie after another after another. And he was caught in numerous lies.
He profiled him as a criminal. It doesn`t allow, quite frankly, even the police to take the law into their own hands. But this defendant didn`t give Trayvon Martin a chance. But then he followed him. He tracked him. Because in his mind, in the defendant`s mind, this was a criminal. He automatically assumed that Trayvon Martin was a criminal.
This innocent, 17-year-old kid, was profiled as a criminal.
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, DEFENDANT: Maybe I said running, but he was more --
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You said he was running.
ZIMMERMAN: Yes. He 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 -- he wasn`t actually running.
ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.
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. Guess 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GRACE, HLN HOST: Frank Taaffe, you`re here representing George Zimmerman. He actually said Trayvon Martin was skipping away?
FRANK TAAFFE, GOOD FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: You know, Nancy, he was moving quickly. Let`s stick with that. You know, his rendition of moving quickly to --
GRACE: No, he said skipping.
TAAFFE: Yes, but he also said he was running away, moving away. And I want to bring out the fact, if that`s true --
GRACE: He said skipping.
TAAFFE: If --
TAAFFE: If Trayvon was truly --
GRACE: Trayvon Martin was skipping away.
TAAFFE: -- afraid of him -- if he was truly afraid of him, we as human beings, do we run to the threat or do we run away from a threat? And I want to leave you with that thought. We as humans, are we going to run and Sean Hannity said, well, if Trayvon was scared of you --
GRACE: I know one thing. You don`t skip.
TAAFFE: OK. Well, he`d be booking it then and he should have booked it on home. Because he was only 75 yards.
GRACE: OK. Let me ask you another question.
GRACE: Since you`re obviously not going to answer the question. Because Zimmerman said, I don`t know --
TAAFFE: OK. Skip, hop, why don`t we say hopped?
GRACE: That Trayvon was skipping. All right, so that is --
TAAFFE: OK, he hopped.
GRACE: Why don`t we say Bs, Taaffe. Why don`t we say the truth. That is BS. The prosecutor caught him today in 11, 12, 13, inconsistency. Lies.
TAAFFE: No. De la Rionda -- De la Rionda was reaching.
GRACE: Yes, he did. He was reaching. De la Rionda was reaching and all he was doing was retreading the same minutia and excrement that they`ve been putting out since they didn`t have probable cause when this all came about.
GRACE: Why is your client spending --
TAAFFE: There is no probably cause.
GRACE: -- $30,000 a month on living expenses --
TAAFFE: Because your --
GRACE: -- that he`s getting from an online Web site?
TAAFFE: Well, let me answer that.
TAAFFE: There are Americans out there who firmly believe that George Zimmerman is being maliciously prosecuted by the state of Florida.
And Nancy, there were 11 police, chief of police, and the state attorney that found no probable cause. And all of a sudden today, De La Rionda is making it like it`s the crime of the century.
GRACE: Thirty times 12. Thirty times 12.
TAAFFE: Is 460,000. OK.
GRACE: That`s a lot of money. He`s raking in a ton of money.
TAAFFE: Well, guess what? You lawyers aren`t cheap. You criminal defense lawyers aren`t cheap. It`s expensive to put on a defense.
GRACE: Hey, hey, hey, whoa, whoa, whoa.
TAAFFE: It`s expensive. It`s expensive.
GRACE: Don`t throw me in that pot. I was a public servant my entire legal career.
TAAFFE: I said -- Nancy, it`s expensive.
GRACE: Doing what I believe is right. And this prosecutor is doing what he thinks is right.
TAAFFE: Dr. Di Maio was $400 an hour.
GRACE: And there is a dead boy.
TAAFFE: Dr. Di Maio was $400 an hour alone.
GRACE: Out to Dr. Bethany Marshal. Dr. Bethany Marshal, why can`t anybody hear that there is a dead teenage boy? An unarmed boy. I mean, Zimmerman comes into this at 204 pounds, he`s a grown man. He works out all the time at this -- this boxing place who is now using him as an advertisement.
George Zimmerman trained here. And he`s armed with two industrial flashlights and a gun. And then here is a 17-year-old boy, 158 pounds, with nothing but Skittles and a hoodie. Come on. Please. He`s dead.
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST, AUTHOR OF "DEALBREAKERS": Nancy --
GRACE: And Zimmerman has a scratch on the back of his head?
MARSHALL: Nancy, the big picture has been completely lost. The big picture is that George Zimmerman was criminally profiling a young boy. In George Zimmerman`s world, everybody was a bad guy. His world was populated with villains. It`s almost Shakespearean.
This George Zimmerman`s fantasy life was so rich and he was so paranoid, he had the villain in his mind, and then he went out and sought out the perpetrator.
Don`t you think that that`s why he was the watch captain for the neighborhood? He already wanted a villain. Don`t you think that`s why he gravitated for that position? Don`t you think that`s why he really wanted to be in law enforcement? Because he wanted the power?
GRACE: I`m just telling you this, Bethany.
MARSHALL: Don`t you think that`s why he --
GRACE: I`m telling you this, Bethany. If a black man had come into a white neighborhood and gunned down a 17-year-old boy, unarmed boy, all hell would let loose. Can I tell you that? I mean, actually it wouldn`t be --
MARSHALL: Of course it would.
GRACE: -- because the prosecution would be done and over with. But now suddenly you hear Taaffe screaming how unfair this prosecution is. How can that be when you have a dead body? Of course you have to have a prosecution.
MARSHALL: There`s nothing unfair about it --
TAAFFE: What happened to probable cause?
MARSHALL: Let`s think of the word skipping.
GRACE: OK, Taaffe, go ahead.
TAAFFE: What happened with probable cause? That in this country, you`re innocent until you`re proven guilty? What is this, France? Are we in France? He`s innocent until proven guilty.
GRACE: OK. I`m not sure how much --
TAAFFE: There`s no probable cause.
GRACE: -- you know about international laws.
MARSHALL: You know what, Frank Taaffe --
TAAFFE: No probably cause.
MARSHALL: You know what, when your friend George Zimmerman uses the word "skipping" you know what he`s doing, he is minimizing the fact that he --
GRACE: What is he doing? OK. Take Bethany down please, Liz.
Liz? Can you hear me, Liz? Bethany down.
OK, Taaffe, back to you. I don`t know what you`re talking about with France. But back to probable cause.
TAAFFE: In France --
GRACE: A special prosecutor was brought in.
TAAFFE: -- you are guilty until you are proven innocent.
GRACE: I don`t care about France. I don`t care.
GRACE: I don`t care about France.
TAAFFE: Well, here in the United States --
GRACE: OK? It`s over.
TAAFFE: -- a man is innocent --
GRACE: Now we`re talking about the U.S.
TAAFFE: Nancy --
GRACE: There was a special prosecutor that was brought in to evaluate the case and brought charges.
TAAFFE: Good. This is good.
GRACE: That`s how that happened.
TAAFFE: How did we get that special prosecutor? It was because Mr. Crump wrote a letter to the Department of Justice stating that Mr. Zimmerman went down to the police station on the night that George was arrested and pleaded with the state attorney, Norman Willfinger, to make sure no that charges were brought against his son which is a total fabrication on Mr. Crump`s part, and Mr. Willfinger wrote a letter asking Mr. Crump to be admonished for writing that letter. And that`s a fact.
GRACE: Actually, we`re having Mr. Crump on in just a few moments. But again, Mr. Taaffe --
TAAFFE: Beautiful. Ask him about that letter.
GRACE: Misdirection of everything that I ask you, when I ask you one question, you talk about something else. When I ask you that question, you zigzag over to another topic. Because you don`t want to answer the hard question.
I`ll give you the answer. You keep screaming, why is there a prosecution, Mr. Taaffe? This is why. Because your friend, Mr. Zimmerman.
GRACE: Pursued a 17-year-old boy.
TAAFFE: He didn`t pursue.
GRACE: And in the midst of that pursuit --
TAAFFE: He --
GRACE: The boy ended up shot in the heart. And now this is for a jury to decide. And if you can`t figure that out, then you need to go back to eighth grade civics.
TAAFFE: Nancy, all he did was phone in on a 911 nonemergency line that said this guy looks suspicious and he`s on drugs. And guess what? He was on drugs.
GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. We are live at the Sanford courthouse taking your calls. What a day in the courtroom today. The courtroom nearly explodes when the prosecution comes in at the 11th hour with a brand-new theory they want to use on Zimmerman.
Out to you, Benjamin Crump, special guest joining us tonight. Attorney for the Trayvon Martin family.
Mr. Crump, how did the state come up with a brand-new theory of prosecution at this late hour?
BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: I`m not sure how they decided to come up with a brand new theory or if it. They looked at the evidence and said that based on this evidence, we want to give the jury all the options that the law would provide to them.
What`s very important, Nancy, I think, with the closing argument was the fact that they brought us back to where this whole thing started. And why so many people are so passionate about this. And that is Trayvon Martin is dead because of assumptions that George Zimmerman made from profiling Trayvon Martin. And why did he profile him? We will never know what was in his head.
But for whatever reason, he profiled Trayvon Martin, and his wrong assumption caused Trayvon Martin his life and his mother and father every day have to deal with this tragedy.
GRACE: Well, you know, Mr. Crump, I don`t know that I blame profiling anymore than I blame a loaded .9 millimeter Kel-Tec that he was brandishing, walking around with. You know, a lot of people carry hatred in their heart for each other, spoken and unspoken. You know what? Which is a crying shame to live your life that way. So full of hating other people. Because they`re different from you. But you know what, fine.
What I am here, what my duty is, as a crime victim myself, is to try and stop violent crime. And what concerns me is he is out with the .9 millimeter with a live round in it, patrolling. You know what? That was not the position a -- captain of neighborhood watch should be taking. But before I get off on that, Mr. Taaffe will completely -- his head will blow off. Let me get you to respond to his allegations that the whole reason this was ever even indicted and prosecuted was basically because of you.
CRUMP: You know, Nancy, they give --
GRACE: Forget the dead boy lying on the ground.
GRACE: It`s all your fault.
CRUMP: It`s unbelievable. They just totally disregard Trayvon Martin was dead on the ground, because a neighborhood watch cop wannabe decided that he was going to get out of his car and follow him and make sure, for whatever reason, that he didn`t get away. The facts -- remember when this came out, Nancy, people were just astonished that you could have somebody call 911 and say that he is getting -- he`s running away, get out of his car and run.
And the operator saying, are you following him? And you say, yes. And then minutes later, this kid is shot in the heart. If that was your child, how would you even be able to fathom that in your mind? My child is just walking home from the 7-Eleven, with a bag of skittles, and I`m told that a neighborhood watch captain with a .9 millimeter gunshot and killed him.
Tracy and Sybrina have, from that day to this, still been in disbelief that this really happened. They just cannot believe their son was killed in this manner and they`ve had to fight this long journey just to try to get simple justice. They didn`t want anything special. They didn`t want anything no other parent would have wanted if this was your teenage child.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DE LA RIONDA: A teenager is dead. He is dead through no fault of his own. He is dead because another manmade assumptions. And unfortunately, unfortunately, because --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. We are live and taking your calls. Before we go to the calls, to Dr. William Morrone, medical examiner, forensic pathologist, toxicologist, joining me from Madison Heights.
Dr. Morrone, thank you for being with us.
Dr. Morrone, I know that you have now seen the testimony from the two medical examiners. The state brought on Bao, the defense brought on Dr. Di Maio. I can`t tell you how many times, Dr. Morrone, that state`s M.E. kept going, I don`t know, I don`t know, quote, "I don`t remember a thing." Now what kind of confidence does that instill in a jury?
DR. WILLIAM R. MORRONE, MEDICAL EXAMINER; FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST, TOXICOLOGIST: It`s an embarrassment to the state because they didn`t prepare him and the reason why De la Rionda has to yell in his closing arguments is because his medical examiner imploded in slow motion.
He may be an excellent technician but Dr. Di Maio was a teacher and he explained how he thought and he laid things out in analogies, stories, and explanations to a lay audience. This is a lesson in grace, in style, inside of science.
GRACE: You know what, you`re absolutely right.
And Dr. Morrone, I didn`t necessarily do it to prepare my medical examiners, I did it more to prepare myself. I would go to the morgue and go through the autopsy report line by line to ferret out medical terms and I wasn`t sure what they meant and I would take notes so when I was ready to present to the jury I had it down and I could get the doctor to break it down for the jury like we had done back at the morgue.
But -- and that was not to prep the M.E., it was really more to prep myself. But this M.E. was awful. He may be brilliant on the inside. But it didn`t show in the courtroom, Dr. Morrone. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SHIPING BAO, SEMINOLE COUNTY ASSISTANT MEDICAL EXAMINER: I do not have any recall. I do not have any memory of the day of autopsy. I do not remember anything. Zero. Why I cannot remember anything on the day of autopsy and other people can remember.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: We remember American hero, Army Private 1st Class Shane Reiffert, 23, Centreville, Michigan. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge. Parents Kurt and Kitty, sister Elizabeth.
Shane Reifert, American hero.
And now back to the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin murder trial. I want to take one quick call if I can work it in, Allison in Texas.
Hi, Allison, what`s your question?
ALLISON, CALLER IN TEXAS: Hi, Nancy. I just wanted to comment. I don`t totally understand your reluctant to view Trayvon as the aggressor. From what I`ve heard he was the -- a linebacker on his football team. That`s the most aggressive -- that`s the most aggressive position on the football team --
GRACE: No, he`s not a linebacker.
ALLISON: I heard that he was --
GRACE: No. He played multiple positions --
ALLISON: And he told Rachel --
GRACE: I`m sure that you did.
ALLISON: -- but he wouldn`t run when she said that you should run, he told her that he wouldn`t run. And also I want to say, Frank Taaffe, please marry me.
GRACE: OK, Mr. Taaffe, I guess you heard that and I think that you actually orchestrated that call. But --
I am single.
GRACE: Talking about him being a linebacker --
TAAFFE: I am available.
GRACE: It`s my understanding that he was a running back. Thank you, Taaffe. But when you look at their weight, Allison in Texas, I appreciate that. 158 versus 204. But let me remind you, Allison in Texas, about the gun. A gun. It makes a big man little and a little man big. And that night, Zimmerman was the big man.
Everyone, as I go to break, court is over for now. But a special thank you to all of the staff at coliseum hospital for bringing my father through. Also tonight, happy birthday to New York friend Michael McFadden. Loves boating, reading. Happy birthday.
And happy birthday tonight to friend Pauline.
Everybody, "DR. DREW" up next. I`ll see you tomorrow night. We will be live in Sanford 8:00 sharp Eastern. Let there be justice. And until then, good night, friend.