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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Zimmerman's Fate In Jury's Hands

Aired July 12, 2013 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, George Zimmerman's fate in the jury's hands, who are the six women who will decide his fate.

Plus, first on CNN, an interview with Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney, he tells us what he really thinks of the judge and prosecutor in the case.

And just moments ago, a big development in the crash of the 777 in San Francisco. We have breaking news on that tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT on this Friday night, verdict watch, the jury in the George Zimmerman trial deliberated for 3 hours, 33 minutes today. They suspended their deliberations. They will be back tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. It is a six-person panel. It is all women, and they must unanimously agree on the verdict. Did George Zimmerman murder Trayvon Martin? Was it manslaughter or is Zimmerman not guilty of a crime?

Martin Savidge is in Sanford, Florida. He has been in the courtroom every day since the trial began. And Martin, all eyes are on this jury. You have been able to see them. Obviously, we have not here from the television camera's point of view, but what can you tell us about the jury?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, we so intimately follow the trial, not just to be in the courtroom, but to watch the reaction of those jurors. So I know them all visually, but there is a lot we don't know about them. A lot of it has to do with the fact we just don't give out identities of jurors, that's part of the process. But especially in this case, because of the tensions, the security, we know there are six women, five white, one is of color, maybe Hispanic, as well.

On top of that, we know that five of them have children. We also know that their ages range anywhere from above 20s into their 60s. And at least two women have an association with a weapon, a gun, I mean, one woman at one point had a concealed weapon license. And the others, their families own weapons.

That's basically what we know, but the truth is, all bets are off once they are back there deliberating. It is up to them to decide. The process is under way. Some thought it would be really quick, now we know it won't be. BURNETT: Right, it was funny when that happened today and they were released. I realized, look, it is going to be longer than we thought. If it was just four or five hours they may just finish tonight late. And they were not even asked that. So when you watch them, you say you know them by sight, Martin, what reaction have you seen throughout the trial? Have there been -- who has been taking notes? Anybody that is more emotional when one side or the other, made a particularly poignant point?

SAVIDGE: Yes, and no, some people are more note-takers than others, but they have all taken notes. I think that you know, everybody says the same thing when we all compare our notes about them. And that is that they pay close attention, all of them do, I mean, they take this very seriously. There is nobody nodding off or anything like that. They pay very close attention to whenever there is demonstration in the courtroom.

Some of them, those in the back row get up on their feet and look down. So everything tells those attorneys that they are closely watching this case and maybe that is why we should not be surprised that there was not some sort of snap verdict. That they know what is riding, they are serious, they are listening carefully and the fact they have asked for a list of all exhibits to be broken down by number and description means that they have a lot they want to reveal.

BURNETT: All right, well, Martin Savidge, of course, that is a good thing, with so many people watching this trial carefully, not sure what the implications might be, that the jurors have taken it so very, very seriously as they should. George Zimmerman's family came out with a statement today, first to CNN, saying, "Look, we respect this, no matter what the verdict is. We want peace no matter what it is and we respect it," another important thing to say tonight.

Our legal analysts, Paul Callan, Sunny Hostin, and Mark Nejame join me now. Paul, let me start with you on how the judge instructed the jury today before they begin deliberations. This is a very long, drawn out process. Everybody, 27 pages, as I read along while she said it, but here are the two highlights.

And it sounds like we obviously don't have that sound bite. But basically she said use your common sense, Paul, which in deciding what it the best evidence and you should consider how the witnesses, how they reacted, which of course points to the emotional part of this, the subjective part of this case, which is so important. A six-person jury, most people in this country think the jury would be 12, but this is six. So what does that mean for what happens in this room?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think a lot of Americans will be shocked to find out only six people are deciding this murder case. And I was looking at this, the Supreme Court back in 1970 said it is OK, you can do this, you can have six people. You get fewer minorities on six-person juries. That is the case here, seems to be only one person who could be defined as a minority.

They reach verdicts faster than bigger juries, fewer people to argue, but also fewer coalitions to be formed because of the fewer people and hold out for a jury. Fewer hung juries, as a result, and of course, it is cheaper for the state to do it which is why some states have gone with it, but not a lot. I think other states use this in civil cases.

BURNETT: You say they are likely to get a verdict --

CALLAN: I'll tell you one other thing why we have 12 in other cases, a Welsh king in the early 1500s said the apostles are going to judge people with 12, why not a jury, talk about how strange beginnings.

BURNETT: That is pretty OK -- I'm not going to say what I think, no matter what you think, the biblical history. All female, single gender juries are pretty unusual. Both sides obviously allowed this. They both said this could go ahead. How will this impact what is going on during deliberations? I simply say this, they all took notes and women will do that, we're very organized. We like to take notes, so far, true to form.

MARK NEJAME, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there is also a group dynamic that occurred once the jury starts deliberation. It is amazing how often you can talk to the alternates during a trial, and all the different jurors come back with a different verdict. And that is because you get into a group dynamic, listen to the closing arguments and who did the best for the witnesses. And all this comes in, and then once this goes together and it all goes into a soup, it is amazing how the dynamics come together and they often talk about considerations that the lawyers miss completely.

So we do have six women here, everybody has said, I was in the courtroom, these women, these jurors, they were amazing. They were up, alert, took notes, and I think that they're just wanting to make sure everything lines up. They're going to go back and see if all the versions with their perception, that they have a common understanding and they will debate it from there.

BURNETT: It's a good thing, it takes time and that gives both sides in the country that people have taken, Sunny, we know these people care deeply about their civic responsibility. Now, Sunny, you were in the courtroom. Didn't jurors, I asked this question of Martin, but you were watching them closely. Did they react differently with the attorneys? I know one day you were talking about the forensic pathologist and you said a lot of jurors seemed very receptive to that. But what were the moments you noticed a juror being very receptive and positive to one side or the other?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I will tell you that today I saw something that I don't think I have seen. I was in the courtroom for all the closing arguments, for the state's closing arguments, the defense, and then the rebuttal closing arguments. I think these jurors were so captivated by John Guy's delivery, and I have been wondering to myself, why would the state pick six women? Why would they be OK with that?

Because conventional wisdom says it may be more of a defense- oriented jury. Well, the state argued to the jury today and I think the most powerful moment during the rebuttal argument, was when John Guy got up, who is, by the way, was nicknamed McDreamy, here in Sanford, Florida, all the women love him. They can't take their eyes off of him.

He said to this jury of six women, five mothers, isn't it every child's nightmare for a man, a stranger to follow them home on a rainy night in the dark? Every single woman stared at him when he said that, Erin, they stopped taking notes. They were captivated and I thought to myself, that is why these women are on this jury. They are meticulous, they are engaged. But today was a high point for this prosecution. No question, it all really gelled for me.

BURNETT: All right, well, thanks to all three of you. Up next, more on the Zimmerman trial, who made the best closing case, statement by statement, face to face? Casey Anthony's attorney will weigh in.

And a mysterious intern on Zimmerman's defense team, who is she? You see her, the woman there, looks very professional and graceful looking. Why is she so controversial?

And breaking news in the Asiana Flight 214 crash investigation, we're going live to San Francisco where we have breaking news tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: So both the prosecution and the defense left it all in the courtroom today as they urge the jury to vote in their favor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK O'MARA, ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE LAWYER: It is a tragedy, truly, but you can't allow sympathy to feed into it.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, LEAD PROSECUTOR: Did he really need to shoot? Did he have to shoot Trayvon Martin? No, he didn't.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: So who has the momentum as the jury deliberates the fate of George Zimmerman. OUTFRONT tonight, Cheney Mason, a former defense attorney for Casey Anthony, and he joins me along with the judge, Glenda Hatchett. All right, I am so glad to have both of you because you have been there. You have judged that and argued it. You both know. What we've done here is basically take the closing arguments of Mark O'Mara and John Guy.

So let's start here first of all with the question of whether deadly force was necessary. Let's roll it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) O'MARA: No injuries necessary to respond with deadly force. Not a cut on a finger.

JOHN GUY, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: The person who testified he used deadly force is that man. Need to kill somebody? Who did he kill a teenager? (END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Judge Hatchett, who won that?

JUDGE GLENDA HATCHETT, AUTHOR AND SPEAKER: I think Guy did. I think just because of the energy and the emotion of that issue.

BURNETT: The prosecution won?

HATCHETT: I do, prosecution on that one.

BURNETT: Because of the emotion.

HATCHETT: Because of the emotion. And the issue, did he have to kill him? And I think that to the mothers, all women, I think that round, he won.

BURNETT: Cheney, what do you say? It sounds like he can't hear me, so we'll check on that audio here as we get to the next one, Judge Hatchett.

HATCHETT: So I won by default because you could hear him.

BURNETT: Exactly so you won that one.

All right, Mark O'Mara made a point of showing the jury photos of Trayvon Martin. This whole issue and a lot of you viewers have noticed this too. Were these really accurate photos of how old he was? Was the press misleading people by showing pictures of a much younger boy than he was when he was killed? The defense honed in on that. Here's that. Sorry, we don't have that, do we have the third one?

HATCHETT: But I do know that.

BURNETT: We have it now, let's just play it, sorry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) O'MARA: This is the person -- and this is the person who George Zimmerman encountered that night, who attacked George Zimmerman, broke his nose or something close to it. GUY: Isn't that every child's worst nightmare? To be followed on the way home in the dark by a stranger? Isn't that every child's worst fear? That was Trayvon Martin's last emotion. (END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: What do you say?

HATCHETT: I tell you, that was my favorite card of the rebuttal in this closing, because that really is the question, is that your greatest fear as a parent that your child would be in fear of walking alone in the dark and being followed by a stranger.

BURNETT: Well, you talked about the difficulty for you, looking at this. You're a judge, the mother of two boys. Two black boys who you say were profiled. So this hits the emotion for you.

HATCHETT: It really does, do I understand that there is a burden of proof? Do I think they met the burden on second degree? No, Erin, I don't. But my heart bleeds for this family, and I really struggle because I know that it could have been either of my two sons, if not both of sons that night.

BURNETT: When you say -- and I want to play one other sound bite here, but before I get to that, when you say, you don't think that they have met the burden of proof for second degree.

HATCHETT: I don't.

BURNETT: Do you think they have met the burden of proof for manslaughter or not guilty?

HATCHETT: I think it is possible that a manslaughter conviction could come back. I just think it depends on whether they believe he really was in fear, although self defense can be a defense to both of these charges. I think that there is going to be a real question of what happened, what motivated him, and did this need to happen. And I think a manslaughter charge could come back.

BURNETT: Well, let's talk about this on reasonable doubt and self defense, because when you talk about manslaughter or not guilty, it is going to come down to that point. And here again are John Guy and Mark O'Mara.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) O'MARA: You look at these facts, you look at all of this evidence and you have to say I have a reasonable doubt as to whether or not the state convinced me, is it actually self defense?

GUY: There are only two people on this earth who know what really happened and one of them can't testify. And the other one lied.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: This is the crucial question, reasonable doubt and self defense, Cheney, I know we have you with us now. Who do you think won that crucial round?

J. CHENEY MASON, CASEY ANTHONY ATTORNEY: Well, I don't know. We all can guess, anybody can guess, I think Mr. Guy did an excellent job. I saw that part of it. I didn't see all of his rebuttal closing, but I saw that and I thought he was very effective. You know, the real question is whether or not somebody needed to die and whether it was justified. All the rest of the stuff has been a waste of time, frankly.

BURNETT: Cheney, Judge Hatchett was saying she didn't think they met the burden for second degree, but she thought that maybe manslaughter. She thought that could be possible. What is your verdict?

MASON: Well, you know, I don't know, I don't think they proved the case of second degree murder at all. In fact, I don't think they came close to doing that. Manslaughter is a different story. And keep in mind if they find him guilty of manslaughter, and I presume the verdict form would be correct. They would also have to find whether or not the victim was under 18. If so that means it is aggravated manslaughter and that changes it from a second degree felony to a first degree felony, thirty years.

HATCHETT: All right, definitely increases the time penalty on that. And on that, I thought the defense attorney was more effective in terms of that, yes, on that particular last point.

BURNETT: All right, well thanks to both of you. And I want to emphasize to the audience, the jurors don't know the sentencing. They don't know. They know second degree, manslaughter. They do not know how many years of jail come with those particular verdicts, which is not to bias them in any sort of way, which is an important caveat to make.

Still to come, a mysterious woman working with Zimmerman's defense team, why her presence is causing so much controversy?

Plus breaking news in the Asiana flight crash investigation, we're going to go live to San Francisco with more on that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Back to our top story tonight, verdict watch with the jury at this moment deciding the fate of George Zimmerman. We have heard from a parade of characters over the past two weeks. But one face who has been watching, stood out from the background.

The woman here has been quietly observing and assisting George Zimmerman's attorneys throughout the trial. Her very presence in the courtroom has been controversial and David Mattingly is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a case so inflamed by racially charged opinions, it was almost impossible not to notice the young African-American woman on George Zimmerman's otherwise all white defense team. Channa Lloyd tells me she had just one question for attorney Mark O'Mara.

CHANNA LLOYD, ZIMMERMAN DEFENSE INTERN: I asked him, I said is George a racist and he said no. He said I wouldn't work for him if he was.

MATTINGLY (on camera): And why was that so important to you?

LLOYD: Being African-American, even if he was a client, and does representation, I don't know if I would have been able to divorce that. You have to have the proper representation in people who can do that.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): If you find Lloyd's involvement in the defense surprising, you may be even more surprised to find out she is a volunteer working for free. Channa Lloyd is a third-year law student in Orlando, a 34-year-old intern working at case of a lifetime. MATTINGLY (on camera): Have you had to explain what you are doing to your friends?

LLOYD: Sure, some of my friends debate with me all the time about it.

MATTINGLY: What do they say?

LLOYD: Some of them think, it doesn't matter, he is guilty. Some of them say, well, I'm willing to hear the evidence. They span the range.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Observations span the range online as well, most are just curious, who is she? Why is she there?

LLOYD: Kind of what our position is, what our role is, am I only there because I am black? Those kinds of things, I've seen more curious questions than anything.

MATTINGLY: But some comments are clearly judgmental and personal.

(on camera): There is one that caught my eye, this tweet, black woman seated with Zimmerman defense team is on the wrong side of courtroom and wrong side of history, what would you say to that person?

LLOYD: I would say they're not really aware of what history is, if they think that this is a completely racial issue, I would tell him or her to go back and revisit the case. I think it is misplaced.

MATTINGLY: Is this case about race?

LLOYD: I don't think the case is about race. I think that was the way it was presented initially and I think that may have been erroneous.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): In the courtroom for the most part, she sits silently in the background with other interns, for the last year though, Lloyd's provided research and support, spending long hours and getting to know George Zimmerman.

(on camera): Is he a racist?

LLOYD: No.

MATTINGLY: How do you know? How did you come to that opinion?

LLOYD: You can just kind of tell, being African-American, you've encountered people who are racist and I just know that he is.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATTINGLY: And at the end of the trial, Lloyd sees only the beginning, the beginning of a career in criminal defense -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, thanks very much, David Mattingly. She certainly seems fascinating and incredibly well presented.

Still to come, breaking news, a big development in the crash of the 777 crash. That is right after this break. We'll have the breaking news.

Also, Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker, pulls a flip-flop, a big one, will it work?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT. We start with stories where we focus on our reporting from the front lines, and on this Friday, I want to begin with President Obama, who spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about Edward Snowden today, same day Snowden said he was requesting temporary asylum in Russia, in his first public appearance since holding up in the Moscow airport 19 days ago.

Wait a minute, you thought Snowden was going to Venezuela, right? Well, not so fast. Physically getting there without crossing the air space of the U.S. or an ally of the U.S. is a big problem. Snowden's only option may be to charter a private plane that doesn't have to refuel.

As we reported OUTFRONT, that would cost more than $200,000, so it seems Snowden needs a little bit more hospitality from his friend, Putin, for now.

Well, the U.S. has called for the release of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy from detention. This is the first time the Obama administration has made a call on this. Morsy has been held since he was booted by the Egyptian military on July 3, but the United States has refrained from referring to Morsy's ouster as a coup. Using that word could force more direct U.S. involvement and mean a cut-off in aid. Expert Fouad Ajami tells us that the call for Morsy's release is the least the U.S. could do. He believes that this is a coup by any other name.

Well, Ariel Castro now faces 977 charges in connection with the kidnapping of three young men. Allegedly Castro held them captive in his Cleveland home for a decade. The new indictment adds 648 counts to the ones he already faced, and our legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says the prosecution is laying down a marker. And they're doing this, 977 charges, to show how serious this case is so Castro will not get out on bail.

Well, in California today, a Saudi Arabian princess posted $5 million bail. Appeared to be no problem for her to do so. She was charged with human trafficking. Meshael Alayban is accused of holding a domestic servant against her will until the woman escaped Tuesday and flagged down a bus. Representative for the Global Women's Empowerment Network tells us that this type of servitude is so widespread in Saudi Arabia that wealthy families are repeatedly warned by the Saudi government not to bring their domestic servants to the United States. That may be a shocking and disturbing thing to hear for American viewers. Alayban faces 12 years in prison if convicted. Well, it has been 706 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? Well, Fitch Ratings has downgraded France's top credit rating by a notch, and now it is lower than the United States's rating. Stocks in the U.S. meanwhile closed at record highs today.

This is on the crash of Asiana flight 214. We can confirm that a third victim died from injuries sustained in the accident. This is in addition to two Chinese students who were killed on the day of the crash last Saturday, along with more than 180 passengers who were injured.

Dan Simon is OUTFRONT with more. Obviously, at this point, Dan, this is just incredibly tragic, because you know, you get this far out, you think that this person is going to survive. And I believe, at least from what I understand, you're going to talk about someone who could have been very young?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we're told that she is a minor and that she is a girl. Don't have any more information than that. As you said, sadly we have just confirmed that a third victim has, in fact, died as a result of this crash. This was a girl who was taken to the hospital, immediately, obviously. She had critical injuries. We still have some more folks with critical injuries. Obviously, everybody was hoping for the best, but in this particular case, the girl did not survive, Erin.

BURNETT: And Dan, in addition to that horrible news, we also got confirmation today that one of the Chinese students who was killed on the day of the accident, so we knew that she had perished, but we have confirmed today that she was run over by a fire truck. Now, what more can you tell us about that?

SIMON: Well, we now have official confirmation that, in fact, one of those girls was run over by a fire truck. We're also being told that she was covered by foam used to fight the fire. So that may explain why firefighters didn't see her there on the runway.

Now, we still need the coroner to officially determine if she died as a result of that, or if she died from the crash itself. At this point, we still don't know, Erin.

But we can also tell you that we were just out on the runway a couple of hours ago, and that runway is now entirely cleared. They have moved the fuselage today. It is now in a giant hangar, and it's been totally disassembled.

As for the investigation itself, Erin, we should point out that no mechanical defects have been found with that plane. So it is just going to lead to more speculation that the pilots are somehow to blame for the crash. Erin.

BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Dan Simon. Of course, what Dan is saying is very significant in terms of that girl being covered by the foam. As he said, we don't yet know whether she was killed by the fire truck or already dead, but being covered by the foam and how explicit they're being about that, of course that does open the door for the fact that they think it is possible that she was actually killed by the fire truck itself.

Well, as Dan said, they now have the plane in a hangar, they are trying to get a very clear picture as to exactly what happened. They can do reconstructions. There are very specific ways that they do this, and Casey Wian is OUTFRONT tonight with an inside look at how.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Several Korean aviation accident investigators now looking into the Asiana crash got their training here, according to USC's aviation safety program, inside an old Sears warehouse where the twisted wreckage of plane crashes serves as a classroom for aviation accident investigators.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you see around here is a safety system that has failed.

WIAN: Instructors took me through part of the training.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What strikes you with this here?

WIAN: What strikes me is that there was a big fire here, and it doesn't look like anyone could have survived this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now you look over there, what do you see, on that left wing?

WIAN: Well, I see twisted metal. It looks like some sort of significant trauma happened to that wing, crashed into something, hit something, I don't know, a pole.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We teach the discipline of accident investigation. Namely, to observe the fact, to document the fact, and then let the facts take you by the hand and lead you to the next fact. And the discipline not to conclude, not to summarize, and not to think too far ahead, but to stick with the facts.

WIAN: And so how wrong am I?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're right.

WIAN: But minutes later I jumped to a faulty conclusion looking at different wreckage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It almost looks like a crumbled beer can. And what we see here is the power of a thunderstorm.

WIAN: So lightning hit this aircraft?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no evidence of lightning strike. This is simply evidence of an aircraft being torn apart by the severe turbulence that is contained in a thunderstorm.

WIAN: Well, investigators in San Francisco still are gathering information. There are clues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're pretty sure that we're going to look at how the air speed decayed to the point where three fully qualified people on the flight deck didn't see it, or saw it and did not warn the captain. In today's world, the way these airplanes are made, the weak link is always going to be human factors.

WIAN: One question these instructors are beginning to ask is, how pilots become too reliant on automation. The NTSB says it's looking into the role an automated throttle may have played in the Asiana crash.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we can teach one thing, it is never one thing. It is always a chain of inter-related causes. The reason it's safe is this. Is that the lessons that we have learned through accident investigation and through investigating the procedures, they're the ones that have changed this and made it such a safe form of transportation.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Now, Casey, as you said, NTSB officials have essentially ruled out equipment error at this point, though they still think, though, they can learn something from the wreck, right? What do they -- what are they hoping to find?

WIAN: Well, they can learn something there from just about every wreck. And some of the things that they're looking at, in this case, is what was the communication like between those pilots? And as CNN has reported earlier in the week, were there any cultural issues in terms of senior officers versus junior officers not wanting to raise those alarms that should have been raised.

The other issue they are looking at very closely is, as we all know, many of these aircraft functions are highly automated now. There are some in the aviation community who believe that pilots are relying too much on that automation, that in some cases they may be, for want of a better word, neglecting their main responsibility, which is to fly the aircraft. So there is going to be some looking into whether that played a role, Erin.

BURNETT: I guess amazing, right? At some point, you know, you sit there and you realize, if you always rely on the automation, the one time when it can save lives will be the time you have to do it yourself, and have you practiced it enough, are you used to it enough?

Well, there are more problems for airplane manufacturer Boeing, and this is significant, this is a story we have been following for a long time, on the Dreamliner and its problems.

You're looking right there at Ethiopian Airlines 787 Dreamliner. This is the newest and fanciest and most technically advanced airplane in the world. It caught fire while parked at London's Heathrow Airport. The cause of the fire isn't yet clear, but the problem is, fires have been a problem for the Dreamliner. Earlier this year, the entire Dreamliner fleet was grounded because of fire risk associated with the plane's batteries. And another Dreamliner, also flying out of Britain, was forced to turn back today. That plane's operator says it was forced to return due to a technical issue. It was an airline called Thompson Airways. There are serious questions about whether Boeing's biggest bet in a generation, which is on that Dreamliner, is in serious jeopardy.

Well, still to come, a first on CNN, the attorney for George Zimmerman tells us what he really thinks of the judge and the prosecutor in the case.

And a group of people planning to form America's 51st state. It is not Puerto Rico, it is not Guam. Oh you see it? Really? We'll be back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: All right, let's check in with Anderson Cooper with a look at what is coming up on "AC 360" on this Friday night. Obviously, Anderson, I know you are going to be focusing on the verdict watch.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: No, we're not, no, not today. Yes.

BURNETT: Well, you know, hey, move on, right?

COOPER: We're going to have much more on the courtroom drama obviously today in the George Zimmerman trial. Ahead, it took a little more than three hours, as you probably know, before the jury decided to call it a night. We're going to talk with our panel about what could lend significant insight into the jury's mindset. They asked for a list of the evidence. Also, a CNN exclusive interview with Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara. He tells CNN's Martin Savidge how he thinks this whole trial could have been avoided, and that it is only happening because of Trayvon Martin's legal team. And I'll get reaction from the legal team, from Martin family attorney, Daryl Parks. All that starts at the top of the hour, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Anderson, and we'll look forward to that, of course.

Well, as Anderson said, verdict watch. The Zimmerman case has captivated this country for more than a year, and as the jury deliberates, we now have an inside look at the case from the perspective of its lead attorney, Mark O'Mara. Shortly before the trial ended, our Martin Savidge, who has been in the courtroom every single day, sat down with O'Mara for a candid conversation about the judge, about the prosecutor, and about how his defense team handled the case.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bernie de la Rionda, what do you think of him?

MARK O'MARA, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: He's a career prosecutor who I have never been up against before, and he handles his caseload different than I ever did as a prosecutor.

And I have concerns about the discovery perspective. I think that my view of things like Brady and other information that we're supposed to get from prosecutors is at the very least a much different definition that he has.

SAVIDGE: So is that he's a snake? He's a liar?

O'MARA: I think that he has a -- I think he's probably more used to running against public defenders in cases that he gets to cherry- pick and that he has overwhelming evidence, and that some of the nuances of how he handles discovery don't come to light.

I don't think that Don and I have presented ourselves as couple of young public defenders.

SAVIDGE: Judge Debra Nelson, there are people who watch -- and these are just people watching on television -- would say that she hates you or hates the defense.

O'MARA: She doesn't. And she doesn't hate me or the defense or Mr. Zimmerman.

SAVIDGE: So, what goes on, on the sidebars? People look at that.

And, of course, we don't hear it. We only see.

O'MARA: Right.

SAVIDGE: It seems terse, it seems awkward, it seems like many of the rulings went against the defense. So it would be wrong to say that the judge doesn't like you personally?

O'MARA: No, it would be wrong.

Actually, I have known Debra Nelson for years and years, Judge Nelson for years and years. She's been on the bench for a long time. She's known to be stern and strict and to know the law. I will tell you -- and I'm just not placating her -- you will note that even though the rulings didn't go our way like I would like them to, she was always well-prepared, she does her case law research, she does her homework.

You mention a case, she knows the case. Those are the signs of a very good judge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON WEST, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: We have had full days every day, weekends, depositions at night.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: The walkout? O'MARA: Frustrating at 10:00 at night -- frustrated at 10:00 at night. I think a lot of people were acting out of frustration at that 10:00 hearing. So, you know, she's human.

She's got a jury out there, she's got a high-profile case, she's got a lot of animosity between the parties that is fairly apparent, and she's trying to do everything she can to keep the peace and to protect her jury from undue influence. So she's got a very tough job.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Martin Savidge joins me now, along with the Martin family attorney, Jasmine Rand. Good to have both of you. Martin, let me start with you. Obviously, he seemed very genuine there talking about the judge, although I must admit, it would be a pretty stupid thing to come out and slam the judge when you don't know which way the verdict is going to go, right? So at that point, that made sense. But did you get a real sense if he was happy with how this trial went? All in, is he satisfied?

SAVIDGE: He is, yes. He thinks that -- and he's pretty good at patting himself on the back -- that they've done a good job as far as the defense. So he does seem to be happy. Comfortable. But he's very worried, very worried.

BURNETT: Very worried, and I know you used that word earlier this week, but you think he really is nervous?

SAVIDGE: I do, yes. I mean, we, I said, what are you going to be doing, what rituals do you follow when you wait for a verdict to come in from a jury? He basically said, I don't sleep, I don't eat, I don't do work. He is obsessed with the waiting. It implies that it's like waiting to have a baby. So now he's not sleeping, not eating, and is probably going to be, you know, who knows how long this may be, but he is very nervous, as is George Zimmerman, for obvious reasons.

BURNETT: All right, Jasmine, let me ask you, the Zimmerman family did release a statement today. I wanted to read it just in case you haven't had a chance to hear it, in part, and it says this, "Though we maintain George committed no crime whatsoever, we acknowledge that the people who called for George's arrest and subsequent trial have now witnessed both events come to pass. We hope now that as Americans, we will all respect the rule of law which begins with respecting the verdict." They called for peace no matter what the verdict is.

If Zimmerman is found not guilty, will the Martin family feel the same way?

JASMINE RAND, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Yes, the Martin family has also called for peace. Tracy and Sybrina have long been leaders and examples to the community. We expect a peaceful response from everybody, and we don't want to see more of the same vigilante behavior that took the life of their son.

BURNETT: And Jasmine, when you heard Mark O'Mara talking to Martin about Bernie de la Rionda, about the judge, what is your view on Judge Nelson, Deborah Nelson? He said she is strict, she's stern, but she knows the law, and she was very prepared, she was a very good judge. Do you agree?

RAND: I think she's been fair. I think she's been prepared. I think she put a lot of thought into all of the decisions that she makes. So yes, I do agree.

BURNETT: All right, Martin, I want to play a little bit more of the conversation you had with Mark O'Mara, this about Benjamin Crump, of course, attorney for the Martin family. Let's take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: Do you think that George Zimmerman would have even been charged, had Ben Crump not been pulled into this?

O'MARA: No. Ben Crump or someone like him. Because Ben Crump getting involved in the case -- maybe for some good reasons to begin with. If he believed that there was something here that was being swept under the rug, then get on into it. I'm very OK with that. I --

SAVIDGE: But you didn't quite say it that way. You made it sound like it was Ben Crump, George Zimmerman would be free at this time, and we would not be in a trial.

O'MARA: That's correct. I think that it was a made-up story for purposes that had nothing to do with George Zimmerman, and that they victimized him. They complained about Trayvon Martin being victimized. George Zimmerman was victimized by a publicity campaign to smear him, to call him a racist when he wasn't, and to call him a murderer when he wasn't.

SAVIDGE: And so Angela Corey and the governor and all of those that had a hand in bringing about this prosecution, they were all manipulated by Ben Crump?

O'MARA: I don't know that it was Ben Crump doing all that manipulation, but I'm very surprised that the prosecution team decided not to take this case to a grand jury when one was sitting, empanelled and ready to take on the case, the state of Florida versus George Zimmerman, and determine whether or not there was enough evidence and enough information to charge him with any crime. Rather than do that, which was the default position that could have happened, they decided to have a press conference, pray with the victim's family, and then announce second-degree murder charges.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Jasmine, what do you make when you hear those criticisms? That there was a grand jury empanelled and the state never decided to go with that? And then what Mark O'Mara said, that the prosecution smeared George Zimmerman with a publicity campaign. What's your response to that? RAND: My response is what the prosecution said today. The reason that we're in the court is because Trayvon Martin had no blood on his hands, and as John Guy so eloquently stated today, George Zimmerman will forever have Trayvon Martin's blood on his hands. And yes, I do believe that if it was not for Benjamin Crump, that George Zimmerman never would have met a jury. If it were not for his seed (ph) of faith and his fundamental belief that every child has the right to walk these streets in peace, without being confronted by an armed person with a loaded bullet, willing to place a bullet in the chamber of his heart because of the color of his skin, yes, Ben Crump started that.

BURNETT: And Martin, the passion that Jasmine is showing right now, you know, Mark O'Mara expresses himself differently, but both sides equally passionate about this one issue.

SAVIDGE: He is, and he would also point out that he believes that Benjamin Crump manipulated the early photographs. In other words, what were the first images you saw of Trayvon Martin? A very small, a very young child, even though he was 17 and nearly 6 foot tall in reality.

BURNETT: Right, of course, the pictures we've all seen, so many times. Thanks very much to both of you. We appreciate your time.

I want to note that we asked the state of Florida and prosecutors if they would be available to speak with us this week. They have declined, and they will speak after the verdict to CNN's HLN. We have reached out to the Martin family for taped interviews as well. They are also, though, waiting until after the verdict.

Well, every night we take a look outside the day's top stories for what we call the OUTFRONT outtake, and tonight, a 51st state. Not Puerto Rico, not Guam, not even the Mariana Islands. We're talking about North Colorado. Yes, representatives from 10 counties in northern Colorado and southern Nebraska met this week to begin mapping the boundaries for a new state that they say will better represent them, particularly when it comes to oil. The movement's organizers note that 80 percent of the oil and gas revenue and 70 percent of the education funding in the entire state of Colorado comes from what will be called North Colorado, and they are tired of propping up the rest of the state. And they plan to draft a ballot initiative by the 1st of August.

Now, this will be an uphill battle. Approval is needed at the state and federal levels. All right, we get it, but this does not deter the North Coloradans. In fact, three other counties in Colorado and two in Kansas want to join North Colorado too. I almost keep saying Carolina. What a state it would be, rolling in money. If they got to keep their cash instead of bailing out Denver every year, they would probably each get properties like this. All in Colorado and all worth more than $50 million. In fact, it would be such a good life that we can't believe North Colorado is stopping at statehood, because as of November of last year, citizens of all 50 states have filed petitions to secede from the United States of America. Yes, every other state seems to want to leave the entire country, and North Colorado wants to stay? Really, guys, you want to prop up all of Washington instead of Denver? Believe me, you got it good, just stick with Denver. As we say, though, thank you, North Colorado. How about we just rename the whole country after you?

Still to come, a human helicopter.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Human powered flight. It has been a dream and challenge for centuries. Leonardo da Vinci. Since 1980, the Igor I. Sikorski human powered helicopter competition has sought a team that could build a human powered craft that, here is the thing, would have to hover off the ground ten feet for longer than a minute. It is a lot harder than it sounds, people. The prize, it's only a quarter million dollars, because it's been 33 years, it's gone unclaimed. It was only claimed yesterday. A team from the University of Toronto launched their Atlas (ph) helicopter in June. It is 121 pounds, and it spanned 162 feet. Look how it got in the air. The guy bikes, he peddles, and he was able to stay in the air for 64 seconds -- obviously more than a minute. Look at that. That is just incredible. A record that just got certified by the Sikorski prize judges.

The students say they are going to use their quarter million dollars to continue their flight research and pushing the limits.

I still remember when I was a kid, climbing a tree and launching out in flight. I was so certain it would work. I flapped my arms, and I still remember how that landing felt, both physically and emotionally. In a time when we hear about so many problems with airplanes, it's so wonderful to hear about an accomplishment like this, especially when it is by people who want to continue to fly even higher, propelled by human arms and human legs. Thanks so much, as always, for watching. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. "AC 360" starts right now.