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Zimmerman Case Goes to the Jury

Aired July 12, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, it`s the moment of truth for accused murderer George Zimmerman. The jury now has the case and has deliberated exactly three hours and 33 minutes.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live from right outside the courthouse in hot, hot, hot Sanford, Florida.

Both sides brought fireworks to the courtroom for the closing arguments. A jury of six women deciding whether George Zimmerman, a Neighborhood Watchman, is guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter for shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin dead.


MARK O`MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That is not an unarmed teenager with nothing but Skittles.

JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: Isn`t that every child`s worst nightmare?

O`MARA: Really? Really?

GUY: On the way home, in the dark, by a stranger.

O`MARA: Seriously? Seriously?

GUY: That was Trayvon Martin`s last emotion.

O`MARA: Where`s that piece of evidence?

GUY: Isn`t that every child`s worst fear?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: George Zimmerman`s defense attorney, Mark O`Mara, made a passionate closing argument to the jurors, saying the burden of proof has not been met by the prosecution and claiming Trayvon Martin was not an innocent, unarmed child but instead an aggressor in the fight, using any weapon at hand. Check this out.


O`MARA: How many times was it said that Trayvon Martin was unarmed? I`ll be held in contempt if I drop this, so I`m not going to do some drama and drop it on the floor and watch it roll around. But that`s cement. That is sidewalk. And that is not an unarmed teenager with nothing but Skittles trying to get home. That was somebody who used the availability of dangerous items, from his fist to the concrete, to cause great bodily injury.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The prosecutor fired back with some emotional and poetic words, bringing the case back to the victim. Attorney John Guy reminded the jury that Trayvon Martin`s blood will always be on George Zimmerman`s hands.


GUY: This case is not about standing your ground. It`s about staying in your car. Like he was taught to do. Like he was supposed to do.

Trayvon Martin may not have the defendant`s blood on his hands, but George Zimmerman will forever have Trayvon Martin`s blood on his. To the living, we owe respect. But to the dead we owe the truth.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who do you think came out on top in these closing arguments? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to the Lion`s Den. I was in court today, and I saw these jurors firsthand, six women listening intently. So who won the closing arguments and why? We will debate it now, beginning with Tanya Acker, attorney out of L.A.

TANYA ACKER, ATTORNEY: I think the defense pulled it off, Jane. I think they did a really masterful job changing the subject in this case and of making it really narrow.

I mean, look, this case, the reason why this case captured the nation`s -- the nation`s attention is because there are a lot of people who think that, if Trayvon Martin looked like Britney Spears and George Zimmerman looked like Trayvon Martin, it would not have become that issue.

Now, what the defense did is they said, "We`re not going to talk about all that stuff. We`re not going to make it that big. We are going to narrow it down to the discrete moments of this fight." And I think that, by doing that -- I think that by doing that, frankly, they pulled off a victory for Zimmerman.


WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, first, let me say that the very style differences between the prosecution and the defense is so cockeyed, because it`s usually the prosecution that`s very matter-of-fact and going through the elements of the crime and very monotone, and it`s usually the defense doing the dog-and-pony show: "Look over here, look over here." Because usually the prosecutor has the strong case, and the defense is trying to prove reasonable doubt. It`s the opposite here.

Now, I thought O`Mara was very mechanical, you know, appropriate, respectful. I thought he did a decent job. He was a bit pedantic, I thought, at times, talked down to the jury. You could hear him at one point apologizing: "I don`t mean to scold you," because he knew he was sounded like he was scolding them. But he has the evidence.

Look, the defense could have stayed home for this whole trial, and they still would win.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank Taaffe, former neighbor of George Zimmerman and supporter of the defendant.

FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: I agree with her. The most compelling part today were -- well, two parts. One was when he brought the cement in.

And No. 2 was the four-minute, I call it blackout, when the whole room went silent, which implied that Trayvon had over four minutes to get home. Once again, do we run to a threat or do we run away from it? And to me, that sealed the deal, absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Listen, in his closing arguments, Mark O`Mara used this controversial animated re-enactment of Trayvon and George Zimmerman`s fight from the perspective of George Zimmerman, and it even had a soundtrack this time around. Check it out, and then we`ll debate it.


O`MARA: This is when, according to Mr. Good`s testimony he came out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via phone): Is it a male or a female?

O`MARA: The second position where he said, this is the mounted position or where the ground and pound was occurring.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via phone): It`s a male.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don`t know why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know why. I think they`re yelling "help," but I don`t know.

O`MARA: John Good, as he was leaving, said they had come down away a little bit.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you see who`s yelling "help"?





VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to the Lion`s Den. Jawn Murray, editor in chief, Did the defense got an unfair leg up with this sophisticated animation using technology that comes from movies like "Ironman" that clearly shows George Zimmerman`s version of events with sophisticated visuals, and it paints Trayvon as the aggressor who slugged George?

JAWN MURRAY, EDITOR IN CHIEF, ALWAYSALIST.COM: Listen, Jane, with those women on that jury all being parents, the thing that we want to focus on here is animations, cutout boards, mannequins. A human being is dead. Trayvon Martin is dead.

So I think the prosecution summed it up best when they said this isn`t about standing your ground; it`s about staying in your car. And if he had stayed in the car and followed the instructions he`d been given, he would not have had that altercation with Trayvon Martin, and Trayvon Martin would not have had to defended himself and fight the grown man who was following the teenager.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. John Manuelian, criminal defense attorney.

JOHN MANUELIAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I thought Mark O`Mara was brilliant, Jane, and I think you`re right. A picture in this case is worth a million words. That animation was brilliant. I think that`s what`s going to be stuck in the jurors` minds when they`re deliberating. You can`t unring that bell.

The props were amazing. The standup cardboard, the concrete, just brilliant. And that four-minute pause was really, really effective. And what was the best part of Mark O`Mara`s closing was the reasonable doubt, raising that standard to the highest level of certainty required under the law. I think, obviously, this is a slam dunk defense at this point.

TAAFFE: Jane...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead. Go ahead. Is that Taaffe?

TAAFFE: Yes, it`s Taaffe. You know, Jane, that four-minute silent period in the courtroom was riveting. And I`m still trying to understand where John Guy was going with stay -- you know, this ain`t stand your ground; this is staying in your car. What law was broken by getting out of his vehicle? There is no law that I`ve seen...

MURRAY: Your so-called friend was a wannabe cop and he should follow instructions.

TAAFFE: You`ve been milking that "wannabe" stuff for a while, man.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time, guys. One at a time. Jawn Murray, finish your thought and then, Frank, you can rebut.


MURRAY: Listen, if grown men will follow kids with Skittles down a sidewalk when authorities tell them not to, God forbid what happens on Halloween. The man should have left Trayvon Martin alone. We wouldn`t be having this conversation. There`d be no trial; there`d be no murder.

TAAFFE: Right, OK. Haven`t we advanced this conversation or this debate past wannabe cop and Skittles?

MURRAY: Listen -- I can`t wait till we get a verdict...


MURRAY: ... so that you can stay off of TV and stop talking foolishness every night.

TAAFFE: Oh, wow. Thank you. I look foolish. OK. You sound foolish.

MURRAY: Absolutely.

TAAFFE: You sound foolish.


MURRAY: Oh, come on. Boys, boys, please.


MURRAY: This boy is a man. A boy is dead, but this man...


TAAFFE: ... wannabe. You`re a wannabe wannabe.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excuse me -- OK.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Susan Constantine, you and I have sat in court together, and we have stared at this jury. One thing I`ve learned is quite often experts, legal experts are contrarian indicators. I sat through Casey Anthony where all these legal experts said, oh, she was going down and that everything was...

MURPHY: Not me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... good that the prosecution did. And guess what? They were all wrong, OK?

MURPHY: Not me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So what did you see, Susan Constantine, when you looked at this jury of six women?

SUSAN CONSTANTINE, JURY CONSULTANT: I see six women and six women that will probably, when they get behind closed doors, have different opinions. So I don`t think that this is a slam dunk for either side. I think that there`s going to be conflict, not conflict, negative conflict, but there`s going to be conflict between them in how they feel about this particular case. Because watching their body language, I haven`t found anything consistent between all of the -- between all the jurors. There seems to be a little bit of conflict here.

So with that being said, Jane, you`re right: You can`t really predict who`s going to win, who`s going to lose, because it`s just way too early, and you don`t know how these six people processed this information.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Michael, Florida...

MURPHY: The one...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, wait, hold on. Go ahead.

MURPHY: Just very quickly, the one -- one thing I think they will all agree about is that the prosecutor guy named Guy is a hunk. And I agree. He`s really cute.

But you know that old saying about you can`t put lipstick on a pig. He had no evidence. He was just cute, and he was doing quips, quips, quips. Quips do not win a prosecution, and he`s cute but he will lose because there`s no evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me tell you something. I have heard, and I cannot confirm this, but sources, scuttlebutt walking around here, talking to everybody under the sun, the hot sun, that the prosecution really wanted John Guy to wrap it up and have the final word precisely because he is a Kevin Costner lookalike and these are six women.

And I`ve got to go back to Susan Constantine on that. He is John Guy. He`s John Good-looking. You know, could that have an impact?

CONSTANTINE: Yes, it can, because...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s show him, too. John Guy.

CONSTANTINE: Well, you know, John Guy is a good-looking guy...


CONSTANTINE: What happened here?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go, Susan. Let Susan talk.

CONSTANTINE: John Guy is a good-looking guy. First impressions are lasting impression. We know that people get hired, they make more money and they get higher positions based on their looks. So don`t, you know, underestimate a good-looking guy, especially with six female jurors.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I heard that that was part of the strategy.



ACKER: Jane, it may have been part of the strategy, but I really disagree with that. I think that juries pay attention to the law. I think that juries read jury instructions. Part of the reason why I`m feeling so optimistic for George Zimmerman and his prospects is because the instructions are very specific. I think the jury is going to go back with those instructions. I think they`re going to find a way. I think they may find a way to acquit him.

I don`t think it`s about John Guy being good-looking. I really don`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, you know, it`s kind of funny. Everything is upside-down today because Tanya Acker, you were listed as a - - somebody who was going to speak in defense of Trayvon, and you think the defense is winning.

And Wendy Murphy says the prosecution did a good job, and she`s listed as pro-Zimmerman. So who knows what`s going to happen if we can`t figure out our own panel? That`s good. That means that people are flexible. They don`t have opinions set in stone; they listen to the evidence, and they`re honest about their reactions. It`s good.

On the other side, we will get to Michael in Florida and more of your calls, and more of the most passionate, dramatic, explosive moments from the closing arguments. This case now in the hands of the jury. Three hours and 33 minutes they have deliberated. What will they do?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last fall your opinion was the level of marijuana would have no physical or mental effect. Correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, at that time.

JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, PRESIDING OVER TRIAL: I`m going to deny the motion to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and allow the testimony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now your opinion is that it would, indeed, have at least some mental effect?


SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: They`ve killed my son, and now they`re trying to kill his reputation.




O`MARA: He had the hoody on, the top of the hoody. This is from the picture that we showed you. It`s not in evidence, just have a look at it. You don`t even have to believe it`s accurate. Just take a look at it. And then there`s George Zimmerman. This is how tall he is. Take a look at him prepared to my eye height.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that was just one of the many props that the defense whipped out, those ginormous life-sized poster cutouts of the victim and the defendant. And then you saw the cement, and you saw the animation. My gosh, it was a bag of tricks.

Now, I want to go straight out to Mike Galanos. You have been in the court as questions have come back from the jury. What do you know?

MIKE GALANOS, HLN ANCHOR: Well, Jane, I`ll tell you: Some of the things that are most astonishing are maybe what the camera doesn`t pick up as we watch what has gone on in the courtroom.

Family members on both sides. In court earlier today, Sybrina Fulton had to leave that courtroom as the defense attorney, Mark O`Mara, was talking about Trayvon Martin. You could just feel the weight as she walked out the courtroom.

On the other side, George [SIC] Zimmerman and Gladys Zimmerman, hand in hand as they walked out the courtroom. There was one moment -- this was toward the end of the day -- where George Zimmerman`s father walked past me to buy snacks for everybody. So the weight of the world`s on this man`s shoulders, regardless of what you think of the case. His son`s life is now in the hands of six women, all-female jury, and he`s buying Snickers and sodas for everybody, trying to drum up a smile with this sheepish look on her [SIC] face. Just speaks to the weight.

And being in that courtroom, the chasm, the divide, maybe ten feet separating the parents of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, but it was like the Grand Canyon between the two, being in that courtroom, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is so nerve-wracking. I agree with you. I was there listening to the judge deliver the jury instructions, which I hold in my hand. And we`re going to get to them in a second, because there`s some bombshells in here.

And I was so nervous because of the tension. And listening to -- looking at the defendant, looking at the family and the victim, I actually had to remind myself -- and I`m revealing something about myself -- it`s like, Jane, you`re not the one on trial here. You have nothing to do with this. You`re an observer. Stay calm, stay cool, stay quiet and make sure your cell phones are off.

All right. Michael, Florida, your question or thought? Michael, Florida.

CALLER: Yes, the question I have is, they make a big deal about this four-minute quietness that O`Mara did today, but during four minutes when somebody is talking to somebody else on the phone and running and trying to stay away from somebody who`s following you, that time doesn`t fly by as slowly as they make it sound, as -- because when you`re doing something, you -- the time flies by a lot quicker.

And also, I just wanted to know, is it going to be pizza for Taff (ph) tonight?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me -- yes, Taaffe and his pizza, we`ve going to leave them on the side. We`re going to talk the facts of the case, and we don`t care about pizza.

Here`s the thing, though. I think, caller Michael, Florida, you raise a very good point, this four minutes. This was another, as I say, the bag of tricks the defense had. They had all these props, and they had all these techniques.

Mark O`Mara, the attorney for George Zimmerman, had the courtroom sit in absolute silence for four minutes. The defense contends that`s how much time Trayvon Martin had to get away from George Zimmerman. OK? We don`t know, but this is the point that he made, and listen to him. Then we`re going to debate it.


O`MARA: Four minutes. Did that felt [SIC] like a long time to you before we took the break that we sat here and did nothing for four minutes? That`s 7:11:40, he`s running, 7:15:43 when Rachel Jeantel tells you the phone call ended because of a bump.

Four minutes to do what? To walk home? To run home? Four minute- mile was broken when I was, like, 12 by somebody. I think he was in his teens.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jawn Murray, editor in chief of, the point was, according to him, that Trayvon had four minutes to get away and just basically disengage completely, and he did not. What say you?

MURRAY: Why did he have to get away? Why should he have had to try to run from this man who should have never been after him?

TAAFFE: He said he was scared.

MURRAY: Frank Taaffe, your name is not Jawn Murray. Shut up!

TAAFFE: Hey, hey!

MURRAY: Why should he had to run away from...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank! Let him finish. Seriously, dude.

MURRAY: I`m about to stand my ground with you, dude.

TAAFFE: You shut up. You shut up.


MURPHY: Oh, my goodness. What is this?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come on. Come on, fellas.

MURRAY: His 15 minutes will be over next week. Let me go back...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re making me have to...


MURRAY: Let me go back to talking logically.

If he would have never followed Trayvon, Trayvon would have never had to try to get away from him. Staying in your car is the key point in the prosecution`s summation of the case. And that`s the point we need to focus on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now it`s your turn, Frank. And nobody is going to interrupt you.

TAAFFE: OK. Jawn, I apologize. But don`t tell me to shut up again. Here`s the deal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Make the point. Make your point.

TAAFFE: Here`s the deal, my man. Mr. O`Mara said today that Chad, who was his brother, said he could throw the football to that spot. It`s 80 yards. You mean he couldn`t traverse 80 yards in four minutes? That`s total B.S., my man. B.S.!

MURRAY: You know, you can cut the little racial reference...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, all right.

MURRAY: Next week, this will all be over for you.

TAAFFE: You`re damn right it is! You`re damn right it is!


MURRAY: Rest in peace, Frank.

TAAFFE: You`re damn right. Rest in peace?

MURPHY: Please!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come back to me for a second.

TAAFFE: All right, buddy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come back to me for a second. I think the point was that -- and we`ll get to you on the other side, Wendy, I promise. But the point that Jawn Murray was trying to make is that why should he have to flee? It`s a free country. He`s there legally, just as George Zimmerman is there legally. So why was it incumbent upon Trayvon Martin to leave?

On the other side of the break, we`re going to continue with the most extraordinary moments from the closings. This is lawyering at its best, and it`s riveting. On the other side, we will continue to debate. Stay right there.


GUY: When I asked him, when I got on the floor, how could he get the gun with Trayvon Martin on top? The words were "Somehow, somehow." Like I said, you don`t have to do it. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) He won`t get the gun.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, Mark O`Mara says that, from the time Trayvon told Rachel that Zimmerman was following him, he had plenty of time to avoid the situation and go home. The idea that he hung up the phone call and then four minutes later the confrontation starts indicates, at least to the defense, that he stuck around.

Wendy Murphy, you wanted to weigh in on this?

MURPHY: Yes. First of all, it`s an old trick to do this in a courtroom when you`re talking about things like three minutes and four minutes. I`ve done it many times as a prosecutor. Because people don`t think of three minutes or four minutes as being a long period of time. In rape cases, you know, the jury might think it was only for three minutes that she was being raped. But if you sit there and watch the clock go by for three minutes, the jury is suddenly -- you know, they`re revulsed (ph), as well they should be. It`s a long time for something serious to go on.

On the other hand -- and so I think it was dramatic. But here`s the thing. The whole purpose was just to balance out this claim that George Zimmerman never should have gotten out of his car. Now at the other end of the spectrum you have, well, Trayvon Martin should have gone home.

In my opinion, neither of those things matters very much at the end of the day in a self-defense case like this, where it`s all about should you kill someone who`s hitting your head on a cement sidewalk? They both could have done more to have prevented the situation. Both of them did nothing to deserve what happened. But it`s a bit of a distraction. When it comes down to it, the jury is not going to care that George Zimmerman could have stayed in his car and that Trayvon Martin could have gone home, because that`s not what this crime is about.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean, they must care, because let me tell you, they have not reached a decision. They`ve deliberated three hours and 33 minutes. And they have also asked to see a list, an inventory list of all the evidence, which to me says they`re going to go through all the evidence as basically both sides told them to.

And so they could be watching the reenactment video that George Zimmerman did, as well as all his interviews on camera and on audio and written, with investigators, as well as listening to the 911 calls. All of it, they could be going through it. That could take a very long time.

We`re going to take a very short break. On the other side, more debate and more of the extraordinary, extraordinary comments by attorneys from both sides today. And your calls. Stay right there.


ZIMMERMAN: Like in the grassy area, like up towards -- kind of between these two poles. Like I said, it was raining. It wasn`t -- he was just leisurely looking at the house. I passed him and he was -- he kept staring at me.

I drove past him.


ZIMMERMAN: And I went to the clubhouse. Then he walked past me. and he kept looking at my car.





CROWD: Justice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When do we want it?


MARK O`MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It is a tragedy, truly.

SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: I want you guys to stand up for justice and stand up for what`s right.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, ON TRIAL FOR DEATH OF TRAYVON MARTIN: I felt sorry that they lost their child.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: Why does he have to lie about the whole thing?

ZIMMERMAN: He cut down here and made a right.

DE LA RIONDA: The truth does not lie.

ZIMMERMAN: There`s a real suspicious guy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just said he shot him dead. The person is dead laying on the grass.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: The moment of truth has arrived. The case now in the hands of six female jurors who have deliberated three hours and 33 minutes. They have asked for an inventory. They want an inventory of all the exhibits. There`s more than 200 exhibits. Are they going to go through all 200? What will they decide? It seems like the whole world is watching.

Now, before the case went to the jury, the judge read these jury instructions. We`re going to get to that right now. The defense attorney, in his closing Mark O`Mara, tried to get the jury to think about what would have happened had Trayvon Martin lived and he claimed that had he lived, the young man would have been facing criminal charges himself. Listen to this.


O`MARA: Had Trayvon Martin been shot through the hip and survived, what do you think he would have been charged with? Aggravated battery? Two counts?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the jury instructions refer -- and we`re going to take this out to "The Lion`s Den" -- to justifiable and excusable homicide. Basically these jury instructions say the killing of a human being is justifiable and lawful, if necessarily done in resisting an attempt to murder or commit a felony. All right.

I want to start with Tanya Young Williams, an attorney out of Los Angeles. Basically, what the defense attorney is saying is that whereas had he lived, he would be charged with a felony, aggravated assault or aggravated battery or something to that effect. Therefore, this killing is lawful because it says right there in the jury instructions you can kill if you`re defending yourself against a felony.

TANYA YOUNG WILLIAMS, ATTORNEY: Jane, I think that argument probably fell on deaf ears. One, a lot of legalese that the jurors really aren`t listening to or don`t understand fully. But if the prosecution hasn`t done anything else, I think they have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that this killing was not justifiable, nor excusable.

I like what the prosecution has done, and that they have made this a "but for" case. But for the fact that George Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin as a criminal; but for the fact that he got out of the car -- they made it a "but for" case. And now that gives some of those mothers the opportunity to dig their feet in, in that deliberation room and say we`re going to hold George Zimmerman accountable, and they have the ammunition. And I think the prosecution has shown if nothing else, that this killing was not excusable -- self-defense off the table.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Susan Constantine, you`ve been in the courtroom. You`re a body language expert. You`re a jury consultant. Go out on the limb and make a prediction. Is this going to be something that`s going to go on for days? Or will this jury come back tomorrow and say, well, we slept on it. We`ve made a decision?

Take a guess, an educated guess.

SUSAN CONSTANTINE, JURY CONSULTANT: Well, I think what`s going to happen is they`re going to thread together their own story. So they`re going to take what the state has said, the defense has said and they`re going to create their own story. That`s what they`re going to look at. They`re going to thread it all together and I think we`re going to have a compromised vote.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Erica, Texas, your question or thought, Erica, Texas?

ERICA, TEXAS (via telephone): Hi, how are you all?


ERIC: My question or comment I would say would be pertaining to O`Mara`s closing arguments, when he stated to the jury that they should base this case off of the evidence presented and not to use their common sense, I kind of disagree with that because when you`re talking about common sense, you apply everything around you to make a better judgment. And for him to emphasize not making assumptions, well, assumptions led to this event. So I don`t think that was a good argument for the defense.


TANYA ACKER, ATTORNEY: Jane, may I -- I hear what the caller is saying, but I think that that is simply how the system works. I want to disagree a little bit with the other Tanya on the panel. I think the jury is going to pay attention to these instructions. I think that you don`t want jurors filling in the gaps.

Look, I think that there is a common sense argument that the prosecution is making here. As I said at the outset I think there are a lot of people who disagree very strongly that this would have happened if Trayvon had been a pretty blond girl and George Zimmerman had been Trayvon. I think that that`s another issue. I think that the question is about what happened during that fight, which the defense was able to narrow the story. I think the prosecution should have really made it about a continuing aggression instead of (inaudible) small points.

YOUNG-WILLIAMS: That`s what they did.

ACKER: They have to look at the evidence. They can`t fill in the gaps.


YOUNG-WILLIAMS: I did not say that they were going to ignore the jury instructions. My position very clearly is, I think the prosecution did a fantastic job in laying out a timeline that is not that limited amount the defense is trying to present. They are saying that this incident started from the time that George Zimmerman got on the phone and started to profile Trayvon Martin. And therefore, I think they did a fantastic job in saying and proving beyond a reasonable doubt this was not a justifiable killing. He had other options, and I do believe that there`s a mother back there who is going to stay that could be my kid. I`m holding this guy accountable.

And Jane, as you know, the law is the law. But we do put our human experience into everything we do and all of our decisions. And they`re --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It all goes down to this, can we -- go ahead, Wendy Murphy.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I was just going to say, you know, the prosecution in my opinion did a very good job of proving self-defense as is their ethical responsibility. This isn`t a prosecution wants to win versus the defense wants to win. The government is supposed to be on both sides. Their job is to do justice. And in that sense, they put on the evidence they had, which included a mountain of proof that supported the self-defense theory. That`s why much of what you saw the prosecution do was all emotional and bluster which, by the way, when a prosecutor does that -- in most states, you make it all about emotion and emotion and feelings and feelings, you can get a conviction reversed on appeal. It`s illegal. It`s unethical. It`s wrong.

ACKER: Jane --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jump in here with something. I want to jump in with something that nobody is talking about.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nobody is talking about this, and in this jury instruction could be really the most explosive aspect of this and nobody is talking about it -- Stand Your Ground law. Yes, in the jury instructions, the judge read was the Stand Your Ground law, the controversial Stand Your Ground law.

MURPHY: Of course. It`s required.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m going to read it to you right here. If George Zimmerman was not engaged in unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and he had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force. It`s right here in the jury instructions.

And Jawn Murray, nobody is talking about this.

JAWN MURRAY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ALWAYSALIST.COM: The question I consistently ask is who is to say that Trayvon Martin wasn`t standing his ground? Because this man approached him; this man followed him.

But I like something that Tanya Williams said earlier too about the human experience. If there is not a conviction in this case, Jane, we`re going to have to explain to the mothers, the parents, the citizens watching that don`t understand all the legal jargon how this happened because they`re concerned for their kids. They`ve the ones who have blacked out their avatars on Twitter and on Instagram to say we want justice for Trayvon. We want justice for this mother and this father who have lost their child. We don`t care about all the legal mumbo-jumbo. We want to see justice prevail.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: There is however a law. A controversial -- go ahead, Wendy Murphy.

MURPHY: Look, self-defense doesn`t mean there`s no justice. Self- defense is in our code and has been since the beginning of time. People are allowed to defend themselves against serious bodily injury with lethal force. You may not like it. That may make you feel bad. But it`s not a lack of justice. And you need to stop saying --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this.


MURRAY: The point is, it would not be -- there would not be a self- defense discussion as it pertains to Zimmerman if he had stayed his butt in the car just like the prosecution --

MURPHY: The jury gets to decide, not you.

ACKER: The jury gets to decide, there`s no question that the jury gets to decide. But I think it`s really disingenuous to ignore what gave rise to this interaction between these two men.

MURRAY: Thank you Tanya.

ACKER: People are not going to forget who Trayvon was --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But let me say -- I have to jump in because we have to go to break.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The Stand Your Ground law is to point out that not every state in the union has a Stand Your Ground law. Florida Stand Your Ground law is controversial, because not every state has it. Not every state says you can stand your ground and meet force with force, including deadly force.

Unless we think that went away because they elected not to have a pretrial hearing on it, it didn`t go away. It`s still in the law books and it was read to the jury just a little while ago before they went to deliberate. We`ll be right back with more right on the other side.


ZIMMERMAN: It looks like he`s up to no good or he`s on drugs or something.


ZIMMERMAN: He just kept looking around, just kept shifting where he was looking.




DE LA RIONDA: Two people, one shot to death and one repeatedly lies about how it happened. He brought a gun to a struggle, to a fight that he started. Now he wants you to let him off because he killed the only eyewitness.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Today, defense attorney Mark O`Mara ripped apart the prosecution`s contention that perhaps when Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman, he was actually leaning back to get away from the gun. Defense attorney Mark O`Mara said that was pure speculation.


O`MARA: So for some reason, just before the shot takes off, at that moment, the state wants you to believe Trayvon Martin retreated. Really? Really? One piece of evidence, just one I asked for, just one piece of evidence that supports that contention? Where is it? Where is the eyewitness who said "I saw him back up"? Where is one shred of evidence to support the absurdity that they`re trying to have you buy?

DE LA RIONDA: Armpits. How does he get the gun out?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to "The Lion`s Den". John Manuelian, criminal defense attorney out of LA, the defense attorney Mark O`Mara used the words "really", "seriously", over and over again sarcastically, short hand for saying the state, the prosecution has not come anywhere near to meeting their burden of proof, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. Do you think it was effective?

JOHN MANUELIAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I think it was very effective. I mean the "really" -- obviously he`s very passionate. He`s zealously advocating for his client, but look, the prosecution has never had a solid theory or hard evidence as to what has happened in this case. And that`s really the problem, Jane, in this case, because in order for the jury to digest and soak up what the prosecution is selling, they have to have a theory and they`re all over the place. Could have, would have, should have, didn`t, those are speculation words -- speculative words, assumptions.

And that`s the problem in the case. I think Mark O`Mara was extremely effective and at the end of the day if the jurors are all scratching their heads, they are going to come back and say not guilty.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tanya? Yes, go ahead. Yes.

YOUNG-WILLIAMS: First of all, let`s be clear, the prosecution does not have to have a succinct reason as to how this happened or how it came to be. Let`s say why they don`t. The only other person available who could say what happened that night is dead. Therefore, we only have George Zimmerman`s account, which has changed five or six times. How can you expect the prosecution to come up with a cohesive explanation or a series of events when the only person that can speak about is a liar?


YOUNG-WILLIAMS: We have two ear witnesses. We have no -- excuse me -- no, we have two ear witnesses and one eyewitness who didn`t see very much. So the prosecution was, as we know, was handicapped in trying to present a story of how this started from beginning to end and they`ve done very well with what they had.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But here`s the point is that I can picture, whether it`s true or not, George Zimmerman`s version of events because they had an animation for one reason. But I can`t really picture in my mind the prosecution`s version of events. Tanya Acker?

ACKER: Jane, I think it`s also to point out that not only did Zimmerman have the benefit of this animation, which they were totally entitled to have. I mean they can make their argument. They can put forward an animated version of their story.

But you have to remember, George Zimmerman was never really cross examined about his story. I mean look, I was involved in a case where a friend of mine had his car stolen. He was cross examined by the police more than George Zimmerman was on the night of this shooting. So George Zimmerman was able to tell his story, his story has been out there and as a criminal defendant in the United States he gets the benefit of legal presumption.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. There were some whopper of arguments today -- closing arguments. The jury has the case. They`ve deliberated 3 hours and 33 minutes. What`s going to happen? We`re going to keep debating this on the other side. Nobody knows.

Stay right there.


JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: A grown man, frustrated, angry with hate in his heart gets out of his car with a loaded gun and follows a child, a stranger in the dark and shoots him through his heart. What is that? Is that nothing?

That`s not anything? Is that where we are? That`s nothing?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Round robin with our "Lion`s Den" panel. Wendy Murphy, will there be a verdict tomorrow?

MURPHY: Yes, it will be in the morning. It will be not guilty on all counts and the full explanation of my opinion is at -- brand new article.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jawn Murray, editor-in-chief, Will there be a verdict tomorrow?

MURRAY: I would like to see one and hopefully it will be some form of a conviction.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. John Manuelian?

MANUELIAN: Probably no. I`m saying Monday.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really? Monday. Ok. Tanya Young-Williams?

YOUNG-WILLIAMS: No, I don`t think there will be a verdict tomorrow. I believe there`s going to be an intense battle in that deliberation because I think there are strong opinions amongst smart women.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I will say this. I think that because the jurors asked for an inventory of all of the evidence and there`s more than 200 pieces of evidence and a lot of them run quite a while, many minutes long, the reenactment video, the 911 calls, the interrogation tapes, I think just for them to get through that is going to take a while. And so that`s why I think it`s going to be probably maybe tomorrow night is my educated guess but what do you make of that, Wendy?

MURPHY: You know, maybe. You know, I think they want to be careful, they should be careful if they really look at every exhibit carefully it might take them a few hours. I just don`t see much of a controversy in this case. The prosecution proved self-defense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you just say you don`t see much of a controversy in this case? Have you ever heard of panelists screaming the way they`ve screamed in this case -- this trial?

MURPHY: Wait, let me say this Jane. There is a social controversy, it is serious. It is about fear and disrespect. George Zimmerman felt disrespected. People were robbing his neighborhood. Trayvon Martin felt disrespected. He was being followed because he`s black.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang on. We`ll be right back. I promise you. Stay right there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because of these extraordinary deliberations going into the weekend we are live with breaking news coverage and it will continue tomorrow night, 7:00 p.m. Eastern. I will be right here until this thing is over live from Sanford, Florida.

Now, Nancy Grace is next.