tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN July 2, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
that's all for us tonight. anderson cooper and cnn special, "self-defense or murder, the george zimmerman trial" starts right now. >> good evening. welcome once again to our "ac 360" special coverage, "self-defense or murder, the george zimmerman trial." self-defense or murder, how the jury sees these injuries could answer that question. as the prosecution tried to show today, are we looking at the kind of cuts and scrapes from a garden variety scuffle, one that didn't have to end with a teenager did on the grass? that wasn't all, as the prosecution tries to struggle from a string of witnesses that at times appear to help the defense. we have our team of legal experts on board tonight. but first, martin savidge sets the stage.
>> the injuries to the defendant's back of the head consistent with repeatedly being slammed into a concrete surface. >> reporter: the key reason zimmerman is given for shooting trayvon martin. >> how would you classify the injuries to the defendant's head? >> they were not life threatening. they were very insignificant. they did not require any sutures to be applied. so i would refer to them insignificant injuries. >> reporter: on cross-examination, the defense attorney implied she owed her job to the special prosecutor in the zimmerman case. and then walked her back from some of her findings. >> it's your position that it's consistent that george zimmerman
may have only received as little as three -- did you call -- what term did you use, smashings or slammings into cement. >> i didn't use the word slamming. i got that from the re-enactment. >> what word would you use? >> impact. >> so it's your position there are at least three impacts between that head and cement? >> yes. concrete. >> reporter: earlier, zimmerman's best friend took the stand, it was mark osterman convinced zimmerman to buy the gun. and he wrote a book about the case. >> you wrote a book where you quoted what the defendant, george zimmerman, told you, correct? >> correct. >> and you recall in that book writing, do you have a problem with that, that's what he said trayvon martin said? >> right. correct.
>> reporter: in that book, he says zimmerman said martin tried to reach for the weapon on his hip, actually touching the gun. >> the defendant is claiming that the victim actually grabbed the gun, grabbed the -- >> that was my understanding, that he grabbed the gun. >> reporter: but a latent print technician found no trace of martin's prints but conceded rain could have washed it away. >> so fingerprints may have exited on an item that you have lift a latent from and there be no latents whatsoever, correct? >> correct. >> even though it's been handled by two or three people? >> that's correct. >> reporter: osterman wrote that zimmerman held down his hands, fearing he might be still be a threat, but the teen's hands were underneath his body. >> you call that being underneath his body? >> yes, sir.
>> could someone say that was inconsistent? >> yes. >> reporter: the jury being told the ignore a key moment of monday's testimony. that moment, when the defense attorney got the stanford police department's lead investigator to say he believed zimmerman told him the truth. martin savidge, cnn, florida. >> we're going to speak with mark o'mara later on in the program, as well as a attorney for trayvon martin's family. as always, we have the best legal team around and a forensic scientist here. and former federal prosecutor sunny hostin, jeffrey toobin. danny savalos and mark geragos are all here.
we heard from the medical examiner, saying that zimmerman's wounds were not significant. do you agree? >> i don't. first of all, you can bet on the fact that the defense will have a medical examiner that will contradict everything that we heard today. yes, these wounds appear to be superficial. that does not mean that george zimmerman was not in fear for his life. and further more, although wounds can appear to be superficial, there can be a great deal of serious, underlying trauma. for example, subdural hematoma can result in death. >> so somebody can have their head slammed and have just that little laceration? >> yes. >> zimmerman said several times he was slammed repeatedly. i want to listen to more of what the medical examiner said today. >> doctor, using your definition
of slamming, your common understanding of slamming, are the injuries to the back of the defendant's head consistent with repeatedly having been slammed into a concrete surface? >> no. >> why not >> because the injuries are so minor, that to me the word "slam" implies great force. and this -- the resulting injuries are not great force. >> what type and extent of injuries would you expect to see if the defendant's head had been repeatedly slammed into a concrete surface? >> if somebody's head is repeatedly slammed against concrete with great force, i would expect lacerations, i would expect a lot of injury that would necessitate suturing. so i don't see that in this picture. >> mark, what do you make of her testimony? and does it matter as long as george zimmerman felt his life was in danger or he believed he was going to black out as he
said to law enforcement? >> look, at the risk of infuriating some of the psychos on twitter who follow "ac 360," this woman has probably been in private practice, my guess is she's never treated a live patient. i would bet that there's never been anybody that she's treated who was -- who needed her help. i think she, if anything, was a disaster for the prosecution. the idea that she thinks that three slams on the head against a concrete curb couldn't do
with murder. so i don't know what she's talking about. lawrence maybe can inform you. but to me, this was a no-brainer. this woman is abysmal, like the worst defense expert that you would get, and somehow the prosecution thinks this is helpful? only in sunny's world would this be helpful. >> sunny, you think this was helpful for the prosecution? >> of course it was helpful. i've got to tell you, i just don't know which trial mark, my friend, is watching. the prosecution wants to show that these injuries were insignificant and they certainly weren't life threatening. because in order for george zimmerman to have used deadly force, the standard is reasonable. was it reasonable for him to feel like he was in danger of death, imminent death, great bodily harm? there was no great bodily injury. >> sunny, can i ask you -- >> he didn't -- >> i just want to ask you one question. can i ask you one question?
let me just ask you one question, sunny. you're a prosecutor. you're sitting in your office and the police come in and they show you the pictures of george zimmerman's face and the back of his head, and you're the filing deputy. and they say, the police say we want to file assault with a deadly weapon with gross bodily injury. as a prosecutor, you're seriously with a straight face on national tv going to tell me you wouldn't file adw with great bodily injury based on these pictures? >> absolutely, because it's not just the pictures. it's his reaction. >> sunny, sunny, then you're not -- >> okay, okay. >> once again, save this tape. >> jeff? >> i thought this was symbolic of a microcosm of the government's case, which was, you know, potentially
incriminating, but potentially not. but her testimony was susceptible to an interpretation that he had essentially no injuries and was lying about the seriousness of them. it was also susceptible to the interpretation that he was actually in serious jeopardy and did have his head banged against the floor. >> and they can bring in their own person who says these injuries though other wise. >> right. when you are the prosecutor, you're supposed to put on evidence that is entirely incriminating, and as with so many witnesses in this case, this interpretation is susceptible to two interpretations, and that's not good for the prosecution. >> danny, where do you lie on this? >> can i just say one thing? >> mark is groaning here. >> i just -- i just don't understand something. >> come on, mark. >> i want to take the doctor's head and bang it against the curb three times and say do you
want me to bang it a fourth or a fifth? this woman is crazy. she's never had a live person as a patient. >> this woman is crazy says the man who is screaming at the top of his lungs. >> mark is right about one thing. i have to agree about what mark says about the prosecutors. prosecutors would charge this as an aggravated assault. >> no way. >> sunny, look at the photographs. >> have you been a prosecutor, danny? >> i have not. it doesn't mean i haven't seen plenty of aggravated assaults. i think that based on these injuries, it's clear, there are a lot of das that would charge this as serious bodily injury. with that in mind, we don't have to prove that zimmerman suffered serious bodily injury. only that he was in reasonable apprehension of serious bodily injury. anderson, if i shoot a gun at you, and the bullet misses, you
haven't suffered any injury. but were you in apprehension of serious bodily injury? absolutely. so yes, it is compelling what his injuries were, but the standard is not his actual injury, it is the apprehension, the reasonable apprehension. >> there was testimony from george zimmerman's best friend, who described what zimmerman told him about trayvon martin, claiming that trayvon martin grabbed for his gun. i want to play a little bit of that testimony. >> as you stated, the defendant told you that the victim, trayvon martin, grabbed his gun, correct. >> yes, grabbed for his gun. >> he didn't -- >> the gun didn't come out. but he grabbed the gun in the holster. >> the defendant didn't tell you he grabbed for it, he said he actually got it? >> that's what i thought i
heard, yes. would there have been fingerprints on it, because they said they didn't find any? >> i don't think it's likely. generally, we don't get usable fingerprints. >> why is that? >> because the surface is not smooth. it's textured. usually fingerprints are smeared. she couldn't even find george zimmerman's prints. >> the public psyche -- it's interesting with fingerprints. it's not a science, it's a technique. and it's fascinating how the public comes to accept it like science like dna. it's done by nonscientists and it's not a science. >> fingerprints are a very good form of identity. >> compared to dna? they're never going to be -- they are a technique, they're
not even a science, jeff. it is done by nonscientists and it is a nonscience. it a technique. >> the idea that fingerprints are somehow not good identification techniques is frankly absurd. but the point is -- >> really? jeff, why don't you site the case of the lawyer in oregon who was indicted as a terrorist based on the fbi's fingerprint analysis. >> yeah, mark. and you site the tens of thousands of people who are in prison because of finger prints. >> only because they didn't have an expert. >> let me finish. what i'm trying to say is,
evidence of absence. if there's not fingerprints, it doesn't mean he didn't touch it. sometimes fingerprints just don't show up. the fact that it's not on the gun is of very little significance. if they were on the gun, it would be of significance. >> was george zimmerman's fingerprints found on the gun?
held up. there were a few minor incon sigs ten sis. he said location of trayvon martin's hands, ultimately, the police seemed pretty satisfied with what george zimmerman told them time and time again. >> some of the big inconsistencies we heard were george zimmerman claiming he was so severely injured he had to pull out a gun and kill trayvon. detective serino said he didn't believe george zimmerman was punched 25 timings. his injuries are not consistent with someone who was even punched a dozen times. at maximum, he had his head hit on the concrete at one time, as well. all of these are bringing into play zimmerman's consistencies. >> well, on the other side of "360" defense co-council mark
o'mara spoke exclusive will with me tonight. >> i just want to play that for our viewers. >> so if we were to take pathological liar off the table as a possibility for purposes of this next question, would you think he was telling the truth is this. >> yes. >> how important was that answer to your case? >> well, you know, i respect the judge's ruling, but i think a chief objective officer in the case would have to be able to give some insight as to what he thinks during his investigation. but it was sort of a comment of the credibility of another witness and we have a rule that addresses that. >> i talked to an attorney for the martin family and they said they were pleased by the attorney as the lead investigator. they all say they have never
seen police officers testifying so favorably for a defense witness. are you pleased with how the cross-examination has gone with what the police, particularly the lead investigator have told you? >> what i'm very happy about is most of the witnesses we've talked to are telling the truth. as long as they're telling the truth, then we'll find justice at the end of the trial. it truly seemed as though most of what he was saying supported self defense. >> judge zimmerman's criminal justice court work, in particular, stand your ground law if it can be admissible. i know you don't think it should be. why not? >> well, a couple of reasons. if they start bringing what was in george's back ground, his past, to the table, then it really brings in what trayvon
martin brings to the table, all of his violent act that is we know about. if that's not going to get on the table, then whatever george had should not be on the table as well. he didn't get a great grade in the course, either. there's some textbook that has information that has nothing to do with florida law. >> there have been some inconsistencies. to you, are they not consequence shl. >> i don't think it's somebody that went through the traumatic event that george did. i'm not too worried about that type of an inconsistency.
the idea of holding his hands out, trayvon martin easily holds his hands back in. . even john guise suggested that martin was clutching his hands. why would george make something like that as soon as it happened. >> it seems the trial is moving fairly quickly. is it faster than you expected? >> a bit faster than expected. the state maid be done tomorrow or friday. we'll start monday or friday. we'll take most of next week, it's hard to say, maybe not. there's still some decisions the court has to make about admissibility of evidence. >> how is your client feeling about how the trial is going?
>> he's very worried. he's very stressed. he's glad he finally has his day in court, but this is very real to everyone. most importantly, to george zimmerman, we have the state of florida trying to suggest he killed trayvon martin in some ill will and hatred. >> because of anesthesia vid cr videos, you cannot see at this point putting george zimmerman on the stand, can you? >> i always make that decision. the first decision point is whether or not i believe the state has proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt. if i think they've proven that case in chief, then i make the consideration whether or not to put any client on the substantiate. i've not gotten to the point that i've convinced myself that the state has done what they need to do to get this case to a jury. if they come up with something
in the next day or two, i may revisit that decision. >> at this point, do you see having to mount a lengthy defense here 1234. >> we have a lot of witnesses we want to present to counter some of the innuendo or allegations put on by the state. >> mark o'mara, appreciate your time. >> you can always follow more on the story of cnn.com. just ahead, the attorney for trayvon martin's family. also, the lead investigator serino's testimony about george zimmerman's call to police just minutes before he shot and killed trayvon martin. blank blarng
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. hey, welcome back. as we said, tomorrow, the judge is expected to rule on whether zimmerman's criminal justice court work is admissible as evidence. we heard about the testimony of chris serina, the lead investigator. we're going to get our panel's reaction to legal analyst and former federal prosecutors. but trayvon martin isn't on trial here, right? having said that, i think mark was crossing his fingers behind his back when he was saying a lot of this stuff. i, for the life of me, can't
understand why he would prolong this case after the prosecution rests. he has absolutely, as i said when this case started, he needs to just hire bodyguards to make sure he doesn't fall and hit his head before the closing argument. this case is over. mark was saying it's over and he's going to be acquitted soon. >> they may call a handful of witnesses, they really don't need to put on any evidence here. i'd just like to say, this whole business of his coursework. why is that coming up? you know, course work that he may or may not have been present for? assignments that he may not have done -- >> do you think that's important at all?
j i absolutely think it's relevant. >> oh, absolutely she does. >> yeah, she does agree with me. >> the bottom line is george zimmer mazi zimm zimmerman said many times he didn't know the law, he didn't know anything about stand your ground. if you were in school for 149 hours learning about criminal justice and the system and you want today beed to be a cop and apply today be a police officer, i think all of that is relevant because the prosecution has to know what's going on in his head. what's in his head is he has that background. >> i know you're going do disagree with me, mark, but you're wrong. >> okay, sonnie, i know i'm wrong. but i have one question. >> this is like your third question, mark. >> okay, but when he asks the lead detective do you read the comics and the lead detective said no. and then he said do you remember in the comics, they have that little bubble over their head? >> seriously, didn't you cringe?
didn't you really think at that point this prosecutor has basically lost his mind? i suspect they're just throwing the case. >> oh, come on, mark. that's ridiculous. >> i think they're throwing the case. >> that's absurd. but, sonnie, i don't understand is what does it prove if he took these courses and he knew what self defense was? everybody knows what self defense is. >> it proves that he lies. he proves that he embellished. >> he said he didn't know about them. >> it was a sad student. >> yeah, there's that part where -- if you gave me -- if you considered me not credible or even untruthful because i couldn't remember some things i'd learned in school, then i'm the least credible person in america. i don't know that i remember anything. >> i don't remember what i did yesterday. >> right. so i don't think you can relate that to accountability. >> are you kidding me?
>> this is an example of -- i want to check out tubin's college career. >> i think toobin did well. i want to turn to the lead investigator. the prosecution was trying to drill down the issue of ill will and spite from zimmerman on his call to police. let's listen to this. >> did you hear that last comment? >> yes, sir. >> okay. >> is the word t language [expletive] something good that
you would refer to? >> no, sir, it's not. >> does that indicate ill will hatred in spite against somebody else, sir? >> no, sir, it's not. >> in your opinion, calling somebody, reference them as, pardon the language [expletive] punks? >> that is a will and spite! it is? >> yes. >> so, sonnie, the prosecution is trying to get to the heart of the second-degree murder charge here, right? >> that's right. and i thought, you know, bernie's redirect was masterful. the prosecution has to show that zimmerman had a depraved mind. how do you show that? that he had ill will. that he had hatred. that he had spite. now you've got the chief investigator was saying, well, actually, yeah, it is ill will. it is hate. it is spite. that gives the prosecution enough to go with evidence of ill will.
i think this was a huge victory today. >> huge. really, sonnie, what planet are you on? it may get them passed. it may get them passed the judge throwing this case out. but i'm telling you, i think it looks like a complete -- >> i think both sides are right here in that this all comes down to that ill will. you see mark o'mara cramming in that language from the statute. and now you see the prosecutor doing it. terrific job of trying to bring the jury back and probably over that ill-will part of the statute. now, i think that it e's correc the case will go to a jury on at least that issue. but i think that's what this is going to come down to.
can that general anger be wondering through the neighborhood? that's an ultimate question that will have to be decided. >> anderson, if this judge actually did her job, she would say there's not enough evidence to put this case to a jury. i'm just telling you. >> i know you're telling me. >> right now, absolutely, she could say there isn't enough, i'm just going to dismisit right now. so maybe that prosecutor gets it passed that. you're going to have to pay off for that. >> i cannot wait to save the tape. >> i cannot wait. >> just tt. stt. >> the lead investigator was asked about the injuries, about simmerman's alleged assault.
i just want to tell you what he said. >> i think in cross-examination, you were asked about exaggeration. do you remember that? >> yes, sir. >> and you or mr. omara asked on behalf of the defendant, exaggeration. do you recall what thafgs about? pertains to the defendant's statements! you felt he was exaggerating certain parts of it? >> among other things. do you feel it exaggerated the amount he was hit? >> yes, sir.
you act by reflex, by pure emotion. i'm getting killed. i've got to save myself. we're sitting here and we're trying to analyze step-by-step whafgs he thinking? did he remember the statute? is it stand alone? we're trying to analyze step by step. >> i've only been punched a couple times. >> i think he feared for his life. >> it is. it is. but it's also worth remembering that he didn't just take a wild swing back at trayvon martin. he shot him dead. and that's very different. the law does impose a higher
standard on people before they shoot people than take a swing at them. >> we've got to take a quick break. we've got more coming up and more on what simmerman's best friend said on the stand. we'll be right back. "and one of the most efficient trucking networks," "with safe, experienced drivers." "we work directly with manufacturers," "eliminating costly markups," "and buy directly from local farmers in every region of the country." "when you see our low prices, remember the wheels turning behind the scenes, delivering for millions of americans, everyday. "dedication: that's the real walmart" ♪ and i'll never desert you ♪
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i want to play another moment from his time on the stand. a panel member said this is a key moment. listen to this. >> so, diring this conversation, then, he's telling you, he's saying try to keep an eye on trayvon martin, however he d. >> that was his intent. to keep him under observation. >> at some point did he lose sight of him? >> that was one of the reasons he got out of the vehicle. >> tell me how he related that to you? >> he said he went in between the sets of town homes down the walking path. >> when you say he, you mean martin? >> right. he lost contact in the darkness between the town homes, down that walking path, and he got out of his vehicle to -- it may have been at the time that someone was asking him where's your exact location. because the officer was getting close.
>> we played the wrong sound byte there. the prosecution is trying to establish inconsistencies in simmerman's story. why is that so important. >> what an interesting witness. osterman is the prosecution's witness. but he's been in law enforcement for a number of yores. he may have had a little trouble with the swelting, which i guess you can forgive. ch other wooez, people in law enforcement are trained in
testifying. >> he said he was the one who told zimmerman to get a gun. >> it's so important because there are many people who are not carry concealed weapon. to them, the question is what was this guy doing running around carrying a gun. it's not something that's in my world. now, consider what osterman offers. he considers george zimmerman to be his best friend. why does he carry a gun? this gentleman who's been in law enforcement told him une kwif kablly, you should be carrying a gun. >> many people choose not to. but it does begin to answer that question. >> why, as a prosecutor, would you call the defendant's best friend. why would you give him a forum
to say what a great guy george simmerman is? plus, why would you play the tape of the interview? >> because they're throwing the case. >> stop it. >> why in the world would they be throwing the case? >> can i tell you why? >> yes, please. >> can i tell you why? >> really, i know, jeff, i know you don't believe this. i honestly believe at this point, i really think -- and watching the prosecution sit there when mark o'mara asks questions, they are beyond a reasonable doubt is objectionable. i think they just decided they're just going to phone this in. they're going to lose this and say okay, you guys wanted us to file this case. we filed it. >> meanwhile, back on planet
earth, the idea, why would the prose cue tor, again, why would, again, the prosecutors put on the shawn hannidy fox news interview with simmerman? >> so you're say tlg's inconsistencies. >> yeah, it makes perfect sense. putting a case together like this is putting a puzzle together without having a picture on the box. >> it's like putting a puzzle together when you're blind. >> we've got to -- >> that's what they're doing. it makes perfect sense. >> we've got to go. it's taking me 20 minutes to figure out who's whistling. ill eve never heard a guest just now -- nobody is even speaking anymore, just whistling: all
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responded against any terrorist, extremist or rule. the obama administration is postponing a key administration of the reform act. the requirement that businesses provide their workers with health insurance will be sde layed by one year. penalties will now begin in 2015. business owners had expressed concern about the requirements. options for asylum are slipging. 11 of the 21 countries they applied to can't submit to his request. three have said no out right. bolivia and venezuela said they might give the nsa asylum. dennis rodman said he deserves to win a nobel peace price. rodman met with kim jong un during his controversial trip.
>> they were not life threatening. they were very insignificant. they did not require any sutures to be applied. so i would refer to them insignificant injuries. >> reporter: on cross-examination, the defense attorney implied she owed her job to the special prosecutor in the zimmerman case. and then walked her back from