tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN July 5, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
issue of whether or not there is sufficient evidence to dispute the defense of justifiable use of deadly force. so the first thing that should be addressed is the elements of the actual crime that the state bears of burden of proving. the intent and state of mind included in the court's material -- >> you're watching the george zimmerman trial. the defense right now is asking for an acquittal before the prosecution is set to rest. this is perhaps the toughest day of testimony yet to watch in the courtroom, both trayvon martin's mother and the brother took the stand as well the medical examiner, who performed martin's autopsy. we're following every moment for you. let's take a listen. >> pointing a loaded gun at the victim and firing it is an act
imminently dangerous to another, pointing a loaded weapon at their direction, at their head, at their heart and pulling the trigger is in fact by itself evidence that you have ill will toward your target. there's really no question of that. shooting someone in the heart is by itself on its face evidence of ill will. now, the defendant raises a defense saying i was justified in doing so, but he's certainly not saying that at the time he pulse that gun, points it at trayvon martin's heart, squeezes the trigger and puts a hollow point through him that he had some kind of benevolent intention. there's only one reason you squeeze the trigger at someone's heart and that's because you
mean to kill. or you don't care. so the first issue is is there evidence in this case of intent and spite and ill will? i submit gibbs makes it very clear that even just given the gunshot there's evidence of that. but let's talk that there's plenty more. we'll talk about -- and i'll briefly reference the walker case, which i'll point out is absolutely not a self-defense case, it's a who-dun-it case. so when mr. o'mara says it's the law of the land in a case like this, i argue it's not. but for starters the court said this is not a purely circumstantial evidence case. neither is this one. evidence of this defendant's ill will towards trayvon martin in
particul particular, mr. o'mara cast it as someone who knew each other. [ no audio ] >> because this defendant had enough knowledge to follow trayvon martin in the neighborhood in his car, to get out of his car in the rain, follow him and then as the witnesses made clear pursue him and make contact with him and grab him. he had enough in his heart to do all that.
so we'll talk about first the direct evidence. the direct evidence, and even the walker case affords this, a defendant's confession, a defendant's statement is direct evidence of his state of mind. this defendant's statements go a long way towards telling us what that was. i've already mentioned his conversation to mr. noffke and the nonemergency call. but we go further than that. what other things has he said about this and i'll ask the clerk if i can have state's exhibit 210, please. healks about the first description is he thinks he's on drugs and he's suspicious because he's walking in the neighborhood. he also says that he would do nothing differently. and this is all part of god's plan. and i don't even need exhibit 210. i'll tell the court what it says. the first line of the first
homework assignment he wrote for professor carter indicates that the reason he wants to be a law enforcement officer is he wants to hunt fugitives and make sure they don't get away. that -- those are direct statements of this defendant. that's not circumstantial evidence. the defense can argue as to how they ought to be interpreted but they are in fact direct evidence. you move from that to the statements by rachel jeantel and miss bahadoor, one does not confront them and ask them what they're doing here because you like them but because you have some kind of ill will, some kind of spite, some kind of bad
feeling towards them. the central question as it relates to that, and i'll further point out that at least miss jeantel said she heard the victim in this case tell the defendant to get off. the only hypothesis of innocence as it relates to all this is in fact justifiable use of self-defense. they're not even pretending this defendant did in the kill trayvon martin. the only hypothesis of innocence is that. i've covered what i believe is the direct evidence of guilt as to his state of mind. i will not talk about the circumstantial evidence. there's the idea that he thought enough of his neighborhood watch program to trumpet it, to walk around and be proud of it and that's fine, well and good, but the one time he actually comes in contact with someone, he doesn't bother to say i'm with the neighborhood watch. every time he's on the phone with the police it's i'm with
the neighborhood watch, i'm with the neighborhood watch. the one time he's not he doesn't bother. he follows even after, and it's contrary to the training for the neighborhood watch, there was an argument, i guess, or there will be an argument about whether he was told not to follow and what his perception of that was. the defendant wrote in his written statement that the dispatcher told him not to follow. his understanding was exactly that. we'll talk about some of his claims in brief, but he lies about kind of his whereabouts. mr. o'mara said that there's nothing to contradict the idea that he went right from the t back to his car. there's two minutes of blank time in those phone records where this defendant is apparently wandering about the
neighborhood. there's two minutes he can't account for. if he's to be believed that he is hit when he says he's hit, the phone records prove that he had plenty of time to cover whatever distance it was, and he says he never got more than a hundred feet from his truck. number two, he keeps changing the meeting location for the police. i mean, that is circumstantial evidence that he's got something else in mind. he wants the police to meet him at the clubhouse. no, okay, go back from the clubhouse, just meet me at my truck instead, never mind all together, just call me when you get here. i'm not going to meet you, you find me. that's not evidence that he is interested in getting to the police right away, nor is getting out of his car in the first place evidence that he is meeting the police there. what it is is evidence, circumstantial at least, that he was going to ensure because the police have always been too slow to catch these guys who always
get away, they've always been too slow and he's going to make sure that this time something stops them from getting away. the one other time that somebody got caught had nothing to do with him. it had to do with stuckio guy who followed and identified and thereby caught the burglar. and the defendant knew it. the inconsistencies in the defendant's own statements are hardly minor. i think viewed in favor of the state, which the court is required to do and construed in the light most favorable of the state, they're evidence of somebody who can't figure out which lie he's already told so he tells a new one. he jumped out of the bushes. no, he didn't jump out of the bushes, he was right there where you are standing in the video walk through. no, he's not right there where you are standing, he actually after i hung up the phone and turned around to walk back to my
truck, he was walking toward me. he says all three of those things. they can't all possibly be true. i'll submit probably none of them are true, but the bottom line is he keeps contradicting himself and not just in some minor fashion. he claims that he knows all of his neighbors, but i don't know yet of a neighbor who testified that they actually knew who he was before the shooting. and despite the fact that he's been the neighborhood watch chairperson, that he's lived there for years, that he claims to know all his neighbors and goes about parking enforcement, he doesn't know the name of the three streets in his neighborhood? he doesn't know that as he's doing his video walk-through, over his shoulder is the address that he claims he couldn't see? those are not minor things. those are evidence of someone who is intentionally obviscat g
obviscating. there are two people, one of them is dead and one is a liar. that is something that the court should consider. i will now go toward what the cases have to say about ill will, your honor. the only hypothesis of innocence, as i've said, is that the defendant was engaging in self-defense. included in the -- included in the packets that i've given european, malalan, it's the
court's decision since june 6th of last year. the court sets out the law as it relates to this sort of thing. motion for judgment of acquittal the defendant admits the facts in evidence and every conclusion favorable to the adverse party that may be fairly and reasonably inferred from the evidence. even if this were a circumstantial evidence case, which, again, the state argues it's not, there are circumstances but it is not a purely circumstantial case and therefore the special burden as it were doesn't apply. but even in a circumstantial evidence case, the state must present evidence that conflicts with the defendant's hypothesis of innocence but the state is not required to completely disprove it. further i've provided the court with the case of shearod versus the state, a second district
court of appeal opinion 992 southern 2nd, 900. it's from 2008. i believe i saw this in the packet mr. o'mara handed me, too. on page 6 -- page 6 of the court's copy, page 5 of the opinion. the court reiterates this -- unless there is no view of the evidence which the jury might take favorable to the opposite party that can be sustained under the law, the trial court should not grant this motion. the existence of contradictory, conflicting evidence does not warrant acquittal because the weight of the evidence are questions solely for the jury. where there is room for a difference of opinion between reasonable men as to the proof of facts from which the ultimate fact is sought to be established, the force of such conflicting testimony should not be determined on a motion for judgment of acquittal.
and finally, your honor, i've also provided the case of thompson versus state, 934, southern 2nd district, and beginning on page 5 of this copy, again, in the secondhand column they talk about the generalized burden and they say this -- when moving for judgment of acquittal based on the insufficiency of the evidence, the defendant admits not only the facts deduced in evidence, admits, but also every conclusion favorable to the state that a jury might fairly and reasonably infer from the evidence. so, your honor, as to whether the state has met its burden at
this stage regarding the defendant's intent and state of mind, i submit that both through direct and circumstantial evidence, that has certainly been done. in fact, the only hypothesis of innocence going forward is the notion of justifiable use of deadly force and so i'm going to move to that. i think the facts testified to by the eyewitnesses who saw the defendant and the witnesses struggling together and at one point a pursuit involved, coupled with the inconsistencies more than create a substantial question for the jury in that regard. as to self-defense, whether or not the use of force particularly in this case, the use of deadly force is justified, the state has the burden to discuss here and i'm going to -- i'm going to refer the court to two cases in particular in this regard.
the first is leasure versus state, 105 southern 3rd 5. that is the second dca opinion from october of last year. beginning on page 10 i believe of the court's copy, under headnote 3, outline column 3, where they discuss the motion for judgment of acquittal as to self-defense, the court says this and briefly the factual scenario is this -- at trial leasure raced two arguments toward acquittal, that the state failed to overcome her allegation of self-defense. when a defendant claims self-defense, the court said, she bears the initial burden of presenting a prima facie case of
self-defense. i'm going to assume the court is satisfied they have done so because if they haven't, school is out already. i believe the defendant started this or that at a very minimum, trayvon martin had as much right to defend himself as this defendant claims he did. but i'll get back to that notion in a minute. but where a defendant claims self-defense, the state has to rebut it. the state may present such evidence through rebuttal witnesses or by inference in its case in chief. moving across to the next column, laesure argued the state failed to meet its burden because there were no eyewitnesses to contract did her testimony and the medical evidence did not contra dkt her testimony. she argues her inconsistent statements to the police were nothing more than the use of extremely poor judgment after she panicked. this is sounding exceedingly
familiar. however, even when there are no other witnesses to the events besides the defendant and in this case there weren't, even mr. good was long gone before the shot took place, a jury is not required to accept the defendant's testimony in support of her self-defense theory as true. instead it must consider the probability or improbability of the defendant's credibility in light of the circumstances established by other evidence. numerous inconsistent statements to the 911 operator and then to the detectives cast significant doubt on her assertions that she had a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm. so let's talk about that. i will also go on to note that on page 11 of this court's opinion under headnote 4, there is a lengthy discussion of the standard as to the judgment of
acquittal for the malice or the intent prong. and the law appears to be virtually identical but i want to draw back to one thing. the bottom of that page and moving on to the next page, circumstantial evidence standard does not require the jury to believe the defendant's version of the facts if the state produces conflicting testimony. even when a defendant's theory of events is not clearly contradicted by direct evidence, a judgment of acquittal is not required, a common sense view of the circumstantial evidence might lead the jury to disbelieve the defendant's theory. they go on to cite some other cases of the same nature. and again, they cite rasley versus state, first dca case from 2004. and over in the second column on page 13, the middle paragraph, we reject leasure's argument that this was merely a case of an impulsive overreaction to an
attack or injury. the bottom of that page, a common sense view of leasure's con police brutalitying stories and the physical evidence that conflicted with her intentions when considered together with the evidence of motive could leave the jury to disbelief leasure's self-defense theory. as opposed to the jenkins case, this case is by far in a legal sense and certainly as it relates to the nature of the arguments far more close. the defendant was armed, fully loaded with hollow point bullets, the victim was not. the defendant outweighs trayvon martin by 40 or more pounds. in fact, he even said to the detectives he didn't even think trayvon martin was armed.
[ no audio ] >> the defendant was seen atop the victim by a number of people. john good saw the victim on top the defendant. it doesn't mean the positions didn't get switched, that there wasn't a rolling struggle. but none of that justifies granting a judgment of acquittal. the defendant is the one with the mma training. the defrlts injuries haendant'st
a minimum by him been exaggerated. he was caught in a number of inconsistent statements -- let me put this this way. this defendant has been now exposed as having gone weeks after this incident in the company of his attorney on a nationally televised program in front of millions of people and told a flat out lie, a big one, about whether he even knew about the nickname for the self-defense law in the state of florida. he's demonstrated that has no apparent compunction about doing something like that. i'm not sure why any jury should have to take his word about anything. and the only person who offers any evidence that the victim in this case ended up with a bullet in his hart is the guy who went
on sean hannity and lied. he certainly has the knowledge or the ability or the access to the materials in the background to construct the lie, if in fact he saw fit. this is not some rube, some guy who has never been exposed to any of this. this is a person who has been studying this for years. the physical evidence is certainly inconsistent with his hypothesis of innocence, the position of the victim's body, the absence of dna and fingerprints, the idea that somehow he was smothered and his nose was pinched with this horrific bleeding injury, not leaving a trace anywhere? there is, of course, the matter of who was screaming. at least two people have said that's trayvon martin. a third has said it sounded like a boy's voice and the defendant of course in his recorded statement said that doesn't sound like me. spin that how you want to.
that's what he said. and then of course there's the common sense matter o t fac the physical evidence of the wound itself and the hole both through the hoodie of trayvon martin and through his body or into his body, it's been sort of suggested or argued, i think, at several points throughout this case that it shows that the victim was leaning over the defendant when the shot got fired. i guess he would have everybody believe that that is a possibility, that is equally consistent with the idea that trayvon martin was pulling away at the time the gun got fired.
in any event, certainly open to a jury question as it relates to that. it's as consistent with the victim defending himself as it is with the defendant and his version. there is this supposedly horrific struggle during which the defendant claims at various points in time he sustained, i don't know, 30 punches, 25 slams of his head to the concrete, all this screaming going on, his hand fighting and everything else, the straddling and yet the murder wound is a single, perfectly straight, perfectly calibrated shot straight through the heart. the defendant is either the luckiest, most level headed cool marksman in the world or something else is going on here. there is -- john good is relied upon in great part by the
defense and expectedly so. but even he says i never actually saw or even heard any blows really land. nobody heard 50 screams. i think there's a significant reason for the jury to question that even assuming that the defendant shot trayvon martin in some form of self-defense, that doesn't end the inquiry. and i know -- i think it's been oversimplified. professor carter alluded to this. no, the standard is whether it was reasonable that he feared imminent death or great bodily harm. now, the defense has an argument that they have advanced that says that's it, but that's certainly not the only argument. it's not the law. it's not the instruction. the instruction is was his action reasonable. and given what we now know about
the defendant's version and how much credibility he has, the defendant's attitude and history and what he felt and thought and the actual extent of the injuries, which again the law -- it is true that the law says you don't actually have to have injuries but why exaggerate? why make into something that they really aren't. so the question is whether he was reasonable in using that level of force, particularly if you believe the defense's theory that, well, he knew the police were going to be right there. so the one final inconsistency i'll point out as to whether or not this was self-defense is as it relates to the defendant's account to his best friend.
when you think about it, the defendant swore that he was attempting to scoot or move or somehow get off the sidewalk at the time that he claims trayvon martin was above him with his knees to the defendant's armpits. and yet at that same time according to the defendant, trayvon martin noticed the defendant's firearm and went for it. and the defendant, nonetheless, was able to grab it, pull it out and as he demonstrated, fire it into his heart. i think that's a pretty big physical impossibility. i think everybody with common sense already realizes that. so the central question, your honor, is really which one of these individuals was most defending themselves. that is a question the jury
should answer. i want to say something about the jenkins case because mr. o'mara characterized that as, quote, one of the most instructive cases and, quote, the facts are close. here are the facts: witnesses describe mr. seraz oo, as furio and a wild man. mr. jenkins testified he was acting like a lunatic. he claimed he was a gang member and would come back to the mobile home park with 20 guns and silencers and kill everybody. one witness testified he heard mr. serazo say i'm going to kill you and you're a dead man and another man heard him threaten to burn down his trailer. mr. serazo clinched his fist and charged at mr. jenkins again.
those facts are not close. one of the final cases i cited to your honor is the case of hoffman versus state, and i think i even saw this in the defendant's packet as well. the court cited -- this is the 5th district court of appeal, cited the familiar standard i've gone through several times, under headnotes 1, 2 and 3. a motion for judgment of acquittal must be denied unless there is no legally sufficient evidence on which a trier of fact can base a verdict of guilt. in considering the morgs all facts in evidence are considered admitted and all inferences and conclusions must be drawn in favor of the state. then headnote 4. a jury question is presented when the evidence is reasonably susceptible of two views, either that the defendant's action in
shooting was justifiable self-defense or that such action evidences depraved mind without proper regard for life of the defendant. the court said motion denied. so i go back to the fact that one first has to consider whether or not the state has satisfied the standard at this stage of trial as it relates to the defendant's state of mind. we believe we have, both through direct and circumstantial evidence. even if the circumstantial evidence were considered alone. secondly, assuming that, the only hypothesis of innocence advanced or suggested is that the defendant acted with justifiable use of deadly force. that is certainly open to
question, as is everything pretty much the defendant has said. so the state believes the motion should be denied. i will close by saying that even if the court felt compelled to grant at this stage a motion as to second degree murder, there remains the necessarily lesser included offense of manslaughter as to which there is no requirement of showing ill will or anything like that and therefore the state believes that even if, and we're not saying you should because i think i've made the point, but even if at a minimum, we'd proceed forward on that, your honor. >> i just want to make sure my rendition of the jenkins facts are properly presented to the court. i did not suggest that trayvon martin said he was a gang member, did not say he suggested he had a glock, did not say he suggested he was going to cap mr. jenkins. and actually, these facts are more serious than what that victim did in the jenkins case
because in this case we do have some undeniable evidence of what mr. trayvon martin did. servazo, he hit him one time and threatened a bunch. in this case we know the facts are so much more serious than that. in this case they start out similar, trayvon martin sucker punched my client and there's nothing to contradict that and we have the injuries to suggest nothing else but what my client said right after the fact before he knew there was an eyewitness to or not to it. but what servazo didn't do was continue the attack and continue the attack and continue the attack because jenkins didn't allow that to happen. jenkins stabbed him to death with the second blow. my client waited an additional 40 seconds. so the suggestion that the
jenkins facts are inconsequential, actually that they're more severe than the zimmerman facts, is just ignorant of the fact or at least its application to the law. similarly the state seems to ignore the reality of the leasure case. sometimes bad facts make bad law but let's look it the leasure case for a minute. you may remember the case. it wasn't that long ago. it's a case where miss leasure stated to 911 three completely separate cases of the events of what happened, he shot himself, i shot him, i sat him in self-defense, the gun went off accidentally. if those are the type of inconsistencies that the state wants you to focus on, please
do. if you want to fail to grant a judgment of acquittal in the leasure case, you probably should butt facts in the zimmerman case is much, much different. what the state has done is ignore the fact, they want to ignore. what they told you is here's their direct evidence. what he said on the nonemergency call, not the way john guy said, not the way bernie de la rionda says those facts. unfortunately mr. mantei decided not to address ill will, spite and hatred at all to you. in an offhand way each said if if you're going to get rid of second degree, don't get rid of manslaughter. but where is the evidence in
their case, looking at all the evidence of how they get to ill will, spite and hatred. that he made up stories? well, you have an opportunity to review the evidence. you sat through here with all of it just like we did and see whether or not those stories were made up, whether or not as serino stated and singleton stated, they were insignificant changes. as a matter of fact, they were changing or developments, that they would expect the more time they question somebody. that's why john good's half of a page statement went to a four-page statement, went to an eight-page statement, went to a 50-page deposition. you know as well as i do, as well as the state does. that's why they can't come here and say to you he said he shot him in self-defense, he said the gun went off by itself. there is none of that. those inconsistencies are merely what happens when you tell a story two or three or four times
to different officers after you've been through two traumatic events, getting the hell beat of of you -- i'm sorry your honor. getting beat up the way he did and then the trauma of having to shoot somebody to defend your life. we can minimize the trauma that george zimmerman has gone through but we really can't when we're going to compare what happened in his statement. if you want to look what the is in the light most favorable to the state and say to them i'm going to rule that one in your favor, as we've said many times in this room, you can't do it in a vacuum. you can't look at it sand think little fact i'll put in your favor, goes on your side. you have to look at the totality of the circumstances and see whether or not the direct evidence that they say they have convinces you. one piece of direct evidence that they've shown to you and i'm presuming they've shown you all of their direct evidence already and that mr. mantei just
took an opportunity to present to you all of that direct evidence which presents ill will, hatred, spite, they have my client dare to suggest that he was on drugs. it is not properly before this court as to the veracity of my client's understanding of how mr. martin may have been acting. but you can certainly consider everything that you've heard with the way he said he was acting. so that's the second piece of direct evidence that my client thought he was on drugs. then he said he wouldn't have done anything differently. he didn't do anything wrong. he contends that to the police officers in every statement he gave. he didn't do anything wrong. he contended that to sean hannity. i wouldn't have changed anything. now, does that mean -- maybe that's the callous indifference to human life and ill will, i shot him and i don't care.
that's not what was said, it's not what was intended and that's an absurd suggestion that when he said i didn't do anything wrong, i wouldn't change anythingith what i did, that that suggests that he, like any one of us, wouldn't have decided not to wake up that day or get in the car that afternoon or go to target that night. that type of an absurdity suggestion by the state should not be considered as valid argument to you as to why this court should not grant the judgment of acquittal and you have said i would opine and i know that i have said whenever a tragedy happens that it's god's plan. every time i've lost a loved one, that has either come through my lips or through my brain that we have to think to something beyond ourselves to decide why something crazy, terrible, horrible happens. if you actually believe that that is evidence of ill will, spite and hatred, if they're
actually suggesting -- because after all, if they're going to compound inference upon inference, they got to take their pick. either he is a wonderfully creative and perfect murderer who can come up with the best of plans in a split second but then three, six weeks later, whatever he says, he says something that is just from his heart and now that's ill will and hatred? give him credit one way or the other or just suggest that you know what he was, you know what he is? he's just a human being. yeah, he was going to school, decent grades, a book he may have read or not. the reality is he went through a traumatic time and he's trying to deal with it just like the martin family is trying to deal with it. they have more of a loss. my client carries his in life. they carry theirs through death. but the reality is you have to look at the direct evidence that the state presents to you to say have they prove i don't know their case to the extent that they should get the benefit of
the j.o.a. standard. direct evidence, rachel jeantel, get off. yeah. if that's at all credible, if that was at all credible, the way that was presented by mr. crump, the way it was presented by her and the way it was presented, if that's the only word that i'll use rather than created after the inquiry with miss sybrina fulton at the house and mr. bernie de la rionda at the house, so be it. and then they say that mora said something about pursuit. sudyka never said anything about pursuit and i was here for the temperature. she said something down below.
he said what she thought she heard the child she heard screaming. ba bahadoor said she saw someone running. >> we're going to take a very quick break and we'll come back with more of this trial live. stay with us. what makes the sleep number store different? what makes the sleep you walk into a conventional mattress store, it's really not about you.
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coverage of the george zimmerman trial. we have mark o'mara arguing in favor of an acquittal of their client. >> not do i have to bend over backwards, do i have to ignore common sense to make this case go to the jury. if it was the standard as suggested by the state, there wasn't be an appellate case granting a j.o.a. ever because under their standard, i'm understanding some indication of some set of facts that can support a jury deciding guilt. no, not in a circumstantial evidence case and if this is not 100%, i suggest it's at least 98% circumstantial evidence. the other evidence is, yes, he was there. great. and, yes, he shot him. there's no question about that. that's direct evidence. but as to the issues that count, was he justified in doing it? self-defense. where's the direct evidence that it wasn't? ill will, spite, hatred.
where's the direct evidence that it was? there isn't any. and we're on the circumstantial evidence standard and we've talked about that now maybe a touch too long. >> i'm glad that mr. mantei suggested as well that injuries are not necessary. we all know that as well. witnesses may or may not know that. it is only mr. zimmerman's fear of great bodily injury that allows him to act in self-defense. and if in fact there is an evidence, a presentation that has come before this court to support that reasonable hypothesis of innocence, that george zimmerman reasonably believed he had to act in self-defense, then the judgment of acquittal should be granted. the reason why is that there is absolutely no evidence which could be taken in the light most favorable to the state that at
the time he shot -- there's been no evidence whatsoever to suggest that under the law that he was the initial aggressor. they want to say that but they know they have absolutely no evidence to say that. they want to and they will at closing, i presume, should we get to that but there's absolutely no evidence to support that. so if that's not true and we also know even if it was true, the scream for help would have done away with that. but the real focus is at the time he got that gun and shot, was his fear of great bodily injury reasonable? i defer to captain carter, again, and i defer to your common sense. those injuries were not stopping. every one of those individually could be great bodily injury. did he survive the attack without great bodily injury? yeah, i think he probably did. i wasn't kidding when i asked
dr. rao what about the next one? that wasn't just some sneaky little question to have. that's really the question of the case. it's not the question of what he survived. it's a question of it wasn't going to stop. yeah, if tim smith had been 30 seconds, 45 seconds, ame meninu and a half earlier, it wouldn't have happened. but he didn't know that. all he knew was that trayvon martin wasn't stopping in the attack after 45 seconds of george zimmerman screaming. and in fact the state has absolutely nothing to deny that reasonable hypothesis of innocence. and if it's true, then the case law says even at j.o.a., it has to be granted. now, the other part about common sense is i can't say to you and therefore the state can't say to you here's a possibility. we know we have this argument
here and he gets shot. here's another one not supported by any evidence whatsoever, nothing to support that, but let's just say that george was holding on to his -- with one hand he had the shirt and trayvon martin was trying to pull back, he was at that precise moment, which is the state's position, he was receding from the attack, pulling away and mr. zimmerman just decided not to let him go with one arm and with the other arm decided are you kidding? is that actually the state's case that they want you to buy into and say that denies a reasonable -- >> we're going to take another quick break. we'll be right back with more from the george zimmerman trial. ♪ [ male announcer ] with everyone on the go this summer, now's the perfect time to get home security for protection while you're away. and right now you can get adt security installed starting at just $49,
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tri trial. a quick whip around. did you expect, is it pretty customary for the defense to make a motion for acquittal? it seemed obvious the judge was going to deny that request. >> bear in mind i'm not an attorney, i'm a professor. one thing i couldn't get past, the paradox of this case, was trayvon martin a member of that community. when we talk about george zimmerman's role in being a protector, of being a kind of neighborhood watch person, did he have a responsibility to protect trayvon martin? did it ever occur to him that this might be someone who was worthy of protection? and so i think those are things that when the defense presented their argument, it really didn't seem to give any idea that trayvon martin might have been an innocent victim here. >> interesting. marcia clark, how standard is it for the defense to make a motion
to acquit after the prosecution presents its case? >> they do it in every case. jake, it's absolutely pro forma. i don't think i can remember a felony or even a misdemeanor where there wasn't some motion made to dismiss before the case was submitted to the defense or to the jury. it's very common. there was clearly enough evidence to get the case to the jury and it's no surprise whatsoever that she denied the motion. >> cheney mason, did you think there was ever going to be a chance that the prosecution at this point in the trial would actually downgrade the charges from second degree murder to manslaughter, which of course many observers have said there is a greater chance of george zimmerman being found guilty of manslaughter, a lesser charge? >> they wouldn't do it voluntarily. the fact of the matter is it is a necessarily included lesser offense and the jury will be
instructed in the law to prove second degree murder and manslaughter. of course the state, they're hanging on to the second degree. i don't know. that will ultimately be obviously a decision of the jury. i want to tell you about that judgment of acquittal, though. it's not just automatic, as marcia said. it's required if you're ever going to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence. if you lose the case and want to appeal it and say there was insufficient evidence, if you had failed to make a motion for judgment of acquittal, then you waive that ability to appeal it. so it is, indeed, as she said in every case. >> all right. let's listen in. >> that is not correct, jake. that is not correct. that is not correct. you never waive your right to attack the sufficiency of the evidence. the defense is always allowed on appeal to attack the sufficiency of the evidence regardless of what happens at trial. >> we'll hash that out in a minute. right now i want to listen in as the first witness for the defense has just been sworn in and she is about to testify.
let's listen in. while we're waiting for the attorneys to begin, what at this stage in this case has struck you as significant? >> well, i think everything that happened today struck me as really significant. and both on the emotional side of this conversation and on the actual evidence side of the conversation as well. >> state your name.
>> gladys zimmerman. >> this is george zimmerman's mother testifying. we're going to listen in. >> central florida. >> central florida. >> how long you have lived in central florida? >> six years. >> and of corse you know george zimmerman, correct? >> yes, sir. >> and tell me how -- tell the jury how you know him. >> he's my son. >> and do you have other children? >> yes, sir. >> their names? >> robert john zimmerman, jr., grace zimmerman. >> and of course you know why we're here. your son is facing a second degree murder charge right now, correct? >> yes, sir. >> i want to talk to you and have you listen to a tape. i'm going to limit my questions to you today to just a couple regarding the tape. to premise that, have you
listened to a tape that has the 911 phone call with screams in the back of it? >> yes, sir. >> if i might, your honor, i'd like to play this. >> i'm going to let you listen to this one time through and i want to ask you if you know whose voice it is. tell me if i want to listen to it a second time or if not. okay? >> yes, sir. >> as i begin that, i'm going to presume you were around with george most of his life, correct, as he grew up as a child? >> yes, sir. >> had an opportunity to hear him in all different voices, laughing, screaming, yelling, crying? >> yes, sir. >> do you think that you have enough knowledge of his voice that you would be able to tell his voice if you were to hear it? >> yes, sir. >> if i might, your honor.
>> 911, do you need police or medical? >> maybe both. i'm not sure. there's someone screaming outside. >> what's the address? 1211 -- >> is it in sanford? >> yes, sir. >> is it a male or female? >> it sounds like a male. >> and you don't know why? >> i don't know why. i don't know. send someone quick. i heard a shot. >> does he look hurt? i can't see. i don't want to go outside. i don't know what's going on. [ inaudible ]. >> were you able to hear that voice? >> yes, sir. >> in the background? >> yes. >> you heard of course a woman's