Transcript for George Zimmerman's Defense Starts
This is a special room. Report from ABC news. Again Cutler in New York with a CBC news digital special report on the George -- murder trial the defense today. Putting on the witness stand close friends and acquaintances of George Zimmermann zeroing in. On that 911 call all of them saying it was Norman's voice screaming for help not. Trade on Martin and according to the lead detective who took the stand today even -- -- own father once said. It was not his son on that tape a pivotal moment in today's testimony. Let's take a listen. I have lived my words -- Is that your son's voice in the -- -- or. So I think it's a little differently than that but -- act requires that that was effects -- don't know -- horses. He. It was more about. Verbal and non -- he. Looked away and under his breath -- -- terrorists that -- To get around that particular -- -- -- -- that time. I don't listen. And watching the case from central Florida's ABC's Aaron deter -- joining us now live. -- -- if you can I wanted to get your response to that testimony was that damaging testimony that from the detective Chris Serena. Point six so was one of the most dramatic moments of the day and as you had alluded to earlier much of the testimony today has been on that 911 call. You hear the screaming in the background -- familiar to anyone who's been following this case for some time it's been played today. Over and over again -- each passing witness and all of them today said. It was George Zimmermann screaming. And then crucially detectives from Reno back on the stand this time for the defense. It says that it was Tracy Martin saying no it did it was not. His son -- -- -- and so the jury for the first time really here is that. Perhaps unimpeachable source in in a police investigators believe -- detective in the case saying. With the near certainty that if it was Jordan -- screaming and and so it did seem like a rather dramatic moment. Back -- -- says otherwise lacked a lot of drama a number of them the friends and neighbors of of Jordan -- Predictably said that it was Zimmerman they heard on that tape and and the prosecutors even several of course your friends and neighbors naturally you. Hear him and they tried to sort of cast doubt. On their testimony the jury. -- today was the defense's first full day to present its side and -- we had just heard there's so much the testimony had. Relied heavily on identifying that call on nine -- 911 called. View was that the sole objective for the defense to date only nail on that one particular points. What -- -- another. Point that's been made recently with the head -- Pollock who's the owner of the mixed martial arts Sheehan. Where George Zimmerman had been training around the time this occurred and at the time Zimmerman who. When he started training -- said was about 25260. Pounds gradually lost an awful lot of weight which as you can see -- Through his appearance in court now -- he's getting some of that back but Adam -- testified that George Zimmerman was soft. And and it was not proficient in anything that that he had been learning. Barely learning how to how to jab hook. None of that was was -- proficient in. And and the defense attorney had no problem saying so you know what you know how to stop the fight and an -- -- -- the gym owners of all you could. Verbally say stop or tapped out. Of course the implication being it wasn't really an option -- Naia and an unsanctioned kind of fight like he was him with -- save on Martin but it wasn't the first time today damage that George Zimmerman had been called assault. His own friend testified that he wants her to 250 pound man scream like a girl. As he testified that it was George -- voice -- heard on the 911. I also hear your speed one -- the friends testifying today and I also wanna talk little about one of sermons other friends of the -- men's. They testified. On Zimmerman spent happened then on cross examination. We found -- in fact they have written a book about the investigation how is that going to play the defense stronghold. Wielded the prosecutors brought it up to say that they were making money off of this case and perhaps -- skewed there. Testimony but look what it also needed in addition to verifying the voice says as -- -- demands and other witnesses did today. Each and every witness had a little bit of a back story there was an army veteran a local -- somebody who was in mortgage banking. Upstanding citizens the implication from the defense was -- Jordan -- hung around with much different portrait of a man then. Vigilante wannabe cop who was hell bent on a confrontation that night -- bond market. And that is the character -- the prosecution has been certainly for train last week when I was presenting its side so. How many other well how many more witnesses do we expect the defense to call before closing argument. You know that we had heard to date call about two dozen witnesses and they've been going at a pretty good clip it and the defense attorney mark America has always said that he has about three days worth of testimony. If today is all about the voice in and perhaps a little bit about how George -- looked and whether he could be proficient in a fight. We do expect eventually defense attorneys to get into some of the forensics and they want to call -- pathologist we understand who who may be able to counter the claims of the prosecution's expert to save of the injuries that George -- sustain -- actually were serious not minor as as the jury has already heard from a state witness. But but potentially life threatening because remember that -- -- out to prove -- setting up to prove self defense. That the defense attorneys want to show that Jordan Zimmermann was in a fight for his life for at least believe that his life was in danger. Yes -- if we go by that potential timeline three days of testimony than what we look at where -- earliest potential verdict that. Welcome perhaps toward the end of the week there will likely be a rebuttal case closing arguments could take. A long time it's possible that by the end of this week. The jury gets the case perhaps they deliberate over the weekend they've already signals -- a judge today that they want to. Get on what this were entering the third week of testimony. This jury is sequestered they were sequestered for the July 4 holiday I think if the judge gives them the option of deliberating through the weekend should it come -- that. Seems like -- this -- might take it. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- thank you for that. I want to bring in -- -- get. Nickel lots here prosecutor here in new York at a thanks for being with us in honoring your insight on this this is -- one for the defense the prosecution. Got a little beat up after its case last week part of the defense -- today. That this really is so far the day of the voice it is the defense -- -- solidified that it was in fact George Zimmermann is voice who is. Heard yelling for help and screaming on that -- now infamous 911 call. And now as there was saying this. And gym owner who is teaching George -- martial arts. To now solidified that he was the guy and the bottom he wasn't capable of inflicting the type of emotions -- or injuries that. Good neighbor Jonathan good talked about that he observed someone on top of someone else doing this ground and -- -- what the implication is that is what they are trying to hammer home to the jury you know the prosecution now I think. Really -- do their best. Way to go about -- this point that you say one. Of course now we know whether it's every neighbor and family our friends and George -- has they're going to say -- his voice but they're going to have to be in a position to get up in front of that jury at the time -- -- say it doesn't matter you had a mother train on Martin saying -- hand you have the mother of George Simmons saying -- hand. So I and they cancel each other out or even if -- the jurors believed. That that was George Zimmermann yelling for help it doesn't change the State's position that they have proved their case that he is. Legally criminally liable responsible. For the death of trade on Martin you have to almost in a way and brace part of the defense this case I think at this point and say okay that's where you come out -- you believe these people it doesn't matter Wii is still prove an hour. Case so when you recall back to the testimony on Friday -- Sabrina -- trade on Martin's mother had testified on the stand that she said unequivocally about was her son's voice. And you parent with today's testimony from the detective Chris Serena -- the court that even. -- Ron's father said as we -- mentioned earlier that he didn't believe it was his son on that 911 tape. Does that cancel each other route was that -- damaging moment for the prosecution. That is a damaging moment up until that point I would have said that these witnesses really didn't add anything to the defense case you had mother against smog there and so the jurors have to either believe one or throw their hands up and say we don't know what to believe so we're not going to use it it certainly. Had an impact and was to be. Day that had drama today in the courtroom that you hear that came on Martin's own father was on -- said it wasn't his son again. Whether he's right or wrong the jury I mean that prosecutors almost have to embrace it and -- luck. You have all this evidence we the prosecutors still believe it's him based on what the mother said however you may choose to not believe it was -- on Martin. However it shouldn't impact your verdict as we still have proven our case began that was a damaging moment because here. It's his own father at the moment hearing and saying no that wasn't. My son well and I wanna get to the possibility of rebuttal in just a second but the big question lot of people are asking is will the defense put Zimmerman on the stand. I don't think so I think that there best strategy would be to leave him off at this point I don't think it's better for -- the prosecution put in. Yet every conceivable statement that he ever made so. In a sense -- his best light his story is out there albeit in some different forms to put him on the stand all that does is give the prosecution. The opportunity to cross examine him to get some of his prior bad axes brushes with the law and some of the domestic violence things to come now before the jury where they're not going to get that if they keep -- off I don't think that they'll call him -- -- something. Comes forth in the rebuttal case I don't think it's going to happen. If you -- the prosecution what is your next step -- as your potentially contemplating rebuttal. I don't think at this point I have rebuttal if I would it would be few and far between as far as my questioning. I think I wouldn't make much of these defense witnesses either -- go to their biased -- we'll have to see what the pathologist says and where they get technical. But I think that as the prosecutor right now -- -- the prosecutors in this case -- -- sitting down. Writing out my summation does this is an extremely technical case. I have viewed most of this trial I do think the prosecution has met their burden when it comes to -- -- murder charge but the manslaughter however. You have to get every -- -- that proves that George Simmons guilt and dis proves his claim of self defense or justification. And it really is methodically laying out the nuances the statements that the jurors may. Have overlooked or forgotten and I think that that is the big hurdle before them right now. One of the things that you wanted to wanted to ask you about was the defense's strategy it again as we've talked. Extensively -- the point that deep voice analysis has been very closely scrutinize not only. But forensic experts but also from witnesses from friends from family. That -- tried to identify. Whose voice that was screaming for help on that 911 call. When you're looking at the analysis of a voice recognition and then you're also looking at a character representation as was played out today by the gym coach. Is that is that almost at a two pronged approach by the defense where you're trying to look at sort of the the clinical scientific point of view and -- also looking at the more personal characteristic point of view. Yes and there's also the third prong which I think we'll see some more of which is the political horse social part that the defense is trying to show that there was intense pressure on the police department to make an arrest -- they're going to argue -- to be Jerry. But there was a rush to charge him and that he was overcharged this really was social pressure and political pressure. So they want to paint him as a very different and the prosecution that he was not this -- looking for a confrontation but rather he was a unique sort of guy who certainly wasn't to the -- -- or taking charge of a fight. In addition -- saying that if that's hand coupled with the injuries that they will of course exaggerate try to show they were much more serious in the prosecution claims. That dust that corroborates their claim that this is a guy who was. I have could have loss of his life or at least reasonably believe he could have lost his life and that is why he took out his gun and shot came on Martin. I also want to ask you this before we let you go as far as the presentation styles for both sides obviously the facts of the case are being presented for the jury right now. At the same time though. Both the prosecution and the defense have to make some kind of a connection I have to make obviously their arguments very convincing to those six women that are on the jury. In your opinion of who is able to best communicate to those jurors. It's tough you know when I look at the opening statements I thought the prosecutor really came out on top there at the -- more powerful and convincing them the defense's opening so I would have said -- -- -- watched the trial go forward sometimes they think the defense without lawyers the prosecution been smoother in their impact. But it remains to be seen -- is based on the openings I would say the prosecution. Based on the trial I'm not so sure. It's going to have to be an extremely. Well thought out powerful presentation by the prosecution. If they're going to be able to convince the jury that they have overcome their burden that this is proof beyond a reasonable that as a prosecutor I see it there although for the manslaughter not the -- But again how much of that is my train die -- because I can see it for myself I was one of the women sitting on the jury. That didn't have this background I'm not so sure they're picking up on the. Does anything stand out to -- that makes you think that this timeline of potentially having a verdict by the end of the week or even on Saturday. Would deviate from not. It's possible it depends how long the defense is -- the defense wraps up by tomorrow if the prosecution does. Not put on a rebuttal case or not much of one and certainly they could have. Closing arguments by Thursday if we see that yes this jury I'm sure they want to go home while I'm sure hope they're taking this case very seriously. They have been sequestered the entire time I am sure they will be diligent work long hours if need be to come to a verdict so. While myself I see -- beginning of next week is certainly could be later this week. All right Tennessee and make a lot see you prosecutor here in New York thank you so much for your time and your insight we certainly appreciate that. Day one for the defense in the George German trial and a complete write up on abcnews.com. For now I'm Dan Cutler -- New York with this ABC news digital special report. This has been a special report from me.
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