Sunday, June 30, 2013

Watch George Zimmerman trial online, streaming live July 1, 2013 (videos, Twitter updates)

George Zimmerman returns to the Seminole County courthouse on July 1, 2013, where the prosecution begins the second week in his murder trial. Zimmerman faces second-degree murder charges for the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17. Zimmerman faces life in prison if convicted.

The trial began with opening statements by prosecutor John Guy and defense attorney Don West. Guy quoted several expletives made by Zimmerman during a 911 call where he profiled Trayvon Martin as a "suspicious, black male up to no knock-knock joke where he indicated the only reason the six females were selected for the jury was because they didn't know who Zimmerman was.
good." Don West followed by delivering a

While the nation talked about the inappropriateness of the joke; West's daughter sent a photo of herself, sister and Don West eating ice cream with the comment, "We beat stupidity celebration cones."  The comment caused outrage with many who felt the prosecutor's daughter was taking a shot at the prosecution's witness Rachel Jeantel. 

On June 25, 2013, the jury saw for the first time Trayvon Martin death photos.  The photos were shocking as they had been kept from the public before the trial.  On Wed. June 26, 2013, the prosecution delivered testimony from those who witnessed or heard the altercation between Zimmerman and Martin; however, the final testimony of the day drew nationwide attention. From June 26, 2013 to June 27, 2013, Rachel Jeantel testified about her final phone call with Trayvon Martin. It is unknown how the jury will ultimately respond to Jeantel's testimony. Her testimony is pivotal as she claims that she heard George Zimmerman approach Trayvon Martin and begin the fight.

On Friday, June 28, 2013, the jury heard from Jonathan Good. Good was an eyewitness to the Zimmerman, Martin fight and stated he saw what appeared to be Zimmerman on the bottom and Martin on top, due to the color clothing he saw.

Court will not be in session on July 4, 2013, and this week the prosecution is expected to present forensic evidence in the trial.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

George Zimmerman trial: Defense attorney Don West's daughter shares ice cream photo (videos, photos)

On Tuesday, June 25, 2013, one of George Zimmerman's defense attorneys' daughter shared a photo on Instagram that has sparked controversy. Don West is the defense attorney who delivered opening statements and shocked the nation by starting off with a tasteless knock-knock joke. The photo has a caption that states, "We beat stupidity celebration cones" and there is no question as to what they are referencing as the hastags read #Zimmerman and #dadkilledit.

The photo went viral and some drew concern that the image was in reference to
the prosecution's main witness Rachel Jeantel. Since the photo was posted on the 25th and Jeantel didn't testify until the 26th, the snide remark wasn't in direct reference to Jenatel.

The photo and comment sparked such controversy it provoked a response from defense team communications director Sean Vincent.

Vincent stated, "As parents, we are not always proud of the things our children do, then we move on. We understand the context of the comments is grossly insensitive."

Some feel that it is wrong to discuss Molly West's tweet since she is part of the defense's family. West is 20-years-old. What do you think? Is she off limits for public scrutiny?

Check out the video below where CNN's Anderson Cooper weighs in on the ice cream photo controversy.


George Zimmerman trial: Jane Velez-Mitchell weighs in (June 28, 2013, videos, transcript)

On June 28, 2013, HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell covered the George Zimmerman trial. Friday concluded the first week in the trial against Zimmerman who faces life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder for the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin.

Trayvon Martin's body is seen in the distance
The state argues that Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watchman, grew frustrated with growing crime and the lack of apprehension by apparent suspects in his neighborhood. He had made more than 50 calls to 911, with many of the calls
focusing on suspicious black males in the neighborhood. The state of Florida argues that Zimmerman did not wait for authorities to arrive, but ran after Martin when an altercation ensued. Zimmerman claims he shot Martin in self-defense.

The defense says that there was no crime committed and that Zimmerman is a good man with good intentions. Though they called the case tragic, they argue that it was Martin who turned the situation into a volatile one and that Martin turned the interaction physical. The defense says that Zimmerman had a gun in his holster and Martin was banging Zimmerman's head against the concrete sidewalk and had punched him in the nose causing Zimmerman to retrieve the gun and kill Martin in self-defense.

What do you think of the Zimmerman trial? Do you think he killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense?


Neighbors Testify about Trayvon Martin Shooting

Aired June 28, 2013 - 19:00 ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Breaking news tonight. High drama in court, as we hear for the first time in George Zimmerman`s murder trial testimony claiming it was Trayvon Martin who was on top as they struggled.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

The evidence photos we`re about to show you are very graphic. We have to warn you about that.

Tonight, testimony from the very first person on the scene, right after the shot rang out, the deadly shot. You`re going to hear what Zimmerman`s neighbor says about how George Zimmerman acted as he stood next to the teenager`s body, and what Zimmerman asked him to tell his wife.


















UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a sad case.

SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON`S MOTHER: I don`t want any other mother to have to experience what I`m going through now.


RACHEL JEANTEL, FRIEND OF TRAYVON: He told me he tried to get home, sir, but the man was still following him, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are no monsters here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He described him as a "creepy-ass cracker."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Neighbor Jonathan Manalo heard the gunshot, and he went out to investigate. He found a bloody, out-of-breath George Zimmerman, he says, standing next to a lifeless Trayvon Martin. Manalo then snapped, with his cell phone, chilling photos at the scene. You`re going to see them: Trayvon`s body, OK, lying face down. Take a look at that.

Zimmerman told his neighbor he`d been beaten up, and that he shot Trayvon Martin -- there he is under the body dag -- in self-defense. Take a look at that.

Then Zimmerman asked this neighbor, "Please call my wife, Shelly."


JONATHAN MANALO, NEIGHBOR: I said, "Your husband has been involved in a shooting. He`s been handcuffed and will be held for questioning at the Stanford Police Department."

At around that time, he kind of cut me off, and he says, "Just tell her I shot someone."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How would you describe the defendant`s demeanor?

MANALO: Like I was taking too long to say what I had to say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the defendant appear calm, sir?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. What do you think? 1-877- 586-7297.

You heard it. That witness says George Zimmerman was calm and even showed a little impatience as he delivered the jaw-dropping news to his wife that he just shot somebody, shot somebody dead.

Straight to the Lions` Den. Does this testimony make George Zimmerman seem like a vigilante, wannabe cop who`s so calm after shooting somebody dead, or an innocent guy who was beaten up and shot Trayvon Martin in self- defense? We`re going to debate it.

We`ve got a friend of George Zimmerman. We`ve got the attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family, and we`re going to start with her, Natalie Jackson.

NATALIE JACKSON, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON`S FAMILY: I think that you have to put this in context with all the testimony today. Today we heard from George`s physician assistant who said that he was seeing a psychologist.

So if you put that into context of what Jon Manalo said, that he was calm, he did not feel like -- he didn`t think that he was frantic or in shock. And he also said that George Zimmerman was on the phone and had the phone up to his ear when he came outside, and that George Zimmerman dropped the phone.

So I mean, I think you have -- the jury is going to take this all into consideration and wonder what`s wrong with George Zimmerman?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Frank Taaffe, a supporter of George Zimmerman and a friend.

FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: I believe the conditions were correct for George. He had just been traumatized. And there`s a key component here, when humans go through a traumatic scene. Our -- we have an adrenaline gland that produces adrenaline. And at that time, after he went through the trauma that he did, the adrenaline rush, which is our fight or flight, took over. That`s why he was calm in that situation.

I`m sure if you`ve ever been in a fight -- and he did know the imminent danger of Trayvon, being dead in the grass, the danger was over at that point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what? Here`s the thing, Rolonda: They made a big deal today, the defense did, about the fact that he didn`t flee. But if he had a wannabe cop vigilante mentality, he wouldn`t want to flee, because he would regard what he did as, "Well, I`m entitled to do that."

So the idea that they made a big deal about the fact that he said, "Here`s my gun. Take it." You know, very, very compliant. So what?

ROLONDA WATTS, TV PERSONALITY: Uh-huh. Jane, I agree with you. Because I think anybody knows that if you really felt that your life had been threatened, if you had been through a battle to save your life and shot somebody, your adrenaline would be going bonkers. You would be very much overly excited. That`s just natural human behavior. I don`t care what they say in that courtroom.

TAAFFE: I disagree.

WATTS: I know.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy -- OK, Wendy Murphy...

WATTS: I know you disagree. That`s pretty much understood. But the fact is, I don`t...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come on. Wendy.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Hey, listen, bottom line, there is no book with a chapter nor even a footnote that says, after you kill in self-defense and you`re worried about your wife finding out what happened, say this and act like this, not like that. There`s no such thing.

And every -- I think everyone can agree that how he acted is just as consistent with self-defense as it is consistent with being a vigilante. But it doesn`t matter, because the objective medical evidence...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Skolnik.

MURPHY: ... the objective medical evidence proves that he was on the ground being beaten to a cement ground.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: To that point, Michael Skolnik, does the prosecution have to explain why George Zimmerman has injuries to his nose and to the back of his head? Have they done enough to explain that?

MICHAEL SKOLNIK: No, the issue isn`t "Does George Zimmerman have injuries?" We see the injuries. We know he has injuries. No one can`t see that he has injuries.

The issue is, did he use deadly force when he didn`t have to? There is no evidence that George Zimmerman`s life was in dangers...

TAAFFE: Excuse me, Michael...

SKOLNIK: Let me finish. Let me finish, Frank.

MURPHY: That`s not the law. All he needed to face was bodily injury. Don`t misstate the law. That is not the law. You can use lethal force in self-defense if you have bodily injury.


SKOLNIK: Absolutely it`s the law. You have to feel your life is being threatened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a second, guys. OK. Everybody is talking and nobody is talking because everybody is talking over each other.

I want to go on to the next key point. We heard this week from the prosecution`s star witness. You might call this next person the defense star defense witness, even though we`re in the prosecution case.

Prosecution witness John Good seemed to be more effective for the defense. He is the very first witness to testify that he believes Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman and striking him. Listen.


JOHN GOOD, WITNESS: I could tell the person on the bottom had a lighter-skinned color.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The color of clothing on top, what could you see?

GOOD: It was dark.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about the color of clothing at the bottom?

GOOD: I believe it was a light white or red color.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now here is Zimmerman in the red jacket that night. So what this gentleman essentially is saying, he saw the person on the bottom in a red jacket. George Zimmerman is wearing a red jacket. He also said in other ways the person on the bottom fit the description of George Zimmerman. So how bad is that for the prosecution?

Look, this is the prosecution`s case. And when you start thinking, "Wait a second, are we in the defense case or the prosecution`s case," which sort of happened to me a couple of times today, that`s not a good sign, Natalie Jackson, attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family.

JACKSON: This is -- this is not bad for the prosecution. They have admitted that there was a struggle. So I mean, it would be just as Michael says: there was a struggle going on. This witness could not tell you how this struggle started or who was the aggressor, who confronted who.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean, look, I`ll throw it to Wendy Murphy. You`re a former prosecutor. You know fights don`t just happen like this. As I saw my friend Ashleigh Banfield say, they go like this. So maybe at the time he saw it, Trayvon Martin was on top, but maybe previous to that, it had been some other way or after that.

MURPHY: The jury is only going to do one thing to figure out who to believe about who was on top or bottom. They`re going to look at whose clothes were wet, George Zimmerman`s, on the back. That`s right. Who had the injuries? George Zimmerman. Who didn`t? Trayvon Martin. And they`re going to match that up with...


MURPHY: ... trying to tell the truth. It`s not going to fly.

Let me tell you what`s going on here. The prosecution had a terrible case to begin with, and it is going down so fast.

TAAFFE: That`s true.

MURPHY: I`m beginning to think the only reason the prosecution keeps putting on all these terrible witnesses...


MURPHY: ... is so they can say to Trayvon Martin`s family at the end, "Sorry, we did our best, but all those bad witnesses blew the case for us."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Skolnik. Michael.

SKOLNIK: Here`s the thing. Here`s the thing. I think you`re clearly wrong, Wendy.

John Good said he saw the end of the fight, but he did not see George Zimmerman`s head being pounded into the pavement. George Zimmerman, in his statement to police...

MURPHY: Doesn`t matter.

SKOLNIK: ... said that his...

TAAFFE: Michael...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. Let everybody speak. Oh, my gosh!


WATTS: Listen, isn`t this about -- isn`t this about the victim? Isn`t this about the victim here? I mean, you`re right, who knows who was on top, what move?

TAAFFE: The victim, belong felonious assaulted, George Zimmerman.

WATTS: And what about Trayvon Martin defending himself? What about him defending himself from a guy...

TAAFFE: From what?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Hold on. You use -- you raise a good point. And that is neighbor John Good used a term that`s associated with mixed martial arts...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... to describe the tussle between Zimmerman and Martin. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The person on top was ground and pounding the person on the bottom?

GOOD: That`s what it looked like, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So explain what "ground and pound" is in your mind.

GOOD: The person on top being able to punch the person on the bottom, but the person on the bottom also has a chance to get out or punch the person on the top, back and forth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which is the dominant position?

GOOD: That would be the top position.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The person who you now know to be Trayvon Martin was on top, correct?

GOOD: Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he was the one who was raining down blows on the person on the bottom, George Zimmerman, right?

GOOD: That`s what it looked like.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But here`s the odd part. And I`ll bring in Jean Casarez for this. She`s the HLN legal correspondent who has been in court for all of this testimony.

Jean Casarez, mixed martial arts, isn`t that what George Zimmerman has been studying and working at leading up to this fateful night?

JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: And guess what? That came before the jury today, because one of the last witnesses of the day was the physician`s assistant from Altamont Family Practice, and there were medical records. And the jury had to go out of the courtroom for a long time while they went through and redacted some things from the medical records.

But in August of 2011, George Zimmerman was complaining of not being able to sleep, not being able to get back to sleep. And so he had started mixed martial arts. And three days a week, three hours at a time, it sounds like, and that came before the jury.

Of course, on cross-examination, it also was referred to on the medical records as aerobics.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But the point is that it`s sort of odd that the person who studied mixed martial arts is not the person who was doing the mixed martial arts move...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... according to this witness. It`s the other person, which people thought that`s kind of odd, that doesn`t make sense, but maybe it does. Life doesn`t make sense in a lot of ways is what I`ve noticed over the years.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Earl, Indiana, your question or thought, Earl?

CALLER: Yes, my name`s Earl Koch (ph). I`m calling from Indianapolis, Indiana. And this is my theory.

Now, George Zimmerman, knowing that he`s got a gun on him, followed this young man, Trayvon Martin, and lured him into an altercation, where he knows that, by maybe picking on him, maybe he had slapped him or did something to him, caused him to defend himself, and he made sure that this young man got the best of him in order to give him a reason to shoot him. And the fact that he shot him point blank in the heart like it was preplanned what he was going to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, Earl, I think you make a very good point.

Natalie Jackson, that was the point of talking about what this witness who saw him right after testified to, that he was calm, that he was very compliant. I mean, is the theory -- you`re close to Trayvon Martin`s family and probably the prosecution, in a sense. Is the theory that George Zimmerman kind of goaded Trayvon Martin into perhaps smacking him, because obviously, if George Zimmerman has a laceration to his nose and the back of the head, something happened.

JACKSON: Right. We`re not privy to the prosecution`s theory, so we don`t know what their theory is.

I`ll tell you, my theory is that George Zimmerman wanted to play cop, and he wanted to make an illegal citizen`s arrest of Trayvon Martin. And like we see when cops do it, and do it without the proper technique, people get hurt. And that`s what happened here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Frank Taaffe, quick response.

TAAFFE: You know, in a week of a lot of inconsistencies, we finally have a witness, Jonathan Good, who I deem the best. He`s now Jonathan Best. He was the most consistent with the crime scene, George`s stories, and it all came together; all melded together today. And this witness is going to prove George to be innocent.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`ll see. This trial is just getting started. This is week one, and we`re back with your calls. More crucial testimony today, and more debate from the Lions` Den. Stay right there.


DON WEST, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: You told Mr. Crump that you had lied -- no, I`m sorry you told Mr. Crump that you`d gone to the hospital instead of the wake, which was a lie?


WEST: And you also lied and said that you were 16?

JEANTEL: I don`t remember saying that.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The person is dead. The person is dead, lying on the ground!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody is screaming, "Help me, help me," and this person killed him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Martin was lying face down with his head oriented generally towards the north and his hands underneath his body.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve never seen anyone killed.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The details in the dark, rainy night, so murky and after listening to some conflicting and murky testimony, as well as live demonstrations from attorneys and witnesses alike.

Check out defense attorney Mark O`Mara dropping to the ground to try to illustrate what a witness is saying.



GOOD: At the beginning, no.

O`MARA: OK, how was he, and just sort of point to how he was when you first saw him.

GOOD: You`d have to go all the way to the ground.

O`MARA: Like that?

GOOD: No. It was more just flat on flat.

O`MARA: OK. So one person horizontal on top of the other?

GOOD: Correct.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And witness John Good actually took it upon himself to draw his own sketch to show exactly what he was talking about. I mean, he went and got a poster board and drew a sketch. Now, that`s how complicated this case is.

This is the area where it all happened, the gated community. But add rain, add the lights are dim, because it was in an area where the lights were nonexistent, practically. That`s why people were walking around with flashlights.

Given all that, given the murkiness of all the accounts, where -- and the fact that people saw ten seconds, eight seconds, three seconds, and there`s the phone calls to the 911 operator. Is it just too confusing? And in confusion, is there reasonable doubt?

That`s what I want to debate with my panel in the Lions` Den. And I`m going to start with -- I`m going to have to start with Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, because you`ve prosecuted cases. You`ve got to wonder if it`s just too confusing.

MURPHY: Look, I call them like I see them. I really do, and I know that often I`m the prosecution`s voice, but when it`s illegitimate, it`s illegitimate.

I believe that Trayvon Martin was offended. I believe he was profiled. I believe there are serious racial issues in that community, as there are all over the country.

But you don`t deal with tension around something as serious as racism by prosecuting a man for murder when you know the objective evidence demonstrates that he had a right to shoot in self-defense, because he had serious bodily injuries. That`s how I feel about this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? Natalie...

MURPHY: ... because I`m worried about the...


TAAFFE: I`m waiting for the Wizard of Oz to show up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me then go to Rolonda Watts. You know, here`s the problem with this.

We have people talking about all these racial divisions. What I`ve noticed and I`d like to point out is that the vast majority of people taking the witness stand who live in that area are of all backgrounds. You have somebody who`s Asian, somebody who`s Latina, somebody who is African-American, somebody who`s white -- somebody -- every -- it`s a rainbow. And everybody is getting along except this exception, this aberration.

TAAFFE: Jane -- Jane...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: go ahead, Rolonda Watts.

WATTS: I just find it so disturbing that nobody is even considering here that Trayvon Martin might have been defending himself. Where is his right to defend himself?

TAAFFE: He had no defensive wounds on his body.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let her finish.


TAAFFE: He had no defensive wounds.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank, let her finish.

WATTS: Listen, here is a child in the rain, in the dark, being followed, chased, hunted down like a dog by a man with a gun.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jane -- right.

WATTS: He was not only -- he not only premeditated, he prepared. This was his...

TAAFFE: He`s chasing him.


WATTS: ... is looking for this day, preparing for this day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Please, stop.

TAAFFE: Why didn`t he just tackle him when he had him?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let her finish. Please stop.

WATT: ... following you in the rain.

TAAFFE: Oh, yes, he was following him. He was following him. He went into pre -- defense.

Let`s go back to the beginning. We had seven burglaries in 11 months. All committed by young African-American males.

WATTS: The beginning is when he was told to stay in the van.

TAAFFE: That`s not true.

WATTS: ... about Trayvon.

TAAFFE: Stay with the facts. Stay with the facts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me stay with the facts. The beginning of this interaction is George Zimmerman calling the police and saying, "These bleeping bleeps, they always get away."

And we know that Trayvon Martin was returning with Skittles. That`s what he had. He didn`t have a gun.

SKOLNIK: Jane, if I can for a minute, if I can for a minute to frame...


SKOLNIK: Frank, hold on one second. If I can for a minute.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank, wait!

SKOLNIK: George Zimmerman -- George Zimmerman said he couldn`t see anything, it was so dark, he got sucker punched and Trayvon jumped out from the dark.

But John Good -- John Good today said he could see the color of their jackets. Why couldn`t George Zimmerman see Trayvon?


TAAFFE: Michael, listen to what John Good said. And Bernie said that the light from the globe just emitted into an area right outside of his patio. And that`s where...

SKOLNIK: And there`s lights on every patio.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. We`ve got quite a panel, don`t we? An incredible group of very argumentative people. We`re going to take a short break, and we`re going to be back right after this.

And we`re taking your calls.


WEST: I thought in fact that you said that it could have been, for all you know, Trayvon Martin smashing George Zimmerman in the face is what you actually heard.


WEST: Yes, just earlier today.


WEST: By you.

JEANTEL: You didn`t get that from me.




ZIMMERMAN: Something`s wrong with him. Yes. He`s coming to check me out. He`s got something in his hands. I don`t know what his deal is. These (EXPLETIVE DELETED), they always get away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you following him?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we don`t need you to do that.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happened on that dark and rainy night in Stanford, Florida? All we know right now for sure: a 17-year-old boy dead, and George Zimmerman on trial for murder in the second degree.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Shannon, Nevada. And I understand you`re a dude, Shannon. Your question or thought?

CALLER: Hey, Jane, thanks for having me. I`m Shannon from Las Vegas, Nevada.

The question I have, and I don`t really understand: if Trayvon Martin is so scared that someone is following him, why didn`t he get off the phone with his girlfriend or friend and call the police himself?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s an interesting question. And I want to throw that to Michael Skolnik, because I think one of the things that is so odd about this case is that people are critiquing what this person, who was coming home from buying Skittles, should have done and why didn`t he go straight home? Why did he -- I mean, he did not initiate -- based on the 911 call we just heard -- we just played it -- where it`s George Zimmerman initially saying, hey, I see somebody suspicious. These punks, they always get away.

It turns out that Trayvon Martin was not doing anything untoward. Nobody challenges that. He had his ear buds on, and he was talking to a girl. If you`re going to do something like break into a house, you`re not on the phone talking to a girl.

SKOLNIK: Trayvon Martin was in the right place at the right time. He was doing the absolute right thing any teenager should be allowed to do: walk home with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. He was doing nothing wrong.

Not just people, Jane, Don West talked about in the courtroom -- why didn`t Trayvon Martin just go home? Why didn`t Trayvon Martin just go home? This is not South Africa apartheid. Black people in this country have the right to walk through a community and not be harassed, Frank.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Frank, it`s not...

TAAFFE: ... OK? Let me share this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank -- let Frank talk. Let Frank talk for a second.

TAAFFE: Thank you. Michael, please, we`re not saying that he did not have a right to walk home in the rain.

No. 1, the injuries and the forensics prove that George was attacked. Would you agree with that? I mean, how did he get these mysterious...


TAAFFE: You didn`t see the bloodied head and the broken nose?

SKOLNIK: He was not attacked. There was a confrontation.

TAAFFE: How did he get it?

SKOLNIK: There`s a confrontation with the two of them. I don`t know how he got those injuries. A confrontation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. Let`s see -- let`s see our panel. Let`s see our panel. OK.

TAAFFE: You`re kidding me!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? I think that the prosecution does have to address and offer an explanation for how the injuries happened. Otherwise, we leave it up to the imagination.

SKOLNIK: They already addressed it. They said..


TAAFFE: What do you think, there`s a Wizard of Oz?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank, you talked. Now it`s Michael`s turn. I feel like a teacher.

SKOLNIK: We all agree that -- Frank, we all agree that there was a confrontation and there was a fight between the two of them. Hold on, Frank. Hold on, Frank. We all agree there was a confrontation.

TAAFFE: You just said there wasn`t one.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. We`re going to take a break for a couple of minutes. We`re going to be back with more from our very feisty panel. And we`re taking your calls and playing the key moments of the day. Got plenty more where that came from.


WEST: Are telling me in any way that you don`t understand English?

JEANTEL: I understand English. I do understand English.

WEST: My question is, when someone speaks English, do you believe that you have any difficulty understanding it, because it wasn`t your first language?

JEANTEL: I understand English really well.




GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, KILLED TRAYVON MARTIN: He got on top of me somewhere around here.

JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: And what did the person on top say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just don`t call the police.

GUY: Did you ever hear the person on the bottom say anything?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The yells turned to "help."

ZIMMERMAN: I thought my head was going to explode.

MARK O`MARA, ZIMMERMAN DEFENSE LAWYER: Could those screams come from somebody having this done to them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This guy was beating me up and I shot him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, I was done myself and I shot him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a debate erupting as the trial boils down to who was the aggressor, George Zimmerman or teen Trayvon Martin who is no longer here to explain his side of the story. The prosecution, building its case against George Zimmerman around a slew of witnesses. But it seems like everybody saw something different on that dark and rainy night.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you also hear some kind of movement outside the back of your residence?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Can you describe that to the jury, please?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It sounded like running from left to right.

JEANTEL: He said, why are you following me for? Then I heard a hard breath man say what are you doing around here? Then I heard Trayvon saying, get off, get off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The yells turned to help.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The second yell for help, it was like a yelp. It was excruciating. I really felt it was a boy`s voice.

JOHN GOOD, WITNESS: I could tell the person on the bottom had a lighter skinned color.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe it was Zimmerman comparing the size of their bodies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did the person on top say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just don`t call the police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever hear the person on the bottom say anything?




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to the lion`s den. Is this a case of too many witnesses with too many different viewpoints? Here is the thing, in most killings, in most murders and this is a murder case, you don`t have any witnesses. In this case, it seems to be the opposite of too many witnesses.

And I got to start with Wendy Murphy, because you were a prosecutor. I mean, this is the most witnesses that I`ve ever seen in a typical murder case.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, I don`t know about that. It does depend. You know, I`ve prosecuted murder trials. They are often complicated in part because the only really important witness is dead, and you have to put pieces of the puzzle together to prove your case. It`s quite doable, it happens all the time. I have to say that I don`t think this is much of a mysterious case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But how can you possibly say that, Wendy? How can you possibly say that when we have two people -- we`ve got a dark and murky night, two people who one person says one thing, a lot of the other people who came out and saw it say various other things. It`s the ultimate mystery as far as I can tell.

MURPHY: Let me tell you why I think it`s not in just for a second.


MURPHY: Because while there`s a lot to the story and the narrative around, you know, all that happened leading up to it, what we really have is only one issue in dispute, which is whether this is self-defense. That is not particularly controverted. There is really good forensic and physical evidence proving George Zimmerman`s case. That`s why it`s not complicated.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what, you`re giving me an asthma attack because the prosecution had ten-plus -- 13 lies that you heard two sides of the story. He told cops, just after he hang-up with 911 operator, that Trayvon Martin approached him and punched him and knocked to the ground, that did not happened. Phone records show Trayvon still on the phone, two minutes later, he said Trayvon had him on the ground and covered his mouth and nose. No blood or Zimmerman`s DNA on Trayvon`s hand. I mean, the list goes on and on.

FRANK TAAFFE, FORMER NEIGHBOR OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Can I address the second part? The EMT stated today under direct when George was laying on his back and Trayvon was trying to cover his mouth, his nose, that if you sustain an injury to the nose, the blood doesn`t come out, it goes back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It doesn`t matter. We have all watched CSI. You all see it. Your DNA will be a little bit -- the DNA will be on your hand.

TAAFFE: Not that night. It was washed off.

MURPHY: We know Trayvon punched him, we know he slammed his head on the ground. We know that it is true. It`s not controverted.

MICHAEL SKOLNIK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, GLOBALGRIND.COM: Yes, but we do not know if George`s life was in danger. That we do not know. A fight is a fight.

MURPHY: It doesn`t have to be in danger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot bring a gun to a fistfight.

MURPHY: That is not the law.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second.

Natalie Jackson, weigh in here. You`ve been quiet too long.

NATALIE JACKSON, TRAYVON MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: The only evidence that has been testified and is in evidence before this jury is Rachel`s testimony that George Zimmerman confronted Trayvon Martin, she heard it, and she heard George Zimmerman say get off. I know the law, Frank, you don`t.

TAAFFE: You cannot prove that.

JACKSON: It`s in evidence. What are you talking about? Her statement is in evidence.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, this debate is why we have a criminal justice system, because you can`t scream in court. The judge said to, even one of the attorneys who started yelling a little bit, lower your voice.

All right, I`m going to go to a caller. Bob from Ohio, you have been waiting very patiently, sir. Your question or thought, Bob, Ohio?

BOB, CALLER, OHIO: Yes, Jane. Hi, how are you doing? I got a quick question for you. Has anybody -- we heard the other night that he was brought up from his mom`s house for (INAUDIBLE) and burglary, did I hear that right?

JACKSON: That is not true, and that`s not in evidence. Talk about what`s in evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Well, wait a second.

BOB: Here is the story to this, first, and then understand where I`m coming from. Could this have been the same time all these burglaries started when Trayvon come up there and George knew about this? Because I thought George was guilty at first. The more I watch of it, the more I see that maybe there`s more to it than meets the eye, and why would Trayvon go home when he was so close, and was he watching something or hiding and confronted George about this?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Bob, we want to address your questions, and we`re going to go to the expert.

Jean Casarez, you`ve been in this case from the start. We know that there had been some burglaries, but they had made an arrest is my understanding, involving at least some of those burglaries, and they predated Trayvon Martin`s visit. That`s my understanding, but clarify.


No, you`re exactly right. Now, what the facts are, the jury will never here. Trayvon had been suspended from high school and that is why he was here. But that door is being closed, unless for some reason it is opened by a prosecution witness or a defense witness even and then the defense possibly could argue to get it in. But the jury just knows that Trayvon was visiting his father here in Stanford.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. We`re going to take a short break. We`ve got more testimony and we got more debate, we`ve got more phone calls, more of everything.

Stay right there. We`ll be right back.


JEANTEL: He said, why are you following me for? Then I heard a hard- breathed man come and say, what are you doing around here? Then I started saying, Trayvon, Trayvon, what`s going on? Then I heard a bump. Then I started hearing grass sounds. I kind of heard Trayvon saying get off, get off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then what did you hear?

JEANTEL: Then suddenly the phone hung up.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re going to handle the situation from here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s going to be best if you stay inside your home for the time being, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know, but I can see someone is killed. He was saying help. Why didn`t someone come out and help him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, we don`t know if they`ve been killed, OK? We know they have probably been --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just said he shot him dead. The person is dead lying on the ground!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who did what? Who should have done what?

Now, listening to the testimony of a neighborhood watch recruiter, the one who trained George Zimmerman, trained him. And she was representing Stanford police. Now, here is the instructions she gave to George Zimmerman, which I found quite extraordinary. Listen to it and we`ll debate it on the other side.


WENDY DORVAL, NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH TRAINER: Sometimes I would get questions like that, people say well, how do I know if it`s suspicious? I don`t want to call you guys for no reason. I said call us anyways. Let us check it out. Get to know your neighbor. Get to know who lives in your community because then when someone who doesn`t belong there, you can identify them, hey, wait a minute, I don`t know this person. They probably don`t belong here and you can call the police and have them check it out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Let`s go into the lion`s den.

Now, I do have to point out that George Zimmerman lived in a gated community, so that might make a difference. But Rolanda Watts, the idea that this woman, who is a person of color by the way, is saying, you know what, you should be calling if you think somebody doesn`t belong there. Those are the words she used. She was the person who trained George Zimmerman. I find that peculiar in this day and age.

ROLANDA WATTS, HOST, SUNDAYS WITH ROLANDA ON BLOGRADIO: Well, I find everything peculiar in terms of this word, suspicious. What made this child so suspicious other than he was a black child walking that. And if he was that suspicious and he is so trained as guardian of this bright community --

TAAFFE: Can I answer that?

WATTS: No, you cannot answer that, and stop throwing hand grenades into my conversation to try divert the attention.

TAAFFE: You want the truth?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let her finish, then we`ll go to you, Frank. Just finish up, Rolanda.

WATTS: And if -- no, no, forget you right now, Frank, because if Zimmerman was all of that, that he claims he was, then he would have walked up to that young man and said, excuse me, are you lost? Can I help you? I know it is raining. Can I help you find something? Instead of a confrontation and chasing him down and going against the rules of how you handle these situations. Everybody said no, I`m calling the police. He said, come help me. No, I`m calling the police. Even the dispatcher said, stop, do not go anywhere. So who was the aggressor here?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Frank, I want to give you the opportunity to respond. You live in the community.

TAAFFE: Thank you. And no disrespect to you, Rolanda, but you know, forget you, too.

But let me share this with you. This all started right there at my house where three weeks prior to this entire tragic episode, and it is a tragedy, I`m sure you would concur. There is a dead 17-year-old. He wasn`t a child. He is of legal age, OK?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, let`s stick to the point. Why is the recruiter saying somebody doesn`t belong when you have visitors, you have relatives. Remember, Trayvon was visiting --

TAAFFE: Trayvon Martin was an unescorted, un-chaperoned guest in our community.

SKOLNIK: Un-escorted? Frank, when does a black person need to be escorted to our community?

TAAFFE: He was here on --

WATTS: What do you mean, un-chaperoned? He had a parent, Frank.

TAAFFE: Good point. You just opened it up. The father gave two different statements to police to Sanford police. One, he went on the air and he told the public that he saw Trayvon at 8:00 that night.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I was talking about what the recruiter had advised them. And we all live in a community. The idea that, if somebody visits you, they are scrutinized. If somebody comes to the work on your house. It`s not like everybody else is running around in a tuxedo in that neighborhood. It`s not like Buckingham palace. I mean, it`s a place in Florida where everybody wears shorts and t-shirts and flip-flops. I mean, the idea --

OK. We`re going to take a break. We`ll be right back with more, I promise you.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The second yell for help that was, like you know, a yelp for help. You know, a yelp. It was excruciating. I really felt it was a boy`s voice.



BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, STATE PROSECUTOR: They`re having trouble hearing you, so take your time.

JEANTEL: Creepy (bleep) cracker is now (bleep) following me. And then I just told him, run.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got breaking news, just in, as we speak. And it concerns the George Zimmerman trial, the first week of the George Zimmerman trial, now chock-full of even more controversy. The drama continues outside courtroom.

Defense attorney Don West`s daughter posted this to Instagram. The caption reads quote, "we beat stupidity celebration cones" and includes the hashtags Zimmerman defense and dad killed it. This apparently on Tuesday, the day after opening statements, when the press reached out for comments. Communications director for the defense team, Sean Vincent said, quote, "as parents, we are not always proud of the things our children do, then we move on. We understand the context of the comments is grossly insensitive."

Wow! "we killed it!"

Natalie Jackson, attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family, your reaction to that breaking news?

JACKSON: You know, I don`t have a comment on that. I`m not going to talk about his family. People can take from that what they want.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, does anybody have any thoughts on it? How about Michael Skolnik?

SKOLNIK: I agree with Natalie, we shouldn`t talk about those families, but the bottom line is a lot of black people in our country were upset the way don west treated that witness. And to talk about the stupidity I think is once again, you know, just nailing, you know, into the coffin this idea that she was stupid or she was not --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. I have to clarify something. She testified on Wednesday and Thursday and that tweet was on Tuesday. So it wasn`t about Rachel Jeantel. But it was the sense that they were celebrating the opening statement.

By the way, Don West was the one who did the knock-knock joke during the opening statement, which he had to apologize for and is now going to go down and insinuate.

All right. We`re going to go to break. Panel, hang in there. We`re back in a sec.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ll be back tonight at 10:00 as we continue to analyze the breaking news just in. A controversial Instagram by the family of the defense attorney. Nancy, next.


Watch George Zimmerman trial June 28, 2013 (full videos)

On Friday, June 28, 2013, seven people testified in the George Zimmerman trial. Many felt that one of the prosecution's witnesses did more for the defense than the state of Florida. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Jurors heard testimony from Greg McKinney, a man who works with the video surveillance company that provides services to the Retreat at Twin Lakes, United
Security Alliance. He testified that the main gates's cameras weren't working and presented video footage that was 18 minutes off. Though something appears to walk past the clubhouse, there is no direct footage of the altercation between Zimmerman and Martin.

Next to testify was Jonathan Good. Good was a neighbor in the Retreat at Twin Lakes and an eyewitness to the fight. He described seeing two people in a vertical position fighting. He then saw as the two people began fighting on the ground. He called out what was going on and asked if he should call the police, he said no one responded to his calls. He did hear someone yell for help, but could not determine if it was the person on top or the bottom. He said that to the best of his recollection, the person on top wore dark clothing while the person on the bottom wore either white or red. Trayvon Martin wore a gray, hoodie sweatshirt while Zimmerman wore a bright orange jacket.

Next to testify was Jonathan Manolo. His wife, Jeanne Manolo testified on June 26, 2008. Manolo stated that he was the first to arrive at the scene and when he reached Zimmerman, he was standing talking on his cell phone. Martin was dead on the ground motionless. Manolo took photos of Zimmerman's injuries and Zimmerman told him that Martin was beating him and he had to shoot him. When Manolo asked if he should call 911, Zimmerman answered he had just called them. Manolo also took photos of Trayvon Martin's dead body.

Sanford Police officer Ricardo Ayala testified about his attempts to revive Trayvon Martin at the scene. The attempts were futile and Trayvon Martin was pronounced dead.

Stacey Livingston testified next. She is an EMT with Sanford Fire-Rescue and treated George Zimmerman at the crime scene. Upon arriving at the scene, she checked Trayvon Martin for signs of life, but found none. He was pronounced dead at 7:30 p.m. She testified about examining George Zimmerman and stated his wounds did not appear so serious that he needed to be transported to a hospital. There were several lacerations on his head but they weren't actively bleeding. She gave him a test to check for his responses and he scored perfectly. His nose was swollen, however and had a red spot on it.

Sanford Police officer Tim Smith was called to the stand. He stated he was the first officer to arrive at the scene. He made it to the complex a bit after 7 pm for a suspicious person call. By the time he found Zimmerman, Martin was already dead. Smith testified about the procedures used to question Zimmerman.

Last to testify was Lindzee Folgate. She is a physician assistant who treated George Zimmerman.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Watch George Zimmerman trial online, live June 28, 2013 (videos, photos)

On June 28, 2013, George Zimmerman returned to the Seminole County court for the fifth day of his second-degree murder trial. Zimmerman faces life in prison for the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting death of unarmed, teenager Trayvon Martin.

Martin and his father were visiting the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida at the home of the senior Martin's fiancee. Martin had left the home at approximately 7pm to buy a bag of Skittles candy for his soon-to-be stepbrother
and an Arizona iced tea. While walking back from the local 7-Eleven, volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman spotted him and reported him as a "suspicious-looking black male" to 911.

Martin was speaking on the phone with a friend Rachel Jeantel and told her that a "creepy ass cracker" was following him. She feared the man might be a rapist and advised the teenager to run back to the home where his then 14-year-old, soon-to-be stepbrother was waiting. Martin told Jeantel he was going to try and lose the man (whom he referred to by the N-word twice). Jeantel testified that by 7:16 pm, she heard a man approach the teenager and identified Martin's voice as saying, "Why you following me for?" Then she testified under oath she heard Martin say, "Get off! Get off!" Jeantel lost connection with Martin and tried to call back but her repeated calls went straight to voicemail.

Neighbors in the Sanford, Florida subdivision Retreat at Twin Lakes began to notice that something was amiss and multiple witness called 911 to report two men struggling. Soon those calls would say gunshots were fired and one man appeared to be dead on the ground. It wasn't a man who was dead, but 17-year-old, Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman would tell police that he killed Martin in self-defense.

You may watch the George Zimmerman trial live online in the video player below. Follow with Twitter updates and view the photos from the case in the links above.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Watch Rachel Jeantel testimony June 26 2013 and June 27, 2013 (videos, Twitter)

Rachel Jeantel testified on June 26, 2013 and June 27, 2013, with many media outlets referring to her as the prosecution's "star" witness. I actually find that funny because we have no idea what the prosecution's strategy is and if they consider her
What did you think of Rachel Jeantel?
to be the "star" witness at all. The prosecution might very well feel that the real "star" of the case is evidence or something entirely kept hidden from the public. Media reads to much into everything, if you ask me.

With that said, I will say that Rachel Jeantel brought a lot of excitement to what was a trial moving so fast it was hard to know who testified when, where, how and why. At least we have the videos to rewind and watch repeatedly. Hopefully the jury does to. But Rachel came on with a no-nonsense, in-your-face attitude that some found appalling while others found it humorous. Some say she had no credibility, was completely credible because her previous lies had nothing to do with the phone call she had with Trayvon and that her wavering was understandable.

After being attacked through social media outlets for her speech and sometimes hard-to-discern vocal patterns, it was then learned she speaks three languages (Spanish, Creole and English) with English being the language she is still learning. There was another "bombshell" when Jeantel announced in the trial she has difficulty reading and writing cursive. The Internet flooded with cries of how the poor girl was so uneducated without some stopping to think that if she struggles with the English language than writing it in cursive could be difficult.

Beyond all that though, Jeantel had a difficult time showing "Mr. Don" any respect, and that is what I personally found refreshing. She's for the state. She's on Trayvon's side. I can't help but think that somewhere, Trayvon Martin was laughing his butt off when she told the court that he referred to George Zimmerman as a creepy ass cracker and the N-word. Don't tell me Jeantel didn't feel good saying that to and about the man who killed her friend.

How the jury will perceive Rachel Jeantel is anyone's guess. They could love her or hate her, we don't know. But I'm sure we'll hear their views on it after the verdict is read and if juror members decide to go public.

That would be one of the first questions I would ask. "So, Juror B29, please tell...what ever did you think of Rachel Jeantel?"

Here is Rachel Jeantel's full testimony from June 26, 2013 and June 27, 2013. What did you think of her?

Did she help or hurt the prosecution's case?

Watch George Zimmerman trial June 27, 2013 (videos)

On June 27, 2013, George Zimmerman returned to the Seminole County court where his second-degree murder trial entered its fourth day. Zimmerman faces life in prison for the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. First to testify was Rachel Jeantel, who continued her testimony from the previous day. Court began at approximately 9 am, with Jeantel concluding testimony at nearly 2:30 pm.

Following Jeantel's grueling testimony was Raymond MacDonald. Prosecutor Richard Mantei questioned MacDonald regarding phone records that documented calls between Jeantel and Trayvon the night Zimmerman killed him. Jeantel's testimony provided vital information for the jury to consider as she testified
overhearing Zimmerman approach Martin and Martin asking him "What you following me for?" and then saying to Zimmerman "Get off, Get off." MacDonald provided information that showed Martin received a call at 7:16:24 that immediately went to voice mail. This coincides with Jeantel's testimony that after Zimmerman approached Martin, they lost connection and he never answered his phone again.

Next called to the stand was Jenna Lauer. Lauer testified about calling 911 on the night of Feb. 26, 2012, and said the two men were struggling outside her door. The 911 call was played in court. Things took a turn when it was discovered that Lauer follows George Zimmerman's brother Robert on Twitter. She seemed to be unaware that she followed him; however, she was excused but is available for recall.

The final witness for the day was Selma Mora. Speaking through an interpreter, Mora tells what she observed the night of Feb. 26, 2012. She also looked on the scene after Trayvon Martin had been shot and killed and asked what was going on. She said that Zimmerman yelled to call the cops. After Mora's testimony, Mark O'Mara held a press conference, followed by a conference led by Daryl Parks.

George Zimmerman trial: Chad Joseph testimony (videos, photos)

On June 24, 2013, Chad Joseph took the stand in the George Zimmerman trial. He was the first witness for the state to testify and he shed light on the nature of Trayvon Martin's activities before Zimmerman followed, shot and killed him.

Chad Joseph takes the stand in the George Zimmerman tiral
Prosecutor John Guy asked direct questions that Chad answered with many simple replies of "yes." Chad Joseph explained that Trayvon Martin left the residence at
Retreat at Twin Lakes where he was visiting Chad and his mother. Chad's mother is Tracy Martin's fiancee.

Chad Joseph is currently 15-years-old. He was 14, at the time Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. Trayvon had invited Chad to walk to the store with him but he declined to stay home and play video games.

Chad said he did not realize that Trayvon had been killed until he came home from school the next day.

Photos from Chad Joseph's Testimony

Watch George Zimmerman trial streaming live online June 27, 2013 (videos, Twitter updates)

Rachel Jeantel returns to the courtroom today to continue testimony in the George Zimmerman trial. Zimmerman faces second-degree murder charges for the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting death of unarmed, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Martin was walking home to his father's fiancee's apartment at the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida after purchasing a bag of Skittles for his then 14-year-old, soon-to-be stepbrother and a watermelon-flavored, Arizona ice-tea. Phone records
show a steady stream of conversation between Martin and his friend Rachel Jeantel.

Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watch person saw Trayvon and thought he looked suspicious and possibly had ulterior motives for being in the vicinity. He called authorities to say something was wrong with Trayvon. When 911 dispatcher Sean Noffke detected that Zimmerman was out of breath, he asked if Zimmerman was following Trayvon and advised him not to do so.

Jeantel's testimony is valid as phone records verify that she was on the phone with Trayvon during the time of Zimmerman's pursuit.



Watch George Zimmerman trial June 26, 2013, Jane Velez-Mitchell transcripts (videos)

On June 26, 2013, George Zimmerman returned to the Seminole County courthouse where his second-degree murder trial entered its third day. Four women testified: Jayne Surdykas, Jeanne Manolo, Ramona Rumph and Rachel Jeantel.

Jayne Surdykas testified for approximately half an hour regarding her heart-wrenching 911 call. Surdykas is the woman who called 911 and was on the phone
when she heard the gunshot. She broke down in tears at the thought that someone had been murdered outside her home. Surdykas spent nearly 15 minutes on the phone with 911 and testified that she believed the voice screaming for help was that of a young boy's.

Next to testify was Jeanne Manolo. She lived in the Retreat at Twin Lakes and heard the altercation indicated by a howl sound and a cry for help. She testified about seeing two people fighting and believed that one was larger than the other.

Ramona Rumph returned to the courtroom and testified regarding additional 911 calls that Zimmerman made prior to Martin's death. Mark O'Mara pointed out that an arrest had been made in one of the cases Zimmerman had reported.

The longest testimony came from Rachel Jeantel. Jeantel is the girl who was on the phone with Martin at the time Zimmerman spotted then followed him. At times Jeantel became very upset and soft spoken while other times she appeared angry and short with the prosecution.

You can watch the full videos from June 26, 2013, in the George Zimmerman trial below. You may also read through Jane Velez-Mitchell transcripts below.



George Zimmerman Trial Coverage And Analysis

Aired June 26, 2013 - 19:00 ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Breaking news tonight. An explosive day in court as the prosecution`s star witness takes the stand in the George Zimmerman murder trial, spilling tears and talking back. She`s the young woman Trayvon Martin was on the phone with seconds before he was shot dead by Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Tonight, her explosive testimony describing the moments right before George Zimmerman fired the deadly shot.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live.

Her testimony clearly paints Zimmerman as the aggressor. But will her lies and her attitude make jurors discredit her?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via phone): He said he`s got a gun. Somebody is screaming help me, help me.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He kept screaming, "Help me, help me!" And this man killed him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Martin was lying face down with his head oriented generally towards the north and his hands underneath his body.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s the controversial witness everybody is talking about: Trayvon`s friend, Rachel Jeantel. Until today, we have only heard her voice. She testified today about those crucial final moments talking to Trayvon on the cell phone just before he dropped his cell phone and was killed. The dramatic testimony was very hard for Trayvon`s parents, in the gallery of the courtroom, to listen to.


RACHEL JEANTEL, FRIEND OF TRAYVON: He said, "Why are you following me for?" And then I hard-breathed man come and say, "What you doing around here?"

Then I started saying, "Trayvon, Trayvon, what`s going on?" Then I heard a bump. Then I started hearing grass sounds. I kind of heard Trayvon saying, "Get off, get off."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then what did you hear?

JEANTEL: Then suddenly the phone hung up.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: On cross-examination, Rachel Jeantel and defense attorney Don West got into a war of words. She did not hold back her feelings towards Zimmerman`s defense attorney. But did her attitude go too far? Watch and then we`ll debate it.


JEANTEL: I had told you -- are you listening?


JEANTEL: I had told you what happened to me in Crump`s interview. I had returned it. Are you listening?

WEST: Maybe we can break until the morning with that.

JEANTEL: No. I`m being done today.

WEST: What`s that?

JEANTEL: I`m leaving today.

WEST: Are you refusing to come back tomorrow?

JEANTEL: To you?

WEST: Are you refusing --

JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, PRESIDING OVER TRIAL: We need to keep this question and answer about her testimony.

How much more time do you think that you need to finish your cross?

WEST: I simply wouldn`t -- I don`t know for sure. I think we should plan on at least a couple of hours.


NELSON: Ladies and gentlemen, we`re going to break for the evening. Everybody still remain seated. Including you, Ms. Jeantel. Please remain seated.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, you will hear key portions of her blockbuster testimony.

And I want to hear from you. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

This friend of victim Trayvon Martin is the prosecution`s star witness, because what she says she heard talking to Trayvon on the cell phone makes the defendant, George Zimmerman, sound like the aggressor.

But did this witness hurt the prosecution by sounding disrespectful on the witness stand?

Straight out to the Lions` Den, my extraordinary panel. We begin with Natalie Jackson, the attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family. Let`s debate her, too, Natalie.

NATALIE JACKSON, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON`S FAMILY: Jane, you know what? I understand how people feel about this witness, but I`m going to defend her.

She`s 19 years old. She`s been harassed and doctored (ph) on the Internet. She`s been called everything but a child of God by people who do not know her for the last year and a half. She`s been -- she`s sat through depositions. She`s been harassed.

And, you know, I think that we all know we have to remember that she`s 19 years old. And really just look at the context and the content of her testimony, which was totally consistent with every testimony that she`s given.

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

FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: I loved her. She`s going to be the catalyst to setting George free. She`s laying out a foundation for the defense. It`s clearly that her testimony is contrived. You could see that she`s being led.

In essence, she reveals in her testimony -- and you guys can quote me if I`m wrong -- she said that when she said to Trayvon that "You need to run," he said, "I`m not going to run." And he said, "Why not?" He said, "I`m right next to my daddy`s house."

What does that mean, he was right next to his daddy`s house? She is awful.

JACKSON: Well, since you said I can tell you if you`re wrong, I`ll tell you that you`re wrong.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Hold on a second. Jon Leiberman.

TAAFFE: That`s what she said on the stand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s give everybody a chance to talk tonight. Jon Leiberman.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: I have to disagree when Frank said that her testimony was contrived. It`s pretty clear that she wasn`t polished; she wasn`t a coached witness. And sometimes, that can come off as credible to juries.

The fact of the matter is, this woman was this is who you get. You know, she wasn`t putting on any sort of facade. She let her demeanor show. And that can come off --

TAAFFE: Have you ever heard grass? Have you ever heard grass?

LEIBERMAN: Frank, let me finish!

TAAFFE: Have you ever heard grass?

LEIBERMAN: Come on, Frank. Let me finish.

TAAFFE: Go ahead. I just want to know have you ever heard grass?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re referring to the fact that she said, and we played it a second ago, that she heard sliding on glass. I think what she was trying to say --

TAAFFE: Grass.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- was something else, and I`ll throw it to Dana Swickle. Do you think that she was trying to say she heard a scuffle when she said, "I heard grass"?

DANA SWICKLE, ATTORNEY: You know, that`s part of the problem with her testimony today. She is the messenger, and she`s the main messenger. And if you can`t hear her, and you can`t understand her and you can`t follow what her message is, then that`s what`s going to be a problem for the jurors.

You hit it right on the head. What was she really trying to say? Was she trying to say this or was she trying to say that? No one really knows.

And yes, she was not polished, and maybe she`s been harassed. Maybe she hasn`t been harassed. But the bottom line is that the prosecution should have, you know, prepared her better and made her a better witness. She came off as disinterested at times, cavalier. I thought that she was very rude --

TAAFFE: Star witness.

SWICKLE: -- to the defense counsel.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tanya Young Williams.

TANYA YOUNG WILLIAMS, LEGAL ANALYST: Well, listen, I think that this young lady came off as just what she is: a very young lady who hasn`t been in these -- this position before, in a very --

TAAFFE: She lies.

WILLIAMS: -- tough spot. And she`s -- she`s traumatized by the situation.

TAAFFE: She`s lied in her testimony.

WILLIAMS: Excuse me. Excuse me, Mr. Taft [SIC], you`re going to respect me whether you want to or not.

TAAFFE: I`ll try.

WILLIAMS: This young lady is traumatized and therefore, you see her nervousness.

TAAFFE: She lies.

WILLIAMS: What I liked about her, Jane, most importantly --

TAAFFE: She lies.

WILLIAMS: -- there was no facade. You get what you get. And I think she was credible, and her testimony was consistent and believable.

TAAFFE: She lied under oath to the state!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Hold on a second, Frank. You know what? There are rules to this game, and the rules are, people come on our show. We give everybody a chance to talk. So you had your chance. You can see that there`s one, two, three, four five people. And so we`ve got to spread it out. OK, we want to be fair.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rachel Jeantel, this is the witness we`re talking about, the last person to talk to Trayvon Martin before he was shot. She talking to him, and he`s on his cell phone. She testified that she told Trayvon to run, because he said somebody was following him. Let`s listen to that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEANTEL: "Now the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is following me." And then I just told him "run." And he said, "No."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You told him to run?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what, if anything, did Mr. Martin say?

JEANTEL: He said no, he`s almost right by his daddy`s fiance`s house.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, we need to warn you, the video we`re about to show you is very graphic, but it is evidence in this case.

Rachel said she heard Trayvon speaking moments before he was shot dead by George Zimmerman. There is the victim, Trayvon Martin, lying on the grass. So that`s where the grass comes in, the scuffle on the grass. The gut- wrenching photos shot in court of the 17-year-old, who was unarmed. And coming home to his father`s girlfriend`s house with -- from the 7-Eleven with Skittles and a soft drink, while talking on the phone to Rachel when he was killed by George Zimmerman, who was carrying a .09 millimeter Kel Tec pistol that was also shown in court. Trayvon shot once in the chest.

So I want to go out to Jean Casarez, HLN legal correspondent. You`ve just gotten out of court. Explosive day in court. This witness, very controversial. Some people saying she`s effective. Others say she has no credibility. What are the key facts that can help us figure out where the truth lies?

JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: The truth is going to be somewhere between George Zimmerman and this witness, because now it`s a credibility contest, and the jury is going to have to believe one or the other.

They`re probably going to look for things that are independent of these voices. For instance, the nonemergency 911 call that George Zimmerman made. There are time codes on that call. There are times of the call that she had with Trayvon. When she is that Trayvon is saying, "I`m being followed" by George Zimmerman, is that a time when George is standing still talking to nonemergency or a time when the car door opens, you hear the chimes, and it appears as though he is following Trayvon?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s the point. This woman is speaking, in essence, for Trayvon Martin, because Trayvon Martin is no longer here to speak for himself. So we have -- and I think we have some of the reenactment video -- we have video of George Zimmerman telling his side of the story. OK? A lot of video, and a lot of sound of George Zimmerman telling his side of the story. He went with police, and they videotaped an entire re-enactment of what he says happened.

Trayvon Martin doesn`t have anybody speaking for him, and here`s the video of the re-enactment by George Zimmerman. So essentially -- and you hear -- you hear George right now talking. Essentially, this is the other side of the problem, Natalie Jackson.

JACKSON: Yes. It is. And I think you hit the nail on the head, Jane. There are time stamps. We have a phone record that shows that this phone call to George -- I mean between Trayvon and Rachel ended at 7:15 and I forgot the seconds, but we have all those time stamps. And we also have George Zimmerman`s own testimony where he says Trayvon is running from him. And that coincides with what Rachel Jeantel said.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Now, on the other side of the break, we`re going to talk about whether or not she has a credibility problem, because the defense attorney said that there were inconsistencies that he brought out in testimony today, a couple of what he called lies that she said and inconsistencies between what she said on the stand and her deposition. We`re going to debate that on the other side, and we`re taking your calls.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via phone): Oh, my God. And I just heard people screaming, "Help me, help me." And this person shot him. He was, like, wrestling with him, you know what I mean? On the ground. From what I could see, it was very dark. I`m just scared. I can`t -- I can`t even believe it. This is -- the person -- oh, my God. I hope -- it`s a young boy or something. I can`t imagine. I`ve never seen anyone killed.




ZIMMERMAN (via phone): Something is wrong with him. Yes, he`s coming to check me out. He`s got something in his hands. I don`t know what his deal is.

These (EXPLETIVE DELETED), they always get away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via phone): Are you following him?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we don`t need you to do that.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Key prosecution witness on the stand today, Rachel Jeantel. She was on the phone with Trayvon Martin moments before he was shot dead. She is the closest thing to Trayvon Martin being able to tell what happened that night.

But the defense, in cross-examination, pounded at her, grilling her about lies she told. Listen to this and then we`re going to go into the Lions` Den and debate.


WEST: You told Mr. Crump that you had lied -- no, I`m sorry you told Mr. Crump that you`d gone to the hospital instead of the wake, which was a lie?


WEST: And you also lied and said that you were 16?

JEANTEL: I don`t remember saying that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jean Casarez, explain what these two lies are that the defense was hammering her about today.

CASAREZ: Well, you know, the prosecution brought it up first. I think they wanted to preempt the defense, because they knew the defense was going to go after her, because if she lied, then how can anything be believed?

But she had a very seemingly honest explanation. She said that she couldn`t look at the body, and she didn`t have the heart to tell the family that she couldn`t go to the funeral because of that. So she said she was in the hospital and that`s why she couldn`t go to the funeral. It was a lie.

But she cried on the stand. She had to take Kleenex and put them to her eyes. She was the last person that saw him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about the age?

CASAREZ: The age, I don`t think there was really an explanation for that. She said she was 16. She was actually 18, and now she`s 19.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, let`s go into the Lions` Den and debate it. Do these lies impact her credibility? And I`m going to start with Tanya Young Williams.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely not, Jane. The supposed lies that we`re speaking about, as been said, she`s given very valid explanations as to why a teenager would say she did not go to a wake, and made up an excuse. Not only would a teenager do it; I would also may maybe adults. That`s a tough place to have to be.

Additionally, the issue of her age, we don`t know why she said -- I don`t think these two statements are going to make a real big difference in the eyes of the jurors when that comes up against everything else she said that has been consistent with her testimony and what she heard on the phone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Dana Swickle.

SWICKLE: You know, I disagree. I think these jurors are listening and waiting and watching. And any lie, whether it`s one or ten, is going to make a difference. How much of a difference I don`t know.

But I can tell you that there`s going to be at least one or two or maybe three jurors that are going to go, "Gee, if she`s lying about something as simple as her age, then what else can she lie about?" And if she`s lying to the family about not wanting to go to the funeral for the reason, and now all of a sudden, she`s coming up with the fact that I didn`t want to see the body.


SWICKLE: Who knows if that`s really true? And that`s the question. Who knows what she`s saying is true, because she`s been caught lying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Natalie Jackson, attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family.

JACKSON: Well, in any case, you know, the jury gets to evaluate the credibility of the witness.

And one of the things that the judge will instruct them to do is that they can take that credibility, and they can accept part of the story or all of the story.

Here you have a 19-year-old girl who said that she wanted to remain anonymous. That`s why she said she lied about her age; she didn`t want anybody to know who she was. And she also said that she did not want any - - she didn`t want to explain to Sybrina that she was the last person that talked to Trayvon and that she didn`t want to face that body. And so I think that these are all sympathetic reasons.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Frank Taaffe, former neighbor of George Zimmerman and supporter.

TAAFFE: I get to speak now? OK. Is that you backstroking, Natalie? Yes, that sounds like it.

JACKSON: I`m not backstroking, Frank. What am I backstroking about?

TAAFFE: It sounds like you`re backstroking on me. Here`s the deal.

JACKSON: If you can`t tell me what, then you can`t talk.

TAAFFE: OK. Are we talking about a white lie? I think I heard that in the Jodi Arias trial. I mean, what kind of lie is a white lie?

JACKSON: I wasn`t in the Jodi Arias trial.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stick with this trial.

TAAFFE: Listen -- listen, OK? What type of lie are we talking about? Oh, she`s 19, she was 16. She told Mr. Crump, and Mr. Crump went on the air with you, and you stated in full view of the nation, you said she was so upset that she had high blood pressure and she was in the hospital. That`s why she did it.

In actuality, she was having her hair did the day of the funeral.

JACKSON: You are so wrong.

TAAFFE: OK. That`s a fact.

JACKSON: And that`s the problem.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: You said your piece. You said your piece. Now I want to go back to Natalie.

LEIBERMAN: -- don`t exist.

TAAFFE: I`m wrong. Excuse me?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me -- let`s give Natalie a chance to respond to that, because that sounded a little personal, Frank.

Go ahead, Natalie.

JACKSON: He`s wrong. Frank is quoting blogs who made up stuff. This is one of the reasons this girl wanted to remain anonymous.

TAAFFE: You didn`t go in front of the nation and --

JACKSON: Those people were harassing her for a year and a half.

TAAFFE: Mr. Crump -- you and Mr. Crump didn`t go in front of the nation and tell everybody on record that --

JACKSON: That she went to the hospital? Yes, we did.

TAAFFE: -- she couldn`t go to the funeral because she had blood pressure. High blood pressure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Guess what, Frank? You asked a question. Give Natalie a chance --

TAAFFE: Go away. You`re giving me -- you`ve giving me high blood pressure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, you`ve giving us -- you`re giving all of us high blood pressure. Luckily, I don`t get high blood pressure, because I`m a vegan.

Go ahead, Natalie.

JACKSON: This -- this girl testified today that she lied about that to us. So she said she lied.

TAAFFE: What kind of lie is that, a white lie, middle of the road lie?


LEIBERMAN: Bottom line -- here`s the bottom line.


LEIBERMAN: It`s going to be --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Jon Leiberman --

JACKSON: It`s a lie that the jury will take into consideration.

LEIBERMAN: Here`s the bottom line, she admitted --

JACKSON: As it should be. The jurors will take into consideration all the lies that your friend George Zimmerman made.

LEIBERMAN: Here`s the bottom line.


LEIBERMAN: She admitted -- she admitted to lying twice. Ultimately, it`s going to be up to the jury to either accept all of her testimony --

JACKSON: I agree with you, Frank. You and I can agree on that.

LEIBERMAN: No, this is Jon. It`s going to be up to the jury to either --

JACKSON: Sorry, Jon.

LEIBERMAN: -- find the rest of her testimony credible or find it not believable based on these two lies.

Now will the jury believe that this was just a scared girl thrust into this situation because she was the last person to hear Trayvon Martin alive? They may chalk up the lies to that or they may not. But ultimately, it will be up to this jury to decide.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think it`s very important to remember she is 19 years old. She`s a teenager, and she was much younger when all of this happened. So that`s a lot of pressure -- national pressure, national exposure -- for a teen.

More on the other side.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via phone): Do you think he`s yelling help?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via phone): George, what`s your last name?

ZIMMERMAN (via phone): Zimmerman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If that jury isn`t diverse, this could be troublesome, nationwide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am Trayvon Martin! I am Trayvon Martin!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am Trayvon Martin! I am Trayvon Martin!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am Trayvon Martin! I am Trayvon Martin!




ZIMMERMAN: I was just calling because we`ve had a lot of break-ins in our neighborhood recently, and I`m on the Neighborhood Watch. And there`s two suspicious characters at the gate of my neighborhood. I`ve never seen them before.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. A huge day in the George Zimmerman trial. He has told his side of the story of what happened that night, and now a star witness for the prosecution, the very woman who was on the phone with Trayvon moments before he was shot dead. This woman telling what she heard. And she paints George Zimmerman, the defendant, as the aggressor.

But did this woman`s attitude on the stand and some of the things she said, inconsistencies, undermine and undercut her message?

Straight out to the phone lines. Lynn, Michigan, your question or thought, Lynn?

CALLER: Hello, Jane.


CALLER: I love your program.


CALLER: And I don`t miss it.


CALLER: And I wanted to agree with some of the things that are being said. They ought to get her for perjury for lying on the stand under oath.

But I was wondering, to me she came off as kind of -- like a hostile witness. Would you consider her to be a hostile witness?


CALLER: And could you define a hostile witness?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If it were the defense case I would consider her to be a hostile witness. But she was hostile primarily on cross-examination.

And I want to go to Jean Casarez, HLN legal correspondent, to clarify that. Tell us what she did for the prosecution. Lay out quickly the points that she made for the prosecution.

CASAREZ: Well, she said that she was on the phone with Trayvon, and she said that Trayvon said when he got back to the complex that this man was watching him, staring at him, watching him. She thought it was a joke. She also said she was doing her hair the whole time that they were talking.

But then Trayvon said, "He`s following me. He is following me."

And so she said "Run," and he said that he`d got back close to where his father`s place was with the future stepmother, but that he kept being followed. So he was followed the whole time. That`s what she -- the point she made on direct.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I think we`re going to have to go back in the Lions` Den, people, because our caller raised a, I think, controversial question. So let`s go back into the Lions` Den.

And I want to start with you, Tanya Young Williams. You`re an attorney out of Los Angeles. Could she have possibly be charged with perjury, as this caller has suggested, because of -- if she`s not entirely truthful on the stand?

WILLIAMS: No, of course not. She`s not going to be charged with perjury.

Jane, I want to tell you that she is a good witness, because she is drumming home a theme that the prosecution started with today. Trayvon Martin is a kid. You had a witness take the testimony said she heard a kid`s voice.

Now you have this young lady who seems immature, very much like a kid, but she said, "He used to come over and we would ride bikes and play games." Trayvon Martin is a kid. She drummed that home, and that`s what the prosecution is trying to show. It was a kid against a bully. So she did her job today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon Leiberman?

LEIBERMAN: Well, and frankly, you know, she showed on the stand as well that she, too, you know, has pieces of immaturity and she, too, is a kid.

I think the only way that this potentially hurts the prosecution is, they pretty much need a perfect case in order to show second degree. It is an uphill battle in this case for them to show second-degree murder. It`s an easier kind of slog for them to show manslaughter, in my opinion.


LEIBERMAN: So I think any questions about her credibility hurt on that front.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to debate that on the other side. We`re also going to talk about what the defense said were inconsistencies in her testimony that conflicted with the deposition that she gave. Is that the case? And what`s the impact of that? More on the other side.

Give me a call, too. I want to hear from you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s the neighbor that everybody would want to have.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON`S FAMILY: If he`s Neighborhood Watch, watch and call. But don`t go try to take the law into your own hands.

TAAFFE: I think George had a call of duty. I think he had a call of duty for the neighborhood. And I think he was not going to let another burglary go down on his watch.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you following him?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok, we don`t need you to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The neighborhood watch, it was said at that meeting and said every meeting we had after that, do not get close to anybody. Stay at a safe distance.

ZIMMERMAN: The operator said, "Are you following him?" I said "Yes." He said "We don`t need you to do that." I said "Ok."

This guy looks like he`s up to no good or he`s on drugs or something.

He said, "Are you following him? I said "Yes." Because I was, you know, in the area. They said "We don`t need you to do that." I said "Ok."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Neighborhood watch is neighborhood watch, not neighborhood shoot.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Huge day in court today as the star witness took the stand. Rachel Jeantel explained to the jury exactly what Trayvon told her while he was on the cell phone with her during the final moments of his life about George Zimmerman, using some very colorful language to describe the stranger who would turn out to be Zimmerman. Listen to her testimony.


RACHEL JEANTEL, WITNESS: I asked him how the man looked like. He just told me the man looked creepy.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: He said the man looked creepy?

JEANTEL: Creepy white. Excuse my language, cracker.

DE LA RIONDA: Ok. And what did you say? They`re having trouble hearing you. So take your time.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. This was a very emotional day for Trayvon Martin`s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. They sat in the gallery, often sobbing. You see the father dabbing his eyes right there, as Rachel described some of the last words her son said before he was killed.

We`re going to talk about this language, language aside, she`s making a point. And by the way, we could also say that we know on the 911 call that George Zimmerman used some expletives, as well.

I want to go to Jon Leiberman. Is she making the point for the prosecution that essentially George Zimmerman was the aggressor?

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, absolutely. I mean that`s the major reason why she`s on the stand. The reason why she`s on the stand is to independently show that George Zimmerman was the aggressor. And she knew this based on her conversation with Trayvon Martin. That is really the singular reason why she`s on the stand. If the jury believes that, then this witness will have been a success for the prosecution.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s go out to the phone lines. Steve, Indiana, your question or thought -- Steve, Indiana?

STEVE, INDIANA (via telephone): Yes, ma`am. Thank you for having me.


STEVE: I`m one of probably millions watching from home, and I try to put myself in what the actual juror may think and hear. We`ve heard a lot regarding maybe the mindset of George Zimmerman being the neighborhood watchman and what he was thinking when he saw Trayvon. My question is why is the description that Trayvon Martin gave being a creepy -- excuse me my language -- a-s-s cracker, why is that not being talked about? Because to me that`s very relevant, because that to me shows a hostile attitude towards the man that turned out to be George Zimmerman.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Well, Steve, let`s just do one question at a time. I want to throw that out to Tanya Young Williams, you`re an attorney, and I want to give you an opportunity to deal with that one.

TANYA YOUNG WILLIAMS, ATTORNEY: Well, I think -- no one wants to hear that type of language. However, when someone is following you, and you are afraid, very often you will say things that you might not other wise say. So the fact that Trayvon allegedly called this man that word, I don`t think that`s a big deal. I don`t think it`s something for us to look at. But it seemed to be a hostile environment with Trayvon trying to hide from George Zimmerman, who was hunting him down.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank Taaffe, former neighbor of George Zimmerman and supporter?

FRANK TAAFFE, FORMER NEIGHBOR OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: I`m a cracker, and you know, that language, I`m wondering in that scenario who had the depraved mind.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? I want to jump in here --

WILLIAMS: Come on Frank. That`s ridiculous.

TAAFFE: That`s ridiculous? You heard what Rachel said today.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this, Frank.

TAAFFE: I`m just curious as to who had the depraved mind during that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me just say this --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me just say this.

TAAFFE: I wonder who the aggressor was. I wonder who had the injuries sustained to the back of his head.

WILLIAMS: The depraved mind doesn`t really matter right now --

TAAFFE: Ok. Documented, injured.

WILLIAMS: -- because Trayvon Martin is dead and not on trial. So Zimmerman`s state of mind is relevant, not Trayvon Martin because he shot and killed him.

TAAFFE: Let`s see -- broken nose, yes, ok.

LEIBERMAN: Frank, come on, Trayvon is dead, if you want to talk injuries.

TAAFFE: I`m not dehumanizing Trayvon. I myself have lost two sons in the last five years. Hear me out. I`m not dehumanizing Trayvon at all. Let me make that clear. I`m saying that at that moment in time, he became the aggressor. The thug that he was, he went MMA style on Papa George and started pounding George. George`s statements are consistent with his injuries.


WILLIAMS: Frank you haven`t said anything --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a second. Frank, you have said your piece. You have to let other people talk.

TAAFFE: Well, I want to hear it. I want to hear it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`ve said your piece. I want to give Tanya a chance to respond, then Jon, then Dana. Tanya.

WILLIAMS: Ok. Thank you very much, Jane. My position is this, it`s not about Trayvon having a depraved mind, because right now he`s not on trial, he`s dead. So we`re more focused on what was on Zimmerman`s mind. That being said, if you have someone who is following you and you are scared, your mindset is I`m going to protect myself. Your mind set is I probably won`t like that person.


TAAFFE: Why would you? Why would you need to defend yourself? He was home. He even said he was home.

WILLIAMS: No, Frank, that`s not what he said.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this -- I want to point something out.

TAAFFE: Why would he be afraid?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Hold on. Time out, time out.

TAAFFE: It don`t make sense. Use common sense. He was home.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to point out something. Because you said something that I saw on tape that we played in a bump and I thought -- you were saying that George Zimmerman was trying to stop burglaries in the neighborhood.

Let`s make it clear. Trayvon Martin was not doing anything but buying Skittles and a soft drink, and walking back from the 7-Eleven to the home where his father was staying with his girlfriend.

TAAFFE: Let me finish. And he had ear buds on and he was talking to his girlfriend. That is established and nobody is challenging that. He`s talking to not girlfriend, friend on the phone, this star witness. Now, that is not something somebody does if they`re up to no good. People don`t talk to friends on the phone in the rain if they have something -- another agenda. They would not be talking to a friend on the phone. Do you see what I`m saying?

TAAFFE: Will you allow me to retort? The first place he sees Trayvon is up in my yard. It`s a rainy night. What is Trayvon doing in my yard? He`s cutting through the buildings and he looked suspicious. And yet on February 2, which is one of the 911 calls that was played in court today, George called in another young black male that was prowling and loitering up at my house and looking at my house.

And Mr. O`Mara asked on cross to Ramona Rumpf (ph) if she knew that the suspect was apprehended and she had no idea.



WILLIAMS: Frank what made him look suspicious -- what made him look suspicious in your mind, just because he was walking through your yard?


TAAFFE: Because he was out of place. George knew he didn`t live there. He was out of place. He was out of place.

WILLIAMS: He had a right to be there, Frank.

TAAFFE: He`s out of the place. He`s on private property. That`s my property.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to take a break. We`ll be right back into the "Lion`s Den" on the other side.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was not a racial incident. This was an incident of a good man trying to do the right thing who, like he had countless times before, called for help.

TRACY MARTIN, FATHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: You`ve got a neighborhood watch person packing a gun, on prescription medication, going around trying to say who belongs in the neighborhood and who doesn`t.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then I heard, like from my window, pop, pop, pop. I don`t know what a gun really sounds like, I just know like it was about three popping noises.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that just shows you how hard it is to be a witness. There was one shot fired. But some people heard three pops. It`s been a long time. It`s not hard to remember everything. Frankly, if somebody asked me what I did yesterday, I wouldn`t remember.

Now we`re talking about this star witness, Rachel Jeantel, the woman you see here. And she could be the key to the prosecution`s case. But the question is, is she consistent about whether it was Trayvon`s voice screaming for help that rainy night.

Listen to this then we`ll analyze it.


DON WEST, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Today, you told Mr. de la Rionda that it was Trayvon Martin`s voice.

JEANTEL: I had told you in the depo it was Trayvon`s voice.

WEST: Let me show you this. Do you admit then you were asked who was screaming for help and your answer was it could be Trayvon?

JEANTEL: Yes. He had told me -- I told you it sounded like Trayvon, because Trayvon had a kind of baby voice.

WEST: The question is: "Well, who was screaming for help? It`s not Trayvon, is it?" And your answer, "It could be Trayvon." And the question: "You know his voice so well, was that Trayvon Martin -- was that Trayvon screaming for help or wasn`t it?" Your answer, "It could be. Like I said, I don`t know. But it could be. The dude sound kind of like Trayvon. Trayvon do got that soft voice and that baby voice sometimes."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go out to Jean Casarez, who has been in court for the duration, knows a lot about this case. Jean, the defense was making a big deal about inconsistencies. Tell us -- explain what that was all about.

JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: I think they just started. I think one of the biggest points that they tried to make were the words that George Zimmerman allegedly said right before the phone went dead, because when she testified in court today to, she said when Trayvon said "Why are you following me." George Zimmerman responded, "What are you doing around here?" But in her previous deposition testimony, she said that George Zimmerman said, "What are you talking about?" Now, that`s close, but it`s different.

And the defense is going to make every point they can to say there`s inconsistency here. That she really didn`t hear what she`s testifying to or what she testified before in deposition.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tanya Young Williams, who remembers to the nth degree what somebody said on a phone so long ago?

WILLIAMS: No one, Jane. It would be ludicrous for us to assume that she would have everything correct. What is telling is that she did not hear George Zimmerman identify himself. That`s what he should have done as the watchman in his community, following procedure. He should have said in response to Trayvon Martin, I am George Zimmerman -- whatever his title is -- that`s why I`m following you. He didn`t do that. And that`s what he should have done. To me, that was key in her testimony.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And by the way, this killing happened February 26, 2012. So it`s well over a year ago. Not this past February, but the February before.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Shanequa, New York, your question or thought -- Shanequa?

SHANEQUA, NEW YORK (via telephone): Hi. Thank you for having me.


SHANEQUA: My question is, how did we get so far away from the facts? The facts that we do know for sure is that Zimmerman was given a direct order not to follow this man by the non-emergency 911 operator. I don`t understand how we get mixed up into everything else, when he clearly was given a statement and he disregarded it completely.

In my opinion, had he stayed in his vehicle and followed the rules, we wouldn`t be here talking about Trayvon right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon Leiberman?


LEIBERMAN: Bottom line is, the caller is probably right. Had George Zimmerman never gotten out of his vehicle, Trayvon Martin would still be alive. Now, there`s a legal standard, however, you know to me; and because he pursued Trayvon at some point, does that show depraved mind? Does that show, you know, intent and in the second degree murder realm? That`s a different story. So I think we all agree that had Zimmerman stayed in his car, this wouldn`t have happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to get to more of the key issues in the crucial testimony today. A short break -- we`ll be right back.



ZIMMERMAN: I was calling because we had a lot of break ins in our neighborhood recently and I`m on the neighborhood watch. There`s two suspicious characters at the gate of my neighborhood. I`ve never seen them before. I have no idea what they`re doing. They`re just hanging out, loitering.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Zimmerman can you describe the two individuals?

ZIMMERMAN: To African-American males.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the judge today made a very crucial ruling -- ruling that five calls to police that Zimmerman made in the past reporting suspicious activity are admissible, will be admitted.

Straight out to Dana Swickle, criminal defense attorney -- how big a win is that for the prosecution?

DANA SWICKLE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, clearly that`s going to be a big win for the prosecution but it`s the defense`s job obviously to spin it. I think you can spin it in the following way. Listen, five times before he made a call, five times before he followed the rules, five times before he didn`t get out of his car. What was it that Trayvon Martin was doing or what did he see that caused him on this sixth occasion to get out of his car? Did he see something different?

I can bet you if I was the defense counsel that`s how I would spin it. That`s all that they need to do at this particular point, is ok, it`s coming in, you deal it with and you move on. And that`s how they can do it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tanya Young Williams.

WILLIAMS: Well, if Trayvon was doing something suspicious I would guarantee you that Zimmerman would have stated it. Therefore, I can`t assume that that`s an issue. I think these 911s getting in are key because as the prosecution has said that George Zimmerman had a growing frustration with, his words, punks getting away with it. So that`s why in the prior times, he did nothing. But this time he was fed up and he followed Trayvon Martin and this is why we`re in this trial right now. He should have stayed in his car and followed the rules, but he didn`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. More to come. So much controversy. So many highlights. We`ll bring them to you. Stay right there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A huge day in the George Zimmerman trial with the prosecution`s star witness taking the stand. Straight out to the phone lines -- Shannon, Ohio, your question or thought -- Shannon.

SHANNON, OHIO (via telephone): Hi Jane, how are you today?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fine, thanks.

SHANNON: Ok. My point that I want to get across is I believe it was premeditated. I believe that it was premeditated because George Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin knowingly that he had a gun on him. I believe that he went after Trayvon Martin to cause (inaudible) harm and that`s exactly what he did. He killed him and now he`s playing self-defense. Even if Trayvon Martin did defend himself, George Zimmerman prevented, he could have prevented all of this by just letting the police do their job.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that wraps it up for us. A very passionate, passionate story.

Nancy has more coming up right now