Saturday, June 2, 2012

Jane Velez-Mitchell Transcript June 1, 2012 George Zimmerman ordered back to Jail

George Zimmerman's bond was revoked on June 1, 2012, and the accused murderer has to return to jail by Sunday, June 3, 2012. The groundbreaking developments were covered by major news outlets throughout Friday, including HLN's own Jane Velez-Mitchell.

The following is a transcript of Velez-Mitchell's show as aired on June 1. Mitchell followed the developments as well as addressed possible evidence that could prejudice a jury against Zimmerman.

What do you think of the following developments and allegations that Zimmerman withheld a U.S. passport and that his wife lied about how much cash the couple had on hand?

Here is the Jane Velez-Mitchell transcript.

George Zimmerman Ordered Back to Jail

Aired June 1, 2012 - 19:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you from New York City.

Breaking news in the Trayvon Martin shooting case. Accused killer George Zimmerman ordered back to jail, the judge revoking his bond for lying to the court.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, breaking news in the George Zimmerman case. Trayvon Martin`s shooter ordered back to jail after the prosecutor accused him of lying at his bond hearing. The judge furious as he revoked George Zimmerman`s bond. We`re going to talk to the lawyer for Trayvon`s family.

Also, growing questions about a disturbing series of crimes that have one very hideous things in common. Cops say a porn star dismembered and consumed a human body and caught it on video. Another man accused of doing the same thing to his roommate. A third attempting to devour the face of a homeless man. What is behind this? We`re going to examine the psychological roots.

Also, the mother of adorable missing Kyron Horman suing mad tonight. Desiree Young`s little boy vanished almost two years ago after his stepmom, Terri Horman, dropped him off at school. And now Desiree wants to hold Terri responsible. Will this spark any new clues in the search for Kyron?

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, SHOOTING SUSPECT: Hey, we`ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there`s a real suspicious guy.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Sanford Police Department is conducting a fair investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was gunshots.

SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON: Our son was not committing any crime!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No justice! No peace!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No justice! No peace!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No justice! No peace!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you following him?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Zimmerman has made the statement of self- defense.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But Neighborhood Watch is Neighborhood Watch, not neighborhood shoot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One million dollars for the capture of George Zimmerman.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, if I had a son, he`d look like Trayvon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he`s yelling "help"?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George, what`s your last name?

ZIMMERMAN: Zimmerman.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, breaking news in George Zimmerman`s murder case. The man accused of gunning down an unarmed teen has been ordered back to jail. A judge in Florida revoked Zimmerman`s bond today for lying about his passport and how much money he had.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KENNETH LESTER, JUDGE: He can`t sit back and obtain the benefits of a lower bond or circumstances based upon those material falsehoods. That`s what they were. So at this time I revoke him bond, place him on no-bond status.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The Neighborhood Watch volunteer is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The teen was walking home from a convenience store the evening of February 26 when the defendant shot him, shot him dead. Zimmerman claims he fired in self-defense. The prosecutor says Zimmerman misrepresented how much money he had when his bond was first granted back in April. That`s a fancy way of saying he lied. Zimmerman claimed indigence, that he was broke. And that played a part in him getting to walk out of jail.

But the state now says Zimmerman had access to at least 135 grand he got from a Web site where he was asking for donations to help pay for his defense. Prosecutors say Zimmerman can be heard in jail phone calls talking in code, telling his wife, essentially, to move the money around.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The defendant`s wife lied to this court when -- and I`ve cited in the motion -- both Mr. O`Mara and the state asked her questions, she stated she had no money when, in fact, the records show that she did.

We have the jail calls the defendant made to his wife and to other people -- and I`ll focus specifically on his wife, Shelly Zimmerman -- in which he repeatedly tells her about the money, about moving the money, and transferring it from one position to the other.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow! Those phone calls are going to become a crucial part of this entire case.

Straight out to Natalie Jackson, the attorney for the Trayvon Martin family. Your reaction to this extraordinary development of the judge saying, "You lied. You go back to jail."

NATALIE JACKSON, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN`S FAMILY: I will tell you, we`ve said all along this case is about the American justice system and whether or not it works equally and fairly for all.

What the judge did today was very important to this case. The judge said that he was going to follow the law, and he was going to make everyone else follow the law. And it testified truthfully about what they know, and he was not going to allow any shenanigans in his courtroom.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say, Mark Nejame, HLN contributor, criminal defense attorney, what I saw, just from a chess game strategy was, wow, this is war.

Now, you remember during that bond hearing it seemed like the defense attorney, Mark O`Mara, had really scored points against the prosecution, even embarrassed the prosecutors. He sort of held a mini trial, called up an investigator, started cross-examining him. The gentleman didn`t have all the answers, hadn`t seen a medical report. And everybody was kind of snickering, saying, "Wow. Mark O`Mara, Zimmerman`s attorney, just absolutely devastated them."

Well, today it was payback, because this was a big day for the prosecution, Mark.

MARK NEJAME, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, credit where credit`s due.

Look, if he lied, bail should be denied. There`s no question about it.

I was a little surprised in that I thought that the judge would require a hearing in order for a determination to be made as to whether there was a misrepresentation. The judge has done it in reverse of what I thought. He basically yanked the bond and said, "I`ll give you a second bite of the apple. But if you want another evidentiary hearing later on, I`ll give it to you."

But apparently, the state was able to get the tapes of -- when you`re in jail, all your calls are recorded. And they had it all lined up, and they were able to establish, at least to the court`s satisfaction, that there was money there. And if there was money there, and it was a misrepresentation, judge did the right thing.

I just simply wanted there to be an evidentiary hearing so we could really find out what happened. But apparently -- and I`ve not seen it -- but if those transcripts are as the judge indicated -- of course, we have no reason to doubt otherwise. I mean, if the judge stated it, I know it to be correct. Then there`s big trouble. Not only for yanking the bond but also for the credibility down the line.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, exactly. How dumb is this?

Joe Episcopo, criminal defense attorney, I mean, in a self-defense case where the victim is not around anymore, because he`s tragically died, the shooter`s most important defense is his own word, his credibility, when he claims, "I did it in self-defense."

And now his credibility, according to a lot of observers, is shot because he`s been shown up by prosecutors to be a liar and also kind of a conniver, allegedly, purportedly speaking in code with his wife, caught on this recording.

JOE EPISCOPO, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, especially as it relates to...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, Joe.

EPISCOPO: And you know, I know Judge Lester. He`s a very fair and even-tempered judge. Even though he did throw me out of his courtroom one time.

Now they`ll have to appeal his decision and prove an abuse of discretion, which they won`t be able to do, and he`ll sit there until his trial comes. So I don`t think he`s in good shape at this particular point.

And, you know, I thought it was pretty obvious that they were making a lot of money on the Internet. They should have said something. "Judge, we`re hoping to make a lot of money to help with this case on the Internet. So far we`ve made such-and-such." Why didn`t they do that? It sounds like they were trying to cover it up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I`ve got to tell you, I talked to Mark O`Mara after that bond hearing. And I said, listen, when it came out that they had made all of this money on the Web site, I said, "Didn`t you ask your client about that?"

And he acknowledged. He said, you know, "I should have -- I should have been a little more thorough."

But, I mean, I think in this day and age where everything comes out, Natalie Jackson, were you, as the attorney -- an attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family, astounded that these kinds of purported hijinks were being played with the court on such a high-profile case? Does anybody really think they`re going to be able to hide a couple of hundred grand?

JACKSON: Well, you know, we`ve always known that George Zimmerman`s credibility is what is going to do him in at the end. That this whole case is based on whether or not he`s credible, whether or not there is a self- defense claim.

He`s the only person that say that he acted in self-defense. So his credibility is the key to this case. So what we were, we were actually -- our faith was restored a little bit that the law was going to be followed. We`ve always believed, if the law is followed, then there will be a conviction in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Want to go out to the phone lines, because they`re lighting up over this. Lori, Tennessee, your question or thought -- Lori.

CALLER: Hi, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi.

CALLER: I just, you know -- just listening to all of these things that are going on with this case, and I thought from the beginning, if Zimmerman would have just taken responsibility for what happened, I think he knew it wasn`t self-defense. But he had to come up with something. And he knew law enforcement well enough.

But I also think that the police officers dropped the ball a little bit, too, because they just took his word for it. And now...

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These witnesses are scared to death to comply in terms of their names, their intimate details, where they live, their relatives, their phone numbers, et cetera, being publicized, where they work. And our fear is that`s what`s going to occur.

And in the long run, it`s going to do a disservice to this particular case, and it`s going to severely impact the ability to try this case in this county, maybe even the state of Florida.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, that`s the prosecutor saying, "Hey, Judge, please don`t give out to the media the names of the witnesses and the photo of the victim, texts, cell phone records."

But, of course, Florida has the biggest, most open sunshine laws, and essentially the judge said, "Look, the law is against us. The law in Florida is different than any other place in the country."

But that got overshadowed by the bombshell developments toward the end of the hearing when the judge hears the prosecution`s motion to throw this guy, George Zimmerman, back in the clink and agrees. In fact, the judge is furious.

Sunny Hostin, "In Session" legal contributor, play it down. Tell us in people terms what the heck happened.

SUNNY HOSTIN, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": Well, what happened is that the government, of course, filed a motion to revoke George Zimmerman`s bond on two grounds, because they have been doing their work, their investigation. And they found out that George Zimmerman and Shelly Zimmerman had been having these jailhouse phone calls. And, as you know, Jane, and as I know and probably most of your viewers know, those calls are always monitored and taped.

Well, for the first round, they found out that George Zimmerman, while he did relinquish one passport, apparently, he had a second passport that he had applied for, claiming that the first passport had been lost. And the second passport that he maintains that he kept didn`t expire until 2014.

But, really, Jane, what the court, what Judge Lester was most concerned about was the second ground that the government moved on, and that is they found out during these phone calls between George and Shelly Zimmerman that, in fact, the day before this bond hearing, the hearing at which Shelly Zimmerman took an oath to tell the truth, yet told the court that she had no money, no funds that she knew of to come up with enough money to bond George Zimmerman out. In fact, they had $135,000 in a credit union account that she controlled at the direction of George Zimmerman.

Well, Jane, you know judges do not like to be lied to. They don`t like misrepresentations. And once he heard about that, this judge yanked his bond, ordered him back to jail within 48 hours.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Nejame, HLN contributor, criminal defense attorney out of Orlando, if George Zimmerman ultimately takes the stand in his own defense at his trial, will he be cross-examined about these alleged misrepresentations, this lying purportedly about passport, about money?

NEJAME: You hit the nail on the head. That`s going to be the issue about admissibility. And he did not specifically say that at his bond hearing, but apparently allowed his wife to make statements which the judge has interpreted as being untrue. So to specifically attach a statement, you really can`t do that.

However, if they can show that he possibly allowed lies to come in, it`s going to be a stretch. I mean, it`s one thing to pull the bond. It`s going to clearly impact his credibility for a stand-your-ground hearing, presuming there is one. It becomes more iffy at the time of trial whether any of it will be able to get in.

But I think if, in fact, the lie was told and it turns out to be a lie -- and I think there is going to be a subsequent evidentiary hearing -- judge gave the defense the opportunity to do that. In his press conference, O`Mara said that he would be presenting his client to give an explanation to the court.

But the reality of it is, is that this hurts across the board: credibility and everything else, no question about it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Natalie Jackson, you are an attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family. What was their reaction to this news? Because I know they were devastated when he got out on bond, and he walked free. I remember them walking away, and they looked like they had tears in their eyes.

JACKSON: Yes. You know, of course they always thought that George Zimmerman behind -- belonged behind bars. They are parents who lost a teenage -- a teenage child. So for them, I think that, you know, they consider that their faith is being restored in the justice system, too.

They want the law to be followed. That`s all that they`ve asked for in this case. That was that. The beginning of this case was the demand for an arrest. We know, by the prosecution`s affidavit, there should have been an arrest in this case.

So the law has always -- whether or not we were going to follow the law has always been a question. And today the judge gave us faith by telling us, yes, we are.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LESTER: He can`t sit back and enjoy the benefit of a lower bond or circumstances based upon those material falsehoods. That`s what they were. So at this time, revoke his bond, place him on no-bond status.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: An angry judge says, "George Zimmerman, you`re going back to jail."

And to put it in people terms, the prosecutor said that this guy lied, that he lied and that his wife also misrepresented the amount of money they had. They presented themselves as broke when they were given -- he was given bond, and now it comes out that they had a lot of money. They had a Web site set up to receive donations.

Now, this could be the beginning of Zimmerman`s problems, because there was something that sort of -- you could have missed it if you were watching the hearing. It was said in passing but could be absolutely crucial. And it relates to this so-called witness No. 9.

The prosecutor cryptically referred to some person that has some kind of dispute with George Zimmerman, details that the state says could prejudice the jury against George Zimmerman. Listen carefully.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The audio-recorded statements, 2 CDs have been furnished to defense of a witness identified as witness No. 9 taken on March 20 of 2012 by investigators for the Sanford state attorney`s office.

It deals with an allegation made by that witness regarding an act committed by this defendant. I think quite frankly, in fairness to the defendant, it would be severely prejudicial to the defendant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Allegations of an act committed by this defendant that would be severely prejudicial to this defendant? Wow, my ears popped up at that one. Mark Nejame, did your ears pop up when you heard that, too?

NEJAME: I must have been driving because I didn`t hear it, but, having heard it now, I will tell you that what he`s likely alluding to is prior acts. Prior acts are historically and typically and legally not permitted in court. I think that`s what both sides were arguing, they were trying to bar the press from basically having all this.

Apparently, he did something that will be interpreted by the public, at least from the prosecution`s perspective, as being prejudicial and inflammatory, and it won`t be admissible in court anyway. So that`s likely -- what it is specifically we don`t know, but a prior act standing alone is not going to get into court.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Sunny Hostin, briefly, are we going to learn, is the media going to find out, what this allegation is? Twenty seconds.

HOSTIN: Well, you know, it seemed that the judge was inclined to release a lot of information. He said very clearly, Jane, that according to him and the sunshine laws, that the laws were sort of against what the prosecution was asking for. So we may hear about it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Extraordinary day in court.



No comments:

Post a Comment

George Zimmerman Trial Twitter Updates