Saturday, June 1, 2013

Watch George Zimmerman trial hearing May 28, 2013 (full videos, transcript)

On May 28, 2013, George Zimmerman's attorneys returned to the Seminole County Courthouse where 18th Judicial Circuit Judge Debra Nelson heard several defense motions. Zimmerman was not in attendance but rather lead defense attorney Mark O'Mara and attorneys Don West and Lorna Truett spoke on his behalf. Judge Nelson rejected several motions that were critical to the defense strategy, according to Mark O'Mara.

Here are some of the motions rejected by Judge Nelson.

Jurors will not be allowed to travel to the scene of the crime to view where
George Zimmerman mugshot
George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin first hand. According to Judge Nelson, such a move would jeopardize the safety and identity of the jurors.

Judge Nelson also ruled that certain text messages retrieved from Trayvon's Martin that referenced fighting would not be allowed in trial. Mark O'Mara indicated that showing Trayvon Martin had a proclivity for fighting. The defense theory is that Trayvon Martin instigated the fight and that George Zimmerman was forced Judge Nelson wouldn't be swayed and shut the motion down.

Also, the George Zimmerman trial will not be delayed, but will begin on June 10, 2013. You may watch the trial, live streaming online in the video player above. You may watch the George Zimmerman trial hearing from May 28, 2013, in the videos below, along with a partial transcript from the Nancy Grace show where she and her guests discussed the day's events.

Nancy Grace Transcript
May 28, 2013


ZIMMERMAN: George. He ran.

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

ZIMMERMAN: Zimmerman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s gunshots.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just heard gunshots?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard the crying. It was a little boy. As soon as the gun went off, the crying stopped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had a .9-millimeter gun. Trayvon Martin had a bag of Skittles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George was out of breath. He was barely conscious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: George Zimmerman hunted my son like an animal.


GRACE: We are live and taking your calls. Major smackdown in the Trayvon Martin murder trial today against the defense (inaudible), George Zimmerman. Jean Casarez, out to the courthouse, what happened?

CASAREZ: What a day for the prosecution. There were so many motions in limine (ph) by the prosecution to keep out character evidence of Trayvon Martin. His suspension records, his school police records, the fact that - -

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa.

CASAREZ: -- past marijuana use.

GRACE: Suspension records from high school. What grade was he in?

CASAREZ: He was 17 years old, and he was suspended from high school. That was why he was in Sanford, Florida. He lived in the Miami area. He was suspended for a time period because of --

GRACE: Can I ask you something? Can I ask you something quickly, Jean? What in the hay does a teenage boy getting thrown out of school on suspension have to do with him getting gunned down? What`s the connection?

CASAREZ: And that`s why the prosecution filed the motion, because they said it`s not relevant. This has nothing to do with what happened on February 26th.

GRACE: Why did the defense want to bring it in? Why did the defense want to bring it in?

CASAREZ: The defense said we don`t think it`s relevant either, but if the door is opened, we may want to bring it in. They`re not asking to bring it in at this point.

GRACE: All right, OK. Let me go out to Frank Taaffe, close friend of George Zimmerman, in court today. Taaffe, why does Zimmerman want to bring in that this boy was suspended from school earlier?

FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND OF ZIMMERMAN: Well, thank you for having me on your show again, Nancy. First of all, Mr. O`Meara wanted to intertwine the fact that the reason why he was up here was on suspension for having a marijuana baggie in school, and other various items. And first of all --

GRACE: Are you talking about the ladies jewelry and the burglary tool? Is that what you`re talking about?


GRACE: I mean, let`s just put it out there. Let me see, Taaffe.

TAAFFE: All right. I`m here. I`m here.

GRACE: Mr. Taaffe, I want to tell you something. There is absolutely no legal reason that that can come into evidence. The only thing -- I do have a concern with the judge`s ruling on one other thing, and this is in Zimmerman`s favor. No. 1, I lose respect when they want to bring in a boy`s history for being thrown out of school. God forbid my son, my baby, would ever get in trouble in school.

TAAFFE: I concur.

GRACE: (INAUDIBLE), no. The fact that Trayvon did have a trace of THC in his blood system, I do have a concern with the judge`s ruling that that not come in. Because -- that means marijuana. Because if the defense is Trayvon was acting erratically and he did all this, the fact that he`s got this in his system could support that.

TAAFFE: Nancy, I`m on the opposite end. Working with young adults with addiction to marijuana, I did not concur with the defense about him acting suspiciously with THC in his system. I`m under the belief that he was going through withdrawals.


TAAFFE: And as you know --

GRACE: Where are you getting that? Are you just coming up with it right now sitting in your seat?

TAAFFE: Well, no, I`m working with youth right now that had -- that go through withdrawals from THC addictions, from other drugs, from other narcotics, even alcoholics.

GRACE: Well, if he had it in his system, Steve Helling --


TAAFFE: There was one nanoliter that was drawn from the chest blood. And that showed, according to the medical examiner, that showed chronic use of marijuana, even though --

GRACE: All right, hold on, Mr. Taaffe, I get you and all your good works working with children, and I applaud that. I want to go out to Daryl Parks, attorney for Trayvon Martin`s parents. Mr. Parks, can I get a straight answer from somebody? Why was the defense trying to bring in that Trayvon got kicked out of school, suspended for having an empty baggie with marijuana residue in it? What does that have to do with this?

DARYL PARKS, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON`S PARENTS: It has absolutely nothing to do with the case, Nancy. I mean, I think Trayvon`s mother and father put it best last week when they saw the evidence coming out that was intentionally being placed by the defense team trying to smear Trayvon`s name.

GRACE: Have you seen that picture? Let me ask you this, Mr. Parks. Have you seen the picture that was on the Internet? Everybody`s talking about hey, if this guy came after you, I`d shoot him, too.

Liz, do we have the picture? Let me see it. I want to see it. I`m glad that you have it, Liz, but I think we`d like to show it on the TV

set. Mr. Parks, did you see -- did you just see this? This was circulating as if this were Trayvon Martin saying that we`re all trying to mislead the public that Trayvon was a boy.

He is a boy. Didn`t he just turn 17?

TAAFFE: Nancy, we`re not here to dehumanize Trayvon. And Mr. Parks would concur, and I agree with a lot of --


GRACE: That needs to be left out.

GRACE: Taaffe, I was throwing that to Daryl Parks. Go ahead, sir.

PARKS: Certainly. They did several things, Nancy. And even in open court today, Mark O`Meara, he said that we intend to try this case upon marijuana use. We want to bring up the guns issue and his propensity for fighting.

Now, the only thing that matters legally in this case, Nancy, is what happened during the seven-minute interaction that George Zimmerman was following and going after Trayvon Martin.

GRACE: Mr. Parks, Mr. Parks, Mr. Parks --


GRACE: -- the only way -- and I`ve tried more of these than I can even count -- the only way, if Trayvon Martin did have a reputation for violence, or for starting fights, if he did -- and I don`t know that did -- but if he did, the only way that can come into evidence is if the defendant knows of the reputation.

It`s like this, Mr. Parks. If I see -- who`s the heavyweight champion I was talking about -- Mike Tyson. If I see Mike Tyson walk into this room and put his hands up, yes, I`ll shoot him, because I know his reputation for violence.

PARKS: Right. He didn`t know him.

GRACE: Mr. Zimmerman didn`t know Trayvon.

PARKS: Not at all.

GRACE: So that`s not going to come in.

Please tell me, Jean Casarez, that that`s not coming in.

CASAREZ: All right, the judge has said it`s not coming in. Here`s what I understand case law says in the state of Florida. Since George Zimmerman did not know Trayvon Martin, you`re exactly right. Specific instances of fighting or anything in that area cannot come in, because it can`t form the basis of the state of mind of George Zimmerman.


GRACE: The courtroom erupting today in the Trayvon Martin pre-trial hearing. To Steve Helling, writer with People magazine. Steve, this is what Zimmerman has got going for him, the lacerations to the back of his head, that`s going to make it look like mutual combat, even though he was following Trayvon Martin to start with. What can you tell me about the blows to the back of the head. Are they for real?

HELLING: Yes. They are for real. Obviously there was some sort of contact on the back of his head. And what we`ll have to find out is exactly what happened that night, but yes, there`s no question that there were some injuries sustained by George Zimmerman. Nobody`s saying that isn`t true. But the matter is who instigated that? Who started that? And that is what is going to come out in court.

GRACE: To Dr. Bill Manion, ME out of Philly tonight, Dr. Manion, what do you make of the lacerations to the back of Zimmerman`s head?

MANION: Well, Mr. Zimmerman said that his head was pushed onto the ground by Trayvon, and that laceration would be consistent with that story.


GRACE: We remember American hero, Army Staff Sergeant Keith Bishop, 28, Medford, New York. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, parents Bob and Sue, brother Steve, sisters Janis, Janine and twin Kim. Widow, Maggie. Keith Bishop, American hero.

And now, back to the Trayvon Martin pre-trial eruption in court today. Dr. Bill Manion was just talking about the injuries to the back of Zimmerman`s head, but to you, Daryl Parks, you`re the attorney for Trayvon Martin`s parents. Frank Taaffe, friend of Zimmerman, with us. Daryl Parks, what is the explanation for the wounds to the back of Zimmerman`s head? I want to hear it from you.

TAAFFE: Nancy, I don`t think it matters about the head injury that he had. At the end of the day, we all know how this incident started. Trayvon was a pedestrian walking from the store, going back to his father`s girlfriend`s house. There is no way, shape, or form that George Zimmerman should have gotten out of that truck. He was the aggressor.

Now, that`s important, because a guy walking from the store cannot cause harm to a guy who`s in a truck. So George made a decision to get out of the truck. He said that Trayvon looked suspicious to him. And he made the decision to go after Trayvon. That`s the most important part. That`s the aggression. The fact that Trayvon had to fight for his life when George got out of the truck, that`s a moot point. He should have fought for his life. Mr. Zimmerman had a gun.

GRACE: OK. Let`s hear it, Taaffe.

TAAFFE: Daryl, that`s strong, man. That`s insignificant, the injury to the back of his head? You all were screaming for blood last year. We showed the picture, we got blood. What is more significant is that ground zero, which was my house, had -- what was Trayvon doing up in my yard looking in my window, number one? Number two, George was on his way to the Target and he shared with the 911 dispatcher that he looked suspicious, he was looking up in the houses. Did you not hear that? I`m sure you did, Daryl. I mean, you`re a good attorney.


GRACE: I`ve got a question. Daryl Parks, Mr. Parks, and I don`t -- you`ve listened to the 911, you`ve listened to the dispatch call. Do you believe that Zimmerman used a racial slur?

PARKS: I think the mere fact that he said that these assholes always get away with it. Nancy--

TAAFFE: It`s not a racial slur.


PARKS: It`s a very negative slur, though. For him to say just a young black man walking--


GRACE: Wait a minute, guys. Wait a minute. The only issue is to what Parks is saying, Taaffe is going to motive. Whether it`s a calling him an ass or calling him a racial slur that I don`t even want to say because it`s inciting. Both of those go to motive, either one of them. OK. We`ll pick it up, everybody, court is done in Florida for tonight. But Dr. Drew`s up next. I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.


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