Return to Transcripts main page


Graphic Testimony In Courtroom; Crime Scene Tech Describes Martin Shooting; Jackson Died Four Years Ago Today; $1.2 Million Airport Heist; Fungus Forces Prisoner Transfer; NFL Player Hernandez Stays Silent; Why George Zimmer Was Fired; Home Prices Jump 12.1 Percent

Aired June 25, 2013 - 14:30   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: It is now day two of testimony in the long awaited George Zimmerman murder trial in Sanford, Florida. Testimony has now shifted to the night Trayvon Martin was shot and the first people who arrived on the scene that evening. Right now, there is a crime technician who's now taken the stand. Her name is Diane Smith. You will hear from her momentarily. But let me bring in our guest here, HLN's Vinnie Politan. It's nice to have you on.

VINNIE POLITAN, ANCHOR, HLN: Great to see you.

BALDWIN: I know you are in the weeds on this and so let's just begin with Diane Smith because this is the first time we're sort of seeing some of the evidence, some of the pictures, but before we hear why that's significant, guys, let's just hear the sound.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officer Smith, do you recognize that exhibit?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was that the gun and holster you received from Officer Tim Smith in connection with this case?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, do you recognize the packaging, the case number, et cetera?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could you hold up the firearm for the jury, please? All right, and the red piece that you're holding in your left hand, is that a gun lock to secure the firearm?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that is correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, did that gun lock -- was that given to you when you received it from Officer Smith or was that something that's been added later for courtroom security? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been added later.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, if you would then, please hold up the holster containing that exhibit. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your honor, I'm sorry to interrupt. May we have the exhibit number, please?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe it's 154.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officer Smith, did you wear gloves when you handled that firearm?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And why did you wear gloves?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To preserve any evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you process the firearm in any way?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And how did do you that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For which processing method?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that's what I'm asking you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In what ways did you process it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I processed it for touch DNA and fingerprint purposes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you say touch DNA, what do you mean?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, it's -- touch DNA meaning it's not like physical DNA, like the presence of blood. It's something that you may not be able to see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, how do you process an item for touch DNA?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Use a sterile swab with distilled water, put that on the tip of the sterile swab, you swab the area for a few minutes, package it, and secure it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, and did you do that with the firearm in this case?


UNIDENTIFIED ALE: And can you show the jury what areas of the firearm you processed for DNA?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I can. I processed the grip, which is on the backside, the trigger, and the back part of the slide here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, and then what did you do with those swabs?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I submitted them into evidence.


BALDWIN: OK, so this was happening as you've seen moments ago. Again, the crime scene technician being questioned, walk us through sort of the Q and A there.

POLITAN: That's significant moment. You're talking about, first of all, just bringing that gun into the courtroom because everyone in the courtroom knows what happened with that gun. That's the gun that killed Trayvon Martin. So that's powerful in and of itself, but now we're talking about the DNA, significant along two lines.

One, to link the gun to George Zimmerman, yes, you've got his admissions. He is saying self defense. You still to prove everything. The other was the story. George Zimmerman's story is that Trayvon Martin was reaching for that gun in that struggle, and that's when George Zimmerman grabbed it and shot Trayvon Martin. So what will those results say about any of Trayvon Martin's DNA is on that gun. What we know already, there was none.

BALDWIN: What about before the crime scene technician who was on the stand? It was the patrol sergeant who was on the screen and on a huge projector screen was shown the body of Trayvon Martin himself, tough obviously for the family in the courtroom. What happened then?

POLITAN: That's important too and for Trayvon Martin's mom and dad, they had to leave. They couldn't take it. That's very common and understandable obviously. But what is also does for the prosecution is take this from opening statements about a story and you're making it very, very real for this jury. Two things, you saw the picture of Trayvon Martin, and they followed that up with the gun that was used to shoot and kill Trayvon Martin. So it has -- there's the evidentiary part of it and the strategy as well.


POLITAN: You've got to make it real. There has to be a real victim. There's not a story you're telling inside a courtroom and you're detached from it. No, no. This was a real 17-year-old and here he is. Here's what happen and here's the gun that did it, ladies and gentlemen. This is a big day for the prosecution.

BALDWIN: Finally, anything else that surprised you or you were impressed by? POLITAN: You know what I think it's not necessarily surprising, but it's a contrast because a lot of folks in the last five or six months got used to the phasing of the Jodi Arias case. We're in Florida now. This is a normal pacing of a trial so things are moving much more quickly. This is case that will wrap up in weeks, not months, and we're seeing witnesses get on and off the stand in a day. Not months like Jodi Arias.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Weeks in this case.

POLITAN: Yes, weeks not months before we get a verdict.

BALDWIN: OK, Vinnie, thank you so much. Make sure you all tune in, HLN "After Dark, Vinnie Politan & Company" tonight at 10:00 Eastern. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

This very day four years ago, Michael Jackson died, and very, very shortly his oldest son Prince will be testifying in the family's wrongful death trial. We'll take you to Los Angeles where for what we expect him to reveal. That is next.


BALDWIN: Exactly four years ago today, breaking news that absolutely stunned the world.


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN'S "AC 360": Today at home on the west side of L.A. something happened. Michael Jackson's heart stopped. He stopped breathing. Medics were called, efforts were made. But despite those efforts Jackson died.


BALDWIN: At the time Jackson was preparing for this mega concert run. Now his family is suing the concert promoter for wrongful death. The court has already heard from Jackson's 15-year-old daughter Paris and now it's her older brother's turn, 16-year-old Prince.

CNN's Alan Duke is covering the trial for us out of Los Angeles. Alan, do we know when Prince Jackson might be testifying?

ALAN DUKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is a medical ethesis for when the doctor is through. It's my understanding that clears the way for Prince next. That won't happen today. It's most likely in the morning if they finish with this doctor that's on the stand now. We will see the 16-year-old take the oath and then answer questions about his dad's life and his last days. It should be dramatic testimony because this young man was very close, even in age 12, involved in what his father was doing, aware of his father's business, aware of his father's concerns. We're going to hear about it in court.

BALDWIN: What about his younger sister, Paris. You and I have talked at length about her. We know she's still in the hospital recovering from that apparent suicide attempt. Part of her deposition has been played. There more to be played in court, is there not?

DUKE: Right. We've only seen a very small snippet of her several hours of testimony and it was almost no context to it. It was basically seeing her in that situation and we will see a much fuller version of her deposition should the AEG Live lawyers choose to show it. They have given every indication they are.

In fact, kind of expect when her brother is on the stand tomorrow during cross examination that AEG lawyers may even pull up some of this video. Part of the impeachment process to show that Prince's testimony is inconsistent with his sister's recollections. It's a strategy that I think we may see.

I might note, yes, she is under psychiatric care, very intense situation after her suicide attempt several weeks ago. I can tell you I do not think her doctor would like to know that she's in the hospital and the televisions will show her testifying. That's dangerous thing.

BALDWIN: Not helpful at all. Alan Duke for us in Los Angeles. Alan Duke, thank you so much.

Coming up next, a heist discovered at JFK Airport. The FBI confirms it is investigating a $1.2 million chunk of change here that sort of disappeared from the Swiss Air flight. Where the money was headed and what the FBI has to say about this is next. Do not miss this.


BALDWIN: The $1.2 million, cash, missing, presumed stolen. Authorities say it was supposed to be in this secure shipping container aboard a Swiss air flight from Zurich, but when the plane arrived Saturday at JFK International Airport, the money was gone, poof.

Mary Snow has been working this one for us today. Mary, obviously the FBI is investigating this. Do they know if the money disappeared before the plane left Zurich or after it got to JFK?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is the big question, Brooke. What remains unknown is when the money was stolen. What we do know is this. The FBI says the money was being transported in a cargo container on a passenger flight, Flight 17 on Swiss International Airlines. It arrived in New York's JFK Airport Saturday afternoon.

The $1.2 million was made up of $100 bills weighing reportedly about 22 pounds. Now federal law enforcement source says the money belongs to a U.S. bank that was transferring currency from an office in Switzerland to the U.S., but first passed through a Federal Reserve facility.

When it was delivered to a Federal Reserve facility in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Monday, according to this federal law enforcement source, that's when the shortfall was discovered. Now the Federal Reserve of New York has no comment on this and Swiss International Airlines would only confirm that an investigation is going on.

BALDWIN: OK, JFK no stranger to heist. We've all seen "Good Fellows," the big heist from 1978 so perhaps here we go again. Mary Snow, thank you so much for us from New York.

Coming up next, Men's Wearhouse speaking up on why the board fired company's spokesman and co-founder George Zimmer, or he's the "I guarantee it" guy. We have what they say right after the break.


BALDWIN: And now some of the hottest stories in a flash, rapid fire. Roll it.

Let's begin in California, shall we, where inmates most at risk of contracting valley fever have to be moved out of two state prisons there. Valley fever is a potentially deadly fungus that thrives in the dry soil of the state's central valley. The "L.A. Times" is reporting that a federal judge now has given the state seven days to begin that prison transfer process. Several thousand inmates are affected by this.

And all records related to the investigation of NFL player, New England Patriots' here, Aaron Hernandez, have been sealed by the court. Police have spent a lot of time searching Hernandez's property in connection with the death of a man by the name of Odin Lloyd. He is said to have been a friend of Hernandez. Lloyd's body was found last Monday in an industrial park not far from Hernandez's home.

And you probably know the face, certainly the beard, and you definitely know this tag line.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You'll like the way you look, I guarantee it.


BALDWIN: George Zimmer will not be guaranteeing it anymore though. The Men's Wearhouse board is explaining now why they fired the company co-founder and chairman last week. The board says Zimmer wanted to take the company private and take on a lot of debt so the board said no. He protested so they fired him. Zimmer couldn't be reach for comment.

Home sales, they are booming. This is the latest report out there. The latest Case-Shiller Index of home prices in 20 cities rose 12.1 percent in the month of April. That is compared to one year ago. Folks, that's the biggest jump we've seen in seven years.

Meantime, the government says new home sales were up 29 percent in May over a year ago. The last time sales were this high was July of '08 right before the financial crisis.

And look at the green there, because of all this potentially we're up 111 points so up triple digits now, still under that 15,000 mark with an hour left of trading left to come.

Coming up, disturbing story with graphic video. A mother attacked in her own home while her daughter stood there. It's tough to watch while being beaten helplessly. She admits the video is difficult to watch, but she wants you to see it, and we'll tell you why.


BALDWIN: Now for some of the top videos of the day, hit play.


BALDWIN (voice-over): Have you seen this? A statue at the Manchester Museum seems to rotate all by itself. Look at this. The time lapse camera caught the images.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's certainly strange. You don't see that every day, do you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you disturbed by this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Am I disturbed by this? Probably not as much as I should be.

BALDWIN: Some people think the statue moves because of the vibrations cause by foot traffic. Other people think it's cursed.

Check out this reaction from this little guy when his dad misses a foul ball. The ball comes in, bounces off his shoulder, and the little boy not pleased. Good effort from dad there who made a flying leap for the ball. Better luck next time.

In Orlando, a store manager giving an interview to a local news reporter about a string of robberies in his supermarket actually recognizes one of the alleged thieves and takes the law into his own hands. Check this out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give me one second. This is the guy that stole the other day. Come with me. This is the guy that stole the other day. Come with me. You're going on the floor. You're going to the floor. Tell my brother to call the police. I don't care. I got your face when you take the meat, when you take the eggs. Don't worry.

BALDWIN: This isn't even the first time the manager has taken down a suspect. Last week, he held another man until police arrived.

And a rescue under way in Iowa, a race against time to save an elderly man's life, he's stuck in his truck as floodwaters rise around him. Rescuers pulled him to a boat and managed to bring him to safety. Crews say more than 50 percent of the town of Loudoun is currently under water and that's today's "hit play."