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Continuing Live Coverage of Zimmerman Murder Trial; Sanford Police Officer Testifies

Aired June 28, 2013 - 15:30   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: We're turning back now the George Zimmerman trial in Sanford, Florida.

Once again, you see one of the first responding officers to that scene last February. This is Officer Tim Smith. Let's go back.

MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S ATTORNEY: Didn't challenge you in any way, did he?


O'MARA: Actually he was completely cooperative, was he not?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: But protocol is you arm yourself and make sure that you have it on him to take care of the situation.

SMITH: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: And what did you next ask him?

SMITH: To -- as he was telling me that he had shot him and was still armed was when he leaned over to expose the firearm.

O'MARA: So if I topper do that, then for a moment, tell me -- I'm going to try. But your gun was on his -- right here, you testified?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: So this jacket is longer than the one he was wearing, right?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: He went like this?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: And by this movement --

SMITH: The hands going up and the leaning over.

O'MARA: OK. So like that?

SMITH: Right. O'MARA: And in just doing that movement, that was enough of a movement where the gun was exposed, correct?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: The jacket didn't cover the gun by more than a couple, few inches, right?

SMITH: I don't believe so.

O'MARA: OK. Any movement up of the jacket, even that small movement that he did by leaning over exposed the gun, right?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: Had the jacket been ridden up in any form the gun would have been exposed, right?

SMITH: I would imagine so, yes.

O'MARA: So do you remember if he had a cell phone in his hand or not?

SMITH: I don't recall.

O'MARA: OK. In any case, he showed you his gun, kept his hands in the air, didn't me?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: That's what you told me.


O'MARA: And what did he do at that point now that you have a flashlight, a gun, and you see another gun?

SMITH: I asked Mr. Zimmerman to put his hands on top of his head, interlock his fingers.


SMITH: At which point I reholstered, made hand-on contact with Mr. Zimmerman, placed him in handcuffs.

O'MARA: You leave the gun until you get his hands secured? That's protocol, as well?

SMITH: That's choice.

O'MARA: OK. He didn't resist in any way, did he?

SMITH: No, sir.

O'MARA: And I guess that not resisting, as you have him like this, interlocked, correct?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: Then you would turn him around or go behind him?

SMITH: To handcuff him?

O'MARA: Yes.

SMITH: I was behind him.

O'MARA: Right. Take one arm, get it back, take the other arm --

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: You have of course been in, I would imagine, hundreds of situations, having to handcuff people, correct?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: And most people -- I'll let you answer it. What percentage of people at least offer some resistance to you when you try to get their arms behind their back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection, relevance. Anyone else ...


O'MARA: Have you had other people resist getting their arms behind their backs?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Same objection, your honor, relevance.

O'MARA: At this point, I want to speak --


O'MARA: I'll rephrase it.


O'MARA: Did Mr. Zimmerman offer any response whatsoever to your cuffing him behind his back?

SMITH: Any response of resistance?

O'MARA: Yes. Did he respond, did he resist at all? Response, I apologize. Did he resist at all?

SMITH: No. No, sir.

O'MARA: Complied with that command of yours immediately?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: And completely?

SMITH: Yes, sir. O'MARA: Once you had him secured, then you were able to secure his firearm?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: And I think a point was made that at that point your focus, even more so than other people involved is to secure the firearm, correct?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: And though in a perfect world you might have been able to put on gloves, you didn't have the time then, you just grabbed the gun, and I think you said you put it between one of your clips and your vest?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: OK. And that was necessitated by the circumstances, wasn't it?

SMITH: That's correct.

O'MARA: That was primary goal number one at that point.

SMITH: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: OK. At this point, is your first contact to Mr. Zimmerman, did he seem angry?

SMITH: No, sir.

O'MARA: Did he seem frustrated?

SMITH: No, sir.

O'MARA: Did he seem spiteful of anything that was going?

SMITH: No, sir.

O'MARA: Any ill will or hatred at all that you saw him exude as you first saw him moments after the event?

SMITH: No, sir.

O'MARA: Any concern about him at all except for his injuries?

SMITH: No, sir.

O'MARA: Even though he had that obvious injury to his nose, did you see any injuries to the back of his head yet?

SMITH: While I was securing him, yes.

O'MARA: As you got behind, you could see the blood dripping down the back of his head? SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: So even with those injuries, did he seem agitated?

SMITH: No, sir.

O'MARA: There has been enthusiasm he was seemingly calm. Did he come across that way to you?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: OK. Having justice gone through what he went through and now that -- having just shot somebody, did his behavior to just seem strange?

SMITH: No, sir.

O'MARA: Just usual?

SMITH: I wouldn't say usual.

O'MARA: OK. Was it particularly unusual?

SMITH: No, sir.

O'MARA: Even for those circumstances.

SMITH: No, sir.

O'MARA: Didn't come across to you as being cavalier, did he?

SMITH: No, sir.

O'MARA: Or just uncaring?

SMITH: No, sir.

O'MARA: Fairly appropriate for what you now know he had just gone through?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: So you secured the gun.

SMITH: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: Then what's the next thing that you do?

SMITH: I had Mr. Zimmerman have a seat in the rear of my patrol car.

O'MARA: Let's talk about the walk over. My understanding again from other testimony is that another officer came on scene fairly quickly behind you. Do you recall that?

SMITH: That is correct.

O'MARA: Do you recall who it was?

SMITH: Officer Ayala.

O'MARA: Ayala. And you had control of Mr. Zimmerman. That became your now task, correct?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: Was it through the officer Ayala -- true that officer Ayala took over the situation of dealing with the other person now known as Mr. Martin?

SMITH: That is correct.

O'MARA: And as you were going, anything else that you recall Mr. Zimmerman saying at the scene before you started walking toward the car?

SMITH: Not before, No, sir.

O'MARA: OK. As you were walking toward the car, didn't he utter something to you sort of voluntarily?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: what did he say?

SMITH: He said to me that he was yelling for help. And that nobody would help him.

O'MARA: And how long after you first saw him did that happen? It was a minute?

SMITH: It was a few minutes.

O'MARA: OK. As long as it took to do what we just talked about?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: Then because as soon as you have him cuffed, you secured the gun.

SMITH: Right.

O'MARA: Turned him around and walked him toward your car.

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: The car was 30 yards away?

SMITH: Approximately.

O'MARA: And it was during that walk -- actually almost immediately upon turning toward walking toward the car that he uttered that to you, right?

SMITH: It wasn't very long after. No, sir.

O'MARA: OK. He actually said that to you twice, didn't me?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: Second time was after you got to the car?

SMITH: That's correct.

O'MARA: Tell me how he said that ...

BALDWIN: Got to take a quick, quick break.

Again, you have been listening to -- and they're spending a little bit of time with him. This is defense attorney Mark O'Mara now, cross- examining this officer who is significant because he's the one who slapped the handcuffs on George Zimmerman. He's the one who's describing his behavior -- he didn't resist, he was not cavalier.

Also key because he's the one who saw the accessibility of George Zimmerman's gun in the holster and he's talking as he's walking George Zimmerman to his patrol car.

George Zimmerman says not once, but twice, as we just heard, that he had been yelling for help and no one would help him.

Back after this.


BALDWIN: Officer Smith, again the officer who saw George Zimmerman that night last February, describing the handcuffs, putting the handcuffs on George Zimmerman, describing his demeanor, describing the walk back to the patrol car, cross-examination resuming once again here.

O'MARA: That was mainly your reason for waiting around. Let them finish, and then continue on?

SMITH: Yes, I had to wait -- they decided to transport or not.

O'MARA: Was -- how was that decision accomplished?

SMITH: Through the paramedics.

O'MARA: And do you know -- were you there listening?

SMITH: I can -- I could overhear bits and pieces. I was pushed back because there was a crowd around the doorway of the car.

O'MARA: Including the paramedics?

SMITH: There was a crowd of paramedics.

O'MARA: Got you. Mr. George Zimmerman's still in the back seat of your car with his legs out on the ground? SMITH: Correct. That is correct.

O'MARA: The paramedic attending to him.

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: Do you know which one made the decision transport or not?

SMITH: Which paramedic? I do not.

O'MARA: OK. Seems that the decision to release him back to you was what was done.


O'MARA: Did you have any impact on that? Like I want to get him to the station, are we done here, what's going on?

SMITH: No, sir.

O'MARA: You left that in their hands?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: So he's then released to you.

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: And put him in the back seat of the car. At some point, did you actually have to help him get up out of the car for the rest of the examination, were you sort -- where you lifted him up? I'm sorry. Let me start -- he was still cuffed in the back seat of the car, correct?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: As he was being treated by medical personnel, he was cuffed.

SMITH: He was still handcuffed, yes.

O'MARA: At that point, all you know is that he's acknowledged something shot somebody.

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: And you're not going to release somebody under those circumstances just yet.

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: OK. So when the medical personnel wanted him lifted up to check the rest of him, did you help lift him up?

SMITH: No, sir.

O'MARA: Do you know if another officer did? SMITH: I don't recall.

O'MARA: Do you know how it happened with the medical personnel that --

SMITH: It may have been two of the paramedics lifted him up.

O'MARA: OK. Do you remember that happening?

SMITH: I remember him standing up, but I don't mean who. It wasn't me.

O'MARA: All right. That's finished. He's in the back seat still cuffed.

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: And you're taking him back to the Sanford?

SMITH: That's correct.

O'MARA: And tell me again of the conversation about feeling lightheaded.

SMITH: He said that he felt lightheaded, had a headache. While he was in the back seat of the patrol car.

O'MARA: That seemed consistent with his injuries to you?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: And did you then call over to Sanford police department to figure out what to do with him now that he might having to see the hospital?

SMITH: He called the supervisor that was on scene.

O'MARA: Do you recall who that was?

SMITH: Sergeant McCoy.

O'MARA: And tell me about the conversation with sergeant McCoy.

SMITH: I explained to her the comment that he had made about feeling lightheaded. She advised me if he want to go to the hospital, we'll transport him to the hospital. If not, we'll take him to the station.

O'MARA: OK. Did you discuss with Mr. Zimmerman that though you could transport him to the hospital, the expenses of that would be on his shoulders?

SMITH: I don't recall that. No, sir.

O'MARA: They would, in fact -- you would not -- SPD doesn't cover expenses if he goes to the hospital, right?

SMITH: I don't believe so.


And then we've learned -- we've seen the pictures, I'm not going to put them back up now. There was one picture after Mr. George Zimmerman had been cleaned up, correct?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: Those pictures were taken after midnight that night. Were they not?

SMITH: I don't know what time they were taken, but it was after --

O'MARA: After the initial interview with Detective Singleton?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: Who cleaned him up at SPD?

SMITH: While at the station, he was given a bottle of water and some tissues.

O'MARA: Oh, to sort of clean himself off?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: And is that how it went through the first picture we saw, the one with him with the blood all over him, to the one where the blood is gone?

SMITH: He was cleaned up some by the fire department on scene, and then while he was at the station.


BALDWIN: Officer Smith testifying. He's the one who took George Zimmerman there, who is on trial for second-degree murder here in the case of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

He's the one who went back to the station, questioned about cleaning up some of the wounds.

We've seen the bloody picture, bloodied nose, lacerations in the back of his head. He's talking about the evolution of cleaning up some injuries.

Have to get a break in.


BALDWIN: All right, let me take you back to live coverage. Now a chick change, this is John Guy, one of the co-counsel on the state side.

He is now redirecting questioning back to this officer who has taken George Zimmerman back to the patrol, back to the station, so this is what they call redirect. Here we go.

JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: ... handed defendant the tissue, like Kleenex?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

GUY: To clean himself?


GUY: Did anybody else clean him at the station?

SMITH: Not that I saw.

GUY: If I could publish one more photograph, if I could.

Officer Smith, I'm showing you state's 46. Is that a fair and accurate depiction of the way the defendant appeared when he was at the police station after he had been cleaned up?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

GUY: All right, and that was taken on the evening of the 26th or perhaps after midnight into the 27th?

SMITH: Yes, sir.

GUY: All right. Thank you, sir.

Judge, that's all I have.

O'MARA: A very brief follow-up. I think it was just a mistake, but I want to clear it up.

Mr. Guy, when he suggested his maneuvering for the picture, actually lifted up his left arm. You had testified, however, pretty certainly that the gun was on his right side. Correct?

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: And that he lifted up his right arm.

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: So you have no question in your mind whatsoever, do you, that the gun of located on his right hip?

SMITH: No, I don't.

O'MARA: OK. Mr. Guy is putting up -- his left arm is just a mistake as far as you can? Will.

SMITH: Correct.

O'MARA: Thanks. Nothing further.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, may Officer Smith be excused?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you very much. You're excused.

BALDWIN: So now Officer Smith is being excused as we await possibly for another witness, let me bring in Page Pate, criminal defense attorney, and Ryan Smith, attorney and anchor of HLN's "Evening Express." Good to see both of you all.

I have had the company of these two fine gentlemen as we've been watching sort of the last little bit.

Let's make two points. One, we were just discussing as we were watching the two different pictures, the evolution of George Zimmerman. Initially we saw the bloodied back of his head. That was a photo that was initially taken by one of the folks we saw testify today, right?

And then they cleaned him up and he looks much different. Why did they do that?

RYAN SMITH, ANCHOR, HLN'S "EVENING EXPRESS": Well, they cleaned him up on the scene. They offered it to him so that he could get himself back in shape.

But the reason why that testimony's important is ...

BALDWIN: That's what I mean.

SMITH: ... the state wants to prove that it's not that severe ...

BALDWIN: of an injury.

SMITH: ... right? Because even in openings they said the cut on the back of his head is only about two centimeters. And we were just talking about it.

If you get bopped on the head real hard ...

BALDWIN: Blood everywhere.

SMITH: Everywhere. And that's what they're trying to prove, this wasn't a life-or-death situation, the state says, against George Zimmerman. Therefore, he didn't have the right to respond with that deadly force.

PAGE PATE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: But the question is, is it consistent with what George Zimmerman is saying happened? Did he actually get the back of his head hit on the concrete?

And even if you don't have blood everywhere, it could have been a small glance, it could have been some other bump, I think the point from the defense is, look, what George Zimmerman is saying is consistent with the evidence that we know, it is consistent with what these officers are saying and these are folks you expect to be objective, unbiased and without any agenda.

BALDWIN: So we've seen a number of police officers. We saw a female member of the Sanford fire department.

But it's interesting they stayed with this officer, Officer Smith, for quite a while. He was significant because he was the one who handcuffed George Zimmerman. He could speak to his behavior, right, whether or not he was resisting.

And he was also the one who saw the gun. And that's point I also want to make.

That was significant because he had -- George Zimmerman had the gun in his -- I think it was the right side holster, right? So he showed, as he was putting and complying and putting his hands over the head to be cuffed, he could see and the officers could see and the defense is trying to show the jurors how easily accessible it would have been if, according to George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin was actually going for the gun.

SMITH: That is absolutely huge and it's a big point for the defense.

Because they say if you reach up like that -- yeah, you stand up like that, right? And when he did that his shirt came up and it revealed his gun, right?

That's all because Zimmerman's statement is that Trayvon Martin reached for that gun. You could see George Zimmerman was trying to shimmy away from him and then his shirt comes up slightly, just as it would if you had your hand over like this, and Trayvon Martin, according to Zimmerman, grabbed that gun and went for it and that's when that life-or-death altercation started.

That's huge. Not only that, the statement he said going to the police car, that's enormous. I mean, think about that.

BALDWIN: What did he say? I took that he said that he told the police officer, -- this is George Zimmerman -- that he was yelling for help and no one could come help him.

SMITH: And look who said it, Tim Smith, not George Zimmerman.

BALDWIN: A police officer.

SMITH: Right. So that comes in through the officer, not George Zimmerman, a big thing for the state -- the defense right there because that may be one thing that can keep George Zimmerman off the stand. You've got somebody else testifying about what you said.

PAGE: Right, and a very credible witness testifying as to what you want your client to say in a situation like that.

But, you know, we're still talking about this one particular incident during this fight. I think it's important and I expect the prosecution to back up and still show that there was other combat going on, that Zimmerman was involved in this, that he initiated it, and there's more to the story.

BALDWIN: Let me hit pause on this conversation.

You're seeing this young woman now taking to the stand. It's been explained to me she's a physician's assistant, so I presume we're going to hear a little bit more about medical end, perhaps the injuries that George Zimmerman sustained that night last February. Her name is Lindsay Folgate.

Quick break and then we'll hear her voice and her story, her testimony, in two minutes.


BALDWIN: We're going to take you back to Sanford, Florida, now.

I just want to say I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me the last two hours.

We will continue our live coverage here of George Zimmerman, on trial, and coming up next, you'll see Jake Tapper.

But let me just set the scene for you, once again. This young woman now on the stand is Lindsay Folgate. She's a physician's assistant and so she is the one who actually saw George Zimmerman the day after this happened.

So she's going to talk about the severity of the injuries she saw herself. Here she is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May I approach the witness?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: May I approach the court?


BALDWIN: So as they're approaching the judge here in this case, just quickly, guys, so she is the young woman who saw him. And the point about this in terms of the questioning will be, how bad was he hurt?

SMITH: Right. Because remember, part of his claim is two black eyes, broken nose.

BALDWIN: Bad news.

SMITH: Bad news. This was life threatening.

So what the prosecution wants to bring out his injuries aren't nearly that serious, that he has a cut on the back of his head, no broken nose, no black eyes. In other words, this is all about George Zimmerman's perception, but from a reasonable person's standpoint, this perception doesn't make sense because he is not in a life-threatening situation.

PAGE: But see how far we've come from yesterday? I mean, now the best the state can show us is that the injuries aren't really that bad.

But he has injuries. And most of his testimony and most of his earlier statements are now being corroborated through these law enforcement witnesses.

BALDWIN: So in the final three minutes that we have as we continue to watch and their microphones are killed and they're talking to the judge, give me the 20,000-foot view of the last five days. How is each side doing?

SMITH: I'll tell you this, from the state perspective, not great. Not great at all. They can't develop a consistent theme among their witnesses around what happened.

Now Page and I were talking about this, and that will happen in cases. But at the same time, you want to have a situation where everybody knows somebody's -- everybody backs some sort of theme, some sort of story.

This is what happened. George Zimmerman was the aggressor. Trayvon Martin was not.

BALDWIN: And that that theme is pervasive for each and every witness.

SMITH: Right and you want it to happen at this point.

The defense, I think, is scoring a lot of points with the state witnesses and you don't want that to happen this early.

BALDWIN: Because of the inconsistencies?

SMITH: Right.

PAGE: Now, as a prosecutor, you've got to expect some of your witnesses are not going to be singing from the same sheet of music. These witnesses are fact witnesses. You've got to call them. You can't wait for the defendant to call them.

But you're right. There has to be a consistent theme. And I do think the prosecutor laid out a good theme in opening, and we're not finished with the trial yet.

SMITH: Right, very early, it still has -- experts are coming, the medical examiner. All of that is significant.

Forensics are something the jury really attaches to a lot of times.

BALDWIN: So that's what's happening next week. We heard from a lot of neighbors, the eyewitnesses, the ear witnesses, this week, some of the members of the police department, the fire department today, the facts, the figures, the behavior of George Zimmerman, the positioning of the -- Trayvon Martin's body, the gunshot wound to the chest, the gun positioning on George Zimmerman's holster.

So next week, it's all about -- what is it? The science of it? What should we expect now?

Oh, I'm being told the jury is leaving the room. What time is court over, guys?

OK, so we don't -- talking to the control room. So they haven't announced officially yet.

Why would they let the jury go?

PAGE: A matter that needs to be taken up outside of the jury. There's obviously an evidentiary issue that's in play right now. And they need to step back and argue in front of the court. There needs to be a record of it, but the easiest way to do that is simply send the jury out. Bring them back in once the judge has made a decision.

SMITH: Right, and this witness becomes important because the severity of the injuries. What kind of injuries did he have? What didn't he have?

So they've got to figure out how to bring that back in.

BALDWIN: OK, quickly, 30 seconds, back to next week, with these experts, what should we expect?

PAGE: Science, a lot of medical science, maybe some forensic science, but most good prosecutors will put up that evidence. They have to put up that evidence.

It will be a little dry, but then they're going to come back maybe the following week with a stronger punch.

I bet they've saved some good fact witnesses for the last week.

SMITH: And the question becomes, do we see Tracy Martin? Do we see Sybrina Fulton? Do they take the stand, and what do they contribute?

There's a lot more to come in this case. It's very early. But you can see how close it is on both sides.

BALDWIN: Incredible.

Page Pate, Ryan Smith, thank you guys so, so much. I appreciate it.

We're going to stay in this continuous coverage. I'm going to toss things off to my colleague in Washington, Jake Tapper. "THE LEAD" starts right now.