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Self-Defense or Murder?: The George Zimmerman Trial; Trayvon Martin Shooting: Self-Defense or Murder?; Is Zimmerman's Weight Gain Strategic?

Aired June 25, 2013 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Welcome to our special continuing coverage, "Self-Defense or Murder?: The George Zimmerman trial."

Every night this week, we are going to be digging deeper into the day's proceedings with the best legal team around and frequently with the principals in the case themselves.

Tonight, powerful, emotional testimony about Trayvon Martin's final moments, some very potent images, and a legal battle over the 911 tapes from six months before, the 911 tapes that were recorded before the shooting, recordings the state believes will speak to George Zimmerman's state of mind, to his unjustified suspicion, they say, of Trayvon Martin.

First, the latest on everything that happened today from Martin Savidge, who joins us now.

What new evidence did we hear today in the courtroom?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was photographs, Anderson.

And I have seen all the photographs pretty much in this case, but I had not seen these before. These were photographs of the body of Trayvon Martin laying on the ground. And I don't care who you are. They have a strong impact to see a young person you know lying lifeless on the ground.

So, clearly, it would impact the jurors and it impacted everyone else in the courtroom. On top of that, we saw the gun that George Zimmerman used. That's the Kel-Tec 9. And then we saw that hooded sweatshirt, and that too very powerful, because to many people, especially those who support the Martin family, that's not a piece of evidence, that's an icon.

It is something that to a lot of folks represents the racial profiling they believe George Zimmerman is guilty of.

COOPER: The sergeants gave very emotional testimony about finding Trayvon Martin on the scene. Tell us about it.

SAVIDGE: Yes, this was another one of those aspects that humanizes Trayvon Martin, because he's not there. So we hear these accounts. And this was a first-responder as he frantically describes trying to revive the young boy, which was impossible, but he still tried. And listen.


JOHN GUY, FLORIDA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Did you see any movement from Trayvon Martin's body as you approached him?


GUY: Did you hear any sounds coming from Trayvon Martin when you approached him?

RAIMONDO: No, sir, I did not.

GUY: Did you attempt to see tray if Trayvon Martin was still alive?

RAIMONDO: Yes, sir.

GUY: How did do you that?

RAIMONDO: I attempted to get his pulse, sir.

GUY: And where did you attempt to take his pulse from?

RAIMONDO: On his neck, sir.

GUY: Have you had training in that?

RAIMONDO: Yes, sir, I have.

GUY: Did you detect a pulse on Trayvon Martin?

RAIMONDO: No, sir, I did not.


COOPER: And Mark O'Mara grilled an eyewitness toward the end of the court today. What was that about?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is -- the legal experts who follow this case say that was really the most important thing of the day.

This was a woman who is a witness and she lives in the complex where the shooting took place. What she had described was that she heard returning and then on top of the that the stand day today, she said she heard running from the left to run. Well, for that defense, that could be a real problem, because it implies a chase, not self- defense, as the defense is trying to say.

So listen how Mr. O'Mara went after this witness.


MARK O'MARA, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: When was the first time you ever told anybody that you heard or saw whatever it was, movement from left to right outside of your back door? Was it today? And if so, just tell us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know if it was just today.

O'MARA: OK. I will ask it this way. Could it be that the first time you mentioned this new piece of evidence was just now as you testified?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It could be. I don't know.


SAVIDGE: This touches upon a sore spot for the defense, because they have maintained that in the past they believe that in discovery, the prosecution didn't tell them everything. The fact that this witness suddenly jumps out and says, oh, left to right, they had never heard that.

Well, in the minds of the Mark O'Mara, it might have reinforced their colonel. It doesn't prove anything, but it will show that they're going to go aggressively after all of these witnesses.

COOPER: And we are going to talk to Mark O'Mara later on in the program tonight. Martin, thanks very much for the update.

Now, our legal team who is going to be with us throughout the hour tonight and throughout the trial, legal analysts former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin and Jeffrey Toobin join us here. At the defense table, Jose Baez, who won an acquittal at the Casey Anthony murder trial, and Mark Geragos, co-author of "Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works, and Sometimes Doesn't."

Pretty powerful testimony, what we heard today in that court, Sunny.


And I think for most people what was so powerful were the images themselves. They just spoke so loudly. And I have seen so many crime scene photos. Quite frankly, I have been to crime scenes, but I even gasped when some of those photos came up.

And they came up through the testimony of one of these officers who was just the classic officer. He was dressed up. He had a SWAT team plate on his shirt, and he started talking about how he was trying to save Trayvon Martin's life, trying to breathe for him. And it was really, really remarkable.

COOPER: Yes. I want to play some of that right now, the officer on the stand.


GUY: Did you hear anything when you were performing CPR on Trayvon Martin?

RAIMONDO: Yes, sir.

GUY: What was that?

RAIMONDO: Bubbling sounds, sir.

GUY: And what did those bubbling sounds indicate to you?

RAIMONDO: It meant that either air was getting into or escaping from the chest in a manner that it was not supposed to, sir.

GUY: All right. And what did do you upon hearing those bubbling sounds from Trayvon Martin's chest?

RAIMONDO: I called out to the crowd that was gathering nearby and I asked for Saran wrap and Vaseline, sir.

GUY: And what would be the purpose of Saran wrap and Vaseline?

RAIMONDO: I was going to try to seal the chest wound, sir.

GUY: What did you do next?

RAIMONDO: I laid him back down on his back, sir.

GUY: Did you continue CPR after you laid him down?

RAIMONDO: We -- yes, sir, I did.

GUY: And was rescue called to that scene?

RAIMONDO: Yes, sir.

GUY: Did they respond?

RAIMONDO: Yes, sir.

GUY: All right. And did rescue take over the CPR efforts after they arrived?

RAIMONDO: Yes, sir.

GUY: What did you see the rescue personnel do to treat or assess Trayvon Martin?

RAIMONDO: I watched them hook up the leads to the EKG machine to Mr. Martin, sir.

GUY: All right. And was Trayvon Martin pronounced dead by rescue at the scene?

RAIMONDO: Yes, sir.


COOPER: Jeff, what is the prosecution trying to do here? Are they just establishing a timeline?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, they're trying to do a bunch of different things.

It's a murder case. You have to prove that he died. It's as simple as that. But every juror as well as every spectator knew he died of a gunshot wound. But it's so much more vivid, it's so much more real when you hear that officer talk about Saran wrap and Vaseline.

It just -- it lends an immediacy and frankly a tragedy to -- you think of this boy dying on the floor like that. You know, sure, it doesn't tell you anything about whether it was self-defense or whether it was murder, but it gives a vividness that the prosecution wants and the jury won't forget.

COOPER: Mark, the defense really didn't have much to ask this police sergeant. What's the thinking when there's very little cross- examination? Is it just that not a lot to dispute or just best to get the person off the stand?

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Jeff just said it. The prosecution wasn't proving anything. This was an emotional ploy to get in this -- to deal with stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with the evidence.

The only part of this case where they dealt with the evidence is when Mark O'Mara surgery dismantled that witness who had the aha memory today. And, you know, when you introduce this segment where you said that they have been complaining about it all along, I frankly have never seen -- and I have dealt with a lot of prosecutors who play hide the ball -- the hide the ball nature of these prosecutors in this case has been astonishing, it's been breathtaking. And today was another example of it.


COOPER: You think they're intentionally hiding evidence?

GERAGOS: Absolutely. Hey, there's already an OSC re: contempt on the prosecution that the judge put over until the end of the case, because she didn't want to make a circus out of it now. They caught the prosecution already basically with their pants down on turning over discovery.

COOPER: What is an OSC?


GERAGOS: And again today.

COOPER: What does that mean?

GERAGOS: OSC is an order to show cause -- order to show cause re: contempt...


GERAGOS: ... as to whether or not she's going to sanction the prosecution for some of their discovery abuse. Today -- and this is just infuriating -- and I'm sure Jose has had it happen to him -- where all of a sudden they put a witness on. They know what the witness is going to say. They didn't turn that information over. And mind you, in Florida, unlike the rest of a lot of these jurisdictions, we don't get depositions in criminal cases. So all of a sudden this key piece of information, this witness has a miraculous memory on the day of trial in front of a jury for the very first time? Spare me.

COOPER: Well, Jeff?

TOOBIN: But, I mean -- well, first of all, you say that the evidence isn't relevant. It is. Of course it's relevant, Mark. They have to put this evidence on. You may -- a defense attorney may not enjoy listening to it, but it's clearly relevant evidence.


GERAGOS: There is no relevant evidence to the method by which...


HOSTIN: These are crime scene photos.


GERAGOS: You could stipulate -- you could stipulate that he died. Everybody knows...


TOOBIN: The prosecution doesn't have to stipulate.

GERAGOS: It's a tragedy. Then what's the relevance of it?


HOSTIN: They're crime scene photos. Since when are crime scene photos irrelevant to a murder case?


GERAGOS: Crime scene photos are relevant. However, this idea of Saran wrap and this ghoulish nature of the bubbling and the gurgling, that was -- that's pure histrionics.



Jose, the crime scene technician who took the photos of Zimmerman's head also took the stand. I want to play for our viewers that part of what she said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a picture you took, correct?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you see that sort of lump on the top right of his head?

SMITH: Yes, I can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you saw it that night too, right?

SMITH: Yes, I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sixty-seven shows blood dripping behind Mr. Zimmerman's left hear, is that correct?

SMITH: That is correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This would be of his right side again, closer to the front. You see that lump?

SMITH: Yes, I do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And do you see the punctate-type abrasions in the temple area?

SMITH: Yes, I do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you saw them that night, too?

SMITH: That is correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the back of Mr. Zimmerman's head in exhibit number 74. You see the lacerations?

SMITH: Yes, I do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You saw them that night as well I take it?

SMITH: Yes, I did.


COOPER: There were over two dozen photos of bruised and bloodied George Zimmerman. How effective do you think that was, Jose?

JOSE BAEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think it's effective to a certain point.

What they're doing is they're taking the defense's best evidence head on. They have already admitted during their opening statements that, at some point, Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman. So what they're showing this jury or what they're attempting to show the jury is basically this.

We know there was a scuffle. We know at some point Trayvon Martin was getting the best of George Zimmerman. And despite all of this, we still think that there's a second-degree murder charge here. And I think they're doing what they have to do and what they should do, not hide from it, because there's going to come a point where the defense is going to hit them over the head with it.

COOPER: Because it was the prosecution that put those photographs into evidence.

SMITH: Right. It's all about stealing their thunder.


HOSTIN: And it's relevant. I want to know if Mark thinks those pictures are relevant. Clearly, there was some sort of...


GERAGOS: I'm going to tell -- let me explain something to you, Sunny.

HOSTIN: Yes, please do, Mark.


GERAGOS: There is a difference -- and you know I love you, Sunny, but there is a difference between somebody stipulating and saying I'm not going to dispute that there was a death, and then you don't have to put on the evidence, whereas somebody is disputing whether or not it is self-defense, where you do have to put on evidence and the state has a burden in that place.

I know this is a technical evidentiary question, but that is the law.

TOOBIN: But what I find interesting about those head wounds is I don't know as a juror, do I think of those as big wounds or little wounds? They don't look like someone who is in the risk of dying.

COOPER: Particularly a head wound which -- heads bleed a lot.


TOOBIN: He's -- almost a shaved head, so it's not like his hair would protect him.

So is the jury going to look at those wounds and say, wow, there sure was a big struggle or are going to say, those look like fairly minor scrapes? I just don't know.

COOPER: Because, Jose, yesterday in the court, when the defense was saying it's not true that Trayvon Martin wasn't armed, he was armed with the concrete sidewalk which he repeatedly slammed George Zimmerman's head into, the question is, do those wounds indicate that?

SMITH: Well, how many...


GERAGOS: They certainly don't look like fingernail scratches. (CROSSTALK)

SMITH: How many times do you have to be hit over the head until you realize that you're in a deadly situation?

GERAGOS: I have defended murder cases where somebody fell once against a curb and was killed. So, I'm with Jose on that. You don't have to get hit on the curb more than once to die.


All right, everyone, stick around. We are going to talk more throughout this hour.

I want to dig deeper next into the fight over those phone calls that George Zimmerman made to authorities in the months prior to the shooting. The prosecution wants them in. But could they work just as well for the defense?

Also, later, my exclusive interview with one of the key players, Zimmerman's defense attorney, Mark O'Mara. He joins us coming up. I will ask about his co-counsel's knock-knock joke yesterday and much more when our special coverage continues.



GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, DEFENDANT: 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 is deal is.


COOPER: That's part of the 911 call that George Zimmerman made just minutes before he shot Trayvon Martin.

Now, jurors are going to hear that recording during the trial. The prosecution also wants them to hear six other 911 calls that Zimmerman made before that deadly night to report suspicious people in his neighborhood or people he thought were suspicious. The prosecution says they show his state of mind, his growing frustration at folks walking around and perhaps breaking into places in the neighborhood.

The defense is fighting to keep the calls out of the trial. Today, they were played for the judge without the jury in the room. Here are some of the highlights.


ZIMMERMAN: Hey. Our neighborhood got burglarized, or robbed, today. And my wife saw one of the kids that did it. And we see someone that matches his description in the neighborhood right now again.

911 OPERATOR: OK. And is he white, black, or Hispanic? ZIMMERMAN: Black. My wife...

911 OPERATOR: And what is he wearing?

ZIMMERMAN: ... talked to a Detective Walker and gave him a description of the guy we see now.

ZIMMERMAN: Hi. There was a break-in in my neighborhood recently.

And two youths that match the description of the people -- my wife I.D.ed them and saw them -- they are back in the neighborhood.

911 OPERATOR: And are they -- what do they look like? Are they white, black, or Hispanic?

ZIMMERMAN: Black males. Two black males in their late teens.

We've, actually, just had our neighborhood watch meeting yesterday.

And Sergeant hertz came out here and Officer Buchanan.


ZIMMERMAN: And told us to report anything suspicious. And since it is late, and they usually don't have their garage door open all night, so.

ZIMMERMAN: Hi. I was just calling because we've had a lot of break- ins in the neighborhood recently; and, I'm on the neighborhood watch. And, there is two suspicious characters at the gate of my neighborhood. I've never seen them before. I have no idea what they are doing. They are just hanging out -- loitering.

911 OPERATOR: OK, Mr. Zimmerman. Can you describe the two individuals?

ZIMMERMAN: Two African-American males. They look -- I know one was in a white Impala.

911 OPERATOR: How old did they look to you?

ZIMMERMAN: Mid to late 20s -- early 30s.

ZIMMERMAN: I'm with the Neighborhood Watch; and, we've had some burglaries and vandalisms lately. And, now, this gentleman was walking in the neighborhood. And, I've seen him before -- on trash days -- going around and picking up trash. I don't know what his deal is.


911 OPERATOR: Is he white, black or Hispanic?



COOPER: Now, the ruling will be a key one in the trial. The judge put off ruling on it today.

Joining me again, Sunny Hostin, Jeffrey Toobin, Jose Baez, and Mark Geragos.

Mark, we talked about this in the 8:00 hour tonight. This kind of cuts both ways. You could say, well, this shows a concerned citizen, a concerned member of the neighborhood watch.

GERAGOS: Well, Anderson, you're the one that brought it up and I couldn't agree more. I don't know why the defense is fighting to keep this stuff out.

I -- frankly, with this jury demographic, which, as we discussed before, it's almost turned on its head. You have got the defense looking for kind of prosecutorial types. And you have got the prosecution looking for what are traditionally defense types.

And in this case, I think a lot -- this kind of guy who is constantly out there, calling and making reports and worried about the neighborhood, there's a lot of people who embrace that. And I don't know why, if they're going to denigrate him because he's one of these, you know, kind of concerned citizens, I think that could backfire on them.

COOPER: For the prosecution, though, it was saying this shows a growing frustration on his part at what's happening in his neighborhood.

TOOBIN: See, I think they're inadmissible.

I would not -- if I were the judge, I would not let them in, because it suggests -- the prosecution is putting them in to show that he's kind of an obsessed wannabe cop, but we don't know whether he actually saw these people. We don't know whether these were actual suspicious characters around.

And the court does not want to get sidetracked into mini-trials about whether there were in fact two suspicious characters months earlier. If I were the judge, I think he should keep the whole thing out. I don't think it's relevant.

HOSTIN: I think it's relevant actually. I think it's relevant to state of mind, because that's what the government has to prove. They have to prove depraved mind. They have to prove what was inside George Zimmerman's head if they're going to get a second-degree murder conviction.

COOPER: Wasn't that his job? I mean, he's on the neighborhood watch.


HOSTIN: But he's talking about suspicious black males, African- American males in their teens, in their 20s. When you use the same language over and over and over again, I think it certainly shows what is in your head and I think that's going to be relevant to this case.


COOPER: Sorry. Go ahead, Jose.

SMITH: And I will tell you another thing what's going to happen if these tapes get admitted is one of those prosecutors is going to call that 20-year-old kid that works in their office in A.V. and they're going to in their closing arguments key in on the specific times that he mentions that they're black males, black males, black males, and then play it as the last one the one when he calls on Trayvon Martin.

And I think that's what they're going to use it for. They are going to try to ram it down their throat and show some type of pattern to go along with their theory of the case, which is profile, profile, profile.

COOPER: How long does the judge have to rule on something like this, Mark?

GERAGOS: Well, before they want to call the witness. So that's what they generally do. So, he's got to make a decision and rapidly so.

But harking back to Sunny, the problem is, if you want to show that these calls are a depraved mind, you better hope that you're not -- that the calls and what he's doing does not resonate with one of those jurors, because if one of those jurors say, yes, I would be doing the same thing or I have got -- I wish my husband was doing or I wish son was doing this, that's going to completely backfire on them.

HOSTIN: It could be a double-edged sword. We can agree on that, Mark.

COOPER: All right. I want to play also the 911 call that is really at the center of this trial, where the operator asks Zimmerman if he's following Trayvon Martin. Let's listen.


911 OPERATOR: Are you following him?


911 OPERATOR: OK, we don't need you to do that.



COOPER: Now, a few weeks earlier, there was another 911 call that Zimmerman made where he did not want to follow a supposedly suspicious person. Let's listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) Zimmerman He's going up to the house and then going along the side of it, and then coming to the street, and then going back to the side of it. I don't know what he's doing. I don't want to approach him personally.


COOPER: Jeff, do you read anything into the fact that he chose not to follow this person?

TOOBIN: See, this is why I think it's -- I think this is all inadmissible evidence.

If you're charged with robbing a bank, you don't get to put into evidence of all the banks you didn't rob. So the idea that he didn't approach someone a few months earlier, so what? I think the judge should keep the evidence focused on what the evidence is. I don't think that tape should come in. I don't think the other tape should come in earlier.

I think they're just sideshows that create distractions about evidence that's not before the jury. I think obviously the one where the 911 operator says don't approach him, that's key evidence. The rest of it I think is just a distraction.

COOPER: I want to play also a clip of the woman who helped start the neighborhood watch program in Zimmerman's community. Let's listen.


GUY: Do you address specifically what a neighborhood watch person is to do if they see someone acting suspicious?


GUY: And what is that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If someone is acting suspicious, you call 911, a non-emergency dispatch.

GUY: Do you tell them to do anything else at that point?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. They're the eyes and ears.

GUY: In that instruction, is that also part of the written materials?


GUY: All right.

What do you tell volunteers about following someone they believe might be involved in criminal behavior?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We tell them they don't do that. That's the job of law enforcement.

GUY: And what do you tell about neighborhood watch participants about confronting someone that might be involved in criminal behavior?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not to confront us, to let us do the job, let the police department do the job.


COOPER: And she gave -- she gives slide presentations to people who want to be in neighborhood watches.

And one of them says -- it was shown in court -- not the vigilante police. Clearly, the prosecution kind of laying the found -- work for this idea that he's some sort of vigilante, even though the defense really fought to not allow that word in.

HOSTIN: Yes, it's the wannabe cop thing.

But I got to tell you I thought that witness was somewhat helpful to the defense, because later on in her examination, she said that she found George Zimmerman to be meek and she thought that he was very helpful and that she wanted him to be in an even more sophisticated neighborhood-type watch program.

And that sort of cuts against this notion that the prosecution has been trying to put forward that he was this initial aggressor, that he was so fed up, he was aggressive. She actually described him as meek. And so I don't know that that witness was as helpful to the prosecution as I think they thought she would be.


COOPER: Go ahead.

GERAGOS: I thought it was a defense witness they called out of order.


GERAGOS: You watch that, and what the prosecution thought they were going to get in this was, OK, he violated these neighborhood watch rules. OK?

That isn't a statute. It's not a code section. There's nothing wrong with that. It may be -- you may get drummed out of neighborhood watch, but you're not going to then take that and bootstrap it into a murder. And as Sunny says, the stuff that the defense got out was I think exactly what you want, if you're the defense lawyer in this case.

TOOBIN: Yes. But when you combine that testimony with the 911 operator saying don't approach him, that's pretty bad. That's a very bad piece of evidence for the defense, don't you think, Mark? Come on, that 911 tape, don't approach him.

GERAGOS: When they say don't approach, that's a bad fact. I'm not going to dispute that.

TOOBIN: Yes. GERAGOS: But this woman, when you talk about this woman and what she brought to the prosecution, the burden clearly outweighed the benefits for the prosecution. I don't know what they were thinking with her.

COOPER: One of the interesting things, too, is George Zimmerman even called 911 when someone -- when their garage door basically wasn't open. Does that indicate to you anything?


HOSTIN: He called constantly. It hasn't come in yet, but we have been covering this trial for a while. He called dozens and dozens of times.

And I think that's why, Jeff, I'm going to disagree with you again. I think it's relevant to his state of mind. All these calls over and over again, they're telling him not to take the law into his own hands, they're telling him not to be a vigilante, but why is he calling so much? And why is everybody...


COOPER: Jose, I guess a key question is how much should someone's past actions be allowed to play in a case like this? Jeff says a lot of this stuff should be inadmissible.

BAEZ: Well, in Florida, we have this thing called Williams rule. However, it's generally used for prior bad acts.

And as it's been put in this case, these are somewhat good acts, so it's a little different. However, the theory behind it is it goes to show modus operandi or motive. And in this case, I think that's what the prosecution is trying to use it for, motive.

However, they're supposed to give the defense prior notice of this, and that doesn't appear that was done in this case. So I do think at times...


GERAGOS: Surprise, surprise, surprise.


BAEZ: Yes, especially if -- if Mr. Zimmerman takes the stand, he's going to be questioned about these prior calls, like that call where he didn't want to go follow those guys, but did he have his gun with him at that time? Maybe that's why he didn't want to go follow them, so...


GERAGOS: Jose, what are the odds that Zimmerman is going to take the stand?


GERAGOS: You want to bet on that? I will give you 50-1 odds and you can lay as much money as you want.

HOSTIN: I will take that bet.

GERAGOS: Zimmerman will never get within -- right. He will never get within five feet of that stand.


BAEZ: You're forgetting he took the stand during the bond hearing.


GERAGOS: I will take you, 100 bucks.


COOPER: You're so sure of that because, what, you think it would be a disaster for the defense?

GERAGOS: There's no way they're going to put George Zimmerman -- O'Mara, remember, we talked about the only thing that he could do to lose this case is fall on his head. If he falls on his head and hits it and lets this guy tell more knock-knock jokes, maybe they will put him on the stand.


GERAGOS: Other than that, there's no way, no way Zimmerman is taking the stand.

HOSTIN: And he doesn't need to, because he's given so many statements already. So, he really doesn't need to.

GERAGOS: Exactly.

HOSTIN: It's almost like the Conrad Murray case. He didn't get on the witness stand, but, wow, did we hear from him.

COOPER: Mark O'Mara is actually coming up right after this next break. I'm going to ask him about that knock-knock joke, whether it was actually planned or not.

Later, you probably notice how different George Zimmerman looks these days, more than 100 pounds different to be precise. We will look closer at what could be behind his striking weight gain and what kind of an impact that may have on the jury.

We will be right back.


COOPER: Defending a client at the center of a public storm is unlike anything else in the legal world. Tonight on 360, Zimmerman lawyer Mark O'Mara talked about the case. Here's that exclusive interview.


COOPER: Your co-counsel got some attention yesterday for a knock knock joke he told as an opening statement. Was that something the two of you had discussed beforehand? What did you think about it?

MARK O'MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: We had not discussed it beforehand. Yes, I think what was really happening, Don has been pretty frustrated with some of what's been going on and made no bones about the fact that we're very frustrated with the discovery concerns we had with the state. I think that really frustrated Don. I think this was an attempt by him, you know, to put a little levity in it and loosen himself up a little bit, because he's carrying some of that frustration with him.

I would note that it didn't work the way he wanted it to and probably should have been rethought.

COOPER: The state had wanted to have some audio experts, what they said were audio experts testify, saying that -- that on that 911 call that, according to these two audio experts, it was not George Zimmerman's voice yelling for help. Those so-called experts were not allowed to testify, because essentially, the FBI and others said it's -- the science just isn't there yet; the techniques aren't there. That must have been a key ruling for you.

O'MARA: Well, you know, yes and no. Obviously on the surface it looks like a very key ruling, but we have to back up a little bit. We had our witnesses, experts who would say that it was George Zimmerman. So I was not worried about the idea of having a sort of spectrum of experts to say everything across the board.

But what we realized once we found out about the case, was that no expert could have a firm opinion about whose voice it was. Even two of the state's experts, the two that the state pulled off of their witness list the week before the hearing, those two witnesses said, though they thought it might have been Trayvon Martin on the first scream or two, they believe or thought it was probably George Zimmerman on the last scream or two.

So, you know, it sounds as though this is a huge deal for the defense that we kept out this witness against our client. That's absolutely untrue. The evidence that would have come in, had it all come in, would have been across the board.

Mr. Owen, who again has the financial interest in his little magic machine, would have said what he said and that was only a tendency. And Mr. Rike (ph), who hear things nobody else hears in the universe, was not let in, because nobody else could recreate his supposed test.

So I would almost have encouraged letting those people in front of a jury just so we could have shown them for who they truly are.

COOPER: Interesting. Both today and yesterday in court, the judge gave some -- some feedback, and I just want to play that for our viewers who may not have seen it.


JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, PRESIDING OVER TRIAL: Please don't go off focus here.


NELSON: Don't "no, no, no" me either.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection, he's badgering the witness. Typical statement. Now he's coming up with some fanciful thing that either the door smashed in his face or...

NELSON: Stop this right now. I have told counsel before, first of all, no one talks over the other. The court reporter can only take one person down at a time. I will not have any speaking objections in the courtroom. What is your legal objection?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's harassing the witness, your honor.

NELSON: Overruled.

I don't need the comment, I just need you to show the counsel.


COOPER: Are those just the ups and downs of a trial, the judge sort of establishing her jurisdiction?

O'MARA: It's her domain; it's her courtroom. She knows her rules. I know her rules. I should not be speaking in my objections. Nobody should. It's difficult for lawyers not to talk. Unfortunately, we need to learn not to sometimes.

And this case is sort of packed with emotions, both outside the courtroom and inside the courtroom. But she's going to run the courtroom properly. I don't begrudge her that at all. She was right when she told me to back down. And I take her advice to heart and her rulings.

COOPER: Was there anything in the prosecution's opening statement, the 30-minute or so opening statement, that surprised you? You know, a lot of people paid attention to the -- their use of George Zimmerman's words, really the first things out of the prosecutor's mouth after saying, "Good morning."

O'MARA: Well, you know, people say I look like Joel Osteen, and now Mr. Guy is trying to sound like him, I guess.

You know, that shock value, it's funny. Because again, not to keep mentioning the bizarro case, but generally speaking you have defense attorneys who will try to some maneuver to try and impassion the jury. Here we have a prosecutor saying what he's saying frying to emotionally charge the jury, obviously, against Mr. Zimmerman. I was hoping that they will follow up with facts. COOPER: How concerned are you about the presence of Trayvon Martin's parents in the courtroom? Several times, because of testimony, graphic pictures, they've gotten up, his mother, his father today. Apparently, jurors are watching that, are seeing that.

Does that concern you? I know you had wanted the Zimmerman parents -- George Zimmerman's parents to be able to be in the courtroom. They won't be until they have testified.

O'MARA: This is a tragedy for both families. I've said that since literally the first day you and I talked. And if they need to leave the courtroom I'm fine. What I don't want and, I think, anyone would is any type of maneuver or showboating or something that would suggest to try to impact on that jury. As long as they stay away from negative impact on the jury, both the Martin side and the Zimmerman side, then we'll have a good, just verdict based only the evidence.

COOPER: It's probably too early to even ask this, and you probably wouldn't answer even if you did know, but have you planned to have George Zimmerman take the stand?

O'MARA: I've always said that that's a dynamic decision we have to make only once we look at the evidence the state presents. This has always been a case, as every criminal case, where the state has to prove their case. In this case, they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt not only that the crime was committed, and that it was in fact a crime but that George did not do so in self-defense. They have to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. If I think that they ever get to that burden, then we might consider whether we or not we have to present any case at all.

COOPER: Mark O'Mara, it's good to have you on. Thank you.

O'MARA: Sure.


COOPER: If you listened quietly during that interview, you could hear Mark Geragos laughing, because Mark Geragos and just about everybody on our panel says there's no way George Zimmerman is going to take the stand.

It's hard not to notice, also, that George Zimmerman's appearance has changed radically since he first came to the public eye. His lawyer says he's gained more than 100 pounds. The question is, how does the jury see this? Will this actually play a role in the case and the way they perceives George Zimmerman and any -- and the physical altercation that he had with Trayvon Martin? That's next.


COOPER: There's no way not to notice that George Zimmerman looks a lot different now than the night he shot Trayvon Martin. His lawyer says he's gained more than 100 pounds, either from stress or as a strategy, depending on whom you talk to. In a trial with as much interest as this one, even something like how much weight a defendant gains can be analyzed from all sorts of different angles. Here's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is George Zimmerman when he was first questioned about shooting Trayvon Martin. He was 5'8" and weighed 194 pounds. That was February 26, 2012. Back then, Zimmerman was fit. Just look at his mug shot and his early court appearances.

But watch as his look changed over the last year or so. His body ballooned. Zimmerman's lawyer says he's gained about 120 pounds. Does this look like the same man to you?

We asked Patty Wood, a body language expert, to tell us what she sees. Then and now.

(on camera): This is a skinny George Zimmerman.


KAYE: Appearing in court. What do you see?

WOOD: Well, here we see he's very comfortable. See how he elongates his torso here? He's very proud; he feels very powerful and strong.

KAYE: Even in shackles, that's very interesting. So he's very comfortable in his body. That's important to him. Do you see that same -- that same attitude?

WOOD: Yes, obviously his walk is tilted. But again, notice how elongated he is. Often I see in this situation, downcast, shoulders over, very, very burdened. In this case, he's not. He's feeling really comfortable in his body.

KAYE (voice-over): And when we showed Patty the heavier-set Zimmerman who now weighs about 300 pounds?

WOOD: He's agitated; he's much more upset. But what's remarkable to me is that he's actually comfortable with this excessive weight. So that actually tells me something else: that he's comfortable and not feeling guilty.

KAYE: How does she think the jury will respond to the more plump George Zimmerman?

WOOD: Weight gain, excessive weight, we have a lot of negative connotations to it. So it can work against him.

On the other hand, before he looked like a lean, mean, fighting machine and very young and fit. So why did he need to pull out a gun? So it may work for him in an odd way.

KAYE: And that's led to some speculation the weight gain might be a deliberate strategy to make Zimmerman appear less threatening.

But on Piers Morgan's, Zimmerman's attorney explained his client's weight gain was less about strategy and more about stress.

O'MARA: He's gained an enormous amount of weight, over 120 pounds I think, because he's sitting in a house, stressed, trying to deal with the moniker that's been put on him that he's the most hated man in America for taking the life of somebody when he felt he needed to.

KAYE: Fat or fit, during the next few weeks, George Zimmerman, along with the rest of us, will be on a steady diet of courtroom drama.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Joining me again, CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, criminal defense attorneys Jose Baez and Mark Geragos.

Mark Geragos, do you -- do you think this matters at all in terms of how the jury perceives him and any altercation he had with Trayvon Martin?

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Actually, I'm of two minds of this. Yesterday, I was thinking the jeez, he looks so big and I think somebody else had commented when we were talking about this, Anderson, he looks like he could just roll over and crush Trayvon, because he was so huge.

And then somebody said today, "You know, he doesn't look as threatening this way. He looks like a combination of the Pillsbury Doughboy meets the Michelin man."

And so maybe it's not as threatening. He looks kind of, as Randi said in that package, fit and athletic or at least to some degree in shape. And so maybe this is a less threatening Zimmerman.

I don't know that it -- I don't know that it's calculated. I don't know that anybody can gain that much weight on purpose that quickly, in a year.

COOPER: Sunny, Jeff, what do you think?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. You know, I've been in the courtroom, and I was standing next to him. He's massive. He's got to be at least three times my size. And when you looked at the...

COOPER: We get it, he gained a lot of weight. You don't have to rub it in.

HOSTIN: Big guy. But when you look -- when I looked at the crime scene photos today along with the jury, Trayvon Martin was pretty thin, tall and thin. And the jury is going to see that when they also see the autopsy photos. And I suspect that they're going to have to compare and contrast the two images, a very large man, and a young, thin, tall boy.

TOOBIN: Hasn't Paula Deen had a bad enough week? Do we have to do this? I mean...

COOPER: Jose -- but it's interesting, Jose. We've seen transformations in high-profile cases. You look at the Jodi Arias trial, where she went from, you know, blond to kind of this mousy brunette with glasses and no makeup. That was obviously a very -- very conscious.

When you're representing someone as an attorney, defense attorney, how much focus do you put on a client's physical appearance before a trial or during a trial?

JOSE BAEZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you put a lot of emphasis on it, because they are essentially in a fishbowl, being watched the entire time.

But first off, I want to -- I want to say, to suggest that this is a defense strategy to put on 120 pounds...

COOPER: Yes, I think it's ridiculous.

BAEZ: ... it is ridiculous.

I do think that it has somewhat of a negative connotation, because they may forget from time to time that he was much lighter at the time. And you don't want to add to the confusion that's already there.

And if it benefits him that he was much thinner and he was in an actual dogfight with Trayvon Martin, as opposed to being able to just roll over and crush him, I think you want to get rid of that confusion that may be there.

But just to -- I think all of this is much ado about nothing. But if I had to go one way or the other, I would much rather have him thinner.

COOPER: It's interesting, though, how perceptions of people's physical appearance can -- can impact things. I mean, early on, remember, Trayvon Martin's family really released photographs of Trayvon Martin. They showed a much younger Trayvon Martin. You know, this little boy. And it was only later on that you started to see pictures of him as a 17-year-old, as a -- you know, as a young man. You know, I'm not sure how that played or what kind of impact that it had. And I don't know if that was conscious on their part or not.

But Mark, physical appearance does -- does matter, you say?

GERAGOS: Absolutely. And there -- remember, jurors are -- they are focused like a laser on the defendant. Everything is all about the defendant.

One of the reasons you rarely put your client on the stand is because jurors will inevitably, all they care about after the defendant has testified is what did he say or what did she say? I mean, everything is based upon the client.

If you get the jurors to have some kind of empathy for the client -- they feel like they're walking in their shoes, if they feel like they have something about them resonates with them -- then you've got a winner. If they despise, don't like or it's been effectively demonized, the client has, that's the recipe for a guilty verdict. I mean, that's what it's all about in trying a case.

COOPER: Got to leave that there.

BAEZ: And there are studies...

COOPER: Go ahead.

BAEZ: There's tons of studies that tell lawyers -- for example, you mentioned Jodi Arias with the glasses. There's been studies that show that people who wear glasses at trial are more likely to be acquitted. So I mean, I happen to think the facts have something to do with that. But there's certainly -- there's certainly some lawyers pay a great deal of attention to this.

I agree, you do -- you have to -- for me, I think your best -- you're showing the best part of your client, whether it's something you know, that -- for example, with Casey, we wanted to make her look young. We wanted her to look like she was, which was a 22-year-old girl.

So you know, I think that when it comes to these specific things, you want -- you want your client to look their best, but you don't want to overdo it.

COOPER: We've got to leave it there. I'm putting on two pairs of glasses here. Jose Baez, Mark Geragos, Sunny Hostin, Jeff Toobin, thanks very much. We'll be right back. More ahead.


COOPER: Randi Kaye has the latest on some of the other stories we're following -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, CNN projects that Democratic Congressman Ed Markey has won the special election in Massachusetts to fill John Kerry's Senate seat. Markey beat former Navy SEAL and Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez.

Kerry stepped down to become secretary of state with about a year and a half remaining in his term.

NSA leaker Edward Snowden is thought to be somewhere in the pre- customs transit area of Moscow's main airport. Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia won't hand him over to the United States to face espionage charges. But Putin also said the sooner Snowden picks his final destination, the better for him and Russia.

The FBI is investigating the theft of $1.2 million from a Swiss International Airlines flight from Zurich to New York. Investigators don't know when the money was stolen. Hundred-dollar bills were missing from a bank container stored inside a larger cargo container, Anderson.

COOPER: Crazy. Randi, thanks very much.

That's it for us. Join us again tomorrow night for our special coverage of the George Zimmerman trial. That's at 10 p.m. Eastern Time tomorrow night. Another edition of 360 is coming up right after this break.