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George Zimmerman Bond Hearing

Aired April 20, 2012 - 09:00   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Soledad. And good morning to all of you. I'm Carol Costello.

Happening right now in the NEWSROOM, bond hearing. George Zimmerman expected in court this hour. There's a real possibility we will to hear new evidence in the case. The big question this morning, will Zimmerman be allowed to leave jail until his trial?

Thanks but no thanks. Trayvon Martin's parents turning down an invitation to meet with their son's killer. Their attorney this morning calling the request, quote, "self-serving."

And the new judge, Kenneth Lester, Jr., by the book and tough. No nonsense and a fast talker. An inside look at the former Vietnam vet presiding over the case today.

And healing the community. Sanford this morning watches and waits as they pull together and try to move forward.

NEWSROOM begins right now.

And we want to take you right now to the Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Florida, to courtroom 5-D. We expect George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, to walk into the courtroom at any time. With him of course will be his attorney, Mark O'Mara. O'Mara is handling this case pro bono. He will ask Judge Kenneth Lester to allow Zimmerman to post bond, to walk free until his second- degree murder case takes place.

Lester, a Vietnam vet and a longtime judge, is known as by the book kind of man. But Special Prosecutor Angela Corey will be fighting to keep Zimmerman in custody until trial. Corey is known for her vigorous prosecutions and as you know, it was she at the Florida governor's request to take Zimmerman to trial.

I don't need to tell you this is an emotionally charged case and the world will be watching this bond hearing.

Joining me this morning is criminal defense attorney and CNN legal analyst and contributor, Mark Nejame, defense attorney Drew Findling, and we also have our own Martin Savidge, he's live in Sanford, Florida, this morning.

Thanks for all of you -- thanks to all of you for being here this morning. Let's start with you, Mark. You've been in this courtroom many, many times. Set the scene for us. What's happening?

MARK NEJAME, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, everybody is preparing. I think there will be some emotions running high. Everybody will be in order. Security will be in place. There was a meeting yesterday about getting all of this organized. But I think you're going to find the judge is going to be in control. He's -- I've known him for 35 years. He is -- we went to law school together actually and graduated together.

He is very smart. Extremely smart. Will know what's going on. Nobody is fool. Won't let any shenanigans going in his courtroom and will rule by the law, and will not be dictated or guided by emotions, and that's exactly what we need, particularly in a case like this. He's going to let the lawyers make their arguments and the facts come out. But he's also one who will be inquisitor. He will go ahead and make sure that he gets to the heart of an issue.

He's nobody's fool and he -- and he just will simply focus on what the facts are and apply the law to those facts.

COSTELLO: We know the Martin family has entered the courtroom along with their attorney, Benjamin Crump. We know the prosecutor is inside that courtroom, Angela Corey.

I want to head out to Sanford, Florida, now and check in with Martin Savidge.

As the Martin family arrived at the courthouse, what was the mood like, Martin?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. Yes, a lot of anticipation outside. Of course a huge swarm of media. They were running through the parking lots trying to catch up with the Martin family. Eventually they did. And you watched a massive crowd of cameras, microphones and eventually the family make their way through the front doors of the Seminole County Courthouse this morning.

There is a lot of media that has gathered for this, not quite up to the Casey Anthony level yet. In other words we don't have a media village but we do have a media encampment and it is all waiting outside trying to bring the world everything that is happening inside that courtroom that should begin any moment now.

COSTELLO: We see George Zimmerman now entering the courtroom. As you can see he is shackled.

I want to pose that question to you, Drew. I mean, why is he shackled at this point? I mean his defense attorney would have surely liked him to look like a free man.

DREW FINDLING, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, absolutely. And those type of rights are preserved when you're in front of a jury. Being that he's not in front of a jury, that type of restriction in terms of handcuffs and shackles does not really apply because when you're in front of a jury, you want them to not know whether you're incarcerated. The judge knows he's incarcerated because that's why he's in court today, to get released.

COSTELLO: Although I do noticed he's wearing a suit and not the orange jump suit.

FINDLING: Well, you know, and the interesting thing is you do that, and his attorney makes sure he has a suit because he knows that this type of footage is going to stay with him throughout the duration of this case whether this case lasts a year or two years. We're always going to go back to this footage.

The contradiction, however, is he's going to have the suit and he's going to have the shackles. A little bit over the top. It depends from county to county, state to state.

COSTELLO: And, Mark, I want to ask you this because you know George Zimmerman's attorney. What is going through his mind? I -- I mean -- I imagine that Zimmerman is in particular is quite nervous. But is his attorney, too?

NEJAME: I think Mark is simply cool, calm and collected. He is a legal scholar. He knows the law inside out. He's one of the only two -- he's the only lawyer that I'm aware of in the state of Florida, he's board certified in both criminal and marital law. He works late. He knows the law inside out. He'll do his research. He won't take anything for granted. But he'll be well prepared.

I think there's a lot of strategy as it related, though -- as it relates, though, to what he's going to do in this case. How many witnesses is he going to call. Is he going to call witnesses for live testimony? Will it only be telephonic?

I think those are some of the strategic issues and he's going to wait and see if the state is going to put on their case because, remember, they're going to have the burden of showing that proof evident and presumption great in this case. And that will require them to tip their hand. They may avoid that and it'll be truly an issue about safety and flight. I would suspect that he's going to go ahead and see what kind of evidence that they're going to be putting on and then play it from there.

COSTELLO: Mark, Mark, I'm going to interrupt you.

NEJAME: And I think he's ready for all option.

COSTELLO: We're getting audio from the courtroom now. The Judge Lester is speaking. Let's listen.


JUDGE KENNETH LESTER, JR., FLORIDA CIRCUIT COURT: Good morning. Let's call case number 2012-1083, State of Florida versus George Zimmerman. Interested parties, please announce your presence.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: Bernie de la Rionda, on behalf of the state of Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John (INAUDIBLE), on behalf of the state of Florida.


MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S ATTORNEY: Good morning. I'm Mark O'Mara on behalf of Mr. Zimmerman. You see him to my left.

LESTER: Thank you. Any preliminary matters we need to take up before we start the bond hearing? State?


LESTER: Defense?

O'MARA: No, your honor.

LESTER: Is the state ready to go forward?

O'MARA: Yes, sir.

LESTER: Defense ready to go forward?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we are, your honor.

LESTER: You may proceed.

O'MARA: My motion of bond, your honor, I can present a quick opening but we can also go right to witness testimony. The opening is my client has been charged with second-degree murder by an information filed by the State Attorney's Office. The evidence that's before you today is a probable cause affidavit. I know of no other evidence that the court is presently able to consider unless the state decides to present additional evidence.

If in fact the court is going to consider any of that probable cause affidavit, the part of my presentation will be review of that affidavit and raising what concerns I think may exist and the state may then respond to that.

Before we get to that point, however, we do have some family witnesses that I would like to call. We had talked to you yesterday about how to accomplish that. I believe the court has that number. Obviously a concern of reference to you yesterday maintains and through today is the concern over safety. And I'm assuming and hopeful that the process of getting ahold of the witnesses can be done in a secure way.


O'MARA: I believe you have the telephone number. They are available to begin whenever you are.

LESTER: However you want to begin. Do you want me to call those witnesses first?

O'MARA: I didn't know if the state wanted to respond to what I just said or --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll be glad to respond at the end, Judge.

O'MARA: That would be great.

LESTER: OK, thank you.

O'MARA: If you would then call those witnesses, Your Honor, I mean as we're doing that -- pleasure doing that, Your Honor, if I might, this is my client's current passport. The only passport that he has. It does expire May of 2012 but didn't want to acknowledge this and surrender to the court at this time.

LESTER: Thank you.


LESTER: Hello. This is Judge Lester.


LESTER: Mr. O'Mara?

O'MARA: Hi, ma'am. Hey, ma'am, can you hear me?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can hear you slightly.

O'MARA: Well, may I move --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got plenty of room.


LESTER: Try that.

O'MARA: Let me try that. Ma'am, can you hear me?

ZIMMERMAN: I can hear you just from a distance. I can hear you though.

O'MARA: Great. Thank you. If at any time during these proceedings you and I ask that you tell everybody else have problems hearing any of the questions throughout this, we're going to presume that everyone can hear us unless you let us know and you're on speaker phone so there may be difficulty because there's always a bit of a delay. Did you understand that?


O'MARA: Great. And who am I speaking to?

S. ZIMMERMAN: My name is Shellie Nicole Zimmerman.

O'MARA: And your relation to George Zimmerman?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I am his wife.

O'MARA: Thank you. My understanding is you have a notary public present with you, is that true?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I do.

O'MARA: May I speak with him or her?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, you may. One second.


O'MARA: Good morning. Ma'am, would you state your name?

GALLEGO: Leanera Gallego.

O'MARA: I'm sorry, will you spell that?

GALLEGO: L-E-A-N-E-R-A. Last name is G-A-L-L-E-G-O.

O'MARA: Great. Thank you. And are you a notary public in the state of Florida?

GALLEGO: Yes, I am. Commissioner number EE-32919.

O'MARA: And how long is that valid for?

GALLEGO: It expires September 7th, 2014.

O'MARA: Great. Have you administered oaths in the past?

GALLEGO: Yes, I have.

O'MARA: OK. What I'd like you to do, I understand there are a number of witnesses present with you, is that correct?

GALLEGO: Correct.

O'MARA: We have what's called a rule of sequestration of witnesses. Basically that means that only the witness who was testifying, we're going to have you (INAUDIBLE), we're going to have you swear in. Only that witness is on the phone testifying and can be in earshot. It's an act of duty but I ask you to take on the duty of securing the fact that all of the other witnesses are out of earshot so that they cannot hear the testimony of the witness speaking.


O'MARA: Can you do that?


O'MARA: OK. What I would like you to do is remove everyone but Shellie Zimmerman who first spoke to us from being within earshot and I'm going to ask that you further swear her in to tell the truth.


O'MARA: (INAUDIBLE) than I do but (INAUDIBLE) identify her by name and she swears to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help her God.

GALLEGO: Let me place her on the phone for you.

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I do.

O'MARA: I'm sorry. If you can do that in a way where the court can hear you, we would appreciate it. We didn't hear you give the oath.

GALLEGO: OK. OK. Would you state the name for the court to hear please?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Shellie Nicole Zimmerman.

GALLEGO: And do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I do.

LESTER: You may inquire.

O'MARA: If I might, Your Honor. Again, ma'am, state your name.

S. ZIMMERMAN: Shellie Zimmerman.

O'MARA: And how are you related to George Zimmerman?

S. ZIMMERMAN: He is my husband. I'm his wife.

O'MARA: And how long have you been married?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Almost five years this year.

O'MARA: And have you lived in central Florida longer than the five years you've been married to George?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I have.

O'MARA: How long have you lived in central Florida?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I've lived in central Florida my entire life. I was born here.

O'MARA: Do you know how long George, your husband, has lived in central Florida?

S. ZIMMERMAN: He has lived in central Florida since -- probably eight years.

O'MARA: And has that residence here in the state of Florida been consistent, meaning he's lived in no other place but central Florida?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, that's true.

O'MARA: And you understand that we're here seeking a bond so that George can be released while this case is pending, correct?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I understand.

O'MARA: One concern is that George, Mr. Zimmerman, appear back when this trial is called. Do you understand that concern?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I'm sorry, could you rephrase that?

O'MARA: You understand that one concern the court would have and reason for setting a bond is simply to make sure that George Zimmerman comes back when he's supposed to come to trial and other court proceedings.

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I do.

O'MARA: OK. Would you take on the affirmative obligation to this court here today to do everything -- anything that is in your power and control to guarantee the court that George will come back to court for necessary court proceedings and for trial?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely I will.

O'MARA: Further, would you take on the affirmative obligation or responsibility to advise the court should you lose contact or touch with your husband, George?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely I will.

O'MARA: Even though that would be in effect you telling the court that he might be in violation of a bond condition?


O'MARA: Another condition or another concern the court would have is a bond amount. I would ask you then realizing that one option is for the court to grant a monetary bond, if you could advise the court of your financial circumstances so I'll ask you a couple of questions.

Are you working presently?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, I'm not.

O'MARA: And how do you -- what do you do with your time?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I am a nursing student.

O'MARA: OK. Is that a full-time endeavor presently? S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, it is.

O'MARA: OK. How long have you been doing that?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Well, I am four weeks away from my graduation.

O'MARA: OK. So you're not earning any income presently?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Correct.

O'MARA: Do you own the home that you live or lived in?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

O'MARA: Other major assets that you have which you can liquidate reasonably to assist in coming up with money for a bond?

S. ZIMMERMAN: None that I know of.

O'MARA: I discussed with you the pending motion to have your husband, George, declared indigent for cost, have I not?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, you have.

O'MARA: Are you of any financial means where you could assist in those costs?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Not that I'm aware of.

O'MARA: I understand that you do have other family members present with you and I'll ask them questions of them but have you had discussions with them of at least trying to pool together some funds to accomplish a bond?

S. ZIMMERMAN: We have discussed that, trying to pull together the numbers of the family to scrape up anything that we possibly can.

O'MARA: Okay. The court may also require that George be released on certain conditions of reporting for example or of having a device which can identify his whereabouts. If that is a condition, would you further guarantee to the court that you will assist George in maintaining those conditions?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I will.

O'MARA: And would you further take on the affirmative responsibility of advising the court should he violate any of those conditions?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely, I will.

O'MARA: In our previous discussions, you have evidence of a concern both for your safety and that of your husband's. Is that correct?

S. ZIMMERMAN: That's correct.

O'MARA: Is it that concern that led you to request that this testimony be presented by telephone.

S. ZIMMERMAN: That's correct.

O'MARA: Are other family members similarly concerned?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, they are.

O'MARA: Realizing that concern, are you asking that the court should be allowed him out on bond, keep the location of his potential release point and where he would be staying strictly confidential?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes. I believe that needs to happen.

O'MARA: Realizing that additional condition to the court, will you keep in touch with the court, with myself, with the state, concerning any anticipated changes in George's location?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I will.

O'MARA: And again take on the appropriate responsibility beyond that which you have as his wife to do that to the court even though it may in fact be detrimental to George or a violation of his conditions of release?


O'MARA: And you are going to tell the court that's listening to you that you take on that responsibility, correct?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely, I do.

O'MARA: Aside from the fear concerns that you have for George's safety and the family's safety, do you believe that George is a danger to the community?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, I do not.

O'MARA: Do you have any concerns in that regard?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No concern whatsoever.

O'MARA: A moment, your honor.

JUDGE KENNETH LESTER, JR.: Take your time.


O'MARA: I have no further questions in this witness.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: Ma'am, can you hear me from there? I've got a pretty loud voice, or I can get up closer.

S. ZIMMERMAN: I can hear you okay.

DE LA RIONDA: Okay. My name is Bernie de la Rionda, just to introduce myself since we can't see each other.

Let me start off at the very end. You stated that you don't believe your husband is a danger to community. Is that correct?

S. ZIMMERMAN: That is correct.

DE LA RIONDA: You are aware of what he's been charged with, that is second degree murder. Correct?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I'm aware of that.

DE LA RIONDA: That is a crime of violence. Would you not agree?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I'm sorry. I couldn't hear that last part.

DE LA RIONDA: That is a crime of violence. Would you not agree?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I agree.

DE LA RIONDA: OK. May I reposition yourself?

And ma'am, would you not agree that your husband had a violent history?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, I do not agree with that.

DE LA RIONDA: So, were you not aware when he got arrested for a violent crime in Orange County?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I'm aware of that situation.

DE LA RIONDA: And did that not involve him striking or in some way battering a law enforcement officer?


DE LA RIONDA: Did you talk to him about it?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I have.

DE LA RIONDA: Did he tell you that he was arrested and charged with various crimes, battery to a law enforcement officer and obstructing justice?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, he has informed me of those charges.

DE LA RIONDA: Were you aware that he was allowed to plead a misdemeanor and attend a pretrial intervention program?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I'm aware of that.

DE LA RIONDA: Did you read the arrest document to that charge, ma'am?


DE LA RIONDA: Were you aware that he was in a place when he was asked where they were trying to do something to someone else. You honor, for the record, I would like to introduce that into evidence if I may since I'm going to be referring to it.

LESTER: Defense?

O'MARA: It's certainly hearsay, your honor, though I understand there's a certain limitation. I haven't seen it yet. So I'd like to have an opportunity to review it and then look forward to examination in this regard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Admitted state's exhibit 1.

DE LA RIONDA: Ma'am, I provided the actual arrest document to the court and also to defense counsel. But I want to read to you a pertinent part. It states the officer to the affidavit, the arrest warrant -- I'm sorry, the actual arrest warrant states, "I identified myself as a state police officer and showed Zimmerman my badge and asked him to leave the area. He stated, 'I don't care who you are.' I again asked Zimmerman to leave. He stated the F-word and he said you. At that time I attempted to escort Zimmerman from the interview room and he shrugged away from me and pushed my arms away with his hands. After a short struggle he was placed in handcuffs and detained."

Did you discuss that battle with your husband, ma'am?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I did.

DE LA RIONDA: Did he tell you it was a misunderstanding or an accident?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, he didn't say it was an accident.

DE LA RIONDA: He admitted that he struck a police officer when the police officer told him to abide by his commands?

S. ZIMMERMAN: The police officer didn't identify himself.

DE LA RIONDA: OK. You would agree that shows that -- the year of that was 2005. You would agree that shows prior violence on the part of Mr. Zimmerman, your husband?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, I don't.


And were you also aware of a prior incident that Mr. Zimmerman had in which a lady by the name of Veronica and her last name is Zuazo, (INAUDIBLE) where she filed an injunction against Mr. Zimmerman because of his violence?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I'm aware of the injunction.


Were you aware that in that injunction -- and your honor I would also at this point since I'm going to refer to it say that --

LESTER: What says the defense?

O'MARA: Same objection, your honor. Distant in time and certainly hearsay.


DE LA RIONDA: Were you aware -- so Mr. Zimmerman told you (INAUDIBLE) with Ms. Zuazo?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, he did.

DE LA RIONDA: In which she alleged in this affidavit that Mr. Zimmerman pushed him -- pushed her, excuse me, and then he with his open hand smacked her in the mouth and asked her how it felt?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, I'm not aware of that.

DE LA RIONDA: OK. He then -- I'm sorry. I'm referencing (INAUDIBLE) since the court has, I'm going just to refer to parts of it.


DE LA RIONDA: He picked me up and threw me on the bed. Got up to leave and he grabbed me again -- and put her on the bed. You weren't aware of that incident?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I am aware he had to protect himself from being attacked from her and there was blood drawn on him from her and he also filed an injunction against her.

DE LA RIONDA: That is correct. He did file an injunction against her, correct?

S. ZIMMERMAN: That is correct.

DE LA RIONDA: Now, so despite those two incidents, the prior arrest involving a law enforcement officer and the incident involving the injunction, you still assess or determine or tell the court that he is not a violent person or a threat to the community?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely, he is not a violent person, nor a threat to the community.

DE LA RIONDA: All right. Let me just start at the very beginning of your testimony. You stated that you have been married for how long with Mr. Zimmerman?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I've been married for five years in November.

DE LA RIONDA: And did you all live at the residence in the town homes where this murder occurred? Did you live together with him at the townhomes where this occurred?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I did.

DE LA RIONDA: And was that the entire five years?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No. That was for about three years of that. Two to three years.

DE LA RIONDA: And the reason I ask that because you stated that you all did not own that home?

S. ZIMMERMAN: That's correct.

DE LA RIONDA: Who owned the home?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Our landlord.

DE LA RIONDA: OK. So you all rent it?


DE LA RIONDA: OK. And were you working any of those five years or going to nursing school the entire time?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I was working for the first year.

DE LA RIONDA: And your husband, the defendant, Mr. Zimmerman, was also working during that entire time?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Not the entire time.

DE LA RIONDA: OK. How did you all support yourselves when both of you were not working?

S. ZIMMERMAN: When we were not working, we collected unemployment benefits.

DE LA RIONDA: OK. Are you still collecting unemployment benefits?


COSTELLO: This is Carol Costello. I just want to tell you that this is a bond hearing for George Zimmerman. His attorneys are seeking bond to have him released before trial.

We have to get a quick break in. It's only two minutes. We'll be back on the other side. Stay with us.


COSTELLO: I'm Carol Costello. We want to bring you back to Sanford, Florida. To courtroom 5-D where George Zimmerman's lawyers are fighting for bond in order to have Zimmerman released before trial.

Let's listen.


DE LA RIONDA: Have you reported that to the police?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, I haven't.

DE LA RIONDA: Have you reported that to my boss, Ms. Corey, or the state attorney's office so that somebody can investigate?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Did you keep those threats?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I'm sorry?

DE LA RIONDA: Did you keep that hate mail?


DE LA RIONDA: Do you have that available you can turn it over to your attorney?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I'm sure I can.

DE LA RIONDA: There's a difference between hate mail and threats. (INAUDIBLE) threats in that hate mail.

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.


I have no further question.

O'MARA: Thank you. And if I may inquire.

Mrs. Zimmerman, can you hear me?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I can.

O'MARA: Can we spend a couple of minutes about what you were told by George regarding the event when he was arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer. He did discuss that with you?


O'MARA: Didn't he tell you that he approached --

DE LA RIONDA: Objection. Leading. I know it's a motion hearing.


LESTER: Sustained. Go ahead. Keep going.

O'MARA: What did he tell you why he approached the people being detained by law enforcement?

S. ZIMMERMAN: He told me it was a friend of his being shoved up against a wall by a man in regular street clothes that was -- he felt that his friend was in danger and he was trying to protect his friend.

O'MARA: Did he give you any indication as to any potential injury he thought was happening to George's friend that he went to protect?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I'm sorry.

O'MARA: Did he tell you about any injuries that he saw or was concerned about?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I'm not sure of any injuries. I don't remember.

O'MARA: OK. So he approached a friend of his and did he tell you what law enforcement first said to him?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I don't remember.

O'MARA: Did he tell you -- did he give you an indication of how law enforcement reacted to the injury to his friend?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I believe they just pushed him aside and said, get out of here.

O'MARA: Did he give you any indication as to whether or not law enforcement during that event identified themselves as law enforcement?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, they did not.

O'MARA: Now, the law enforcement officer's sworn statement says that he did. Did Mr. Zimmerman tell you anything about that?

S. ZIMMERMAN: He just said that that's not true. They did not identify themselves or else he would never have done anything.

O'MARA: OK. Now, they arrested him that night, did they not?

S. ZIMMERMAN: They did.

O'MARA: They charged him with a couple felonies, battery on law enforcement officer and resisting arrest, on instruction of justice. Did they not?

S. ZIMMERMAN: They did.

O'MARA: OK. After having been arrested for that felony, do you know how the case was resolved?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I know that he did a pretrial diversion.

O'MARA: So, in effect, that event suggested to be a violent event, what the state actually did was let him plead --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection. Is this a question?

O'MARA: It is going to be. They let him plead to a misdemeanor and go to pretrial conversion, is that your testimony?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, it is.

O'MARA: Do you know what he had to do as conditions of that pretrial diversion?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I believe he had to go to anger management.

O'MARA: And do you have any indication that he didn't successfully complete that?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, I don't.

O'MARA: Do you have any indication he didn't successfully complete the entirety of his misdemeanor pre-trial diversion?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Say that one more time.

O'MARA: Do you have any indication that he did not successfully complete his misdemeanor pre-trial diversion?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, he didn't.

O'MARA: Speaking about the injunction referenced by the prosecutors a few minutes ago, you said something about your insight as to what George had done in response to the injunction. What was that?

S. ZIMMERMAN: That Ms. Zuazo didn't want him to go out that night and she scratched him and drew blood on him and started attacking him, and he picked her up and put her on the couch and protected himself from her.

O'MARA: OK. And as a matter of fact the injunction even references that she called 911 and advised them of that, correct?

S. ZIMMERMAN: That's correct.

O'MARA: And now that it's in evidence, the 911 operator -- do you have any indication of the 911 operator suggesting they would send out law enforcement for any crime?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I'm not sure.

O'MARA: Was George ever arrested for any crime?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, he was not.

O'MARA: And you testified that he had gotten an injunction against her. Do you know if that was granted?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I believe that was granted, yes.

O'MARA: Just a moment if I might, your honor.


DE LA RIONDA: Yes, one or two questions, your honor, if I may.

Mrs. Zimmerman, I was curious. You mentioned that he had to go through anger management?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I believe.

DE LA RIONDA: You stated that you believe he was successful in completing that?


DE LA RIONDA: And I gather my follow-up question regarding that is have you ever seen him angry or do you think he has -- let me ask first thing. Have you ever seen him angry?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, I haven't.

DE LA RIONDA: You don't think he has anger management problems?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, I do not.

DE LA RIONDA: No further question.

LESTER: This witness is going to be released? Defense.

O'MARA: Yes.

LESTER: State?

DE LA RIONDA: Yes, sir.

LESTER: Thank you, ma'am. You are released. You may call your next witness.

O'MARA: I would call Robert Zimmerman, Sr.



O'MARA: Good morning, sir. Would you state your name, please?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Robert Zimmerman.

O'MARA: And how are you related to George Zimmerman?

R. ZIMMERMAN: I am his father.

O'MARA: Great.

What we're going to do is we're going to have you testify but first we're going to have you placed under oath by the notary. The requirement is that only you are with the notary and are testifying. Nobody else can hear you. So please be certain that nobody else is in ear shot of your testimony and then let us speak to the notary for a moment who will place you under oath.


O'MARA: Ma'am, if you would, place Mr. Zimmerman under oath so we may have testimony from him.


COSTELLO: As George Zimmerman's father takes the oath, we're going to break away for a minute. And we'll be back on the other side.


COSTELLO: It is 9:37 Eastern Time. Just to bring you up to date. This is a bond hearing for George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman's attorney is fighting for a judge to set bond so Zimmerman can remain free until his trial.

George Zimmerman's wife just testified by phone. On the phone right now testifying to the court, George Zimmerman's father, Robert.

Let's listen.

O'MARA: -- counselor. And if he failed to do that, would you advise the state and the court?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I would.

O'MARA: Though it may lead to a violation of that bond condition against your son and may even lead to his incarceration.


O'MARA: Another issue that needs to be considered by the judge is the financial means that George and to a certain extent his family, has available to him. How can you assist financially in securing a bond for George's release?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Well, I am a disabled veteran and don't have a great deal of income. My wife is retired. We have some savings but very little.

O'MARA: Thank you. Do you have any major assets, for example a home that you live in?

R. ZIMMERMAN: We have a home. We have a mortgage on the home.

O'MARA: If a condition of his release were to be that you might need to secure that home such that you couldn't sell it during the time of George's release and that any equity that might exist in that home, would be secured to be surrendered to a bail bondsman if he failed to appear, would you take on that responsibility?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: In effect would you take on what we might call a second mortgage against your home to secure George's release?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: There has been concern about the question over whether or not George is a violent person. Do you believe that your son is a violent person?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely not.

O'MARA: And can you expound on that?

R. ZIMMERMAN: I have never known him to be violent at all, unless he was provoked and then he would turn the other cheek.

O'MARA: Any concerns with your safety around George, for example?

R. ZIMMERMAN: No, none whatsoever.

O'MARA: Do you have a concern for your own safety based upon the emotions that exist in this case?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely.

O'MARA: Are you asking -- you're asking the court then to maintain if he's released on bond the secrecy around locations of family members and George?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir, absolutely.

O'MARA: With that additional request, will you further take on responsibility to keep the court, the state, and me aware of George's whereabouts and what he's doing?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir, I will.

O'MARA: So the court is listening to you and is potentially relying on that commitment. Is it sincere and undeniable?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely.

O'MARA: Nothing further your honor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it pleases the court.

DE LA RIONDA: Good morning, Mr. Zimmerman.

R. ZIMMERMAN: Good morning.

DE LA RIONDA: I've never met you before so let me introduce myself. My name is Bernie de la Rionda, I'm the assistant state attorney.

You mentioned that you have no resources in helping your son out. You know that Mr. Zimmerman, your son, had a car?

R. ZIMMERMAN: I know he has a car.

DE LA RIONDA: Do you know if that was owned freely or if he owed money on it? Or --

R. ZIMMERMAN: I don't know. I would guess that it's being financed but I would have no idea.

DE LA RIONDA: How about your daughter-in-law? Does she have a car?

R. ZIMMERMAN: She does.

DE LA RIONDA: Do you know if there's money owed on that or not?

R. ZIMMERMAN: I know there was money owed on it. I don't know currently.

DE LA RIONDA: Yes, sir. You also said you mentioned your son was not a violent person, is that correct?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely.

DE LA RIONDA: In fact if I wrote it correctly you said that you've never seen him be violent unless he's provoked and even then you say he turned the other cheek, is that correct?

R. ZIMMERMAN: That's correct.

DE LA RIONDA: You're aware of what he's charged with in terms of murder, correct, and you were not a witness there, I'm assuming, correct?

R. ZIMMERMAN: I'm sorry?

DE LA RIONDA: You weren't there to see what happened, correct?

R. ZIMMERMAN: No, I was not.

DE LA RIONDA: You are aware of his prior arrests involving violence, are you not?

R. ZIMMERMAN: I am aware of an incident involving alcoholic beverage control officers in plain clothes.


And in terms of your background, were you not a magistrate somewhere in Virginia or Maryland or somewhere?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I was.

DE LA RIONDA: So did you discuss that matter of his prior arrest with your son?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I did.

DE LA RIONDA: OK. And did he tell you in that particular case, he turned the other cheek?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Well, he did. A friend of his was grabbed and thrown up against a wall by some people in civilian clothes.

DE LA RIONDA: Yes, sir. Did he tell you that they asked him to leave and he told them I don't care who you are when the officer identified himself as a law enforcement officer?


DE LA RIONDA: Did you ever read the actual arrest file?

R. ZIMMERMAN: No, I did not.

DE LA RIONDA: Were you not curious out of being a magistrate in terms of whether your son was telling you the truth or just for curiosity sake?

R. ZIMMERMAN: I never questioned whether my son was telling me the truth.

DE LA RIONDA: So, you just believe him because he's your son?

R. ZIMMERMAN: No, I believe him because he's been honest his whole life.

DE LA RIONDA: Did you go to any proceedings involving that arrest?

R. ZIMMERMAN: No, I did not.

DE LA RIONDA: Were you aware he was put in a pretrial intervention program and specifically given anger management classes?


DE LA RIONDA: And did you go to any of those anger management classes with him, sir?

R. ZIMMERMAN: No, I did not.

DE LA RIONDA: Did you ask him about that, how he did, whether he passed or failed or how long they were for?


DE LA RIONDA: OK. Do you believe he has anger management problems?

R. ZIMMERMAN: No, I do not.

DE LA RIONDA: Okay. I'm assuming aside from being his father obviously and being a magistrate, you told him the importance of the law? Did you not?

R. ZIMMERMAN: I'm sorry.

DE LA RIONDA: You told him the importance of the law or following the law. In raising your son you stressed how important it was to follow the law?


DE LA RIONDA: Okay. And in terms of calling police if there's a need for help, correct?


DE LA RIONDA: And not to assume things not to assume that people are committing crimes when they may or may not be? Let me rephrase that, I apologize. Did he, your son, at one time want to be a police officer?

R. ZIMMERMAN: He's always been interested in criminal justice.

DE LA RIONDA: Okay. And did you ever have discussions with him in terms of arrest powers, civilians versus police officers, et cetera, having been a magistrate?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Not that I recall.

DE LA RIONDA: Did he ever inquire of you in terms of what laws there were in terms of self-defense or arresting people or following people, that kind of stuff?

R. ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Okay and were you aware that he was involved in a neighborhood watch program, sir?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I was.

DE LA RIONDA: Okay and did you know that those neighborhood watches in terms of procedures they tell people not to follow people?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Well, when they are performing neighborhood watch, that's correct.

DE LA RIONDA: Okay you were not involved in that neighborhood watch on that particular area where your son lived, is that correct?


(END LIVE FEED) CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Okay. We're going to step away. We're going to take a one-minute break. We'll be right back with more from Courtroom 5 in Sanford, Florida.


COSTELLO: You are listening to George Zimmerman's bond hearing. His attorneys want the judge to set bond so George Zimmerman can be free until his trial takes place. On the phone right now, Robert Zimmerman, George Zimmerman's father. He's being asked what assets he has presumably so, you know, if they come up with a dollar amount for the bond, maybe Zimmerman's family can help out.

Let's listen to the assistant state attorney asking questions of Robert Zimmerman.


DE LA RIONDA: (inaudible)

R. ZIMMERMAN: Well, I've had fairly limited contact with my son since his head was beaten so I can't say now.

DE LA RIONDA: I'm talking about -- and you were there when his head was beaten allegedly?

R. ZIMMERMAN: No, I saw the scars on the back of his head and his face swollen and everything the next morning.

DE LA RIONDA: You did? Where did you see him?

R. ZIMMERMAN: At his house.

DE LA RIONDA: Okay. And so he told you about what had happened?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, he did.

DE LA RIONDA: Okay. But I was inquiring prior to that in terms of whether he had filed any psychiatric history or anything?


DE LA RIONDA: May I have a moment?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take your time.

DE LA RIONDA: I have no further questions, your honor. Thank you.

O'MARA: Mr. Zimmerman, it's Mark O'Mara again. Did George ever talk to you about why he had gone into criminal justice?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Well, at one point he said sometime in his life he would like to be a magistrate or a judge.

O'MARA: Did he talk about becoming a lawyer? R. ZIMMERMAN: No, he didn't.

O'MARA: So he sort of as he discussed it with you wanted to in effect follow -- follow in his father's footsteps, would that be accurate?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Well he's always been concerned about people in society so he wanted to be able to help somehow.

O'MARA: So what did George's head look like when you saw it the day after?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Well, his face was swollen quite a bit. He had a protective cover over his nose. His lip was swollen and cut and there were two vertical gashes on the back of his head.

O'MARA: Have you seen any pictures of that?

R. ZIMMERMAN: I'm sorry sir.

O'MARA: Did you take any pictures of that?

R. ZIMMERMAN: I -- I did not take any pictures.

O'MARA: Have you seen any of them?

R. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I have.

O'MARA: Who showed them to you?

R. ZIMMERMAN: I saw one on the news today.

O'MARA: Did the state attorney's office ever show you any of those pictures?

R. ZIMMERMAN: No, they did not.

O'MARA: Did they ever talk to you?

R. ZIMMERMAN: I spoke to the state attorney's office briefly in Sanford.

O'MARA: How long after the event?

R. ZIMMERMAN: I don't recall the date. It was after the state attorney's took over the case.

O'MARA: Right after Miss Corey took up the case, the new state attorney?

R. ZIMMERMAN: The state attorney in Sanford.

O'MARA: At that point did they show you any of the pictures similar to the injuries that you had seen that next night?

O'MARA: No, they did not show me any pictures. O'MARA: The next day.

R. ZIMMERMAN: No they did not show me any pictures.

O'MARA: Thank you. No further questions, your honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No questions, your honor.


O'MARA: Yes, your honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir. You're excused. You may call your next witness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I call my client's mother, your honor, Gladys Zimmerman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gladys Zimmerman, please.

R. ZIMMERMAN: Gladys, Gladys.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning, ma'am. Would you state your -


COSTELLO: Okay as Gladys Zimmerman, George Zimmerman's mother is sworn in, we're going to take another short break. We'll be back in two minutes.


COSTELLO: And hello again. I'm Carol Costello. You are watching live events from the Sanford, Florida courtroom where George Zimmerman's attorney is attempting to have the judge set bond for his client. So he can remain free until his criminal trial.

That's Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney. On the phone testifying is Gladys Zimmerman. And that would be George Zimmerman's mother. Let's listen.


G. ZIMMERMAN: Gladys Zimmerman.

O'MARA: And you are George's mother? Correct?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: You know he's being considered before the court, being charged with second degree murder correct?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes sir.

O'MARA: And that we are presently asking the court to allow him out on bond?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: A couple of questions. What type of contact have you had with George over the past few years?


O'MARA: Yes. Let me ask it. Do you stay in pretty frequent contact with your son George and his wife?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: And do you know where he lives?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.


O'MARA: -- do you have any concern for George's safety upon release?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I do. I do because we have received a lot of threats.

O'MARA: Based upon those threats or concerns, are you asking the court to maintain secrecy or confidentiality over where George be released and where he's allowed to go?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely.

O'MARA: Based upon those threats or concerns, are you asking the court to maintain secrecy or confidentiality over where George will be released and where he's allowed to go?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely.

O'MARA: I asked your husband some of these questions, so I'll go through them quickly. But one condition the court has to consider is financial ability to pay bond. And if I might, just (inaudible) for a moment -- your husband testified that you're retired, that he's a disabled veteran and you do not have much savings. Is that correct?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, that's correct.

O'MARA: But you do have a house that you own, correct?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: And that there is some equity in that home, is that also correct?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: Do you have any idea about the amount of equity that exists in that home? G. ZIMMERMAN: No. No, sir.

O'MARA: Whatever it may be, would you be willing to pledge that in some form or fashion to secure George's release realizing that you could lose it if George did not come back to trial?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: You would be willing to do so?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: The court also has to in effect trust that George will return for hearings and trial to be released. Would you take on the appropriate obligation to advise the state attorney's office and the court, myself, should you find out that George has violated any conditions that may be given by the court?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're still here.

O'MARA: Just one moment.


O'MARA: Ms. Zimmerman, there had been -- there's been testimony concerning George history and suggestions that he's had violent evidences in his past. I want to ask you about some of those.

Did he discuss with you his arrest at the hands of Alcohol Firearm and Tobacco officers?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, he did. That was a long time ago.

O'MARA: And what did he tell you about that?

G. ZIMMERMAN: He told me that he was with a friend and this friend was pushed around by civilian people and he tried to find out what was going on and he was pushed around. And they told them to move -- to get out and George wanted to defend his friend.

O'MARA: Is that something that you've come to know about George, that he will go to the defense of others?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

O'MARA: How has that shown up to you?

G. ZIMMERMAN: That particular case or do you want to mention another case?

O'MARA: Other cases.

G. ZIMMERMAN: Another case?

O'MARA: Yes, since the issue of his violence is at hand.

G. ZIMMERMAN: For example in 2010, he saw -- well, he didn't saw, but he find out that s homeless person was being beaten by another man here in Sanford. He organized the whole community. He went to churches, he put flyers on cars, he did everything possible so the city of Sanford will organize and go to the council and ask for justice for this homeless man who was beaten up.

O'MARA: And that was at George's insistence?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir, that was George. That was my son. And there are probably tapes in the Sanford council when he went and organized a meeting so that poor man will have justice. He was recognized also by the mayor.

O'MARA: Sanford's mayor recognized him for his efforts in that regard?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir, I believe so.

O'MARA: In addition to that event, any other things that come to mind about George coming to the defense of others?

G. ZIMMERMAN: Another case?

O'MARA: If you know of any.

G. ZIMMERMAN: Off the top of my mind, no, I don't know. But I know that he's a very protective of people, very protective of homeless people, and very protective also of children no matter the race because he's very -- well, he was very active. He was mentor for a boy in the city of Orlando.

O'MARA: Tell me about that.