Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

George Zimmerman Trial Underway

Aired June 28, 2013 - 10:00   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining us. It's just about 10:00 Eastern time. We are listening to testimony from neighbor John Good. He stepped out on to his back porch the night Trayvon Martin was killed and saw two dark figures persons tussling. In the grass and then later on the sidewalk. He also testified that the lighter-colored man was on the bottom and the 1000 we are listening to testimony from neighbor John Good.

He stepped out on to his back porch the night Trayvon Martin was killed and saw two dark persons tussling. He testified the lighter- colored man was on the bottom and the darker-colored person on the top was throwing some kind of blows. Ten he went back into his house to call 911. There was that gun shot. He told the 911 operator that one of the men was dead. They're now kind of describing the backyard and where exactly this all went down. So let's listen in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. May I approach the witness, your honor?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Good, I'm going back to February of last year, State Exhibit 139. Did you live at right here at 1221?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And in terms of this exhibit, States Exhibit 139 back in February of 2012, when you lived right here at 1221. There is a, depiction of a person there. Is this about the area where you are describing you saw?

GOOD: Beginning or end.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell me, using this kind of point the beginning and the end as best you can recall when you observed something in there and went back inside.

GOOD: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. All right, and you mentioned concrete. Is this sidewalk we are talking about?

GOOD: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Good, you went back inside and called 911. At some point, do you hear a gunshot?

GOOD: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Do you recall whether that was before you called 911, during the 911 call, or after the 911 call?

GOOD: I believe it was while I was dialling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. In terms of how long, do you know how long it took you to dial? Did you run to your phone and grab it? Did it take you a minute, did you say to your wife, I was outside, sorry.

GOOD: She could see me. No, it was probably right inside. I usually keep my phone next to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And do you believe the 911 call, I'm sorry the shot was while you were dialling or you were actually on the line?

GOOD: When I was on the line waiting to get picked up, correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. If I may have a moment, your honor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you went back inside and you heard a gunshot. Prior to that, did you hear any more yells for help at all?

GOOD: I don't think I was even focusing on that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were focusing on calling 911?

GOOD: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In terms of I think you stated three cries for help, three statements of help when you went outside and there were two people there?

GOOD: I think I stated one, two maybe, could have been possibly three.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry. I don't want you to guess, but you definitely one or two?

GOOD: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it all one voice or was it more than one voice?

GOOD: It sounded to be the same voice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you are not able to identify that voice or are you able to identify it?

GOOD: Not 100 percent, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And to make sure the record is clear, when you heard, when you looked out there and saw two individuals and you heard one say, "help," did you only here, "help, help," or anything other than "help, help?"

GOOD: That's all I heard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, I have no further questions at this time.


MARK O'MARA, ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE LAWYER: My cross is direct is the time for a break? I need a few minutes with exhibits. It's up to the jury.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does anybody need a break at this time? No. OK.

O'MARA: I need a couple minutes for the get the exhibits ready.


COSTELLO: All right, we're going to step away while Mark O'Mara, George Zimmerman's defense attorney figures things out. I want to turn our attention to our court observer, Jason Johnson. Because while you were listening to John Good's testimony, you thought the same as I did, why did the defense put this witness on the stand?

JASON JOHNSON, COURT OBSERVER: Yes, I thought it was strange. He seemed to be corroborating the defense's story that Trayvon was on top and that he was landing MMA-style blows, which is exactly what George Zimmerman wants the jury to believe. I think ultimately the consistently with which he is speaking, the dispassionate with which he is speaking, that may build the case the other way. Off the top, I didn't think it was helping the prosecution at all.

COSTELLO: OK, well, let's listen to that cross.

MARK O'MARA, ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE LAWYER: You understand we were able to accomplish that up until today or I guess option that we couldn't do it because of the way the process works?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: So when we, of course, you are to come here and tell us as best you can recall what you said that night and told those people, correct?

GOOD: Yes.

O'MARA: Let's ten talk about that night and Mr. Dela Rionda walked you through it. I want to define the terms that you used to make sure it's clear. You were watching TV, correct?

GOOD: Yes.

O'MARA: You first hear some noise outside that gets your attention, correct?

GOOD: Yes.

O'MARA: I think you said that was sort of this noise or yells or something, wasn't it?

GOOD: I didn't say yells.

O'MARA: What did you say, sorry?

GOOD: I just said a noise in the distance.

O'MARA: And both you and the jury are going to look at this behind you. It's been identified that you, looking at it over there. And that I think you said the noise came from as you were looking out which way, when you first heard the noise?

GOOD: When I first heard the noise, I wasn't looking out so I couldn't tell where it came from.

O'MARA: Could you tell at all from what direction?

GOOD: Just that it was getting closer.

O'MARA: OK, could it have been in this area, for example?

GOOD: I thought we weren't speculating.

O'MARA: I'm asking in your opinion, if it could have been.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection, calls for speculation.


O'MARA: OK. So that got your attention enough that you turned off or muted the TV?

GOOD: I muted the TV, correct.

O'MARA: OK. What was the very next thing that caught your attention?

GOOD: I heard it again, but it seemed like it was getting a little louder.

O'MARA: Could you tell at that point where it was coming from?

GOOD: It just seemed like it was getting closer to where I was.

O'MARA: In response to that, what did you do?

GOOD: That's when I muted the TV again. I proceeded to the sliding glass door.

O'MARA: So there was a time in between the two, you turned the TV down because of the first noise. You turn the TV back on?

GOOD: Yes.

O'MARA: Do you recall about how long of a time that was between the two?


O'MARA: Could you have said previously it was a couple of minutes?

GOOD: You were wanting a time frame, so yes.

O'MARA: No, that's OK. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but you had said it was a couple minutes?

GOOD: Sure.

O'MARA: Does that sound about right still?

GOOD: I guess. Like I said, we weren't keeping track of time, so it could have been a couple minutes.

O'MARA: All right, then the next noise got your attention, you muted the TV again, what else did you do?

GOOD: That's when I muted the TV and I went to the sliding glass door.

O'MARA: OK. And looked outside and I want you to say again what you saw, but I'm going to ask you to break a little bit allowing the way, because I want to define some terms. OK. So when you first looked out after that second noise, what did you see?

GOOD: I couldn't really tell what was out there.

O'MARA: OK. Tell us as best you can your view and what it was.

GOOD: Like I said, I couldn't tell what was actually out there. So that's when I opened the sliding glass door, opened the screen and took a step out to see what was going on to get a better view.

O'MARA: OK. And tell us what you saw.

GOOD: It looked like, like I said, maybe possibly a tussle, but I could only see one person out there at that time.

O'MARA: You used the terms vertical, horizontal and I want to just sort of clarify those so that we're on the same page. I'm going to use horizontals a being laying flat on the ground. OK.

GOOD: Well, that's your perception of it if you are looking at it. That would be horizontal a different way. O'MARA: OK. That's what I want to clear it up. I'm going to suggest and see if we can agree with this conversation that horizontal would mean that they're laying on the ground flat. I'm not saying anyone was yet. We'll get to that. But that the term horizontal means basically you are laying on the ground flat.

GOOD: They were laying on the ground.

O'MARA: OK. Then vertical would be as I am now standing up vertical and we'll get to some more in a minute. Right now, can we agree I'm standing up vertically?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: OK. With that in mind as best you can, describe the scene that you saw from your perspective. First, tell me about how far away this was that you were looking at.

GOOD: It was closer to the sidewalk but not on the sidewalk.

O'MARA: OK, 15, 20 feet?

GOOD: I guess, yes.

O'MARA: OK. If the sidewalk was about 20 feet away from your porch to the sidewalk was about 20 feet, would that be close to accurate?

GOOD: Twenty feet from the slab of concrete on my porch to the sidewalk?

O'MARA: Yes.

GOOD: I guess.

O'MARA: OK. Let's use that for now. We'll see how we can tie that up in a little bit. About how far then was it about that 20 feet almost to the pathway of the concrete path?

GOOD: Yes, it was close to the sidewalk.

O'MARA: And again, tell me now, using the terms we've agreed to, what was it that you remember seeing?

GOOD: They were laying on the ground, and if you fell back vertically, that's how I would be looking at them.

O'MARA: So if I was on my back vertically, that was one of the people?

GOOD: That was how I could see it. One that I could see in the beginning, his back was towards me, but facing downward.

O'MARA: OK. Well, let me say it like this, the person you see that you saw his back?

GOOD: Yes. O'MARA: Was he like this?

GOOD: At the beginning, no.

O'MARA: OK. How was he and just sort of point at me how he was when you first saw him?

GOOD: You would have to go all the way to the ground.

O'MARA: Over more, like that?

GOOD: No. It was more just flat on flat.

O'MARA: OK. So one person horizontal on top of the other.

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: Then when did that change?

GOOD: When it moved up to the sidewalk.

O'MARA: OK. So as we now move closer to the sidewalk, what is the positioning of the two of what you see?

GOOD: It happened very quick.


GOOD: But that's when it was at more of a straddle position once it got onto the sidewalk.

O'MARA: When you say "straddle," can you explain that in more detail?

GOOD: To get another visual?

O'MARA: If you wish.

GOOD: Sure. OK.

O'MARA: I don't want you get to embarrass me the jury get to see it as well.

GOOD: No, it was more the person on top's legs were over the person's on the bottom that was laying flat on the ground.

O'MARA: OK. So now the person on top is, in fact, like this over the person on the bottom.

GOOD: I would say that's accurate.

O'MARA: OK. And the person on the bottom was laying flat?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: Could you tell if he was on his back or not?

GOOD: He was on his back.

O'MARA: He was on his back. At this point what's the person on the back wearing? I'm sorry, the person on the top, whose back you could see wearing?

GOOD: It was the same person on the top when they were t-shaped to the sidewalk.

O'MARA: I'm sorry. They did not change positions, did they?


O'MARA: Except one the one on top in the black actually instead of laying down on the guy on the bottom was now straddling him, correct?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: And they are now closer to the cement pathway, correct?

GOOD: They would be on the cement at that point.

O'MARA: On the cement. And what movement were you -- I want you to sort of walk us through that, but at the point now, tell me when your focus of attention is really on what they're doing? Is it at that point with the straddling?

GOOD: Well, it was on the entire time. But like I said, it was only probably 8 to 10 seconds from what I remember because it was so quick.

O'MARA: You had said, I'm sorry, you were saying.

GOOD: But when they were on the concrete, the position was, with arm movement going downward.

O'MARA: From the time that you were first stepped out to watch them, until the time you turned back around, was about 8 to 10 seconds, correct?

GOOD: I would say because it was very quick.

O'MARA: It's 8 to 10 seconds?

GOOD: Yes, it wasn't a long time, no.

O'MARA: OK. Mr. Dela Rionda said it was two, it was more than two, wasn't it?

GOOD: I didn't say the whole thing was two seconds.

O'MARA: What was going on?

GOOD: It's 8 to 10 seconds.

O'MARA: That's when you had your focus specifically on what turned out to be as we all know Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, correct?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: We didn't know then. Now we know who they were.

GOOD: Yes.

O'MARA: So 8 to 10 seconds you were watching tell do whatever is happening?

GOOD: I would say yes.

O'MARA: OK. And you were talking about a movement or a struggle that you saw. Tell me more about that. Would you see --

GOOD: The beginning, the end, or the whole thing?

O'MARA: The beginning, at the beginning.

GOOD: Like I said, when I walked out, it looked like there was only one person then I could see a second person. It looked more of a tussle and that's when I thought it got serious when it moved up to the sidewalk. He was more in a straddle position and arm movements were going downward. But I couldn't 100 percent say those were strikes or they were arm movements going downward.

O'MARA: Of course, you were trying as you testified here today to be extraordinarily literal, aren't you? To be very careful about what you say is only what you saw?

GOOD: Well, that would have been through the whole thing. That's the same thing as I said in the deposition.

O'MARA: Sure. Even in your initial statement when you first had an opportunity to talk to an officer about this, the very first time you explained as best you can recall what you saw, right?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: And what you saw was the person on top in an MMA-style straddle position. Correct?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: That was further described, was it not, as being ground and pound?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: What is ground and pound?

GOOD: That's usually what takes place in that type of position.

O'MARA: Sure, in MMA, mixed martial arts.

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: You knew it enough to give technology like ground and pound to what you saw?

GOOD: It was the first thing that came to my mind, yes.

O'MARA: That the person on top was grounding and pounding the person on the bottom.

GOOD: That's what it looked like, yes.

O'MARA: So explain what ground and pound is in your mind.

GOOD: The person on top being able to punch the person on the bottom, but the person on the bottom also has a chance to get out or punch the person on top. It's back and forth.

O'MARA: Sure. Which is the dominant position?

GOOD: It would be the top position.

O'MARA: Because why?

GOOD: For most people that, would be the dominant position.

O'MARA: Because are you on top of the other person, right?

GOOD: Usually, that's a positive, I would think.

O'MARA: All right, it distracted me a bit. I want to make sure it didn't distract the jury. I apologize. I will go back I want to go back so you fully absorb it. Start by telling me again what ground and pound is.

GOOD: It's usually when a person is on top in a mounted position, I believe and the dominant position like I said the person on the bottom is able to, you know, get out of that position or you know, throw punches back, but I did not see any of that.

O'MARA: OK. The dominant position being on top is because you actually have all of your weight on the person's hips, right, holding them down?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: From that position the person on the bottom can't move very much and can't get very much movement or very much leverage, can they?

GOOD: I guess that depends on the type of person that's on the bottom.

O'MARA: Sure. And how well trained they are in MMA, right?

GOOD: I don't know if you have to be trained, but I'm sure some other things come into play. I don't know.

O'MARA: OK. Yet the person on top in that dominant position then has his arms free, right?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: Might have the person on the bottom's arms actually under his knees in that position, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to object to speculation versus at the scene or MMA, in general.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, at the scene, speculation sustained, as to MMA, I think you need the lay a better --

O'MARA: Sure. You have watched MMA fights enough to know what ground and pound is, right?

GOOD: Sure.

O'MARA: In certain ground and pound positions the person in the dominant position on top can get the guys on the bottom arms under his knees so he virtually has free access to reign blows down upon him, right?

GOOD: Well, I would think that would mean his arm is above his head or close to his head, but, no, I don't know.

O'MARA: OK. Nonetheless, the person on too much has his arms free, correct?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: Now let's go to this case that night that you saw the person you now know to be Trayvon Martin was on top, correct?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: He was the one who was reigning blows down on the person on the bottom, George Zimmerman, right?

GOOD: That's what it looked like.

O'MARA: OK. Now I said a moment ago, you were little, because you couldn't actually see fist hit face, right?


O'MARA: Because it was blocked by what?

GOOD: I didn't say it was blocked. I said it was dark out.

O'MARA: OK. And you were looking at Trayvon Martin's back, right, wasn't that what was towards you?

GOOD: Incorrect. On the sidewalk, their side to me, because they're laying on the sidewalk, which would be going lateral to my house.

O'MARA: That's right. By the time they got to the sidewalk, they had sort of moved into a position where it was a little bit more you could see what would have been George's left side or right side? GOOD: It would have been his right arm.

O'MARA: OK. His right arm was towards you and Trayvon Martin's left side would have been a bit more towards you, is that right?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: That's when you saw him striking down.

GOOD: That's when it looked like, yes, arm movement going downward.

O'MARA: How many times do you think?

GOOD: I have no idea. As soon as I saw the movement going downward, that's when I turned around and went back inside.

O'MARA: That's when you knew it was very serious?

GOOD: Yes, it looked serious and someone wasn't playing around.

O'MARA: That's when you could hear George Zimmerman screaming for help, right?

GOOD: Incorrect.

O'MARA: When was it?

GOOD: It was when I saw the person under someone on top.

O'MARA: I apologize for not asking the question the right way, when was the first time that you heard the person on the bottom scream for help?

GOOD: When I initially went outside, I didn't see a second person, then I could see a second person and it sounded like it was coming from the person on the bottom because usually when someone is on top the person on the bottom is the one screaming or yelling. And that was when I heard that, but I didn't hear anything after.

O'MARA: OK. And balancing, you are trying to be literal and tell us exactly what you remember observing and using your common sense. Do you think it was the person on the bottom who was screaming for help?

GOOD: I mean, rationally thinking, I would think so.

O'MARA: As a matter of fact, I think you said in response to Mr. Dela Rionda's question, had it been Trayvon Martin, it would have bounce off the wall.

GOOD: I think it would sound different. That's why in my head I thought it was coming from the person on the bottom.

O'MARA: The sound you heard was sounding like a person screaming from 15 or 17 feet away almost directly at you, right?

GOOD: It sound like it was coming towards me, correct. O'MARA: OK. Now, and I'm sorry to jump back to that, I apologize. So they now moved up. They are now on the true ground and pound position. And Mr. Dela Rionda made histrionics of what you've heard and didn't hear. Did you hear something like this?


O'MARA: OK. Could something like that have happened without you being able to hear it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection. Speculation.


O'MARA: Were you paying attention to the noise of the ground and pound that you were watching?

GOOD: Probably not. I was just seeing to make sure if it was serious or not and that's when I went back inside.

COSTELLO: All right, we have to take a quick break. We'll be back with more after this.


COSTELLO: All right, let's head back to Florida. John Good, a neighbor who stepped outside on his back porch and witnessed two men fighting. Let's listen.

O'MARA: That was recorded on that call, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's just speculation in terms of the time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He can testify if he knows.

O'MARA: Sure.

GOOD: San you repeat the question?

O'MARA: Sure. Do you remember listening, I tell you what, here's what we'll do. I will let you listen to Miss Laure's could again. I want you to when you are listening to it. I want you to think through, I will tell you that 45 seconds into the phone call you are going to hear the gunshot. So be ready for. That because I want you to then testify what you remember seeing sort of in time line with when you remember hearing the shot, OK.

GOOD: I wouldn't be able to tell you.

O'MARA: We will hear the tape. We will go from there. If I might have a moment to set that up, your honor. Just for record purpose, your honor, I will identify the exhibit number in just a moment. This is, of course the evidence of Miss Laure's telephone call put into evidence. Thank you very much. Whenever you are ready.


UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: 911, police, fire or local?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: It may be both, I'm not sure. There is someone screaming outside.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: What's the address that they're near? It's in Sanford.


UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Is it a male or female?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: It sounds like a male.


UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I don't know why, I think they're yelling help, but I don't know. Please send someone.


UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I can't see him. I don't want to go out there. I don't know what's going on. They're sending.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Do you think he's yelling help?



UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: There's gunshots.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: You just heard gunshots?



O'MARA: OK. You heard the gunshot towards the end in the recording?

GOOD: Yes.

O'MARA: OK. And I know again from different perspectives, but, with your knowledge of the information in this case, that was the same gunshot that you heard from inside your house?

GOOD: It didn't sound the same. It sound more like a rock hitting my window, I was inside.

O'MARA: Of course, but I'm saying, with your knowledge of the case you know it was a gunshot?

GOOD: Yes.

O'MARA: It sounded much different from across the street if you will across the pathway inside Miss Lauder's apartment, correct?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: You didn't hear your voice on that tape, though, did you?


O'MARA: You, obviously, did say what you said to them, correct?

GOOD: Correct.

O'MARA: And the mere fact that it doesn't show up on the tape doesn't suggest that you didn't say it, does it?

GOOD: I know what I said.

O'MARA: OK. This wasn't recorded on the tape?