msnbc News   |  July 12, 2013

What did they miss in the Zimmerman Trial

MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Bloom talks to defense attorney Jayne Weintraub about the misses in the Zimmerman trial.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> in its holster. and you'll see in a few minutes, maybe more than a few minutes, one of the things that he does. he demonstrates to the police where he had the gun. and it was not right here in the front. it was towards the back and it was hidden. and he will demonstrate to the police out there where it was.

>> that was state attorney bernie de la rionda yesterday telling the jury in his closing argument that in an interview with the sanford police from february 27 , 2012 , that after george zimmerman shot and killed trayvon martin , zimmerman appears to show that the gun was holstered behind him. this, to me, was the most important piece of evidence in the case. when i went back and looked at the reenactment video for the third or fourth time, suddenly this jumped out at me and i had not heard anybody talking about it. now, you just heard bernie de la rionda demonstrating on his hip. now, he didn't play the reenactment. i want to play it for you. take a look at what i see, i see three times in the 30-second videotaped clip in the reenactment, you see george zimmerman demonstrating that his gun was holstered on his back hip, from the first time when he just passed to his back hip. the second time when he demonstrates trayvon martin reached across, as though reaching across the back. and a final time when he reaches back, demonstrating taking the gun. take a look.

>> i had my firearm on the right side hip. he saw it, i feel like he saw it. he looked at it and says "you're going to die tonight." and he reached for it. i grabbed it. just grabbed my firearm and shot him.

>> i saw this and that it wait a second, because there is george zimmerman reaching back. and there is mark o'mara reaching in the front while questioning george zimmerman 's friend, mark osterman, that is where he pointed, on his right side while inquiring about a gun holster . and even though bernie de la rionda brought up the testimony about the holster, they did not object about the testimony the day he killed trayvon martin . and what his attorney, mark o'mara demonstrated in court. so will that go down in one of the biggest misses in this entire case if george zimmerman is found not guilty? well, let's see what another attorney has to say. and i want to bring in one of my absolute favorite defense attorneys, the very fine defense attorney from florida, jane weintraub. jane , you and i have known each other a long time. i have great respect for your point of view. here is why i think this is so critically important and the prosecution could have made a lot more out of it. because the story that george zimmerman always told is that he is down on his back. trayvon martin is straddling him. trayvon martin sees the gun and is reaching for the gun, and that is why george zimmerman had no choice but to take the gun, fire and kill trayvon martin in self-defense. if it is holstered behind him in the way that he demonstrates and he is down on his back. and it is a very dark night . and by the way, it is inside his pants, the gun is black, very dark, a shirt that goes over his pants, a jacket that goes over his pants, how on earth could trayvon martin have seen that gun?

>> he couldn't have seen it at that moment, absolutely. but he could have seen it during the struggle. i think at one point the roles were reversed. at one point, i think trayvon martin saw george zimmerman , and i'm not so sure from what angle. we don't know, that is the problem.

>> but his story was at that moment he was on top. he -- the defense argument would really have to be, okay, well, i was a little bit off on that. it was not exactly that moment. it was a different moment.

>> it could have been.

>> so now you're a little off on the moment you shot and killed.

>> no, no, what he is not off on, as nose is being broken, he is being beaten, he has the grass on his back, that is wet. that happens from being back, that is from fear. it doesn't mean he has to think he is going to die. he is in fear of great bodily harm.

>> it has to be reasonable fear. but if he is wrong about this story doesn't this call into question --

>> he is not wrong about the story.

>> unless trayvon martin has x-ray vision, i don't know how he sees a holstered gun.

>> how do you think he got on the ground? trayvon martin had pushed him, pulled him, whatever, and trayvon martin saw the gun.

>> do you see any misses -- on the defense side, what do you see?

>> on the defense side, i think mark o'mara has done a tremendous job defending him. the crosses were great, everything that was done was very well done. i was disappointed in his first closing this morning, but he really made it up when he put on the power point and started to examine and review all the evidence in the case. i think the one thing that mark o'mara probably did miss, is i'm afraid of a compromised verdict here. and i think mark o'mara is, too. and i don't think he hammered home enough the consequences will be the same. you are not allowed to talk about penalties. but you are allowed to be subtle, and you are certainly allowed to let them know a compromised verdict will have the same consequences.

>> you can't cross the line and talk about penalties -- you and i agreed that the prosecutor tried to play to the emotions too much of the jury. here is an example, prosecutor john guy in his rebuttal today, talking about how a child's worst nightmare is being followed.

>> was that child not in fear? when he was running from that defendant? isn't that every child's worst nightmare? to be followed on the way home? in the dark by a stranger? isn't that every child's worst fear? that was trayvon martin 's last emotion.

>> and there were really conflicting responses to that. some thought it was so powerful. but this came just after mark o'mara threw down the challenge to the prosecution, show me the evidence, connect the dots. instead, he decided to go for the drama, the passion, but not really putting forward the evidence.

>> because he didn't have it. and that is why i keep bringing home the question of, the judge has the power here. now, i know that the motion for an acquittal at the end of the case is very rarely granted. and of course, it would have been an amazing, unbelievable event if it happened here. but is there one person that you know that can honestly with a straight face that understands the law and the evidence say that second degree evidence was proven here?

>> yes, me, i would say it was a second degree evidence case.

>> you think the evidence was there?

>> yes, i think the evidence was there. i don't think it was established as well as it could have been. i spent a lot of time looking at the primary evidence in this case, watching almost the entire trial, 99% of it. i may have missed a moment or two. i think ill will was there --

>> on whose behalf?

>> on george zimmerman 's behalf, of course. we have the profanity, reference to trayvon martin . he thinks he is a criminal, a burglar, same as the last woman who was burglarized, as the woman who was in the closet with fear. he thinks trayvon martin is that guy.

>> he didn't go to kill this kid. he had no ill will or spite or hatred that rises to the level of a second degree murder in his heart. until probably it was self defense when he was being beaten. let's not forget who took the first punch. let's not --

>> but how do we know?

>> trayvon martin doesn't have an injury on him, does he?

>> he has a bullet hole.

>> he is a strapping large young man. he is not a little baby afraid of the dark. i feel awful saying this, but give me a break, give me a break. he is bigger and stronger. he was a football player in a public school .

>> well, it was important for me to get both sides. and so i wanted as to get the defense side on the same show. thank you so much, jane weintraub. i really appreciate it.