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No ‘active deception’ from Zimmerman, says cop

NEED TO KNOW
  • HLN is covering the George Zimmerman trial live, gavel to gavel
  • Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012
George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Jurors in the George Zimmerman trial got to hear his story again Tuesday, this time from Chris Serino, the lead investigator in the case, and Zimmerman’s best friend, Mark Osterman.
    
On the trial’s seventh day, both of them recounted the story told to them by Zimmerman with minor variations -- but no big inconsistencies.
 
Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Travyon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman told police he was pursuing the teenager throughout the neighborhood because there had been a series of break-ins in the area. The two fought, and Zimmerman said he was forced to draw his gun and kill Martin in self-defense.
 
Serino said he felt Zimmerman exaggerated the number of times he was hit that night -- but said he didn’t feel any “active deception” on Zimmerman’s part when he said he got out his vehicle while pursuing Martin to see what street he was on.
 
Osterman, who wrote a book about the case, said that when he took Zimmerman home from the police station after the shooting, Zimmerman wasn’t acting like himself. “He had a stunned look on his face. Wide-eyed, just kind of a little bit detached,” Osterman said on the stand Tuesday.
 
In a win for the prosecution, Judge Debra Nelson started off the day by asking jurors to dismiss Serino’s earlier testimony in which he said he believed Zimmerman was being truthful about what happened the night he shot Martin.
 
The court reporter read the exchange between defense attorney Mark O’Mara and Serino, a detective with the Sanford Police Department.
"So if we were to take pathological liar off the table as a possibility, you think he [Zimmerman] was telling the truth?" asked O'Mara.

"Yes," said Serino.

The judge told jurors to dismiss the question and the answer, telling them it was an improper statement made by the witness about Zimmerman’s credibility.
 
On his second day on the stand, Serino was asked by prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda if he thought Zimmerman was profiling Martin.
"If I were to believe that somebody was committing a crime, could that not be profiling that person?" asked de la Rionda.

"It could be construed as such, yes," said Serino.

"Was there any evidence that Trayvon Martin was committing a crime that evening, sir?" asked de la Rionda.

"No sir," said Serino.

"Was there any evidence that that young man was armed?" asked de la Rionda.

"No sir," said Serino.

The prosecutor also wanted to know Serino’s thoughts on the language Zimmerman used in his non-emergency call to police when he said, “these [expletive] punks always get away.”

"Is that something you would use in reference to somebody that you're going to invite over to dinner?" asked de la Rionda.

"No sir, I would not," said Serino.

"Does that seem like a friendly comment about somebody else?" asked de la Rionda.

"No sir, it does not," said Serino.

Serino also agreed that calling someone "[expletive] punks" is ill will and spite. To prove second-degree murder, prosecutors have to show Zimmerman acted with a “depraved mind” without regard for human life.  

The prosecutor then started to dig into some of the details of Zimmerman’s statement on the shooting to police, asking Serino about inconsistencies.
 
Serino said there was evidence to suggest that Zimmerman was still following Martin after the non-emergency operator told him not to. And Serino said red flags were raised for him when Zimmerman didn’t know the names of the streets in his neighborhood, because there are only three.
 
However, Serino also said that he didn’t feel there was “active deception” on Zimmerman’s part when he said he didn’t know where he was and had to get out of his vehicle to look at a street sign.
 
In regards to the fight that allegedly ensued between Zimmerman and Martin, Serino also said Zimmerman’s nose may have been bleeding back into his mouth, which could explain why Martin didn’t have blood on his hands. And he agreed with O’Mara that the purported smothering of Zimmerman by Martin could have happened only momentarily, perhaps not long enough to be heard on the 911 call made by a neighbor.
 
When questioned again by the prosecution, Serino admitted that he was speculating on the details of how the fight played out.
The last witness to take the stand before court recessed for lunch was Mark Osterman, who called Zimmerman “the best friend I’ve ever had.”

Osterman has worked in law enforcement for more than 20 years and said he’s the one who helped Zimmerman purchase his gun. "He asked whether he should or shouldn't -- to start with -- and I recommended that he should. Anybody who's a non-convicted felon should carry a firearm. The police aren't always there," said Osterman.

Osterman also recounted the story of the shooting that Zimmerman told him. He said that as the two scuffled, Zimmerman’s jacket came up, potentially exposing his gun to Martin. Osterman said Zimmerman was mostly focused on Martin’s hands, which he said were keeping him from breathing.

"It was critical. He was losing oxygen. He felt he was not able to breathe. That's why he was desperate to clear an airway," said Osterman.

Osterman said Zimmerman felt Martin grab either his gun or the holster.

"That’s when he had to -- he freed one of his hands and got the gun. He either broke contact or knocked Trayvon’s hand away, and then he drew it," said Osterman.

Osterman said Zimmerman shot Martin, crawled out from under him, holstered his weapon, got on Martin’s back and held his arms out, pinning them down.

But a photograph snapped by a neighbor shows Martin’s hands under his body. Osterman said he wasn’t aware of this fact.

Martin died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.
 
Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors called Dr. Valerie Rao, chief medical examiner for Duval County, Florida, to the stand to discuss the injuries Zimmerman allegedly sustained the night of the shooting.
 
Rao said the injuries to the back of Zimmerman's head were not consistent with being repeatedly slammed onto concrete. She said his head may have hit concrete one or maybe two times.
 
The doctor also said Zimmerman's facial injuries could have been created with one blow to the face, an assessment that seemingly contradicts what Zimmerman said in an interview with Fox's Sean Hannity that aired on July 18, 2012. The interview was played for the jury before Rao took the stand. Zimmerman told Hannity that Martin may have hit him the face a dozen times.
 
Rao said Zimmerman's injuries were "small" and "insignificant." He did not require any sutures, and he only seemed to need Band-Aids, according to Rao.
After Rao finished her testimony, prosecutors called Sanford police latent print analyst Kristen Bentsen to the stand. Bentsen said no useable fingerprint or palm print was recovered from Zimmerman's firearm. This evidence could contradict Zimmerman's claim that Martin grabbed his gun.

O'Mara asked Bentsen if environmental factors like rain can damage latent prints, and she replied “Yes.” It was raining periodically the night of the shooting, and the rain may have impacted what fingerprints were left on the gun.

Court ended early Tuesday to give attorneys time to prepare their arguments for a hearing regarding the admissibility of evidence of Zimmerman's interest in the criminal justice field, including his course work pursuing a criminal justice degree, his rejected application to become a police officer and his request to do a ride along with police.

Prosecutor Rich Mantei argued the evidence is relevant, because it proves Zimmerman wanted to catch bad guys, and it may show that Zimmerman knew what to say to law enforcement when they arrived at the scene.

Attorneys will present their arguments outside the presence of the jury when court resumes Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET.

HLN is live-blogging Zimmerman's trial. Click here for HLN's live blog of Monday's testimony. Read below for minute-by-minute updates:

4:45 p.m. ET: Judge Nelson said court will resume at 8:30 a.m. ET: Wednesday so the attorneys can argue over the admissiblity of Zimmerman's criminal justice course work. Testimony should resume around 9:00 a.m. ET tomorrow.

4:38 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

4:37 p.m. ET: Judge Nelson has excused the jury for the evening.

4:29 p.m. ET: Bentsen said she examined her she examined a latent print found on Zimmerman's firearm. However, she was unable to identify who the print belonged to. Guy has finished his questions for Benson. Defense attorney O'Mara asked her if environmental factors like rain can damange latent prints. she said yes. Bentsen has finished her testimony. The attorneys are now at a sidebar with the judge.

4:25 p.m. ET: Bentsen is explaining what a "latent print" is to the jury. She says a latent print can be made by fingers or a palm when it leaves a residue on a surface.

4:23 p.m. ET: Prosecutor John Guy has called Kristen Bentsen latent print examiner. She is the prosecution's 28th witness.

4:21 p.m. ET: Court is now waiting on the prosecution's next witness. The jury is being seated.

4:19 p.m. ET: Judge Nelson is on the bench, and she has asked the attorneys to take the issue about Zimmerman's course work later. She has asked the prosecution to call their next witness that does not involve that issue. The attorneys will be able to argue their positions on the issue at 8:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.

3:45 p.m. ET: Judge Nelson has recessed court for 30 minutes to allow the attorneys to research case law about the issue before the court.

3:43 p.m. ET: O'Mara wants the prosecution to prove Zimmerman was in class when the stand your ground law was taught. Mantei said no matter what Zimmerman had access to the course materials whether he was in attendance for that class or not.

3:40 p.m. ET: O'Mara is objecting to the fact that the prosecution is attempting to impeach their own evidence with Zimmerman's criminal justice course work.

The prosecution wants to call one of Zimmerman's professor to testify that he had a class on Florida's Stand Your Ground Law. In Zimmerman's interview with Hannity he said he did not know about Florida's Stand Your Ground Law.

3:36 p.m. ET: Judge Nelson told the prosecution to redact the other non-criminal justice classes from Zimmerman's transcripts.

3:35 p.m. ET: Judge Nelson said Zimmerman took a class called Criminal Litigation. Mantei said the prosecution plans to call one of Zimmerman's professors.

3:33 p.m. ET: Judge Nelson has asked to see the records. She said the courses about criminal justice may be relevant, but other classes like english are not.

3:30 p.m. ET: O'Mara calls what the defense is doing with Zimmerman's transcripts a "fishing expedition."

3:29 p.m. ET: O'Mara said the defense has taken "pains" to not get into Martin's past, and he thinks this trial should be focused on what happened that night.

3:28 p.m. ET: Judge Nelson is back on the bench, and O'Mara is objecting to the evidence prosecutors about to present from Zimmemran's course work pursuing a criminal justice degree. O'Mara said it was not relevant to the case. Proseuctor Rich Mantei said the course work shows he pursued a criminal justice degree, but did not finish it. Mantei said they are also planning to show the jury how Zimmerman applied to be a police officer, but his application was denied. Mantei said it is relevant, because it shows Zimmerman wanted catch bad guys, and it may show that Zimmerman may have the knowledge to know what to say to law enforcement when they arrived at the scene.

3:09 p.m. ET: Judge Nelson has recessed court for 15 minutes.

3:08 p.m. ET: Rao has been excused from testifying. The attorneys are now at a sidebar with the judge.

3:07 p.m. ET: O'Mara has finished his questions of Rao, and now prosecutor Guy is asking her questions on re-direct examination.

3:05 p.m. ET: O'Mara has asked for a moment to consult with his co-counsel.

3:03 p.m. ET: O'Mara is asking Rao if it was possible if Zimmerman's head was hitting the edge of the sidewalk. Rao said that is possible.

3:00 p.m. ET: Rao said the back of Zimmerman's head may have hit the concrete one maybe two times if the head turned.

2:57 p.m. ET: O'Mara is going back over how many blows Zimmerman may have sustained during the altercation.

2:54 p.m. ET: O'Mara is showing Rao multiple pictures of the bruise to the right side of Martin's head trying to show the extent of the swelling and the injury.

2:50 p.m. ET: Rao said the bruise to the right side of Zimmerman's head could be consistent with his head hitting concrete. She said it was a small bruise, but there was some swelling.

2:47 p.m. ET: O'Mara showed Rao multiple photos of Zimmerman's injuries asking her if certain spots on his head look like bruise. Rao has said Zimmerman did have a bruise on the right side of his head.

2:44 p.m. ET: O'Mara is looking through photos of Zimmerman's injuries trying to find a particular photo.

2:42 p.m. ET: Rao is explaining how Zimmerman had fine abrasions on parts of his head.

2:39 p.m. ET: O'Mara made the point that Martin may have been punching Zimmerman's face and the back of the head could have been driven down into concrete.

2:36 p.m. ET: Rao said the injuries to back of Zimmerman's head are consistent with one blow to concrete. However, she said it is possible there could have been more blows to the concrete.

2:33 p.m. ET: O'Mara is asking Rao about the swelling of Zimmerman's nose. Rao said the injury to Zimmerman's nose was not severe so the swelling rapidly declined.

2:30 p.m. ET: Rao admitted that Martin could have hit Zimmerman in the face more than one time.

2:27 p.m. ET: O'Mara asked Rao how much of her work involves homicides. She said Duval County has about a 100 hoimicides a year.

2:24 p.m. ET: Prosecutor Guy has finished his questions for Rao. Defense attorney Mark O'Mara is now asking questions about how Rao was appointed to the position as a medical examiner.

2:21 p.m. ET: Rao said Zimmerman's facial injuries could have been caused by a single blow to the face. She believes the facial injuries are not consistent with someone who was punched a dozen times as Zimmerman said in the interview with Hannity that was just played for the jury.

2:18 p.m. ET: Rao said she believes Zimmerman's injuries are not consistent with someone who had their head slammed into concrete repeatedly.

2:16 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

2:13 p.m. ET: Zimmerman only needed some "bandaids" according to Rao.

2:11 p.m. ET: Rao said Zimmerman's injuries were "insignificant." The did not require any "sutures."

2:06 p.m. ET: Guy has asked Rao to explain "blunt force trauma" to the jury.

2:04 p.m. ET: Rao is explaining the field of forensic pathologist to the jury. She is also explaining her work experience and education.

2:02 p.m. ET: Prosecutor John Guy has called chief medical examiner for Duval County, Florida Dr. Valerie Rao to the stand. Rao was brought on to the case some time after incident. She did not conduct Martin's autopsy.

2:00 p.m. ET: It appears the interview is finished.

1:59 p.m. ET: Zimmerman told Hannity he felt that the media had rushed to a judgment about what happened the night of the shooting.

1:57 p.m. ET: Zimmerman said he was terrified the police would show up and see his firearm and shoot him.

1:54 p.m. ET: Hannity asked Zimmerman if there was anything he regrets from the night of the shooting.

"No sir," replied Zimmerman.

1:51 p.m. ET: "After he couldn't his head on the concrete anymore, he tried to suffocate me. He continued to push his hands over my mouth, and my nose. It was particularly excruciating having broken nose, and him putting his weight on it. That's the point in time when he started telling me to 'shut up, shut up.'" said Zimmerman.

1:48 p.m. ET: Zimmerman said Martin may have punched him a dozen times, and he became scared for his life when Martin was slamming his head into the concrete.

1:46 p.m. ET: Zimmerman said he never went more than a 100 feet from his car the night of the shooting. He said when Martin surprised him he tried to call 911, but Martin punched him. His story sounds very similar to the version of events he told police.

1:43 p.m. ET: Hannity asked if Martin was running away from him, because he didn't know who he was.

"He wasn't running out of fear," said Zimmerman.

Hannity asked, "You can tell the difference?"

"He wasn't running," said Zimmerman.

Hannity makes the point that Zimmerman told the police dispatcher that he thought the teenager was running.

1:41 p.m. ET: "I felt he was suspicious, because it was raining. He was inbetween houses, cutting between houses. He was walking very leisurely for the weather," Zimmerman told Hannity.

1:38 p.m. ET: The interview with Hannity aired on July 18, 2012. The interview begins with Zimmerman discussing how he was going to Target the night of the shooting when he spotted Martin. He also said there had been some crime in his neighborhood recently.

1:35 p.m. ET: Prosecutor De La Rionda told the court he intends to play Zimmerman's interview with Fox's Sean Hannity for the jury.

1:34 p.m. ET: The jury is being seated.

1:33 p.m. ET: Judge Nelson is on the bench, and testimony should resume any moment.

12:22 p.m. ET: The judge has recessed court for lunch until 1:30 p.m. ET. The live blog will pick back up once testimony resumes.

12:21 p.m. ET: "He may have had it [the gun] still in his hand as he jumped on top of Trayvon and perhaps holstered when it saw the flashlight. I don't remember specifically," said Osterman. Prosecutor de la Rionda has him look back in his book and Osterman says Zimmerman holstered his gun and then pinned Martin down.

12:19 p.m. ET: "You haven’t made anything up to help one side or the other?" asked prosecutor de la Rionda.

"Not whatsoever," said Osterman.

He says Zimmerman told him he put out Martin's hands and pinned them down. He also says Zimmerman was afraid he missed Martin so he put his gun in his holster and get on top of him. The prosecutor has finished his questions.

12:18 p.m. ET: If the evidence suggested something different from his book, then Osterman says he would defer to the evidence. O'Mara has no further questions for Osterman.

12:16 p.m. ET: Osterman wrote the book four months later. He says this was his best memory of what Zimmerman said, he didn't take any notes, the two didn't talk further and he didn't show Zimmerman a draft.

"We were not able to contact each other after he was arrested the first time," said Osterman.

12:15 p.m. ET: Osterman says it's not unusual for someone to talk after being shot. He says Zimmerman pinned Martin's hands down after shooting him. Martin's father shakes his head as Osterman says this. Osterman says he didn't know Martin's hands were found underneath him.

12:12 p.m. ET: Martin reached for Zimmerman's gun, according to Osterman.

"That’s when he had to – he freed one of his hands and got the gun. He either broke contact or knocked Trayvon’s hand away… and then he drew it," said Osterman. He believes Zimmerman said Martin touched the gun.

12:11 p.m. ET: Osterman says Zimmerman's focus was on Martin's hands on his face, which kept him from breathing.

"It was critical... He was losing oxygen, he felt he was not able to breathe. That's why he was desperate to clear an airway," said Osterman.

Osterman says it's typical for someone to have tunnel vision in this type of situation and only focus on certain things.

12:09 p.m. ET: The position of Martin's knees may have changed as Zimmerman squirmed, according to Osterman. Zimmerman was consistent that it was Martin who straddled him and that he [Zimmerman] was screaming for help.

12:07 p.m. ET: Osterman says Zimmerman told him he went straight through to find an address, he didn't turn to go down the "T" in the sidewalk. When he was on his way back, Zimmerman says the altercation began.

12:05 p.m. ET: Osterman says it makes more sense for you to be able to keep on eye on a suspect while on the phone with the dispatcher.

Zimmerman told Osterman he lost sight of Martin at some point.

"That's one of the reasons he got out of the vehicle," said Osterman. He also says that as an officer gets on scene, dispatch likes to ask for someone's exact location so they can meet up.

12:02 p.m. ET: At some point, Martin walked around Zimmerman's car and the two made more eye contact, according to Osterman.

"Very aware of each other's presence," said Osterman. He said Zimmerman didn't seem angry.

12:01 p.m. ET: Osterman says Zimmerman went to Target "every single Sunday, like clockwork." He says Zimmerman saw Martin going between homes and the two made eye contact.

11:59 a.m. ET: Zimmerman's wife went into "nurse mode" once they got in Osterman's car. She wanted to put ice on his injuries. Zimmerman explained what happened that night.

11:57 a.m. ET: "Is detached different from the way he normally is?" asked O'Mara.

"Vastly," said Osterman.

Osterman says Zimmerman seemed to not be processing what was going on, describing him as having a blank stare.

11:56 a.m. ET: Osterman says Zimmerman was "stunned" and that he immediately tried to reassure his wife.

"He had a stunned look on his face. Wide-eyed, just kind of a little bit detached perhaps from maybe not realizing he had just gone through a traumatic event," said Osterman.

11:53 a.m. ET: O'Mara asks if their friendship would affect the way Osterman testifies.

"You're going to speak the truth, good or bad, for Mr. Zimmerman?" asked O'Mara.

"Correct," said Osterman.

He says Zimmerman's wife was "indescribably hysterical" and that he had to put his arm around her to keep her from blacking out.

11:51 a.m. ET: Osterman has been in law enforcement since 1992 and helped Zimmerman buy his gun.

"He asked whether he should or shouldn't to start with and I recommended that he should. Anybody who's a non-convicted felon should carry a firearm... The police aren't always there," said Osterman.

11:49 a.m. ET: Osterman says the place where Martin grabbed the gun seemed like where it was being held by the holster, which is why he didn't say Martin grabbed the holster. Prosecutor de la Rionda has finished his questions.

11:47 a.m. ET: Zimmerman told Osterman that he had been instructed, in general, to "get where you can observe and try not to make contact."

11:46 a.m. ET: "After putting his gun back in the holster, he jumped on top of Trayvon Martin and pinned him down," said de la Rionda.

"That's correct," said Osterman.

11:44 a.m. ET: Zimmerman told Osterman he believed Martin felt the gun with his leg and then grabbed for it.

"He says, 'You're going die' and he used the MF term again. I'm sorry I don't like to curse in front of ladies," said Osterman.

Zimmerman told Osterman that he grabbed the gun out of Martin's grip and shot him. Martin told him, "You got it" or something like that. Zimmerman says he then scooted out from Martin. He says he didn't believe he hit him.

11:42 a.m. ET: "One hand was trying to cover his nose and one hand was trying to cover his mouth to keep him from screaming," said Osterman.

Zimmerman told Osterman that because his jacket had ridden up, Martin may have seen he had a gun. Zimmerman was trying to remove Martin's hands so he could breathe and scream.

11:39 a.m. ET: "Once he started screaming, George said Trayvon grabbed his head and started smashing it into the concrete," said Osterman.

As Zimmerman squirmed to get his head off the concrete, his jacket came up, according to Osterman. Zimmerman says he directed his screams for help at the people who came out.

11:37 a.m. ET: Osterman says Zimmerman looked down to get his phone out of his pocket and when he looked back up, "the punch came squarely in his face." Zimmerman says he stumbled to the ground and Martin straddled him.

"His knees were up somewhere near his chest or up near his armpits and he was beginning to punch him," said Osterman.

11:34 a.m. ET: Osterman has written a book about the case and quoted Martin as saying, "Do you have a problem?" Osterman says there was an expletive, "mother [expletive]," but that his publisher wanted him to take it out of the book because it was graphic.

11:32 a.m. ET: There were two phases of contact, according to Osterman: When Zimmerman first saw Martin and pulled in the clubhouse parking lot and the second one when Maritn walked down a side street and Zimmerman followed him with his car and lost sight of him, getting out of his car to find an address.

11:30 a.m. ET: Martin circled the car, according to Zimmerman. Osterman says they looked each other and Zimmerman briefly lost sight of Martin.

11:28 a.m. ET: “Someone who usually looks through a neighborhood while it’s raining – it’s suspicious," said Osterman. Zimmerman told him he called the non-emergency number.

11:26 a.m. ET: Osterman recounts the story Zimmerman told him the day after the shooting. Zimmerman was going to Target to get lunches for the week. He saw someone he didn't know walking through homes and looking into windows.

11:24 a.m. ET: The prosecution has called Mark Osterman to the witness stand.

"Would you consider him a very good friend?" asked prosecutor de la Rionda.

"The best friend I’ve ever had," said Osterman.

11:22 a.m. ET: The jury is being seated.

11:04 a.m. ET: The judge has recessed court for a 15-minute break.

11:03 a.m. ET: Serino says the blood may have been going back down Zimmerman's nose and throat and that it may have dripped down once he stood up.

"Could the attempt to suffocate literally be momentary as well?" asked de la Rionda.

"Yes sir," said Serino.

Prosecutor de la Rionda says he just has a couple questions for Serino.

"Right now it could be raining outside?" asked de la Rionda.

"Yes sir," said Serino.

"And that would be pure speculation on your part?" asked de la Rionda.

"Yes sir," said Serino.

Serino has been dismissed and is subject to recall.

11:00 a.m. ET: Serino says there's no law stating you can't go into a 7-Eleven with a hoodie. He has finished his questions. The judge says she'll give the defense five minutes to ask more questions of Serino.

10:59 a.m. ET: Serino says no blood was found on Martin's hands. He also says he'd be fighting back if someone had their hand on his face and was punching him. He says no blood was found on Zimmerman's hands.

10:56 a.m. ET: Serino describes the word "a**hole" as being derogatory.

Prosecutor de la Rionda says Zimmerman said "[expletive] punks" under his breath as he left his vehicle.

"And then he followed Trayvon Martin, correct?" asked de la Rionda.

"Yes sir," said Serino.

10:55 a.m. ET: Serino says there was no evidence that the piece of awning found behind a neighbor's home was used as a tool.

10:54 a.m. ET: "After somebody dies, they don’t get taller?" asked prosecutor de la Rionda. Serino says he wouldn't dispute the medical examiner if Martin's height was measured to be 5'11"

"Are you saying it's against the law for somebody to wear a hoodie at night?" asked de la Rionda.

"No sir," said Serino.

10:52 a.m. ET: Serino says there was quite a height and reach difference between Zimmerman and Martin.

"Reach is measured arm-to-arm, sideways," said Serino. O'Mara has finished his questions for Serino.

10:49 a.m. ET: Serino says the medical examiner's report supports Zimmerman's story of how and where he shot Martin. It also supports Zimmerman's claim that Martin was on top of Zimmerman when he shot him. Serino says the evidence contradicts the idea that Zimmerman pressed his gun to Martin's chest.

10:47 a.m. ET: During the police reenactment, Serino says nobody pointed out to Zimmemran that there was a number on one of the houses. Serino says it didn't seem like "active deception" that Zimmerman said he didn't see an address. The fact that Zimmerman couldn't remember the three streets in his neighborhood did raise red flags for Serino. He belived that could be "active deception."

10:44 a.m. ET: Serino agrees that Zimmerman may have seen the address on the neighbor's house if he wasn't blocked by a tree and was looking to the right. He also says there was no number on the side of the house, so Zimmerman wouldn't see the address after he walked by the house.

10:41 a.m. ET: "On the screaming on the 911 call, there wasn't a great deal of muffling, wouldn't you agree?" asked O'Mara.

"No sir, there was not," said Serino. He agrees that the scream came from one person. He also says someone may interpret that they're getting smothered if someone else has a hand on their broken nose.

10:39 a.m. ET: Zimmerman didn't seem smug, according to Serino.

"He seemed quite interested in the fact that there might be a videotape?" asked O'Mara.

"Yes he did," said Serino.

O'Mara says Zimmerman hoped that the neighborhood put up a new video camera that he didn't know about to document what happened. 

10:36 a.m. ET: Serino says that in Zimmerman's mind, he might have viewed it as a rash of burglaries. Serino would need more numbers before he could make that determination.

10:34 a.m. ET: O'Mara says that if you consider Zimmerman's story to be true, about his head being hit against concrete, "Do you consider him [Martin] to have armed himself with concrete?"

"Yes sir," said Serino.

10:33 a.m. ET: Serino agrees that he wasn't worried that a crime was happening, just that someone was where he shouldn't be.

O'Mara asks Serino if it was it appropriate for Zimmerman to call non-emergency based upon seeing someone at night, in the rain, between two homes.

"That would be reasonable, to call non-emergency," said Serino.

"If you were driving an unmarked car and saw Trayvon Martin standing there... would you have stopped and talked to him?" asked O'Mara.

"Not just based on his presence, no I would not," said Serino. "He might live there."

"Would you stop and ask him?" asked O'Mara.

"Not just based on what you observed, no," said Serino.

10:30 a.m. ET: Serino says he has information that Zimmerman continued to follow Martin after being told not to. He says he based that off the location of Martin's body and the fact that the confrontation happened afterwards. But Serino also says there's no tangible evidence against Zimmerman's story that Martin confronted him as he was walking back to his car.

10:28 a.m. ET: Serino points out on a map where Zimmerman says he was walking that night. He says Zimmerman was close to his car when the operator told him he didn't need to follow Martin.

10:24 a.m. ET: Serino says it's not illegal to follow or approach someone and ask them what they're doing.

10:22 a.m. ET: O'Mara asks Serino about the non-emergency call operator asking Zimmerman about Martin's location.

"Does that indicate that he wants him to keep an eye on him?" asked O'Mara.

"Yes sir," said Serino.

10:20 a.m. ET: Serino says "these [expletives] punks always get away" and "[expletive] punks" was said in a matter-of-fact kind of way. A few days after the shooting, Serino says a tool was found in the bushes behind one of the witness' homes.

"It was a piece of an awning, I believe it was a piece of a window, piece of hardware basically. It looked like a slim jim," said Serino. He explains that this tool is used to break into windows.

10:18 a.m. ET: When Zimmerman said "s**t" on the call, Serino says he saw that as a sign of urgency.

10:16 a.m. ET: Serino says that he has personally used the expletive Zimmerman used that night [a**holes]. He also says it can be used as slang and seemed more like a generalization -- not something specific.

10:14 a.m. ET: The prosecutor has finished his re-direct examination. Defense attorney O'Mara is now asking more questions of Serino.

10:13 a.m. ET: "Would you classify the defendant as a skinny kid?" asked de la Rionda.

"No sir," said Zimmerman.

10:10 a.m. ET: "You felt like he was exaggerating certain parts of it?" asked de la Rionda.

"Among other things," said Serino.

"Did you feel he exaggerated the manner in which he was hit?" asked de la Rionda.

"Yes sir," said Serino.

10:09 a.m. ET: Zimmerman told police he got on Martin's body and spread his arms out, holding them down. Prosecutor de la Rionda shows Serino a photo taken by a neighbor that shows Martin on the ground with his hands under him. Serino says the positioning of the arms is inconsistent with Zimmerman's statements.

10:07 a.m. ET: Serino says the street Zimmerman didn't know the name of was the street that goes through the front gate.

10:05 a.m. ET: Prosecutor de la Rionda is now playing part of Zimmerman's reenactment with police. Zimmerman says he got out of his car to find an address. The prosecutor puts up a photo of a neighbor's house, showing the address on the front.

"There's an address right there staring at him?" asked de la Rionda.

"Yes there is," said Serino.

10:01 a.m. ET: Prosecutor de la Rionda plays more of of Serino's interview with Zimmerman. Serino says he remembers challenging Zimmerman about whether he was smothered or not.

9:58 a.m. ET: Serino says he bluffed about Martin's phone maybe having filmed the incident. He also said there may have been cameras in the neighborhood. Prosecutor de la Rionda says Zimmerman would have known what cameras were in the neighborhood. The prosecutor also asks if there was any evidence that Martin used his phone before being shot. Serino says no.

9:55 a.m. ET: During his interview, Serino asks Zimmerman what's behind his statement about "these [expletives]."

"People that victimize the neighborhood," said Zimmerman.

9:53 a.m. ET: "Isn't it accurate that he was profiling Trayvon Martin as a criminal?" asked prosecutor de la Rionda.

The defense objects, calling it speculation, and the judge sustains.

"If I were to believe that somebody was committing a crime, could that not be profiling that person?" asked de la Rionda.

"It could be construed as such, yes," said Serino.

"Was there any evidence that Trayvon Martin was committing a crime that evening, sir?" asked de la Rionda.

"No sir," said Serino.

"Was there any evidence that that young man was armed?" asked de la Rionda.

"No sir," said Serino.

9:50 a.m. ET: The prosecutor is now playing part of Zimmerman's interview with police officer Doris Singleton. Zimmerman says the neighborhood has had a lot of crimes and that his wife saw a residence being broken into. Zimmerman says he decided to start a neighborhood watch program.

"There's been a few times where I've seen a suspicious person in the neighborhood... these guys always get away," said Zimmerman.

9:47 a.m. ET: Serino says the non-emergency line operator, in so many words, asked Zimmerman to not follow Martin.

9:46 a.m. ET: Prosecutor de la Rionda plays a part of Zimmerman's police call where he says "these [expletive] always get away."

"Is that something you would use in reference to somebody that you're going to invite over to dinner?" asked de la Rionda.

"No sir, I would not," said Serino.

"Does that seem like a friendly comment about somebody else?" asked de la Rionda.

"No sir, it does not," said Serino.

Serino says that calling someone "[expletive] punks" is ill will and spite.

9:42 a.m. ET: O'Mara has finished his cross-examination and prosecutor de la Rionda is asking more questions of Serino.

9:40 a.m. ET: Zimmerman spoke with Serino several times after their initial interviews. Serino says Zimmerman was always compliant.

9:39 a.m. ET: Serino says Zimmerman's injuries didn't seem life threatening and says that no injuries were needed for him to look into the case.

9:38 a.m. ET: Serino says he moved the interview to his desk to play the police calls because he didn't have a computer in the interrogation room.

9:36 a.m. ET: Defense attorney Mark O'Mara plays Serino's interview with Zimmerman in court, where Serino plays the 911 call made by a neighbor.

"You hear that voice in the background? That's you," said Serino on the audio recording.

Zimmerman says it doesn't even sound like him. Serino says this statement didn't change the direction of his interrogation of Zimmerman. He also says the statement didn't cause him any concern.

 

9:32 a.m. ET: Serino says the purpose of his second interview could have been to challenge Zimmerman or extract the truth. He says Zimmerman was consistent throughout the interview.

9:29 a.m. ET: The court reporter reads back part of Serino's testimony from yesterday:

"So if we were to take pathological liar off the table as a possibility… you think he was telling the truth?" asked O'Mara.

"Yes," said Serino.

The judge tells jurors this was an improper comment made by a witness and she tells them to disregard the question and the answer.

9:27 a.m. ET: The jury is being seated.

9:22 a.m. ET: Defense attorney Don West says it's unacceptable for the video to be played and the defense to not have an option to cross-examine the witness. West says they'd want a chance to talk to the witness because they didn't know the prosecution wanted to call him until after the trial started. West says the defense wasn't able to make the interview last week because of a scheduling conflict. He says they should shoot for a time when the witness is available.

9:25 a.m. ET: "Simply not coming isn’t really a reason to bar the direct testimony," said Mantei. He says he wants to play the video and the defense can cross-examine the witness when he's available on the phone or on webcam. The judge asks Mantei to figure out the witness's schedule and says she'll table the discussion until the afternoon.

9:20 a.m. ET: Prosecutor Richard Mantei is talking to the judge about a witness who was unable to testify in person. Mantei says they scheduled a deposition for him but the defense didn't show up. Mantei says the witness may be available sporadically by phone but is unavailable today to testify remotely. Mantei wants to know how the defense feels about them playing the video from the deposition.

9:17 a.m. ET: O'Mara says the cases he's reading affected the rights of the defendant. He says Serino was supposed to be determining if Zimmerman was telling the truth, so he should be able to testify about it. Prosecutor de la Rionda says the state is also entitled to a fair trial. He wants the statements read back to jurors and for the judge to tell them to dismiss Serino's answers.

9:11 a.m. ET: O'Mara says it comes down to the client's right to a fair trial. He says he doesn't believe this hurts the prosecution's case since it's their own witness. O'Mara is reading the case law now.

9:09 a.m. ET: O'Mara says the whole premise of a challenge interview is to determine voracity and truthfulness so he says Serino should be able to give his opinion. The judge reads case law that says it's an error for a witness to give an opinion about the credibility of another witness's statements. The case goes on to say it's especially harmful for a police officer to do this.

9:07 a.m. ET: Defense attorney O'Mara is cueing up audio while prosecutor de la Rionda reads Serino's statements that he wants the judge to have jurors dismiss.

9:04 a.m. ET: The prosecutor says it's improper for the defense to ask lead investigator Chris Serino about the truthfulness and voracity of Zimmerman's statements. He wants the judge to strike the answers.

9:01 a.m. ET: Defense attorney Mark O'Mara asks the judge to set up another time to discuss the matter so it's not right in the middle of his cross-examination. The judge says she wants to take a moment to read the case law.

8:59 a.m. ET: The judge is on the bench and prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda is giving the judge some case law in reference to a motion that was filed.

8:55 a.m. ET: George Zimmerman has entered the courtroom.

8:30 a.m. ET: Testimony is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. ET.

8:25 a.m. ET:

The lead investigator in the George Zimmerman case took the stand again on Tuesday to answer questions from the former neighborhood watch captain's defense team.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman told police he was pursuing the teenager because there had been a rash of crime in the area. A confrontation ensued, and Zimmerman said he was forced to kill Martin.

Chris Serino, the lead investigator in the case, had some tough questions for Zimmerman during their second interview together. Serino played Zimmerman's non-emergency call to police, pointing out a specific time where he says it would have taken Zimmerman a minute and 20 seconds to return to his car.

"You're in the rain getting wet… you see where the obstacle is here? I want you to think about that. I'm speaking for you... it doesn't sound like you quite recall exactly what happened at that point,” said Serino in the interview, which was played for jurors Monday. "It sounds like you're looking for him... you want to catch the bad guy. '[Expletive] punk can’t get away'... Did you pursue this kid? Did you want to catch him?"

"No," said Zimmerman.

While Serino admitted there were minor inconsistencies in Zimmerman's statements, he said this is normal because people aren't robots. He also testified that he believed Zimmerman was telling the truth, especially after Serino bluffed that Martin's cell phone may have captured video of the incident.

"I believe [Zimmerman’s] words were, 'Thank God, I was hoping somebody would videotape it,'" said Serino. "Either he was telling the truth or he was a complete pathological liar. One of the two."

"You think he was telling the truth?" asked defense attorney Mark O'Mara during his cross-examination.

"Yes," said Serino.

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