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Friday, April 19, 2013

State v. Zimmerman: First Bond Hearing (FULL) - April 20, 2012

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Complete Transcript, Serino Interview, 2/29/2012, Tape 3

This is the transcript of the 3rd tape of Investigators Serino and Singleton interviewing Zimmerman.  This tape recorded them playing back the non-emergency call and questioning him about his location, moves and motives.  This is the audio: audio_interview_0229_3
Serino: It’s not happening that way. Someone should come to my desk. Huh. This is George. George, this is Randy, that’s Rebecca.
Randy: George (unintelligible)
Rebecca: (unintelligible)
Serino: Somebody grab a chair for George.
Randy: Alright.
Serino: Can I get a chair?
Rebecca: Hey George, (unintelligible) nice meeting you.
Serino: Get him a chair?
Randy: (unintelligible)
Rebecca: (unintelligible) It’s the wrong type of (unintelligible) WMA
Serino: WMMA, WWF, I don’t know…
Rebecca: (unintelligible) I could do it but I (unintelligible)
Serino: OK
Rebecca: W…MA film…
Serino: here we go. And like I know how to do this part. OK, this is your 911 call.
(plays tape 0:00 to 0:08)
Serino: OK, real suspicious guy.
Zimmerman: Mm hum
Serino: OK, one more time, why suspicious?
Zimmerman: Ah, it was raining and he was looking into the houses, looking behind, looking at me. He wasn’t walking quickly to get out of the rain. Didn’t look like he was, like, trying to head home. He didn’t look like a hard-core athlete that wanted to, like, train in the rain or anything. And he just looked out of place.
Serino: OK.
(plays tape 0:07 to 0:21)
Serino: On drugs why?
Zimmerman: Oh, cause he just kept looking around, looking behind him, looking, just kept shifting where he was looking.
Serino: OK
(plays tape 0:23 to 0:39)
Serino: You see the color of his pants?
Zimmerman: I don’t remember.
Serino: OK.
(plays tape 0:39 to 0:48)
Singleton: Can you just pause that for a minute? OK, when you explained it to me, you said you had pulled over initially at the clubhouse, correct?
Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
Singleton: OK, but it seems so fast, and then I thought you told me, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, I thought you said they asked you, can you still see him, and you said, you told them you couldn’t, and you asked, and they said, well get to where you can see where he’s at. And you told me it was at that point you moved.
Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
Singleton: Now you’re saying he’s coming up to your car. Does that mean you’ve already, at this point in the tape, you’re already on Twin Tree, the street you didn’t know the name of at the time?
Zimmerman: Um, no, I was on, I called when I was at the clubhouse.
Singleton: OK, but he’s walking up to your car now, right?
Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
Singleton:  On the tape. Cause you’re saying he’s walking up.
Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
Singleton: You’re talking about when you’ve already left the clubhouse and now you’re on the corner.
Zimmerman: No, ma’am. I’m at the clubhouse.
Singleton: You’re still at the clubhouse
Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
Singleton: when he does this?
Zimmerman: Mm hmm.
Singleton: OK.
(plays tape 0:49 to 1:03)
Singleton: OK, pause it right there. OK, where’s he, where, where are you at now? Are you still at the clubhouse?
Zimmerman: I think I’m still at the clubhouse, yes.
Singleton: OK.
(plays tape 1:03 to 1:16)
Singleton: Have you moved yet?
Zimmerman: I don’t think so.
Singleton: You’re still in front of the clubhouse?
Zimmerman: I think so.
Singleton: On Retreat View Circle.
Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am. I don’t remember even saying he had a button on his shirt.
Singleton: OK.
(plays tape 1:16 to 1:18)
Serino: So something’s wrong with him.
(plays tape 1:18 to 1:20?)
Serino: What’s that statement supposed to mean?
Zimmerman: I don’t know.
Serino: OK.
(plays tape 1:20 to 1:28)
Singleton: OK, where are you at now? Are you still in front of the clubhouse?
Zimmerman: I don’t remember.
Serino: OK.
(plays tape 1:28 to 1:34)
Serino: That statement. These assholes…what’s behind that?
Zimmerman: People that victimize the neighborhood.
Singleton: Didn’t you just tell us in there that a week earlier they made an arrest?
Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
Singleton: So they don’t always get away.
Zimmerman: No.
Serino: Good point.
(plays tape 1:34 to 1:50)
Serino: What’s happening now? Are you guys walking now, is he walking?
Zimmerman: No, that’s, I was parked where I could see him now.
Serino: So you’re…
Singleton: OK, so you’re definitely not in front of the clubhouse any more, at this point?
Zimmerman: No.
Serino: So you’re ahead of him?
Zimmerman: No, I was behind him.
Serino: OK, so you walked to your car, then walked along this path and you were you were behind him?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK.
Zimmerman: When I was at the clubhouse he walked…
Serino: Are you driving slowly or something?
Zimmerman: No, I pulled over and stopped before I called.
Serino: OK. OK.
(plays tape 1:44 to 2:07)
Serino: OK. Full sprint, full-on flight…jogging, trotting…describe the run.
Zimmerman: I don’t remember. I just, cause I was on the phone. It happened so quickly.
Serino: Well, ah, I understand that, George, but I guess that it’s um…if it was a bicycle theft I could say OK, but it’s kinda important. I mean, was he running as to evade you, get away from you, ah, maybe got tired of getting wet in the rain. What kinda run was it? I mean, it sounds like he’s running as to get away from you.
Zimmerman: I don’t know why he was running.
Serino: But what kinda run was it? Can’t say?
Zimmerman: I don’t know.
Serino: OK.
(plays tape 2:08 to 2:10)
Serino: OK, is that you getting out of the car?
Zimmerman: Yes.
Serino: OK.
Singleton: So as soon as he runs, you’re getting out of the car to follow him.
Zimmerman: When he says which way are you running, I turned off the ignition.
Singleton: I don’t know.
(plays tape 2:10 to 2:14)
Serino: At that point you’re out of the car?
Zimmerman: I think so.
Serino: OK, so you basically jumped out of the car to see where he was going?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK. That’s not fear. You know what I mean?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: That’s one of the problems I have with the whole thing, or I’m gonna have. I mean, I don’t have any problems at all, it’s just that… it’s gonna be a problem
(plays tape 2:14 to 2:17)
Singleton: It sounds like you’re running right there.
Zimmerman: I wasn’t running.
Singleton: Oh (unintelligible)
(plays tape 2:16 to 2:17)
Serino: What is that you’re whispering? Fucking what?
Zimmerman: Punks.
Serino: Fucking punks. He wasn’t a fucking punk. (clears throat)
(plays tape 2:17 to 2:26)
Serino: OK.
(plays tape 2:26 to 2:34 )
Serino: OK, at the point where he said, are you following him, and he said, we don’t need you to do that, what went through your mind?
Zimmerman: He’s right.
Serino: So you shoulda stopped and went back to your vehicle.
Zimmerman: I still wanted to give him an address.
Serino: OK.
(plays tape 2:34 to 2:40)
Serino: You said he ran again. OK, this is, this is because you don’t see him?
Zimmerman: Correct.
Serino: So at this point he has to be hiding from you.
Zimmerman: I don’t know where he was.
Serino: Well you…
Zimmerman: I don’t see him.
Serino: Well the law of the physics says that he’s hiding from you at this point. He could not have made it home…and came back to attack you in that time, so…What’s your, what’s your, um, account is that you don’t see him at this point. You’re at the T now, right? Here’s the pavement, correct? You’re looking down that way? That passage?
Zimmerman: No, sir.
Serino: Where’re you at?
Zimmerman: Once he told me not to follow him…
Serino: Mm hmm.
Zimmerman: And I wasn’t following him. I was just going in the same direction he was. Once he said…
Serino: That’s following (laughs).
Zimmerman: Well he, I thought, I mean…
Serino: If you’re…OK
Zimmerman: …long gone.
Serino: So you basically wrote if off, I mean…
Zimmerman: Right. I was on the other side, I was on Retreat View Circle at that time.
Serino: OK.
Singleton: OK, but the other day…again, this is, these are the questions that we’re going to have to able to explain to people…
Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
Singleton: The other day you told me you got out of the car because dispatch was asking your location and you wanted to orient yourself. You did not tell me that you said, “Oh, shit, he’s running” and then got out of the car and went in that same direction at the same time. Do you see what the problem is?
Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
Singleton: And I asked you did, would you, did you, you know, look for him and you told me no.
Zimmerman: I don’t remember, ma’am. I’m sorry.
Singleton: You told me the only, the reason you got out of your car was to get an address.
Zimmerman: Yes, right.
Singleton: But you decided to get the address…fresh in the second after you say, “Oh, shit, he’s running.” And then it sounds like you’re running too.
Serino: Cause it was fast walking maybe?
Zimmerman: No, it was just windy.
Serino: It was. OK.
(plays tape 2:40 to 2:47)
Serino: Where you at now?
Zimmerman: On Retreat View Circle, I think.
Serino: OK.
(plays tape 2:47 to 3:06)
Serino: What are you doing right now?
Zimmerman: Walking back to my car.
Serino: OK.
(plays tape 2:17 to 2:41)
Serino: OK, if I time this portion, this is important, OK? I almost gotta reconstruct this.
(plays tape 2:16 to 2:41)
Serino: When do you start walking back to your car? Time here. You’re going towards Retreat View, right?
Zimmerman: Yeah.
Serino: OK.
(plays tape 2:28 to 2:41)
Serino: OK, where you at now?
Zimmerman: I think on Retreat View Circle.
Serino: OK. Is that 2:41? OK.
(plays tape 2:41 to 2:47)
Serino: OK, you’re walking back to your car?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir,
(plays tape 2:48 to 4:03 )
Zimmerman: I’m thumping the damn flashlight as I was walking through.
(call ends)
Singleton: How long is that?
Serino: It’s 84 seconds. From the point where you were walking back to your car from Retreat View to Twin Tree basically.
Singleton: It’s what, about 30 feet.
Serino: That’s a minute and…20 seconds. Did you stop at the “T”?
Zimmerman: No, I walked through. I stopped on Retreat View Circle.
Serino: That’s where you were standing?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK. But you didn’t get back into your car?
Zimmerman: No, sir.
Serino: Why not?
Zimmerman: I was…
Serino: You’re in the rain, you’re getting wet, you’re on the phone.
Zimmerman: Because I was waiting, I, the, I had light there…
Serino: So…
Zimmerman: Where I was at and I was trying to hit my flashlight. I didn’t want to walk back through without light.
Serino: OK, a minute and 20 seconds.
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK, you’re in the rain, getting wet. You’ve wrote this guy off basically, you’re gonna meet the police. OK, you see where the obstacle is here?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK, I want you to think about that. I am speaking for you, for everybody. I’m trying to, trying to do the best I can here.
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: It’s a minute and 20 seconds. It doesn’t sound like you were saying, well it doesn’t sound like you quite recall exactly what happened at that point, OK? (unintelligible) something else. This is not right? OK.
Serino: OK can I ask, my concern is also this. “Oh, shit, he’s running” and I’m getting out of my car. In an instant (snaps fingers) to make sure I don’t lose sight of this guy. That’s what it sounds like. Are you following him? Cause that’s what it sounds like you’re doing, that’s why he asked you the question. It sounded to the dispatcher likely that you were running, and that’s why he asked you that question. “Are you following him?” And your answer is yes. OK? But then you get to the other side and you’re concerned…(slapping sounds) about walking past this guy when you’ve already been chasing him, essentially. And he’s telling you to go back to your car and now you wanna pretend…or not pretend, you wanted us to believe that you’re concerned about having a flashlight to move back where you just ran?
Serino: You’re looking for him.
Singleton: You tried to catch up to him, do you see what I’m saying?
Zimmerman: No, I wasn’t. Um…
Serino: OK, it sounds like you’re looking for him.
Zimmerman: No.
Singleton: You brought a flashlight with you.
Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
Singleton: You wanted to be able to see him.
Serino: You want to catch him.
Zimmerman: No…
Serino: You wanted to catch the bad guy…
Singleton: No, it doesn’t…that’s…(unintelligible)
Serino: Fucking punk can’t get away. This is outside the interrogation room, OK? And we are in a whole different area right here. OK, this is, this is where, you know, I mean, this is why I took you out of there, so you could hear this. So I can recall your memory and…let you see, if they say, if you say you walked back to your car, you stood outside your car for a couple minutes, they’re not going to believe anything I got to say.
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: And that’s why I’m saying, is there anything that you need to clarify right now?
Zimmerman: (sigh)
Serino: Did you pursue this kid? Did you wanna catch him?
Zimmerman: No.
Serino: OK, it’s not you,
Singleton: Why
Serino: it’s not what you’re about?
Zimmerman: No.
Singleton: Why did you tell them, never mind just have them call me when they get here and I’ll tell them where I’m at?
Zimmerman: I was frustrated that I couldn’t think of the street name where I was…
Singleton: But you were gonna be back in your car from that distance in less than 15 or 20 seconds. So why would they need to call you?
Zimmerman: I felt like I didn’t give them an adequate description of where I was from the clubhouse.
Singleton: OK, cause you know what the impression would be, is that you’re gonna continue to look and when they get here you’d just tell ‘em where you’re at, at that point. You see what I’m saying? Well…no, never mind
Serino: Just keep the (unintelligible)
Singleton: just tell ‘em to call me when they get here, and I’ll tell ‘em where I’m at. Meaning I might not be at my car. Where I just told ‘em I would be.
Serino: I mean, you know, we’re here working for you here, OK?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK
Zimmerman: I know…
Serino: Well, that’s what you got up in your mind. OK, and if there’s anything that needs to be changed, this is it. I, when I, we can’t do this any more. OK.
Zimmerman: I understand.
Serino: Listen to this one.
(playing a witness 911 call and questioning at the same time)
Serino: You’re that voice in the background?
Zimmerman: No, sir.
Serino: That’s you. Are you hearing yourself?
Zimmerman: Um, it doesn’t sound like me.
Serino: It’s you.
(listening to the 911 call)
Serino: OK, right there. He smothered you, correct?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: At what point did he smother you?
Zimmerman: After…
Serino: Was it right before you shot him?
Zimmerman: Right…yes, sir.
Serino: OK. Immediately behind the shot?
Zimmerman: (sigh) I don’t remember.
Serino: OK.
(plays 911 call again)
Serino: I need you to give me an approximate time of when he starts to smother you.
Zimmerman: I don’t know when. It’s hard to…
Serino: That’s you, yelling for help.
Zimmerman: (unintelligible)
Serino: Help me, help me.
Serino: That’s when you shot him. (clears his throat) Can you recall (coughs) excuse me…at what point the suffocation happened? Prior to, prior to you shooting him, he was on you, correct?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK. And you were able to reach into your holster.
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK. You shot him at point blank range. He was on top of you, right?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK. And in the middle of all that yelling, nobody came out to help you. And I can’t, I can’t pinpoint where you were smothered. That’s the problem I’m having. And nobody’s saying they saw him smothering you. People are saying they saw you, saw him on top of you, but they didn’t see about the smothering part. So…
Singleton: And when we’re listening to the screaming, doesn’t sound like there’s a hesitation in the screaming. It sounds like it’s continuous, and if someone’s being hurt (imitates scream being muffled) It’s gonna stop. But we don’t hear the, we don’t hear it stop.
Serino: We don’t hear him at all either. Was he being quiet, is he whispering to you or something?
Zimmerman: He’s telling me to shut up.
Serino: Is he calm?
Zimmerman: No, he’s like angry.
Serino: I don’t hear him though. No.
Singleton: Was he shouting it, or was he…
Zimmerman: No, he’s on top of me, and he’s telling me to shut the fuck up, shut the fuck up.
Serino: And then when he saw you had the gun, at that point… Do you think he mighta saw you had a gun when you guys were standing, before he punched you?
Zimmerman: No, sir.
Serino: No way, no how?
Zimmerman: No, sir.
Serino: Was it totally concealed under that jacket?
Zimmerman: I mean totally
Serino: He couldn’t have got a glimpse of it? Accidentally?
Zimmerman: No, I walk around WalMart all the time and no one has ever seen it.
Serino: And once again, getting back to beginning, what was the provocation for him punching you other than the fact that you were following him? That you can think of?
Zimmerman: I have…
Serino: Why was he so mad at you?
Zimmerman: I’ve gone through it a million times and I have no idea. (unintelligible)
Serino: Guess you gotta go through a lotta (unintelligible – sounds like warheads?) too
Zimmerman: (unintelligible)
Serino: Alright, so you’re gonna go to the beach for a little while?
Zimmerman: (unintelligible)
Serino: With your wife?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK, which one?
Zimmerman: I don’t know.
Serino: Just away?
Zimmerman: (unintelligible)
Serino: (clears throat) OK. Go back to the room. (unintelligible) guys with me (unintelligible)

Zimmerman caught on tape: ‘It sounds like you’re looking for him’

George Zimmerman’s version of events the night he killed Trayvon Martin have never really made sense. And thanks to the release of a treasure trove of audio files last week by his attorney, we get to hear Zimmerman tell police what happened that rainy Feb. 26 night in his own voice. But what you’ll immediately notice is that what he tells the Sanford Police Department while in custody and in subsequent interviews doesn’t exactly match what he said during his infamous call to the non-emergency line at the SPD. You’ll also understand why investigator Christopher Serino, who had problems with Zimmerman’s account from the beginning, sought to arrest him for manslaughter two weeks later.
To refresh your memory, click here to listen to the phone call Zimmerman placed to the SPD. There have been break-ins in the neighborhood and “there’s a real suspicious guy” who “looks like he’s up to no good,” he told the dispatcher. “These [expletive], they always get away,” Zimmerman said before getting out of his car to pursue Martin. When he confirmed he was following the unarmed 17-year-old, the dispatcher said, “We don’t need you to do that.” They discuss where he would meet the police when they arrived.

Now, click here to listen to the Feb. 29 interview Zimmerman had with Serino and investigator Doris Singleton as they probe the inconsistencies in what Zimmerman said in the unredacted version of that non-emergency call and what he told Singleton hours after the shooting. A word of caution: There’s raw language in this conversation. The questions asked by the two detectives are what you would expect from seasoned homicide investigators. But they find Zimmerman’s responses unsatisfactory.
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