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America’s eyes are locked on what looks to be one of the most controversial court cases since OJ Simpson, as the George Zimmerman trial has reignited a national conversation on gun laws and race relations. On Wednesday evening, CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Defense Attorney Jayne Weintraub joined “Piers Morgan Live,” fleshing out the details of the trials third day, in particular the impact of key witness Rachel Jeantel’s testimony:
“She was an unusually difficult witness to evaluate,” Toobin explained. "She was like a surly kid up there. She answered in half sentences. It was very hard to hear or understand a lot of what she said. She admitted that she had lied under oath in the past.”
Toobin suggested that the 19-year-old’s demeanor could be perceived in multiple ways:
“She very much seemed sympathetic to the Martin family and to the prosecution, so all of that could, on the one hand, make her seem like a terrible witness," Toobin told Piers Morgan. "But on the other hand she just seemed like a kid who was telling the truth in certain respects, at least the crucial aspects of her testimony, which is that Trayvon was on the phone saying this guy is following me and making me uncomfortable. That's the key part of her testimony, and that seemed believable to me, anyway.”
Weintraub chimed in to remind viewers that this is a case about self-defense, and Jeantel’s testimony may have actually revealed key insights into who was the aggressor in the confrontation between Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman:
“Yes, she was a difficult witness,” Weintraub admitted. “She's talking to Trayvon. She's saying he's running hard, he's breathing, he's scared and she's doing her hair on a Bluetooth. So to me, I'd discount it because if it was that horrible she would have taken the Bluetooth off, she would have listened, she would have called somebody, but she didn't.”
Joining the program for a live, primetime interview, Weintraub continued, offering a theory which would favor the defense:
“But that also doesn't go to who confronted who first,” the defense attorney said. “Trayvon was very angry. He's annoyed that this guy is watching him and looking at him, so maybe, just maybe he's the one that started the confrontation because for self-defense it's only what's in the mind of George Zimmerman.”
Last Summer, tight end Aaron Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million contract extension with the New England Patriots. Roughly 10 months later, he's been charged with murder, and released by the Pats. On Wednesday, Curt Meneffee and Gloria Allred joined Piers Morgan, discussing the shocking case, and evaluating the future of the 23-year-old.
“It's a lot of questions, just as many questions as we have answers,” explained Meneffee, the host of "Fox NFL Sunday.” “Circumstantially it looks like this guy is guilty. The case they laid out, it looks like everything is against him, but I go back to the Ray Lewis situation back in 2000. He was arrested for murder after the Super Bowl in Atlanta, held without bail for two weeks, did a plea bargain his way out of that, testified against his accomplishes, and wound up getting nothing. So, you know, you don't know, are they arresting him to try to get him to turn against guys? Or are they arresting him because they actually believe he did it?”
Allred meanwhile, a famed civil rights lawyer, wondered if perhaps Hernandez had been arrested “because the other guys already flipped and turned against him.”