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June 27th, 2013
02:51 PM ET

"Piers Morgan Live, Rewind": Analyzing key witness Rachel Jeantel, "FOX NFL Sunday" host looks at the Aaron Hernandez charges

Whether you fell asleep early, stayed out too late, or simply want to watch it again, we realize it's not always possible to get your entire "Piers Morgan Live" fix from television. As an answer to this, we offer the below labor of love – "Piers Morgan Live, Rewind" – dedicated and designed to getting you caught up and connected to the conversation.

  • Toobin on Rachel Jeantel: “She was an unusually difficult witness to evaluate”

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.”

  • Meneffee on Hernandez’s murder charge: “It looks like this guy is guilty”

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.”

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soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. jacquelu

    Any one realizing they were being followed; will fight or flight. That does not give the follower the right to kill.
    As a woman; I am appaled that it is ok to shoot me if I decide to fight someone following me home from 7-11.

    June 27, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Nina

    I think that everyone is way too focused on Rachel Jeantel's testimony. If you erase everything that she has said and only concentrate on what we know to be true by admission of Zimmerman and the recorded call to authorities by Zimmerman, the following stand to be true: If Florida is a, "Stand Your Ground State" what about Trayvon Martin's right to stand his ground. The first action to start the conflict between Martin and Zimmerman was the profiling of Martin by Zimmerman to the authorities via a phone call made by Zimmerman from Zimmermans car. We know that Zimmerman was instructed by the authorities not to approach Martin. We also know that Zimmerman disregarded the instructions of the authorities and DID in fact get out of his vehicle to follow Martin. So, let's hypothesize that Martin did hit Zimmerman first– how is it that when a stranger, a physically fit, strong in appearance adult male stranger follows and approaches you, you don't have the right to defend yourself against what you perceive to be a threating situation? I find it extremely strange and hostile that Zimmerman would disregard his own instincts that Martin was a potential threat to his neighborhood / or his self and decide to get out of the safety of his car to follow a potential 'perp' so close that any physical contact could transpire between the two of you. Though this situation did result in the death of Martin, Martin did indeed have a justifiable right to, "Stand His Ground" against Zimmerman. The fact is, if Zimmerman had followed the instructions of authorities and not approached Martian, the events in question would not be of conversation.

    June 27, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Margaret

    Well said, Nina

    June 27, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Melissa Houston

    I find Rachel very credible and down to earth. She is a kid who doesn't want to be in court, but what kid does? Rachel has established that Trayvon was being heavily pursued that night by George Zimmerman.

    June 28, 2013 at 3:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Derrick

      I agree with you. West was working overtime trying to discredit her but she stood firm on what she knew during those final moments. All that extra stuff about age and not going to the funneral west was focusing on had nothing to with the Zimmerman's actions. Her lies as she explained was believable and was grieving still and I sympathized with her. Those lies to me is not enough to free Zimmerman from 2nd degree murder.

      June 29, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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