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Florida Teenager Trial / Murder Charge / Television Violence Def. / Television Coverage #50466

ABC Evening News for Monday, Sep 26, 1977
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(Studio) Teenager goes on trial in Miami, Florida, on charges of murdering elderly person in robbery. Defense will be that boy was insane and irresponsible from excessive exposure to television violence.
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner

(Miami, Florida) Background of case noted; 15-yr.-old Ronald Zamora has admitted killing elderly neighbor, Mrs. Elinor Haggart, during burglary of her house (Film, June 8, 1977, shown.) Incident occurred in Miami Beach. Zamora's family hired controversial attorney Ellis Rubin to defend son. In pretrial hearing, Rubin scored a 1st in claiming young Zamora's excessive viewing of violent television shows, namely "Kojak" diseased his mind to point he was unable to control own actions. [RUBIN - says boy was actually being character in television play and that youth has no sense of conscience. Jury will believe defense arguments because they are truth.] Prosecutor Tom Headley tries without success to get defense thrown out. (Tape of today's action, being recorded by television cameras, shown.) Irony in case is that this is 1st criminal trial to be televised to public in entirety; is part of 1-yr. experimental program in Florida. Ground rules for televising trial cited. Judge Paul Baker's comments on procedure noted. Other details of defense arguments noted.
REPORTER: Bob Sirkin (WPLG newstape)

Reasoner, Harry;
Sirkin, Bob

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