George Zimmerman: The Witness 8 Interviews

The full version of the October 19 hearing in the George Zimmerman case is now available without commentary on You Tube (Parts 1 and Part 2.)

Of particular interest to me are the issues surrounding Witness 8, aka "Dee Dee", Trayvon Martin's phone friend who reportedly was speaking with Travyon in the minutes leading up to the shooting. The media has referred to her as "Dee Dee", but her true identity is protected by court order (so please don't speculate on it here, that's not the point of this post.)

When Martin family lawyer Benjamin Crump held a press conference in Ft. Lauderdale on March 20, to introduce the nation to the existence of this witness, he played a tape recording of a telephone interview he conducted with her the day before. He said the interview shows George Zimmerman's version of the events leading up to the shooting are not believable. The transcript of his press conference is here. Crump announced he would send the recording to the Justice Department. Video is here (part 1) and here (part 2.) [More...]

The state interviewed this witness on April 2, after getting her phone records. The state released recordings of both its April 2 interview and the copy of the Crump interview in discovery. While the recording of the state's interview with witness 8 on April 2 is fairly audible, the Crump interview it provided is mostly unintelligible, which the defense complained about at the hearing on Friday and in a motion.

The defense stated at the hearing that ABC News aired clips from the recording of the Crump-Dee Dee interview, which ABC reporter Matt Gutman said he obtained exclusively. Curiously, the Gutman aired clips are perfectly clear. See here, as an example. Also see the Gutman clips Diwataman has assembled.

On March 28, Matt Gutman tweeted that he is the only person with a copy of the recording. In another ABC interview, Gutman said:

Martin's father, Tracy Martin, and mother, Sybrina Fulton, listened to the call, along with ABC News, ashen-faced.

It turns out Matt Gutman says he spoke with Witness 8 several times the week of March 19. From his appearance on MSNBC's Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on March 28 (transcript available on Lexis.com):

O`DONNELL: Matt, quickly before you go, you talked to her. What`s your assessment of her credibility?

GUTMAN: I think she`s credible. I don`t think she has anything to hide here. We`ve been talking to her for days now. This is not the first time that I`ve heard her speak. I have no reason to believe that she`s lying.

Obviously, you know, at some point, this may or may not go to court, and she could be subpoenaed. But at the very least I think that it`s obvious since her number is in the phone record, which is how we got to her, that the police should have talked to her, at least interviewed her. But they never have.

O`DONNELL: They still haven`t?

GUTMAN: That`s one of the most surprising things about this case.

O`DONNELL: Matt, the police still haven`t talked to her?

GUTMAN: No. [Ap]parently prosecutors plan to meet her next Monday, but that`s only because the new set of prosecutors just came in.

Why has the state not bothered to subpoena Gutman's copy of Crump's March 19 interview with Dee Dee, or Gutman's other interviews with her? Does it not want to know if her statements are consistent with what she said in her interview with the state's attorney on April 2?

The Court on Friday ordered Benjamin Crump be made a witness for the purpose of having his deposition taken about his interview with Dee Dee. It also ordered him to tell the defense within 10 days who else was present during his recorded interview with her, and to bring the phone to the deposition if he still has a copy of the recording on his phone,.

But nothing further was discussed at the hearing about the Gutman interviews of Dee Dee. Again, it's not just the recording Gutman has of the March 19 Crump interview, but his own conversations with her after that date.

As I mentioned above, the states attorney's office did not obtain Dee Dee's phone records until April 2, the same day prosecutor De La Rionda interviewed her. On that date, it subpoenaed and received her phone records with 11 pages of data in an Excel spreadsheet, showing call details from Feb. 26 to April 2. According to the state's report, the phone records for her phone had no name or subscriber information because it was a prepaid phone. The state provided the records to the defense on a CD in May, 2012.

When Gutman reports he got her number from the phone records, it seems he is referring to Crump's media-handout of the records Tracy Martin gave him, which were not phone records, but a printout Tracy Martin made by going on the internet, logging onto his account, and printing out the record of calls and texts since his last bill on his four phones. (You can even see the "Welcome, Tracy" on the bottom of page 3 of records with the reference to four phone lines.)

Dee Dee's statements are very relevant. She is referenced in the state's affidavit for probable cause for Zimmerman's arrest for second degree murder. The state has listed her as a witness against Zimmerman. I think the defense is entitled to discover her other statements to seek impeaching material. The Court didn't disagree.

If the state is going to call "Dee Dee" as a witness, given its subpoena power and ABC's public release of clips from her interview with Crump (and at least one other with Gutman), why would it not seek ABC's additional recordings and transcripts from ABC and Gutman, if for no other reason, to assess whether she is consistent in her accounts and prepare for any attack on her credibility at trial?

While Mark O'Mara writes he's spending the week preparing to fight the state's second request for a gag order, I hope Don West is working on getting the ABC interviews.

On a secondary note, during the hearing argument on the defense subpoena to obtain Witness 8's twitter records, prosecutor De La Rionda told the court he had disclosed her real name to the Defense, but challenged the defense's conclusion she is a juvenile and she was the author of the tweets O'Mara is seeking. On being a juvenile, BDLR asked several times, "Has that been proven?" Was he referring to whether Witness #8 is a juvenile or whether the person whose tweets O'Mara is seeking is a juvenile? O'Mara seemed to think he was referring to Witness 8.

Here is some history on the Martin Family and their lawyers' discovery of Dee Dee from phone records, their interactions with Dee Dee and account of what Dee Dee relayed to them, and their and Gutman's assertion she is a juvenile:

1. From Crump's 3/20 press conference, linked above:

This young lady details it completely, the tone of the conversation and the nature of the conversation, and what was happening the last minutes of his life. I will ask you -- her parents does (ph) not in any way want to reveal her identity. She is a minor. Her parents are very worried about her. She is traumatized over this. This was her really, really close personal friend. They were dating. And so it's a situation where to know that you were the last person to talk to the young man who you thought was one of the most special people in the world to you, and know that he got killed moments after he was talking to you, is just riveting to this young lady.

In fact, she couldn't even go to his wake she was so sick. Her mother had to take her to the hospital. She spent the night in the hospital. She is traumatized beyond anything you could imagine. (my emphasis)

2. On March 28, on ABC News Tonight with Diane Sawyer GUNNED DOWN; NEW IMAGES (via Lexis.com) (video here)

MATT GUTMAN (ABC NEWS )(Voiceover) Tonight, ABC News spoke exclusively with Martin's 16-year-old girlfriend, Dee Dee. She describes being on the phone with Martin as he described Zimmerman following him.

On March 29, ABC aired a report by Gutman (video here) in which he plays a clip of what appears to be Dee Dee's response to a statement George Zimmerman's father had made on a local affiliate that had recently aired about what Trayvon had said to George during the encounter. Gutman doesn't play the question posed to Dee Dee, only her answer. She says "Trayvon did not say that at all." It seems like she's denying what George's father claimed Trayvon said. Since the clip aired before the state's interview with Dee Dee on April 2, and Robert Zimmerman gave the interview after Crump's 3/19 interview of Dee Dee, it seems she's responding to a question posed to her directly by Gutman.


Trayvon did not say that at all. The only thing that Trayvon told that man was, why are you following me? (my emphasis)

ABC even blew up her answer in a screengrab.

3. On April 2, the same day the state interviewed Witness 8 and got her phone records, Tracy Martin told the states attorney's office that he learned about Dee Dee when looking through his phone records. He said he called her and told her his lawyer would be calling.

4. In a separate interview on April 2, Sybrina Fulton told the states attorneys' office that she learned of the phone call with Dee Dee in March and called her. She said she also spoke to Dee Dee's mother and told her Dee Dee needed to speak to the police. She then met with Dee Dee at her (Fulton's)apartment and drove Dee Dee home afterwards. She said they didn't discuss what Dee Dee and Trayvon discussed on the phone. Dee Dee told Ms. Fulton that she had to go to the hospital the night of the viewing because she was so distraught. (The viewing was March 2, and the funeral was March 3.)

5. Crump has said several times that on Sunday night, March 18, Tracy Martin discovered the records and called him late at night. On March 19, in the evening, Crump conducted his phone interview with Dee Dee (at which others were present.) On March 20, Crump held his press conference, holding a recording device up to the microphone and playing parts of his interview with Dee Dee for reporters. He said he would be turning the recording over to the Justice Department.

Mr. Martin, on Sunday evening, was working with his cell phone account, trying to figure out Trayvon's password. And he looked on it, and he saw who the last person was that Trayvon Martin talked to while he was alive.

He called me late Sunday night and told me that he had called the young lady, and he told me, and I was just utterly shocked when he told me the time that they talked. They had talked all that day, about 400 minutes, starting that morning to the afternoon.

It was on March 5 that Officer Santiago called Tracy Martin and asked him for the pin number to Trayvon's phone. Martin told Santiago he'd have to check with his lawyer before releasing that information. Ultimately, it appears the state issued a search warrant (not a subpoena) for Tracy's phone records, for the period 1/1/12 to 3/1/12.

6. Benjamin Crump and Sybrina Fulton interview with Matt Lauer on the Today Show, March 21, 2012 (available on Lexis.com):

LAUER: This is not a recorded phone call, Mrs. Fulton. The young lady--the police in Sanford asked anyone with information to come forward if they had that. This young lady, according to our reporting, had not come forward. And we're now getting her version of this phone call. Can it be trusted?

Ms. FULTON: Yes, it can. She was distraught because of the situation that happened with Trayvon and that--the fact that she was on the phone with him when he--when the incident occurred--right before the incident occurred. So she was very distraught. She had to go to the hospital. She was hospitalized. She also mentioned to us that she had feelings for Trayvon, so it hurt her dearly to know that he has passed away.

LAUER: Mr. Crump, though, as an attorney, does it worry you that really what this is, is hearsay evidence?

Mr. CRUMP: It really doesn't because she is a 16-year-old teenager who just lost a person very special to her. Her parents are very concerned. They did not want her to get involved. And it wasn't till Mr. Martin found the phone records and saw that she called him at 7:12--the police got on the scene 7:17. He was shot and dead on the ground. Five minutes.

7. From RadarOnLine (mostly gossip):

"The day after his wake, Trayvon's family attorney, Benjamin Crump, who had been conducting his own extensive investigation because cops had determined the shooting was in self defense, told Trayvon's girlfriend she was the last person to talk to him," a source close to the situation tells RadarOnline.com. "George [sic] had reviewed Trayvon's cell phone bill and it was revealed that she was on the phone with him in the moments before Trayvan was shot.

"His girlfriend became absolutely inconsolable and had trouble breathing so her mother took her to a nearby hospital emergency room. She had never seen her daughter this upset before, ever. She had a battery of tests, including an EKG, and was there for over 12 hours. Doctors ultimately told her that she was going to be ok, but advised her mother to keep a close eye on her and try to minimize the stress around her."

8. Again, the phone records Tracy Martin found were not actual phone records, or even a phone bill he got in the mail, but an internet printout of Tracy Martin's account he got from logging on to his T-Mobile account. It says the last bill was 2/24/12, and lists the calls and text messages on his four phone lines since the date of the last bill. The actual phone records were obtained by the state (seemingly through a search warrant rather than a subpoena), and turned over to the defense, but are not available publicly. If they were obtained via search warrant, it's possible the records include cell cite locator/GPS information for the beginning and end of each call. Here's a list of the phone records obtained by the state.

It seems to me Matt Gutman and his interviews of Dee Dee are critical to assessing the credibility of Dee Dee and the consistency in her accounts of what happened in the moments before the shooting. The circumstances of his interviews are also relevant. Why would her parents allow her to be interviewed separately by Gutman on multiple occasions if they were so determined to keep her identity a secret? And why is the state raising the issue of whether O'Mara, to whom it disclosed her true name, is correct is assuming she's a juvenile?

Some other Dee Dee matters that O'Mara likely knows but we don't: What school did Dee Dee go to at the time of the shooting? Was it Krop, Carol City or Miramar? Another puzzler: Why did Crump hold his 3/20 press conference in Ft. Lauderdale rather than Miami, and did he only interview Dee Dee by phone on the 19th, or did he meet her in person earlier in the day. Here's a little map showing the distances between Krop, Carol City and Miramar. Here's a map showing the distance between Ft. Lauderdale, Miramar, Miami Gardens and Miami. Ft. Lauderdale is 20 miles from Miramar and Miami Gardens and 15 miles from Ives Estates, where Krop is located.

Since Don West made such an issue at the hearing of wanting the state to disclose Dee Dee's address for investigative purposes, it sounds like he doesn't know her present address, perhaps because she's moved. (Again, I'm not interested in finding her address and commenters here may not speculate on it.) Did the state not disclose her parents' name to the defense, or make a report of the circumstances under which Dee Dee was interviewed on April 2? The state must have spoken with her parents to arrange the interview, but there's no report in discovery as to this. If the defense has her parents' names, it should be able to find her address on its own, without the state's help. If it doesn't have those names, why not? Is the state withholding some of its reports?

Finally is the defense laying a foundation to subpoena testimony, as well as recorded interviews, from Matt Gutman? Crump will be deposed about the circumstances of allowing Matt Gutman to be present and obtain a recording of the March 19 interview. Gutman has broadcast that he spoke with her several times. Is he protected by Florida's shield laws? I haven't researched this, but it may be complicated.

The shield law provides a qualified privilege, which means that a court may force you to reveal information in some circumstances, even if you are covered by the statute (above). In order to compel disclosure of the identity of an anonymous source or unpublished information, a court or other legal body must find that three conditions are met: (1) the information is relevant and material to unresolved issues in the case; (2) the information cannot be obtained from alternative sources; and (3) a compelling interest exists for requiring disclosure of the information. The results of this kind of balancing test would be different depending on the facts of the particular case.

The same test applies in criminal and civil cases and whether or not you are a party to the lawsuit. As a practical matter, courts may be particularly inclined to order disclosure when the person trying to protect information is a party to the lawsuit in question or when a criminal defendant seeks information to mount a defense.

The statute is here. To be continued at a later date.

Again, please do not speculate on Dee Dee's identity, or include links to any Twitter accounts that provide a name for her.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Matt thought her credible? (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by SarahW on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:13:42 AM EST
    She lied about her age, or he did, or someone did.  She was over 18 at the time of the incident.

    She also lied about her whereabouts during Martin's funeral; she claimed to have been hospitalized; this was not true.

    I think Crump was trying to trick up a civil claim.  He's a shakedown artist IMO.

    DeeDee attended the funeral (none / 0) (#1)
    by Redbrow on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 08:59:04 PM EST
    according to Ronquavis Fulton during this interview with Nancy Grace on April 2. It is a short clip that gets right to his statement regarding meeting DeeDee at the funeral. There is a short ad before the clip but I am unable to find another source for this video.

    Ronquavis Fulton exclusive interview

    Grace: Do you know this girl he was talking to on the phone that evening?
    Fulton: No, but I met her at the funeral.
    Grace: You did...did you have any opportunity to talk to her?
    Fulton: No, not personally...just like, just a meeting, just a formal meeting.

    This is a primary source relevant to the discussion so I hope this post won't mysteriously disappear without explanation like my other recent posts.

    I noticed this post only mentions the wake but (none / 0) (#3)
    by Redbrow on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 09:41:08 PM EST
    DeeDee was asked about the funeral as well.

    BDLR: Were you able to go to the funeral or to the wake?
    Dee Dee: I was goin' to go, but...
    BDLR: OK, what happened?
    Dee Dee: I didn' feel good.
    BDLR: OK, did you end up going to the hospital or somewhere? Dee Dee: Mmmm...Yeah, I had high blood pressure.

    Transcript  of Dee Dee Interview


    it won't disappear (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 11:51:06 PM EST
    It's an appropriate comment. Here's the transcript.

    Martin Lawyer Darryl Parks was also on and was asked whether Dee Dee had talked to the police.

    GRACE: Daryl Park, that leads me to another question. What about this girl that he`s talking to on the phone? Have police finally interviewed her?

    PARKS: Nancy, I could tell you it`s happening the early part of this week.

    GRACE: Well -- put him back up. It is the early part of this week. It`s Monday night. Now what happened -- five weeks since this happened and she has not been interviewed by police? Could you tell me why? Is it police or is it her? Why hasn`t she been interviewed?

    PARKS: Well, part of the problem is she`s a minor so it`s a very delicate situation.

    GRACE: So? What`s delicate?

    PARKS: They`re trying to protect --

    GRACE: Bring the parents in.

    PARKS: Well, one, she`s been traumatized. Number two, they`re trying to work out the process. Obviously the prosecutors and their investigators have to travel to South Florida to do it. So those things are happening as we speak.

    GRACE: I`m sorry. I`m sorry. I got New York screaming in my ear. Who has to work out what to get a witness statement? Last I looked you get in the car, you drive over to the house, you -- hello, I`m the district attorney. I want to talk to your daughter about this case. And you sit down and you go, what did you hear on the phone that night? Now explain to me why that is so complicated, Daryl Parks?

    PARKS: Well, number one, this young lady was very traumatized from this event. She in fact had to go to the hospital immediately after his death because it was such a traumatic event for her. So I mean, you have to work through those issues and so that she could give the best possible testimony. I believe it`s going to happen the first part of this week and will be done.

    Another piece of the puzzle (none / 0) (#2)
    by Redbrow on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 09:13:29 PM EST
    And another primary source. This time it is an interview with Natalie Jackson in her own voice. I copied a portion of the transcript from Democracy Now but the original interview is also available if anyone is interested in watching in the original format.

    NATALIE JACKSON: Yes. And, you know, I don't know if it's a terrible job or just they thought it was inconsequential to do the job. You know, there's--whether or not it was important to do or it was bungled, we don't know. But we had to go out and investigate this case. We hired an investigator that got the phone records. And once we saw Trayvon's phone record, because he was on the--he had his phone with him, and we saw that he was on the phone when this incident purportedly happened. We contacted the person he was on the phone with. It was a young girl. And she told us that she heard Zimmerman approach Trayvon. And this is very extraordinary, because she and Trayvon--according to the phone records, there was a phone call at 7:12. The phone call lasted for four minutes. That would make it 7:16. According to police records, they were on the scene at 7:17, and Trayvon was dead. So, this young girl is a very important witness.

    Link to transcript

    Judge Lester said that... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jello333 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 11:41:34 PM EST
    .... among the witnesses, the identities of only those who had "talked with the media" (I think those were his words) could be disclosed. I know he was generally thinking about the likes of Mary Cutcher and some others. But what about "Dee Dee"?  Does her talking several times with Gutman count as her "talking with the media"... or does it not count since the talks weren't broadcast, etc?

    (And on a side note, how come Lester's rulings are still considered to be in-force? I would have thought that they could all be re-visited by Nelson.)

    Lester's rulings are (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 11:59:47 PM EST
    still in force because no one has asked any of them be overturned.

    I mostly liked the way this judge handled the hearing. She got right to the heart of each motion and told the lawyers for both sides there would be no sniping and accusatory comments. She didn't seem to favor one side or the other.

    One comment she made I thought was not well-taken was the one she gave as a possible reason not to give the defense Dee Dee's address. The prosecutor had already said he would ensure her appearance so the defense didn't have to serve her with a subpoena. She nonetheless brought up the possibility a defense process server would have to know her address to serve a subpoena for the deposition and could leak it. Makes no sense.

    She seems good with anticipated agenda items because she's prepared for them. Not sure about her decisions on things that come up spontaneously. She also seems to like kicking the can down the road (we'll deal with that later if it comes up.)

    Other than that, I liked her.


    kicking the can down the road? (none / 0) (#15)
    by LeaNder on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 05:43:50 AM EST
    She also seems to like kicking the can down the road (we'll deal with that later if it comes up.)

    You mean even if she is confronted with matters she didn't have a chance to make herself familiar with or that were unveiled during the process? Offering another date for another hearing a couple of days later, is kicking the can down the road? She should have immediately decided in favor of GZ and his lawyers?

    I was wondering about the background noises during the interview too, that explains it.


    I like the judge pretty well so far.... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jello333 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 09:07:24 PM EST
    ... but a couple things made no sense to me. The whole thing about not giving witness addresses to the defense ("You can get those at the depositions.") is just wrong, in my opinion. There are good, legitimate reasons for wanting those addresses BEFORE depositions. Also the delay in ruling on the emergency motion. Ummm.... "emergency". Does that word not mean what I thought it meant. If MOM/West are right, that the prosecution can't be trusted to not harass the SPD witnesses, then the judge should have considered that motion right then and there. Or at a minimum, told the prosecution to prepare counter arguments to be heard FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. And yeah, I'm well aware that would be Saturday. So be it... from everything I've seen, the prosecution has brought this on themselves.

    I am speculating (none / 0) (#36)
    by LeaNder on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 04:07:46 AM EST
    If MOM/West are right, that the prosecution can't be trusted to not harass the SPD witnesses, then the judge should have considered that motion right then and there.

    Considering that Jeralyn is of the opinion that the prosecution has no good witnesses, since the best ones support GZ's narrative, my impression is really what they want most are the addresses of the Martins and DeeDee's family for their investigations. Background checks, larger context, earlier school, friends, surroundings, new witnesses to show "the real", aggressive, belligerent and maybe even semi-criminal Trayvon Martin.

    I think it is clear by now, I am basically on the victim's side, but admittedly I was puzzled by DeeDee from the start. There may be explantions, like her family held her back, but if so, why?


    emergency motion (none / 0) (#39)
    by IrishGerard on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 03:30:58 AM EST
    was one of the more significant revelations of this hearing, IMO.
    and although Judge Nelson didn't act on the motion, I believe it had the desired effect.

    Most salient is SPD's Sgt. Santiago's testimony in a recent deposition that the Officers involved in the case met with a representative of the States Attorneys office, Jim Carter.

    The fact that the authorities in Sanford and Seminole county declined to file charges will be an important part of the Defense's argument for dismissal at the immunity hearing.


    yes, Gerald (none / 0) (#40)
    by LeaNder on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:33:47 AM EST
    Admittedly I was a bit puzzled by it, initially.
    But ultimately it feels that in this context, de la Rionda's response makes sense. Does it matter now, what everybody in SPD thought? It is also true that the person in charge, now downgraded, Serino, suggested the charge of manslaughter. Someone I considered the best investigator from what I heard. Ok, I have a weak spot in my heart for his partner and Batchelor too.

    Remember the family and Crump at one point felt prosecution intended to close down the case quietly. We have now a reversal action. Actually Crump prevented them from closing it, by making the case public. Now we are moving mediawise in the right/"left's" position from the start: The case would have been closed hadn't there been naturally partly ill-informed public pressure. How could it have been different at that point in time? There was close to no information.

    The best argument about the motion I have read is, it only aims at the larger public, they can also fall back on an already accepted narrative. Firmly founded in the early shared opinion of the SPD officer's own and the larger public opinion about the case. Although his later argument, seems to miss the point that judge Nelson already ruled against the motion.  Just as his argument that disposition matters are private was challenged and called "false information" over here. I find it hard to believe that O'Mara wasn't aware of the fact that he already has all the tools he needs and don't needs newly invented ones. The only sense the motion can have had is, it was meant for the public at large. Which means it leaves Leatherman's original analysis perfectly intact.

    That all fits, I think O'Mara left no doubts about it, that he is trying to shape public opinion positively for his client.

    If he finds something to hang media, team Crump  pressure against uniform SPD consent narrative on, it feels he can succeed. That is all the latest brouhaha was about from my perspective.


    Where is the proof to back your claim (none / 0) (#41)
    by Redbrow on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 11:59:10 PM EST
    that "Crump at one point felt prosecution intended to close down the case quietly." The opposite is true according to this Sharpton interview. Crump alleged a SPD conspiracy to keep the case open for a year or longer to prevent the release of GZ's NEN call to the public.

    I have not seen any evidence that SPD or Wolfinger intended to close the investigation and have seen plenty of evidence they intended it to go to a grand jury, just as it should have.

    CRUMP: We had to sue to get the 911 tapes. They were not going to release those tapes, and to the end, their investigation. We all know these investigations can go for a year so they can sweep is under the rug. Now, what`s telling, Chief Lee said when the tapes came out, it was going help bolster Zimmerman`s self-defense account. Everybody in America has
    heard these tapes. I don`t see why it bolsters --

    PoliticsNation, Wednesday, March 21, 2012


    By the way (none / 0) (#42)
    by Redbrow on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 12:03:23 AM EST
    I think the transcriber had difficulty understanding Crump. "They were not going to release those tapes, and to the end, their investigation" probably was "They were not going to release those tapes until the end of their investigation."

    Quite Close (none / 0) (#43)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 01:24:14 AM EST
    From an NBC report posted at what appears to be the website of Crump's law firm.

    Crump has expressed skepticism about the grand jury process, saying he believes they're put in place, "when the police and the government really don't want to charge and arrest somebody." He added, that "private proceedings have never boded well for people from Trayvon's community."

    The Harlem Times, March 21:

    [Crump] expressed disappointment over the Seminole County state attorney's office decision Tuesday to take the case before a grand jury, noting that because grand juries are private, no one will know whether a strong case was presented.

    "They are passing the buck, so they can then say, `it wasn't us, it was the community.'"

    I don't think anything Crump says is 'proof' of anything, but this was Crump's public posture before Zimmerman was charged.


    grand juries are private? (none / 0) (#44)
    by LeaNder on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 08:34:50 AM EST
    Tuesday to take the case before a grand jury, noting that because grand juries are private

    What exactly does that mean? Defendant, his lawyers, judge, jury meet behind close doors? Feels this can't be considering Florida's sunshine law. Or is it exactly like I read Crump's statements in this context, as a nitwit on matters, nomatter/nevermind?


    I forgot prosecution (none / 0) (#45)
    by LeaNder on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 08:37:30 AM EST
    I guess, I forgot prosecution in my list.

    Grand Jury Secrecy (none / 0) (#46)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 09:30:09 AM EST
    Grand Jury Basics (none / 0) (#47)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 09:42:07 AM EST
    Defendant, his lawyers, judge, jury meet behind close doors?

    A grand jury has a supervising judge, but he is not present for the sessions. If something comes up that requires a ruling, the parties will submit papers to the judge or meet with him, I think usually in his court or his chambers.

    The defendant is not present unless he volunteers to testify, and then only for his own testimony. Of course he cannot be forced to testify.

    I don't think defense counsel is normally present.

    Google can tell you a lot about the basics of grand jury proceedings.


    Until a grand jury returns an indictment... (none / 0) (#48)
    by unitron on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:29:45 PM EST
    ...is there actually a defendant, or just a potential defendant?

    Where is Crumps digital recorder?? (none / 0) (#7)
    by GOPLawyer on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 01:03:12 AM EST
    One of the things that bothered me during the hearing on Friday was the apparent lack of information about the Dee Dee recording.  From the representations made in court, Crump claimed that the recording was made "on a telephone phone" and it was turned over to the FBI.  There were no FBI records about how the recording was obtained nor were there any chain of custody records as to the recording provided to the defense.  While Crump implied that the recording was made on a phone, the video from the news conference posted above clearly shows him playing the recording from a digital recorder and not a phone. The recording from the digital recorder is much better quality.  Thus, I have a real question as to whether the recording provided in discovery is a first level recording.  Listening to the recording it sounds more like a recording of a recording.  I done hundreds of recordings of witness interviews via speakerphone using different brands of digital recorders and they have never sounded like the recording turned over in discovery.  I am very interested in how, and in what format the FBI recieved the recording from Crump.

    here's a screengrab (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 02:56:25 AM EST
    of the device the played the recording on for the media.

    It does look like a recorder. He said he talked to her on the phone, she's talking to him,  the call was at night, and her parents had to be convinced by his legal team to let her give the interview.

    I doubt he sent the recorder to the FBI, so how did this work with him being on the phone, the phone being on speaker, and the recording ending up on a recorder? I have no idea.


    It's a Sony recorder (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 03:05:29 AM EST
    I should have known Diwataman would have it.

    Sony Model number: ICD-BX112


    Okay, that's the playback unit... (none / 0) (#27)
    by unitron on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 05:00:40 PM EST
    ...but do we know if the conversation between Crump and the young lady was recorded on it, or on something else and then copied in some manner to that Sony?

    Because the descriptions make it sound like what's on the Sony might have been a microphone recording of what came out of the speaker of some other unit playing it back.  


    Probably recorded on it (none / 0) (#34)
    by cboldt on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 06:50:52 AM EST
    We don't know for sure, but the conversation was probably recorded on the same device that Crump used to play if at his press conference.  Conference phone (speaker), and the Sony digital recorder being used to capture the conference, as well as to play it back, later.

    Who was on DeeDee's end of the call? (none / 0) (#8)
    by MJW on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 01:39:34 AM EST
    One thing that wasn't clear is whether Crump is required to list anyone who was with DeeDee when the call was recorded. I think he should have to, but the issue seemed to be centered around those who were on Crump's side of the call. I'd be surprised if Crump didn't send an associate to be with DeeDee during this media event. If there was someone with DeeDee, did that person record the call on that end also?

    all present it feels (none / 0) (#17)
    by LeaNder on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 06:10:36 AM EST
    I understood the judge that he has to hand in a list of all present it feels. I think otherwise she would have specified, and strictly it wouldn't make sense. Since the background noise came from all sides in the telephone conference. There are at least three sides involved. Since he mentioned the FBI were they listening to it too?

    Hopefully the judge meant EVERYONE (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jello333 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 09:11:39 PM EST
    On both (or maybe more?) sides of the call.

    "Juvenile?" refers to W8 (none / 0) (#9)
    by MJW on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 02:20:53 AM EST
    On being a juvenile, BDLR asked several times, "Has that been proven?" Was he referring to whether Witness #8 is a juvenile or whether the person whose tweets O'Mara is seeking is a juvenile? O'Mara seemed to think he was referring to Witness 8.

    I believe BDLR is referring to W8 when he questions whether it's been proven she's a juvenile.

    He says:

    I know who the person is, and I've cited the person. But we're very far afield here, speculating, with all due respect to Mr O'Mara, as to who the person is. He knows the name, because I've disclosed the name. But there's been an indication here she's a juvenile. Have they proven that?"

    That only makes sense if BDLR is referring to W8. BDLR wouldn't know the name of the tweeter.

    I think BDLR just can't help himself. He's got to argue every point, no matter how pointless.

    I think when he says "here" (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 03:01:19 AM EST
    he's pointing to O'Mara's motion, which is discussing the tweeter. He also quotes a paragraph of O'Mara's motion.

    I think it's very confusing, but he sometimes says person when he means witness and vice versa.

    There really is no question W8 is a juvenile, Crump and Gutman have said so a million times. I think he's saying there's no proof whoever tweeted is really W8, and there's no proof the tweeter is a juvenile. Which was an attempt to refute O'Mara's argument about why he didn't give Bernie a copy of the actual subpoena he wanted issued as well as the motion. O'Mara had just said the reason had something to do with Twitter and her being a minor.


    A very strange argument for him to make (none / 0) (#13)
    by MJW on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 03:52:37 AM EST
    There really is no question W8 is a juvenile, Crump and Gutman have said so a million times. I think he's saying there's no proof whoever tweeted is really W8, and there's no proof the tweeter is a juvenile. Which was an attempt to refute O'Mara's argument about why he didn't give Bernie a copy of the actual subpoena he wanted issued as well as the motion. O'Mara had just said the reason had something to do with Twitter and her being a minor.

    Certainly, it makes little sense for BDLR to question whether O'Mara can prove W8's a juvenile. But it make's even less sense (if that's possible) for BDLR to argue against O'Mara protecting the tweeter's identity, because she may not be a juvenile. Obviously the prosecutors will get the tweeter's online identity, juvenile or not. The only logical result of questioning whether the tweeter is a juvenile is to make it more likely the identity will be made public.


    But it makes even less sense... (none / 0) (#14)
    by MJW on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 03:56:05 AM EST
    I got a whole case of apostrophes at Costco and had to use them somewhere.

    juvenile (none / 0) (#19)
    by LeaNder on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:00:53 AM EST
    My uninformed impression is he may simply have been ironic, given the larger context was media. And it seems O'Mara in this respect has shifting towards media. I may be wrong but there was a state of events when defense and prosecution were closer on the issue.

    You... (none / 0) (#30)
    by DebFrmHell on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 09:39:49 PM EST
    and your apostrophes...


    I got the ellipses on sale.  A whole bucket of them...


    Very good post (none / 0) (#20)
    by Slayersrezo on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:10:50 AM EST
    It's this type of thing that makes this one of the best legal oriented blogs on the web.

    thank you (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 02:17:39 AM EST
    very much for that!

    I question why (none / 0) (#21)
    by DebFrmHell on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:28:00 AM EST
    Dee Dee was able to get a phone contract in her name if she is indeed a minor.  She says in her interview with de la Rionda:

    BDLR: OK.  And is that phone number under your name or someone else's name?

    DD:   Now it should be in my name.

    I believe that a contract cannot be issued unless you are 18 yrs of age or older.

    It's probably not (none / 0) (#22)
    by Yman on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 09:10:31 AM EST
    Like most states, the age of majority in Florida is 18 (with certain exceptions).  OTOH, she probably thinks of the cell phone/number as "hers", even if the service contract was actually signed by an adult responsible for paying the bill.

    Yes (none / 0) (#24)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 09:29:00 AM EST

    If she was on one of those family plans, the name on the account is likely a parent.  I found out recently when my daughter called from her phone it was my beautiful bride's name that showed on the screen.  My answer of "Hello sweetheart" was a bit of an embarrassment.



    Then (none / 0) (#25)
    by DebFrmHell on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:03:42 AM EST
    How do you explain that she says "Now, it should be in my name."  To me, it implies that the phone she was using at the time of the altercation was under contract to another person, most likely her parent.

    Not what it currently was on 4/2/12 when she gave the interview.

    Why would Bernie de la Rionda make such an issue at the hearing about establishing the fact of whether or not Dee Dee is a minor if he wasn't doing a CYA on her actual age?

    She has given an interview to the media.  If she is age 18 or older, then why is she not named on the witness list?

    There is much that doesn't quite fit right to me...But what do I know...  it just seems to be an odd way of phrasing.


    Nervousness, not the most articulate ... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Yman on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:53:43 AM EST
    ... person, a teenager, etc...

    ... or maybe her phone was in a parent's name previously but now it's in hers.  Who knows ...

    As far as de la Rionda's questions, you'd have to ask him.


    I wonder (none / 0) (#32)
    by FroggieLeggs on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 02:30:50 AM EST
    maybe DeeDee was 17 at the time of the call and turned 18 sometime after it but before BDLR interviewed her? Would explain why she said the phone should be in her name "Now" and could be why BDLR was questioning O'Mara knowing if she is a minor or not?

    That ... (none / 0) (#33)
    by DebFrmHell on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 02:40:42 AM EST
    Is what I am wondering, too.

    It doesn't seem, TO ME, that she is the 16yr old as described by Crump, Gutman, etc.


    Go Phone - No Contract (none / 0) (#23)
    by cboldt on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 09:25:05 AM EST
    IIRC, DeeDee's phone is a "Go Phone," and there is no contract.  There might be restrictions on purchase of a Go Phone (no sale to minors), but I don't know of such a restriction.  Minors are allowed to spend money.

    A minor can independently purchase a pre-paid (none / 0) (#35)
    by Tamta on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 08:02:08 AM EST
    phone (these are teens (15-17) that I know of, not 9 year olds so I do not know if Target for example may refuse the sale to a much younger child) however one must be 18 to get their own   contract with a service provider.

    She could have a debit card linked to her GoPhone to replenish minutes and not remember if it was her debit card or her mother's and thus the uncertainty in whose name the phone is connected to, or her mother purchased the phone and she is responsible for paying for her use of it.

    I however found DeeDee's comment "It should be in my name" intentionally ambiguous.  


    Dee Dee's Phone (none / 0) (#37)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 01:37:55 PM EST
    One of the phones whose records were subpoenaed by the FDLE is prepaid and anonymous. DiwataMan2 has argued that this phone is Dee Dee's.

    H/T Redbrow.


    "Argued" understates it (none / 0) (#38)
    by MJW on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 08:02:14 PM EST
    I'm not really disagreeing, but I think it would be more correct to say "DiwataMan shows that the phone is DeeDee's" The evidence is pretty unequivocal.