Witness Interview Supporting Zimmerman Was Day After Shooting

For some reason, the media wants people to think that witness John, the one who told a Fox News reporter that he was outside the night of the shooting, observed two men wrestling, that the man on the bottom was wearing a red sweater (Zimmerman had a red jacket), cried out to him for help, and he went inside to call 911, didn't come forward with this information until the end of March. Not true. He gave his account to the media the day after the shooting. From his video interview above with Keith Landry of Fox News Orlando on Feb. 27:

"The guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, 'Help! Help!' and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911," said the witness, who asked to be identified only by his first name, John.

John said he locked his patio door, ran upstairs and heard at least one gun shot. "And then, when I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point."


Why is he being portrayed as a Johnny come lately? Because March 23 is when Fox News Tampa, which got the video from Fox Orlando, first published its report and aired John's interview, without mentioning it had taken place the month before. The Fox Tampa version is the one most shown and referred to by the media. But as you can tell from the original Orlando video itself, the interview occurred the day after the shooting. The reporter, Keith Landry, says so in the video numerous times, and the news anchor makes it clear it's a report on the shooting which had taken place the day before.

The article that accompanies the Orlando video says "published Feb. 27" and "updated on March 26." Trayvon's father and his fiance are in the video (screengrab here), looking at the spot Trayvon was killed the night before, talking about the shooting "last night." So much for those who insist his father wasn't notified the next day. Reuters quoted Tracy Martin as saying he called the police to inquire about Travon who hadn't come home, and they had three cars come, including one with a chaplain, by 8:00 the morning after the shooting. It also says the shooting took place 100 yards from Ms. Green's home.

Outrageously, the Fox News Tampa article dated March 23 and updated March 26, which it says it got from its sister station in Orlando, claims:

A witness we haven't heard from before paints a much different picture than we've seen so far of what happened the night 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed....Our sister station, FOX 35 in Orlando, has spoken to that witness.

Fox Tampa not only ignores that the interview between the Fox Orlando reporter Keith Landry and John took place the day after the shooting, it mis-states that John is someone who hasn't been heard from before. To this day, it hasn't corrected its false reporting.

[Note: While the Fox news Orlando article dated Feb. 27 that accompanies the video misidentifies Brandy Green, Tracy Martin's fiance, saying she is "Tracy Martin, Trayon's mother", when Tracy Martin is Trayvon's father and Trayvon's mother is Sybrina Fulton, it's not an error that impacts the story, the video doesn't confuse them, and the error in the article may be understandable since it was written before the Martins became household names. Still, Fox Orlando should fix that.]

I'm not saying John's interview means he is correct. But knowing that it occurred within a day of the shooting increases its significance. We can rule out that his recollection is the product of product of "post-information," in which the reliability of a witness' memory is reduced because there has been a co-mingling of his or her actual memory of the event with information learned later, from the media and other sources. Also, unlike some of the other witnesses who have embellished or changed their account since the media onslaught of stories about the shooting, John's interview is consistent with what he said in his 911 call. He adds more details in the interview, but the added details don't contradict what he said in his 911 call.

You can listen to all the calls here. This appears to be John's call.

All of the 911 audio calls are accompanied by video taken by Fox News at the scene the night of the arrest, which clearly show where the shooting took place, the police officers on scene and more. There's even a shot of what may be Zimmerman's parked truck.


[ Added: Change: I now think there were two witnesses named John, one who called 911 and observed the wrestling, and one who was interviewed by police and lived in a townhouse across from the other. I don't think the "John" who called 911 is the John who took the photo 3 minutes after the shooting. It could be the other "John." Please keep this in mind when reading the theory below as it was written when I assumed there was only one witness named "John."]

Now for some speculation on the new photo showing George Zimmerman's injuries. When I first read about ABC's new graphic image of Zimmerman's head injuries, taken 3 minutes after the shooting (video and news report here, warning, video plays automatically) I wondered whether John was the person who took it. Fox News would not yet be on the scene, and according to ABC, Zimmerman's statement to "the photographer" indicates he is a male. (He told the photographer, "Man, just tell her I shot someone.)

But after looking at other versions which had timestamps for the 911 calls (here and here), it seemed John was still on the phone with 911 and inside his house when the photo was taken at 7:19:07 pm, so I discounted it.

Now, having listened to John's call yet again, I think he may have returned outside while still talking to 911 on his cell phone. (He probably didn't have his cell phone on him when he first encountered the two men wrestling, as he had to run inside to call 911.) His call begins at 7:18:00 pm. Here's a transcript I did of the call (I'm not a professional transcriber, so the call is the better evidence.) D refers to the dispatcher.

D: Police Fire or Medical
John: Police, I just heard a shot right behind my house.
D: Where at?
John: [Gives his address]. And they're wrestling right in the back of my porch
D: You just heard one shot go off?
John: It's either that or a rocket or a window or something. The guy's yelling help and I'm not going outside.

The call then blacks out for 10 seconds, during which time John may have changed his mind and gone back outside. When it picks up:

D: Is that one or two words because it's not accepting it.

His answer is blacked out and then it continues with:

D: And you can hear somebody yelling for help?
John: I'm pretty sure the guy's dead out here. Holy...(my emphasis.)
D: Ok, we have several people calling in also. Anything else that you heard?
John: No, the guy yelling help, OMG. No, there's a guy with a flashlight in the backyard now. [Pause, as if he's walking up to look.] No, I think there's there's flashlights and there's a guy, I don't know if he's a cop, OMG,
D: Ok, there's several calls. You sure when you heard voices you just heard one person?
John: There's two guys in the backyard with flashlights and there's a black guy down and it looks like he's been shot and he's dead. He's laying and there's multiple people calling now I'm thinking.
D: Ok, I have several officers going out there right now, ok?
John: Ok, thank you. bye.
John's call ends around 7:19:43 about 3 minutes after the gunshot at 7:16:56. (You can hear the gunshot in both the first and second 911 calls, the time is 7:16:56 in both calls.) He might have reached Zimmerman by then, who asked him to call his wife and take the photo.

It's unlikely the police took the photo, because from the second 911 call which began at 7:16:00, you can hear the caller's frustration and agitation as she keeps asking when the police are going to get there, then tells the dispatcher they went to the front of her house, they're in the wrong place. At 7:19:15, her tone becomes relaxed, and she asks the dispatcher if "they see anything", indicating the police had arrived at the back of the house where the shooting took place.

The first officer on the scene said when he first approached Zimmerman, Zimmerman told him he had a gun, he took the gun, and then arrested him. It's unlikely he would have gotten around to taking a picture by 7:19:07. Or that Zimmerman would have asked the officer to call his wife so early in their encounter, or addressed the police officer as "Man."

While the time frame is still a little tight for John to have taken the photo of Zimmerman's injuries, unless his phone time differed from the dispatcher's time by a minute or so, who else could it have been? Yes, I'm just speculating, but more and more, John seems to have a very critical role: He told the 911 dispatcher he was outside and had seen the two men wrestling in back of his porch. The next day he told a reporter the man in the "red sweater" was on the bottom crying out to him for help. He ran inside to call 911, and on the way, heard a gunshot. And it was the "other guy" who was dead.

If John also took the photo of Zimmerman's injuries, he is probably the most critical of all the eyewitnesses.

None of the other 911 callers, including the 13 year old, were able to identify the men who were struggling. No one saw the shooting. None of the other callers claimed to see Zimmerman until after the gunshot. Even then, their accounts were inaccurate. One described a white tee-shirt. Another didn't see anything but was getting reports from her roommate through the door and told the dispatchers "the black man" was standing over the over man. In their 911 calls, none described the voice of the person who screamed as anything other than "male."

It wasn't until later, after the other witnesses knew a 17 year old had been killed and had seen media reports and talked to others, they embellished or changed their version of events. Trayvon's phone friend, who didn't come forward for weeks, and then gave her account not to police but to the Martin family lawyers, told the lawyers the phone went dead while Zimmerman and Trayvon were still talking. She can only speculate as to why the phone went dead, and has no idea what happened afterwards. Even if she later gave her account to investigators, she couldn't have resolved the critical issues.

From a legal standpoint, I don't see the argument that Zimmerman profiled and followed Martin as having any chance of success, either in defeating self-defense or establishing any crime, let alone second degree murder.

It seems to me like the state is going to need some strong forensic evidence, along with significant contradictions in Zimmerman's statements, to overcome Zimmerman's claim of self-defense. So far they haven't disclosed details of either one. The first person who will see them, if they exist, is Mark O'Mara, when he gets discovery. Until then, there may not be much more to discuss, but I'm keeping my eyes on John.

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    You say, (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by bocajeff on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 05:49:05 AM EST
    "For some reason"...there are 2 reasons: laziness (or incompetence), and it doesn't fit their narrative. Read the comments on this site: people want Zimmerman to be guilty. The term "white" Hispanic? C'mon. There is a perceived narrative - which can only end badly. The facts don't mean anything.

    BTW, what are the thoughts of the African-American man, Alton Hayes III, saying he robbed and assaulted a white teen in response to this case? Does the assailant look like the son Obama never had?

    a fourth reason (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:28:57 PM EST
    Bocajeff, you attribute media mistakes to laziness, incompetence, and the desire to make a narrative work. Another possibility is lack of time.

    My career was in newspaper journalism, and there have been thousands of layoffs in recent years. I have friends who have done investigative stories, but now have to churn out a bunch of daily stories to cover what other reporters used to do. TV hasn't been hit as hard, but still has fewer people. The less time reporters have to do a story, the more likely they will go with the dominant narrative and make mistakes. Journalists don't like to correct errors because that will hurt them on their evaluations.


    Bingo (none / 0) (#87)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:05:17 PM EST
    Most people haven't got a clue the way daily journalism works, especially these days.

    But truth be told, it wasn't all that much more conscientious and mistake-free before the severe contraction in manpower in recent years.  And local TV news has always been the worst offender.  There's never been much incentive to be as careful as they should be, never mind to go back and fix yesterday's mistakes.

    I will never forget the shock I got the first time in my youth that I read a NYTimes news article, not an opinion piece, about a particular series of events I happened to be extremely familiar with.  It literally left me gaping with disbelief at the blatant errors of fact and misrepresentations.


    Please (none / 0) (#112)
    by bocajeff on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:02:57 AM EST
    Please don't say that bad coverage is a result of layoffs. factual errors I can buy off on. typos, of course.

    I have a degree in Journalism and interned/worked at the LA Daily News and Sacramento Bee back in the day. My favorite quote of all time: "We're not biased. We just favor the little guy over the big guys."


    I do not see a legal charge (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 06:35:42 AM EST
    for Zimmerman as the outcome. My goals and views do not align with those who comment here. And, it's my site.

    You have it exactly backwards n this one (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:14:21 AM EST
    The "new" witness angle was precisely used  to pretend it was new "news" so that Fox outlets could run it as a pro-Zimmerman story.

    Sorry J, I'm loathe to get in to this with you,  but you completely missed the boat on this story.

    The motivations were exactly the opposite of what you state in your post.

    You got this one 100% wrong.


    the point is it misled (none / 0) (#51)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:20:30 PM EST
    readers and viewers. I don't care what their goal was, I'm talking about the prejudicial effect of their misleading account.

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#64)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 04:01:03 PM EST
    I think it's pretty clear she wasn't (none / 0) (#118)
    by rjarnold on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:59:17 AM EST
    ascribing motivations to the article for being misleading at all (though it is obvious that the person who wrote it was obviously incompetent). The local Fox affiliates have not had a pro-Zimmerman bias at all, and getting the story wrong the way it did diminishes John's credibity in the eyes of many people who read the article. I've seen many internet comments of people saying that they do not trust this "new" "anonymous" witness "coming out of nowhere, with something that supports Zimmerman or things with that jist. But he wasn't new and appears to be the most reliable and significant witness who has come forward.

    Don't you have a problem with the fact that the media has given so much more attention to Cutcher than John?


    And, (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by bocajeff on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:03:15 AM EST
    look at the heat you are getting. It's amazing. You are advocating for the defense on a criminal defense blog. You are merely stating facts and are hyper-unemotional (I'm sure you've got your personal feelings that you are successfully keeping out of the argument). Ask yourself why. It's simple: people want a certain outcome and will twist and turn to get that outcome without even knowing the facts...Proof 1 of my thesis: The original photos of Zimmerman at the police station and people saying they either didn't see wounds or that they were minor. Really? Based on emotion or fact? Not to mention how many times you have argued that witness testimony is the most inaccurate - yet people are jailing this guy for life based on their eyes?? Really?

    Keep up the great work. This blog works best when you go for truth and not opinion.


    None of this is "truth" (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Yman on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:19:44 AM EST
    ... apart from a bare recital of any uncontested facts.

    Proof 1 of my thesis: The original photos of Zimmerman at the police station and people saying they either didn't see wounds or that they were minor. Really? Based on emotion or fact? Not to mention how many times you have argued that witness testimony is the most inaccurate - yet people are jailing this guy for life based on their eyes?? Really?

    No one is/was "jailing this guy for life" based upon the original photos of Zimmerman at the police station.  They were questioning whether the injuries corroborate Zimmerman's version of events.  Moreover, no one looking at those photos is providing "witness testimony" of the incident.  The medical records/EMT report will be more relevant to judge the severity of his injuries, but the photos are also probative.


    She's not advocating for the defense. (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 05:58:44 PM EST
    She's simply providing people with relevant and factual information as opposed to hearsay and rumor, and she's asking us to keep an open mind.

    I've already stated my personal opinion about George Zimmerman, and to sum it up, I believe that he displayed an appalling sense of personal judgment that night in initiating a cascade of events that ended in the death of an unarmed teenager. But that doesn't mean he's a monster. As to whether his actions warranted a second degree murder charge, I think that I'm probably more in line with Jeralyn than with anyone else. I don't see the evidence to support it.


    Umm (5.00 / 3) (#91)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:48:45 PM EST
    I think we do not (none / 0) (#85)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 06:56:53 PM EST
    know what events were initiated by whom.  Zimmerman called into the police, and after that, we don't really know what went down until the shooting.  

    Speculation (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:10:42 AM EST
    Is how jeralyn describes her comments. The heat has been pretty strong in the other direction here . Ur comment is off base IMO.

    the post is separated (none / 0) (#52)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:21:58 PM EST
    into two parts. Only the second part, delineated by asterisks, is speculation. It's very clear.

    j (none / 0) (#20)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:36:25 AM EST
    I am confused about the goals of your comments on Zimmerman. At first i thought that you would provide objective analysis with a slight defense tilt.

    It seems like you are really looking at everything from the defense perspective more materially.

    That is fine but I am just trying to understand your thinking so I can put your analysis in the proper perspective.


    Yer cracking me up (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:44:05 AM EST
    She's a defense attorney, her job is to create your perspective from the defense's position....and the prosecution is supposed to do the same thing but they should come with proof :)  They have the burden of proof :)

    I am thinking of the last time (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by oculus on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:21:08 PM EST
    we got such a fervent defense. Van der Sloot.  

    And the time before that was (none / 0) (#33)
    by fish on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:49:00 PM EST
    Duke Lacrosse

    And I was sure that the Duke (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 01:05:58 PM EST
    Lacrosse players were guilty as hell.

    DSK (none / 0) (#42)
    by Rojas on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 01:09:58 PM EST
    Inconclusive (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 01:15:07 PM EST
    fervent defense (none / 0) (#129)
    by Rojas on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:44:55 AM EST
    My goal (5.00 / 5) (#50)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:18:25 PM EST
    as with every high-profile case is to avoid a rush to judgment the defendant or suspect is guilty before he or she has been determined to be guilty by a court.

    I am very careful to state my opinions as opinions rather than fact. You will see them expressed as "it seems to me" or "I think" or "In my view."

    The law that I recite is the law. I give my interpretations of it so non-lawyers can better understand. I cite cases, statutes, and jury instructions.

    I try to separate undisputed facts from disputed facts. If I give my opinion of disputed facts , I link to the source I am relying on. I give the most weight to official reports and information released by public officials, because that is their official version of the facts.

    Would a prosecutor interpret the law differently than me? Of course. Which is why I quote the law at length, with citations, so readers can follow my analysis and decide for themselves whether they agree with it.


    To me Jeralyn's (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:56:38 PM EST
    comments do not show a bias toward the prosecution or defense.  She is using her substantial experience as a criminal defense attorney to evaluate the evidence and hold the news media accountable for obvious misrepresentations.  Whether you are a criminal defense attorney, a civil litigator or a corporate lawyer negotiating a deal, you cannot be effective unless you can evaluate the evidence (or in the case of a corporate deal, the leverage) in favor of the other side.  Jeralyn seems to me to be evaluating both, as any good lawyer would do, and giving us the benefit of her close review of the evidence, her experience and her detailed analysis.

    She is not trying to argue the evidence in favor of one side or the other, but rather providing her evaluation of the credible evidence currently available under applicable law.  There are plenty of sites one can find that take a position and then try to fit the facts into a desired end result, but in so doing, they distort the evidence and do no one any favors.  If you are looking for support for a rush to judgment, I don't think you'll find it here.  And I, for one, truly appreciate the work Jeralyn has put into her analysis and the knowledge she brings to bear.  


    thank you Back from Ohio (none / 0) (#122)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 01:45:12 AM EST
    you said it better than I did.

    It's very concerning to me (none / 0) (#151)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 04:34:20 PM EST
    when someone tries to provide objective analysis based on the facts, and because it is so rare these days, the person is accused of promoting an agenda.  It's become so hard to try to get at the facts these days relating to political or legal issues.  I want to support anyone who tries, regardless of the climate.  

    I think what she is doing (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:55:13 AM EST
    is pretty clear.

    It's a pro defense coverage.

    Should be read that way it seems.

    I think J has been pretty clear about that.


    it's viewing the (none / 0) (#121)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 01:44:10 AM EST
    case and the law through the lens of the defense. While it is not an impartial approach, it is not quite the same thing as advocating. As I wrote in my last post on the bail hearing:

    I view all cases through the lens of the defense. My conclusions are based on my analysis and assessment of information that has been publicly released by officials and presented in court, my research on Florida law, other documentation such as photographs I believe to be credible, and my instincts and experience as a criminal defense lawyer. Many facts have yet to be revealed, and my opinions are subject to change as new facts develop

    I understand now. (none / 0) (#141)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 11:42:20 AM EST
    I hadn't really followed many of the trial analysis posts other than DSK (and I tended to agree with her take there), and did not follow prior cases.

    All makes sense to me.


    not quite so (none / 0) (#58)
    by diogenes on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:35:29 PM EST
    There may be a proper charge for "harassment", which is what you get for pestering people on the street.  A jury might convict Zimmerman of that crime.  

    I am so (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by lentinel on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:59:57 AM EST
    disgusted with our media. TalkLeft excepted.

    As Jeralyn writes, "they want us to think..." that something happened that in fact did not happen. They want us to think something. They are coercive. Why they do it is up to speculation. I have my ideas about it, but I will not go into it here lest it be too far afield from the topic at hand - the distortion of facts relating to the information given by John about this case.

    I have read so many falsehoods regarding this case.
    There are two competing agendas: One is that black people are at the mercy of crazed racist white people. The other is that white people are at the mercy of crazed racist black people.

    Neither may have bearing on this case.

    Only the facts as brought out in a trial will reveal a believable account of what happened that night. Or, there may not be enough evidence to prove conclusively who did what to whom.

    haven't followed all the details (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by desmoinesdem on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:10:22 PM EST
    so I have no idea whether there is strong enough evidence to convict Zimmerman of anything under Florida law.

    I can't speak for the "infotainment" news industry, but something feels very wrong when an armed man gets out of his car to pursue an unarmed teenager and later claims he had to shoot in self-defense. Even if the witness supporting Zimmerman is describing events accurately, I still feel like the situation was Zimmerman's fault.


    You may (none / 0) (#61)
    by lentinel on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:50:18 PM EST
    be right.

    But it is something that you "feel" is the case.
    I value feeling. I value intuition. And you have every right to feel as you do.

    I'm just saying that with all the outright distortions being bandied about, I won't feel that I can know what happens until the testimony at trial. Even then, it may be inconclusive.

    Obviously, if Z. was granted the authority to carry a gun, it is an open invitation to disaster. And if he was granted authority by his neighborhood to patrol and watch out for potential perpetrators, it is not only an invitation to a disaster, but a powerful indictment against the efficacy of the police department in doing what should be their job.

    But, to repeat: I don't know what happened, and I do know that I can't rely on reports in the commercial media to inform me.


    I'm With You.. (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:49:55 AM EST
    ...ever since that damning 911 call where GZ said the kid was black turned out to be a hack job, I have given up relying on the media for anything fair.

    TL has been no different, the first post was anti-vigilantism, certainly not GZ friendly.  Once the discovery of the SYG law, it's flipped and no longer is GZ a vigilante, he a defendant who's has been given the nod.  So any mention of anything contradicting that view has been white-washed from the site.

    To me that is crazy, your view of another human being's behavior changes because of a law in two states ?  GZ in most states is a vigilante, in Florida and Alabama, he's a wrongly accused defendant.  To me, he was probably legally in the right, and won't be convicted, but in my mind, what he did was wrong.  

    That doesn't change in my head because of some law.


    Legal/Illegal and Right/Wrong.... (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:35:22 PM EST
    are two totally different things, and it is far too rare that the two shall meet.  Plenty of morally wrong sh*t is legal (see our economy of grift), plenty of illegal sh*t is not morally wrong (see war on drugs).

    I'm leaning towards Zimmerman having broken no law, absent some bombshell evidence to contradict his story...but having done something so very wrong on so many levels that cost a young man his life.


    Same Here (none / 0) (#150)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 04:19:33 PM EST
    But that's non-sense, the two are parallel, besides a couple exceptions, wrong is usually illegal, not the other way around.  The two big ones are drugs and Wall Street.

    And especially this case, only two states would this be legal in, it's certainly not the norm.

    I don't see how they put GZ in jail, sans something really damning; no 12 people will agree to it.


    Six Jurors (none / 0) (#152)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:22:34 PM EST
    Florida juries have six members for non-capital cases.

    Once the line is crossed (none / 0) (#157)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 09:16:52 AM EST
    parallel becomes perpendicular.

    Aside from the biggies there are some sex laws, some tax laws, and some regulations that have it twisted too.  Too many to list.  If you're interested in how twisted it is, check out the book "One Nation Under Arrest"...pretty eye opening.

    Aside from the obvious murder, rape, and theft...legal/illegal has become pretty useless as an arbiter of right and wrong, if it wasn't always useless.  That's what happens when you have made so many things illegal that there are literally so many crimes they can't be counted.   I wish the law was about a establishing a moral code to better coexist peacefully, but its all about control and dollars dollars dollars.

    Like Karl Hess was told when he asked an IRS auditor if a deduction he made was "right"... "it doesn't matter if it is right, only if it is legal."  Say no more John Law, say no more.


    ABC news versus unsupported speculation? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Yman on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:57:58 AM EST
    Yeah - I'll go with ABC News.

    Supported Speculation (none / 0) (#13)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:38:50 AM EST
    The police report makes clear that the first officer on the scene only saw Zimmerman and Martin.

    One of the 911 callers saw Zimmerman walk away from the shooting site, heard him tell the police he shot Martin, and saw the police lead him away. She didn't see another man, or hear Zimmerman talking to anyone before the police arrived.

    Her call is the last (seventh) tape at Huffington Post. I like to listen to the tapes there because they have time data. For some reason they don't include Austin Brown's call, so I go to Axiom Amnesia for that one.

    I think even unsupported speculation has a better track record than ABC News.


    So what? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Yman on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:52:48 AM EST
    The fact that the officers and a witness saw no one else when they arrived doesn't mean that someone didn't take the picture before they got there and left when they saw police arriving.  Your speculation that an officer took the photo has no basis.  If they were documenting the injuries, they wouldn't be using an Iphone to do it.  If they were taking it with a personal phone for some other purpose, they would have to be willing to leak this to the press and risk discipline/firing for doing so, or lie about it when examined at trial.

    I think even unsupported speculation has a better track record than ABC News.

    Then, by all means, stick with it.  I'll go with ABC News.


    Iphone Picture (4.00 / 1) (#19)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:28:15 AM EST
    Good point. The picture does seem to have been taken with an Iphone. I don't think even ABC would screw that up.

    austin brown's call is in (none / 0) (#44)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 01:31:14 PM EST
    the ones I linked to. It's also the last call in this compilation of all the calls (which are not in chronological order.)

    Sorry, I had to delete your last comment about ABC News because it contained profanity, which is not allowed here.

    For other readers: When Sanford initially published the calls, it said on its website they were in no particular order. Many other media sites that have republished the calls have kept the order Sanford published them in, so when you say 6th call or 7th call, we don't know who you are referring to unless you state the time it started or just describe it without a number.


    911 Witnesses (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:27:09 AM EST
    The first time I heard the caller say 'a guy on top with a white tee shirt', I thought this was more evidence for Zimmerman. Gray is much more likely than red to be taken for white.

    This caller is 2821 Retreat View Circle, opposite 'John', one of two or three houses closest to the action. This witness has stayed away from the press. I think 'John' has also since that one interview.

    Mary Cutcher was one of the last to call 911, I think the very last. By the time she called the police were arriving. I think the 'black guy' she reported was a police officer.

    the addresses are not (none / 0) (#49)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:04:59 PM EST
    published by official sources as to which caller lived in which house. For witness privacy, they have shielded the addresses and I would like to honor that as to connecting names with specific addresses.

    But I think the caller you are referring to lives on Twin Trees Lane, not Retreat View Circle.

    I believe John lives on Retreat View Circle, in which case the rear of his house would face the rear of a house on Twin Trees Lane. I think the address you give, 2821 Retreat View Circle, which is in the police report, is a few houses down from John, not opposite from him.

    In Cutcher's 911 call, you can hear her ask her roommate, "Selma, is it the black guy who got shot?" and then she tells the dispatcher, "There's a black guy standing over him." She wasn't outside at the time she made the 911 call, to see who was standing over whom.  She was relaying information through Selma. The City of Sanford later publicly stated her later accounts were inconsistent with what she told police at the time, and that her original sworn statement backed Zimmerman's version. You can watch police officer Dave Morganstern say this here.


    I'm pretty certain the Sanford PD ... (none / 0) (#53)
    by Yman on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:23:30 PM EST
    ... was accusing her version of the events as reported in interviews was inconsistent because she said they said she initially didn't want to talk to them.  She denies being "contacted (by police) several times" on the night of the incident.  She also claims she tried to follow up with the police, contacting them four different times, but received no response.  I haven't seen anything suggesting her version of the events of that night (apart from the Sanford PD's claim they tried to contact her) was inconsistent.

    I provided the link (none / 0) (#56)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:30:09 PM EST
    to the video in which the police officer says so. Please watch it.

    I watched it (none / 0) (#60)
    by Yman on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:49:18 PM EST
    Morgenstern claims there were "some inconsistencies", but the report is discussing whether she didn't want to talk to investigators.  The Sanford PD says she was contacted several times on that night, but said she "did not want to get involved".  Kucher says she wasn't contacted by investigators, and that she tried several times to follow up with the police without response.  The Sanford PD is not claiming the substance of her version of the events is inconsistent - at least not in that report.

    You are done here (none / 0) (#69)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 04:23:11 PM EST
    At 1:48 in the video, Officer Morganstern says "the information she provided in her sworn statement about the actions of Zimmerman were consistent with the information Zimmerman provided us."

    I can't keep monitoring your comments for false information, and when I give you link to see and hear the officer's statement and you still misprepresent it, after claiming you checked it, you have crossed the line.

    Come back another day if you want but comments with demonstrably false statements will be deleted. Morganstern said it and you can hear him.


    Fine, I'm done (5.00 / 0) (#74)
    by Yman on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 04:38:29 PM EST
    But I'm not misrepresenting the officer's statement at all.  I  did watch the video - 3 times.  At 0:35, Morgenstern says: "There were some inconsistencies with her statement and what was aired on the news report" - referring to whether investigators tried to contact her that night.  She says she was ignored by the responding officers.  Sanford PD says they tried to contact her several times and she says she didn't want to get involved.

    I realize the officer stated the substance of her statement was consistent with Zimmerman's - that's why I was wondering what the substantive inconsistency was, as opposed to whether they contacted her.


    your last coment says (none / 0) (#83)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 06:32:52 PM EST
    The Sanford PD is not claiming the substance of her version of the events is inconsistent - at least not in that report.

    They clearly were.


    Very hard to tell from the clip (none / 0) (#88)
    by Lora on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:12:11 PM EST
    The news report was about whether or not the witness refused to talk to the police. But the clips of Morgenstern seem to show him talking about the content of what she said.

    The reporters don't go there.  They are focused solely on whether she approached them or they approached her.

    Dave Morgenstern (my transcript):

    "There were some inconsistencies with with her statement and what was aired on the news report."


    "The information she provided in her sworn statement regarding the actions of Zimmerman were consistent with the information Zimmerman provided."


    More on the 911 Callers (none / 0) (#57)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:34:04 PM EST
    I'm sympathetic to the concern, but I'm afraid those cats are out of the bag.

    I'd have to check my notes for the supporting data, but my recollection is that police responded to Retreat View Circle. The female caller in question was the first caller to see a police officer and directed him to the back yard area, as you discussed in the post.

    An interesting feature of Mary Cutcher's 911 call, is that it doesn't mention screaming at all.


    Address in Police Report (none / 0) (#156)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:22:23 PM EST
    The report of the first police officer on the scene says that he responded to the Retreat View Circle address.

    From a legal standpoint, I don't see the argument (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by Dadler on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:22:55 AM EST
    "...that Zimmerman profiled and followed Martin as having any chance of success, either in defeating self-defense or establishing any crime, let alone second degree murder."

    Since nothing happens that night if Zimmerman doesn't allow his addled prejudices to overcome him (again, that phone call is CLEAR negligence announcing itself, I really can't see the harmlessness in it that your do; and I think you are only right on this point, J, if, as is usually the case, the prosecutors are imagination vacuums with no real fundamental understanding of how to communicate to people.  A prosecutor with ANY imagination and creative experience would, with that phone call alone, pretty much have gold.  Just IMO.

    Let's say hypothetically that Trayvon Martin jumped him after that call, it turns out the kid was perfectly justified being in mortal fear. Zimmerman has told the police that he was irrational and going to act on it.  

    This case is a mess and is going to result in a hung jury.  And then a riot will break out.

    I speculate (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:54:03 AM EST
    a hung jury too.

    Doubt on the rioting.

    More speculation, a retrial? It depends.


    Jury (none / 0) (#28)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:20:39 PM EST
    Much will depend on jury selection. That will be an awful mess. Also fascinating.

    I don't think it will go to jury (none / 0) (#75)
    by expy on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 05:01:22 PM EST
    I think the whole case will be tried with the SYG motion. If the defense can win that, he'll have immunity, both criminally & civilly.  

    But if he loses, then I think there will be a plea to manslaughter.  I think that's why O'Mara is taking a very low key approach in his rhetoric, emphasizing sympathy & respect for the victim's family, and allowed his client to testify at the bail hearing. It's not potential future jurors he is trying to influence - it is the prosecutor and the victim's family, in an effort to soften position relative to a plea.

    The defendant is looking at a very long sentence if convicted after trial. Even if convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter, there are enhancements for use of a gun and the victim's age that push up the sentence. Given that Zimmerman is the admitted shooter, I don't think the defense would take that risk if a reasonable plea offer was on the table.  


    Unless (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by bmaz on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 05:51:24 PM EST
    Unless the plea offer is to a misdemeanor, time served and no fine, or a boatload of evidence the state clearly does not seem to possess right now as to who started the physical altercation and what retreat capabilities existed - and, the state does not appear to have squat in this regard to contradict Zimmerman according to the sworn testimony of Gilbreath - then there is no way I can see a decent criminal attorney recommending Zimmerman take a plea offer.  And O'Mara looks plenty competent.

    From what appears to be the state's evidence set, I honestly do not see how they make it past a Dennis/SYG hearing; but even if they did, it is almost certain the trial court would give the full self defense justification instruction and, under the apparent facts, that is simply a killer to the state's chances of prevailing with a jury.


    Do you practice (none / 0) (#101)
    by Rojas on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:20:27 PM EST
    in Florida?

    No (none / 0) (#104)
    by bmaz on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:37:03 PM EST
    Er... (none / 0) (#102)
    by expy on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:32:07 PM EST
    How many juries have you faced?

    Somewhere (none / 0) (#105)
    by bmaz on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:37:58 PM EST
    Around 100 give or take a couple.

    I dont see Zimmerman (none / 0) (#116)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:43:10 AM EST
    taking a plea to manslaughter. Too much time, he might as well go for the whole ball of wax. In my experience, when young clients like Zimmerman, who isn't even 30, are presented with double digit plea offers, even 10 to 15 years, they look at is their life will be over when they get out. They don't measure it by the alternative prospect of 30 years if they lose, they view it as their life being over either way. If there is any glimmer of hope of a defense, they want to go for it.  If they believe they are innocent, or their conduct was justified, they are even less likely to give in to plea involving prison time.  Zimmerman has a reasonable chance at his defense.

    If the publicity dies down so the state can offer a plea with just a few years, maximum, allowing him to argue for less, he might go for it, but  I think even that will be a tough sell. He believes he's in the right and I wouldn't expect him to give up unless the offer is close to probation.

    Also, Florida has its own sentencing guidelines, a system like, but not the same, as the feds. Offers made by the state will be considered by the defense looking not so much at the statutory maximum, but what his guidelines come out to be for the offense in the offer, and whether any mandatory minimum sentence applies.

    I won't be surprised if O'Mara recommends Zimmerman take an offer that involves some prison time, because like all lawyers, he knows juries are unpredictable and anything can happen at trial. He won't want Zimmerman to take the risk if a reasonable offer is on the table. But I don't think he'll find manslaughter a reasonable offer.

    I agree with Bmaz that an adverse ruling at the SYG hearing won't have much effect on Zimmerman's decision.. All it means is Zimmerman didn't prove he's immune from prosecution by a preponderance of the evidence. At trial, he can still raise self-defense, and the jury, not the judge will decide it. The jury won't know the judge previously denied his immunity motion. At trial, the burden will be on the state to not only prove the elements of second degree murder or the lesser included manslaughter, but to disprove his self-defense claim, beyond a reasonable doubt.

    I don't expect the judge to grant the SYG hearing if there is conflicting evidence on both sides. This case is a political hot potato. It's too easy for the judge  to declare the evidence equal, and enter a finding that Zimmerman didn't meet his preponderance burden, thus handing the case off to a jury.


    Your last paragraph has me concerned (none / 0) (#131)
    by Darby on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:06:51 AM EST
    that Zimmerman can't get a fair shake.

    I am already disturbed that the initial judge accepted the probable cause affidavit because as has been stated, there isn't any evidence or facts to back it up.

    I am also disturbed that he might not get a fair shake at the SYG hearing for political reasons.

    If there is legitimate proof that Zimmerman violated the law than I support the state charging him, but it feels more and more like his rights are being violated.


    If the judge enters a finding (none / 0) (#140)
    by KeysDan on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 11:31:14 AM EST
    that Z. didn't meet his preponderance burden at the SYG hearing, under Florida law, the defense can appeal that decision to the DCA prior to the case going to a jury.  (if the judge rules in favor of Z. the prosecution can appeal),   An appeal will add some months to the process and, for judge, takes some heat away from the potato.

    I Don't Expect a Plea (none / 0) (#77)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 05:45:58 PM EST
    I agree that the defense is likely to win the SYG hearing. I would say certain to unless the judge is biased. I was sloppy wording a previous comment to suggest I expected the case to go to a jury.

    Even if a jury unanimously rejects the justification defense, I don't see how they get to second degree murder after admitting they don't know who started the fight. Manslaughter is the worst to be expected from a jury, so there's no reason to plead to it.


    Not with the aggravating factors (none / 0) (#106)
    by expy on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:40:24 PM EST
    If he's convicted of manslaughter at a jury trial he's certain to also be convicted of the aggravating factor of having killed a minor, and the use of a gun enhancement. There's no possible argument around those facts. Those factors result in substantial increases in penalties.

    I don't practice in Florida, but in my jurisdiction,  that would be a reason for a plea bargain. The only question I would have is whether there is something in Florida law that would limit the prosecutor's discretion to drop those additional allegations.

    Again, I'm positing a situation where the defense has already put out its best case for the SYG hearing, and lost. If they can't convince a judge, that's a bad omen for a jury.  Not impossible, but  a fairly big risk to take with a man's life.


    Are you keeping in mind the burden shift (none / 0) (#107)
    by bmaz on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:58:26 PM EST
    ...to the prosecution once a jury is instructed on self defense?  It is quite clearly evidenced in Florida pattern criminal instruction 3.6(f). That is a FAR different state of affairs than the burden on the defendant, even if it is only by a preponderance, at the Dennis hearing. The situations are so different as to nearly be apples and oranges, and under the facts as we currently understand them, it is pretty much a certainty the court would instruct on self defense.

    I'm keeping in mind (none / 0) (#117)
    by expy on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:48:26 AM EST
    that there are contested facts, and juries reach their own conclusions as witness credibility.

    At least right now there does not seem to be any witness to how the confrontation began. So it's a circumstantial case.

    If Zimmerman initiated the confrontation with Martin, and Martin acted in self-defense, Zimmerman would not have a self-defense claim.

    What would motivate Martin to attack Zimmerman?


    I believe (none / 0) (#119)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 01:14:29 AM EST
    you are mixing up the statutes. Initiating a confrontation is not the test. Under the aggressor statute, in the dubious event it applies, the test is whether Zimmerman provoked the use of force by Martin.  Not whether he pursued or confronted him verbally.

    Even if he followed Trayvon, and even if he confronted him and demanded to know what he was doing in the neighborhood, those actions don't make him an aggressor because they aren't acts that provoke the use of force.

    If Martin responded to being followed and verbally confronted (but not physically threatened)  with a punch or head banging, Zimmerman will not be considered to have provoked that use of force.

    In addition, whether he's the aggressor or not, Zimmerman is entitled to use deadly force if he reasonably feared Trayvon was about to cause him serous bodily injury or that his life was in jeopardy. The only additional requirement imposed under the aggressor statute is that if he's found to be the aggressor, he also has to show he had no opportunity to extricate himself without using deadly force. If his nose was broken and his head bleeding from being hit, and he was on the bottom, it's unlikely anyone would find he could extricate himself.

    The state's best argument is that Trayvon's punch was not serious enough to put him in such fear. That would defeat not only his self-defense claim under standard self-defense, under SYG and under the aggressor statute.

    I believe the state is grasping at straws with its argument that profiling and confronting makes one an aggressor. I'm not even sure it will make that argument. I suspect it is using the profiling and confronting more for the purpose of proving second degree murder, as evidence of his  ill-will towards Martin, which was rooted in   his unjust perception Martin was a criminal, than it is to show he was the aggressor.

    776.041 Use of force by aggressor.--The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

    (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

    (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or

    (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.  

    There's no evidence (5.00 / 0) (#123)
    by expy on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 03:06:48 AM EST
    That "Martin responded to being followed and verbally confronted (but not physically threatened)  with a punch or head banging".

    The witness "John" apparently saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, but he didn't see what led to that situation.

    It is possible that Martin physically assaulted Zimmerman in response to a verbal confrontation, but it is also possible that Martin was simply fighting back after Zimmerman grabbed, hit, or pushed him.

    If the case goes to jury, the the jury is going to fill in that gap based on the totality of the circumstances. The prosecution will focus on Zimmerman's motives & expressed anger/ill-will toward the "a$$holes/punks". Presumably if it gets past the SYG motion, that will happen because of prosecution evidence that contradicts or calls into question Zimmerman's account of what happened. So the jury will be making a determination about credibility. If they believe Zimmerman, he walks. But if they disbelieve him, then they are likely to convict of manslaughter.

    The problem is that, without some sort of motive, the idea of Martin attacking Zimmerman without provocation is implausible -- why would an unarmed kid walking home from a convenience store pick a fight with a total stranger?


    Unconcealed weapon (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by Addison on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:33:04 AM EST
    If Martin responded to being followed and verbally confronted (but not physically threatened)  with a punch or head banging, Zimmerman will not be considered to have provoked that use of force.

    There is no doubt whatsoever that at some point Zimmerman was pursuing Martin, and that Martin noticed this pursuit -- both these facts are testified to by Zimmerman himself. According to reports from pro-Zimmerman sources (I think posted here, not sure) at some point that night Zimmerman's handgun was visible to Martin.

    Assuming I was merely walking home on a public street, a non-uniformed man with a visible gun pursuing me would always be registered, in my mind, as an unprovoked physical threat to my safety.

    I do not know how this combination of pursuit and display of a firearm in public is interpreted legally (either by Florida law, the judge, or the jury), but I think there's a little bit more to the question of "provocation" that you're letting on; although the timeline still matters and remains unproven one way or the other.

    Again, a major question is whether there was one incident (Zimmerman's pursuit and the scuffle as one long event) or two incidents (Zimmerman's pursuit and the scuffle as two separate events).


    Jeralyn, I'd be interested to know (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by oculus on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 01:07:28 PM EST
    how much time you devoted to this post. Your dedication is impressive.

    Each one of these long posts (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 04:09:09 PM EST
    takes me at least 4 hours to write, sometimes more.

    I'd certainly be checking in here... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by magster on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 06:26:27 PM EST
    ... if I was Zimmerman's lawyer for the "hmm, that's a good point" or the "wait, that statement was made when?" nuggets of info.

    Thank you (none / 0) (#70)
    by jbindc on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 04:24:39 PM EST
    I don't usually agree with most of the positions posted here, but you have bern very informative.

    Thanks for doing this.


    Yes, thank you. (none / 0) (#76)
    by desertswine on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 05:28:24 PM EST
    asdf (4.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Addison on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:49:46 AM EST
    I'm glad this is going before a judge (and possibly a jury) so that the facts get into the public record  -- a person was killed by another person and our judicial system shouldn't allow that incident to evade wider examination. And in this case I don't feel the "Stand Your Ground" law quite permits that particular "ex juris" evasion (even if it may wind up as the highway toward acquittal/dropped charges for George Zimmerman).

    But I honestly don't see how, at this point, the examination is going to result in a guilty verdict on the charges filed. The second-degree murder charge is tenuous, but I believe it can be supported if Zimmerman followed Trayvon and their conversation/interaction was more akin to what Trayvon's girlfriend states than what Zimmerman's brother states. However, if the state has laid most of its substantive cards on the table (and the investigator doesn't give me confidence in his case on this count), I don't see much of a path toward conviction. We'll see.

    Jeralyn speculates that that is all there is, but that is just speculation on Jeralyn's part. She has no idea.

    Yes, I said very clearly (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:26:27 PM EST
    From a legal standpoint, I don't see the argument that Zimmerman profiled and followed Martin as having any chance of success, either in defeating self-defense or establishing any crime, let alone second degree murder.

    It seems to me like the state is going to need some strong forensic evidence, along with significant contradictions in Zimmerman's statements, to overcome Zimmerman's claim of self-defense. So far they haven't disclosed details of either one. The first person who will see them, if they exist, is Mark O'Mara, when he gets discovery. Until then, there may not be much more to discuss, but I'm keeping my eyes on John.

    I have no idea whether they exist or not, but in my view, they need them to succeed with the case.


    I agree. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Addison on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:15:42 AM EST
    However, as I noted it's the investigator's performance on the stand specifically that engenders my doubts -- not the "contradictory" witnesses or evidence (such as it is).

    Perhaps he was just nervous about his surprise testimony and was worried about "giving the case away" and so seemed evasive for that reason rather than lack of factual grounding for the assertions made in the affidavit.

    This doubt is likely what the defense attorney was seeking to accomplish (in part), so: mission accomplished, I guess.


    Agreed, although ... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Yman on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:07:41 AM EST
    ... Gilbreath testified to evidence that is inconsistent with Zimmerman's story.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And isn't it true that a lot of statements that he made do not make sense in terms of the injuries that he described. Did he not describe to the police that Mr. Martin had him on the ground and kept bashing his head on the concrete over and over and just physically beating him with his hands?

    GILBREATH: He has said that, yes.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And isn't it true that there is evidence that indicates that's not true?



    GILBREATH: Managed to scoot away from the concrete sidewalk and that is at that point is when the shooting subsequently followed. That is not consistent with the evidence we found.

    Guess we'll have to see what other evidence the state has.


    Indeed... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Addison on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:20:26 AM EST
    ...the question is whether what Zimmerman was inconsistent about will be germane to the question of whether it was second-degree murder beyond a reasonable doubt. Even if Zimmerman (or his brother) exaggerated his injuries, that may be irrelevant.

    We'll see. I do not know anything more than anyone else. The process moves forward, and whatever comes of that process I hope that everyone involved does their job well.


    Confusing comment by John (none / 0) (#24)
    by Lora on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:07:13 PM EST
    This is what bothers me about John's call (emphasis mine):

    "The guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, 'Help! Help!' and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911," said the witness...

    Who was he telling to stop?  Zimmerman, to stop yelling for help?  Why would he do that?  

    Martin?  You'd think, if he was referring to Martin, that he would have said: I told the [guy on top] [other guy] to stop.

    If "him" meant Zimmerman, it doesn't make sense that he would tell him to stop screaming for help.  It might make sense for him to tell him to stop fighting, but not if he was on the ground, being beaten.


    Grammar 911 (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:18:40 PM EST
    I can imagine a person on a 911 call making a minor grammatical error.

    I can, too (none / 0) (#36)
    by Lora on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:57:42 PM EST
    Just sayin,

    It's confusing.  


    Possibly (none / 0) (#46)
    by Lora on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 01:53:58 PM EST
    Another confusing issue is that why, if John had yelled that he was calling 911, was there a shot so soon afterward?

    If Martin was on top, beating on Zimmerman, and heard John say he was going to call 911, it's possible that Martin might have gotten off Zimmerman, planning to leave. Zimmerman might then have been able to get his gun and shoot him.

    This speculative scenario would seem to fit with Martin on top of Zimmerman, beating him; Zimmerman being able to get his gun; and Zimmerman not being underneath Martin when he fell.

    I believe this possibility was suggested by another commenter (in a pre-John thread) who felt Zimmerman would then have to be a monster to shoot Martin.  I disagreed, given the heat of the moment, availability of the gun, and not knowing how afraid Zimmerman felt.


    Zimmerman already knew the police (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:07:19 AM EST
    were on the way, since he had called 911 himself. If he was calling out for help I think he was looking for some direct assistance, not someone to call 911.  

    Well then (none / 0) (#134)
    by Lora on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:35:10 AM EST
    Zimmerman knew the police were on the way, and then if he heard John, he knew another person was going to call as well.  Martin would theoretically also have heard John say he was going to call 911.

    This makes the shot more perplexing.  I would think it likely that the threat of imminent police intervention would tend to cause the fighters to back off, not escalate.

    If Zimmerman and Martin did not hear John (which is possible), then his comment would have had no effect on their actions.


    I think the shot was an act of panic (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:56:46 AM EST
    I don't try to find rational grounds for it.

    Police Response (none / 0) (#147)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:35:36 PM EST
    Zimmerman knew the police were on the way . . .

    Zimmerman said he would meet the police at the mail boxes, then changed his mind and asked for them to call back when they reached the area. Without the neighbors' 911 calls, the police wouldn't have been responding to that exact location.

    Zimmerman Did Not Call 911 (none / 0) (#145)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:28:23 PM EST
    Zimmerman made a non-emergency police call to report Martin as 'suspicious'. There are two ways to verify this.

    One is to listen to the dispatcher answer the phone, and compare with how the actual 911 dispatchers do so.

    The other is the call logs. In the heading for each report, after 'Call Source:', you see either '911' or 'TEL'. 'TEL' indicates a non-emergency call.


    Good point. In any event, my main point was (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 02:42:13 PM EST
    that I don't think he was asking someone to call 911. I think he was asking to come help him immediately.

    I Agree (none / 0) (#153)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:37:15 PM EST
    For a different reason. The first police officer on the scene, T. Smith, in his report quotes Zimmerman saying 'I was yelling for someone to help me, but no one would help me.'

    So maybe he didn't hear John? (none / 0) (#158)
    by Lora on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 10:12:16 AM EST
    Just saying that if you were calling for help and you and your opponent heard somebody say they were calling 911, that might cool both of you down.

    So since Zimmerman didn't allude to anybody who was calling FOR help, if not directly providing it, maybe John's comment was not heard.


    I would want to ask: (none / 0) (#159)
    by Lora on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 10:15:39 AM EST
    1)John:  Did you get any indication from either man that you were heard when you said you were calling 911?

    2)Zimmerman: Did you hear John state that he was going to call 911?


    the ABC report on the new photo (none / 0) (#59)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:41:23 PM EST
    showing Zimmerman's injury I linked to in the post includes a report by ABC reporter Matt Guttman who  says the photographer told ABC news exclusively powder marks were clearly visible on Martin's hoodie, indicating the shot was at very close range. If that's what powder burns indicate (and I have no idea if they do) then it doesn't appear Martin had walked away before being shot.

    I'd wait for official forensic reports before speculating one way or the other on this.  


    OK (none / 0) (#67)
    by Lora on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 04:11:30 PM EST
    Just to clarify, I didn't say Martin had walked away, just wondered if he got up off Zimmerman (assuming he was on him in the first place) before he got shot, maybe as a result of John's statement that he would call 911.

    If he did not, there would be the problems of Zimmerman getting out from under Martin,the possibility of Martin's blood on Zimmerman's clothing, and Martin's position on the ground.  If he did, there is the problem which you mentioned that I wasn't aware of, the close range (meaning inches, I presume?) of the shot. Perhaps the forensic reports will shed light.


    one incontrovertible fact, (none / 0) (#27)
    by cpinva on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:18:49 PM EST
    that just can't be gotten around, no matter what kind of spin you put on everything else:

    the position of mr. martin's body. it simply doesn't mesh with the story mr. zimmerman tells, of when he shot mr. martin. nor, does the appearance of his clothes at the police station. granted, that could be due to lighting, best to wait for the lab to complete its analysis. but, the position of the body is key.

    "john's" eyewitness testimony just can't get around this fact, regardless of when he contacted anyone, or what he claims to have seen, prior to the shot being fired, which he didn't witness.

    Explanations. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Addison on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:22:05 PM EST
    If Martin was shot will straddling Zimmerman, Zimmerman would have had to roll Martin's body off. Or, possibly, Martin didn't die immediately and in the few seconds between the shot and his death moved to the side and collapsed. I think that police analysis of Zimmerman's clothing will be more instructive than the position of Martin's body.

    Ballistics and Autopsy (none / 0) (#31)
    by Rojas on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:32:54 PM EST
    reports will be more probative one way or another I believe. Did they recover the projectile?
    Not sure what evidence Zimmerman's clothes would contain.

    Clothing. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Addison on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:40:19 PM EST
    Not sure what evidence Zimmerman's clothes would contain.

    Really? If Zimmerman shot right into Martin's chest as Martin was directly over him, his clothes should have Martin's blood on them -- and there may be additional conclusions that can be drawn from the amount and pattern. But if Zimmerman's clothes don't have any of Martin's blood on them, that would certainly seem to argue against the two men being in the positions reported by Zimmerman's side.


    Would depend on the (none / 0) (#37)
    by Rojas on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:59:43 PM EST
    Chest wounds don't generally bleed out immediately.

    We'll see... (none / 0) (#39)
    by Addison on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 01:02:40 PM EST
    that's not an incontrovertible fact (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:52:38 PM EST
    please don't state it as one. You haven't seen an official photo of the position of the body. The Fox News shot which shows a yellow tarp over the body may not be the position in which the body  was initially found.

    In the police report, one officer says he and another officer turned the body over, with one doing CPR and he other chest compressions. A third officer then took over doing chest compressions, and then medics came and tried to revive him. The body position could easily have been moved by the time Fox took that shot.


    Not to mention (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by bmaz on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 05:53:49 PM EST
    Not to mention, we do not really know the full story of what Zimmerman has, himself, said on this issue.

    Position of body (none / 0) (#34)
    by Raoul on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:50:17 PM EST
    A law-enforcement source familiar with Zimmerman's account but not directly involved in the case, said that in his statement to police, he said Martin's final words after being shot were, "Okay, you got it."

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/19/new-account-zimmerman-told-cops-trayvon-s-last-word s-were-okay-you-got-it.html

    Time to speak and move a bit before collapsing.

    We try not to rely (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 03:58:55 PM EST
    on unnamed sources here as evidence. I've also seen reports characterizing the statement as "You got me." Since this is not an official version of events, and we don't know who the the source is or their basis for knowledge (whether they read the report of the interview or were relaying hearsay from another officer) and the description is that the source is "familiar with the investigation" rather than "involved in the investigation" I put no stock in it. It's just another rumor.

    Maybe this has been asked and answered elsewhere (none / 0) (#35)
    by fish on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:56:42 PM EST
    but I can't figure out how fiance Brandy and her son Chad managed to avoid the scene going on outside their house.

    One commenter here in particular (although I think he may have since flounced off) insisted that the incident occurred "steps from his door."  And, in any event it was loud enough for multiple neighbors to hear it and call police.  There was an ambulance and how many cop cars?  How did the Greens manage to be unaware?

    I realize the meme that Trayvon's body went unidentified for 3 days has been debunked, but how did it even get started?  How the Greens manage to be unaware of the incident on their street, especially in light of Trayvon not returning home?

    they were out for dinner (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 04:08:39 PM EST
    until 11 pm. And their house is not very close to the shooting scene. Ms. Green's 14 year old son was home, but I don't think he heard anything. I haven't seen a reason for that. It could be the distance. Here's my map from Google showing the two locations. I blacked out the house numbers for privacy reasons, but this is what google shows as the distance between the address given in the police report of 2821 Retreat View Circle where the shooting occurred and Ms. Green's house. The police report states the shooting was between the homes of 1231 Twin Trees Lane and 2821 Retreat View Circle.

    If he had his headphones on listening to music, or had the TV volume up. he might not have heard the shot -- but one would think the police or fire rescue or ambulance would have used sirens when arriving. That's pretty hard to miss even from that distance.


    I've been in (none / 0) (#108)
    by Rojas on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:02:37 PM EST
    a single family house separated by two partitions of drywall and did not here a 12 gauge shotgun discharge within the house. Low frequency sounds are generally absorbed by building materials.  

    Why didn't everyone hear the fight? (none / 0) (#38)
    by Lora on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 12:59:54 PM EST
    If a TV is on, loud, for instance, depending on the show (say a cop show, of which there are huge numbers,) you wouldn't necessarily notice noise over background.

    Home Alone (none / 0) (#45)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 01:48:36 PM EST
    Tracy Martin and Brandy Green told the NY Times they were out for the evening.

    I've wondered if Chad fell asleep watching the basketball game.


    They also said (none / 0) (#68)
    by jbindc on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 04:22:46 PM EST
    They got home around 10 -  would a homicide scene be cleaned up in 2 1/2 hours?

    I asked this earlier - did they come in the neighborhood a different way and not see flashing lights of emergency vehicles?

    Did they not venture out into the neighborhood the next morning and talk to someone after they suspected he was missing? If the girl on the phone with him at the time was his girlfriend, did they try to contact her in hopes that she had talked to him and knew where he was going?

    Was Trayvon not carrying a wallet with ID?


    If he had ID (none / 0) (#71)
    by Darby on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 04:28:37 PM EST
    It might have had his address in Miami, since he didn't live in Sanford.  I  am not sure where his dad lives.

    Sure (none / 0) (#72)
    by jbindc on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 04:34:58 PM EST
    And that would have neen a place to start looking gor a parent, no?

    Maybe they did (none / 0) (#73)
    by Darby on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 04:37:32 PM EST
    I have no idea, but iis one way to explain why they would not have been able to find his dad that evening.

    No Yellow Tape (none / 0) (#81)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 06:04:41 PM EST
    I've seen Tracy Martin in a TV interview making a point of not seeing any crime scene tape when he came home, suggesting that was more proof of the slackness of the investigation.

    Tracy Martin entered the complex (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:43:11 PM EST
    through the back entrance, which was closer to his girlfriend's home. This is from the Wash Post, via a paper in my area: http://www.bradenton.com/2012/03/29/3968409/tracy-martin-recounts-police-version.html

    The police talked to him before 8 a.m. the next day, and so, it's quite likely he didn't have a chance to talk to neighbors before that.


    The Site, Again (none / 0) (#47)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 02:30:43 PM EST
    That 'the incident occurred "steps from his door"' is not correct. That's already been discussed twice on this thread.

    Erratum (none / 0) (#48)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 02:33:22 PM EST
    Sorry, that was an earlier thread.

    Nice downplaying of the GF account... (none / 0) (#84)
    by ks on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 06:37:27 PM EST
    Trayvon's phone friend, who didn't come forward for weeks, and then gave her account not to police but to the Martin family lawyers, told the lawyers the phone went dead while Zimmerman and Trayvon were still talking. She can only speculate as to why the phone went dead, and has no idea what happened afterwards. Even if she later gave her account to investigators, she couldn't have resolved the critical issues.

    How many "qualifiers" are you going to add to it?  I know you are talking about the John witness but, Trayvon's friend can certainly speak to the "critical issues" that occurred before the physical struggle.  Like Trayvon being aware of Zimmerman following him and, in particular, his state of mind about it and, somewhat, his actions up until the physical struggle.  I know it's part of the Zimmerman media push to pretend that the only "critical issue" is the physical struggle but, I doubt that's going to be the case as this goes forward in court.  Frankly, it strikes me as kind of a silly tactic.  The totality of events is not going to be, for lack of a better word,  ignored.  

    Those qualifications are obviously (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by rjarnold on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:48:29 PM EST
    extremely relevant. If you don't give an account to anyone for 3 weeks that hurts her importance as a witness.

    I'm not saying John's interview means he is correct. But knowing that it occurred within a day of the shooting increases its significance. We can rule out that his recollection is the product of product of "post-information," in which the reliability of a witness' memory is reduced because there has been a co-mingling of his or her actual memory of the event with information learned later, from the media and other sources.

    We can't say anything like that about his girlfriend who not only waited, but refused to talk to investigators, was subject to the media circus that ensued, and did not say anything until after the family's lawyers came in contact with her.


    I disagree (none / 0) (#110)
    by ks on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:43:44 PM EST
    The GF didn't live in the neighborhood and is a minor who didn't know what happened after the call dropped whereas the adult "John" lived in the neighborhood and saw part of the struggle.  Was she supposed to assume that Trayvon had gotten killed?  You don't know the time frame from when she found out he was killed to when she gave her story.  You don't know whether she initially refused to talk to investigators or  whether investigators looked at Trayvon's phone and tried to contacted her. It seems she has spoken to the authorities now and the prosecutors don't seem to have a problem with it since they can easily confirm that she was talking to Martin up until the physical struggle.  

    In any event, I find the "delay" argument odd. She's a minor who is involved very high profile case.  It makes sense that her parents would proceed cautiously and try to protect her identity as much as possible.


    Police did not speak with (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by Darby on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:22:14 AM EST
    her until 5 weeks after Trayvon's death.

    I think for the reasons that other have given, her memory can be impacted by hearing other accounts of what transpired etc.

    I also find it out that she didn't surface until Sharpton, Jackson and others joined the media frenzy.

    I guess I can't imagine anyone not coming forward as an ear witness to their boyfriends last moments. Trayvon did have a funeral, so I am assuming that his girlfriend new he had been killed.
    And why would her parents have kept her from giving a statement in the many weeks before this became a high profile case?

    There may be good answers to these questions, I just can't come up with any, but perhaps they will come out. And even if there so, there is still the problem with her recollection being impacted by hearing all the news reports, 'conflicting' witness statements etc.


    Of course you can't come up with any (none / 0) (#133)
    by ks on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:35:08 AM EST
    She did come forward.  Just not when and to whom you deem appropriate.  It's not surprising her family didn't let her come forward to the same authorities who let Z go.  The bottom line is that the phone records will be easily comfirmed and verify she did talk to him when she said she did and there's nothing really to contradict her statements however much nitpicking/speculation  on the margins some of you want to engage in.  

    All the phone records will confirm (none / 0) (#136)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:07:20 AM EST
    Is the time she was talking to him and if she attempted to call him back - nothing more.  It will NOT verify the actual conversation or what she heard.

    Based on the Martin family's lawyers, (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by rjarnold on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:33:31 AM EST
    they did not contact her until a few days before March 20, when she gave them her affadavit and spoke to them over the phone. I think anyone would think that it is likely that she would have known that Trayvon was dead within 3 weeks of the incident. After March 20, the Sanford police tried to get into contact with her and she refused (this has been outlined in several news reports). Her familiy's lawyers have said that she did not trust the investigators.

    In general (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by RickTaylor on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:33:07 AM EST
    In general, and all other things being equal, I would give more weight to the testimony of a witness who was interviewed by the police or a neutral party testifying about events that occurred shortly after the events they were recalling than a witness interviewed weeks after those events by the lawyers of one of the parties involved in a trial. It's not a matter of the integrity of the witness, but human beings are not living tape recorders, and we tend to alter our recollections based on other learned information and even under the circumstances under which we recount them.

    That's why it's so troublesome to me that the police didn't contact her and speak with her. Perhaps there's some explanation for this, but if they had Martin's cell phone, and I don't see why they wouuldn't as a matter of course try to find any phone calls he made before he was killed. Together with other points, it makes me wonder how thorough their investigation was.


    I agree with that (none / 0) (#142)
    by bmaz on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 11:43:25 AM EST
    In fact, the more I think about it, the more I am convinced the girl's evidence is maybe not worth all that much.  First there is, as you properly note, really an issue when the recollections are not taken down contemporaneously, or as close thereto as possible.  That becomes all the more important when she did not SEE anything, but is simply trying to remember perceptions made from what she weeks later THINKS she remembers hearing on the phone.  Throw in that her first memorialization of the same is to the fairly aggressive civil attorney for the Martin family who drew up an affidavit.  

    If the above is not bad enough, even to the extent she heard Trayvon, she has no geo-location or visual idea of where what she was hearing took place, the relative spatial locations of the protagonists, etc. And even she admits she has NO idea what occurred in the actual critical moments.  She can establish Zimmerman was following Martin. So? Heck Zimmerman appears to fully admit that, as does the non-emergency police tape.

    I think the girl is pretty much a red herring.


    Plus, (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:22:37 PM EST
    A bias.  Her friend /boyfriend was killed.  Wouldn't anybody remember things weeks later in a way to best help convict his killer?

    I think so (none / 0) (#149)
    by sj on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 03:26:34 PM EST
    I've always thought so.  That includes re-trials, appeals, parole hearings, all of it.  Memories have a shelf life.

    Uh-huh (none / 0) (#124)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:23:04 AM EST
    Because she wouldn't know the next day or so that her friend/boyfriend had been killed???

    legally I don't think it (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:50:30 PM EST
    matters in terms of the charges. I've explained this a dozen times or more. You disagree, that's fine, but don't suggest I'm "downplaying" it because it's not helpful. Even if everything she says is true, I don't think it changes the legal issues one bit. Read my other posts for why, which are all supported with citations and links to Florida statutes.

    this response is to ks (none / 0) (#98)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:00:19 PM EST
    I am not sure that there is (none / 0) (#86)
    by Darby on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:00:06 PM EST
    Evidence that Martin was followed after the dispatchers told ziimerman he didn't need to do that. But even if he was, why would it matter?

    If trayvon was attacking Zimmerman and trying to get the gun,what is the difference who followed whom? I cant see that z would not be justified if this is what actually transpired


    Why would it matter? (5.00 / 0) (#89)
    by ks on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:29:42 PM EST
    That's not a serious question and you dodged my main point.  If the prosecution has evidence that Z kept following Martin after the dispatcher's advice that would be important.  To pretend otherwise is just silly.  As is the continual effort to pretend that the only "critical issue" is the physical struggle.  

    Speaking of the physical struggle, I've yet to see anybody rationally explain based on the various dramatic public pronouncements of Z's family, former lawyers and associates how Z was actually able to shoot Martin.  

    According to them Martin supposedly went for Z's gun and had full control of Z to the point of being on top of him and bashing! his head into the concrete.  I mean we heard terms like fear of "brain damage" and "shaken baby syndrome" bandied about.  But yet Z, while lying on his back with Martin on top of him bashing! his head into the concrete manages to keep Martin from getting his gun, get his gun, and shoot Martin while being mere moments away from being brain damaged?  Yet, we see him 30-40 minutes later moving easily, not disoriented, without assistance with handcuffs on.  That story doesn't make sense to me.  YMMV.


    no one here (none / 0) (#97)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:58:18 PM EST
    besides perhaps you, is making arguments based on unconfirmed reports by spokespeople. That's what lowers the level discourse. Please stop.

    Zimmerman has not given his account yet. What his spokespeople say is not necessarily his version. What the Martin lawyers and phone friend say is not fact or evidence.

    Police reports may turn out to be wrong, but they are the official version. Any deviation will be challenged in court and people can judge if they were wrong then. No one has ever seen the phone friends' affidavit, it was provided to Martin family lawyers.

    Other officially released items are the 911 call,s Zimmerman's call, his prior 911 contacts, and 6 or 7 audio tapes, the video of his arrival at the station after being arrested, and the prior burglary reports from the neighborhood.

    Please stop littering with hearsay statements of others you have cherry-picked to fit your bias.


    It is a serious question (none / 0) (#113)
    by Darby on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:13:47 AM EST
    On what basis do you think other things beside the struggle are important?

    And what other things are you referring to?


    Dee Dee' Statement (none / 0) (#125)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:54:42 AM EST
    I assume Dee Dee's statement is what the prosecutors are claiming to be evidence on this point. IIRC the prosecution's investigators say that one of them took a statement directly from her.

    ABC News has aired a few sentences in the girl's own voice. I don't think these sentences support the point in question.

    It's interesting that ABC's paraphrase, 'suddenly, Martin was cornered', isn't reflected in the charging affidavit.


    Many of the news reports (none / 0) (#126)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:04:18 AM EST
    Also keep repirting that Zimmerman continued to follow Martin, even after the dispatcher told him not to, even though they have no idea what really happened.

    No wonder stuff like that keeps getting erroneously repeated here.


    Long List (none / 0) (#154)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:44:11 PM EST
    A complete list of things the media has gotten wrong would be very, very long.

    I Don't Know That ABC is Wrong (none / 0) (#155)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:02:01 PM EST
    I don't know that ABC got it wrong in this case. There are two other possibilities.

    Dee Dee may have told prosecutors a different story. (I'll believe Dee Dee swore an affidavit when someone neutral and credible says they've seen it.) Or, prosecutors may have decided that what Dee Dee can testify to factually, doesn't support the conclusion 'Martin was cornered'.


    Welcome to Broadcast News, Florida style (none / 0) (#92)
    by ruffian on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 08:23:45 PM EST
    Sad to say I have come to expect nothing better from local news. Unclear and inadequate at best, misleading and manipulative at worst.

    I think whatever sworn testimony is heard is going to sound like a brand new story.

    I think that it was obviously a (none / 0) (#94)
    by rjarnold on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:37:35 PM EST
    poor and lazy article by Fox News Tampa, but I find the performance of the national media on the witnesses to be much worse. John's basic account was public knowledge since the day after the shooting, and for whatever reason the media gave more attention to Cutcher's account. John saw part of the incident and gave an account to the media a day later. Cutcher did not see the account, makes assumptions she could not have possibly known, did not state that she believed Zimmerman did not act in self defense until more than 2 weeks after the incident, did not try to get involved until after the demands for Zimmerman's arrest became a popular caus, and police are saying that her statements to the media are inconsistent with her earlier written statement on the shooting.

    The media should not have given so much attention to Cutcher's statements, without noting that she had credibility issues, and takes several leaps in logic in her public statements (i.e. that the screams couldn't have been Zimmerman's because they were those of a little boy or because that they were not Zimmerman's because they stopped after the shooting, or that there was no punching and no wrestling because she would have heard it if there was.) They also should not given her side (and saying that it casts doubt on Zimmerman's story) without at least reporting that there was a more credible (by any standard) witness that supports Zimmmerman's account that he was being beaten up and was screaming for help.


    By the time of trial (none / 0) (#144)
    by CoralGables on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:24:58 PM EST
    sworn testimony could be a brand new story, meticulously put together over time.

    Bench Trial (none / 0) (#93)
    by Luke Lea on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:14:02 PM EST
    Can the defense request a bench trial instead of a trial by jury?

    he's essentially going to (none / 0) (#99)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:11:00 PM EST
    get a bench trial at the SYG hearing. If the judge refuses to dismiss at the hearing, I don't think he'd want to leave his fate up to that same judge at trial.

    The jury instructions are favorable to him on self-defense and stand your ground, if it applies. He only has to present "some evidence" which can be his own testimony to get the jury instructed on the issue.

    In 2009 there were more than 500,000 Floridians with concealed weapons permits and a backlog in applications of tens of thousands. He's not going to face anti-gun bias in Sanford. And by the time this case goes to trial, people of Sanford will have moved on and not remember too much. In fact, today's news says they already have.


    make that (none / 0) (#100)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:11:52 PM EST
    seminole county, not Sanford. Sanford is in Seminole but the jury won't be limited to Sanford.

    Same Judge? (none / 0) (#128)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:14:36 AM EST
    If Zimmerman requests a bench trial, would the judge necessarily be the same one that presided over the SYG hearing?

    If that judge words his ruling in a way that suggests the defense almost made preponderance of the evidence, I would want the same judge for the trial in which the prosecution has to beat reasonable doubt.


    Bench Trial (none / 0) (#127)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:10:22 AM EST
    I would think so. The accused has a Constitutional right to a jury trial. The state doesn't.

    Not necessarily true (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by bmaz on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:04:16 AM EST
    In many jurisdictions the state has just as strong a right to jury trial as the defendant, especially in felony cases. In such locations, and such is what I am familiar with, both parties must waive in order for there to be a bench trial.

    Florida is just such a state. Under FL Rule 3.260, the state must consent to a waiver of a jury trial by a defendant.


    sometimes it's a commenter's (none / 0) (#120)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 01:32:43 AM EST
    tone that is objectionable, and yours has been repeatedly.

    The comments here represent all views. Comments are an opportunity to have an intelligent discourse, free from personal attack.

    Your comments have been repeatedly hostile. They stop the flow of conversation. They are rude. And accusatory.

    This is not a defense echo-chamber, but we do have rules against chatterers and blog-cloggers, (see them here) posting false information, and presenting disputed information as fact and presenting opinions as fact.

    I have not made a determination as to whether Zimmerman will prevail. I set out the law and my interpretation of it, and how I view it will be applied, based on the material disclosed by the state and in court documents and at hearings.  You, on the other hand, continue to argue the position of the Martin family, without regard to the law, and insist information which supports your view is credible and will be important to the ultimate resolution, which in your view, should be one that goes against Zimmerman.

    You don't seem to be able to grasp how this site works, and that commenting here is not a right.    I suggest you find another site to comment on.