Court Unseals George Zimmerman File, O'Mara Addresses Apology
Update: The City of Sanford has rejected the resignation of Police Chief Bill Lee.
Seminole Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester has unsealed documents in the George Zimmerman court file, allowing only for the redaction of witness names. The order is here. This does not unseal police files, just the court file. A hearing on the media's motion for access to police files is set for Friday.
Attorney Mark O'Mara was on CBS this morning. He said that the purpose of George Zimmerman's apology at the bail hearing was not to increase the likelihood of his getting bond, but to address the Martins who had rejected Zimmerman's earlier attempt to apologize. He said had he known that it would upset the Martins, he wouldn't have had his client take the stand as it wasn't necessary to get bond. He basically apologized to the Martins. [More...]
Which brings me to another perplexing part of O'Mara's statement today. When asked about the ABC photo of his injuries published Friday, he made it seem iffy as to whether it would be relevant.
Speaking about the recently released image showing Zimmerman’s bloodied head, O’Mara said it is “very compelling to support that there was an altercation,” but he is, for now, unsure where it’ll fit in his client’s defense.
He still hasn't seen the discovery but (and this is speculation on my part) he sounds like he is already contemplating a defense other than self-defense. What could that be? That Trayvon tried to grab the gun and it went off accidentally?
Accidental discharge of a firearm in Florida is a misdemeanor. Just April 13, Gov. Scott signed into law an amendment of 790.062. It adds a new situation.
[One who] recklessly or negligently discharges a firearm outdoors on any property used primarily as the site of a dwelling as defined in s. 776.013 or zoned exclusively for residential use commits is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
Zimmerman, according to the police report, had a Kel-Tec PF9. According to statements by police, there was still a full magazine in it, meaning after the bullet in the chamber had fired, striking Trayvon, the gun failed to cycle and send a bullet from the magazine to the chamber. This could be caused, according to some gun experts, by someone placing their hand on the gun.
It has been reported that the gun was recovered with a full magazine and that only the chambered round had been fired. This is a condition we associate with something preventing the gun from cycling a fresh round from the magazine into the chamber after the shot was discharged. One thing that can cause that is another man’s hand wrapped around the pistol, retarding its slide mechanism. This would indicate, as could certain gunshot residue patterns or cuts in certain places if found on Trayvon Martin’s hand(s), that a struggle for a gun was taking place when the fatal shot was fired.
Is it possible that this shooting was the product of an accidental discharge that occurred during a struggle for the gun? And how would this new amendment to the accidental discharge statute cover Zimmerman if it wasnt' added until after the shooting? I have no idea, but it seems O'Mara is keeping his options open as to what defense to use, both at trial and for future negotiating with the prosecutor, and nothing is written in stone as of yet.
One last note: Yesterday I was wondering who took the ABC photo of Zimmerman's injuries. NBC today said it was a neighbor. Also, if you lighten the ABC photo as I did here, it looks like someone is holding a cell phone to Zimmerman's ear. Since the photographer/neighbor is taking the picture with an i-Phone, it could be Zimmerman talking on his own cell phone. It looks like someone with a gray sleeve is holding it to his ear (or else he's holding it to his own ear and that's something else gray in the background. ) I didn't think the police had him in custody at the time the photo was taken (7:19:07) so it may not be a police officer holding a phone to his ear. Witness John said there were two guys with flashlights outside during his 911 call. Perhaps there are more witnesses than we know about to Zimmerman's conduct and statements immediately after the shooting.
It seems there's a lot we don't know.
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