George Zimmerman Case: Timelines and Routes
I've generally stayed away from speculative discussions of timelines and possible routes of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin the night Travyon Martin was shot, except in relation to the released discovery materials and other material released by the State or City of Sanford.
But we've covered the law and discovery this weekend, and commenters here want to discuss their theories. So here is a thread to do that.
I have put what I think the relevant times are below, as well my latest map showing the possible routes, followed by what I think are the likely possibilities. I don't think we have enough evidence to arrive at a final conclusion, so I don't make one. [More...]
First, a disclaimer: I am exceptionally geographically challenged. Every time I'm at a place where I can either go right or left, I choose the wrong way. I also have cannot visualize east or west, only right and left. (Without Jeep's directional compass in my dashboard, I'd be totally lost.)
Nonetheless, I have spent so much time studying visual of the neighborhood on maps, the official "plats" with lot numbers, and photographs of the neighborhood, and figuring out the streets and addresses of the relevant homes, especially those of potential witnesses (which I did confirm via Lexis/Nexis and public documents from the state's assessor's office), I'm willing to take a stab at it and don't mind being corrected. Here's my current map.
The times I am using [Edited from as originally posted by 10 seconds, because start time was 7:09:34 not 7:09:24 as I originally wrote. Dispatch record is here. ]:
7:09:34, GZ non-emergency call connects with dispatch. GZ and the dispatcher say goodbye and hang up 4:04 seconds later, at 7:13:38 (the last few seconds of recording are dead time after parties hang up, so I have excluded them.)
7:11:28: Time Trayvon starts running towards the back entrance according to GZ's call. It occurs 2:08 into the call, which starts at 7:09:24. Presumably, he is headed to the home of Ms. Green, his father's fiance.
7:13:38: The time GZ's call ends (4:04 seconds after it starts)
7:16:11: First 911 call comes in. Calculated from: The shot is heard in the first two 911 calls at 7:16:56. It occurs 45 seconds into first 911 call, which means that call came in at 7:16:11. Voices are heard immediately, so encounter is underway at 7:16:11
2 min. 43 sec: The time between the end of GZ's call at 7:13:38 and the first sounds of struggle at 7:16:11 is 2:43 seconds.
4 min. 39 sec: The time between when Trayvon started running towards the back entrance at 7:11:42, presumably headed to Ms. Green's home, and 7:16:11, when the first sounds of a struggle are heard in the first 911 call. 2:08 into GZ's call, which began at 7:09:34, or 7:11:42.
Where was George Zimmerman and what was he doing during the almost 3 minute period between the end of his non-emergency call and the time he and Trayvon Martin encountered each other?
Where did Trayvon Martin go and what was he doing during the almost 5 minute period between when he ran past GZ's car until they encountered each other?
The major issue if the case goes to a jury trial is whether the state can disprove that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon in self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. If GZ files a motion to dismiss claiming immunity from prosecution under Stand Your Ground, he must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that his use of lethal force was authorized under the Stand Your Ground statute.
We only have George Zimmerman's version of events from his non-emergency call, his statements to a witness at the scene that he shot in self-defense (which was overheard by another witness), statements made by father and his friend, Frank Taaffe, and police leaks which were endorsed as to substance in a Sanford press release. His version appears to be that he was parked near the cut-through that leads from Twin Trees Lane to Retreat View Circle when he called the non-emergency number to report a suspicious person.
Trayvon approached his vehicle and then took off, headed he thought, towards the back entrance, which happens to be near the home where Trayvon was staying. The operator told him he didn't need to follow Trayvon and asked for his address so police officers en route could locate him. GZ may have continued walking to Retreat View Circle to get an address, then turned back to return to his car. Or he may have turned back right away. On the way back to his car, he said Trayvon came up on his left and a verbal encounter took place, followed by GZ being punched and falling to ground, followed by Trayvon slamming his head against cement, as he was crying out for help. He then shot Trayvon.
On the map, I put his truck to the left of the cut-through, facing the direction of the entrance. That matches the Fox News photo placement of a white truck being examined by an officer taken the night of the shooting, where his friend Frank Taafe says he was parked and also matches up with a photo showing two white trucks taken by the crime scene tech the day after the shooting. Since GZ did a police re-enactment the day after the shooting, he may have parked his truck there to show where he had been parked the night before. This doesn't mean it is exactly where his truck was, or even that his truck was ever parked here. It's the general consensus of what those close to him say he told them, and it matches up with photographs and the leaked police report.
So my starting point for arriving at possible routes of both GZ and Trayvon is the place where GZ says he was parked, because that is where Trayvon would have passed him as GZ lost sight of him.
Also, the photos in discovery taken by crime scene Tech Diana Smith the day after the crime seem to follow GZ's stated route, the location of witnesses who said they heard or saw something, and the location of the body. That suggests to me she was tracking GZ's explanation since there was at that time no suggestion of what Trayvon was doing that night. According to her report, Crime Scene Tech Diana Smith arrived on scene to take pictures at 12:35 p.m. That was only four hours after police had notified Mr. Martin of Trayvon's death. At that time, no one had provided CST Smith with a version of Trayvon's route. Some of her photos:
- Route from GZ car to Retreat View Circle. Another one here.
- Route Back to GZ's car. Another view here.
- Front of 1211 and 1221 Twin Trees Lane
- Back of 1211 and 1231 Twin Trees Lane
- Corner of the T, 1211 Twin Trees Lane
- Pet waste can and top of the T
- Down the path from the T to Green Residence
Based on the above, it seems to me the key to determining what route GZ took and what he did in the 2:43 after his call ended is to figure out which way Trayvon may have gone. Here are some possibilities.
Possibility #1: Did Trayvon turn down Twin Trees Lane and cut over on the first breakthrough of houses to the sidewalk with shared backyards? If so, did he turn right to go home, or did he turn left and walk back up to the T?
If he turned left when reaching the shared backyards and went back up towards "The T” , did he confront GZ as he was walking back to his car, at or just to the west of the T? Or did GZ, as he was walking back to his car, look to his left when reaching the T, see Trayvon coming up the path to the T, and then stray from the direct route back to his car and head down the "T," encountering Trayvon?
Possibility #2: Did Trayvon pass Twin Trees Lane and take a right at the pet waste can at the "T", going down the sidewalk between the shared backyards, from which he could have reached the back of his house ? Did he reach his house and then decide to go back? Or did he turn onto the path at the T and stop at one of the first houses, waiting to see if GZ was following him? Did he remain in that spot until he saw GZ, who was walking back to his car, reach the T and then confront him?
Possibility #3: Did Trayvon pass both Twin Trees Lane and the "T", and then take a right on Retreat View Circle, headed to the front of his house? If so, did he get to his house, or did he cross back from Retreat View Circle to the shared walkway between the backyards at a break between houses, and go back up towards the T, where he encountered GZ?
A few huge missing variables in this: What time Zimmerman did GZ leave his his house and what route did he take driving to Target? He could have taken Retreat View Circle to the exit of the neighborhood, or Long Oaks to Twin Trees Lane to the exit. Where was he when he first saw Trayvon before the non-emergency call? What route did Trayvon take from the 7-11 into the neighborhood? Did he use a common shortcut cutting through houses?
As I said, I haven't reached a conclusion, and probably won't until more evidence is released. But I hope this is a good starting point by which to compare the new information.
So what do you think the evidence suggests so far as to the routes GZ and TM took and what they did in the minutes each had between when GZ saw Trayvon take off in the direction of the back entrance and the time the first sounds of their encounter were heard?
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