Zimmerman Tapes: Variations Versus Differences

We need another thread to continue the analysis of the George Zimmerman statements, interviews with police and crime-scene re-enactment.

So many were released yesterday, I doubt anyone but true case afficionados have listened to them all. I know I haven't. Yet across the internet, people are cherry-picking, pointing to minor variations as if they are contradictions affecting the totality of George Zimmerman's version of events.

If George Zimmerman told the exact same story over the course of days, people would say it was rehearsed and false. Variations are to be expected, human memory is not like a video recorder, it changes over time. So what is a reasonable test? How about this? [More...]

Forensic document examiners (handwriting experts) compare a known document to an unknown document to determine whether the same person wrote both. The known document might be a letter the person wrote in the past. The unknown document might be the ransom note.

One test for concluding if the same person authored both is whether there are a substantial number of similarities in the absence of a significant dissimilarity. Only a significant dissimilarity is considered a difference. Put another way: Are there are a sufficient number of significant characteristics and an absence of any significant inexplicable differences

A variation is not a difference. It is not a significant dissimilarity. How do these experts tell whether something is a variation or a difference? That's subjective, up to the examiner. (And why handwriting analysis is not considered science -- it's too subjective.)

Here, since we're dealing in the court of public opinion and with opinion not science, we can all be like document examiners.

There may be many variations in George Zimmerman's multiple accounts, but which, if any, amount to a significant dissimilarity that rises to a difference over a variation, and warrants someone concluding the essential elements of his version are not true?

My opinion: This is self-defense. Zimmerman was not the aggressor, he did nothing to provoke Trayvon Martin’s beating him, breaking his nose and slamming his head into concrete. He had every right to respond with deadly force to stop Trayvon’s physical attack on him and to prevent Trayvon from getting control of his weapon.

Here’s my interpretation of George’s version of events, which undoubtedly will be disputed by the state. Again, these are not undisputed truths, but my interpretation of George’s version.

George’s suspicion was aroused because he saw someone milling around between houses in the rain. He knew this person didn’t live at the house he was standing by because it had been burglarized the subject of a suspicious person report before and he knew who lived there. The guy wasn’t exercising. He did nothing to get out of the rain. He thought to himself, who stands out in the rain and stares at houses? He did what the Sanford Police had instructed members of the community to do when they see something suspicious. He called the non-emergency number for the police to report his suspicion.

He pulled over at the clubhouse to make the 911 call. Trayvon walked past him, staring at him and turned down Twin Trees Lane. He drove to Twin Trees Lane while he was still on the phone with the non-emergency dispatcher and parked at the cut-through, in front of the white truck which happens to be located at 1211 Twin Trees Lane. He saw Trayvon go down the path between the shared backyards. Then Trayvon returned and circled his car. The dispatcher tells him police are on their way.

George tries to give him directions to where his truck is parked. The dispatcher isn’t understanding him (perhaps because the dispatcher didn’t realize George had moved his car from the clubhouse to the cut-through.). Then Trayvon took off running. The dispatcher asks him which way Trayvon had gone. He gets out of his car to look. He says toward the other entrance, and confirms to the dispatcher that would be the back entrance. The dispatcher tells him they don’t need him to follow Trayvon, and he says “okay.” But he still wants to tell the dispatcher where he is so the cops can find him, and he doesn’t know the name of the street since there is no street sign. Trayvon had gone off and was out of his sight.

He keeps walking to the front of Retreat View Circle to get an address. He had a flashlight but it wasn’t working. His purpose at this point was not to follow Trayvon, who had left the immediate area. He told the dispatcher he would stop following him and he did. He continued walking to Retreat View Circle to get the address for the dispatcher to give the cops who were on their way, and then he turned around to walk back to his car.

Just west of the “T” Trayvon appeared out of the darkness and confronted him. He (GZ) was right by the bushes on the sidewalk along the side of the house at 1211 Twin Trees Lane. Trayvon was on the shared back path, near the back of 1211 Twin Trees Lane. Trayvon confronted George, asking him if he had a problem. George said he didn’t and reached for his phone to call 911. As he reached for his phone, Trayvon punched him, he stumbled. Trayvon got on top of him and started banging his head into the cement. His body was on the grass, his head on the cement. He struggled to get up. As they continued struggling, George was crying out for help. Trayvon put his hands over his mouth and nose and told him to shut the F* up. He thought he was going to lose consciousness.

A neighbor behind them (W-6, John, at 1221 Twin Trees Lane) yelled out asking what was going on and if he should call 911. George yelled for help again. He wanted W-6 to help him get away from Trayvon, rather than call 911, because he knew police were already on their way. But W-6 went inside to call 911. No one came to help George as he kept struggling to get out from under Trayvon. W-6 says they were moving as they were struggling, first in the grass, then onto the sidewalk. As George tried to move so his head would be on the grass and he could get Trayvon’s hands off his mouth and nose, his jacket lifted and his gun was exposed. Trayvon reached for his gun and told him he was going to die.

At that point, in my opinion, anyone in that situation would reasonably fear serious bodily or death. He was unable to extricate himself. He was justified in using deadly force under traditional self defense principles even without Stand Your Ground. But Stand Your Ground also applies. He was in a place he lawfully had a right to be – a public area in his community. He was attacked. He did nothing to provoke a physical assault. He reasonably feared imminent serious bodily injury or death. He had no duty to retreat, but even if he did, since he was unable to extricate himself by any lesser means, he was justified in using lethal force.

George used one arm to pin Trayvon’s hand against him, and with the other, unholstered his gun and shot Trayvon in the chest. Trayvon didn’t die right away. He was still talking, and George thought he missed. He heard Trayvon say something like “You got me.” Not realizing his shot hit Trayvon, and thinking Trayvon had something in his hands he had been using to hit him, he got out from under him and on top of him to separate his arms.

Zimmerman did not violate any law by getting out of his car. He didn’t violate the law by reporting Trayvon as suspicious or trying to keep tabs on him while waiting for police. The dispatcher asked which way he had gone and for an address. It’s perfectly reasonable he would get out of his car to locate one if none was visible from where his car was parked.

He told the dispatcher to have the police call him because he had been unable to explain to the dispatcher where he was located. His truck wasn’t at the mailboxes. It was at the cut-through by Twin Trees Lane. Why should he have to drive it back to the mailboxes? He thought he could better explain where he was to the police when they arrived. There’s no duplicity here or sinister intent.

Trayvon confronted Zimmerman. Both GZ and even phone friend DeeDee say Trayvon initiated the verbal confrontation. Witnesses 11 (the first 911 caller) and her housemate Jeremy, W-20, who live at 1211 Twin Trees Lane, first heard the sounds on the north side of their house, which is to the west of the T. They think it moved around the corner to the back of their house, along the shared path, where they first heard the yells for help. W-11 says in interviews with police the men were moving as they were struggling on the ground. W-6 says he saw them move as they struggled from the grass to the concrete behind his house. Trayvon’s body is situated behind his house. In the re-enactment, George points to 1221 Twin Trees Lane as the house where the neighbor whom he asked for help (rather than call 911) lived.

W-13, who lives at 2861 Retreat View Circle, also at the top of the T, came out right after the shot. George’s face and the back of his head was bloody. He took the iPhone photo of the back of George’s head. When police arrived and handcuffed George, George asked W-13 to call his wife and tell her what happened. He told W-13 he had no choice, he had to shoot Trayvon. W-6 heard George say he acted in self-defense.

Why George followed Trayvon or thought he was suspicious is irrelevant to whether this was self-defense in my opinion. Even if he did follow him, which he denies, instead saying he was looking to see which direction he had gone and for a street address, that is not provocation for a punch in the nose.

While Trayvon didn’t break any law by not going back to where he was staying though he clearly had time to do so, or by remaining at or returning to the area of the “T”, he did commit an act of unlawful force against Zimmerman, by attacking him without adequate provocation.

We’ve seen no evidence or witness statement to suggest that GZ intended to capture or detain him for police. There is no witness who saw the initiation of the physical encounter or evidence that GZ initiated either the verbal or physical encounter. There is no evidence we’ve seen that that would justify Trayvon’s physical attack on Zimmerman.

Zimmerman’s injuries are consistent with his version of the attack. Zimmerman says he cried out for help. The witnesses’ statements the night of the event support Zimmerman’s version of events, even as to the struggle beginning at the T and then moving down towards W-6's house.

If the state has no evidence George initiated the verbal confrontation, then the affidavit for probable cause for second degree murder contained a lie. The affiants swore Zimmerman confronted Trayvon and a struggle ensued. But not a single witness statement says Zimmerman verbally confronted Trayvon. Zimmerman, and even Dee Dee, say Trayvon confronted Zimmerman first, asking why Zimmerman was following him or if he had a problem. If the state had no evidence Zimmerman confronted Trayvon before the struggle ensued, that should be dealt with by the Court.

There is no animus or hatred or ill-will in this case. There was a guy hanging out in the rain for no apparent reason, looking at houses, including one that had recently been the subject of a suspicious person report, in a neighborhood in which there had been several recent break-ins. Zimmerman considered and discounted other possibilities – such as that the guy was not wearing workout clothes or exercising. He knew the guy didn't live at the house where he was standing. He could not figure why he wouldn’t try to get out of the rain. He did what Sanford Police told citizens to do: He called the non-emergency number to report him.

I see variations, but I see no significant dissimilarities. I see nothing that amounts to a contradiction or a difference. I see a valid claim of self-defense.

What do you see? And remember to state your opinions as such, and not misrepresent disputed facts as undisputed truths.

Comments are now closed.

< Friday Morning Open Thread | Jerry Sandusky Convicted on 45 of 48 Counts, Bail Revoked >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I agree with your analysis but for one (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Kyreth on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 01:39:28 PM EST
    detail.  When George described Travyon going down the path then turning around to circle the car, I think what's more likely is that he circled the car on the way before going down the path.  It fits the NEN call better, and is something I would attribute to George trying to remember a multitude of details in the right order.

    YES! (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:44:17 PM EST
    I agree this was likely misspoken by GZ. This is a characteristic of one having too many thoughts in his head with disorganized thinking.

    Differences I see (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by amateur on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 01:54:12 PM EST
    In trying to sort out what happened, I found it most valuable to compare the video re-enactment with the 2/29 Serino interview in which they take him through his NEN call.  In doing so it seems evident that:

        TM didn't circle his car.  In the re-enactment he says TM rounded the T and then came back out to circle his car before returning to the area between the houses.  He says he told the dispatcher as this happened.  In the interview, however, he says that he was parked at the club house when TM "[is] coming to check me out".  Said checking out is determined to mean walking past his truck (as he would on his natural path anyway) and looking at him from about a car length away.  There doesn't seem to be time in the NEN call recording for TM to have come back out from the houses to circle his truck again, and there's only one part of the call that would fit for anything like that and it's accounted for by the club house.

        He wasn't punched where he said he was.  In the re-enactment he says he has passed the T and is somewhat west of it when TM closes the distance and he is punched where he stood.  In other accounts he has said that the blow knocked him to the ground.  But in the re-enactment he describes some shoving and stumbling that takes them down TM's path before they hit the ground about three pavements down past the tree.  So either he is punched to the ground where they went down (3 pavements down) and not at the top of the T, or he was punched at the top of the T but did not go down and something else sent them both to the ground where he says they went down.

        His clearest, most accurate, and most consistent memory appears to be of being told "we don't need you to do that" when asked if hew was following TM. It seems important to him to show that he was not following him.  This may be why he initially claimed that he only got out of his truck to find a street sign -- which could have most quickly been found by driving his truck down the street he was on until he saw one, and is contradicted by his NEN call.

    None of these things mean it wasn't self defense.  Human memory is flawed and it was a stressful situation and I wouldn't expect him to be much more accurate than any of the other witnesses. But if he is telling a self-serving version of events which paints TM as more menacing than he was and himself as more fearful and less aggressive than he was, and if his memory is poor (as he says)... I have a hard time taking his version of the attack/fight/struggle at face value.

    location of punch (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Philly on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:04:14 PM EST
    So either he is punched to the ground where they went down (3 pavements down) and not at the top of the T, or he was punched at the top of the T but did not go down and something else sent them both to the ground where he says they went down.

    Getting hit in the nose is painful and disorienting.  In GZ's walkthrough, he seems honestly confused about exactly how he ended up so far from the T, and even then underestimates the distance traveled.  The most likely scenario to me would be:

    1. GZ is struck in the nose by the T (consistent across all his accounts and with the location of dropped items.

    2. GZ stumbles forward and there was some "pushing" (noted in reenactment).  It's unclear exactly what happened here, but I don't think it matters to his self defense claim.  TM may have been attempting to tackle GZ or trip him to the ground.  GZ may have been attempting to instinctively clinch with TM.

    3. GZ ends up falling onto his back, with TZ quickly straddling him.

    4. As has been pointed out, even after both were on the ground, the fight was not stationary.

    GZ could easily have been unaware of how far he traveled.  Events from punch to fall would naturally blur together into one event in his memory, especially if he was off balance throughout.  Professional fighters often need to review tape to see exactly what happened.  And fighters on the ground rarely realize how far they've moved until they've bumped up against an enclosure.

    it's not my theory (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 02:04:36 PM EST
    it's what George said. He thought he shot and missed because Trayvon kept talking. I think shooting once is an indication he wasn't trying to kill him,he was trying to stop the assault against him and prevent himself from being killed which he feared if Trayvon had been able to grab his gun.

    Did George report Trayvon saying (none / 0) (#6)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 02:20:12 PM EST
    anything other than, "You got me?"  Because, nit-picky as it sounds, three words after being shot doesn't really fit with "kept talking," especially considering the damage done by the bullet.

    I just don't recall George claiming that Trayvon said anything but those three words after he was shot.

    And, not to change the subject, but do you as a defense attorney ever reverse these kinds of reenactments and look at them from the other party's point of view?  I realize we have no version from Trayvon, but it occurred to me as I was watching the reenactment video, listening to one of the interviews and reading your post, that examining the events of that night from Trayvon's perspective could be enlightening.  I mean, isn't that what the state is likely to do in presenting its case?

    And I have to say that I found the reenactment lacking; am I the only one who expected to see police tape around the scene of the shooting less than 24 hours after it took place?

    Also, I would like to have seen a reconstruction done both on the basis of the initial call, and on the one George provided the next day.  It would be interesting to see if, with someone playing the role of Trayvon, it all hangs together the way George described it.  And I'd like to see one done at the same time of day as the shooting - there's a lot that looks different in the daylight.

    Just curious what you think.


    You didn't ask me, but (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 02:26:40 PM EST
    My thought is, ff the police decided (or whomever decided) that GZ could apply SYG, then the area would no longer be a crime scene and there would be no yellow tape.

    "Crime scene" is a term of art (none / 0) (#13)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 02:49:12 PM EST
    The police are going to perform the best evidence gathering within their experience and expertise, even if they believe it is a clear cut case of self defense.  Processing the scene is a routine, and following protocol protects the police as well as the innocent.

    Zimmerman reports more talk (none / 0) (#9)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 02:39:57 PM EST
    In all of the statements, Zimmerman provides the initial verbal response of Martin, "You got me or something like that," and describes that the fight seemed over at that point.  In at lest one, and I think two or three of the statements, he went on to say that as he was sitting atop Martin's back, holding Martin's hands, Martin continued to talk, but Zimmerman provided no more definition to that talk than "Oww, Oww" and "cursing."

    I have a hard time believing that, (none / 0) (#14)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 02:55:16 PM EST
    with bullet damage to his heart and lung, and his pleural cavity filling up with blood, he was able to continue talking, much less moaning - especially if George were sitting on Trayvon's back, further compressing his lungs and inhibiting his ability to breathe.

    My answer was responsive to your question (none / 0) (#24)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:15:09 PM EST
    You said you didn't know if Zimmerman reported Martin saying anything more than "you got me" or whatever.  I answered that from my recollection of the audio and video recordings, that indeed Zimmerman reported words beyond that point in time, even while Martin was face down on the ground.

    I'm not a medical expert by any stretch, so I don't know the timespan between a heart/lung shot and inability to make a sound.  I'll defer to your expertise on that.


    yes he did in an (none / 0) (#111)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:33:32 PM EST
    interview with police. He couldn't identify other words but said he kept talking. I think it was with Serino. You'll have to listen to all of them.

    I deleted pngai's comment (none / 0) (#113)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:35:58 PM EST
    that misstated what I wrote and called it my theory as opposed to what Zimmerman said.

    deleted (none / 0) (#122)
    by pngai on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:50:05 PM EST
    thanks and sorry for the mistake.

    @Lina Inverse (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by Dilbert By Day on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:04:46 PM EST
    in response to (#255) in the "George Zimmerman Statements and Reenactment" thread.

    On the issue of carrying at the "5 o'clock," roger that, Lina Inverse. I used to carry waistband center of back. To a young man, aesthetics meant everything.

    While under the influence of adrenaline, and considering the furious pace at which street altercations occur, combatants often sustain serious injuries that go unnoticed until after the set-to has ended. You raise a legitimate point, but under the circumstances, I think it's unlikely that GZ had either the time, or the state of mind to become cognizant of the minor discomfort associated with his weapon. He had larger fish to fry.

    Zimmerman did know where his gun was located however, and when opportunity allowed (rolled/elevated right hip), he accessed it. Given Martin's position relative to GZ, and Zimmerman's holster, the question is whether his hip remained elevated long enough for Martin to put eyes on the weapon, utter the rather incongruous statement "You're going to die tonight," and for GZ to respond by out drawing him. All possibilities, but questionable none the less.

    If I could convince the judge or a jury that the victim was reaching for my weapon with the stated intent to use it on me, this would certainly bolster my self defense claim.

    * For the record, I'm a gun toting liberal, ex-jar head 65 - 67 , and a resident of Northern New Mexico. I do not support the NRA, and given my current array of left-leaning bumper stickers, I avoid driving north through Colorado Springs at all costs ;>)

    Re-posting here. My apologies for posting this response in the wrong location - (Wednesday Night Open Thread).

    Zimmerman said he forgot he had a gat (none / 0) (#32)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:44:11 PM EST
    The KelTec is pretty small, and IIRC, he was carrying on his hip, so more like 4 o'clock than 5 o'clock, is how I picture it.

    Anyway, in one of the interrogations, he says he forgot he was armed until some time after the weapon was revealed by scooting, and he thinks Martin sees it.  I assume he draws this conclusion in part by observing Martin's eyes, but if not, Zimmerman consistently describes feeling Martin's hand going down across Zimmerman's chest toward the holstered weapon.

    At any rate, if you believe him, it supports your point that the weapon wasn't a point of discomfort.  And as far as knowing where it was, he certainly did, in the moment when, in his version of events, it mattered.


    he says he forgot the weapon (none / 0) (#112)
    by lore hahn on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:34:48 PM EST
    once upon a time ...

    Just like Trayvon turned into a homicidal maniac once he encountered manic-depressive George Zimmerman: Tonight you gonna die, homie.

    Who is feeding the rage? ;)

    Honestly I would like to see a forensic psychologist looking into the encounter. No doubt Zimmerman controls of the narrative. But that seems something he likes.


    Homie? (3.50 / 2) (#271)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 05:52:24 PM EST
    I may be wrong but I do not believe I heard Zimmerman doing any sort of bad imitation of "ghetto" lingo.  Unless I am wrong, it would be you feeding the rage at this point. This constant painting of GZ as a racist is uncalled for and has been going on to long. Had TM been Irish, GZ would have been the person of color in this story and this would be a whole different dynamic.  People attacking him for being a guilty racist "white hyspanic", would now be defending him for having to defend himself against the racist Irish guy who over reacted to being followed by a person with brown skin.

    I can see.. (none / 0) (#150)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:32:01 PM EST
    ...the possibilities for a forensic psychologist's expert opinions if GZ's credibility is an issue. This is probably for a different reason than you're suggesting.

    heidelja, how do you know? (none / 0) (#214)
    by lore hahn on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 08:52:33 AM EST
    How do you know my reasons, heidelja? Clairvoyant or more relying on stereotypical little boxes?

    I seriously would like to know.


    My comment (#150) above... (none / 0) (#238)
    by heidelja on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 11:26:46 AM EST
    ...was responding to lousy1 (#144).  Although mine now might appear to have encapsulated yours.  Yours coming after, mine did not originally.

    Spring forward (none / 0) (#190)
    by Dilbert By Day on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 05:17:00 AM EST
    The KelTec is pretty small, and IIRC, he was carrying on his hip, so more like 4 o'clock than 5 o'clock, is how I picture it.

    More like 5 o'clock in the Northern Hemisphere, if you adjust for Daylight Savings Time. Actually, Zimmerman fixes the firearm location, more or less, at 12:28 in the reenactment video. I'd be willing to compromise on 4:30 ?


    What is the prosecution's alternative? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:09:14 PM EST
    Assuming arguendo that Zimmerman's accounts contain enough inconsistencies to paint him as an out-and-out liar - and this is essentially Corey's position - what alternative scenario is supported by the independent evidence?

    I'm sure, even if Zimmerman is presented as an out-an-out liar, some parts of his account will be accepted as true.  For example, he was in his truck, and he did get out of his truck.  He did see Martin, and Martin saw him.

    It's one thing to point out that Zimmerman is shading the account to avoid what he thinks of as a damning admission (he doesn't want to admit he got out of the truck for the purpose of following or keeping visual contact with Martin), and another thing to describe the ramifications of that, beyond "he's not telling the truth."

    OK, he's not telling the truth on that point, "So what?"  Picking another point that is difficult to reconcile, so what if Martin did or didn't circle the truck?  Serino says the extent of offensive and defensive injuries on Zimmerman isn't commensurate with taking a heavy beating, so what?  They are a pair of weaklings, but one weakling is stronger than the other weakling.

    Anyway, it's not intellectually stimulating to argue against "he's a liar," without more.  I'm looking for some rationale beyond that.  Where the state sees an apparent inconsistency, it would be helpful to describe an associated scenario, state of mind, or something that defines the way they believe the events should be viewed; and then we can discuss whether and how that difference matters in the legal framework of murder / self-defense.

    CBoldt (none / 0) (#42)
    by IgnatiusJDonnely on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 04:00:29 PM EST
    Will you defend me?

    If needed :)


    The "So What"? (none / 0) (#82)
    by AF on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:57:31 PM EST
    Is that if Zimmerman pursued Martin and provoked the confrontation, he was not entitled to use deadly force unless he had "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."  

    I believe that point is necessarily in play (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 06:20:33 PM EST
    What you say is correct.  The law qualifies a person's right to self defense, if the person provokes the use of force.

    So, for the sake of argument, say that Zimmerman confronted Martin.  By confrontation, I mean that it was Zimmerman's initiative to get close enough to Martin to speak to him.  The state has a problem, because it has no evidence to support that finding.

    In order to trigger the limited right to self defense that is accorded to one who "provokes," we must also find that Zimmerman provoked Martin to the use of force.  Serino alludes to this when he says that Zimmerman reaching into his pocket for a cell phone might reasonably be taken as a threat of force - Martin doesn't know if Zimmerman is reaching for a weapon.

    At that instant, what is the extent of Martin's right to use force?  How much force may he use, and for how long?

    The function of the section of law you cite is twofold, the way i see it.  It aims to discourage escalation of force; and it aims to prevent unlawful killing.  If you punch somebody in anger, they do not obtain the right to shoot you.  Same if you are in a fairly even match fistfight or wrestling match - that's not a duel to the death.

    But, if the guy who didn't start the altercation decides to escalate the use of force, say he pulls a knife or gun.  Now remember, you punched the guy, now he pulled a gun - have you lost your right to defend yourself?  You provoked the attack.

    If Zimmerman is pinned, reasonable means to escape are not available.  So, he can't be held responsible for failing to escape, and from his description, he's trying to.  Put yourself in that situation.  You shoved or punched some guy, then he got the better of you, and you are immobilized.  If he picks up a rock to smash your head, have you lost the ability to justify the use of deadly force in self defense?

    Even if the state proves that Zimmerman confronted Martin and shoved or restrained or otherwise used unlawful force (and it only has DeeDee for this proposition), the state has not completed its demolition of Zimmerman's self defense claim.  The state must still justify Martin's holding of Zimmerman for an extended period; any punches that Martin may have thrown; etc.

    I think proof of aggressor (or not) necessarily comes into play, in order to complete a 776.032 defense.  Zimmerman has to assert that he was not the aggressor; or admit he was, and meets the conditional right to deadly force under the circumstances.

    State v. Dooley Denial of 776.032 Immunity (May 11, 2012)

    Puts burden on defendant to prove he was not aggressor (p11, p16), and burden on defendant to prove he was not engaged in illegal activity (p14-16).  It is unclear if this burden stands
    isolated, so defendant must fully prove a negative, or if the burdens of production and persuasion appear only if there is evidence that defendant was an aggressor; and/or if there is evidence that defendant was acting unlawfully.


    If we believe every word Zimmerman says (5.00 / 0) (#94)
    by AF on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 06:36:49 PM EST
    You are correct.  But as you noted in your original post, it is difficult to believe every word Zimmerman says as there are a number of inconsistencies and implausibilities.  

    And that is why the question of provocation is so important.  Without provocation, Zimmerman was entitled to use deadly force if he reasonably feared imminent death or great bodily harm.  While I haven't studied the evidence as well as others, it is not entirely implausible that Zimmerman feared great bodily harm in light of the fact that he did suffer injuries.

    However, if Zimmerman provoked the confrontation, he must have had such a fear AND had no other reasonable means of escaping the danger (eg, running away).  In light of (1) the size difference between the two men, (2) the relatively minor nature of Zimmerman's injuries, and (3)the fact that Zimmerman was able to successfully reach his gun and fire an accurate shot, the notion that Zimmerman could not have extricated himself from the fight and escaped strikes me as extremely far-fetched.


    Go through that with more explanation (none / 0) (#98)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:00:31 PM EST
    I assume, for talking purposes in this exchange, that the state has established Zimmerman as confronting Martin, and giving Martin justification to use force against Zimmerman.  You didn't answer my question about how much force, but that'll come up again as we move along the timeline.

    It is not perfectly clear to me whether you (hypothetically) find Zimmerman to be held, screaming, by Martin for over 30 seconds, and Martin delivering blows that produced a broken nose and cuts on the back of Zimmerman's head - or if you find all those injuries are the result of one punch to get Zimmerman to back off.  I'll assume you accept, at least for the sake of argument, that Martin was holding Zimmerman for over 30 seconds.

    That act of a 30 second hold with Zimmerman screaming has to be justified by the state.  I don't think it can, and I think that escalation of force sets the stage.  But now we get to my real points of confusion with your post.

    You say that you find it far fetched that Zimmerman could not extricate himself.  That implies you think he volunteered for the 30+ second beating.  How do you square that with human nature and cries for help?

    How does "relatively minor injuries" (an arguable point itself) augur for Zimmerman being able to extricate himself?  If I'm a big brute, and you are petite, and I cam easily able to overwhelm you, the fact that I hold you without injuring you means you are able to escape?  It doesn't follow.  I said in another post, maybe both of them are weaklings, but Martin appears to be the stronger one.

    You assert that Martin being able to reach his gun and fire an accurate shot implies he could extricate himself.  I don't get that one, either.  In his story, he has one arm free because Martin decides to use one of his arms to disarm Zimmerman.  How does having one arm free provide a means to extricate before being disarmed?  And an accurate shot, then are inches apart, it would be difficult to miss.

    It may be that I just misunderstand your theory, but on a quick read, it doesn't make sense to me.


    The extent of Martin's force (none / 0) (#107)
    by AF on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:23:12 PM EST
    Does not need to be justified, if Zimmerman provoked the orginal confrontation.  Under 776.041, if Zimmerman "initially provoke[d] the use of force against himself," he had a duty to retreat. Period.  Even if Martin responded to Zimmerman's provocation with excessive force.

    So my theory is simply that (1) Zimmerman  confronted Martin, provoking a fight, and thus triggering the legal duty to retreat, and (2) Zimmerman could have, had he chosen to do so, fled from the flight.  If he was held down for 30 seconds, he could have fled after the 30 were up.


    Step two, apply the evidence to the proposition (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:42:04 PM EST
    The extent of force always has to be justified.  ALWAYS.  Even against a person who initiates or threatens use of force.  Escalating force, without legal justification, is criminal.

    If I understand your simple theory, it is that Zimmerman could have fled the pummeling, but chose not to.  In my opinion, that flies in the face of human nature, and flies in the face of screaming for help.  But hey, if that's your theory, well, that's your theory.

    What's your evidence for the proposition that Zimmerman could have fled, but chose to stay and scream for help instead?


    Here's the problem for TM... (none / 0) (#140)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:02:16 PM EST
    ...RE: FS 776.041. Did TM "exhaust every reasonable means to escape"? Actually, by all appearances TM had disappeared (escaped) and then returned. By returning TM lost his exemption to the law.

    I suppose this only relevant who you mean the "aggressor" to be.


    776.041 (2) (b) (none / 0) (#148)
    by IrishGerard on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:15:48 PM EST
    Presumes that 'provocation' includes 'physical contact'.

    There is no evidence that zimmerman initiated 'physical contact'

    Zimmerman could have, had he chosen to do so, fled from the flight.  If he was held down for 30 seconds, he could have fled after the 30 were up

    Really? what color is the sky in your world?


    Provokes what kind of confrontation? (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Lina Inverse on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 06:21:38 PM EST
    Words, even angry words, do not necessarily rise to the level of permitting physical violence.  Threats might, but we have no evidence of any.  And the prosecution's affidavit goes strangely passive at this point, "Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued."

    In a self-defense claim it matters very much how that struggle started.  In Florida law is also matters very much who escalated it to deadly force.  Corey may not be acknowledging that Zimmerman is making a claim of self-defense, but if it goes to a pre-trial hearing on that or to trial she's going to have to answer it.


    no malfunction.

    I stand corrected (none / 0) (#48)
    by IgnatiusJDonnely on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 04:17:29 PM EST
    Poor choice of terms as well.

    Always back to coulda/shoulda (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:24:29 PM EST
    Serino assigns blame to Zimmerman because Zimmerman could have acted differently - not that anything Zimmerman did was in itself illegal, just that with better judgment, the ultimate outcome would have been prevented.

    I don't disagree that a conduct standard short of legal/illegal line is a useful tool.  We all use conduct standards to decide who we will interact with, who we will avoid (even people we know, well).  So, a fair critic, one who is going to be even handed, would assign the same general expectations to everybody.  It's a rule for everybody, not a rule only for some, and not for others.

    To your point, Martin could have avoided the outcome by not taking the time to confront a stranger (assuming you believe Zimmerman and DeeDee, that Martin was the first to speak); and maybe by the simple expedient of not staring at Zimmerman and just walking home.

    As a matter of crossing a legal line, Martin could have avoided the outcome if he had limited the time duration of his beat down, e.g., when the neighbor came out but didn't assist Zimmerman, if Martin gets up and runs away.  Although I want to harp on the point that the prosecution's theory does not admit Martin having a superior position - it is Martin who is screaming for help.  I'm not seeing the Zimmerman critics mounting an effective support for Corey's position.

    the comments you are replying to were (none / 0) (#120)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:48:04 PM EST
    deleted. They were not about the released evidence, but a judgment of moral fault. Off-topic.

    This thread is about the GZ statements and interviews and his self-defense claim.


    Sounds like Martin's (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by DizzyMissL on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:54:18 PM EST
    situational awareness was a bit off as well.

    The words of art we use (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by Lina Inverse on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 04:07:40 PM EST
    in the self-defense community is that "he made a mistake in the victim selection process."

    Lowe case compared with Zimmerman case (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 04:26:28 PM EST
    -- Or, as one might think of it, the overkill response of bringing a gun/knife to a fist/lead pipe fight. --

    For the benefit of other readers, as I'm sure you are very familiar with the case yourself, and don't need to have this pointed out to you, but it wasn't the mere presence of the weapon that sunk Lowe.

    The prosecutor presented evidence that could be used to establish that the knife was used before Manning pinned Lowe to the ground; and there was evidence that Lowe continued to stab and at least taunt Manning after the fight had ceased.

    Not to say that the prosecutor didn't argue Lowe's actions were an overkill response, just saying it wasn't the presence of the knife, per se.

    In the Zimmerman case, if you believe that Martin moved in a way that could be interpreted as an attempt to disarm Zimmerman, then one shot, followed by an effort to restrain Martin's hands, is nowhere near the overkill of additional shots and a "Die" taunt, if the Zimmerman case was analogous to the Lowe case.

    Not based on a little time with Google (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Lina Inverse on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 04:36:31 PM EST
    If there was ever a perfect case for self-defense, it was Jonathan Lowe.

    A little time with Google came up with this:

    [Assistant D.A. Carolyn Naylor] noted that two stab wounds were in Manning's back. She also said Lowe showed intent to kill with malice because after Manning fell mortally wounded, Lowe taunted him and even tried to stab him some more.

    As citizens, including police, we're allowed to use lethal force to stop, not to kill (only the judiciary is allowed to do the latter).  According to the above Lowe went beyond that after the threat was stopped.  In his case, understandably and likely why he wasn't convicted of murder, but he did cross a line we're just not allowed to cross.  As Zimmerman didn't, he deescalated to non-lethal physical force after Martin stopped his aggression.

    Back to your points on Zimmerman's defense: I'll note that the statutory law of Florida allows a self-defense claim even if you initiated the physical violence, if the other party escalated it to "deadly force" (BTW, I don't think this is common in the US, it's certainly the first I've heard of such a provision but I've only studied a few states in detail).

    You are right that O'Mara has his work cut out for him, armed vs. unarmed self-defense cases are notoriously hard.  But I haven't come across a "better" one than this (not counting the elderly and otherwise not physically strong), if you believe Zimmerman's account.  Even prior to his deducing Martin was going for his gun he would have passed the "reasonable man" test of legitimately fearing for his life (at any moment Martin might have rendered him unconscious), retreat was impossible, etc. etc.

    So sorry (none / 0) (#71)
    by Mata on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:13:12 PM EST
    for the double post when I should have addressed this above INRE Lowe and any defense that was not stopped timely.  

    I read the the prosecution argued he continued his attack, but I also read the defense pointed out that Lowe was unaware that he struck a jugular, and  he wasn't aware that Manning was no longer a threat.  What I also read was that a witness said that the continued assault was primarily angry words.  

    No clue to what actually happened, just pointing out that their seems to be clear cut.... save that Lowe was, indeed, under an assault and had right to self-defense, albeit not an imperfect one.


    Mata - that is not the standard for depraved mind (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 04:37:13 PM EST
    The legal standard for depraved mind appears most succinctly in the jury instruction for second degree murder.

    Depraved mind requires evidence that the killer's actions are done from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent, and the act itself indicates an indifference to human life.

    It is risible to argue that setting out on foot, while armed, not taking into consideration the bodily harm or repercussions of what would happen if the actors meet, represents anger or ill will, etc.  Further, there is no evidence to support the contention that Zimmerman was not considering that his weapon was deadly; nor is there any evidence that the outcome is a foregone conclusion as you intimate by saying the final act "would happen."  I am aware of no evidence that Zimmerman knew, when he got out of his truck, that he was going to shoot Martin.

    Because Z's actions perhaps changed (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 04:49:52 PM EST
    the situation regarding TM. TM could have been just an innocent kid until he felt threatened by someone following him . . .

    Ever walk alone at night and suddenly discover someone following you?

    none (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by crystalbraun on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:37:34 AM EST
    Yes I have and I ran like never before until reached a safe area.

    I have. (none / 0) (#241)
    by redwolf on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 11:32:52 AM EST
    I kept walking and sprinted the last 20 steps to my door.  In other cases I've stopped asked why they were following and told them to f-off.  That's usually enough.

    Mata - you are misstating the law (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:09:52 PM EST
    From the Arnold Law website you cited language that pertains to the element of "actions could have been reasonably foreseen as endangering a human life."  That inquiry goes to the first part of the second degree murder instruction; a part I did not cite previously, but is in bold, below:

    1. A person of ordinary judgment would know is reasonably certain to kill or do serious bodily injury to another, and

    1. is done from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent, and

    2. is of such a nature that the act itself indicates an indifference to human life.

    Jeralyn has covered this ground before.  I assume the state has a theory that correlates the evidence with the second degree murder jury instruction.

    My point was that the evidence you suggest makes that correlation, doesn't make that correlation.  In order to obtain a murder conviction, the state needs to have more than Zimmerman getting out of his truck knowing he is armed and knowing he has the power to kill.

    In some cases, there is an eyewitness, or there is a history between the actors that can be used to establish ill will or anger.  "I'm going to kill you, you SOB," for example, is evidence of anger and/or ill will.  If there is an eyewitness who couples hearing Zimmerman say that while he is getting out of his truck, then the correlation is made.

    "Fscking punks, they always get away" might be argued as a demonstration of ill will, but I don't think that, without more, will suffice to make the connection.

    I would not (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Lina Inverse on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 06:00:54 PM EST
    If for no other reason that that if that was a "reasonable man" standard for being in fear of your life the nationwide sweep of shall issue regimes very possibly would have resulted in bloody streets, "Dodge City" etc. etc.

    You've got to more than suspect someone bears lethal intent towards you, and it's hard to see how Martin's fear would rise to that level.  And if you're unarmed, someone merely following you ought to prompt you towards withdrawal sorts of actions, not confrontation.

    If Martin really had a fear for his life and we believe Zimmerman's account, the former is in the running for a Darwin Award.

    You state you don't believe his account on grounds I haven't studied enough to judge, but on those same grounds, who was where when, could Martin have retreated to the house he was visiting, avoiding a confrontation with Zimmerman even if the latter had attempted one?  I've read that retreating to that house would have been easy and fast, but again, this is not something I've studied.  And I've noted before in other forums we can't assume Martin knew exactly where he was and where his destination was.

    Your explanation INRE Martin's fear (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by Mata on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:18:49 PM EST
    requires the acceptance that Zimmerman did not approach Martin first, further south on that path, or attempt to restrain him prior to any blows.  Thus far, we have no evidence to know what actually happened in the argument, escalating to a fight, except to place full faith in the credibility of Zimmerman and his story.  

    Needless to say, Zimmerman's credibility has taken more than a few hits of late.  The reenactment video, which has GZ suggesting that TM  circled his vehicle is proven an impossibility by the time line from the dispatchers call.  There's one  huge dent.

    There is also a credibility problem with Zimmerman's insistence that he did not return to his vehicle in order to find  house number for directions to LEO. What it appears is that he was using this, plus his insistence that he was "unfamiliar" with that road (via his CVSA interview),  as an excuse to continue his search for Martin. It's a big stretch to swallow that a diligent neighborhood watch individual does not know the names of the three streets in neighborhood he patrolled regularly.   Or that he won't find an address where his car is parked on a street where his car isn't parked.

    Then you can add why the place he says Martin first attacked him on that east-west tee doesn't add up when compared to the vague fight description and site of death.  Or that he says he pinned a dead teen to the ground with his arms outstretched when Martin was found with his arms folded beneath him.  

    Nor is there any DNA from gun forensics that even hints TM came anywhere near the firearm. In fact, GZ volunteering that TM became aware of his gun would most definitely indicate that TM justifiably felt in fear for his life then, if not before.  The only question, which again requires GZ credibility, is  when exactly did he became aware of that gun.... before or after the head banging?  Again, only Zimmerman's word... which has been proving pretty iffy of late.

    Meanwhile, Martin, who also had no duty to retreat, had little chance to avoid Zimmerman who exited his car to follow six seconds after he stated TM started running.  While we cannot place Martin's exact location when Zimmerman moved the 165' approx from his vehicle to the tee in 24 seconds (dispatcher call cloth movement from 2'18" to 2'42"),  the distances TM would have to run on the south path alone was over a football field length... not including the distance in between that tee and from the point within Zimmerman's view where he started running. Serino's interview with Zimmerman also points out the physical improbability, if not impossibility, of that.

    And why, based on the aforementioned events, would TM assume that the man who has been following him thru the neighborhood would not continue to chase him all the way  home, where there was another minor and no adults present?  

    One would really have to ask, how many times does someone need to retreat for it to be evident  they wanted to avoid a confrontation?  And how much time must elapse for another individual to continue a focused search before one believes that finding the individual was the original intent?

    The reason I bring up  Martin's perspective is I believe the State will try to use a threatened teen as part of the elements of Zimmerman's criminal acts and depraved mind. If they intend to prove that GZ remained intent on seeking and confronting the person he was pursuing, while armed, it is reckless behavior to disregard what may happen when he met up with that person who obviously felt threatened by his actions and may feel the need to defend himself.

    Ultimately, 'tis really a pity that the armed adult never attempted to defuse the situation when he had a couple of chances - like when Martin passed him at the clubhouse? or at their meeting? -  by identifying himself as the neighborhood watch, followed by a few polite questions.  With CCW and gun ownership comes responsibility.  I believe the armed adult had the responsibility to be the cool head in the situation.  Mr. Zimmerman is not what most of us gun owners would call the profile of a responsible gun owner.  And there's more than a few of us who do not want him held up as such.

    How all this pans out will depend upon the State's attempts to prove GZ was responsible for the conditions that led to the death to a jury.  I've got no bets or predictions, except to say I don't see this as a slam dunk in any way.  I see what State will be attempting, and O'Mara and GZ have an uphill battle in all aspects.


    Mata, I don't follow you (5.00 / 2) (#209)
    by RickyJim on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 08:07:49 AM EST
    Meanwhile, Martin, who also had no duty to retreat, had little chance to avoid Zimmerman who exited his car to follow six seconds after he stated TM started running.

    The common wisdom all along has been that Martin disappeared from Zimmerman's view while Zimmerman was getting out of his vehicle and thus had plenty of time to make it to Brandy Green's if he had wanted to.  There would be no chance that Zimmerman could see him, on a moonless rainy night, down the dogwalk between the houses.  Please make your case in a clearer fashion.  Thanks.


    This is all cute but (3.33 / 6) (#170)
    by Slayersrezo on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 12:45:11 AM EST
    You don't really have much chance to introduce yourself when you are asked a hostile question and then sucker punched.

    But keep spinning away.


    Problem is we have only GZs word that is how (none / 0) (#196)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 06:26:49 AM EST
    it happened. In your experience of human behavior,  does that scenario make sense to you?

    It does not to me, nor do other aspects of his story, such as the search for a house number when some are plain in the video of the reenactment.

    Still, from what I have seen of the evidence I don't see enough to convict him of the crime of which he was accused.


    What I find a little more crediible (none / 0) (#200)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 06:55:35 AM EST
    is DeeDees version, in which GZ answers the 'you got a problem with me' question with something like 'what are you doing around here', not 'no'', as GZ said he answered.

    I know she is a problem witness, etc, but just on the face of it that is a more believable scenario. It even assumes GZ is honest and is not going to say 'no' when he obviously DID have a problem he just spent 4 minutes reporting to the police.


    A+ (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by JamTowzy on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 06:11:02 PM EST
    Good post Jeralyn. So far, the inconsistencies amount only to quibbling about the perfection of memory. They are a far cry from establishing the criminal acts or a depraved mind necessary to establish second degree murder. Or any kind of charge, for that matter.

    Exactly what did GZ do before becoming in a confrontation with TM? Talk on the phone to the authorities while expecting a cop to arrive any second. And attempt to please the dispatcher with the best information possible. It shows neither recklessness nor animus nor one iota of criminality. The last thing that he had in mind was to commit a crime or act reckless, when at any moment the cop could be catching him in the act.

    Hammering out the options with dispatcher for where to meet the cop now constitutes disobedience? Cmon. The recorded conversation captures a person wanting the cop to come to where he was, if possible. How is staying in a rather open area while expecting a cop to take over the scene normally considered reckless by any reasonable person?

    It should be pointed out that the dispatch allowed the phone call to end before the cop arrived. What does that demonstrate about the dispatcher's interpretation of the potential for imminent danger? Probably about the same as George's, my guess. Probably the same as most people's in a similar situation.

    I agree with both of you. (5.00 / 3) (#103)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:14:33 PM EST
    Additional the concept that GZ is in someway  culpable because he was an a participant caught in a chain of circumstance is intellectually lazy.

    Bad outcomes don't always indicate bad decisions. Occasionally drivers die because they wore a seat belt. That doesn't invalidate the correctness of  a decision to buckle up.

    Had George Zimmerman fallen prey to fear of shadows we don't know what would have happened. A confrontation could have still ensued.

    However , if I can state a  self evident  generalization,
    "if honest citizens are unwilling to take reasonable risks when encountering suspicious activities then lawlessness and crime are encouraged."

    There were negative consequences associated with GZ not getting involved. Personally I believe he acted thoughtfully with reasonable caution.

     This is not to imply that in this case TM was engaged in illegal activities. It is just an obvious generalization.

     Reasonable individuals balance the permutations based on the information available. Hindsight   is not constrained to that set of information  and is not particularly useful in evaluating the validity of a previous decision.

    Besides GZ and TM what other parties contributed to the outcome of that evening?

    The dispatcher for not expediting the police response?

    The home association for inadequate lighting?

    The (craven?) witnesses who refused answer the pitiful calls for help?

    T Martin's Family for not maintaining supervision over their suspended and presumably grounded son?

    Of all of these parties, based on the evidence we have today, only GZ was primarily motivated by an unselfish concern for his community.

    There is no evidence that any of these parties ( with the exception of Martin's assault ) committed a crime.

    Why is GZ being demonized?


    "REASONABLE RISKS"... (none / 0) (#178)
    by fredquick21 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 01:46:13 AM EST
    after reading zim's description of  TM's "SUSPICIOUS"  behavior B4 the confrontation you call getting out of the car and following someone into the dark then telling NEN to have police call you a rather than waiting in the car "REASONABLE RISK" when you know the police are coming... wow...  "BESIDES GZ and TM OTHER PARTIES contributed to the outcome of that evening?... you say "TM's FAMILY " for not maintaining supervision over their suspended and persumed grounded son... IMO this is exactly what MO'M's closing argument should be... LOL!

    Small correction (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Lina Inverse on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:29:34 PM EST
    It was the (white) son of a Stanford police officer who beat the homeless black man.  Zimmerman's activism, which last time I checked resulted in charges against the son, makes this case rather strange, e.g. the very officer who arrested him at the scene was one of the one he wanted sanctioned for that mess.  So was another responding officer; this prompts me to wonder about the sincerity of the investigator who wanted to charge him.

    As for his "stupidity", I wonder.  If this case hadn't become a cause célèbre his approach with the police would have worked (granted, everyone advises against it).  As it is, his lawyer is willing to release all this to the public....

    Same goes for the apology; do we think that was made against the recommendation of the lawyer?  Some have accused him of being a media hound or the like; I wonder/hope he's playing a deeper game, knowing he has to change the Zeitgeist about the case to ultimately win.

    incredible irony (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by lily on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 02:14:27 AM EST
    no kidding, yet this fact is lost on the media who has been spoon fed the Julison/Crump/Sharpton narrative.

    GZ must have been pondering the ramifications of this conflict on the way to the station and during breaks from the interrogations.


    One or the other was screaming (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:31:52 PM EST
    I don't think you have to get too much into their backgrounds to decide the case, although I'm of course quite curious about the personality makeup of both fellows just as a matter of wondering about the various ways people act.

    But the case can be decided on the basis of which one was able to hold the other for a minute or so, in such a way as to cause the person in inferior position to scream for help.  Either Martin held Zimmerman (as Zimmerman asserts), or Zimmerman held Martin (as Corey implies).  If you can figure that out without reviewing their history, you've gone a good way through the decision-making process.

    Has there been any effort to scrub or hide any part of Zimmerman's past?

    Has there been any effort to scrub or hide any part of Martin's past?

    Is there anything in Zimmerman's neighborhood-watch past that has him seeking verbal or physical confrontation?  On the contrary, all the neighborhood-watch evidence has Zimmerman being confrontation-averse (he won't even confront little kids!).  I think all the evidence in this case has confrontation initiated by Martin anyway, the lying affidavit by the prosecutor notwithstanding.

    Yes, your point can be argued! (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:29:03 PM EST
    But why didn't TM run to the safety of his "home" and STAY there? By all indications TM had disappeared in the darkness and GZ would not have seen where he had gone 70 yds away.

    Orphaned post... (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 11:06:24 PM EST
    ...whose parent got liquidated while being conceived!

    I don't know about Florida practice (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by expy on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:34:14 PM EST
    but in my state it could be considered ineffective assistance of counsel for the defense to fail to explore a possible psychiatric defense. That's not quite the same as a forensic psychologist -- it would be more in line of the defense arranging for an evaluation by a clinical psychologist -- and I note that such evaluations would be entirely confidential.  

    In addition to other issues related to the fact scenario, Zimmerman also told the police he has ADHD and was on medication (I believe Adderall, but could be mistaken).  ADHD by definition is associated with poor impulse control. The medication(s) or side-effects could also be a factor in Zimmerman's perception of events and response.

    Just a note from a criminal defense perspective: in a serious case like a homicide prosecution, a good defense attorney needs to be prepared for all possibilities, not just the most likely theory of defense.  Speaking generally, not about this specific case: An attorney could be planning to put on a straightforward self-defense case, but then some  new witness or evidence emerges that casts significant doubt on that defense -- and that's why a good lawyer would get a psychological consult and do a basic legal/investigative workup about potential impact of the diagnosed condition and medications.  This is the type of thing that gets raised on appeal after a defendant is convicted -- in hindsight after a conviction the merits of an overlooked psychiatric defense often seem far more attractive.    

    Thanks for the edification. (none / 0) (#155)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:58:43 PM EST
    I was interesting.

    However at this late state of discovery do you think the prosecution will introduce unexpected witnesses?

    Its always good to be prepared.

     But absent a confidential confession by GZ  it seems to this layman that investing limited defense funds towards discovery of the inconsistencies of the TM supporters would be more profitable.


    Again, speaking generally (none / 0) (#202)
    by expy on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:32:00 AM EST
    (not about this specific case) - there is no deadline as to when a new witness or new evidence may turn up. The prosecution is required to disclose what it already has within a time frame, but it can continue to investigate the case through trial. If new evidence comes up, the defense might ask for and get a continuance to deal with it.... but witnesses sometimes change their testimony at trial. You never really know.

    I mean basically, things happen unexpectedly, sometimes in ways that hurt the defense, sometimes in ways that help. Sometimes the new witnesses/evidence show up for the first time in the prosecution's rebuttal case.

    I'm just saying that a good lawyer covers all base - at least when the lawyer has the budget to do so.  (Obviously overworked public defenders or underpaid court appointed attorneys often simply don't have the funds available to pay the experts the would like to retain).


    In Florida... (none / 0) (#199)
    by heidelja on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 06:50:44 AM EST
    ...it could be properly achieved using a forensic psychologist through his attorney keeping it within the realm of lawyer-client confidentiality. Doesn't the problem become when bringing in the shrinks that each then prefers to use "their own" opening the defendent to further twisted (irrelevant?) questioning?  

    Will be addressed... (5.00 / 2) (#227)
    by JamTowzy on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 10:50:08 AM EST
    Somewhere along the line, GZ's attorneys are going to offer evidence in some forum that Trayvon Martin getting physical (or going on the attack) was not an out-of-character event. It defies all sense to think/claim otherwise. It's not only not dirty pool, but is perfectly logical. Someone is going to have to explain the elephant in the room: the return to the T by someone who had been on the phone out of earshot, somewhere else. And make it sound plausible to Lester or a jury.

    That a troubled teen with a laundry list of recent anti-authority behavior and plenty of football training would intentionally attack a 5-8 guy who ticked him off? I find nothing that would make me think that it was unlikely, let alone impossible. Yet, you can still run across posters here and elsewhere who still try to sell TM as a shrinking violet.

    Playing football in the Miami area that is stoked (more than just about anywhere) with Div 1 NCAA talent means that he -- as a running back, and as a matter of practice on a daily basis -- was likely mixing it up with big strong athletic linemen and linebackers taking shots at him. And dealing with the fistfights and squabbles that break out routinely in football settings.

    George Zimmerman? Probably more like the dweeb handing out Gatorade on the sidelines. I seriously doubt that TM, once getting a glimpse of GZ out of the car and on foot, was intimidated by his inferior physical presence whatsoever. He would have been laughed off his team he he had said so while in uniform.

    Listening to the tapes of the (5.00 / 1) (#245)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 12:05:55 PM EST
    Serino interviews now. I agree I don't hear differences, but I also don't hear a convincing witness on his own behalf. I know it is Serino's job to be skeptical, but he tries to get convincing answers and gets many "I don't know why' answers, even to the questions about GZ's own behavior.  Also just frankly unbelievable answers, like that there are three streets in the neighborhood and the neighborhood watch captain does not know their names.

    I can't believe the defense wants GZ on a witness stand in court.  

    I'm just going to deal with one small portion (5.00 / 1) (#247)
    by MarvinM on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 12:11:16 PM EST
     of this for now:

    Jeralyn writes:

    "He pulled over at the clubhouse to make the 911 call. Trayvon walked past him, staring at him and turned down Twin Trees Lane. He drove to Twin Trees Lane while he was still on the phone with the non-emergency dispatcher and parked at the cut-through".

    That is what he claimed.  But the question is when?

    If he parked at the clubhouse just after connecting with the police NEN, he had to have been parked on Twin Trees Lane within just over 2 minutes later(He gets out of his car at 2:09 into the call).  It took whatever vehicle GZ was in during the re-enactment about 30 seconds to drive from the clubhouse to the place where GZ said he parked.

    GZ says the following at these times in the call:

    00:00:46     Z:  ... looking at all the houses.  Now he's just staring at me.

    00:00:58     Z: Yeah, now he's coming towards me.

    00:01:22    Z: He's coming to check me out... He's got something in his hands.  I don't know what his deal is.

    TM is clearly still in GZ's sight this entire time, especially since in between 0:58 and 1:22 is this:

    00:001:00     D: OK. [possibly sound of putting car into reverse?]

    00:01:03     Z: He's got his hands in his waistband....

    00:01:05    [ping]

    00:01:08    Z: And he's a Black male.

    00:01:10    D: OK, how old would you say he is?

    00:01:11     Z: He's got a button on his shirt - Late teens.

    00:01:14    D: Late teens, OK.

    00:01:16     Z: Um hmm ... Something's wrong with him. ... Yep ...

    So if GZ lost sight of TM when he turned onto TTL, it had to be after 1:22.

    That only gives TM 45 seconds to get near the T, and scant seconds for any `circling' or anything around GZ's vehicle, let alone seeing TM go down the back path twice.  He would have had to have left the clubhouse earlier and I can't make that work out with what GZ is describing in real time on the NEN call.

    The NEN call is the closest thing to objective truth both the defense and the prosecution have in this case.  If GZ's testimony can't be made to fit that, his testimony contains falsehoods, whether he is deliberately lying or was just confused and `misremembering'.

    And GZ's re-enactment story does not fit the facts.  Some things (many things, perhaps) are not as he stated them.

    "not fighting back" (5.00 / 1) (#249)
    by Philly on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 01:07:44 PM EST
    My question is, does that make sense?  Is it believable that you would be getting pummeled and not fight back at all especially if your hands are free?

    "Fight back" can mean a lot of things, including defending, trying to hold on to the aggressor's arms, trying to get up.

    But the idea that someone on their back can punch upwards effectively when an aggressor is straddled on top of them is flawed.  If the top guy is mounted and upright, in most positions the bottom guy can't even reach the top guy's face, let alone hit it with any force.

    On related note, one thing odd in the Serino interview was the comment that GZ's ribs weren't broken.  I don't see how that would be remotely likely to have occurred given the nature of the struggle and how GZ described being attacked.

    ruffian (5.00 / 1) (#252)
    by LarryD on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 01:51:45 PM EST
    The dispatcher asks George four different times how to find his truck.  He only managed to give directions (second left, past mailboxes, etc.), never that it was on Twin Trees.  So, although I agree he should have known the street, that doesn't mean he could remember the name when under stress.  Could this be a symptom of ADHD?

    Jeralyn-- (5.00 / 2) (#255)
    by Doug1111 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 02:39:46 PM EST
    As he reached for his phone, Trayvon punched him, he fell down. As he struggled to get up, Trayvon got on top of him and started banging his head into the cement. His body was on the grass, his head on the cement

    Actually in his walk through with police it sounded like he wasn't knocked to the ground immediately after the first punch.  Instead there was some tussling with GZ saying he tried to push Trayvon way from him, and Trayvon pushing back.  That would explain how Trayvon's body wasn't found right at the T but some few yards sound of it.

    I too am pretty thoroughly convinced that GZ's walk through story is accurate.  I was particularly impressed by how credible his saying that Trayvon seemed to have seen his gun, which became visible in the course of the struggle as his jacket rode up on him.  

    I think GZ should prevail at the immunity hearing since I think he can show by more than a 50/50 chance that he acted in self defense.   Well, we'll see if the judge has the guts to decide that.  I think that's what it will come down to.

    I also think it's appalling in light of the evidence that the special prosecutor charged Zimmerman with unlawful homicide of any kind, much less 2nd degree murder.

    Larry D at 252 (5.00 / 1) (#259)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 03:51:35 PM EST
    Seems like a small amount of stress to cause such complete memory loss. Is truly how he is affected by the stress of calling a NEN dispatcher?

    explanation that fits the evidence (5.00 / 1) (#260)
    by expy on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 04:03:54 PM EST
    cboldt wrote:
    I think you are coming closest to articulating the prosecution's theory of events, but you still haven't produced an explanation that fits all the evidence.

    Can you suggest another forum that is tolerant of open discussion?  I can see this case through a prosecutor's eyes and give plenty of detail as to what the likely theory is, but whatever I would write would be deleted because it would necessarily be pro-prosecution speculation,  not fact.  (My background is in criminal defense -- the "prosecutor's eyes" part is simply the way I would prepare, by anticipating what the prosecutor is going to argue and being prepared in advance to negate it.)

    I can tell you that in any homicide, the details that make a killing a murder (as opposed to an accident or justifiable homicide) can and usually are established via circumstantial evidence, requiring the jury to draw inferences from the other evidence. It's pretty common for a defendant to give an account substantially at odds with what the prosecution's, but juries are free to reject those accounts and side with the prosecution.  The defense is in trouble whenever there are significant, material discrepancies between a defendant's account and the physical evidence or witness testimony -- because if the jury believes that the defendant is deliberately lying in one part of their story the are free to reject the rest as well. Then they are back to looking at a dead body and the prosecution's argument as to what likely happened. Prosecutors tend to focus on motive and opportunity as the starting point from which they frame their argument.

    suspicion and speculation (5.00 / 1) (#264)
    by lore hahn on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 04:46:14 PM EST
    As far as I know, this is the first time Zimmerman has had suspicion about a person who then runs to elude visual contact.

    No, this is not the first that run away, he is at least the second if you add George's hero tale, he never tires to tell Serino. Besides what is it, eluding Zimmerman's visual contact or staring at him? Remember, whatever someone observed by a paranoid does enforces the suspicions, in the phone call its ultimately running, in the re-enactment the original suspicion is coursed by the fact that he does not run to get out of the rain. Pretty much the opposite, but still "suspicious".

    "The kids" were playing in the street, and were likely unaware anybody had observed them and objected to them playing in the street.  But instead of confronting the kids, Zimmerman called the police.

    What I meant with direct confrontation, was not physical but verbal, a direct address of the kids concerned, a frank direct way compared to his seemingly more devious ways. Why not tell them? Look it's not allowed to play in the streets, if you don't move somewhere else I have to call police. So that's a good example, to show a basic character trait. He doesn't want to be known for things he does, he doesn't want their parents to know it was him that called police. Informers never want to be known for what they do. I agree neighborhood watch is a different story, but not all calls were about burglary suspects, as you surely know. This is simply the best example to show a specific character trait.

    So, Zimmerman's act of getting out of the truck to follow the path that "the guy" took was unusual; but I don't believe Zimmerman wanted to get close to "the guy."  I think he expected to see "the guy" running away.

    No, it wasn't "unusal". On 02/02/12 he reports a black male with a "bomber hat" close to the house of a neighbor, and then follows the man up the road to Frank Taaffe's house? He initially gave a neighbor's address and then corrects it after the police car passes him, to the now correct address of Taaffe's house. It's true this guy runs away, but he claims he didn't get away.

    Listen carefully to his courageous tale, he tells Serino. I am still a bit wondering. He claims the guy he watched broke into another house ten days later was reported by a neighbor and then arrested. Why was this later burglary not be included in the burglary reports? Why would SPD keep another arrest silent? But we will learn in time, there will be more about that in the next discovery. How does he know it was the same guy he saw? Could it be that Frank Taaffe simply reports what George Zimmerman told him? Strictly George himself could have made his story up, maybe based on partial information from the police? But yes I am speculating. SPD answered me, yes there were only the two arrests we already know about, when asked for clarification for the message by Leland Managment below, I got no answer, so I guess I have to wait like everybody else:

    Retreat @ Twin Lakes ‏@RTL_News 12 Feb

    Our Neighborhood Watch leads to four arrests in burglaries in the RTL. Great job!

    Strictly it would fit his tale, but my name is "Thomas" I have to see the evidence. That's why I am hesitant about GZ's story.

    They always get away?

    How does that fit then? Do they always get away or only sometimes?

    I had to speculate that Martin was at some sort of disadvantage, but lacking evidence of what that disadvantage was, I had to just leave it generic.

    Concerning "speculation", yes, here you are clearly at a strategic advantage, even if you claim Trayvon said: Tonight, you gonna die!, you are strictly not speculating. And if you claim Zimmerman was close to  fainting, and feared for his life, you are not speculating either.

    But it surely is speculation, if I suggest, he shot Trayvon after John appeared and said he would call police, and he suddenly realized he could be caught in a physical confrontation, maybe even one in which Trayvon would witness that could state, GZ started it, and that could get him in big trouble. Didn't his father admonish him, after he underwent the pretrial process, you will never get a second chance. Maybe at that point he even realized, what if I am wrong? This guy doesn't behave like the others did, although strictly there weren't that many others. After all: They always got away, before he could catch them.

    @lore hahn (5.00 / 1) (#267)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 05:09:54 PM EST
    Touching your points in order, just to clarify my previous remarks; and to thank you for providing new information about Zimmerman following a previous time.  I'll be on the lookout for statements about that event or those events.

    Which is it, eluding or staring?  It's both.  The staring while Zimmerman is in the truck, and later, also while Zimmerman is in the truck, eluding visual contact by running.  Your speculation seems to be that Zimmerman has some sort of paranoia, or heightened suspicion; perhaps you agree that either action by Martin might enhance suspicion.

    I use "the kids" as an example of Zimmerman's inclination. It's not a good example to guide conduct when the suspicion is of a more serious act than playing in the street.  What do the police say to do when you suspect a burglar?  Verbal confrontation?

    I don't think an assertion that Zimmerman has character flaws (slightly paranoid; calls the cops instead of yelling at the kids; is a local snitch; aggrandizes himself to Taafee) does much to hurt his case, because a substantial part of his case is independent eyewitness statement and forensics.

    I think your speculation that Zimmerman panicked at the thought of the police being called by eyewitness John is risible.  Zimmerman called the police himself, before he started to follow Martin's path.  Your accusation amounts to Zimmerman being of such character that he would kill somebody, rather than take his legal lumps for starting a shoving match.

    I have to say, making that accusation takes balls.

    What lines up? (5.00 / 1) (#270)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 05:47:15 PM EST
    His nose is broken lines up with being hit in the face.  His head has cuts which lines up with his head hitting something hard.  He says he's on the bottom which lines up with eyewitness testimony, the guy on the bottom can be inferred to be the one yelling for help, and we have 911 tapes of yelling; he says nobody came to help him, and that appears to be agreed by all.  He says the fight moved, there is agreement on that.  He and DeeDee both say that Martin spoke first, we might infer that contact was therefore at Martin's initiative.  He says he fired at close range, forensics supports that.  He says the fight stopped after one shot, everybody seems to agree with that too.

    I'd have to listen to his statements again.  I don't recalling his claiming to have "called out" for help in restraint, rather, IIRC, he claimed he told the non-police fellow who came out with a flashlight not to bother calling the cops, but to help restrain.

    I think the reason your posts are deleted is either they fabricate evidence rather than reason through why evidence covering the essential factors should be discounted; or they state errors in the evidence; or they make similar errors stated as "fact" rather than as opinion or pure speculation.

    I've made many posts here that contain pure speculation - "facts" unsupported by evidence, and those posts are still standing.  E.g., "for talking purposes, Zimmerman grabbed Martin ...", and then I explain how I see the law being applied even if that finding was supported with evidence.

    The prosecution needs help making the point of Martin being the one screaming, in light of the eyewitness having Zimmerman on the bottom.  The prosecution needs help establishing Zimmerman having ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent before the shooting.

    What is the evidence of Zimmerman's anger after the shooting?  One shot fired, he claims he thought he missed, but since Martin sat up and quit, Zimmerman no longer felt the same level of threat.

    If the prosecution is going to hang it's hat on five year old anger management incidents, it has a problem.

    I think you are admitting a weak case (5.00 / 1) (#276)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 06:40:43 PM EST
    Jeralyn is open to sound reason, even if it comes from equivocal evidence.  Make the case, but it has to survive comparison with forensic and eyewitness testimony.

    The problem is, picking an example (not that you raised this) arguing that Cutcher is more reliable than John for the proposition of who had physical advantage is, well, I don't know what to call it, except it flies in the face of reason.

    My sentiment is that even accepting that Zimmerman's testimony is false (for whatever reason, self-serving, wants the story to be perfect, he started the fight and doesn't want to admit it, etc.) in many details, his case is still pretty strong on the primary elements of being at physical disadvantage for an extended period, and having been hit in the head more than once.  His screams sound like a person in genuine fear.  On one critical point, Martin seeing the gun (two points, and going for it), Zimmerman is the only witness.  I don't think the state even has circumstantial evidence cutting against this item; but am open to hearing an argument.

    Since you prefer to argue this from the prosecutor's point, and obviously you are well versed on the facts and on the law, I'm surprised you haven't found a place to articulate your theory in support of finding imperfect self-defense leading to manslaughter or murder.

    I read FDL and TNH from time to time.  bmaz hails from those parts, but he's in Jeralyn's camp on this case.

    I can't say that I've read any pro-Corey argument that I found persuasive; and I've read hundreds if not thousands of comments from people who find the prosecution well taken.  Most of the comments display ignorance (of the law, or of the evidence) or an emotional reaction.  Not saying yours do, just saying that Corey's case seems weak, and I've looked for arguments that support her - I'm itching to learn the prosecution's theory of the case!

    Z describes post-shooting vocalizations (5.00 / 1) (#279)
    by MJW on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:27:27 PM EST
    Z describes post-shooting vocalizations that can't be heard on the 911 tapes

    Was witness John lying too?  He said he told Zimmerman he was going to call 911, ran to get the phone, but before he got upstairs, he heard the gun shot.  Unless he was moving pretty slow, that should be on the "scream" 911 tape, where the shot is at about 0:44.   Could it be because Zimmerman was screaming at the top of his lungs, and John and Martin weren't?

    Imperfect self defense is a crime (5.00 / 2) (#287)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 08:05:26 PM EST
    Serino leading Zimmerman to an imperfect self defense would not be a lifeline.  It would be getting Zimmerman to admit he used excessive force, or to provide evidence that could be used to conclude that he did not reasonably believe he was at risk.

    The actions leading up to that point are relatively unimportant, much to the disappointment of Corey and the prosecution.  Zimmerman can be a jerk, but even jerks are allowed to defend their own lives.

    Serino was looking for a narrative that made sense.  It would make sense for Martin to punch Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had provoked it.  Might not change the legal outcome (unlikely to change the legal outcome), but at least it would make sense.

    I agree that juries don't rule on facts in evidence.  Neither do judges.  See Lester's illegal revocation of bail.

    Six juror in this case, if it goes to trial.

    The only question - Who was screaming (5.00 / 1) (#298)
    by Jack203 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 09:36:02 PM EST
    I've always been good at Math and like to look at things in percentages.

    I think you should be approximately 90% sure to exceed reasonable doubt.  The really difficult cases are the ones you are about 75% sure of a defendants guilt.

    In this case, I am about 80% sure GZ's version of events is the most likely theory of what happened.  That is not even close to exceeding reasonable doubt for a guilty charge.

    The other 20% are mostly made up of a variation where GZ has a higher level of culpability.  As expy theorized.  "OR Martin gets momentarily distracted by the neighbor's yelling, and Zimmerman takes that opportunity to get out from under Martin, and then shoot him point blank in the chest after Z has already gotten free."

    Inside that 20%, I would give it approximately 2% that GZ has significant culpability.  This depends entirely on who was screaming.  I believe the evidence is overwhelming that GZ was screaming.  

    IMO, TM supporters need to win that argument,if they want any chance of convicting GZ.  Otherwise, their minor points and theories really do not matter.

    The reason I think the evidence is overwhelming that GZ was the one screaming

    1. Within seconds of the event, GZ told police and neighbors he repeatedly yelled for help and nobody arrived. - The biggest sociopath in the world could not have thought this up in an apartment complex where multiple witnesses could easily have been looking down at him, and another witness opening the door and seeing GZ getting pummelled. It is beyond any semblance of logic or reason to think TM was the one screaming.

    2. GZ has injuries consistent of being violently assaulted.  TM has injuries consistent of violently assaulting someone.

    What are the ramifications? (5.00 / 1) (#300)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 09:41:00 PM EST
    Zimmerman did say he was looking for the guy, sort of.  The point where he is being too perfect is when he gets out of the car "to look for an address."  But once out, he says he is looking for the guy.

    I hear what you are saying about if he says one thing untrue, then you have to dismiss all of it.  Same go for the prosecution?  Because if so, we have scant little to go on.

    I think the "who started the physical fight" thing has been beat to death, and it is irritating me that you keep coming back to make it the determining factor in the case.  It does not determine the outcome of the case.  It is not the most important point.  Zimmerman can be the aggressor, and get the right to shoot Martin.

    And there is the problem of finding evidence that Zimmerman started it.  The state admitted under oath that there is no evidence for that proposition.

    "So what" is not meant as "it doesn't matter."  It's a question aimed at illuminating the importance and relevance of the discrepancy.  I think Zimmerman's primary purpose in getting out of the truck was to obtain visual contact with "the guy," and a secondary purpose was to get a house number.  The prosecution will argue he got out of the truck to confront Martin.  Then we're back to Zimmerman's usual eagerness to confront (zero, confrontation averse); the timeline; and Martin being the first to speak.  It ends up that the purpose of Zimmerman getting out of the truck isn't all that important, standing on its own (other than a credibility test).

    I think Serino was just doing his job (5.00 / 1) (#302)
    by leftwig on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 09:48:55 PM EST
    I do think he wanted to catch Zimmerman in a blatant lie or admit something, probably because he didn't completely buy his narrative from the beginning.  Now, I think he made some poor choices in his interrogation.  I honestly don't think he really had any idea whether Trayvon was a good or bad kid, but I think it was a mistake to tell Zimmerman he was, because I think Zimmerman knows better from what he saw.  

    And speaking of Serino, I think some keep forgetting his comments made at a 3/16 press conference where he said Zimmermans testimony was the best evidence they had and EVERYTHING he has told them adds up with that evidence.  The only key piece of evidence I see that has been introduced that might cause one to re-evaluate that statement is the testimony of the friend on the phone.  Personally, I don't find her very credible, but she does offer an alternative scenario.  We've seen Zimmermans account given on multiple occasions and adversarially questioned and while there are some issues, Serino still seems to think the important details fit with the evidence.  The phone friends testimony has not been given that same scrutiny yet from the defense (or at least not published yet) and the prosecution is putting a lot of faith in the validity of her story.

    Solid evidence (5.00 / 1) (#315)
    by JamTowzy on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 05:00:57 AM EST
    The problem with the GZ going-out-of-character proposition (which has him becoming an detainer/arrester) is the existence of the NEN recording. The final part captures his intent, mainly to expedite a cop to the most useful spot. Also, throughout it, he never embellished TM's activities into a crime deserving an arrest. The recording is 100% in concert with past behavior of reporting to the authorities and then getting out of the way.

    The theory that he would have pulled a weapon or used force to detain goes against his past practice and knowledge about what constitutes reason for intervention.  What do his detractors propose that he would have told the cop about a prone TM, had he been successful with a their proposed Rambo situation? Something like "here's the guy that I think might have been loitering suspiciously"? I can't fathom GZ being so hypothetically stupid to pull a stunt like that.

    The NEN recording is solid evidence which gives information about valuable elements right before the fight began. It captured a sense of his approximate location, his continuing willingness to cooperate with LE, his general sense of safety tinged with some unease, but also the only modest level of seriousness which he applied to the situation right before the confrontation. He never fabricated any TM felonies to justify more ambitious countermeasures. In addition, the recording shows zero evidence of intention to personally intervene physically. He simply wanted to get a cop there.

    Evidence > any inconsistencies (5.00 / 1) (#319)
    by JamTowzy on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 06:08:18 AM EST
    The recording which captures the last moments and the gunshot pretty much debunks the theory of a previously-drawn gun. A proponent would be hard pressed to explain a screaming individual with a gun in his hand being unable or declining to shoot for an extended time. After declining to shoot before being tackled in the first place. With all of the other debris scattered widely, it seems impossible that a weapon would not also be lost unless it had been firmly gripped before the first punch. (And the holder didn't use it?? C'mon.)

    Any cloudiness of how GZ got to his weapon afterwards is minimal compared to the hard evidence of a person being on top of him (after likely delivering multiple injuries to his head) and the fear captured by the recording. The guy on the bottom was intuitively the screamer. The screamer screamed a lot. And the screamer stopped screaming as soon as a gunshot eliminated the need for the screams. It pretty much limits the availability to opine that Zimmerman got the upper hand .... ever.

    Compare that solid, vivid evidence (together with corroborating evidence of an eyewitness) to the proffer of inconsistencies in the later recollections of a guy with head injuries. If the state wants to claim that GZ was fibbing about his level of fear and the exactitude of the details which brought it on after the fight began, then just play the recording. He was faking the screams now, too?

    This tragedy didn't have to happen... (4.00 / 4) (#34)
    by Redbrow on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:47:23 PM EST
    Trayvon should have just stayed near or at the Green residence as reported in these statements. And then presumably return to confront Zimmerman.

    Dee Dee stated "he say he right by his father house..."

    Tracy Martin stated: "I knew he was going to the back of the house, he was sitting out there"

    Brandy Green stated: "he was sitting out on the porch"

    ROFL (4.00 / 3) (#288)
    by JamTowzy on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 08:10:39 PM EST
    O'Mara would lick his chops at the prospect of  fighting the theory espoused above. It fails on so many accounts. It ignores a passionate conversation -- which had to be in privacy at a distance from GZ's travels along the top of the T -- that TM supposedly was carrying on with DeeDee, and overlooks a continuing one-sided scream sequence once the fight started. It relies upon a an incredibly slow trigger-finger by GZ while (as proposed) having distance and standing up.

    Bottom line: this prosecution is a political hoax. It had trouble stretching or misrepresenting enough material to cross the low hurdle of forming an arrest document. It had to rely on two laughable "witnesses" to do so. Now that it is in the next stage, it's easy to see why Corey strained so mightily: there's no there there. Instead, there's only cockamamie, anti-Occam scenarios left to offer. The speculation roaming room for TM defenders which was so vast when this railroad first started has shrunk so much that even they are required to concede that TM played a large, if not lead role, in restarting a situation which had been defused.

    Wow! Zim pinned TM's arm... (3.50 / 2) (#15)
    by fredquick21 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 02:56:10 PM EST
    with one arm then did he (zim) reach across his body with his free hand while being straddled and pull his gun from his "SIDE REAR" holster to fire the shot with no reaction from TM with his "unpined" arm even though he (zim) thought or perceived TM had seen and was going for the gun? Also with all TM's MMA style punching and Zim's head being repeatedly slammed into the concrete Zim throws " NO PUNCHES" doesn't use his arms at all to block blows or defend himself from being " SMOTHERED" he uses absolutely "0" offensive or defensive attack during this assault his only 4 moves during this "ENTIRE" violent assault " were : #1 "Scream for HELP... #2 Sliding his head from concrete to grass.. #3 PINNING TM's arm with his while reaching across his body... and #3 Firing his gun " which he (zim) didn't remember until this moment he had until his shirt slide up (zim's statement ) even though he should have felt it against his side/rear back while he was lying on his back taking a MMA style beating getting his head repeatedly slammed into the concrete (when he tried to sit-up i think that was his statement ). Did Zim just lay there and take this assault with 2 free hands that were not pinned ( unless i misread)?....

    Pinning TM's arm (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by friendofinnocence on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:59:52 PM EST
    Zimmerman pinned TM's left arm between his side and the top half of his right arm.  Simultaneously, he moved his right hand and wrist down to pull the gun from his holster, then pointed it up and fired.

    I just tried this with my son assuming (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:18:09 PM EST
    a mount position.

    It is physically feasible.If Zimmerman was not flat on his back but had shifted some of his weight to his left hip.

    There is a pretty firm lock between your bicep and lats as you reach into your back pocket. you definitely can temporarily control an opponents  hand or upper wrist in that lock while still maintaining some freedom of movement with your own arm.



    I think he (none / 0) (#37)
    by DizzyMissL on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:52:02 PM EST
    was dazed and confused from being punched and it took him a bit of time to get himself together.

    Carried over from the previous discussion (none / 0) (#39)
    by Lina Inverse on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:55:17 PM EST
    I point you to this reply from the previous discussion thread in reply to a similar posting your made there.

    I'd add that your added questions about arms assumes he's using his right arm to try to restrain Martin while going for his gun at 5 o'clock on his waist; that simply wouldn't be possible in the situation as described by Zimmerman (you may be able to draw your gun in that position with your off hand, but only by going behind your back, not an option here).


    watch the reenactment (none / 0) (#115)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:37:37 PM EST
    he demonstrates it.

    I watched the demonstration (none / 0) (#133)
    by JoeMenardo on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:19:35 PM EST
    and I initially thought it was believable until I thought about it further.

    1.If the gun is holstered on his side. Why would TM reach across his body and not just directly reach for the gun?  So, say TM did reach for the gun, I am sure he would have reached closer down by the hip area.  If GZ clenches his arm down by his hip, how does he manuever the same clenched arm to the gun which is near where he is clenching TM's hands.

    2.) If the gun is holstered at 5 oclock.  That would make sense that TM would reach across his body. But again, How does he clench his arm to his side and still manuever it to get hold of the gun, un holster it and fire.  Also where was TM's 2nd hand during all this?  The story seems incredible.  


    Right handed, maybe (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 05:12:44 AM EST
    If Martin is right handed, he would instinctively use his right arm and hand to attempt to disarm Zimmerman.  This would produce an across the body move.  But even if Martin uses his left hand (which might be the way Zimmerman recalls it, I don't remember how he has Martin's hands positioned: either right hand on nose and left over mouth, or the reverse), either way, moving a hand from Zimmerman's nose/mouth area to his right hip involves moving a hand past his chest toward his waistband.

    The arm clench Zimmerman demonstrates is just his upper arm to his side, leaving his lower arm free.  If Martin's hand is trapped, it is somewhere between Zimmerman's armpit, and Zimmerman's elbow.

    At the same time, Zimmerman's right hand, which had been occupied trying to pry Martin's hand off his nose or mouth (whichever had was doing which, if it matters) is freed as Martin switches from smother to disarm.

    The duration of holding or delaying Martin's hand needs to be only long enough to admit Zimmerman to win the race for the gun.

    Serino found the closing scenario incredible too, because there was no evidence in the 911 call of Zimmerman's voice being stifled.  I have uncertainty about the closing point of Serino's timeline of his "you weren't smothered" argument, he takes a first "bang" as the gunshot and stops rolling the recording.  I recall one of the 911 recordings having two bangs, the second one being the gunshot.  I wonder if Serino stops the "evidence of smothering" inquiry at the first or second bang.  All that is just a matter of my imperfect recollection, I'm not asserting anything other than I wonder.

    But even if Zimmerman isn't being smothered, an attempt by Martin to disarm him would lead to a reasonable fear of death.


    The question simply (5.00 / 1) (#206)
    by JoeMenardo on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:54:32 AM EST
    becomes why would TM swipe across his body near his biceps when the gun is located at his hip area?  That just seems awfully a convenient means for GZ to say he armbarred him.

    I can not phatom, 1.) seeing the gun first, 2.) warning the other party that I saw it 3.) then going for it in a round about path that allows the other party to armbar my hand and get it first.  

    Lastly, after seeing the gun, knowing it has become a life or death battle, I somehow lose the struggle for that gun to a guy whom I had just been pummelling for an extended period of time, who is supposedly so disoriented by the whole affair he can't even muster a punch or any form of offense?  Sorry, the more I think about it and try to picture or reenact it, the more I have to susppend doubt to believe it, so the more incredible it becomes.  


    Opinion only.... (none / 0) (#195)
    by DebFrmHell on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 06:26:29 AM EST
    If GZ managed to pin TMs left wrist / hand under his arm pit, TMs reaction would have been to extend his arm in an effort to pull it free.

    That would give GZ some distance to pull his weapon free and shoot in the left to right trajectory.  That also puts TMs chest in the right position.

    The wound was not a contact wound.  It did not hit bone as it did not deviate its path.  It is referred to as a intermediate range which extends 2" to approx 3', IIRC.

    They did ballistic tests to simulate the approx 2" square of stippling  and GSR on Martin's clothes in order to determine distance.  I would quote but I need to reread results because I don't remember what, if any, distance was determined and stated. Sorry.

    I am a lefty and I have always shot right-handed.  Simple reason is that shell casings eject right.  You don't want a hot casing crossing in front of your body.  You want them to immediately move to the side.  That, and to my knowledge, unless there is a modification, I have never seen a gun for lefties! ...not to say there aren't any!


    Forensics say contact to clothing (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 06:48:32 AM EST
    The analysis of the gunshot evidence on the clothing has the muzzle of the gun in contact or nearly in contact with the clothing.  Tests were done with the same gun, same ammunition, and swatches of clothing from Martin's outwear.

    I agree that Martin's body could be pivoting about his waist or pelvis as he tries to pull his hand out from being trapped.  Zimmerman's account has the gun straight out in front of himself, pushed ahead enough that he wouldn't shoot his own other hand or arm, which was across his chest, but not with his right arm fully extended.  It seems to me the forensic evidence on clothing and the bullet trajectory all support the scenario Zimmerman describes.

    There is a substantial body of discussion about semi-auto firearms for lefties.  


    I agree with you on the trajectory, (none / 0) (#237)
    by DebFrmHell on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 11:24:05 AM EST
    however, close contact or contact with clothing does not necessarily mean close contact or contact with skin.  Especially with a loose fitting sweat shirt over a long sleeve shirt worn underneath.  That could account for maybe as much as six-eight  inches approximately. IMO!

    Side Note:

    I love guns but if you gave me one to use left-handed I probably couldn't hit the broadside of a barn.  There are a few things I have to do right-handed because there was never anyone left-handed to teach me how to do it.   ((Bowling comes to mind.  And I can rant for days about twist ties on food products!))


    There are two I know of (none / 0) (#246)
    by Lina Inverse on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 12:07:30 PM EST
    My father and one of my brothers and his son are left-handed, so I follow this.  I know of exactly two semi-auto models that are either ambidextrous, the FN P/PS-90, or entirely switchable, the Beretta Cx4 Storm carbine, which my father bought and which I switched the controls and ejection direction on.  Neat gun, I'd buy one if I could get it in .45 ACP with a serious length magazine.

    But otherwise, as you indicate, handiness is very much an issue for self-defense shooters.  I know lefties like you who shoot handguns with their off hand and their dominant eye, a trick you can pull off with a gun held at arms length.

    With his 5 o'clock holster position Zimmerman is either doing that or is right handed.


    I think I understand the credibility calculus (3.50 / 2) (#125)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:57:51 PM EST
    I think the question of which of the two was at physical disadvantage when the gun discharged can be answered with no resort at all to their history.  The "credibility" of Zimmerman's account is either maintained or undercut by eyewitnesses and forensic evidence.

    It doesn't matter, for the purpose of deciding the case, why Martin did anything.  What matters is Zimmerman's state of mind - either as "in reasonable fear" if he is to obtain immunity; or as harboring "ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent" if Corey is to obtain her murder conviction.

    I think the evidence shows Martin committed battery and aggravated assault.  He might have been a good kid most of the time, but he was not being a good kid that night.  Anger management issue, most likely.

    I don't mind probing the "gun pulled on Martin before Martin struck Zimmerman" scenario again.   If you adopt Corey's version of events, it seems to me that showing the gun is the only way to have Martin screaming for help.  What is the prosecution's theory of sequence of events, and what is it's evidence in support?

    Only if you take Zimmerman's account at face value (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by expy on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:41:06 PM EST
    I think the evidence shows Martin committed battery and aggravated assault.

    It depends on how the confrontation started. Zimmerman appears to claim that Martin punched him in the nose without warning or provocation, but then in the walk through Zimmerman says that there was some pushing & shoving going on before he fell. Also, in my opinion, his body language as he is describing the pushing seems to depict himself doing the pushing (i.e., Zimmerman pushes forward as mentions the pushing, so it looks like he's admitting to having been an active pusher at that point).

    So if instead of a man emerging from the dark and punching Zimmerman in the nose, there was  a verbal confrontation that escalated to pushing and shoving, until some point that Martin managed to knock Zimmerman to the ground -- then all you would have is Martin defending himself from the strange man who followed him in the darkness and was shoving him.

    Same with the whole head-banging, suffocation story. You have Zimmerman's words but the physical evidence suggests a less dramatic & prolonged encounter. I believe a single nose punch would be enough to account for all of Zimmerman's injuries. For example, if Martin managed to push Zimmerman to the ground and then punch Zimmerman in nose, causing Zimmerman's head to fall back and hit the pavement --  I think that scenario would explain both the injured nose and the lacerations on the back of the head.  

    All would be completely consistent with Martin defending himself from a perceived threat.  


    When Zimmerman (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:03:40 PM EST
    made his statement he was exposing himself to the possibility of contradictory witnesses and video tapes

    That gives him some creditably.

    Pushing? - here is the full walk through confrontation at 7.34 -

    Zimmerman states he was digging in his pocket .. Trayvon says 'you got a problem now' and punches me in the face  I stumble I feel down and he got on top of me.

    The only motion I see Zimmerman making is a punch to his head

     Any pushing was after TM had a dominate position

    Perhaps you forgot or didn't listen closely?

    I believe a single nose punch would be enough to account for all of Zimmerman's injuries.

    Are you qualified to defend that assertion? That would be one hell of a punch with several bounces into the concrete and some object ( large bird?)
    above his face


    The only motion I see Zimmerman making is a punch (none / 0) (#166)
    by expy on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 12:11:28 AM EST
    Look at the video you linked to at roughly 8:27.   Zimmerman says, "I was trying to push him away from me" but while he is saying that he is walking back toward the center area, in the opposite direction from his parked vehicle.  So he is (a) on his feet after he says he was punched, and (b) moving in the direction toward conflict rather than away from conflict (assuming the street and parked car to be the logical direction to flee toward safety).

    (I was mistaken about the hand gesture --on reviewing I realized it was the direction of movement stuck in my mind.)


    Direction of conflict is not fixed (5.00 / 2) (#194)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 06:24:57 AM EST
    In your recounting of Zimmerman's walk through, at the several seconds following an initial punch that Zimmerman says came from Martin, you have Zimmerman moving south (away from the T, toward Brandy's condo), and characterize this as "toward conflict" or as I would put your words, "into the hands of his assailant."

    The instant direction toward safety in a close quarters combat is determined by the parties, not by landmarks such as street and parked car.  Saying the direction of safety is the street, or toward the T, or north, isn't based on the relevant factor, which is where Martin is, relative to Zimmerman.

    When combatants are close, it only takes one step by either, to change the direction of attack, and the direction(s) of escape.  If Zimmerman bends over and stumbles to the south, that can become the direction the combat moves.  Martin could take a step to the north to get the advantage of being behind Zimmerman, etc.

    I don't think we need a detail breakdown of the combat - just enough to explain that it moved generally as eyewitnesses state, and the issue of Martin throwing the first punch with or without justification (Serino said that Zimmerman reaching into a pocket would be enough, in Serino's opinion, to give Martin reasonable fear, and reasonable fear justifies the use of force) doesn't determine the ultimate self-defense outcome anyway.

    I'm still craving a taste of the prosecution's murder theory.  I don't see how the prosecution can accepting that Martin was at a physical advantage, and finding small inconsistencies in Zimmerman's account isn't getting the job done for the prosecution.  Serino isn't getting the job done for the prosecution either - the hook he gives the prosecution is that Zimmerman could have broken the chain of events.


    What's the provocation, expy? (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by citizenjeff on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 11:34:33 PM EST
    expy writes: "Zimmerman appears to claim that Martin punched him in the nose without warning or provocation, but then in the walk through Zimmerman says that there was some pushing & shoving going on before he fell."

    What do you mean "but then...," expy? It seems you're suggesting that the pushing and shoving somehow contradicts Zimmerman's "claim that Martin punched him in the nose without warning or provocation."

    I don't detect any contradiction, expy. What do you have in mind? Is there some reason to believe the pushing and shoving occurred before Martin punched Zimmerman?


    Just one more thing ... (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 04:52:31 AM EST
    Expy, my belief that Martin committed battery and aggravated assault does not depend on how the fight started.  Even if Zimmerman confronted Martin (there is no evidence he did), and even if Zimmerman used unlawful force by shoving, attempting to restrain, or otherwise touching Martin, first (there is no evidence he did), and even if Martin took Zimmerman reaching into a coat pocket as a threat, as Serino suggests would be a reasonable basis for Martin to become physical in fear of a pending attack, even if some combination or all of the above is true ... the evidence, as I find it, still has Martin committing battery and aggravated assault.

    The prosecution has yet to explain how it is that Martin is the one held screaming, and if the finding is that Zimmerman was held on his back for an extended period (and there -is- evidence to support that), that extended period of holding a person who is struggling to get free, who shows every sign of submitting (yells help, zero offensive woulds on his hand), is battery.  It doesn't matter how it started, there is no justification for an extended beat down.

    I'm not saying how it started is irrelevant, or doesn't matter.  I made an extended remark about that I think it necessarily comes into the case.

    As for the extent of injuries being possible with a single blow and subsequent stumbling, that also doesn't account for the extended period of time with Zimmerman screaming for help.  If Martin sends Zimmerman stumbling around with a broken nose, and Zimmerman bangs his head while in a stumbling stupor, then he's pretty well rendered Zimmerman harmless, and has no justification for use of additional force.

    You can't point to just the injuries and conclude the encounter was short because the injuries are slight.  The theory has to account for screaming over a period of half a minute.

    Who is screaming for help?

    I think you are coming closest to articulating the prosecution's theory of events, but you still haven't produced an explanation that fits all the evidence.


    That's battery (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 06:35:15 AM EST
    If Martin pushed Zimmerman to the ground, the threat is removed.  If Martin pushed Zimmerman to the ground, then punched Zimmerman in the nose, the punch in the nose is gratuitous, and is battery.

    That analysis pertains even if Zimmerman shoved Martin first.

    But there is evidence that Martin straddled Zimmerman for an extended period, using force, while Zimmerman is yelling for help.  That too would be a criminal act, if the punch alone was not.

    My point again is that one can find battery by Martin, even if Zimmerman throws the first punch or otherwise provokes the use of force.  They can both be guilty of battery, although, other than DeeDee who saw nothing, and Serino's crediting Martin with justification to use force on seeing Zimmerman reach into his pocket, there is zero evidence that Zimmerman provoked the use of force, or was first to use force.


    DeeDee (5.00 / 1) (#211)
    by crystalbraun on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 08:12:56 AM EST
    There are many versions here that have Zimmerman as the aggressor and Martin yelling for help, delivering one punch in self defense with the assumption that there is only Zimmerman's word that Martin was the aggressor. What happened to the testimony of "DeeDee" who says Martin stated "some white guy" was following him? DeeDee says Martin was on the phone with her yet did not ask her to call 911 for him, so was he in fear of his life? DeeDee states Martin made the first verbal contact whichever version you care to believe. DeeDee states at one point Martin was already at the Green residence. Why did the phone "go dead"? Think about it. Maybe she will not be called by the prosecution, but if this goes to trial you can bet she will be called by the defense.

    showing the gun - Martin screaming help (5.00 / 1) (#224)
    by lore hahn on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 10:33:15 AM EST
    Why should this be the only scenario in which Martin would have cried for help?

    Strictly I don't believe that Trayvon was a weakling, and he may not have cried for help. Sadly enough had he been a weakling he probably would still live, that's what I find curious about your balanced attribution of weakling to both of them. But given he didn't know who this man was and what he wanted from him, he clearly could have done so. Why don't you give him the same chance to find the man and his behavior just as suspicious as Zimmerman found his? I think he would have much more reason for it.

    Based on what knowledge should Trayvon know what he wanted from him? Why he observed and followed him?

    To use your allusion to his earlier behavior, George never speaks with the people he reports, not even with the kids playing in the street, moving out when a car approaches. In that case he even asks if dispatcher could she please keep it anonymous. So do you honestly think he did something completely unusual for him this time?

    Strictly I consider people weaklings that are unable to confront people directly and instead dealing with whatever their issue with them is behind their backs. This may be a slightly different story, but I think it is a part of Z's usual behavior in everyday life.


    I'm itching to hear the prosecution's theory (5.00 / 1) (#231)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 11:01:38 AM EST
    My fault for implying that the only scenario where Martin would scream for help, was one where he wanted help.  I had to speculate that Martin was at some sort of disadvantage, but lacking evidence of what that disadvantage was, I had to just leave it generic.

    On your criticism of my use of "weakling," my objective was to answer Serino's contention that Zimmerman couldn't have been under a serious attack, because his skull wasn't fractured, his ribs weren't broken, and his arms weren't bruised.  If Martin lacks the strength to do that damage, I called it "weakling."  It's a relative term, and I'd be happy to use one that you find more appropriate as shorthand for the point.  But, whatever strength capability Martin has, Zimmerman has less - he is either unable to extricate himself, or he is submitting on a voluntary basis.  I don't find it believable that he is submitting on a voluntary basis, but at least one poster here has that theory.

    You ask a good question about what Martin should have thought or expected Zimmerman might want.  I think that inquiry has been completed, albeit in terms of Martin having fear, or not having fear.  I think Martin thought Zimmerman was suspicious, and that Martin resented that.  If Martin had genuine fear, I think he would have attempted to maintain his status of "lost him," and if he attempted to stay out of sight, I believe he would have been successful.

    I think Zimmerman's actions were unusual in some respects, and in accord with his past practice in others.  As far as I know, this is the first time Zimmerman has had suspicion about a person who then runs to elude visual contact.  "The kids" were playing in the street, and were likely unaware anybody had observed them and objected to them playing in the street.  But instead of confronting the kids, Zimmerman called the police.

    So, Zimmerman's act of getting out of the truck to follow the path that "the guy" took was unusual; but I don't believe Zimmerman wanted to get close to "the guy."  I think he expected to see "the guy" running away.

    As for a reluctance to confront, this is what he has been taught by the police as part of the neighborhood watch.  Perhaps your criticism of Zimmerman as a weakling for not confronting people directly should be directed to the police for the message they provide in their training, in addition to Zimmerman for following the training.


    Serino's bluff (3.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Redbrow on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 02:42:07 PM EST
    I realize Serino was bluffing when he tried to convince Zimmerman that Trayvon recorded video of the encounter, but leading up to that lie, Serino stated one of Trayvon's hobbies was recording himself.

    It was reported that Trayvon had a youtube channel that was scrubbed. There may have been videos posted on his Facebook page as well.

    Since the investigator brought this up, is it reasonable for the defense to request these videos?

    While on the subject, Sabrina Fulton is on record saying no video or audio of Trayvon exists except for Trayvon's voicemail greeting.

    we are not discussing (none / 0) (#139)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:51:18 PM EST
    Trayvon's you tubes, fb and twitter accounts unless one side or the other moves to admit them. No character attacks here on either GZ or TM.

    I don't recall (3.00 / 3) (#142)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:36:39 PM EST
    a plausible explanation for Martin approaching Zimmerman to "check him out."  That seems to me rather confrontational, suggesting an absence of fear.  We are given to understand, however, that Martin then fled because he feared Zimmerman.  Dee Dee claims Martin described Zimmerman as "creepy" and "crazy."  I suppose Zimmerman might plausibly be so characterized on the basis of his 2005 "mug shot," but his appearance on the evening of 2/26 was quite nondescript.  We have been spoon fed, by the media, a series of images of Martin as lovable child, who would naturally be terrified by the approach of a stranger.  Looking at the hulking youth in the 7-11 video, however, I have trouble imagining him fleeing in terror from Zimmerman.  His "social media" pages don't make this attempt any easier.  I don't pretend to know what was going on in Martin's mind, but I have little difficulty in supposing he might become "confrontational" by reason of a real or imagined affront.  Now, just what might Zimmerman's motive be for lashing out at Martin?  

    Zimmerman's motive (3.50 / 2) (#147)
    by expy on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:14:14 PM EST
    Now, just what might Zimmerman's motive be for lashing out at Martin?  

    In the police interviews Zimmerman kept coming back to other burglaries in the neighborhood... so it seems that his motive would be anger at the level of crime in the neighborhood coupled with belief that Martin was a burglar.  

    At least that is what I would assume the prosecution will be arguing.

    It's kind of hard to see why a teenager minding his own business in his father's neighborhood would jump a an adult who was following him without provocation... but it's not hard to see why a self-appointed head of a neighborhood watch group would approach and challenge someone who he believed to be a potential criminal.  

    So in terms of competing lines of "motive", I think the defense has a harder theory to sell to a jury than the prosecution.


    "Following" (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:49:21 PM EST
    Given that this incident developed in the "commons" area of the gated neighborhood where Ms. Green had chosen to reside, on what basis could Martin, an unknown visitor, have supposed himself immune to being asked to confirm his right to be there?  Is it that such an inquiry could be made only by a law enforcement officer?  I would have thought that any resident could lawfully make such an inquiry.  They certainly do in the "commons" areas of my neighborhood.  But in yours, that would represent a "provocation?"  We aren't so belligerent.

    I have already addressed the reasonableness of Zimmerman "following" Martin in my response to fredquick21's Serino comment, #63.


    Unfortunately for Zimmerman (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by expy on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:57:08 PM EST
    during his taped interviews, he was very insistent that he did not identify himself in any way to Martin when Martin (according to Zimmerman), approached and asked, "you got a problem?"

    So it's pretty clear that whatever happened, Martin was never "asked" to confirm his reasons for being in the area.


    Of course (5.00 / 3) (#159)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 11:07:38 PM EST
    if Corey is going to introduce Dee Dee's  delayed recollections, then it sounds like GZ did query TM about his presence.

    I can't see how that matters. In both Zimmerman's and Dee Dee's accountings the physical altercation happened almost immediately after TM confronted GZ verbally. Martin left no time for a parley.


    And what (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 12:12:18 AM EST
    I'm saying is that, after Martin "checked out" Zimmerman, then "took off," Zimmerman had a reasonable basis to follow him, for the purpose of being able to direct the approaching officer to him.  Zimmerman could reasonably believe, at this point, that Martin was probably "up to no good."  There is simply no evidence to support the conclusion that he was acting from an unlawful or improper motive.

    so you say by looking at ZIM... (none / 0) (#182)
    by fredquick21 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 02:17:58 AM EST
    you have decided he's harmless... yet he has an arrest record and i don't think (I maybe wrong) the cop or the domestic abuse victim saw it that way.. JMO

    The court decided he was harmless (5.00 / 2) (#242)
    by Redbrow on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 11:37:10 AM EST
    obviously, since the diversion program was limited to nonviolent offenders.

    In fact, he had been charged in 2005 with resisting arrest without violence during an altercation with a state alcohol officer. Zimmerman wound up in a pretrial-diversion program, a scaled-down version of probation offered to nonviolent first-time offenders.

    Contamination (2.67 / 3) (#208)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 08:01:50 AM EST
    The police interviews introduce, through the "back door," Crump's self-serving representations about Trayvon as a "model youth" and his rosy aspirations for the future.  Seems only fair to me that we should be allowed to refer to his interest in "street fighting."

    During one of the Serino interviews (none / 0) (#5)
    by Redbrow on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 02:18:29 PM EST
    I remember Zimmerman stating he got out of the car to see which way the suspect ran, citing the dispatchers request for him to do so. But other times he just says he says the only reason he got out of the car was to find the street name. It is as if he does not want to give any impression he was following the suspect, even though it was requested several times.

    Dispatcher: Just let me know if he does anything ok

    Dispatcher: Yeah we've got someone on the way, just let me know if this guy does anything else.

    Dispatcher: He's running? Which way is he running?

    Dispatcher: Which entrance is that that he's heading towards?

    In the reenactment (none / 0) (#19)
    by IgnatiusJDonnely on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:04:15 PM EST
    One gets the impression that he brings this up reluctantly, as if he was going to omit this conversation but thought better of it.

    11 dispatcher:

    Are you following him? [2:24]


    Yeah. [2:25]

    911 dispatcher:


    We don't need you to do that. [2:26]


    OK. [2:28]


    It's True because it's Capitalized (none / 0) (#26)
    by Cylinder on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:20:31 PM EST
    with one arm then did he (zim) reach across his body with his free hand while being straddled and pull his gun from his "SIDE REAR" holster to fire...

    It was an inside the waistband holster. Zimmerman indicates in his reenactment that is was a side carry.

    doesn't use his arms at all to block blows or defend himself from being " SMOTHERED"

    Zimmerman clearly demonstrates and articulates his attempts to fend off Martin's attack in his reenactment.

    Not normal protocol (none / 0) (#33)
    by Lina Inverse on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:46:28 PM EST
    If you have only one assailant, normal protocol is to keep shooting until the threat is stopped or your magazine runs dry.  Many people train to "double tap", firing two rounds immediately together to increase the effect, since self-defense handguns really aren't that good at stopping people.  On the other hand, Zimmerman's gun was a small, compact model with a 7 round single stack magazine, I would not expect him to follow this practice, just like I don't with my 1911s that have 8 round magazines.

    The only instant stop is a hit to the CNS (spine or brain); the next fastest stop seems to be your assailant stopping fighting because he realizes he's been shot and doesn't want to get shot again, which is what appears to have happened here (one of the reasons you keep shooting if they don't stop or fall to the ground or whatever is that even with their heart shot out, they can be lethally dangerous for many seconds (tissue still has plenty of oxygen, etc.), certainly long enough to mortally wound you; witness this situation where Martin was aware and talking for a little while after getting shot).

    I've read, but not reliably, that Zimmerman's gun was found with an empty chamber, indicating it did not fully cycle, which is very possible in a close quarters situation like this.  That would have prevented Zimmerman from immediately making a follow up shot; he perhaps could have racked the slide and continued firing, but as he says in his written statement:

    The suspect sat back allowing me to sit up and said "You got me."

    At this point I slid out from underneath him and got on top of the suspect holding his hands away from his body.

    He was at this point able to physically control Martin and no longer needed lethal force, nor once he'd made that judgement could have legally used it.

    empty chamber (none / 0) (#121)
    by pngai on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:48:39 PM EST
    The police report does indicate an empty chamber but also indicates that the chamber was full when the police took the gun from Zimmerman and it was the police who took a round out of the chamber for safety reasons.

    Thanks for clarifying. (none / 0) (#138)
    by Tamta on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:35:35 PM EST
    No. (none / 0) (#54)
    by Tamta on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 04:39:02 PM EST
    He had one in the chamber and fired it, that casing was located, and the gun was recovered with a full magazine containing 7 bullets.

    SERINO? (interviewer) actually in (none / 0) (#63)
    by fredquick21 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 04:57:12 PM EST
    not so many words says that about TM ....which is way he asked zim what TM was doing to make himself " suspicious "...

    Zimmerman stated that (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Redbrow on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:19:50 PM EST
    he saw an unknown person trespassing on the property of somebody he knew. The same property where he witnessed another burglar recently.

    That is suspicious behavior by any reasonable standard.

    Dee Dee originally stated that Trayvon put on his hoodie in direct response to Zimmerman watching him, not because of rain as she later changed her story to.

    That is suspicious behavior. Possibly illegal as well since it is against the law to use anything to cover part of your face in order to intimidate or harass someone in Florida.


    Suspicion (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 06:21:26 PM EST
    The recording of Zimmerman's call to the police "call taker" clearly indicates that he didn't open the door of his truck until after Trayvon fled.  I don't see any reason to disbelieve Zimmerman's claim that Trayvon "checked him out," then fled into the darkness, down a "commons" pathway.  Would not this meet the legal definition of "reasonable suspicion" justifying an "investigative detention" by a peace officer?  And if a peace officer could, at that point, have used whatever degree of force reasonably necessary to detain Trayvon long enough to ascertain that he wasn't "up to no good," on what line of reasoning can it be said that Zimmerman acted unlawfully in merely trying to keep track of his location?  It further occurs to me that Trayvon, an unknown visitor, could not reasonably expect to be immune from requests to confirm his right to traverse the walkways of this gated community, where Brandy Green had elected to reside.

    It's a pity that some witnesses had to make do with Zimmerman's old "mug shot."


    Redundancy redux? (none / 0) (#97)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 06:57:05 PM EST
    "And if a peace officer could....?"

    1. Uh, yes, a peace officer could

    2. "....on what line of reasoning can it be said that Zimmerman acted unlawfully in merely trying to keep track of his location? "

     None that I can think of, nor, apparently, that any other poster could think of either.

    Am I missing something? You seem to  be grasping for some sort of secret, subliminal affirmation to questions only you ask and then seem strangely  self satisfied and victorious that you answered them correctly.

    I only ask because the "parent" of your strange comments also displayed this other worldly insight where he appears to have the ability of peering right through Trayvon Martin's prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum, and directly into his brainstem.

    I knew I should have stayed in school.


    Respectfully, (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:10:53 PM EST
    I haven't a clue about what you are trying to say.

    How do you define 'peace officer"? (none / 0) (#151)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:33:33 PM EST
    Because if it's close to accurate, Zimmerman ain't one, and had no more or less authority than anybody else in that neighborhood, including Martin.

    Yes, of course (none / 0) (#160)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 11:19:21 PM EST
    It seemed to me that "peace officers" have certain authorities to act on trained, learned experience. It also seemed to me that Mr. Whitecap was somehow extending that authority to GZ.

    If my interpretation was wrong, I do apologize.


    I know (none / 0) (#161)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 11:21:13 PM EST
    I sometimes get that way.

    I'll re-read it in the morning, and if makes sense to me then, I'll try to rephrase my comments.


    Let's see (none / 0) (#164)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 11:53:59 PM EST
    how simple I can make this:  I'm suggesting that, if the quantum of "reasonable suspicion" here presented would justify a "detention" by a peace officer, there is no basis for supposing that Zimmerman, in merely following, acted arbitrarily, or with racial animus.  

    You are correct IMO (none / 0) (#65)
    by fredquick21 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:04:36 PM EST
    most poster on this site think everything leading to the fight is irrelevant which couldn't be further from the truth....

    Well, it is and it ain't (5.00 / 2) (#174)
    by unitron on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 01:28:58 AM EST
    The stuff before the struggle is certainly relevant to how this whole sorry mess came about, but when the question of self-defense or murder comes up in court the biggies are probably going to be who first laid hands on whom, who escalated, who attempted to retreat or not, stuff like that.

    "That doesn't even sound like me." (none / 0) (#70)
    by BalanceCare on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:12:17 PM EST
    Hi all.

    Have you heard the point in the tapes where Serino plays GZ a 911 tape with screaming in the background, and they have the following exchange:

                (Tape: Screaming)

    Serino:     You hear that voice in the background?
    Zimmerman:  No, Sir.

    Serino:     That's you.

                (Tape: Screaming)

    Serino:     You hear yourself?
    Zimmerman:  That doesn't even sound like me.

    What do you make of that? Would GZ-supporters be inclined to infer that he means something along the lines of "I don't recognize my voice because of the stress"?

    I'm not sure that the answer to the question of who was screaming is really that probative of who bears responsibility or whether GZ should be found guilty of Murder 2. Neverthess, wondering what yall think.

    Hearing yourself scream (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by friendofinnocence on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:18:59 PM EST
    I would imagine most people haven't any idea what they would sound like screaming for help.

    Most people don't know their own voice (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:25:00 PM EST
    Unless you are a performer who regularly uses recording and other devices to train your voice, you don't sound at all like what you think you sound like.

    Record yourself right now, in a normal voice, and play it back.  What you hear on the recording is what the rest of the world hears as your voice, and it is remarkably different from what you hear as your own voice.


    Fair enough ... (none / 0) (#78)
    by BalanceCare on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:32:06 PM EST
    So by the same token, TM's father's initial assessment that the voice wasn't TM's is equally suspect, right?

    Your own voice, somebody else's voice (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:38:16 PM EST
    The point of observation I made was that people tend to not recognize their own voice.  Zimmerman didn't recognize his own voice, screaming.

    "By the same token" applied to Tracy Martin, would Have Tracy Martin not recognizing his own voice; and that is not an issue here.  The question as to Tracy Martin is whether or not he would recognize Trayvon Martin's voice, which is a completely different inquiry from whether or not Tracy Martin would recognize his own voice.


    actually, you're missin the point. (none / 0) (#102)
    by BalanceCare on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:12:43 PM EST
    i know what you both mean, but i disagree. I think screaming for dear life is the salient factor here, not the sound of your own voice. I for one am pretty familiar with the sound of my voice from recording voicemail messages and so on. I would assume that GZ as someone my age brought up in the digital era would be as well. So IMHO, you're both wrong.

    nevertheless it's perfectly reasonable that a person would be surprised at hearing himself screaming in fear.


    also (none / 0) (#104)
    by BalanceCare on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:15:49 PM EST
    by extension the same effect would apply to tm's dad who ostensibly was unfamiliar with the sound of his kid screaming...

    all this aside I think it very well could have been GZ screaming. no matter who it was I don't think it's dispositive of who is responsible ( tho I suppose it might affect legal culpability - IANAL$


    Uh, no (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by oldmancoyote22 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:40:34 PM EST
    Most people think their OWN voice sounds weird when they hear it played back.  There is a physiological reason for that which isn't necessary to get into.  I imagine that is even more so when screaming.  

    Trayvon's father wouldn't be subject to the same effect.  His son's voice on a recording would sound exactly the same to him as it does when hearing it live.  


    Trayvon's voice on a recording... (none / 0) (#175)
    by unitron on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 01:35:31 AM EST
    ...of a 17 year old Trayvon screaming in mortal fear is something his father had likely never heard before.

    I would recognize any of my kids voices (5.00 / 3) (#212)
    by lousy1 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 08:25:03 AM EST
    I have heard them all yell in extreme fear. Could be from a swarm of bees or a spider but the fear was real. I think most parents would recognize their teen sons voice in an anguished state.

    Beside it difficult to envision that a man in a superior position  

    screaming in mortal fear
    pleading help ...help ..help for 45 seconds when confronted by a gun.

    You can try this at home with a clock.

    He might yell  "he's got a gun", "put it down", "I give"  particularly when a witness informed the two he was calling 911.

    More likely he would try to deescalate the situation.


    You Can't Tell on a Recording that Poor (none / 0) (#230)
    by RickyJim on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 10:55:51 AM EST
    and neither can the FBI.  Have you ever been tested to tell if you could differentiate between your children's screams and that of other children, even under better audio conditions?  The only way I can imagine the scream evidence would come into trial would be in the same way Serino and the other interrogator used them in the third of the Feb. 29 tapes: to show that Zimmerman's claim of being smothered by Martin is hard to correlate with the screams.

    The difference is George knows he (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:16:03 PM EST
    was acreaming, he was there, he was doing it.

    Whether he thought it sounded like him has nothing to do with whether he screamed. He's not doubting that.


    Screams Correlated With Zimmerman's Account (none / 0) (#156)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 11:01:26 PM EST
    I wish that Serino or some other investigator had tried to correlate the screams on the tape with Zimmerman's account of Martin's putting one or both hands on Zimmerman's mouth at various times.  I have not listened to the Serino tape you quote from yet, but I gather he didn't ask Zimmerman to help explain what was going on at various points of the screaming tapes.  I believe that various enhanced versions of the screams are available on Youtube and other places.  Has anybody tried to see if Zimmerman's account of the struggle matches this acoustic evidence?

    Your wish is granted (none / 0) (#191)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 05:18:30 AM EST
    One of Serino's interviews challenges Zimmerman to point out where, in the 911 call, he is being smothered.  I've remarked that I wonder about the 1 bang vs 2 bang evidence in the context of Serino's "you weren't smothered" challenge.

    Also take into consideration (none / 0) (#168)
    by Redbrow on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 12:12:53 AM EST
    that Zimmerman had just suffered a broken nose and the nasal cavity plays a crucial role in the sound of ones voice.

    Add to this the likelihood that Zimmerman was sitting on his abdomen, diaghram or chest which both factor in to voice quality.

    And of course Zimmerman was in fear of his life.


    Zimmerman had to breath through his mouth too (5.00 / 3) (#207)
    by Kyreth on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:54:55 AM EST
    during the interviews, Zimmerman asked if he could drink water during the test because his nose made him have to breath through his mouth.

    So if during the fight, he couldn't breath through his nose, it probably wouldn't have taken but a moment of his mouth being covered for Zimmerman's mind to go "OMG I'm being smothered!" and that is an impression that I imagine would stick with you, combined with the pain and fear he was in.

    It seems perfectly logical to me that kind of impression could lead to the idea of being smothered being exaggerated in his own mind upon trying to retell it.


    oops... change Zimmerman (none / 0) (#169)
    by Redbrow on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 12:14:22 AM EST
    to Trayvon sitting on his abdomen etc...

    He probably does. (none / 0) (#72)
    by Kelwood on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:15:22 PM EST
    But so what? Poor situational awareness isn't illegal. There are many things that could have happened that would have prevented it. This seems like a topic of conversation about gun laws.

    If Martin was on trial (none / 0) (#83)
    by Kyreth on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:58:16 PM EST
    for assault he could argue that he was justified.  I  don't know how that would go, but it wouldn't be relevant to Zimmerman's justification.

    Even if Martin was justified in acting in self defense, that doesn't negate Zimmerman's justification.

    There was one SYG case I read about in Florida where both guys shot each other, both survived, and both weren't prosecuted due to SYG.

    Side or back? (none / 0) (#95)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 06:38:19 PM EST
    "He was right by the bushes along the side of the house at 1211 Twin Trees Lane. Trayvon was on the shared back path, in back of 1211 Twin Trees Lane."

    1211 has an exposed side, the north side.  It has a front to the west and a back to the east.

    And of course a south side which is just north of 1221's north side, with, I certainly hope, 2 layers of sheetrock in between as a firewall.

    (I've framed a few similar units back in the day)

    The side is not the back.

    If Martin came from the side he would have been unable to come up behind Zimmerman if Zimmmerman was returning west to his Honda.

    He certainly wasn't hiding behind bushes unless he was practically lying on the ground, all of that shrubbery is only between knee and waist high
    and fairly close to the buildings.

    Is it possible to hide in front of bushes?

    I meant Zimmerman was near the bushes (none / 0) (#162)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 11:32:11 PM EST
    on the side of 1211, walking back to his car, he had just passed the T. Photo of 1211 bushes here and here.

    But it looks like from this photo there are bushes along the back of 1211 as well, where Trayvon could have been hiding (if he was hiding.) There are also bushes along the side of 2861 Retreat View Circle (see here).

    I agree, the back of 1211 TTL is the backyard, the side faces north and the front faces east.


    That corner unit (none / 0) (#186)
    by DebFrmHell on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 04:27:17 AM EST
    also has the deep black screens for the porch.  Combine that with an alreay poorly lit area, no porch light on and the waist high bushes and that is exactly where I would go if I wanted to be undetected.

    With those screens, GZ would not have to go that far past the "T" to have TM come up on his left side.


    For the most part... (none / 0) (#201)
    by unitron on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:28:14 AM EST
    ...those bushes seem to be up pretty tight against the building.  Difficult to hide behind them, especially with little light by which to see, without getting all scratched up, and difficult to come out from behind them without making all sorts of rustling sounds, so that does away with any idea that Martin snuck up on Zimmerman.

    Urband legend - Massad Ayoob (none / 0) (#106)
    by lore hahn on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:21:59 PM EST
    This urban legend was developed and spread by gun expert Massad Ayoob. I don't remember the technical terms, they theory went that Trayvon grasped for the gun and thus blocked the next bullet from entering the chamber. I think the released documents showed it remained exactly that, a pro-Zimmerman tale that couldn't be verified by evidence.

    You lost me at (none / 0) (#114)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:37:01 PM EST
    "right wing blogs."

    You don't see that stuff here because Jeralyn won't tolerate attacks on someone's character that have nothing to do with the events that took place.

    And bringing those issues in by reference isn't fooling anyone, either.

    Under the circumstances (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:13:39 PM EST
    It seems to me that there is reasonable a preponderance of evidence supporting Zimmerman's SYG claim.

    If correct that removes the, potentially obscuring, issue of character unless the prosecution tries to characterize either of the actors incorrectly. It appears that that would be a big mistake on the prosecutions part.

    If the case goes to trial I think the question of "Why would Martin confront Zimmerman?" may need to be resolved to satisfy a jury. In that case the gloves come off.


    the gloves are not off here (none / 0) (#171)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 12:59:10 AM EST
    As I've repeatedly said, we will not post details of their social media sites or anything that would be a character attack as to either one, unless one of the parties, the state or Zimmerman, says they will seek to introduce it.

    spent cartridge in the chamber (none / 0) (#116)
    by pngai on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:41:30 PM EST
    I believe I saw that reported by the media but the police report indicates there was no malfunction in the gun at all.

    In general the media is very sloppy (either out of ignorance or malice or who knows why) when reporting on firearms.

    Please keep the discussion (none / 0) (#123)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:50:52 PM EST
    to Zimmerman and not the Lowe case, whatever that is.

    Trayvon & the porch (none / 0) (#127)
    by SuzieTampa on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:02:03 PM EST
    Great narrative, Jeralyn. For those who question why TM didn't run to Brandy's home or whether he actually made it to her porch but went back: TM was supposed to stay home, but he got his father's permission to go out to the store. It's quite possible that he didn't want to go home so soon; he wanted to keep talking on the phone. Maybe he did double back, thinking he had gotten rid of GZ. He would have had a right to do that, but not to start a physical confrontation.


    OBJECTION!! SPECULATION... (none / 0) (#183)
    by fredquick21 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 02:43:06 AM EST
    Of course, it's speculation (5.00 / 1) (#222)
    by SuzieTampa on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 10:28:42 AM EST
    That's why I used words like "it's quite possible" and "maybe."

    Please post a live link to (none / 0) (#128)
    by Luke Lea on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:07:23 PM EST
    Zimmerman's video re-enactment if possible.  Or are those of us who waited too long just out of luck?

    Try this (none / 0) (#173)
    by MJW on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 01:26:51 AM EST
    YouTube video of reenactment.

    More gun questions (none / 0) (#130)
    by Steve27 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:13:43 PM EST
    Did Zimmerman have the gun before the neighborhood watch, before the breakins? Did he always take it with him when he went to the store? Had he been armed when he was doing his neighborhood patrols?

    Did I read somewhere that the rules of neighborhood watch was the watch people were not supposed to be armed? Which made it ok for Zimmerman to have his gun because he said he was going to the store and not to patrol the neighborhood.

    Considering that he is willing to mislead the court in regard to the paypal money, isn't it likely he was watching the neighborhood that night and that is why he had his gun with him?

    In talking to the detectives he says he was driving by the house that had been broken into, saw TM outside of it and called the non emergency line. Without asking TM what he was doing. ( TM could have been visiting and was at the wrong house. )

    Aim at some target (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:11:31 PM EST
    Considering that he is willing to mislead the court in regard to the paypal money, isn't it likely he was watching the neighborhood that night and that is why he had his gun with him?

    Don't know; don't care.

    In talking to the detectives he says he was driving by the house that had been broken into, saw TM outside of it and called the non emergency line. Without asking TM what he was doing. ( TM could have been visiting and was at the wrong house. )

    Are you suggesting GZ should have confronted Trayvon?  


    Nevermind, I found a live link to the video (none / 0) (#134)
    by Luke Lea on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:23:59 PM EST
    of Zimmerman's re-enactment, 12 minutes and 27 seconds long.  You have to see it all to get a sense of it.  Edited versions don't work.

    But the URL... (none / 0) (#141)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:20:12 PM EST
    ...was too long to fit within the margins of this blog?

    Anyway, I thought it was like 15 minutes.


    use the link button at the top of your comment box (none / 0) (#165)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 11:58:19 PM EST
    type your comment. Highlight the words you want to associate with your url, e.g. "Here's the video" you would put your mouse over "video" and click on the link button. A box comes up, you paste the url into it and click "ok". That's it.

    As in Here is the video of the reenactment.

    Just preview first to make sure you did it right.

    By the way, my link goes to the 15 minute version at the New York Times.


    Gun. State's Evidence. (none / 0) (#137)
    by Tamta on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:32:40 PM EST

    FYI, I tried to spread the Jeralyn perspective (none / 0) (#176)
    by fairleft on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 01:39:23 AM EST
    at Firedoglake, with a little success I think. The discussion there is essentially over now, however.

    Where in the recorded call does this happen? (none / 0) (#177)
    by willisnewton on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 01:42:44 AM EST
    GZ told police he was parked by the cut thru when this happened. I'm curious what the defense will say when asked to explain at what time during his recorded call to the dispatcher that these events occur.  Because I can't see how this fits.

    (Is this a "variation" or a "difference?")   In my little hometown of Riddle, Arkansas we called this sort of talk by a different name.

    y own, likely imperfect transcription from the re-enactment / walk thru video audio track:

    "And i saw him walking back that way and then cut thru the back of the houses - he looked back and he noticed me and he cut back thru the houses. I was still on the phone with non emergency um and then he came back and he started walking up towards the grass and then came down and circled my car and i told the operator...  but he had his hand in his waistband, and i think i told the operator that"

    Here is an approximation of the path GZ seems to be describing with his words and hand gestures. It seems a shame that one of the people present couldn't have acted out the role of TM so GZ could get his story across better.  I've used the "path" tool in Google earth, it's quite handy for this sort of thing.  


    The path is around 400 feet, marked here as 387 feet but of course it can't be anything but a guesstimate given the nature of the video tape.  It could be as short as 350, if you assume he walked much closer to the car.  At 5fps that's some time between 70 to 80 seconds.  At a faster pace that's 5O to 57 seconds.  Much faster than that and TM is running, which is not what George told the police investigators happened.  

    Here's how it fits... (5.00 / 1) (#221)
    by heidelja on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 10:06:35 AM EST
    ...to specifically comment about your first paragraph, it "fits" because one can hear alarm dinging and the car door opening/closing on the NEN audio (dialog).  Where (reenactment video or somehow else) GZ "told police he was parked by the cut thru when this happened" I have not understood to have been stated. Does not hearing things suggest subconcious bias on my part?

    I assume in your small hometown this would be called "lying"! (LOL) Curiously commented previously to TalkLeft (moniker YoungLawyer) on this subject suggested GZ on the reenactment video is lying by standing "ten feet" away from the exact spot where TM's body was found when he said "it happened here"!


    You are onto something Watson.... (none / 0) (#205)
    by heidelja on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:47:22 AM EST
    ...your diagram makes it "obvious" to me what GZ was probably describing by his variant speak that TM "circled" his vehicle.

    But first let me interject this. A significant contributor to the variations/differences is that the NEN call audio is one of straight up dialog. The reenactment video is one of narration. The dialog leaves one with no explanation of GZ's perceptions/understandings of the recorded events as they unfolded.  His narrative attempts to provide the explanation of his thinking at the  moments recalled to the best of his ability.

    Then there is that commented above suggesting someone should have acted out the part of TM during GZ's reenactment. Likely this would have been considerably more cumbersome and skewed all sense of a timeline. Isn't "interrogation" sometimes no more than grasping for straws seeing what might fall out? The cops doing it as expediently as possible can have its "advantages" given their inclinations!  

    My general observation is that GZ would have greatly behooved himself had he had a pad with some key recollections written down directing the reenactment along the physical path of his "bulletted" items. But this is hindsight.

    During his 15 min videotaped reenactment "on the fly" GZ at times appears to be in an almost surreal mental trance decribing his deepest recollections from the night before in a narrative way while not always moving to exactly where the events he described happened. In other words, his thoughts drove the reenactment not his physical movement and the location he jeft  himself in during the reenactment.

    To me "circled" describes the phenomenon that happened in GZ's mind caused the night before when he drove from the clubhouse to where he parked on Twin Lakes.  When GZ drove past TM, TM was on one side and after he parked TM passed him on the other side. In GZ's transcendental mindset for his recollections while in the car TM had "circled" him during the points in time traversed from the clubhouse/mailboxes to where he parked. I think too GZ's reenactment narative for TM "going in and coming back" are similarly explained because GZ saw TM headed in an easterly  direction ahead of him when driving  and then GZ passed him and then saw TM again "going back" in an easterly direction. Could this be a layperson's best explanaton of Einsteins theory of relativity?  


    That ought to go well in court... not. (none / 0) (#223)
    by willisnewton on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 10:32:43 AM EST
    This of course is only my opinion and just speculation about what the prosecution may argue at a trial.  

    The alternate explanation is that he is lying to investigators about how he traveled from near the clubhouse to near the cut thru, and what he saw once he got there about circling the vehicle so as to obscure or omit the more likely idea that he may have shadowed the teen from behind, causing him to run away.  

    Your speculation has GZ passing TM on his way to the cut thru.  Fine, if you suppose that makes sense I'll entertain that notion but what is his activity prior to passing TM going to be characterized by the prosecution as?  Following, perhaps?  

    They may say this:  If TM left the mailboxes when GZ says "he's coming to check me out" (as DeeDee seems to support,) and GZ was in his car slightly south of the mailboxes, TM would pass his vehicle in around 34 seconds, like right about the time GZ says "these axxholes always get away."  

    Google maps is a good way to see how far TM could have walked from near the clubhouse in that time.  If he walks at the average speed, he's get around 170 feet.  

    Later, of course GZ claims he is parked near the cut thru.  We don't really know, but he does say as much to the dispatcher  in the recorded call.  The police never observed his truck that night, and it seems likely his wife moved it after hearing from GZ or the resident who was handling a call to her as he describes.  But in the walk thru video, he seems pretty sure of where his truck was.  

    Previously, surrogates like Frank Taafee claimed "According to George" that GZ was facing west parked at the same or similar spot by the cut thru.   The difficulty with that reasoning was that if TM walked at the same speed in front of and behind the vehicle, he would have been out of sight by the time GZ says "sh*t, he's running" since there are another 30 seconds of time past "these axxholes always get away" and TM would have already made the bend into the dog walk area by that time unless he wlaked significantly SLOWER once passing GZ's truck.

    I tend to think the defense is going to have difficulty coming up with a more likely story.  

    IMO a similar logic problem exists with his explanation of parking in front of the clubhouse instead of around the corner or at the corner intersection, since once again what he's saying in the re-enectment doesn't seem to match the recorded call.  Once again in my own opinion it seems as though he's obscuring or omitting the idea that he's "followed" the youth from 1400 RVC to the clubhouse rather than led him.  

    GZ's tale is 100% exculpatory at every turn.  In GZ's version, he never trails the teen with his car while the teen in is sight.  In GZ's version, he never even uses his arms to do anything except pull his weapon and fire.  In GZ's version, he stumbles from the E-W sidewalk to somewhere near John's backyard while TM does nothing except maybe push him to the ground once they get the vast majority of the 50 feet or so down south.  In my opinion he's laying it on a tad thick.  And these "variations" as we'll call them all seem to come in spots where there are other, more likely explanations given the evidence and recorded call to dispatch's timing.  


    Zimmerman describes using his arms (none / 0) (#225)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 10:44:59 AM EST
    willisnewton - it is false that in GZ's version, he never even uses his arms to do anything except pull his weapon and fire.

    Zimmerman describes using his arms to reach for his cellphone, which is not in the pocket he expects to find it it; to attempt to fend off Martin while stumbling and being shoved; to deflect Martin's blows directed at his face; and to attempt to pry Martin's hands from his nose and mouth.

    From Zimmerman's description, his arms are pretty much free at all times, and I think he is accounting for his use of them throughout the combat.


    So... (none / 0) (#228)
    by JoeMenardo on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 10:52:35 AM EST
    During the rest of the struggle where are his hands and arms. I just can't envision fighting for my life and not using my hands to fight back.  It was a pretty long struggle.  

    According to Zimmerman (5.00 / 1) (#234)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 11:09:51 AM EST
    If I recall correctly, Zimmerman says he is using his arms to fend off blows from Martin.  Again, to the best of my recollection, in response to a direct question about hitting back, Zimmerman said he never tried to hit Martin.  The forensic evidence, injuries on his fingers, hands or knuckles, indicate no attempt to strike back.

    Zimmerman also says he tried to sit up so he could get away.  I would think he'd use a hand an arm to assist that, leaving one arm to protect his face.


    I understand all that. (none / 0) (#236)
    by JoeMenardo on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 11:19:14 AM EST
    I have listened to and watched every statement available and am aware of what GZ said.  My question is, does that make sense?  Is it believable that you would be getting pummeled and not fight back at all especially if your hands are free?

    Involuntary Statement? (none / 0) (#184)
    by Cylinder on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 03:30:36 AM EST
    Caution: Layperson questions ahead. IANAL.

    One questions raised - in my mind at least - is the strange manner in which Investigator Singleton conducts the kind of administrative portion of
    Zimmerman's initial interveiw

    OK. The date is February 22nd [sic], 2012. This is Investigator Singleton. I'm doing an interview room [sic] with George Micheal Zimmerman in reference to an event that happened out at 2831 Retreat View Circle. I'm gonna read you your Miranda rights cause obvoiusly you are here and you are not free to go right now because we got to figure out what's going on. You haven't been charged with a crime yet but you are here and you can't go until we figure out what really happened. I'm gonna ask you about it, so I have to give you your Miranda warning so that you understand.[Explains rights]

    It seems to my layperson mind, that at this point (if not earlier) Zimmerman is clearly under arrest. Even if he volunteered transport, would that kind of unequivicable statement by Singleton kind of cancel Zimmerman's consent to be there voluntarily? Is there some middle ground between free to leave and under arrest that I'm missing?

    It also seems to my lay opinion that she seriously misstates the law. Florida's immunity statute seems to say the opposite, that Zimmerman is free to leave after until they "figure out what really happened." Wouldn't sitting in an interrogation room with no option to leave be more of an "investigative custody" rather than a "normal investigative technique?"

    Finally - and this is pure speculation on my part - it could be interpreted by an Ordinary Joe (read: me) her Miranda warning was wrapped in a threat. You can't leave till we figure this out sounds a bit like If you wanna walk, you gotta talk. It  just seems odd that she prefaces her warning in that manner.

    Be gentle if these are sophmoric questions. What am I missing here?

    Sorry, doing this from memory... (none / 0) (#187)
    by DebFrmHell on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 04:42:16 AM EST
    IIRC, Serino called in a told that Investigator to uncuff Zimmerman after he had been in custody for a period of time.

    I believe it was referred to as "protective custody."  In my defendant's mind, every time I have been Mirandized, it was because I was under arrest.

    The way her opening statement reads, it makes me think (s)he didn't have a lot of experience in conducting interviews within major crimes.

    I haven't yet listened to the audio yet so it is just my gut instinct as to how it is transcribed.

    All IMO!


    Detention vs. Arrest (none / 0) (#192)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 05:29:36 AM EST
    You're just missing legal terms of art.

    The "talk or you won't walk" implied threat is standard.  But the police have the power to detain a person until the situation is sorted out, and if, after that, they have probable cause to arrest, they will.

    Zimmerman was under an investigatory detention.  This is a step short of "arrest."  "Arrest" is a legal term of art that implies an assertion on the part of the police that they have probable cause Zimmerman is guilty of a crime.  They don't obtain that, in this case; and probably would not have obtained that from eyewitness interviews, either.

    Arrest is not synonymous with "held against will," although it does include "held against will."  Arrest is "held against will because we have (at least) probable cause the person committed a crime."

    Investigatory detention includes "held against will" too, but the reason for the hold does not include probable cause that a crime has been committed by the person being held.


    Thank you (none / 0) (#239)
    by DebFrmHell on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 11:29:09 AM EST
    for the explanation.

    tried just about every drug? (none / 0) (#215)
    by lore hahn on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 09:06:22 AM EST
    Except this one? ;)

    He was on Adderall and Temazepan before. They often seem to be proscribed in combination. My suspicion is that Adderall is related to his missing two (one ?) credits in associate criminal law. The work in opposition.

    I found it interesting, he is talking about my Adderal. I have known many people that have been hooked on painkillers, e.g. musicians, not for pains really.

    Or at the least, a psychologist that works under a shrinks umbrella.

    I am sure GZ is very, very guarded against any such attempts. This may be just an impression, but it is a strong one nevertheless.

    I am BiPolar (none / 0) (#229)
    by DebFrmHell on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 10:52:42 AM EST
    I have been diagnosed since 1985.  I have been hospitalized 5 times for month-long therapy and med resets.  Three or four week long events.  Some have side effects that range from uncomfortable to downright terrifying.  So, yes, I have been on many drugs and many combinations.  

    When I refer to "being under a psychiatrist umbrella," in many of the offices I have gone to, the person I deal with primarily is a psychologist.  The shrink is there to prescribe and regulate medications.  This keeps costs down though hardly what I consider to be affordable.  I spend the better part of every year not being able to stay medically compliant due to insurance issues.

    So I do have a little experience in this.

    So there is your ;-) for the day.  8-)


    Excellent analysis Jeralyn (none / 0) (#217)
    by Jack203 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 09:20:57 AM EST
    As a moderate liberal, and huge fan of Obama, I can't stand to be on the same side with mostly "conservatives" on this case.   So it's refreshing to see completely eye to eye with someone closer to my political opinions.

    Based just on what I've seen and heard (none / 0) (#219)
    by Tamta on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 09:39:47 AM EST
    From GZ in the context only of this case my instinctive read of him is that he may well suffer from an anxiety disorder, either generalized or maybe with particular attention to a phobia.

    2/29 Serino interview shows he's not receiving counseling.
    Whose care is he under?
    Who prescribed those meds?

    The high levels of anxiety or unregulated anxiety would most definitely have bearing on ability to focus or direct focus, hence the ADHD diagnosis perhaps.

    On the 2/27 Voice stress video (none / 0) (#226)
    by Rojas on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 10:47:39 AM EST
    GZ said he had met with his doctor and his psychologist.
    Link at 4:43

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#233)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 11:08:08 AM EST
    Haighliaghts the weakest part of GZ's story:

    "George used one arm to pin Trayvon's hand against him, and with the other, unholstered his gun and shot Trayvon in the chest. "

    This kid is beatin GZ up according to this version of the story and GZ is fighting for his life and can barely defend himself with two hands.  Suddenly he gains super strength and reflexes and is able to pin Trayvon's hand and with his other hand unholster his gun and shoot.  What is Trayvon's other hand doing.  It makes no sense to me.

    That description is not what Zimmerman claims (5.00 / 1) (#244)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 11:53:57 AM EST
    Zimmerman claims that he used his right upper arm to capture Martin's "hand" (or some part of the hand/forearm assembly), and right forearm and hand to grip his pistol.  Then he rotated his arm at the elbow, and moved the muzzle forward to clear his left forearm before firing the shot.  I'd guess that move (holster to firing) took less than 2 seconds.

    Lot's of New Speculation Here (none / 0) (#235)
    by RickyJim on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 11:15:04 AM EST
    but very little to indicate it would be unreasonable to think that Zimmerman didn't shoot Martin in self defense.  Can somebody give a condensed prosecution closing argument?  

    On the other hand, I am in agreement that it is not clear that there is a preponderance of evidence to grant Zimmerman immunity under SYG.  

    I meant to say, (none / 0) (#240)
    by RickyJim on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 11:30:16 AM EST
    that the prosecution has to show it is unreasonable to think Zimmerman shot Martin in self defense.  People who use double negatives in English get into trouble. (My last comment is not about this case. :-))

    Zimmerman writes with his left hand (none / 0) (#250)
    by Aunt Polgara on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 01:07:49 PM EST
    In the video interview by CVSA shown here at about the 6:21 mark, GZ is shown signing his name with his left hand.

    Being left handed is no fun for a shooter (none / 0) (#251)
    by Lina Inverse on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 01:38:51 PM EST
    Aunt Polgara: see these two comments, A, B that address why some left handed shooters fire handguns with their right hand.

    Being left handed is no fun for a shooter (none / 0) (#254)
    by Aunt Polgara on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 02:36:02 PM EST
    Lina Inverse: Yes, I did see those comments about the difficulties left handers have with guns, and we lefties do face a lot of challenges. :-)

    Even left handed scissors are not truly left handed. Manufacturers reverse the handles, but not the blades.

    I was just attempting to clear up some apparent confusion about whether GZ was right or left handed.

    Zims 1st audio statement he says (none / 0) (#256)
    by fredquick21 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 03:09:31 PM EST
    after TM covers his nose and mouth TM says "Your gonna die tonight" then (ZIM) "I don't remember much after that i just remember that i couldn't breathe and he still kept trying to hit my head against the pavement ". Zim had already slide his head away from the pavement (Listen to the tape) yet still claims this was happening "the pavement or a sign"... ZIM.. also say ( earlier in the audio ) "NOT ONLY" that he reached for his cell phone but retrieved it (in the re-enactment he didn't retrieve it) and tried to call 911... ZIM states "It was dark i didn't even see him " "AS SOON AS HE PUNCHED ME I FELL BACKWARD". Look where ZIM stands in his re-enactment when he says he was punched if he fell backwards (his words) he would've been to the top left of the ( T). In the audio ZIM makes no mention of "PINNING TM Hand/wrist against his side" he says "When he (tm) said "Your gonna die tonight" i (ZIM) ) felt his hand going down to my side so i grabbed it immediately and as he (after zim had the gun) "BANGED MY HEAD AGAIN" i fired.... I STRONGLY ADVISE you to listen the 1st audio statement on 2/26 with the female officer "SINGLETON" as this was done right after the shooting at the station with only limited time to rehearse and no time to talk to anyone so to change your statement to a more favorable version... Last line was my opinion

    At the (none / 0) (#257)
    by Dilbert By Day on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 03:43:10 PM EST
    13:05 marker in the reenactment video, Zimmerman says he shot Martin, but that he thought he missed him because TM sat up and responded verbally after the shot was fired. The next thing he remembers is sitting on Martin's back, and moving Martin's hands out-away from his body, pinning them to the ground in an iron cross configuration. Zimmerman goes on to indicate that he applied this restraining measure because earlier in the chain of events, when he was being hit repeatedly on his face and head, he thought Martin "had something in his hands,"  implying an object, or objects. However, in apparent contradiction, the Sanford Police Report tells us that Martin was discovered laying face down on the ground with "his hands underneath his body."

    In my opinion, it's possible that the message Zimmerman was attempting to convey here, is that he believed Martin was assaulting him with an object, or in legal parlance, a weapon, in an effort to bolster his self defense claim. Again, in my opinion, this discrepancy between this physical evidence (Martin's hand placement) and Zimmerman's version of events, appears to be an outright fabrication, or more politely, an embellishment designed to support the claim that GZ believed his life was in jeopardy when he shot and killed TM.

    If these elements of GZ's walk through testimony have already been sussed, parsed, and reasonably discounted, I apologize. I've been somewhat lax in keeping up recently. Thanks.  

    Something in his hand (none / 0) (#258)
    by friendofinnocence on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 03:51:27 PM EST
    Zimmerman had told the non-emergency response operator the guy checking him out had something in his hand.

    What are those discrepancies? Motive? (none / 0) (#261)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 04:26:16 PM EST
    I don't think Jeralyn would object to a theory of the events that comports with the evidence; or that expresses why certain evidence should be discounted, or that asserts certain findings can be supported by inference.  If all you have is speculation, unsupported by the evidence, a judge wouldn't admit it to a hearing or trial anyway.  Jeralyn tries to keep the discussion here generally aligned with what could happen in a court proceeding, with the limitations imposed there.

    A week ago, I remarked about and linked to the Jarkas case.  It involves the combination of a motion for self defense immunity, and the state having circumstantial evidence.

    I agree that the defense is in trouble when there are significant material discrepancies between a defendant's account and the physical evidence and eyewitness testimony.  The point of this thread was to uncover those.

    What is the prosecution's argument about what likely happened?

    @Expy (none / 0) (#262)
    by Tamta on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 04:31:33 PM EST
    I perhaps do not always agree with you but I appreciate your insight and perspective.

    I STRONGLY ADVISE you to listen (none / 0) (#263)
    by fredquick21 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 04:33:37 PM EST
    to the 1st audio statement as it was made the night of and right after the shooting the female officer "SINGLETON" is giving the interview and there is no time to change your statement or talk to anyone so you can rehearse or a more favorable statement ... MANY inconsistencies and "i don't remembers and no "PINNING TM Hand/wrist against his side"

    GZ's ribs weren't broken (none / 0) (#265)
    by lore hahn on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 04:52:44 PM EST
    Maybe Serino has experience with injuries resulting from a serious battles?

    Full disclosure, my brother broke my nose in a not very serious struggle with me. It hurts no doubt, even Frank Zappa knew this. Many do.

    Apparently not... (none / 0) (#266)
    by friendofinnocence on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 04:58:06 PM EST
    I watch a lot of "serious" MMA fights and no one is surprised if there aren't any broken ribs at the end of the fight.

    @friendofinnocence (none / 0) (#269)
    by Dilbert By Day on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 05:25:32 PM EST
    Zimmerman had told the non-emergency response operator the guy checking him out had something in his hand.

    Yes, I'm familiar with that observation.

    Can an assailant continue to hold an object in his hands while repeatedly slamming the victim's head in to a concrete walkway? Can he maintain his grasp on an object while muffling the victim's cries for help in the manner illustrated by GZ in the walk through video, i.e., one hand over his nose, and the opposing hand over his mouth, palms down?

    Maybe, but neither scenario explains the location of Martin's hands as established in the Sanford police report, against GZ's contradictory account of restraining Martin's hands out, away from his body after the fatal shot was fired. I think somebody has it wrong.  

    Jeralyn: the house wasn't burglarized before (none / 0) (#277)
    by lore hahn on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:07:14 PM EST
    He knew this person didn't live at the house he was standing by because it had been burglarized before and he knew who lived, there.

    Wrong, Zimmerman saw a suspicious black male with a "bomber hat" looking into the windows, while this guy was doing this their eyes met. The man ran away before police arrived. The house has not been broken in but its owner Frank Taaffe much to the dislike of GZ always leaves his windows and door open. The house wasn't broken in, no burglary was committed.

    George Zimmerman claims he prevented one.

    Oldest trick in the book (none / 0) (#286)
    by MJW on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 08:03:00 PM EST
    In my opinion, the homicide inspector tried very, very hard to guide Zimmerman down that path in their February interview sessions, and he just wouldn't grab the lifeline they were throwing him.

    A nice little trap -- at least from the cop shows I've watched.  The detective "helpfully" suggests an alternate version from the suspect's story, where the suspect admits a little guilt.  The suspect accepts the detective's version.  The detective uses the both the admission and inconsistency with the original version against the suspect.

    Two "out of character" characters... (none / 0) (#292)
    by heidelja on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 08:54:02 PM EST
    ...I commented above -

    ...it seems very likely that it was more than just GZ's possible "disparate character flaws" that had something to do with events that took place on Feb 26. Before a jury, the State will drop plenty of innuendos for how "young and innocent" TM was. If TM's character "flip side" is not allowed to be part of GZ's defense it greatly favors the State to the point of being injustice.

    In other words, the totality of the events that allegedly occurred are considerably more comprehensible knowing more about TM. Call it bias if you want, but I do not see it as being biased...only being fair.

    If characterisations come into play, GZ has the advantage of winning over a jury. Note that most of his background will be inadmissable because portions have been expunged.  TM's by all appearances was overboard beyond reason per my comment above:

    Yes, your point can be argued!

    But why didn't TM run to the safety of his "home" and STAY there? By all indications TM had disappeared in the darkness and GZ would not have seen where he had gone 70 yds away.

    Such a wordy (none / 0) (#293)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 09:03:43 PM EST
    hypothesis is hardly necessary to make the bald claim that Martin returned north up the leg of the "T," "confronted" Zimmerman at the top of it, at which time Zimmerman "went for his gun."  You could put a jury to sleep this way.

    Zimmerman never claimed he got out of his truck for the sole purpose of locating a street sign.  

    circumstantial evidence (none / 0) (#294)
    by expy on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 09:12:26 PM EST
    The problem for the prosecution is that the scenario you laid out is pure speculation at the critical points of legal decision.

    That's what circumstantial evidence is. It happens in most homicide cases. The prosecution offers a "most likely" scenario based on the set of facts it has. Maybe the only thing the prosecution has is a dead body and a living suspect with an arguable motive to kill.

    Juries are told that its their job to draw appropriate inferences from the evidence -- NOT that the prosecutor has the obligation to prove every last detail of the events through direct evidence.

    If the court is going to allow conjecture for the state, it has to allow it for the defendant too

    Yes, and that is usually embodied in the circumstantial evidence instruction given to the jury. The jury will be instructed that they are empowered to draw inferences from evidence, and that if there are multiple reasonable inferences to be drawn, one of which is consistent with innocence, then they must go with the inference that favors the defense.

    However, as I pointed out above, the defense sometimes cuts off that avenue by testifying to an alternative scenario that the jury finds to be uncredible and unreasonable.

    When defendants opt not to testify, then their lawyers are free to do the same type of inference-based speculative argument on their behalf.  For example, if I was representing a defendant under a set of facts similar to the Zimmerman/Martin case -- but with a client who had not made any statement to the police -- and that client told me (in confidence) a story that seemed like b.s. that the jury would never believe ... I, as an attorney, would be able to advise my client not to testify at all, and then I would be free during final argument to concoct my own defense-oriented theory, based on an alternative interpretation of the very evidence the prosecution cited as most damning... and then hope that the jury would see my suggested inferences as equally or more reasonable than the prosecutions.  

    But it's hard for a defense attorney to argue a set of facts based on a different theory than the one his client has testified to - although not impossible -- this may be the point where a psychiatric-based defense becomes more appropriate.  It's not clear to me in the Zimmerman case whether the purported PTSD diagnosis came before or after the shooting incident. A PTSD-based defense may very well be a way to explain an implausible account from a defendant.

    Zimmerman out of character (none / 0) (#295)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 09:13:52 PM EST
    Don't get me wrong, I don't think an aggressive Martin is out of character.  I just see no value in proving it, and substantial downside risks.  What the evidence shows about his conduct that night is damning enough.  I think Serino has adopted a mistaken view of Martin's character; and Martin's character is easier to miss due to being younger, secrecy of juvenile records, and general deference to dead juveniles.

    As for Zimmerman's character, I got a different impression of Serino's line of questioning, but I don't think Serino and I come to the same conclusion.  I think Serino is looking for a narrative that makes more sense.

    I find that Zimmerman is trying to come off as perfect in every way, in some aspects, "incredible."  I'll cut him slack as having been under a fog of war, but trying to come off as "perfect" tends to raise suspicion, and that's not a good thing if you're in the right.

    Looking for house numbers is BS.  He wanted to see where "the guy" disappeared to.  I believe one timeline has him spending a minute or two of unaccounted time, outside the car, after losing Martin.  Looking for "the guy" is in Zimmerman's character.

    I think Serino is uncertain if Zimmerman was the first to use physical force, and I get a sense that Serino wants to hear that Zimmerman started chewing out Martin, which might set him off.  He suggests that Zimmerman reaching into a pocket might be enough to reasonably set off Martin, in fear.

    I don't know if Serino looks at a chewing out to be in character or out of character for Zimmerman, but I think Zimmerman is chicken and confrontation-averse.  I find it believable he would grab his phone instead of (or while) talking to Martin.  So, I find Zimmerman's statement that he didn't want to confront Martin to be believable - not that being a chicken is good character, but Zimmerman sort of admits it, and avoiding confrontation is what he's been taught.

    Anyway, anything that comes off as shading the truth, by Zimmerman, cuts against him.  Any violent character trait cuts against him too, but I don't see his bar incident as a character flaw, he was defending a friend from a stranger, using way less than deadly force.

    Lots of rambling, probably not responsive to your question.

    If Zimmerman (none / 0) (#299)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 09:36:32 PM EST
    had any interest in "detaining" Martin at gun point, he had an opportunity to do that out in the open, as Martin walked past his truck.

    And surely (none / 0) (#303)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 09:58:28 PM EST
    no one is suggesting that O'Mara will not be able to present a persuasive, polished, forensics expert to counter Corey's persuasive, polished, forensics expert.  

    The butterfly bandages were applied (none / 0) (#305)
    by Redbrow on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 10:17:20 PM EST
    by Sandford PD personnel. I am getting tired of George Zimmerman haters lambasting him for the bandages on his head. They are claiming he applied them to garner sympathy from police investigators or anybody else who might view the video. They make analogies to wearing a big neck brace into court and the like.

    The bandages can clearly be seen during the video interview at the police station on the night of the incident.

    interview video

    witness wilfully false (none / 0) (#307)
    by expy on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 11:59:09 PM EST
    I hear what you are saying about if he says one thing untrue, then you have to dismiss all of it.  Same go for the prosecution?  Because if so, we have scant little to go on.

    I didn't say, "have to dismiss", I said that the finder of fact has the option of dismissing the rest. In my jurisdiction, that is the "witness wilfully false" instruction -- the jury is told that if they feel that part of the testimony is  a deliberate lie, then they may reject the rest of the testimony -- but its up to them.

    I don't quite understand your question about the prosecution because in the Zimmerman prosecution, they aren't really resting their case on the testimony of one witness. I mean, whether not the jury decides to believe the testimony of Dee Dee has no bearing on whether or not they believe the testimony of John - they'll consider each witness individually.

    I don't think that Florida has an equivalent pattern jury instruction, though I don't think it matters.  The jury will be instructed, "You may rely upon your own conclusion about the witness. A juror may believe or disbelieve all or any part of the evidence or the testimony of any witness.{ -- which pretty much tells the jury they can do anything they want with witness testimony. (Florida Standard Jury Instruction 3.9).  

    If the defendant testifies, then the jury is told to treat his testimony the same as any other witness [3.9(c)] -- meaning they can believe or disbelieve all or any part of that as well.

    FWIW, the self defense instruction is 3.6(f) -- rather long & convoluted but you can find it all here:
    Florida Jury Instructions

    character evidence (none / 0) (#311)
    by expy on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 01:47:02 AM EST
    we're back to Zimmerman's usual eagerness to confront (zero, confrontation averse)

    Evidence of Zimmerman's character traits would not be admissible, unless the defense opens the door by introducing evidence of character.

    I can't see the defense attorney doing that given the history of multiple police reports/complaints about kids & suspected burglars, all who happen to be black; the prior d.v. allegation and restraining order; the prior assault arrest from the bar incident; and the police report from the co-worker who claims that Zimmerman is a bully.  None of that stuff is going to come in unless the defense makes the confrontation-averse argument you are suggesting-- so I can't see any competent attorney even contemplating a character-based defense.  

    In general, criminal defense lawyers rarely make the mistake of putting their own client's character in issue.  And O'Mara has already been burned once with the bail situation - I think he'd be especially cautious in that regard.

    Plus I'd think that some jurors would be very skeptical of character-based argument for a guy who is carrying a loaded gun around with him. Tricky argument to make in this setting.  

    My remark about thruthfulness of the prosecution (none / 0) (#316)
    by cboldt on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 05:26:11 AM EST
    Was not about witnesses, it was about the state's theory.  If Zimmerman shades the truth to paint a more perfect picture, and can be deeply discounted as a result; then the same process applies to the state as it weaves a tale using circumstantial evidence.

    Whatabout... (none / 0) (#321)
    by heidelja on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:05:30 AM EST
    ...the admisability of the reenactment video? On Friday's Open Forum it was suggested that it could be viewed as hearsay.

    Dupes in the audio files (none / 0) (#322)
    by cboldt on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:35:25 AM EST
    Just for reference, some of the URLs point to the same recording, but under different file names.  Might save some time for those who are downloading the files from the ABC cite, links provided by Jeralyn.







    There are also three zero-size files


    cboldt: Okay, I misunderstood your initial (none / 0) (#323)
    by Mary2012 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:10:10 AM EST
    comment re "out of character". Thank you for the clarification!  

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think an aggressive Martin is out of character....

    Re other comments you made:

    I think Serino is looking for a narrative that makes more sense.

    Yep, a lot of people are looking for the same thing: a narrative that makes more sense.


    Any violent character trait cuts against him too, but I don't see his bar incident as a character flaw, he was defending a friend from a stranger, using way less than deadly force.

    A common thread is still possible in that on the night of Feb 26, GZ was protecting his wife, neighbors, and community (according to remarks GZ made in his audio statements, imo; GZ said his wife was scared by a recent break-in, etc.).  

    Differences re "deadly force": my understanding is other officers were there (at the bar incident) and were able to break up the altercation quickly. And, not that he would've used it, I don't believe GZ owned a gun at the time of the bar fight; in any case the confrontation (or whatever the correct term is) was broken up quickly; it was apparently of very short duration.


    I totally agree with you re GZ trying to come across as "perfect in everyway" (that was pretty much how he came across to me); he certainly does come across that way. I also agree that searching for house numbers was BS; he wanted to know where the guy went.


    I don't know if Serino looks at a chewing out to be in character or out of character for Zimmerman, but I think Zimmerman is chicken and confrontation-averse.  I find it believable he would grab his phone instead of (or while) talking to Martin.  So, I find Zimmerman's statement that he didn't want to confront Martin to be believable - not that being a chicken is good character, but Zimmerman sort of admits it, and avoiding confrontation is what he's been taught.

    Re confrontation: I don't know -- I think it all depends on the situation for GZ and how things "line up" (for him, in his mind).

    Re "chewing out": GZ stated, in effect, he likes to teach kids they need to be held accountable. (during his relating the story about his cousin).  How that comment or others made by GZ impacted Serino, I have no way of knowing.


    Please stop commenting here (none / 0) (#329)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 01:21:55 PM EST
    on this thread, it's overfull, and use the new thread here