George Zimmerman : Witness Support and Legal Recap

I've made a new category called "Reference Docs" for the George Zimmerman case. It is for handy access to things like the witness interviews and case photos and maybe some legal documents. I'll be adding to it over the next few days.

I also made a special set of commenting rules for the George Zimmerman case. Please read them.

On to witnesses: Many have focused on Witness 6 (John) and Witness 13, but I'd encourage everyone to listen to the later interviews of W-11, who was the first to call 911 and lives with Jeremy at 1211 Twin Trees Lane. Her audio interviews are available here. [More....]

Almost everything she heard matches up with Zimmermans account that the initial verbal confrontation began as George said, on the sidewalk west of "T" which runs along the side of their house with low bushes, that it turned the corner onto the shared path, the "helps" began as they were in back of her house, moving down to John's house. She heard John yell out, as he says. "Hey what's going on...should I call 911?" as someone kept yelling for help. Jeremy's interviews (W-20) are similar. You can also find John and Jeremy's interviews here.

As to the law and burden of proof on self-defense, the aggressor statute, Stand Your Ground and second degree murder, Florida law is very clear.

For the basics, since I don't want to repeat myself, see my earlier posts :

To clear up some misconceptions I've been reading in comments here and elsewhere, here are some key legal points to keep in mind. These are based on my review of Florida statutes, case law and jury instructions.

1. To get a jury instruction on self defense, all Zimmerman must produce is some evidence, no matter how flimsy, even if it's just his own version of events.

From Vila v. State (2011):

According to Vila's testimony, the victim attacked him first, and he responded in order to defend himself against that attack. The State contends that Vila was not entitled to the instruction because the evidence that he presented was minimal and self-serving. This argument lacks merit as a defendant is entitled to a self-defense instruction if there is any evidence to support his defense. Wright v. State, 705 So. 2d 102, 104 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998) (holding that defendant is entitled to jury instruction on his theory of case if there is any evidence to support it, no matter how flimsy that evidence might be); Taylor v. State, 410 So. 2d 1358, 1359 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982) (holding defendant entitled to requested self-defense instruction no matter "how weak or improbable his testimony may have been with respect to the circumstances" leading to commission of offense).

.....If evidence exists that raises self-defense as an issue, the proper approach is to offer the self-defense instruction with the forcible felony or initial provocation exceptions. See generally Cancel, 985 So. 2d at 1127.

Also see Gregory v. State and the Arthur case.

A criminal defendant is entitled to have the jury instructed on the law applicable to his or her theory of defense where there is any evidence to support it, no matter how weak or flimsy.

2. The Aggressor Statute: Why Zimmerman is not the Aggressor, But If He Was, He Could Still Use Deadly Force

The aggressor statute in Florida, § 776.041, allows the aggressor to respond with deadly force to the victim's use of force against him, if:

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

An aggressor is someone who initially provokes the use of physical force. Provoking fear is not the test. And the provocation has to be contemporaneous with the victim's use of force against him. The statute explicitly refers to an aggressor as someone who “initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself.”

There are two sections of the aggressor statute. The first one, concerning forcible felonies, does not apply to this case because George Zimmerman is not charged with an independent forcible felony. A multiple of Florida cases and the state’s jury instructions state this. See, Dennis v. State, Martinez v. State, Giles v. State, and Smith v. State.

The Florida Supreme Court amended and clarified the instruction on the justifiable use of deadly force in March 2008......See In re Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases—Report No. 2007-3, 976 So. 2d 1081, 1087 (Fla. 2008) (expressly stating the "forcible felony" instruction is to be given only if the defendant is charged with an independent forcible felony). The 2010 version is here.

The state may try to show GZ did something that legally justified TM's punching him in the nose and then smacking him in the head. Even if they were able to show GZ did something that justified TM's reaction of punching him in the nose and beating his head, GZ should still prevail on self-defense unless he had some other, lesser means to stop Trayvon's assault or reaching for his gun. See Martinez v. State and Johnson v. State:

Specifically, section 776.041 "[s]ubsection (2) precludes the initial aggressor from asserting self-defense where he or she is the individual who provoked the use of force" contemporaneously to the actions of the victim to which the defendant claims self-defense.

Also, in order for Trayvon to have been justified in his use of non-deadly force against GZ, he had to reasonably fear an imminent attack by Zimmerman. He can't just have been afraid because he was unsure what Zimmerman up to. Section 776.012

A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force.

If Zimmerman did not do anything to provoke Martin's assault, then stand your ground applies:

(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

3. Once George Zimmerman introduces some evidence of self-defense and is entitled to a jury instruction, he has no other burden of proof. The state must disprove self-defense by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

From Stieh v. State(2011):

It was the State's burden to overcome Stieh's theory of self-defense and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Stieh was not acting lawfully when he stabbed the victim. See Behanna, 985 So. 2d at 555. As noted by this court in Jenkins, HN7"self-defense cases are intensely fact-specific." 942 So. 2d at 916. But where the evidence " 'leaves room for two or more inferences of fact, at least one of which is consistent with the defendant's hypothesis of innocence, [it] is not legally sufficient to make a case for the jury.' " Fowler, 921 So. 2d at 712 (quoting Fowler v. State, 492 So. 2d 1344, 1348 (Fla. 1st DCA 1986)).

From Falwell v. State(2012)

Defendant [is] not required to prove self-defense claim beyond reasonable doubt or by preponderance of evidence; rather, self-defense evidence needed merely leave jury with reasonable doubt about whether he was justified in using deadly force)... The burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, including the burden of proving that the defendant did not act in self-defense, ever shifts from the State to the defendant

Montijo v. State(2011)

When a defendant claims self-defense, the State maintains the burden of proving the defendant committed the crime and did not act in self-defense. See id.; Mosansky v. State, 33 So. 3d 756, 758 (Fla. 1st DCA 2010). The burden never shifts to the defendant to prove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, he must simply present enough evidence to support giving the instruction.

4. Zimmerman does not have to testify to get a jury instruction on self-defense

Wright v. State(1998):

A self-defense instruction for the charge of battery on a police officer can be supported by circumstantial evidence from which a jury could infer that the defendant believed that his conduct was necessary to defend himself from an officer's use of excessive force in making an arrest. See Johnson v. State, 634 So. 2d 1144, 1145 (Fla. 4th DCA 1994). To raise self-defense, a defendant [**5] does not have to testify directly about his intent behind an act occurring in the past, or that he made a conscious decision to defend himself in a certain way. Not remembering an event does not preclude the possibility of either an intentional act or an accident. From the circumstances surrounding an arrest made with excessive force, a jury might infer that a defendant reasonably believed that responsive force was reasonable and necessary and, therefore, proper. As the second district stated in Kilgore v. State, 271 So. 2d 148, 152 (Fla. 2d DCA 1972)

....it is not the quantum or the quality of the proof as to self-defense that determines the requirement for giving the charge. If any evidence of a substantial character is adduced, either upon cross-examination of State witnesses or upon direct examination of the defendant and/or his witnesses, the element of self-defense becomes an issue, and the jury, as the trier of the facts, should be duly charged as to the law thereon, because it is the jury's function to determine that issue.

Goode v. State(2003):

The evidence supporting appellant's theory may be adduced from cross-examination of State witnesses or direct examination of the defense witnesses. See Wright, 705 So. 2d at 104 (citing Kilgore v. State, 271 So. 2d 148, 152 (Fla. 2d DCA 1972)).

5. The Rules of Evidence are not relaxed and Hearsay is not allowed at a Stand Your Ground Hearing:

McDaniel v. State(2009):

While the rules of evidence are inapplicable or relaxed in certain proceedings, we have been unable to find--and the parties have not cited--any authority holding that hearsay evidence is admissible at a pretrial evidentiary hearing on a motion to dismiss based on immunity. Cf. Charles W. Ehrhardt, Ehrhardt's Florida Evidence § 103.1, at 5-7 (2009)

6. The Danger George Zimmerman Feared Need not be Real or Actual.

Raneri v. State(1971)

While the danger need not be real or actual, the appearance of danger must be both real and imminent and the slayer must actually and reasonably believe that it is necessary to act in order to save his own life or that of a member of his family from death or great bodily harm in order to constitute justification.

Stinson v. State(1971)

A person may act upon appearances as they appear to him at the time, even to the extent of taking human life if he honestly and actually believes - and the attending circumstances and conditions are such that a reasonably cautious and prudent person would believe - that he or some member of his family is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm at the hands of the deceased. The danger need not be real or actual, but the appearance of danger must be both real and imminent and the slayer must honestly believe it is necessary to act in order to save his own life or that of a member of his family from death or great personal injury in order to constitute justification. He must actually and reasonably believe the danger to be actual and the necessity real.

7. Depraved Mind Requires Showing of Ill-Will, Hatred, Malice:

Stinson v. State( 1971):

When the deceased swung at him, appellant was under no compulsion to wait around and see whether the second blow might find its mark as promised by the aggressor.

...In the circumstances reflected in this record, there was no evidence from which the jury could infer that the appellant acted in a manner evincing a depraved mind as defined by our Supreme Court in Ramsey v. State, 114 Fla. 766, 154 So. 855, when he instinctively neutralized his attacker with the only appropriate means at hand. That the attacker sustained a mortal wound is a matter that should have been considered by the deceased before he committed himself to the task he undertook.

Dorsey v. State(2011)

The crime of second degree murder is defined as the "unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual." § 782.04, Fla. Stat. (2006).

An act is imminently dangerous to another and evinces a "depraved mind" if it is an act or series of acts that: (1) a person of ordinary judgment would know is reasonably certain to kill or do serious bodily injury to another; (2) is done from ill will, hatred, spite or an evil intent; and (3) is of such a nature that the act itself indicates an indifference to human life. Wiley v. State, 60 So. 3d 588, 591 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011); Fla. Std. Jury Instr. (Crim.) 7.4.

Florida courts have held that an impulsive overreaction to an attack or injury is itself insufficient to prove ill will, hatred, spite, or evil intent. See, e.g., Light v. State, 841 So. 2d 623, 626 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003); McDaniel v. State, 620 So. 2d 1308 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993).

"Although exceptions exist, the crime of second-degree murder is normally committed by a person who knows the victim and has had time to develop a level of enmity toward the victim." Light, 841 So. 2d at 626. Moreover, "[h]atred, spite, evil intent, or ill will usually require more than an instant to develop." Id.

Your turn. Once again, please review our commenting rules for this case and save your work on your computer if you are in doubt as to whether your comment may be deleted.

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  • Z's best evidence is the mini-keychain/flashlight (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by PeterOL on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:43:13 PM EST
    1. Zimmerman was holding his car keychain with its attached mini flashlight, which was on;

    2. it dropped where he says he was first attacked at near the T path intersection, exactly where he claimed he was attacked in his walk through;

    3. Zimmerman could not have been an aggressor while he was holding his mini flashlight that was on, and presumably in his right hand;

    4. Having the keys in his hand indicates he was headed back to his car;

    5. How does Zimmerman punch, grab, or push Martin? As an aggressor, he would normally have first have put his car keys and flashlight away so they would not be lost (presumably on the first punch) or damaged;

    6. It makes no sense to claim he was the aggressor.

    I think the state's (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:08:35 PM EST
    argument will be he was the aggressor because he followed Trayvon and that somehow put Trayvon in fear of imminent physical harm, entitling him to respond to the perceived threat with force.

    The problems are first, the law in Florida says the provocation had to be contemporaneous with the force the victim used in response. If GZ was walking back to his car having lost sight of TM, and was no longer following TM, then TM's punch was not contemporaneous with GZ's provocation. In which case GZ is not the aggressor and had no duty to retreat.

    Also, there is no evidence we know of that GZ was about to attack TM. In order for TM to respond to GZ with force, TM had to reasonably believe he was about to be attacked by Zimmerman. There's nothing to support such a belief. In fact, just the opposite: His friend DeeDee says he spoke first when they finally met up: TM said to GZ, "Why are you following me?" She says GZ asked him "What are you doing here?" That's hardly an indication of an intent to assault. Either is reaching into his pocket for a cell phone.

    I don't see GZ as the aggressor here by any set of facts the state has propounded. Ultimately, the judge will make the call whether the jury is even instructed on the aggressor statute. (I won't be surprised if he allows it, but I would argue it's the wrong call.)


    keychain/flashlight is circumstantial evidence (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by PeterOL on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:22:25 PM EST
    I agree with what you say. My point is that the factors I mentioned are compelling circumstantial evidence for reasonable doubt, IN ADDITION, to witness statements.

    Moreover, DeeDee's statements, as I am sure many are aware, have very big problems so even a balance of GZ's version of the confrontation vs. DeeDee's version must reject GZ's version beyond a reasonable doubt. Frankly, even under a preponderance of evidence standard, I believe Zimmerman credibility is higher than DeeDee's.

    I am waiting to see DeeDee's phone records that I believe will show she was never on the phone at key times she claimed she was. Her call on Martin's record say 4 minutes which means the call was between 3:01 and 4:00 minutes long which, in turn, creates an already fatal problem with what she said in the prosecutor's interview.


    If you're Corey, (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by whitecap333 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:45:49 PM EST
    how do you finesse Dee Dee's "What are you doing around here?"  The question might be considered indelicate, suggesting a suspicion that one is trespassing, but can't reasonably be construed as a prelude to an assault or robbery.  How could Martin not have realized that Zimmerman's interest in him was limited to his right to be on the property?  As for the tone of the inquiry, Trayvon had fled from Zimmerman, moments before.  Hardly sufficient justification for an assault.

    I'll be surprised if a jury ever hears the case (none / 0) (#55)
    by leftwig on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:32:24 PM EST
    I agree with the notion that SYG isn't necessary and that this is an old fashioned self-defense case, but if the SYG hearing is available, I don't see why he wouldn't use it.  I imagine its quite important for Zimmerman to avoid a trial and avoid any potential civil suits.  

    If Zimmerman isn't the aggressor (and not doing anything illegal prior to the confrontation), then he can use SYG and pretty much just has to show that his use of deadly force was because he reasonably feared for his life or great bodily harm.  He has the burden of showing this by the preponderance of the evidence at an SYG hearing, but his injuries and screams on the 911 call seem sufficient to show that.


    I think you are right (none / 0) (#62)
    by expy on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:49:59 PM EST
    but not because he will necessarily win the SYG hearing.   More because  if he goes to the SYG hearing and loses, then the option of a plea agreement to a manslaughter charge may start to seem far more attractive than the risk of conviction before a jury.  The problem with a jury trial is that even a conviction for the lesser offense of manslaughter carries significant enhancements because of Trayvon's age and the gun use-- but those  sentencing enhancements probably can be dropped as part of a negotiated plea.

    I'm not making any predictions as to whether he will win or lose the SYG hearing -- I can see it going either way.  I'm just saying that the SYG hearing provides an opportunity for defense counsel to put forth the best case for self defense -- and at the same time, for the prosecution to expose the greatest weaknesses.  

    I don't know whether Florida law allows a pre-trial appeal from an adverse ruling in a SYG hearing for the defense, so that might be a factor as well.  


    just don't see GZ pleading out (none / 0) (#64)
    by PeterOL on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:58:41 PM EST
    The SYG hearing, even if lost (probably more for political reasons than anything else), will allow O'Mara to test the prosecution's case for the main event. That alone is reason to go for it. I cannot see O'Mara not asking for a SYG hearing.

    He'd be a fool to plead out (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Slayersrezo on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:31:23 PM EST
    It would totally ruin his life.
    I can't imagine him being convicted of anything by a jury, but even if he did and was, appeals are available.

    Plea to manslaughter, and not only do you reward an unethical prosecutor, but you don't satisfy the people who want to kill you anyway. Everyone "knows" a plea is being "lenient" on a "guilty" person. So his life is still in danger, and now Corey "owns" him. Ironically, he'd almost certainly lose his permit for a gun at the very time he's most in danger and in need of it. If he pleads many of his supporters will start to doubt him. Many people who might have loaned him or given him money and help when they believed he was innocent will abandon him. Getting a job as an infamous "racist child killer" would be hard or impossible. He'd get a "real" conviction (instead of basically PBJ like he got with the undercover cop brouhaha) and this would farther decrease his chances of ever finding gainful employment and might even cost him his ability to vote.

    No, I see no good way for this to end in a plea bargain short of not charging him at all. He must fight it.


    But the same is true for the other side (none / 0) (#122)
    by Lina Inverse on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:08:15 AM EST
    A pre-trial hearing will give the prosecution a look at how O'Mara is going to assert self-defense and will give them plenty of time to figure out approaches to counter it.

    And a question for the the lawyers here: who has more options as to how they present their case?  I.e. theories if that's the word on how Zimmerman is guilty of 2nd degree murder, or perhaps they could change the charge if they decide he has too strong a case against the current charge?


    Roll eyes (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by JamTowzy on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:16:27 AM EST
    Reducing charges is out of the question for this set of prosecutors. They're out to placate and appease, not seek justice.  Their affidavit is evidence of their willingness to cut corners, and their witness interviews are proof positive that a balanced view of the affair was not their goal. They're shooting dirty pool and are not about to lose face backtracking an iota.

    They'll reduce the charges if forced (none / 0) (#128)
    by cboldt on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:28:05 AM EST
    It's possible that the judge will rule that the prosecution has not alleged facts that support murder.  O'Mara has requested a statement of particulars.  Once he has that, he will have a more substantive basis to move for dismissal based on absence of any element of the alleged crime.  If the court agrees that the allegations (if proved true) don't establish depraved mind, the the prosecutor either has to change the charge, or drop it.

    O'Mara can make the same motion even without a statement of particulars.  There is nothing to limit him to just one motion to dismiss, either.  If the prosecution offers additional or more particular allegations, O'Mara is entitled to renew his motion, accounting for the new or additional material.


    defense has more options (none / 0) (#144)
    by PeterOL on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 12:57:29 PM EST
    The prosecution has to prove every element beyond a reasonable doubt. Presenting many alternative theories to do that works against the prosecution by raising doubt about its certainty of guilt.

    On the other hand, the defense has to knock holes in the prosecutors case and can throw out as many theories as it wants as long as they are colorable and cumulatively can create reasonable doubt for any of the elements of the crime.

    Probably the best case to see how this works is the Casey Anthony murder case.


    I believe the question was addressed here before (none / 0) (#73)
    by Slayersrezo on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:37:28 PM EST
    and that the answer was "yes" he can appeal an adverse SYG decision.
    Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but that's how I remember it.

    Regardless, the state has the higher burden in any trial to convict of anything. Short of being contrary just to be contrary, I can't see why you'd think the trial would be easier on the State. It would almost certainly be harder for the State to get a conviction on anything.

    I don't see them convicting him of anything unless they can stack or otherwise corrupt the jury.


    I agree that the judge (none / 0) (#149)
    by Doug1111 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:35:54 PM EST
    should rule in GZ's favor at an immunity hearing.

    I think on the basis of present evidence that it will mostly be a matter of how much guts he has.

    I think the state's case is extradordinarily weak and that the Sanford police/initial prosecutor were right not to charge him of any crime.


    The black flashlight was by the keychain (5.00 / 2) (#212)
    by PeterOL on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:35:52 PM EST
    I should have added that the black flashlight was right by the keychain with its attached mini flashlight supporting the notion Zimmerman was holding both at the time and negating any assumption the dropping of both was an accident.

    Even if, somehow, Zimmerman grabbed and lit the mini flashlight by accident when reaching for his phone, that too supports self-defense and that he was not an aggressor at the time the flashlights and keys were dropped


    Maybe that's how he dropped them (none / 0) (#48)
    by expy on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:07:26 PM EST
    As an aggressor, he would normally have first have put his car keys and flashlight away so they would not be lost (presumably on the first punch) or damaged;

    I've inadvertently dropped items like keys quite frequently when I am intending to put them in a pocket, and instead they slip out.

    He admits to fumbling around trying to find his cell phone, purportedly in a pocket different than what he expected.


    The issue is how often you do that (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by PeterOL on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:26:44 PM EST
    How often, statistically, do you accidentally drop keys you are just about to put into a pocket. That probability has to be measured against the probability that an aggressor would put the keys and mini flashlight away before attacking vs. a victim simply not doing anything before attacked. That then has to be view under a reasonable doubt standard. Frankly I believe it holds up very well under even a preponderance of evidence standard.

    Well in my case Murphy's law applies (none / 0) (#58)
    by expy on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:39:23 PM EST
    The more likely it is that I will need to have the keys and will not be able to easily retrieve or replace them, the more likely I am to drop them.

    But the point is you drew an inference from the presence of the keys; I'm merely pointing out a different inference that can be drawn from the same set of facts.  


    reasonable doubt rejects murphy's law! (none / 0) (#60)
    by PeterOL on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:42:56 PM EST
    murphy's law wouldn't be admissible!

    Most keep keys, phone and a wallet in pockets. (none / 0) (#67)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:12:11 PM EST
    Its a bit reflexive and I may stuff any of these items into the most available jacket or a pants pocket. If I was exiting a car while talking on the cell phone I would pocket my keys automatically.

    When the call ended the cell phone might be secured in the same or another pocket.

    Often, when reaching foe a cell phone I inadvertently retrieve my keys. Could GZ have done the same?


    GZ also had the mini flashlight on (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by PeterOL on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:26:05 AM EST
    No accident here because GZ also had the attached mini flashlight switched on. This is consistent with him saying he was heading back to his car so he had his keys out and was using the flashlight to light the way. If he had any intention of being physically aggressive he would have put the keys in the safety of his pocket.

    DeeDee (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Mark Martinson on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:21:59 PM EST

    I don't practice criminal law, so I'm very curious as to why de la Rionda did not do a more detailed examination of DeeDee.

    Why wouldn't he ask her: (1) why didn't she come forward sooner if she heard what she claims she heard; (2) what did she say (if anything) to Trayvon) when he told her that he was "right by" his house; (3) did Trayvon ever say he was lost or couldn't get into the house; etc.


    A few more obvious questions for Dee Dee (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Redbrow on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:31:43 PM EST
    Regarding this part of her statement.

    Dee Dee: Yeah, and he told me he ready to go home and watch...finish watching the game.

    BDLR:  The game?

    Dee Dee:  Yeah, he left his little brother, so he trying to rush and...

    BDLR:  Rushing to go back home and watch the game?

    Dee Dee:  Yeah.

    Why would he tell you he was rushing to 'finish watching the game', when the game had not even started yet? Were you influenced by the media reporting the half-time myth put forth by the Martins and Greens?

    huffington post

    During halftime of the NBA All-Star Game, Martin's family said he walked to a nearby convenience store to get some candy for his younger brother.

    Chad Green's father video interview

    If Trayvon was rushing, why did it take him 45 minutes to complete a 15 minute walk?

    Did Trayvon actually call Chad 'little brother'? It seems strange since Tracy Martin referred to Brandy Green as "a girlfriend" not fiance when he called the police about his missing son. And Chad's own father referred to Trayvon as Chad's friend not brother.


    My perspective... (none / 0) (#70)
    by heidelja on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:22:40 PM EST
    ...is the questions you suggest are more typically those asked during cross-examination and she was not being "interrogated."  She will eventually be asked those questions if she needs to be impeached. Possibly her testimony will never be seen that harmful to GZ. So far to some its supporting GZ's story ...likely to the dismay of others.

    The Prosecutors' Investigation (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:59:23 AM EST
    The prosecutors were supposed to be weighing the evidence, to decide whether prosecuting Zimmerman was called for. They should have asked probing questions, searching for exculpatory as well as inculpatory evidence.

    Prosecutors represent all of us, and their duty is justice.


    Not so much in the USA (none / 0) (#113)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:04:29 AM EST
    What you are describing as the prosecutor's role is the model in the civil law systems of Europe, Asia and Latin America.  In the US, we have the adversary system where the prosecution measures its success in terms of pleas and convictions.  

    The prosecutor must follow the law too (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by cboldt on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:11:17 AM EST
    Florida Statute 776.032 forbids prosecution if the use of force is justified.

    Prosecutors are "bound" (cough cough) to ethical limitations as well, whereby they must have probable cause, at least, and usually must have more, a good faith belief the case can be won (that is, that the evidence supports finding guilt beyond a reasonable doubt), in order to justify bringing a criminal charge.


    Number 7 (none / 0) (#140)
    by DebFrmHell on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 11:53:58 AM EST
    addresses the "Depraved Mind" issue and I still don't see anything that leads to the charges that were filed.  I can't really see a reason to go for Murder 2.

    I thought they did that in a "Kick-the-can-ish" kind of way for a jury to consider a lesser charge that they couldn't bring without a total uproar.

    I think I must have a comprehension problem.  I just don't see any of this.  It is a mess, IMO, and methinks the scapegoat is going to be the SPD.


    I can see a reason... (none / 0) (#202)
    by unitron on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 06:45:22 PM EST

    "I can't really see a reason to go for Murder 2."

    Leverage, to get him to go for a plea bargain to keep this from ever getting to a jury, grand or petit.


    Corey quote from press conference (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by friendofinnocence on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:23:56 AM EST
    "The Supreme Court has defined our role on numerous occasions as prosecutors that we are not only ministers of justice; we are seekers of the truth. And we stay true to that mission. Again, we prosecute on facts and the laws of the great and sovereign state of Florida, and that's the way it will be in this case."



    Prosecutors (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by whitecap333 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 04:40:12 PM EST
    And they step beyond the shield of prosecutorial immunity when they involve themselves in investigations and, for sake of example, bend over backwards not to elicit facts from a key witness that might weaken the prosecution's case.

    Lay opinion.


    The are a couple of parts that bother (none / 0) (#82)
    by DebFrmHell on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 11:18:51 PM EST
    me about Dee Dee's recital to BdlR is that he did not pursue a line of questioning when she said a "couple of minutes" passed.  Also I think he could have clarified what she meant when she said that TM was walking back.  She syntax is kind of odd to me but I am so not a teen.

    I would be curious to know who those statements coincide with the statements of Zimmerman about the circling.

    I don't think he asked questions that would/could be detrimental to getting that Capias.  

    She was prepped by Crump before going to the SAO because her version seemed too sanitized.  She didn't refer to any profanity used by either of these gentlemen.

    There is no date listed for her interview with Crump but IIRC, he gave an interview around March 23rd after Angela Corey was assigned.  Tracy Martin is said to have reported her calls to Crump before that.  I think that Tracy Martin found out that information within a week of the shooting just from checking his cell records.

    There is the fact that when asked for access to cell records, Tracy Martin declined saying that he needed to check with his lawyer first.

    The whole thing with Dee Dee has bothered me from the start.  I don't understand how someone who is that close to a victim, too distraught to attend his memorial, knowing how his family was begging for answers, and yet she didn't contact any authority or even The Fulton/Martins or Crump, if you believe Crump's version that he had to track her down.

    Yet her statement is key in the prosecution's charge of Murder in the Second against George Zimmerman.  

    I think much more so than Sybrina Fulton's voice ID since George Z says himself, that he was screaming for help and his father said that it was his son, also.  FBI Voice analysis couldn't determine who was doing the yelling due to the grade of the recordings.

    Just IMO.


    Because he (none / 0) (#150)
    by Doug1111 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:38:42 PM EST
    wasn't looking for the truth but rather the best as unblemished a story as he could get from her to hurt GZ's story.  

    In my opinion of course. (none / 0) (#151)
    by Doug1111 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:39:01 PM EST
    How Much More Evidence Is Coming? (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:00:59 PM EST
    Early on I remember reading that Zimmerman had a 5 hour interview the night of the killing and a 2 hour walk though the next day.  Obviously, the released recordings and videos took much less time so I am wondering if I originally heard wrong or there is more to come.  Also, the last two audio files of Serino and Zimmerman are to set up meetings of Zimmerman and the new prosecution team with Bernie de la Rionda.  Apparently Zimmerman talked to them without a lawyer present.  Can I assume that we will be seeing audios from them sometime?  What else might there be?

    Motion to set Bond (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by Cylinder on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:22:19 AM EST
    Motion to Set Reasonable Bond

    Mr. Zimmerman's failure to advise the Court of the existence of the donated funds at the initial bail hearing was wrong and Mr. Zimmerman accepts responsibility for his part in allowing the Court to be misled as to his true financial circumstances. Counsel, however, points to Mr. Zimmerman's voluntary discosure of the fund and immediate surrender of any interest in the donated money through transfer of the fund to counsel to deposit in trust. Mr. Zimmerman has no control over any of the money in the legal defense fund at this point in time and while the fund is authorized to pay Mr. Zimmerman's reasonable living expenses, those expenditures must be approved by the independant administrator.

    See paragraph No. 7 in O'Mara's Motion (none / 0) (#129)
    by cboldt on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:38:41 AM EST
    Mr. Zimmerman is still entitled to a reasonable bond notwithstanding the Court's finding that Mr. Zimmerman failed to disclose the existence of the donated money at his last bond hearing.

    O'Mara cites the controlling legal authority.  Florida Constitution Article 1, Section 14; F.S. 907.041; and the Paul case.

    Motion was filed last Friday, June 22nd.  He's giving the prosecution and the Court a week to compose a rebuttal.

    There is no mention of the Arthur case, nor of Lester's remarks that indicate the strength of the evidence is on both sides of the Proof Evident standard.


    IANAL (none / 0) (#131)
    by Cylinder on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:46:01 AM EST
    There is no mention of the Arthur case, nor of Lester's remarks that indicate the strength of the evidence is on both sides of the Proof Evident standard.

    IANAL but my layperson mind is puzzled about how a judge can try to assert that standard in this case. It's a much closer call if the burden is flipped. It's my opinion that the Order Revoking Bond is either a political document or a pissed-off judge accepting the state's draft with little review.


    Lester needed something (none / 0) (#133)
    by cboldt on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:58:08 AM EST
    Lester needs to justify his order.  I figure he calculates the order won't be appealed (O'Mara is milquetoast; Zimmerman won't be in jail long enough to complete the appeal process), so he doesn't risk being reversed.  In that posture, he can say whatever he wants.  I can't think of a good "excuse" for the opinion and order.  Either he doesn't know/understand the relevant authorities, or he knows them and is consciously talking around them.

    Will it be televised? (none / 0) (#135)
    by Aunt Polgara on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:08:31 AM EST
    Do you know if Friday's bond hearing will be televised or available through live streaming?

    The Web is Full of the Cockroach Theory (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 04:25:57 PM EST
    Yes, is is forget about all the other evidence and concentrate on Zimmerman's "lies" and they show he must be guilty.  Try to fight your own nature and be succinct Willis.  What lies did Zimmerman tell on the tape with the dispatcher?  What lies did he tell Singleton and Serino about what happened when his car was parked at the clubhouse and cut through?  And what did he gain by those lies?

    From which (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by whitecap333 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 05:03:22 PM EST
    it follows of course, that he cornered Martin at the top of the "T" and gave him no choice but to leap on him and try to disarm him.

    Funny you bring up "cornered" (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by cboldt on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 05:18:03 PM EST
    Supposedly, DeeDee said that Zimmerman cornered Martin, in her telephone statement with Crump.

    Arrest Now After ABC Reveals Crucial Phone Call - Matt Gutman - ABC News - March 20, 2012

    Eventually, he would run, said the girl, thinking that he'd managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering Martin.

    Again With "Cornered" (5.00 / 1) (#233)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 11:35:28 PM EST
    No one but ABC News has claimed Dee Dee said 'cornered'.

    Crump's fullest rendering of Dee Dee's account.


    And funny there is no mention (none / 0) (#189)
    by Redbrow on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 05:30:54 PM EST
    of DeeDee claiming she heard "get off" during that crucial phone call as revealed on March 20, 2012.

    Seems like it would be a crucial part of the that crucial phone call.

    This 'scream enhanced video' where Crump or DeeDee may have heard 'get off'  @ 0:02 was not posted until March 22.


    It would seem... (none / 0) (#200)
    by unitron on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 06:37:59 PM EST
    ...that what the young lady was overhearing on the phone came to an end just as the struggle was beginning, around 7:15:30 PM or thereabouts.

    The first 911 call didn't come in until 7:16:11 PM, so none of the 911 calls caught the beginning of the struggle but started over half a minute into it.


    @NoMatter -- If I may borrow your post, whitecap (none / 0) (#217)
    by Mary2012 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:37:59 PM EST
    and of course, responding to your post as well Whitecap.  Reading Whitecap's post here, it finally dawned on me how "cornered" was being used:

    it follows of course, that he cornered Martin at the top of the "T"

    Summary for Whitecap:  My interpretation of Dee Dee's statement (and I could be wrong; this is all speculation) is that GZ (according to Dee Dee) follows TM by running down the back sidewalk (between the back of the townhomes).  TM, nearing his father's house, sees GZ heading down the walkway after him and runs back onto Twin Trees Lane and starts heading back toward the cut-through.  GZ sees TM through one of the breaks between buildings and gets behind TM (on TTL) and starts following up Twin Trees Lane toward the cut-through.  GZ catches up to TM just as they are rounding the northernmost block of townhomes closest to the T intersection and the verbal exchange turning into the altercation, occurs.  (This should fit also with the witness statements, W-11, and other evidence as well)

    That said, this is how "cornered" was meant (possibly) --- TM tries to lose GZ by going towards his father's house.  But GZ keeps following him (TM)., i.e., where is TM to go?  GZ keeps following him -- he (TM) is in effect, "cornered".  



    When does all the running happen? (5.00 / 1) (#224)
    by leftwig on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:01:09 PM EST
    It doesn't sound like Zimmerman runs much at all if any while he is on the call with the dispatcher.  Dee Dee says Martin runs from Zimmerman (who is parked maybe 75 feet from the tee) and in a few moments is by his fathers house.  We don't know from Dee Dee how close to Z's vehicle he is when he runs, but Z says he's on the sidewalk near the T when he takes off.  A teen in decent shape wearing a hoodie and sweat pants could make the run from the tee to the BG town home in 20-25 seconds tops.  Dee Dee says he stops when he's realized he lost Z  and doesn't run any more for the next "few minutes" before he spots Z again.

    Dee Dee's statement doesn't seem to fit with a chase anymore than Z's does.  


    Right (re running) -- GZ states he didn't run (none / 0) (#227)
    by Mary2012 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:32:47 PM EST
    during the call but if I'm not mistaken & remember correctly, his voice sort of indicates he's running too (I'd really like to listen to it again first before committing myself).  

    I have TM going down Twin Trees Lane initially and cutting up through a break between the townhomes and GZ just follows him running down the sidewalk (that cuts off from the T-intersection).

    Re the chase: Would that possibly fit after they get back to the T?  Remember, the call between Dee Dee and TM gets cut off: first his ear buds fall (I'm gathering they fall forward and toward the ground?) and then not long after that, the phone goes dead.  

    Roughly: (once back at the T) -- TM asks "Why are you following me?"  GZ replies "What are you doing here?"  TM then tries to walk away from GZ (this all speculation & I haven't had a chance to match this up with evidence including all the witnesses as I've been caring for a sick pet) and GZ tries to detain TM by grabbing his arm/ sleeve (tries to hold him in some fashion -- maybe while he tries to retrive his cell phone) and TM pulls himself away -- his arm, pulls his arm (or whatever)(i.e., Dee Dee's statement via TM, "Get off.  Get off", freeing himself from GZ and perhaps walks faster to get away, GZ tackles him and TM's cell phone goes dead.

    But, that should be a little chase there, taking both to the site of the shooting.



    It's a wonder (none / 0) (#218)
    by whitecap333 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:00:24 PM EST
    Zimmerman didn't have a coronary.

    I'm mocking the hypocricy (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by cboldt on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 05:39:28 PM EST
    The prosecutor feels just fine having all sorts of curiosity about Zimmerman's past, yet none about Martin's.  That's about as non-objective as it gets.

    But, for purposes of deciding the case in court, there is no need to probe Zimmerman's or Martin;s past.

    There will be, in the court of public opinion.  But that's not what TalkLeft is about.  It's hard enough to educate the public about the meaning of "provoke" under the law, and other legalities that protect everybody - if applied equally.  Change that "hard enough" to "impossible," against the tide of the press.

    Ill advised statement (5.00 / 1) (#237)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 11:33:34 AM EST
    Serino, alludes to a witness that seems to be Dee Dee contradicting GZ.  He also relates that TM is a good kid, no drugs, no violence, "His parents would have told me."

    Serino, describes his conclusion that TM is none of the above and not a burglar...  He says. "Had he been a goon, a bad kid...two thumbs up!"

    If this case does devolve into character issues, do you think Serino could be regretting that statement under cross?

    There is at least some evidence to be suspicios that TM was indeed all those thing to a certain extent.  

    Just my opinion, but I don't believe he was engaged in any criminal behavior that night and what makes most sense to me is that he was having trouble negotiating getting home in the dark while distracted on the phone talking to Dee Dee (a protracted conversation with her would certainly leave me confused.  :-). ) and in no hurry to return to "babysit" where Chad could eavesdrop.

    I find the fact that a layman attempting  with difficulty to describe suspicious behavior contemporaneously while actually observing it 100% credible and have worked law enforcement surveillances for 17 years.

    "At", "into"....rather than argue that one is a subset of the other let me post this:

    If one can readily accept that TM was distracted by his conversation with Dee Dee on the phone and having to innocently look at street addresses in a cookie cutter community, why is it so difficult to accept the same thing about GZ while on the phone trying to watch, analyze, answer questions, drive, maintain view, etc in a dynamic environment while on the phone?  

    Some people here are wanting him to make clear articulations of reasonable suspicion as it develops in front of him in a dynamic enviornment while answering distracting administrative questions needed by the Dispatcher.

    That might be a bridge too far for a neighborhood watch volunteer....

    Serino ... meh (5.00 / 2) (#239)
    by JamTowzy on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 11:56:41 AM EST
    I wouldn't put much stock into any of recorded Serino's statements. Lying in an investigative setting seems to be an especially important and cherished technique for him. His goal is to confuse the witness and to get him to talk in volume.

    In addition, cops in particular and the legal establishment in general are greatly biased against citizens carrying guns. Besides racial placation, this is what this circus is about, and why a guy who took an undeserved beating is in jail.

    Attitudes about what? (5.00 / 1) (#242)
    by Lina Inverse on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 12:43:44 PM EST

    In addition, cops in particular and the legal establishment in general are greatly biased against citizens carrying guns. Besides racial placation, this is what this circus is about, and why a guy who took an undeserved beating is in jail.

    As far police attitudes, that's an "it depends".  Where I hail from, part of the cultural South, they've very supportive.  For example, every instructor in the concealed carry course that I took for my state's licence was an active duty police officer.  And collectively they shared with us a lot of relevant experience, from shoot/don't shoot decisions including one near blue-on-blue accident (tip to all, citizens or plainclothes police: don't store your ID on your hip next to your gun and then quickly reach for the former!), to the issues of keeping your gun as concealed as possible from their plainclothes or undercover experiences.

    On the other hand, we shouldn't forget that Zimmerman was the #1 community activist after a (white) city police officer's son beat up a (black) homeless man, something which the last time I checked had finally resulted in charges.  The very police officer who arrested him that night was one of the ones he'd advocated sanctions for.

    We can't discount the possibility of unprofessional motivations for his posture and actions, including his recommendation of prosecution.

    Leaker biased (5.00 / 1) (#253)
    by JamTowzy on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 08:43:17 PM EST
    There was one purpose for releasing the blurry video, versus the other more graphic photos: to deceive about the nature -- if not the existence -- of the injuries. The leaker was conducting a campaign to circumvent the process through a media campaign. What a guy!

    If Gutman is being honest about the leaker being Serino, then it is another instance of Serino's veracity being "in question." (I'll leave it at that, in order not to be deleted. But somewhere along the line, his pattern of deviousness is going to be his undoing, imo.)

    all fixed, Lousy1, that was easy (4.00 / 3) (#234)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 12:24:38 AM EST
    Trayvon, however, would have strayed over the line if he assaulted George Zimmerman, and would have compounded his alleged felony if he refused to relent despite the pitiful pleadings of an alleged vanquished adversary.

    Jeralyn's #1 clears up my main remaining (none / 0) (#1)
    by ruffian on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 12:08:26 PM EST
    question, which was 'what if there is mostly only the defendant's story to go by, and you don't find him believable?' It seems that GZ's story can be flimsy and still entitle him to a self defense claim.  People can argue about the degree of flimsy it is, but it really does not matter.

    Back into my 'horrible, but not illegal' file it goes.

    I don't thjink it's (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Doug1111 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:42:54 PM EST
    horrible at all.

    Trayvon Martin wouldn't have been shot if he hadn't repeatedly bashed GZ's head against the concrete sidewalk which could have cause a severe concussion, coma or even death if GZ didn't put an end to it, the evidence indicates.


    Lawyers interviewed... (none / 0) (#3)
    by heidelja on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 12:16:01 PM EST
    ...by the media have alluded to the weight GZ's statement must be granted  They just do not typically cite explicit and unambiguous wording of case law.

    I don't read or watch the mainstream media (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 12:20:42 PM EST
    lawyer interviews. Jeralyn and the lawyers here are my guide!

    Thinking on this.... (none / 0) (#5)
    by heidelja on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 12:28:39 PM EST
    ...WHAT so far has been the "formal evidence" submittable (at trial) to a jury for a self-defense claim to be considered? GZ does not have testify against himself...or does he to provide such evidence?

    New Rule 1 for Florida parents.. (none / 0) (#2)
    by heidelja on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 12:08:35 PM EST
    That the attacker sustained a mortal wound is a matter that should have been considered by the deceased before he committed himself to the task he undertook.

    Sucked me back in by recommending (none / 0) (#6)
    by ruffian on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 12:58:19 PM EST
    the W-11 tapes....not that it matters as it turns out according to the law, but to me, she contradicts Zimmerman. She describes more speech and movement than he does - not 1 question, 1 answer, 1 punch and he's down on his back.

    How do you know that (none / 0) (#11)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 03:28:55 PM EST
    the yelling was not after GZ was knocked to the ground?

    How do you know that the yelling was an argument?

    The interviewer tries to suggest a back and forth interchange, W11 does not seem to really commit. She says

     "It could have been four voices...<the TV wasn't muted>"

    How do you explain the multiple voices? If it wasn't actually four why do you assume it was two voices?


    Since we are pretty sure there were only (none / 0) (#18)
    by ruffian on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 04:18:56 PM EST
    two voices at the start of the altercation (I do believe GZ on that point), I think she must have heard a lot more talking to make her give the impression there may be more people. I don't think the three statements GZ claims took place are the only ones that happened. After the first two, Dee Dee does not hear any more because Trayvon's call drops, but it makes sense to me that a scuffle and more talking ensues. W11 says the talking turns to more grunting type sounds as it progresses down the sidewalk, eventually turning into the 'help, help, help' screaming, which I believe is GZ when he is really on the ground, pretty much at the site of  where TM's body ended up, beyond W11's house.

    It is possible and understandable that GZ is confused about what really happened.


    On what important point (none / 0) (#154)
    by Doug1111 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:44:39 PM EST
    as opposed to nit picky detail don't you believe Zimmerman, and why?

    What interviews are you listening to? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Redbrow on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 03:56:18 PM EST
    Witness 11 clearly states there were 3 parts to the conversation, just as GZ described.

    1. "You got a f**kin problem?
    2. "No, I don't got a problem.
    3. "You do now"

    As opposed to Dee Dee's 2 parts.

    1. "Why you following me for?"
    2. "What are you doing around here?"

    Serino tries to get her to commit to three (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 04:05:42 PM EST
    statements, she does not definitely commit-and talks about maybe three exchanges, which to me means 6 statements. If there is enough talking to make her think there might be multiple people, it seems to me like more words were spoken than the ones GZ claims.

    But, she could not hear well, she admits (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 04:07:00 PM EST
    And it does not really matter to the legal self-defense claim.

    Listening to the interviews (none / 0) (#7)
    by cboldt on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 12:59:24 PM EST
    I find listening to the interviews to be most illuminating.  One can get a sense of the source of the interviewees belief (saw it, heard it, learned of it in conversation with neighbors); the degree of certainty they assign or can be inferred; a progression in Serino's line of questioning as he gets more information; de la Rionda leads every witness.

    One thing most all agree on, it was dark, and they couldn't see.  Some report not hearing any screams for help.

    Corey is on a real deep fishing expedition for Zimmerman's character, seeking evidence of hot headed, impulsive, violent action.

    Something for everybody in the package of interviews, I'm sure the press will find things to ding Zimmerman with.

    Yes, me too. (none / 0) (#8)
    by ruffian on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 01:04:30 PM EST
    I've mostly heard the Serino interviews. I like them because he asks the questions I would like to hear answers for. I have not heard any of the de la Rionda interviews yet.

    Burden is Interesting (none / 0) (#9)
    by lawstudent on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 01:26:57 PM EST
    While it has been discussed quite a bit here, how this case is not really about Stand Your Ground, as GZ could claim self-defense under these facts in any state, it is interesting that Florida leaves the burden of proof with the prosecutor to disprove GZ's defense, which is traditionally an affirmative defense that the defendant must establish.

    That aspect of Florida law makes this case unique, in my opinion.  If GZ were in a state where he had the burden to prove self-defense (and I believe many if not most states require as much), the trial might look a bit different.

    lawstudent, are you contending... (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by citizenjeff on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 12:26:52 AM EST
    ...that in most states, any and every alleged killer (including a police officer) who claims to have acted in self-defense must face a criminal prosecution regardless of the evidence?

    Do we or do we not have the right to use deadly force in certain circumstances? How is it a right if we must first face a criminal prosecution?


    Self defense burden of persuasion (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Michael Masinter on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:24:28 AM EST
    ...Florida leaves the burden of proof with the prosecutor to disprove GZ's defense, which is traditionally an affirmative defense that the defendant must establish.

    That aspect of Florida law makes this case unique, in my opinion.  If GZ were in a state where he had the burden to prove self-defense (and I believe many if not most states require as much), the trial might look a bit different.

    Florida law is not unique in assigning the burden of persuasion to the state. Although SCOTUS held in 1987 in Martin v. Ohio that states constitutionally may assign to the defendant the burden of persuasion on self defense, almost none do.  Ohio appears to be unique today; other states seem to apply the same rule as Florida: The defendant has the burden of production on self defense, but once the defendant satisfies his burden of production, the state has the burden of persuasion to disprove self defense.

    The general rule is that to obtain a self defense instruction, the defendant must produce admissible evidence from which a rational jury could conclude that he lawfully killed in self defense. If the defendant can produce that evidence, the state, in Florida and elsewhere save Ohio, bears both the burden of persuasion to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing was not justified by self defense.  If the defendant's evidence, though sufficient to meet his burden of production, is thin, the state will have an easier time meeting its burden than if that evidence is convincing, but either way the state will bear the burden of persuasion.

    Where states do vary is on the question of what constitutes sufficient evidence to obtain a self defense instruction.  Some states retain a limited duty to retreat, while others, including Florida, have abolished that duty.  In the states that retain a duty to retreat, obtaining a self defense instruction can be more difficult, but even in those states, the duty to retreat is a duty to retreat safely, and if you view the evidence in the light most favorable to Zimmerman as you must in assessing whether he has met his self defense burden of production, the only question would seem to be whether his fear of death or great bodily harm was actual and reasonable since nobody could retreat while on his back.


    To citizenjeff: (none / 0) (#159)
    by lawstudent on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:53:54 PM EST
    GZ admits he killed TM, but claims he was justified under the law.  Oftentimes, there is very little to show this other than the defendant's word, and therefore, resting a heavy burden on the state to "disprove" as much can be quite difficult.  The defendant must put forth some evidence first, which is why it is called an affirmative defense.  

    Jeralyn noted that

    To get a jury instruction on self defense, all Zimmerman must produce is some evidence, no matter how flimsy, even if it's just his own version of events.

    To shift the burden back to the state on flimsy, self-serving evidence asks little to nothing of the defendant in a self-defense case.  To me, that makes Florida law unique, although Michael Masinter's comment regarding burden of proof, is an excellent summary of how the burden in self-defense works.  

    If I understand where you are coming from (and maybe I'm off here), you are suggesting that because the physical evidence comports with GZ's version of events, why should he be tried at all?  I think there are times when that would make sense, but I would not agree that this is such a case.  The prosecutor will likely argue (as alluded to in Serino's interviews of GZ) (1) TM did not have a violent/aggressive past, so why would he just attack GZ for no reason? (2) GZ did have a past that included physical confrontations so perhaps he did instigate the fight, and (3) no one other than TM and GZ actually saw the initial confrontation, so the state cannot just accept wholesale GZ's version and dismiss the case.  Let's let a jury decide.  This does not make self-defense any less of a right.  People are in court all the time for doing things that are perfectly legal, and they have to go through the litigation process to vindicate their rights.


    The prosecutor is making an assumption (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by cboldt on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:59:24 PM EST
    I think it is risky for the prosecutor to argue from Martin's past, just as it is risky for the defense to argue from Zimmerman's past.  The prosecutor is assuming something about Martin, and between the two of them, their pasts aren't important or relevant - they don't know each other, and don't know what to expect from each other.  The case can be decided by what can be inferred from their immediate conduct as demonstrated by the evidence.

    The state wouldn't be accepting Zimmerman's account, wholesale, only on his own word.  There are eye and earwitness accounts, some recorded on police 911 equipment.  There are documented injuries.  There are forensic analyses that rule out some scenarios (shot from a distance), and can be used to test Zimmerman's account.

    The state's case depends on DeeDee and Sybrina.  Sybrina more than DeeDee.  If you take away their testimony, the evidence only takes you to one place, when the standard of proof is "more likely than not."  SPD and Wolfinger concluded that the evidence was insufficient to establish probable cause that Zimmerman did not act in self defense, e.g., that the evidence produces a 20-30% chance Zimmerman's account of his justification for use of deadly force was false.


    20 other states have similar laws (none / 0) (#157)
    by Doug1111 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:47:58 PM EST
    often patterned closely on Florida's.

    It is legitimate to ask (none / 0) (#15)
    by Lina Inverse on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 04:03:13 PM EST
    As I have for some time, if Martin's initial "suspicious" behavior was merely his trying to figure out how to backtrack.  When we only had Zimmerman's 911 call to go on:

    This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about.

    Etc.  It was an open question since Zimmerman mostly provided his impression but not much of his data, let alone details, due to the nature of that communication.

    However more has come out since the, a whole lot with this data dump from his lawyer.  At this point I don't get the impression that Martin was trying to orient himself, or if he was, he changed from that mode once he realized Zimmerman was watching and/or following him in his vehicle.

    If you are going to quote Zimmerman (none / 0) (#19)
    by Redbrow on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 04:22:08 PM EST
    why selectively edit out the crucial part that sets the contex?

    Zimmerman: Hey we've had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there's a real suspicious guy, uh, [near] Retreat View Circle, um, the best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about.

    Did you listen to the Witness #11 interviews as recommended?
    She also brings up the string of recent break-ins and that any suspicious activity should immediately be reported to police.


    Conciseness has its place (none / 0) (#20)
    by Lina Inverse on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 04:44:09 PM EST
    I actually wanted to quote a whole lot more, but thought that one snippet was enough to illustrate my  point, so just threw in an "Etc." after it.

    Much material from that call is obviously relevant in cross checking with other evidence like the Witness #11 interviews you cite, but I'm not here to get into that level of detail.

    (I think I'm the only participant in these discussions who admits to carrying concealed, let alone routinely (yes, every time I go to the store), so among other reasons I'm trying to contribute what I can from that perspective.  As for the trial of George Zimmerman, I'm no longer convinced the Rule of Law is in play so I've become less interested in the details such as  above.  But I don't think discussing that is proper for this forum, or certainly not this or most of the recent discussions.)


    Trayvon Martin was by the clubhouse and pool (none / 0) (#21)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 04:46:05 PM EST
    near the mailboxes.

    Is it reasonable to believe a 17 year old has not memorized the route from his house to the rec area?


    Remember the timeline also (none / 0) (#23)
    by Slayersrezo on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 05:05:33 PM EST
    Of when he left the 711. "Straight home" means he would have been home before Zimmerman even saw him. I have no idea what Trayvon was doing at this point, besides talking on his phone for at least part of the time. Why would he look IN houses? Assuming the truth of GZ's story, why would he be in yards and not on the sidewalk?

    Curiouser and curiouser.


    I guess the only person who had (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 06:27:45 PM EST
    any legitimate reason to be looking for house numbers was Zimmerman, right?  I mean, it couldn't possibly be that Trayvon was looking for house numbers to figure out how close he was to where he was staying, could it?

    If George Zimmerman, who lived in the community, and regularly patroled it couldn't figure out the address for where he was, why does everyone find it so unbelievable that Trayvon Martin, who was just visiting there, might have been trying to make sure he was headed in the right direction?


    Finding your way (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by lily on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 07:13:39 PM EST
    versus giving directions over the phone is a very different operation. Tracing back is inherently intuitive.

    One of my sons studied cognitive science, they conducted research on how people give directions and whether the person following the directions succeeded in locating the place.  

    It was amazing and rather funny to hear how confused, disorganized and inarticulate people are when trying to give directions to a specific location. These were college students familiar with the area, yet they were quite challenged and mostly failed to convey directions effectively.

    On the other hand, RTC is a simply laid out and rather logical street plan.

    It is also possible that GZ was considering sending the responding officer to the outside street versus the inside street address.


    Does it matter? (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by labrat on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:06:39 PM EST
    GZ thought he looked suspicious enough to call the police about it. Whether what he was doing was totally innocuous or not seems irrelevent to my mind. TM's behavior definitely caught GZ's attention or none of us would be here. I think that is a fairly well established fact.

    Sorry labrat (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:17:25 PM EST
    No unflattering comparison intended :)

    But you are correct. Few people would voluntarily sacrifice an hour of their life to report a incident that they didn't find more than a little suspicious


    Depends on how he navigated, and did so that night (none / 0) (#25)
    by Lina Inverse on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 07:10:20 PM EST
    Martin might have been navigating by position rather than house number ... but in a set of cookie cutter units that would be difficult.  Heck, he could have been peering at windows to try to figure out if he'd found the the one he was headed for, if he'd forgotten the number.  Not that that is a wise thing to do.

    If Martin was lost, (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Cashmere on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:58:22 AM EST
    he could have called Chad a home for directions.  Just a thought.
    He also could have called his father for the same info.

    A laboratory rat (none / 0) (#29)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 07:27:49 PM EST
    could find his way back in the simple maze that the complex presented.

     Trayvon was on the most direct route back to his house. He wouldn't have to be able to read house numbers. I can't imagine how house numbers are relevant or that they could assist Trayvon.

    Besides if you believe Dee Dee, Trayvon knew he was at or near his house.

    Certainly Trayvon must have known that his house was at the end of the row away from the pool.

    You are assuming that he had full control of his faculties?


    Such a "simple maze" (none / 0) (#75)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:47:32 PM EST
    So a "lab rat" would be able to find his way through this "simple maze that the complex presented"?  Would a "lab rat" be able to remember the names of all 3 streets in a development where he had lived for years?

    BTW -

    You are assuming that he had full control of his faculties?

    Why would anyone assume otherwise?


    Lab rats (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:32:32 AM EST
    seem to be non verbal.  Its extremely intuitive to remember a simple path from the pool to TM's house.

    Very few options. It also appears ( from the walk through) that once he reached the back door path the path the path slants downward. Another important clue to navigation.

    We have never been there but I an willing to bet that,even on a dark rainy night, either of us could navigate without difficulty from the clubhouse to TM's abode.

    Any reason why you support the premise that TM could not?


    "Lab rats" (none / 0) (#141)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 12:27:22 PM EST
    ... 'seem to be nonverbal'.

    Makes sense, ...

    ... if you were actually talking about "lab rats", as opposed to say ...

    ... people.

    BTW - I wasn't "supporting the premise that TM could not" navigate from the clubhouse to Brandy Green's unit.  Just pointing out that it's far more plausible than the idea that a neighborhood patrol captain can't remember the name of the three streets in the subdivision he's lived in for several years.


    Oh I see (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 12:43:33 PM EST
    you were not attempting to add to the conversation ( wasn't going quite your way?) but rather to introduce an unrelated attack.

    Forgive me for assuming you were trying to contribute.


    Or maybe he wasn't accustomed to taking the (none / 0) (#28)
    by Mary2012 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 07:26:12 PM EST
    popular short-cut and wasn't exactly sure which way to proceed at first once finding himself on RVC.

    I still don't have an exact time re when GZ left for his errands; the closest I have is "around 7:00" (one of GZ's taped statements).  There is an apartment complex right next to the Retreat and he might've stopped there (or anywhere else) on the way home to get out of the rain, got to talking to Dee Dee and lost track of time.  At any rate, the popular short-cut (at least on the Google maps for that area) looks very close to the short-cut.

    Re sidewalks:  In one of Brandy Green's interviews (media) she mentioned on the main streets, there are no sidewalks -- only behind the houses.  I checked the map after that and saw for the first time, there really aren't sidewalks on those streets.  GZ said he had to pass around another car in the area of the shortcut so perhaps TM got off the road to allow for more room?  I don't know but it would seem you either walk "on" the street or on someone's grass. ???

    I doubt he was looking into houses.  I don't believe GZ mentioned that on his NEN call, only after the shooting did he say it.


    Zimmerman did n't need to detail (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:09:51 PM EST
    why he thought TM was acting suspiciously on the NEN call.

    It was superfluous until the officer arrived.

    The detail was added by Zimmerman almost immediately after the shooting when, as mentioned before, if he lied he was opening himself up for contradiction.


    That's a pretty important detail to leave out, imo (none / 0) (#37)
    by Mary2012 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:16:21 PM EST
    It might've made a difference in how the PD prioritized the call? and maybe not since it wasn't a person-on-person crime?  I don't know how they prioritize their calls but nevertheless it seems like an important detail to leave out on the part of GZ.

    Its a good point (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:23:40 PM EST
    but if suspect that if the disclosure that TM was approaching Zimmerman and checking him out didn't expedite the call I rather doubt that the added detail about Trayvon inspecting houses would.

    True & also good point. (none / 0) (#101)
    by Mary2012 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 04:09:36 AM EST



    Priority low from the start (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by JamTowzy on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:57:19 PM EST
    I listened to the NEN call again today. Just by calling that number, GZ assigned a lower level of priority himself. As I've stated before, he did not inflate the actions of TM -- no matter how suspicious or even perceived threatening -- up to the level of a crime needing an arrest. He simply made another one of his routine calls.

    Listening to the recording, it's plain that GZ is not a particularly eloquent person. He doesn't speak systematically or polished. Most charitably, he sounded like a tongue-tied TV commentator attempting to say one thing, while simultaneously listening to a director in an earpiece relaying another. Not a criticism, only an observation that trying to figure out directions (or the like) while preoccupied with stress-inducing onsite activities doesn't lend itself to mental or verbal fluidity. Not to mention memory of them.


    He had made 40+ previous calls (none / 0) (#109)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 06:36:24 AM EST
    to the NENs or 911 lines. I don't believe it flusters him at this point. I'd like to go back and look at those other calls again and see if he has troubles with street names as a rule.

    Give the dispatcher a C- (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by JamTowzy on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:12:08 AM EST
    Then listen to the recording again. Zimmerman does OK when the conversation is something innocuous. But when the activity becomes concerning or surprises, Zimmerman does not relay it very fluently. Choppy. Incomplete.

    Case in point: where Trayvon runs. Had he said "he's running" right away, instead of giving his editorial view that aholes get away, then the dispatcher might have had a chance to alter his line of questioning which (I feel) gave GZ the misimpression that the dispatcher really wanted the latest TM location, whatever it took. (What the dispatcher should have said, anyway, the second that he knew that TM approaching GZ was to stay in the car from there on out. Period. Instead of asking his where he was going. The lack of good direction by the dispatcher contributed to the outcome. His performance was less than helpful.)

    And the interchange with the dispatcher about where to meet the cop .... GZ had a elemental point to make, namely that he want to meet up right where he was, and not somewhere where he was before. Instead, it turned into a Abbott/Costello "Who's on first" routine because of ridiculous communicating.


    Brain activity concerning surprises... (none / 0) (#123)
    by heidelja on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:13:23 AM EST
    ....being "Choppy, Incomplete" is typical for ones having ADD/ADHD tendencies.  There is a mental conflict going on between the simultaneuos sensory perceptions of sounds and sights while articulating speech. This can be heard in the other 911 calls that night to a degree.  So it is a function of the "operator's" delayed desire to know more from the one who placed the call needing to express what is seen under duress. This quandary for interpersonal communications might make it unsavory to some to be stated as "typical for ones having ADD/ADHD tendencies" alone.

    There is a collection... (none / 0) (#117)
    by heidelja on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:20:21 AM EST
    ...of a few of GZ's previous calls on YouTube. Had I not misplaced a link to it, I'd post it.

    In general, my impression is that GZ's tone and "precision of speech" previously is no different than spoken on Feb 26. Perhaps his voice can be heard to reflect greater stress on Feb 26. For instance, on Feb 26 GZ did not clarify that the name of "Sean" as he did another time for a call he placed answered by a female.

    My additional questions would be twofold. 1) Did GZ know his call was being recorded and 2) did a NEN call on a Sunday night take longer to be answered? Meaning he "dialed up" the NEN# when parked at the clubhouse where TM passed him by and then GZ passed TM arond the corner on Twin Tree where GZ parked before the call was answered and the recording started? Hence GZ first described what he concluded before the call and then moments into the call it being that TM passed ("circled") GZ and it told what was seen by GZ as it unfolded. This suggestion to me has it that his reenactment narrative supports the timeline of the NEN call more closely.    


    The NEN call was a communications trainwreck (none / 0) (#120)
    by JamTowzy on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:59:18 AM EST
    If the state/Trayon supporters wants to claim that GZ had a grasp of the neighborhood and could relay that with clarity, then they will have to deal with the sequence in NEN where he misstates how to get to his location. There was the initial mixup of where to turn left. It happens right about the time that Trayvon begins to get away. Zimmerman is flustered and wants to elaborate about where to turn left, when the ahole comment takes place.

    Right there is as good as any evidence the difficulty he had with that type of situation. It's safe to say that the mixup lingered in his mind until later in the conversation, when he became frustrated trying to deal with the dispatcher's seeming cluelessness about what he wanted: having the cop negotiate the neighborhood efficiently and get to where he was at that moment. It got so difficult for him that he wanted to bypass the dispatcher altogether so he could guide the cop himself.


    Maybe... (none / 0) (#127)
    by heidelja on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:25:50 AM EST
    ...so much burden should not be placed on the NEN call taker.  He maybe was not intending to ever be a "911 call taker" but yet he was surprisingly thrust into that situation. Maybe calling the NEN# should be viewed as a reflection of GZ's "nonconfrontational" demeanor who esculates  "nonemergency" situations into "emergencies" too quickly. GZ likely called the NEN# because that is what he had been told to do and because suspicious TM was not an immediate danger to do anything.

    The burden should be on City of Sanford (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by JamTowzy on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:41:11 AM EST
    I'm not berating the abilities of a particular schmuck doing his best, only with the service which George Zimmerman had to deal with.

    The whole NEN call sounds like two people talking past each other. Both sides. The dispatcher had trouble from the get-go with the address of the clubhouse, and the conversation went downhill from there. Very little seemed to get through to the other. Once George flubbed the turning directions and after TM began running, it turned into a mess. The final sequence about where to meet is comical.

    It might be that the thrust of the dispatcher's intent was to guide GeorgeZ back out of his present location, but the subtlety of it was lost on him. GZ could not understand why he couldn't have a cop come to a place where it would be meaningful, but the dispatcher never picked up on his concern; or he did, but was so gentle and indirect in his approach that it sailed over GZ's head.

    It was bad communication, beginning to end.


    Address Trouble (none / 0) (#186)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 05:05:58 PM EST

    The dispatcher had trouble from the get-go with the address of the clubhouse . . .

    Because Zimmerman gave him the wrong address. The Clubhouse is 1111. Zimmerman said 111.

    The dispatcher must have been looking at a computer screen with a map. He didn't see a 111, and thought, correctly, that Zimmerman meant 1111. Zimmerman confirmed that when he said 'clubhouse'. He never did remember the correct address.


    2) is an interesting question (none / 0) (#166)
    by MJW on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:30:10 PM EST
    did a NEN call on a Sunday night take longer to be answered?

    I also wondered about that.  In one of the interviews, Zimmerman alludes very briefly to some delay in getting through.  Perhaps someone remembers where it is and what exactly he says.


    Correction (none / 0) (#30)
    by Mary2012 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 07:28:58 PM EST
    At any rate, the popular short-cut (at least on the Google maps for that area) looks very close to the short-cut.

    That should be the popular short-cut looks very close to the apartment complex next door.  They have what looks like a very nice awning or passageway through the buildings, open on both ends.


    The "popular shotcut"... (none / 0) (#36)
    by heidelja on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:13:33 PM EST
    ...on youtube reveals only fence posts with no fence. Is this a sign the short cut has now been closed? Note it is shown at least twice on the 40 min video (date unknown) linked to.

    Looking "IN houses"? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:10:00 PM EST
    Who said he was looking "IN houses"?

    From Zimmerman's written statement (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Redbrow on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 12:15:12 AM EST
    as transcribed by Cylinder (thanks) in post #160

    Tonight, I was on my way to the grocery store when I saw a male approximatly 5'11'' to 6'2' casually walking in the rain looking into homes.

    GZ says it in statements he made to the police (none / 0) (#40)
    by Mary2012 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:17:57 PM EST
    after the shooting, that TM was looking in (into) houses...

    I agree with Mary (none / 0) (#42)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:25:06 PM EST
    Can't remember which tape though.

    I seem to recall it from the walkthrough (none / 0) (#54)
    by Slayersrezo on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:29:07 PM EST
    Which I saw the whole video of, but only once.
    I can check. I have the walkthrough and most of the calls,interviews and other evidence on my harddrive. Maybe I'm conflating somehow, but I could swear it was the walkthrough.

    Just watched it (1.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:37:43 PM EST

    Zimmerman talks about his initial observation of Martin and the reasons for his suspicions from 2:15 through 4:00.  Zimmerman says nothing about Martin looking "into houses".

    Link?  Time reference?



    3rd Interview - February 29 (none / 0) (#84)
    by cboldt on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 11:45:04 PM EST
    "In the houses" appears in the audio where Serino is working to correlate elements of the NEN call with elements of Zimmerman's subsequent narrative.  "Why suspicious?" comes up very early, so I'm skipping going back for a timestamp.

    Yes it's in his written statement (none / 0) (#90)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:34:20 AM EST
    As to the audio interviews: In his audio interviews, he uses "looking at" more than "looking in", and sometimes when he uses "looking in" he's talking about the prior incident at Taaffe's house.

    From the first interview with Doris Singleton the night of Feb. 26 (in two parts. ) When he tells the story, he uses "looking at". She changes it to "looking in."

    DS: What made them suspicious?
    GZ: This gentleman in particular? Um, I'd never seen him in the neighborhood, I know all the residents, um, it was raining out and he was leisurely walking, taking his time looking at all the houses. Um, when I drove by he stopped and looked at me,


    GZ: Um, and this time, I was leaving to go to the grocery store and like I said, I saw him, um, walking in the neighborhood - the same, in front of the same house that I had called the police before to come to because this guy leaves his doors unlocked and stuff. And he was walking leisurely and looking at the houses and, um, so I just pulled my car to the side and I called the non-emergency line and, um...

    They take a break, and she starts kRound 2, and she is the one who changes it to "looking in" houses. It was in the context of a question about something else, so he answers her question, correcting her on the part she asked about (where he was when the circling occurred), but doesn't address her switch of words.

    DS: Okay, you pass him and this is where he's looking in the houses, okay. And then...where do you go when you realize...you said he comes and he circles your car?
    GZ: No, ma'am. I lost contact of him as I was trying to get through cause you have to...
    DS: So does he continue past you?
    GZ: Yes, ma'am.

    It doesn't come up in Serino's midnight interview on 2/26 (2/27 really). In the first Serino interview on 2/29, GZ says twice that the suspicious person in the prior incident report at 1460 RVC was looking in the house.

    GZ: Well, um, 2 or 3 weeks prior to that I'd seen somebody looking in the window of the house that he was in front of.
    CS: Was he white or black?
    GZ: Black.
    CS: Okay.
    GZ: And the guy that lives there I know, he's active in the neighborhood watch and he's Caucasian.
    CS: Okay.

    ....And, ah, when I walked to see the address, I saw the end of the house, and he was at the side of the house looking in the window. He either threw or spit his, he looked at me and threw his cigarette out and then ran around the back.

    And then it less clear. Serino has to ask which one he's talking about. He answers as if it''s Trayvon, but then in the same answer says Trayvon was looking "at" the house:

    GZ: And he was actually arrested. Um, so when I saw him in the same area, in front of the guy's house, that I know, that they keep it unsecured, and he was looking into the house. I just thought something doesn't fit right here.
    CS: And this is, but this, but this is the one prior to this one, right?
    GZ: No, no, this is, I'm sorry, that's why I felt he was suspicious.
    CS: Okay. Okay. What did you see Trayvon doing that caught you as being suspicious?
    GZ: He was looking at the house intently and then...
    CS: What, the same house?
    GZ: The same house that, yeah, that I had called about before

    It doesn't come up in Part 2 of the 9/29 interview, but it part 3, when some other cops join Serino , GZ uses  looking in again:

    CS: Okay, here we go. And...this part. Okay, this is your 911 call. [starts playing call]
    CS: Okay, real suspicious guy. Okay, one more time, why suspicious?
    GZ: Ah, it was raining and he was looking into the houses, looking behind, looking at me. He wasn't walking quickly to get out of the rain. Didn't look like he was, like, trying to head home. He didn't look like a hard-core athlete that wanted to, like, train in the rain or anything. And he just looked out of place.

    It sounds like he uses the phrases interchangeably. In other words, he finds it suspicious that someone would stand out in the rain staring at or in someone else's house.

    If he equates looking at with looking in, it's not even an inconsistency, let alone a contradiction. Especially when Singleton did the same thing.


    I think (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Kelwood on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:22:29 PM EST
    That his English is very awkward. Kind of like stereotypical cop talk. He uses excessive detached politeness. He refers to TM as this "gentleman". He says that someone left their house unsecured. I read somewhere that he said the dispatcher told him to regain "eye contact", which I assume means visual contact. He sounded like he is trying to talk like a cop, but he isn't very good at it. I also think that he is using the words interchangeably. He isn't that precise with his language.

    common i would think... (4.00 / 1) (#174)
    by scooterdoo on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 03:13:45 PM EST
    He sounded like he is trying to talk like a cop, but he isn't very good at it.

    He's speaking to law enforcement and trying to use law enforcement terminology. That's pretty common and doesn't indicate to me that he's a cop-wannabe or vigilante. If it sounds forced, consider how people talk in court when trying to mimic legal speak... nobody ever says "walked to the door" or "left the room" but rather use silly ersatz-legal expressions such as "and then I proceeded to..."


    Disagree (1.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 12:50:24 PM EST
    The phrase "looking at houses" and "looking in houses" are not interchangeable.  the former can have several perfectly innocuous reasons - in fact, it would be difficult to walk through a dense development of any kind without "looking about at all the houses".  Looking in the houses, OTOH, is far more suspicious behavior.  Hence the reason for Slayersrezo's question and emphasis, "Why would he look IN houses?"

    Zimmerman doesn't tell the dispatcher that Martin is looking "in" houses, something that would be far more suspicious than walking around looking "'at' all the houses".  He also doesn't mention it in his first two interviews or his re-enactment video.  It's not until several days later (during one or both interviews) that he claims that Martin was looking "in" houses.  His failure to correct Singleton's question is understandable, particularly given that she used the phrase "looking in houses" as a reference point.  The focus of her question was on the sequence of events and what they (Zimmerman and Martin) were doing at a particular point.  However, the fact that she transposed "looking at" and "looking in" doesn't mean she's using the phrases interchangeably, nor does it explain the change in Zimmerman's version of events.


    Baloney. He says "looking (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by DizzyMissL on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:01:16 PM EST
    into houses" in his very first statement.

    Oh, you mean all these people here (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Slayersrezo on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:01:48 PM EST
    including myself, didn't just "make that up"?

    Glad we cleared it up to your satisfaction.

    Far as the "analysis" goes, Zimmerman's statements are consistent with Martin looking into windows of houses or just looking at houses in general. Supporting the "looking in" houses part would be the fact that Zimmerman claims Martin was in the grass. You wouldn't need to be "in the grass" if you were merely looking at the exteriors of houses.

    It doesn't necessarily matter anyway, given the tremendous amount of time Martin was taking to mosey on home. I'm sure Zimmerman had plenty of reason to be suspicious.


    Not "cleared up" at all (2.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:16:22 PM EST
    Looking at houses is entirely different than looking in houses.  Hence the emphasis in your original question, "I have no idea what Trayvon was doing at this point, besides talking on his phone for at least part of the time. Why would he look IN houses?"  Moreover, you can be looking at house or in houses from the grass area, if that's where he was.  Cutting a corner and stepping off sidewalk onto grass hardly indicates someone is looking "in" houses, a major detail that Zimmerman didn't bother to mention on his call to the dispatcher.

    But if you want to "clear it up" in the future, a quote with a link is more helpful than "I seem to recall it from the walkthrough" where, in fact, he said "at" houses.


    Wouldn't it depend on whether GZ did his (none / 0) (#99)
    by Mary2012 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 03:48:02 AM EST
    written statement before or after the interrogation of GZ by Investigator Singleton?

    IOW, if she'd read his written statement prior to interrogating him, she would know he wrote "into" and not "at"?

    If he equates looking at with looking in, it's not even an inconsistency, let alone a contradiction. Especially when Singleton did the same thing.

    I couldn't find a reference to time on the written statement.  Maybe it's common practice for the written statement to be taken after the intterrogation?  I really don't know but I would think she might've been influenced by what she initially read on his statement, IF that's the order in which it occurred....


    Written When? (none / 0) (#104)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 05:19:27 AM EST
    Investigator Singleton was called to the police station to question Zimmerman (p. 37). He may have made the written statement while he waited for her, but I don't recall seeing it mentioned in any of the reports.

    Some of the witnesses at the scene made written statements. If I recall correctly, they did them while they waited for the Serino to get around to questioning them.


    Thank you NoMatter. I don't recall seeing it (none / 0) (#215)
    by Mary2012 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:21:53 PM EST
    mentioned either.  It would make sense Investigator Singleton would've read GZs statement first (it would give her something to 'go on' since, as she stated she, in effect, hadn't been 'out there' -- RTL) before questioning him but I didn't know for certain. Thank you.

    (Btw, I couldn't find the May 31st thread you suggested we continue our discussion -- do I have the correct date, May 31st?)


    Dee Dee On Another Thread (none / 0) (#231)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:54:36 PM EST
    I couldn't find the May 31st thread you suggested we continue our discussion . . .

    It's the one titled George Zimmerman: Adds a Lawyer to Team.

    I posted my latest response there. I didn't realize you hadn't seen it.


    Jeralyn, Please Post (none / 0) (#27)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 07:24:52 PM EST
    an example of a Self Defense jury instruction that would be relevant to this case.  Thanks.

    Florida Jury Instructions (none / 0) (#31)
    by expy on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:03:14 PM EST
    Here's a link to the page with Florida Jury Instructions listed.

    The self-defense instructions are under 3.6 (defenses) -- "Justifiable Use of Deadly Force" is 3.6(f).  

    (Note: when you click the link to the actual instruction it will start a download of a RTF-format file).


    Note (none / 0) (#35)
    by expy on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:12:34 PM EST
    When you go to the site I linked to above, a window will pop up saying that some of the instructions are under revision, including a self-defense instruction, which is being revised because of a case called Bassallo v. State.

    I checked that case and it would not be pertinent or relevant to the Zimmerman case, so it won't result in any changes relevant to this discussion.

    (Bassallo was a case where the defendant was charged with threatening someone with a knife, and was denied a self-defense instruction because he didn't actually stab or hurt the other person. So Bassallo just said that a person can raise self-defense even if they don't actually end up doing any real physical harm to the alleged victim)


    Thanks (none / 0) (#43)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:42:15 PM EST
    Make me think that  legal secretary may not be a hot vocation.

    Money quote

    If in your consideration of the issue of self-defense you have a reasonable doubt on the question of whether the defendant was justified in the use of deadly force, you should find the defendant not guilty.

    Although I could edit a local copy of the 3.6f instructions I was unable to modify the Florida Supreme Court server version. Could you help?


    Would Like the Zimmerman Case Version (none / 0) (#45)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:54:22 PM EST
    Thank expy.  If it isn't too much trouble, could you cut and paste here the portion relevant to this case?  It would seem to be half or less of the full instruction.

    I excerpted them (none / 0) (#46)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:55:40 PM EST

    Here's an example of one that could be relevant that I just made up by combining potentially applicable parts of the instruction and adding in a few bits from case law. I put the part I added in brackets. We don't really know what the evidence at trial will show so this is just an example of a possible instruction.

    It would take too much space to put it all in comments here.

    Also, keep in mind after both sides rest, the parties submit suggested instructions and argue to the court why their version should be given. The judge makes the final call.  I'm sure Expy's version, since he likes to take the role of prosecutor here, would be different.


    As I have said repeatedly (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by expy on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:32:41 PM EST
    my background is criminal defense

    I just don't like losing.

    I like to stay 3 steps ahead of the prosecutor and avoid surprises. The burying my head in the sand approach didn't work too well.

    Unfortunately, on the appellate end of things, I've seen all too often defendants who were convicted of serious crimes and sentenced to long prison terms, when they were offered the opportunity pre-trial to plead to reduced charges for much more lenient sentences. In hindsight, they had an overly optimistic view if their chances of acquittal, precisely because they or their lawyer weren't able to fully appreciate the impact of the prosecution case.

    I always thought it was part of my job to be able to fully advise my client on the merits of whatever plea agreement was on the table, as well as to prepare for trial. That means being able to put aside wishful thinking and personal biases and  try to see things as the prosecutor, judge, and potential jurors might.  

    And at least for me one of the best ways to get to that point is to play devil's advocate and approach the case from the other side.

    It's also a necessary and critical step for witness prep, including preparation of my own client for testimony. That is, ahead of trial, to anticipate and prepare the client for cross-examination.

    One example of the pitfalls of failing to take that step is seen in the long-term outcome of Zimmerman's bond hearing. That is, Zimmerman's wife was apparently presented as a defense witness without adequate preparation for her testimony.  


    It is... (none / 0) (#61)
    by heidelja on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:46:33 PM EST
    ...also a good view point to bring to this forum for balance. As it is being suggested, it is to the benefit to those who have been charged.

    your point is well taken ... but what to do? (none / 0) (#63)
    by PeterOL on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:54:35 PM EST
    No doubt, the SZ incident, at least superficially, hurts GZ. But is it fatal? Will the jury ever see it? Will the jury, if they see it, consider it a basis to convict? Even Casey Anthony was found guilty of lying ... but not murder and the State never charged GZ with anything, including obstruction of justice.

    Ultimately, GZ, like Casey Anthony before him (and many others who didn't fare well), will have to make his own decision. I believe he will fight it.


    Based on my observations (none / 0) (#69)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:17:27 PM EST
    If you like to win; and convictions vs acquittals is the measure; you are on the wrong side of the aisle.

    I would consider it a "win" (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by expy on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:59:04 PM EST
    if a client who has some level of culpability opts for a negotiated plea that is substantially better than the outcome would have been if the client had not been represented by able counsel.

    I would never push a client who asserted innocence to admit guilt to an offense where there was no involvement -- that is, when there has been a mistaken ID or the client simply had nothing to do with whatever is charged.

    However, in a homicide case like this one where the defendant admits to being the shooter, the risks of going to trial can substantially outweigh the benefits of a plea bargain. I mean when a client is looking at probation for manslaughter or negligent homicide vs. a potential life sentence for for murder, then I think that a defense attorney has a duty to make serious efforts toward a low-end negotiated plea.  

    "Reasonable doubt" is not a ground for appeal. That is, if a client is convicted, he can appeal based on insufficiency of evidence, but he can't appeal with the argument that the jury should have found reasonable doubt and acquitted. On appeal the burden is essentially reversed, the defendant pretty much has to show that there is no plausible set of facts shown by the evidence that justifies a guilty verdict. Appellate courts will defer to the jury's determination as to credibility of the witnesses and what was, or was not, "reasonable". A lot of times even when the defendant successfully shows that a mistake was made at trial that hurt his case, the appellate court will rule that it was "harmless error" and sustain the conviction.

    Prosecutors are under no obligation to make generous plea offers, so it is very possible that a case like this goes to trial because there is no other feasible option.  I mean, I'm not suggesting that a guy like Zimmerman should take a "deal" for a 20-year-prison sentence -- that would be no deal at all.

    But if and when the case goes to trial, the decision is not going to be made by a pro-defense judge, or pro-defense jurors. They aren't going to have the mindset that you see on this blog.

    That's why I get frustrated with close-mindedness on either side. But the prosecution in this case really has nothing to lose. They can give the case their best shot, and if there is an acquittal, the prosecutor still has a job and home to return to.

    That's not the case with a defendant, whose whole life and future can be destroyed by an adverse outcome.

    So again, whether or not the case goes to trial or is resolved through plea negotiations, I think the defense attorney needs the ability to have an objective overview, to advise the client and to avoid making the mistake of trying to sell something to the jury that they won't buy.


    This Would Be Tough Going for Many Jurors (none / 0) (#53)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:28:22 PM EST
    In ordinary jury instructions, there are a bunch of elements of the charge and you are told that in order to find the defendant guilty of the charge, you must believe each individual element beyond a reasonable doubt.  It would be much better if the self defense conditions were integrated into the elements.  For example: The defendant shot the victim and the defendant could have escaped from the victim or was not threatened by immediate harm from the victim.  A separate self defense instruction in addition to the standard ones for the charges, like the Florida example, might make it difficult for many jurors to know just what has to be believed beyond a reasonable doubt for a guilty verdict.

    Does anyone else (none / 0) (#57)
    by Tov on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:32:56 PM EST
    see a figure in red with a flashlight get into a car and back out in the clubhouse-pool surveillance tape? It begins around 22.40-23.00
    The question would be what time was that if indeed it was GZ. Curious.

    Were there any blood, fingerprint or DNA tests done on TM's cell phone?  

    could you provide (none / 0) (#98)
    by ding7777 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 03:07:03 AM EST
    a link to the survellience videos of the pool/clubhouse,

    several people have posted them (none / 0) (#138)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 11:04:23 AM EST
    on you tube. Try Diwataman2, he has all of them. I've watched the copies provided by the state in discovery several times. I see different things each time, they are very grainy.

    I See Nothing (none / 0) (#102)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 04:24:23 AM EST
    You mean the east pool camera?

    I don't see any movement, except some shadows seem to shift back and forth between frames.


    Into The Light (none / 0) (#112)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:16:09 AM EST
    After reading some comments at the site I just linked, I realized the place to look is the upper left corner. It's hard to look because of the bright lights, which I guess are the street lights of Twin Trees Lane. I definitely see the passing car after 19:30. After 22:40 I see some movement that could be another car.

    Yep, yep, yep (none / 0) (#68)
    by bmaz on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:15:20 PM EST
    What Jeralyn said. Feel like a damn parrot saying that, but it is true, so no reason to reinvent the wheel.

    Here's the link to the google search (none / 0) (#77)
    by Slayersrezo on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:53:17 PM EST

    The other comment can be deleted. I forgot, because the "reply " function doesn't have a link button. You have to go to the bottom to find it.

    If someone really wants to be anal, I can search for the "exact time and place" tomorrow when I feel like it. I won't credit that there is any legitimate difference between looking in house windows and looking houses if that sort of argument should be made.

    You can look (2.67 / 3) (#88)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:08:20 AM EST
    until the cows come, you won't find it. This issue, "at houses," or "into houses" is critical. The purported statement that Zimmerman supposedly made, looking "into" houses has been debunked over and over again. Whether he was looking "at" houses, or "into" houses is so important that I would even call it a "game changer." But, the fact that he said "looking at houses" was a key factor that made Zimmerman seem irrationally suspicious.
    If Martin was actually looking "into" houses then even anti Zimmerman folks would have to admit that it was suspicious and warranted further observation.
    Problem is, it never happened, and, Zimmerman never said it did.

    Not only do I not think it's critical (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:38:43 AM EST
    I think it's unimportant. See here. He seems to equate one with the other. He finds it suspicious that someone would stand out in the rain staring at or in someone else's house. So did one of the cops questioning him.

    I believe (none / 0) (#167)
    by Kelwood on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:35:58 PM EST
    one of the witnesses who heard the confrontation originally thought the noise was from someone walking his dog. He was surprised that someone would be walking their dog in the rain. It sounds like it was unusual for people to be out there in the rain which would also seen somewhat suspicious. At least according to this witness.

    ? not really relevant to the defense (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by expy on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:18:00 AM EST
    anti Zimmerman folks would have to admit that it was suspicious and warranted further observation

    Zimmerman isn't on trial over the validity of his suspicions; he is being tried for shooting and killing a man.  

    Zimmerman doesn't claim that he shot Martin because he thought he was a burglar.

    Zimmerman claims that he shot Martin because Martin was beating up on him, going for his gun, and threatening to shoot him.

    The prosecution will claim that Zimmerman's account of the shooting is a lie, and that whatever reason or justification Zimmerman thought he had does not make out a legal defense.

    The only relevance the "looking at" vs. "looking into" debate would be in terms of challenging Zimmerman's credibility. That is, the prosecution might argue that he changed his story post-shooting in order to bolster a lie he was telling about the circumstances of the shooting.

    But I'm with the camp that feels that to be a rather trivial detail. I think that the prosecution has much more significant & direct ways to challenge Zimmerman's credibility. So I don't see why they would bog themselves down focusing on "looking at" vs. "looking into", which could also be attributable to confusion or simple imprecise use of language.  

    But to the extent that anyone does think it is significant, the more "facts" that support Zimmerman's suspicions, the more that plays into the prosecution's theory that Zimmerman bore ill-will toward the type of "punks" who "always get away."


    The prosecution can conjecture that both ways (none / 0) (#103)
    by cboldt on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 04:44:41 AM EST
    The prosecution can argue that the more you find Martin was acting suspicious, the more you find the "facts" support Zimmerman having suspicion, the more likely it is that Zimmerman bore (and acted out of) ill-will toward the type of "punks" who "always get away."  As he sees the suspicious activity, it stokes his anger.

    And it can argue the converse, the less you find Martin's activity to have warranted suspicion, the less you find the "facts" support Zimmerman having suspicion, the more likely it is that Zimmerman bore (and acted out of) ill-will toward the type of "punks" who "always get away."  He wants to see suspicious activity, and fabricates it out of his own mind.

    Conjecture provides opportunity for an infinite variety of "heads I win, tails you lose" arguments.  Assume the conclusion (bore ill will) then frame the argument.  Of course, that order is reversed in the presentation.


    Police Response (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by whitecap333 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 05:22:06 AM EST
    I think it safe to assume that the Sanford PD was not in the habit of accepting instruction from Zimmerman.  Zimmerman was very specific in articulating the behavior he thought "suspicious."  If he lacked an adequate factual basis for his suspicions, why did the police respond?  Especially considering that Zimmerman was a repeat caller.

    I think it important to recall that the "punks always get away" comment was made after Martin had fled from Zimmerman, after "checking him out."  This behavior certainly wouldn't amount to "probable cause" to believe Martin was "up to no good," but I think it difficult to maintain it wouldn't give rise to "reasonable suspicion," justifying an attempt to keep track of him.


    Order of remarks (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by cboldt on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 05:38:49 AM EST
    Axholes, they always get away, was before Zimmerman reports Martin running.

    Fscking punks was after Zimmerman reports Martin running.

    Corey's affidavit in support of a murder charge makes a point of reciting facts that incline the reader to conclude that suspicion was unwarranted.


    Axxholes get away" ..Bad for George? (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by spectator on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 06:35:57 AM EST
     i think many feel the "these axxholes always getaway" looks bad for George but i feel
    it's the exact opposite,occasionally what a person says
    under certain circumstances can be a window to who they are or how they feel, George's comment is an opportunity,it also shows some insight to his neighborhood watch history.

    i think most would agree that George is a bit frustrated when making the comment, WHY?... because he feels there's nothing he can do,his hands are tied, IMO it shows that he doesn't get out and detain or confront...he has to wait for police, also why "axxholes"?, that shows there's a possibility Trayvon has irritated him in some way, maybe glares or posture or a gesture.

    I believe if George was planning or up to no good ..he would be deliberate and never ever make that comment, ...he seems only to be interested in keeping track of TM until LE arrives,i don't think he says axxxxles if TM is just walking and minding his own business,  i'm just wondering if most won't see it for what it is.


    Re: GZ comments (5.00 / 3) (#177)
    by Rand11 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 03:46:41 PM EST
    Early on, when I listened to the NEN call, one thing that stuck out was GZ's "these a__, they always get away" comment. I recall thinking it was one thing for GZ to be suspicious or even highly suspicious of TM being a criminal prior to that point. But it was another thing for GZ to now seem so absolutely certain. I thought GZ was premature in making that assessment. But, what also stuck out was TM "coming to check [GZ] out" with his "hands in his waistband." I wondered what specifically TM was doing/what TM's intent was at that time? If you believe GZ's account, TM came back and circled the vehicle (staring? glaring? saying something?). It's possible this led to the certainty in GZ's mind, as reflected in his "these a_" comment. And when TM ran, this was perhaps more confirmation for GZ, his "punks" comment coming soon thereafter.

    It's understandable, if TM actually came back and circled the vehicle, that GZ at that point would not want to/would be too afraid to try and communicate with TM. As for why GZ didn't remain so afraid that he didn't remain in his vehicle rather than follow TM/TM's direction? I believe GZ touched on this in one or two of his SPD interviews. GZ claimed, based on his experiences, when suspects run, they invariably keep running. Thus, perhaps for GZ, in a few moments the matter went from high risk/threat level (TM circling his vehicle) to low risk/threat level (TM running away).


    Something that I see in the self-defense community (4.00 / 1) (#182)
    by Lina Inverse on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 04:54:42 PM EST
    And that I've seen and read about elsewhere in a zillion contexts, clearly a basic human failing, is becoming too scenario oriented.  A form of complacency.

    In this case, it's being posited that Zimmerman had learned a standard scenario of property thieves who run and don't look back when they feel someone's on to them ... and maybe not; that's "The wicked flee when no man pursueth...".

    If you believe his account, he understandably slotted Martin into this category ... and he turned out to be terribly wrong.  And addressing willisnewton's reply to my use of that quote, it seems unlikely that Martin fit into that category, of fleeing because he was at the moment "wicked", e,g, planning on committing a properly crime that night.  

    His actions that night, according to either sides' accounts or theories, were something else altogether.  (Getting out of the house and having a long private conversation with his girlfriend seems to have been one of them.)


    In one of the interviews (none / 0) (#110)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 06:41:53 AM EST
    Officer Singleton (not sure if that is her rank) asks GZ why, when he was in the truck and TM was right there, he didn't roll down the window and tell TM he was with the neighborhood watch and ask him why he was there, and GZ responded that a. it was not his job, and b. he was afraid. She did not pursue it and ask him why he was afraid.

    Oops, I wasn't done... (none / 0) (#111)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 06:51:31 AM EST
    I think his fearful/suspicious state of mind could have evolved into frustration as you say. Or else he was not really fearful, as the officers try to probe in the interview, breaking his actions into things that indicate fear (not wanting to talk to TM, waiting in the light for a minute trying to make his flashlight work before returning to his car in the dark) and those that don't indicate fear (getting out of the car and walking in the dark in the first place).

    All that said, does it matter legally? probably not.


    Still, (5.00 / 2) (#148)
    by whitecap333 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:24:57 PM EST
    Taking flight, in a high-crime area, is a classic, tried-and-true basis for "reasonable suspicion," and Zimmerman had that, when he exited his truck.  

    But, in this same "high-crime area," (5.00 / 3) (#163)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:17:55 PM EST
    why is it not possible that Martin's "flight" could be the result of his suspicion and fear that he was about to be the victim of a crime?

    Couldn't Martin have considered Zimmerman's behavior suspicious?  Would you, if you were the one walking home, and some guy in a truck slowed down to focus his interest on you, and eventually parked and got out of his truck?  How do you know you aren't about to be a crime victim?  And what do you do - just, ahem, stand your ground in a neighborhood where you know no one, are not armed, and hope that, whoever this guy is, he's harmless?

    I can tell you that I'm not doing that - I'm getting the hell out of there.  

    There seem to be very few people here who want to consider that when this event began to unfold, neither one of these people had to be doing anything wrong for it to all eventually go sideways and for one of them to end up dead.


    No, (5.00 / 2) (#169)
    by whitecap333 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:50:21 PM EST
    Martin fled, into the darkness, -before- Zimmerman got out of the truck.  And sizing him up from that 7-11 video, I have a hard time believing he feared Zimmerman.  He wasn't clutching any teddy bears that night.

    That claim is about 2 months stale (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by JamTowzy on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:58:27 PM EST
    Truly concerned strangers do not loiter/linger/peruse in bad neighborhoods that they are unfamiliar with.

    Trayvon Martin had been on the scene for a few days, and had no compunction against a distant trip for certain non-vital products at fairly distant 7-11. Fear of his surroundings? Doesn't seem so. Especially when the evidence is that he was mostly focused/obsessed on a running phone chat that had been supposedly going on for hours and hours.

    I don't buy any of the characterization from DeeDee that he was intimidated by the Sanford community, any more than I fall for her characterizing the athlete TM being exhausted from a modest run. Neither of them can be suitably sustained in light of his return to the T to vent his mind. It strains believability much more than doubts about GZ's quest for an address do.


    JamTowzy - you have only one (4.50 / 2) (#178)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 03:50:30 PM EST
    person's - Zimmerman's - perception of what Martin was doing, and whether you want to buy any of the possibilities that have been suggested, I think it's quite reasonable to wonder if Zimmerman's community patrolling activities didn't have the effect of making him the hammer who sees everything as the nail.  In other words, he was pre-disposed to be suspicious.

    And yes, Martin had been staying at Brandy Green's for a few days, but as I understand it, he was more or less grounded, not allowed to go anywhere or do anything, and this trip to the 7-11 was the first time he'd been allowed out.  

    And how far was the 7-11 from where he was staying?  Far enough to be considered a "distant trip?"  I don't think so.  And wouldn't there have been more daylight at the time he left than there was when he was on his way back?  Things look different in the dark, or near-dark, don't they?

    Are you suggesting that someone being on the phone means he or she couldn't develop a feeling of fear as a situation changed?  Maybe he was on the phone while walking home because it made him feel less alone - sometimes people have been known to do that, you know.  Or maybe you don't know.

    My point in all of this is that, with the exception of some very limited witness statements, we essentially only have one side of the story.  Yes, we can make timelines and reenactments and try to match what Zimmerman was saying with where he says he was, but we still will never know what was going on in Martin's mind - what he was thinking or feeling or whether the confrontation happened as Zimmerman says it did.  The law says we don't have to know, so that's what we have to deal with.  

    And my larger point was that it just doesn't have to follow that either or both of these individuals had to be doing something wrong in order for things to go the way they did, and that both were equally capable of making bad decisions along the way that caused the events to cascade the way they did; by all appearances and for reasons I don't understand, these are concepts you and others just cannot bring yourselves to consider.

    Whatever.  In the end, what you think or I think isn't going to have the slightest effect on the outcome of the legal process.  


    Please provide (5.00 / 1) (#216)
    by DizzyMissL on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:32:47 PM EST
    a link that it was the first time he had been let out.

    Grounded? (none / 0) (#206)
    by Raoul on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:14:03 PM EST
    The night before Trayvon went to the movies with his cousin.

    When is the "event began" line? (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by cboldt on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 03:19:00 PM EST
    At some point, one or both of them did something wrong, to the extent the action was illegal and/or actionable.

    But, if you start far enough back on the timeline, there is no evidence that either one of them was doing something illegal or, to a lesser standard of conduct, "wrong."

    Assume for the sake of argument that Martin's flight is justified based on reasonable fear.  Once he's lost Zimmerman, how do they get face to face?  Whose initiative is the face to face meeting?


    I don't think (5.00 / 2) (#210)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:28:04 PM EST
    I haven't seen any comments implying Martin was wrong for running. He was not even wrong for stopping. He actually was still on the side of angels when he verbally confronted GZ.

    Trayvon, however strayed over the line the moment he  assaulted George Zimmerman, and compounded his felony when he refused to relent despite the pitiful pleadings of a vanquished adversary.


    The bone of contention (none / 0) (#213)
    by whitecap333 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:06:20 PM EST
    seems to be whether Zimmerman had a rational, lawful basis for his suspicions about Martin and his decision to follow him--follow, not arrest, or "detain."  I really don't see how you leave out of the equation Martin's "checking out" Zimmerman and then "taking off."

    Even if one has provable, dastardly (5.00 / 3) (#219)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:02:38 PM EST
    motives for suspecting a person, it is not unlawful.

    BTW While I don't think this is the case, I don't  care.

    Is GZ being charged with filing a false report?

    Unless  you can prove that some concerned citizen decided to explore, in Martins general direction, with malice and aforethought there is no crime.

    It amazes me that some, otherwise intelligent people, postulate that the act of Zimmerman (possibly) attempting to get a fix on Martin is more grievous than Martin following Zimmerman to confront and assault him.


    Maybe...but GZ said TM returned...Why (5.00 / 3) (#211)
    by spectator on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:28:48 PM EST
    Anne, if he was scared why would he walk away 50 yds and then return to "circle" the vehicle?(GZ claim), it's speculation as to what TM was doing that night, the point is GZ's perception of the events and his motivation, it seems reasonable he was only trying keep track or to see if TM was going to leave the neighborhood, this way he could effectively inform LE to his whereabouts and not wasting their time in the wrong area.

    One of the earliest expressions of this principle (3.00 / 2) (#158)
    by Lina Inverse on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:51:20 PM EST
    Just happens to be my favorite quote from the Bible, especially in the contexts of crime and self-defense:

    The wicked flee when no man pursueth;
    but the righteous are bold as a lion.

    Proverbs 28:1

    Note, I'm not a Christian, I just think it's useful wisdom beautifully expressed.

    The relevance I've always seen to self-defense is the latter part, which in this case might explain Zimmerman's willingness to testify to the police about what happened, which everybody advises against, even the chief of police of a local suburb who was a veteran of the city's police force and who was the lead instructor of my mandatory concealed carry course.  (And boy, did he visibly and audibly dislike saying that, but he felt it was the correct advice to give us.)

    2nd note: I'm not in this post trying to imply Martin was "wicked", although if you believe Zimmerman's account it's hard to avoid that value judgement.


    Those who took a side first... (none / 0) (#199)
    by unitron on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 06:33:55 PM EST
    ...and then looked at the case tend to remember stuff the way they want it to be, not the way it actually is.

    I think you are right (none / 0) (#107)
    by expy on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 05:48:02 AM EST
    The prosecution could argue either way.

    My point is simply that it does not help Zimmerman's case in any way to assert any grounds for suspicion beyond what was reported to the dispatch officers prior to the shooting.

    And I don't think it helps the prosecution to dwell on that particular discrepency in testimony.  It's possible that a prosecutor might use that tidbit / discrepency in cross-examination as a means to try to rattle or distract Zimmerman before getting onto more important stuff; or to try to get him angry... but it wouldn't go to the heart of their case.

    And if I was defending Zimmerman, that would be one particular detail I wouldn't worry about. It's just too minor to be worth dwelling on.


    O'Mara is unlikely (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Doug1111 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:16:03 PM EST
    to put Zimmerman on the stand.

    Instead he'll get Zimmerman's statements to Sanford police into evidence, probably read by the officers who questioned him if they weren't recorded.


    What do you as a criminal defense (none / 0) (#161)
    by Doug1111 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:07:50 PM EST
    attorney find to be the prosecutions best shots at undermining G Zimmerman's credibility on important points?

    I don't see the wording as an issue (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by leftwig on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:38:55 AM EST
    For one, he lists other things he sees that raises his suspicion, like trespassing in a yard that isn't his and other odd behavior.  Whether he was looking at or into homes doesn't matter in regards to the actions that occurred for the rest of the event.

    Wouldn't it be benign behaviour to (none / 0) (#89)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:23:12 AM EST
    look into house from the sidewalk?  

    to glance, yes (none / 0) (#92)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:39:32 AM EST
    to stand out in the rain, at night, and stare for a period of time, no.

    Interesting. (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:45:53 AM EST
    A couple years ago I was in a St. Louis suburb at night looking for my niece's house. The street addresses were on the mail boxes at the curb. I got out of the rental car and looked closely at a set of mailboxes, using my cell phone screen to help me see the addresses. A male adult voice loudly asked what I was looking for. I ad. I was looking for xxxx on that street. He sd., this isn't it. Scary for me.  

    Who Else Besides #11 Knew Zimmerman? (none / 0) (#116)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:13:34 AM EST
    Did any other of the witnesses to the killing know Zimmerman before the event?  In one of the interviews, Zimmerman claims to know everybody in the development including the kids and he didn't recognize Martin.  Could he have known the other witnesses without them knowing him?

    Witnesses 9, 21, and 22 know Zimmerman (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by cboldt on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:26:44 AM EST
    Witness 9, who wasn't present, claims to know Zimmerman and the family.  Asserts Zimmerman is confrontational and a racist, and other members of the family are mean and make no effort to hide it.

    I found witness 11's remark that she did not recognize Zimmerman from the contemporaneous photo, interesting.  Nose broken in a few places.

    Witness 13, when asked by de la Rionda how Zimmerman looked and was acting, "Like he had just gotten his butt beat."  De la Rionda manages to salvage that by making Zimmerman "matter of fact" about having shot someone, into W13's mouth.

    Witness 19 says the neighborhood was spooky (aside from this incident) as had been thinking about moving away.

    Witness 20 won't go outside after hearing the cries for help, he thinks there might be a gang of people beating on somebody, and fears being outnumbered.

    Witness 21, HOA president, knows Zimmerman; but did not see any of the events of February 26th.

    Witness 22 is a co-worker, not from the neighborhood, and says Zimmerman is a bully.  SPD did not interview this person.  The State Attorney's office is vigorously researching Zimmerman's background.  My impression is that this curiosity is biased, because I see no evidence of similar curiosity toward Martin.

    As for Zimmerman knowing his neighbors, but them not knowing him, I think his version of "know" is limited to "recognize them as living here."


    w-9 is (5.00 / 2) (#139)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 11:21:40 AM EST
    his ex-fiance who got the restraining order. Both sides have said she won't be a witness and that her statement would be inadmissible. It's obvious from her call who she is but the Orlando Sentinel recently reported that is who she is.

    W-22 said he felt bullied because Z. called him stupid and made fun of him to other co-workers. The bullying he describes is purely emotional. Zimmerman never threatened him or raised his voice -- he just mocked him. Also happened a long time ago. He was middle-eastern and said George adopted the voice of a middle-eastern cartoon character when talking about him, but he didn't think George was picking on his nationality. He thought it was because he was the new guy.

    The homeowner president W-21 had just assumed the presidency and didn't know George well. He confirms George was not "self-appointed" but chosen by the board to be committee chair and run the program in conjunction with the Sanford Police. he says the board formed the committee and put George in charge. he says there were no complaints about him and everyone seemed to think he was doing a good job. Interview here.


    "Self-Appointed" (5.00 / 2) (#191)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 05:36:13 PM EST
    The earliest appearance that I know of for the 'self-appointed' meme is the March 8 Huffington Post report.

    No source was cited, nor was there any explanation for what was meant by the expression. The report relied heavily on the Martin family, their lawyers, and their PR firm.

    I have seen the expression repeated many, many times. Not once have I seen a source or an explanation. This has to be one of the most reprehensible memes in the whole business.


    Yes (none / 0) (#119)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:47:01 AM EST
    I "know" a lot of the neighbors in my BF's condo complex, because I am there a great deal and I see them all the time.  I know a few of their names, but not all.  But I would be able to say that I "know" them and "know" that they live there.

    Media Motions to Intervene (none / 0) (#132)
    by cboldt on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:49:13 AM EST
    Also available on the Court's website:

    Media Motions to Intervene

    The media argues that W9's statement be released.  I think that point is moot, the statement has been released.

    The media argues for release of all the jail calls. I think they will lose that one, as the material implicates privacy interests.  If the media is correct on this, then all jailhouse calls become a public record upon an investigator asserting they are discovery, unless they contain a confession.  Jailhouse calls are recorded for investigative and security purposes.

    On W-9, only one of her (none / 0) (#194)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 05:44:10 PM EST
    statements has been released. There are 2 cd's of her calls, only one was released. The other claims GZ did something specific that shows racial animus. That has not been released.

    The point though is both sides say it won't be admitted, she won't be admitted, she has no information about the offense, so why should it be released? If it is released, the state should not grant her anonymity. She hadn't seen GZ in years when she took it upon herself on Feb. 28, 2 days after the shooting, to call the Sanford police.  This is from the discovery.


    I'd forgotten there were two (none / 0) (#196)
    by cboldt on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 05:53:47 PM EST
    Thanks for the correction.  I'd forgotten there were two statements, only one of which was a point of contention.

    As for her anonymity, Zimmerman can break that, it's not a power solely possessed by the state.


    I've listened (none / 0) (#155)
    by Mojo56 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:45:28 PM EST
    to witness #11's 911 call (the one where you can hear the gun shot) quite a few times. I can't hear 'John' (witness #6) in the background saying 'stop' or 'I'm calling 911'. Does this mean witness 11 didn't call 911 until after John made his statements or is it just a matter of John's statements not being loud enough to be picked up on the 911 call of witness 11? It seems like John's statement should be right in the middle of witness 11's call since John said while he was going upstairs to make his own 911 call he heard the gun shot. I'm just trying to get a sense of when the struggle actually began and how long it lasted. The timing of GZ ending his call with the NEN and the start of the fight is something that has troubled me. It might ultimately prove to be a moot point but it is interesting to me nonetheless.

    Cell phones (none / 0) (#164)
    by Redbrow on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:21:08 PM EST
    use sophisticated noise filtering technology to eliminate ambient sound below a certain threshold, background noise, handling noise, wind noise up to 5mph (fast walking speed), etc. The algorithms try to focus on the proximate voice of the user.

    Apparently the sound of someone in the background screaming for their life at the top of their lungs and the sound from a gunshot was able to be picked up, but other voices like the witness and Trayvon's remarks as stated by GZ , were not loud enough to be picked up or they were filtered out by the noise filtering algorithms.


    You might try ... (none / 0) (#160)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:00:16 PM EST
    ... slowing down and reading my posts, then you wouldn't get confused and make false accusations such as this:

    You want evidence in the future, why not try asking politely for it rather than calling people liars?

    Might also answer all your other "questions".

    OTOH - You appear to be correct.  Sometimes, Zimmerman says Martin was looking around "at" the houses.  Of course, after the shooting, he alternated between claims of looking "at" the houses and looking "in" the houses.  Before we answer your original question ("Why would he look IN houses?"), I guess we'd need to know which one it was.

    I think we are trying to overanalyze a point (none / 0) (#168)
    by leftwig on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:37:46 PM EST
    that doesn't matter to the case.  One could look in or at houses from the sidewalk.  One could look in or at houses from the right next to the house in the grass.  IT is but one thing cited for Zimmerman's reason to make the NEN call.  If Martin is doing something illegal when Zimmerman first spots him, it doesn't matter because if Zimmerman starts and escalates a confrontation into violence it will hurt his self-defense claim.  If everything Martin was doing that night was innocuous, it doesn't matter if he approached Zimmerman and decked him and started beating him without cause.  Whether Martin was looking in, or just looking at houses doesn't matter to the events that transpired.

    The key points have been presented quite often.  Did Zimmermans actions amount to illegal action that forced Martins responsive attack, or was the attack unprovoked.  The other salient point would be if Zimmerman was reasonably in fear for his life or great bodily harm while Martin was beating him and did he retain that fear right up to the point the shot occurred.  Thats pretty much all that matters and its up to the prosecution to provide the evidence that conflicts with Zimmerman's statements, be it forensic or witness testimony.  


    I agree (none / 0) (#220)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:08:00 PM EST
    On a dark, misty, night there is not much to see, even for a casual onlooker, besides the imperfect cinema scope of an illuminated window,

    Martin doesn't fit into that slot (none / 0) (#184)
    by Lina Inverse on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 04:57:38 PM EST
    See this posting for how I don't think Martin fit into the slot of "The wicked flee when no man pursueth...".

    Didn't you read the blog (none / 0) (#197)
    by Redbrow on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 06:00:07 PM EST
    the rules are clearly linked above.

    No potentially libelous comments, including calling anyone a racist or a liar;

    Willis, In Order For a Jury to Understand (none / 0) (#198)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 06:24:03 PM EST
    your argument, you have to propose what really happened, why you think so and how Zimmerman's misstatements were intended to hide criminal behavior.  All I gather from your gibberish about the clubhouse/cut through is some innuendo that he was covering up something.  I haven't the foggiest idea what that was.

    Did Martin enter Brandy's apt? (none / 0) (#201)
    by PeterOL on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 06:42:16 PM EST
    At 9:20 in DeeDee's interview with the prosecutor, after she says Martin ran, she says:

    DeeDee: "He say he right by his father's house."


    The next question is if Martin actually went into the unit?

    That could be known by DeeDee or Chad (Brandy's son). Another possibility that hasn't been definitively resolved is if Martin was wearing shorts when he was shot. The on-the-scene police report says "shorts" (and "tennis shoes") while the ME office's records says "pants" (and "shoes"). If Martin was wearing shorts then he had to have changed at Brandy's unit because he was wearing pants in the 7 Eleven video. An interesting, still open question. Any ideas?

    Probably Wearing Long Pants (none / 0) (#205)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:06:48 PM EST
    On page 10 of the pdf of the original evidence dump,they list hoodie jacket, pants and underwear being collected from the victim.  I assume if it was shorts rather than full length pants they would have said so.

    I saw that but (none / 0) (#208)
    by PeterOL on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:18:39 PM EST
    still, the original police report says "shorts" and accurately "tennis shoes" (not "shoes" as in the ME office's report). It is an important enough issue -- whether Martin actually went into Brandy's unit -- that even if remote, the issue should be resolved one way or the other.

    If Martin was in shorts, then that is a critical piece of evidence for the defense. It shows Martin not only got 'home,' but that he changed into something that gave him more freedom of movement to start a fight.


    Martin's Pants, Accounts Vary (none / 0) (#214)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:16:12 PM EST
    PeterOL, there is no one 'original police report.'

    Three police officers filed reports dated February 27, the day after the shooting. Ricardo Ayala (p. 14) said Martin wore 'blue jeans.' Timothy Smith (p. 14) and Jonathan Mead (p.15) did not describe Martin's pants.

    The report stating Martin wore 'shorts' was Joseph Santiago's (p. 16), dated March 2.

    Chris Serino's report (p. 37), dated March 13, said 'tan pants.'

    Santiago arrived after the paramedics were done working on Martin.

    Some of the paramedics said they attached monitor leads to all four of Martin's limbs. I don't think they mentioned cutting his pants, but that might be because they weren't asked.


    ME > SPD (none / 0) (#209)
    by Cylinder on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:20:55 PM EST
    Another possibility that hasn't been definitively resolved is if Martin was wearing shorts when he was shot. The on-the-scene police report says "shorts" (and "tennis shoes") while the ME office's records says "pants" (and "shoes").

    You have to trust the ME in that instance. They are describing what is in front of them at that moment. The police are writing a report hours or even days after the event.


    Maybe he was wearing (none / 0) (#221)
    by Redbrow on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:31:09 PM EST
    convertible khaki pants.

    Tracy Martin also states "I knew he was coming to the back of the house, he was sitting out there" in this video interview. @0:40


    Tracy Martin said Trayvon was wearing shorts (none / 0) (#222)
    by PeterOL on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:45:30 PM EST
    when he reported Trayvon as a missing person. He could have gotten that from Chad if Martin had returned to the apt. Tracy also said Trayvon was last seen at 8pm.

    My point is that it is an important loose end.

    If they were long shorts they could possibly be confused as pants after taken off the body and semi folded at the ME's office. Any photo of the pants/shorts in evidence would resolve the issue (or of Martin after he was shot at the scene or before he was later undressed)


    Tracy Was Wrong (none / 0) (#226)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:29:05 PM EST

    Trayvon Martin wasn't seen alive at 8pm. He was shot dead at 7:17.

    I have been trying to make sense (none / 0) (#228)
    by Redbrow on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:39:37 PM EST
    of the Martin's various claims and came up with this.

    Martin stated he last saw Trayvon at between 8-8:30. Was this around half time? Did Tracy or Brandy call Chad at half time to check up on the boys? Did Chad then tell them that Trayvon returned from 7-11 earlier at around 7:00, and was just sitting on the back porch and then disappeared again?

    This might explain the media reports of the half-time myth.
    Miami Herald

    Martin's father said the teen went out in a light drizzle around 7 p.m. that Sunday during the NBA All-Star Game halftime to get snacks from a nearby 7-Eleven.

    Were Witness #11's Drawings Released? (none / 0) (#203)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 06:45:51 PM EST
    You can here on the first tape her drawing the locations from which the noises were coming from.  Of course they are relevant to making sure we understand what she was saying.

    Possible Prosecution Theory (none / 0) (#223)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:48:58 PM EST
    In a blog new to me, I found a theory of Zimmerman's guilt (to Murder2 no less!) based on the discrepancy between where Zimmerman claimed in the walkthrough to have gone down and where the body was found.  The blogger, AJ Strata, seems to do better than other attempts I've read.  If what I am seeing in the pro prosecution blogosphere is any indication, the prosecution won't be based on DeeDee but on a massive recitation of everything Zimmerman said which seems to be incorrect and a claim that some scenario with Zimmerman pulling out his gun before he was on the ground is much more reasonable than the defense story.

    Missing Distance (none / 0) (#225)
    by Cylinder on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:06:44 PM EST
    That theory kind of evaporates when you factor in Zimmerman's articulated uncertainty, the fact that he had W6 coming out of W11s townhouse and the fact that both witnesses report that the altercation was moving at the time. Zimmerman was off ~15'. Move his depection to the adjoining patio and it fits.

    He Admits it Started at the T (none / 0) (#229)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:41:06 PM EST
    and then migrated.  What he claims is that Zimmerman shows consciousness of guilt by insisting he went down so close to the T. But my point is that he has an example, perhaps crude, of how the prosecution can cook something up based almost entirely on Zimmerman's (mis)statements.

    Yeah, the entire premise of that blog (none / 0) (#232)
    by leftwig on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:54:44 PM EST
    is that Zimmerman has to be lying because a fight could not possibly have moved that far given his description. However, this is what the witnesses seem to be describing.  Also, it doesn't consider how much Martin body moves post shooting.  Zimmerman says after the shot Martin sits up and falls off him so we know Martin moved from the location where he was shot.  Z's head was on the sidewalk, so his right hand would have been closer to the T and the shot on Trayvon was to the right side of his chest, so while we don't know for sure, it seems reasonable that Martin rolled off away from the gunshot which would have been further south.  If he is mounted on top of Z its not likely he slid off, but rolled off which would have put him on his back.  But, Z and the witnesses say he was on his stomach after the shooting which means he would have rolled over twice from the location of the shot.  The police who tried to do CPR also rolled him over onto his stomach, so they moved the body even more.  Its quite feasible that the body ended up 8-12 feet further south of the T than where the actual shooting took place so you can't simply measure the distance from the T to the location of the body to say thats how far Zimmerman was off on his story.  

    You'd have to ignore most of the witness statements of what they heard/saw and the progression to be able to come to the conclusion reached by that blog.


    VERY low threshold (none / 0) (#235)
    by Jello333 on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 12:25:32 AM EST
    Defendant [is] not required to prove self-defense claim beyond reasonable doubt or by preponderance of evidence; rather, self-defense evidence needed merely leave jury with reasonable doubt about whether he was justified in using deadly force)...

    I know the different levels of certainty required in court cases can't be given as a precise percentage, but I think how it's generally looked at is something like this: Beyond reasonable doubt might be thought of as 99%; and preponderance might be thought of as 51%.

    Well, if that's close, then what the self-defense laws/cases seem to be saying is this:

    George does not need to have 99% of the evidence on his side (since he doesn't have the burden of proof).

    George does not even need to have 51% on his side (since the standard isn't "preponderance").

    All he needs is the converse of what the prosecution needs. Since they would need 99% in their favor, that means George only needs a little more than.... 1%.

    Again I know these percentages aren't written in law anywhere, but they're ok for the sake of argument, I think. So is this right? In order to prevail all George has to do is show his theory of events and claim of self-defense is about 1% likely? If so, how can the state POSSIBLY win this?

    Serino, (none / 0) (#236)
    by whitecap333 on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 05:28:32 AM EST
    obviously having been "educated," directly or indirectly by Crump, hammered Zimmerman with the dubious "information" that Martin was an "model youth," and went on to claim that Zimmerman had been "told" not to follow him.  That's when Zimmerman began "crawfishing" about the reason he had walked east across the top of the "T," to the other street.  You don't get a viable murder case out of such as this.

    Not Dee Dee (none / 0) (#238)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 11:40:59 AM EST
    Eddspair, Dee Dee didn't talk to SPD.

    Dee Dee (none / 0) (#240)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 12:10:46 PM EST

    Listen to the interviews.  Serino describes a new witness that is "playing games" with him, but whose information (I think he even identifies her as female) is pretty much spot on with what turns out to be Dee Dee' eventual statement.

    I would infer "Playing Games" is shorthand for the tIme when Dee Dee gave information but wasn't cooperating with SPD.  

    I would infer she gave info but refused to come in and give a sworn statement based on what has been related as "playing games" and "refused to cooperate".

    It seems apparent that Serino knew of her existance and had at least a cliff notes version of Dee Dee's version of events during his lengthy interview with GZ.

    Not DeeDee (none / 0) (#241)
    by cboldt on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 12:19:00 PM EST
    DeeDee didn't surface until March 22nd, and SPD had turned the case over to Wolfinger on March 11 or 12.  I think Serino is referring to Cutcher and her roomate (Serina?), when he says there is a witness who contradicts Zimmerman's account as to how the hand to hand combat started.

    Dee Dee (none / 0) (#243)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 01:31:25 PM EST
    Agree not conclusive, but the caller is anonymous.  I don't think Cuthcer from her televised interviews was that person. Cuthcer describes different facts in her interview.  

    Reference: Feb 29 tape 1 time 14:12
    Reference  Feb 29 tape 2 time 4:51

    Without going over the whole hour and half of tape again, I believe there was a third reference.

    Question, if the SPD was wholly unaware of DD, why would they say she had failed to cooperate?  

    I don't recall SPD saying that (none / 0) (#244)
    by cboldt on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 01:37:47 PM EST
    Crump is the one who asserted that he would not submit DeeDee's recorded statement to SPD or Florida law enforcement.  Instead, he was going to turn it over the US Department of Justice.  I don't recall SPD saying anything, one way or the other about this big news, but my recollection on details like that is lousy.

    Again, by the time Crump announced this bombshell witness, the case had been submitted to Wolfinger.  Not that new information couldn't be inserted into the record, but SPD can't insert what is being withheld from it.

    What you are hearing Serino describe may be a fictional witness.  A fabrication of his own, like the fabrication that maybe Martin had taken a video of the encounter.  Tell the suspect you have the goods on him, and maybe he'll drop the lies and confess the truth.

    Dee Dee (none / 0) (#245)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 02:22:54 PM EST
    I did a little light digging on line....

    It is not difficult to find reports that Dee Dees mother tried to give information to Sanford PD  a few days following the shooting.

    These reports have not been corroborated by Sanford PD.  

    I am speculating, but it seems plausible to me.  that is where I got the notion he may have been talking about Dee Dee at those points.

    Serino, IMO, uses too many ruses and is not adept at playing them.  The notion TM would cell phone video tape in the dark one of his fights is far fetched in concept.  (punch left handed, film right handed?)

    I didn't think Serino's level of sophistication rose during the course of the investigation.  It is perhaps sad that one cannot tell the difference between his techniques and his mistakes.  

    RE: VERY low threshold (#235) (none / 0) (#246)
    by heidelja on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 03:37:57 PM EST
    For some reason my read is the same as yours on this. But let me first suggest it is more so suggested to be a 90-10 ratio to achieve/overcome "beyond a reasonable doubt."  A 99-1 ratio might be seen as "beyond a shadow of a doubt."

    I look at it this way:  In the typical broad case the state presents evidence to a jury.  The defendant through his attorney casts doubt on the evidence presented.  If a juror doubts the state's evidence by 10% or more, he/she considers the defendant innocent. In other words, it is a high threhold the state must overcome.

    Here is "rather, self-defense evidence needed merely leave jury with reasonable doubt about whether he was justified in using deadly force" explained more fully to be "...if you have a reasonable doubt whether or not the defendant acted in self-defense, your verdict must be not guilty." If you doubt by no more than 10% whether or not one acted in self-defense your verdict should be not guilty. In other words, if a juror is only 10% certain that he did not, his verdict should be not guilty.

    All-in-all, I probably have explained what you have, but only slightly differently seeing it from the flip-side. Inserting the "whether or not" makes it less ambiguous.

    As for "Looking 'IN houses'?" (#34) (none / 0) (#247)
    by heidelja on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 04:17:46 PM EST
    This all started in (#23) "Remember the timeline also"by Slayersrezo where it was stated somewhat ambiguously as "...besides talking on his phone for at least part of the time. Why would he look IN houses?" Then by the figure of speech used in comment #28 that went "I doubt he was looking into houses" this subject might have begun to be exasperated.  In (#34) "Looking 'IN houses'?" by Yman, he seemed to take excepion to "in houses" for an unexplained reason.  Maybe not taking an exception, but this is my perception for which I refrain from giving an example over word usage which I have heard in the matter of SZ and had exception. I responded to Yman's "Who said he was looking 'IN houses'?" that I had heard it from the reenactment video, to which I learned GZ said that TM "leisurely looked at" the house. My two comments (one #78) were deleted by the clarification and amplification embodied by comment (#90) "Yes it's in his written statement" by Jeralyn that eventually concluded
    "It sounds like [GZ] uses the phrases interchangeably. In other words, he finds it suspicious that someone would stand out in the rain staring at or in someone else's house.
    "If he equates looking at with looking in, it's not even an inconsistency, let alone a contradiction. Especially when Singleton did the same thing."

    Then in statements 143, 145, 146, 147 and in 160 the "discussion" resumed.  
    While I certainly agree there is no contradiction, the verb phrases looking at and looking in do have different meanings and are not synonomous per dictionary.com. An interchangeability in usage might be justifiably seen as an inconsistency.  

    In their most simplest verb forms look at means "to view," while look in is synomonous with look inside or look in on which means "to look briefly inside of" or "to visit (a person, place, etc.) briefly."  Ironically, maybe, the synonym to look at might be the noun look-in which means "a brief glance." Considering these simple definitions, might allow one to glean why mentally they go confused when speaking and then seen used inconsistently.

    "Precision of speech" of GZ? (none / 0) (#248)
    by heidelja on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 04:26:49 PM EST
    Has anyone heard GZ stop when being interviewed and ask if he was being understood?  Or better yet, did he realize when speaking he needed to stop and rephrase something to correctly say it? Someone stated that GZ was trying to be too precise.  But would he have been by not stopping and rephrasing what he was sayig differently....at sometime?  Would having done this make him appear to be more of a "liar" or less? To me it would convey honesty more soundly.

    Orlando Sentinel (none / 0) (#249)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 04:32:51 PM EST
    This from today's paper:

    "The lead Sanford police investigator in the Trayvon Martin shooting was transferred Tuesday from detective work to being a simple street cop, the department confirmed.

    Chris Serino had asked for the change, the department said.

    He will become a uniform patrol officer and work the night shift, said police spokesman Sgt. David Morgenstern.

    Serino is not being demoted, Morgenstern said, and his rate of pay is unaffected."

    While I will not say that it is impossible for the above circumstances to be voluntary, it just might constitute a "first".   It appears that Serino may be the first casualty of OMara's strategy to release information to the court of public opinion.

    From homicide detective to street cop? (none / 0) (#250)
    by WentAway on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 07:22:56 PM EST

    @Eddspair, Serino (none / 0) (#251)
    by DebFrmHell on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 07:24:11 PM EST
    might have been referring to Witness 9 who came forth with a lot of accusations but refused to leave any contact info or even a name.  That call was partially recorded by another investigator/officer on February 28th.  To me, that could be construed as "playing games."  I think it took them weeks to track her down.

    As for being lost, in the report file by Serino, it states that TM had been in Sanford for a week. It also doesn't say that he had been residing at the Green address for a week, though.  I just don't think he was confused by his surroundings.

    Serino was the leaker to ABC (none / 0) (#252)
    by Redbrow on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 07:46:08 PM EST
    ABC reporter Matt Gutman tweeted that Serino was the leaker from SPD. I always suspected as much and now it has been officially confirmed. http://twitter.com/#!/mattgutmanABC

    Trayvon Martin Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman By MATT GUTMAN

    The surveillance video, which was obtained exclusively by ABC News, shows Zimmerman arriving in a police cruiser.

    Serino will be the fall guy (none / 0) (#254)
    by lily on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 09:40:51 PM EST
    as this case falls apart.

    Words exchanged @ SUV? (none / 0) (#255)
    by turbo6 on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 10:23:21 PM EST
    I thought it was interesting that Trayvon's father mentioned Serino spoke of an initial encounter at GZ's SUV. He mentioned Serino said something to the effect of Trayvon approaching and asking why he was following him to which George rolled his window down and denied the following. This whole scenario was absent from the statement.

    During the reenactment Zimmerman does say something like Trayvon may have said something to him as he approached, but he was on the phone and the window was up. I thought it was interesting that he brought the notion TM may have spoke based on his dad's statement.

    Was there any indication GZ may have originally gave a statement implying that Martin questioned him at the SUV? Or is this just something Tracy Martin claims Serino said?

    @Turbo (none / 0) (#256)
    by DebFrmHell on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 03:16:24 AM EST
    Doing this from memory...

    IIRC, Serino suggested that the incident could have been diffused had Zimmerman addressed Martin at his truck and identified himself as neighborhood watch.

    He also thought that GZ was responsible because he left his truck to walk to RVC.

    BTW, getting out of your vehicle is not illegal nor is following the path that someone who has a multi-second head start.   I seriously doubt that GZ was that fleet of foot.  I don't think he would have left his truck if TM was still close by.  

    I say that because when he tells the dispatcher that he is checking him out, it sounds very much like  the power locks on the door being activated on the NEN.  I think it is around the 1:10ish mark.

    I don't kid myself that he didn't slow around that "T" intersection to peer into darkness though.  I do think he might have been a little fearful or at the least on alert for a sighting of TM to tell the police upon their arrival.

    The innocence or guilt of GZ rest within approx 1min 20seconds, who approached whom first, and who started the physical confrontation.  There are no witnesses to see the start of the physical part.  The State conceded that in the original bond hearing.

    All IMO.  I am sooooo NAL!

    @ DebFrmHell (none / 0) (#257)
    by cboldt on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 05:00:04 AM EST
    Zimmerman's self-defense case is in a window smaller than 80 seconds, probably more like 8 seconds.  Was he reasonably in fear of death or serious injury?  He claims he believed Martin was attempting to disarm him of a firearm.

    Who started it, 80 seconds earlier, doesn't determine the outcome of that inquiry.

    @deb (none / 0) (#258)
    by turbo6 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:00:37 AM EST
    I understand Serino's assesment of the situation and how GZ could have diffused things. However I still recall there was the claim Tracy Martin made that Serino mentioned Trayvon asked GZ at his truck why he was following him.

    The claim itself isn't that odd but when GZ mentioned in the reenactment that TM "may" have said something, it kind of stuck out to me.

    Its entirely possible Tracy Martin/Serino are lying here. Perhaps GZ did reference it in an early interview and just has omitted it ever since.

    I think the window is the full 80 seconds (none / 0) (#259)
    by Lina Inverse on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:08:39 AM EST
    cboldt: Because it matters very much who and how the physical violence started.

    Let's look at an extreme hypothetical (to be clear, this is NOT what I or I gather most people "on Martin's side" think happened):

    Z and M have a verbal confrontation which does not include serious threats from M.  Z then introduces his gun into it, with words to the effect that he's going to kill M.  At that point M is justified in using deadly force, and Z is not and will never be justified in using it (absent e.g. Z breaking off the combat and Martin pursuing, and there's not enough time for that is there?).

    In that case, the first N of those 80 seconds would be critical.  Counterwise, if per Z's account M initiated the physical violence then escalated it to deadly force in two steps (head on concrete rather quickly, going for his gun with a verbal implicit threat to kill him at the end), all three steps matter and they start early in the 80 seconds.

    How it started would also matter for a SYG defense (none / 0) (#260)
    by leftwig on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 12:09:07 PM EST
    Z is going to want to do everything he can to end this case before a trial to avoid civil suits, so he will have to produce evidence at the SYG hearing that Martin started the violence.  Since no one saw how it started, he'll have to testify at that hearing in order to produce evidence that Martin started it in order to reach his burden of the preponderance of the evidence.  Whether his story is believable and matches the other witness accounts throughout the ordeal will be important.

    What happened to the gun? (none / 0) (#261)
    by Eddpsair on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 10:15:42 AM EST

    So your theory is that GZ pulled a gun and TM punched him, used both hands to bang his head, sat atop him MMA style, for about 45 seconds while GZ took a moderate pounding all the time ignoring the gun. The witnesses never saw the gun, or what appeared to be an ongoing struggle for a gun.  TM never yells, "He has a gun!" to the witness. TM while clearly overpowering him never gains control of the weapon, and when close to losing consciousness, GZ wins the protracted struggle for the weapon and shoots TM off his chest?

    Is there any evidence from Dee Dee, TMs mom, or Cutcher (the three witnesses most favorable to TM) that support your theory?