City of Sanford Wants Help With Expenses of George Zimmerman Prosecution

Update: The second hour of the bond hearing can be watched here on YouTube.

As the judge today considers whether to grant George Zimmerman bond, the City of Sanford is reeling from the costs of the investigation and prosecution to date. It's asking that the State of Florida chip in.

The costs so far: $385,000, including:

* $96,000 in overtime
* $182,000 in regular time
* $106,000 in other expenses

These costs don't include expenses of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the state attorney's office or the special prosecutor.

The judge has granted Zimmerman's request to be free of shackles and appear in non-jail clothes at the hearing.

I think the judge will grant bond. I don't think the bond should be higher than the one previously set. Zimmerman no longer has access to the website funds or the ability to control them. He's actually in worse financial condition today than he was in April, since he is also out the $15,000. he paid or owes in bond premiums.

[Note: Remainder of post deleted, it was part of another post I'm writing on media bias which will be re-posted separately with source links when I have time.]

( Comments over 200, this thread is now closed. A new thread is here.)

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    Zimmerman's financial status (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 09:07:42 AM EST
    O'Mara introduces an affidavit of Zimmerman's financial situation.  Witness sworn in on financial matters, tracing of assets in search of missing funds.  Witness has been hired by O'Mara to perform review of records pertaining receipt of funds from PayPal, and accounting for the transfers of funds culminating in transfer of funds to trustee.

    PayPal account was active for 11 days, is technically still active and has a current balance of $700.  Net $197,567.91.  PayPal rules $10,000 maximum transfer per transaction.  No funds unaccounted for, will discuss cash residual.  None of the $10,000 or less were cash transactions, so no violation of regulations pertaining to cash transfer reporting.

    Cash $12,100 spent on household expenses, $13,000 still in Zimmerman accounts.  Records (receipts, statements) exit to legitimize the $12,100 expenditures.  April 25 check of about $125,000 to O'Mara.

    De la Rionda cross examination, that Shellie and George were talking in code in order to hide their financial activity.  He also probes the financial condition on April 20.  The witness does not have records pertaining to Zimmerman's sister's account.  De la Rionda suggests that some funds are not accounted for, and held in residual out of sight.  $49,000 expended or put into cash - witness does not have the canceled checks to determine if transfers to sister were cash or checks.  De la Rionda asks why Shellie waited 4 days to move from George's account to hers; and why in < $10,000 amounts?  Delay maybe due to bank hold, amounts just happen to match PayPal amounts, but were not limited by bank rules or reporting regulations.  Seems to be practicing for the perjury case.

    talking in code to hide financial activity (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by Lina Inverse on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 10:16:28 AM EST
    De la Rionda cross examination, that Shellie and George were talking in code in order to hide their financial activity

    Indeed, from the other inmates in the telephone area.  The quantities were more than sufficient to incite a robbery, and Zimmerman's advice to his wife and lawyer to procure body armor was also a very good idea.  Even if it is uncomfortable, especially in the summer.


    Like watching Hell's Accountants thunder by (none / 0) (#20)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 09:22:15 AM EST
    How exciting.

    Good summary though - De la Rionda can't get over using 9,999 dollars increments.

    It is obvious that there was no attempt to hide funds.

    All the money was accounted for.


    I don't get how you can say that (none / 0) (#127)
    by pyrrho on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:16:17 PM EST
    obviously he hid the funds from the court.  There is no certainty the bail would have been higher had that been disclosed... perhaps the judge would have ordered the fund transfered to counsel as it has been... but the issue is there is obvious evidence of concealing money.  I don't see how or why you would deny that even if you sympathise with his need to pay off Sam's Club.

    Low drama, so far (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 09:28:03 AM EST
    Repayment of debt was about $11,340.  Credit cards, personal loan of about $4,500.  Witness did not review how funds were applied to the bond.  Witness did not review what was put into safe deposit box.  Witness did not review jailhouse calls.  De la Rionda establishes that George would have had to provide e-mail and password to facilitate transfer.

    Expenses were payments to WalMart, Target, dining out.  $250 to WAMU, in response to de la Rionda inquiry if any funds were used to pay college expense.  Witness knew amounts of cash, but did not know disbursement of cash.  On April 20, there was $130,000 under Zimmerman control.  O'Mara establishes that money-out / money-in amounts balance, so that the sister's account doesn't have any gain as a result of the transfers [but may have a gain from the cash].

    O'Mara mocks the notion that spending on living was out of line, in light of the website saying it was seeking money for living expenses.  Dining out was for Chick Fila and similar.

    Also paying car loans (O'Mara previously noted the cars are a net negative to Zimmerman).  As far as the witness knows, the only money coming in to Zimmerman is via public largess.  $24,000 for debt payment and living expenses.  De la Rionda is focused on payments to school.  Witness points out you don't hide money by transfers, only by cash.

    O'Mara wants to move all of Zimmerman's statements into evidence.  O'Mara is going to play part of one of them for the court ...

    Thanks for doing this! (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 09:31:38 AM EST
    Entering Injury evidence into the record (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 09:38:58 AM EST
    O'Mara played the part of the "re-enactment" where Zimmerman reviewed his injuries for investigators.

    Photographic evidence of injuries also moved into evidence.  De la Rionda objects, I think, but Lester says "the Court has already seen them."

    Kevin O'Rourke called to the stand (EMT, IIRC).  Not sure where O'Mara is going with entering injury evidence into the trial record.  I bet de le Rionda is slightly nervous at this point.

    Now this is becoming (none / 0) (#24)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 09:40:25 AM EST
    very interesting. SYG application?

    Could be leading to a motion to dismiss (none / 0) (#25)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 09:44:31 AM EST
    I had the same thought, that O'Mara might be laying groundwork for a motion to dismiss.  At the least, he is laying groundwork to ask if the state has any evidence to counter certain points.

    But, the injuries, on their own, don't get anywhere.  I don't think the state will argue the injuries weren't "as documented."  O'Mara is going to have to get entered into evidence a contention for the source of the injuries; and then ask if the state has any evidence to the contrary.


    Sound like the defense (none / 0) (#27)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:08:17 AM EST
    is challenging the courts assertion (on the bail revocation)that the 'states case is strong'

    Crump seems to be examining his lap


    Is this (none / 0) (#30)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:14:21 AM EST
    the Dennis hearing?  MOM seems to be using the judge's written statement that the "State's Evidence is strong" in order to revoke bond to force this.

    Very interesting indeed!  And I was going to take a nap....


    Some substantive evidence admitted (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:03:40 AM EST
    Not a life threating injury at the time, says the witness.  Witness will agree with [EMT] Brandy's statement that Zimmerman had minor bleeding.

    De la Rionda asks about injury to Marin.  Gunshot to the chest, deceased on [EMT] arrival.  Witness did not see any weapon on Martin.

    West asks the witness to describe "minor bleeding" as a term of art in the medical field. De la Rionda objects, overruled.  West notes that head injury can be life threating without showing external damage.

    Can't diagnose concussion in the field.  No skull fracture ....

    De la Rionda asks or states that the witness can't tell which person was the aggressor based on an injury.

    IMO, this is a rabbit hole of an argument.  Fear of injury may or may not depend on sustaining an actual injury, and Zimmerman's fear in the last moments of the combat is driven primary from fear of being disarmed.

    De la Rionda argues that Zimmerman went to the doctor because his workplace required a police report?  Huh?

    O'Mara asks to admit the voice stress test.  De la Rionda objects.  Lester sustains the objection.  O'Mara says this is a bond hearing, not a trial, and the stress test is corroborative of the witness statements in evidence, and is being entered partly in response to the court's contention that the state's case is "strong."  I think the state won this one.

    O'Mara points out statement of witness No. 6.  Now we're getting into the material that supports a motion for dismissal; at the very least, establishing that the state's evidence does not meet Proof Evident.  De la Rionda objects because he does not have an opportunity to cross examine, the evidence submitted is incomplete (does not have de la Rionda's interview) and because he does not want to disclose the witness ID at this point in time.  De la Rionda objects because the transcript evidence hasn't been authenticated.  O'Mara says he can play the audio, in lieu of an authenticated transcript.  W6 package comes into evidence.

    I agree that the news shows will be (none / 0) (#29)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:11:52 AM EST
    interesting tonight.

    Sounds like it might be a good day for GZ unless he skips out during this recess


    More evidence, and a break (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:10:26 AM EST
    Camera pans.  Crump is in the courtroom.  Head is down.  Sybrina is there too.  I'm listening more than watching.  I don't see the camera view most of the time, just happened to open that screen on my computer at the moment the camera was on the audience.

    W6, W11, W20 is the material being submitted into evidence.  The press asks what will be redacted.  O'Mara intends that witness ID remain redacted.  The press says if the court is receiving material with names unredacted, it changes the legal dynamic of public disclosure.

    O'Mara enters the coroner's report into evidence; then holds off until O'Mara redacts victim address information.

    7-11 video being entered into evidence.  No objection.

    Five minute break at O'Mara's suggestion.

    More evidence, and another break (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:25:29 AM EST
    Adam Vincent to the stand, Seminole County probation officer.

    Thinking ahead a bit, I think O'Mara is establishing 1) that Zimmerman's financial condition doesn't support an increase or maybe not even a new bond, 2) that Zimmerman has a valid self defense claim (so the state's case doesn't meet Proof Evident), 3) that he's not violated a condition of bail (and ergo hasn't acted in a way that establishes flight risk) and will conclude just with a request for release on bail.

    De la Rionda says that it's possible Zimmerman could have violated his bail conditions, drinking or weapons, and the probation officer would not know this, other than two times his premises were checked.  I keep forgetting, which side has the burden of production of evidence?

    O'Mara moves to enter 911 call from W11 into evidence.  Delay as he and the state make sure the recording id properly redacted.  O'Mara has no other witnesses, but will move to enter another statement into evidence.

    It's also possible (none / 0) (#37)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:27:50 AM EST
    That Zimmerman practiced satanic rituals while on probation too.  It's possible that monkeys flew out of his butt.  What does De la Rionda hope to get with those kinds of questions??

    In a political show trial, jbindc (none / 0) (#40)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:35:49 AM EST
    the goal is to "shape" the evidence for public consumption. Zimmerman has to be the boogeyman. He has to be either a racist child killer or an out of control cop wannabe or the State can't justify the Murder Two charge. Any slight slip-up, any sophomoric or potentially offensive joke, heck anything at all that will put him in a bad light or let other people draw negative inferences about him must be used.

    I know why he asked the question (none / 0) (#48)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:58:53 AM EST
    And it seems like it would be better suited in front of a jury - it lets the jury fill in some blanks that may or may not be there.  

    But this is a hearing in front of a judge who knows better.

    I guess he feels he needs to get it in the record for further proceedings.


    And.... (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:25:46 AM EST
    If Trayvon Martin hadn't gotten in trouble at school and was sent to Sanford, the city wouldn't be out so much money.

    If Trayvon Martin had just gone straight home, the city wouldn't be out so much money.  

    And if Martin's family and their attorney hadn't called for protests in the city, the city wouldn't be out so much money.

    See how easy it is to say "if only....."? How far back do you want to go in this game?

    What matters is what happened in those final minutes - none of us here really know what happened, but saying "woulda coulda shoulda" is pointless.

    straight home (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by pyrrho on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:20:07 PM EST
    the path he was travelling was directly home.  I don't think you can blame him for not making it the rest of the way dead.

    At the pace of a hobbled tortoise (none / 0) (#138)
    by MJW on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:12:45 PM EST
    There were almost two minutes from the time Zimmerman says Martin is running (2:08) to the end of Zimmerman's phone call (4:06).  If Martin wanted to get back home, he would have been there by the end of the call.

    Waiting for a witness to take the stand (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:36:02 AM EST
    The 911 call is being played, well, trying to get it to come out for the courtroom - at least the state and O'Mara agree it is properly redacted.

    Screaming being heard in background of the call.  Caller doesn't want to go out to investigate.  Caller thinks the voice is calling for help.  Just heard one gunshot.  Caller orders somebody to "get in here now."  O'Mara will submit the entire call, but the part that is relevant for the bond hearing has already been played.

    FDLE report document that Robert Zimmerman appeared at State Attorney office and identified the voice as Zimmerman.  De la Rionda objects, as hearsay.  Robert Zimmerman is called to the stand.

    GZ (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:38:50 AM EST
    needs to learn to cover his mouth when talking to his attorney.  Lip reading is an art that someone has now translated for the media.

    It doesn't seem very conducive to client/attorney privilege.

    No Different.... (none / 0) (#50)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:03:04 AM EST
    ...I would think then them talking in a crowd and easily rectifiable.

    Who's providing lip reading services in this case  ?


    Who is screaming? Another Witness. (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:49:28 AM EST
    George Zimmerman's father takes the stand.

    O'Mara examines the witness.  Testifies he is George's father.  Had an opportunity to review a 911 call.  O'Mara is going to play it again (I think Sybrina and others from the Crump camp left the court the first time this was played).  The screams are coming out pretty clear - then the gunshot.  O'Mara asks "were you able to hear it?"  Yes.  Same tape you heard before?  Yes.   You filled out a statement?  No - gave oral statement.  How many times did you listen to it?  Once there, had heard it once before.  Who was with you?  An investigator, don't recall his name.  Could you ID the voice?  Yes.  Whose was it.  It was absolutely George's.

    Cross exam.  You had listened to it before?  Yes.  Once.  You hadn't heard your son scream before had you?  Yes, many times.  You agree there are other voices?  Yes.  Do you hear more than one screaming for help?  No.  You are aware Zimmerman says his voice was muffled (no, he says he was being smothered).

    Tough to cross examine, as whatever de la Rionda claims against Zimmerman's father, also goes against Sybrina.

    O'Mara says he would like to have called Shellie, but her counsel objected.  He wants to put Zimmerman on the stand to address the court.  O'Mara argues for no cross exam.  Lester cites the wrong law for applying a no-bail condition.  Lester says the wrong isn't against Lester, it's against the Court.  If Zimmerman takes the stand, he'll be subjected to cross examination.  Lester will not be the person submitting questions.

    O'Mara confers with co-counsel, Zimmerman is listening.  Zimmerman does not take the stand.  No more witnesses.  Legal arguments ...

    O'Mara says... (none / 0) (#126)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:08:14 PM EST
    ..."he would have liked to have called Shellie, but her counsel objected" because...was a good dig. I think it got the judge's attention over what he encouraged to have happened. Bond could have been adjusted on Apr 27, but he wanted more information. He likely now has more info than he ever wanted!

    Speculation and Legal Argument (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:13:53 AM EST
    O'Mara argues that Zimmerman trusted investigators, and the state - then the prosecutor steps in and charges him with 2nd degree murder, would not agree to bond.  The state has not presented any evidence that the moving of money had any negative intent.

    O'Mara admits that Zimmerman should have jumped up and said his wife was lying - Lester objects to that.  O'Mara points out that Zimmerman did offer up the information (27 April).  O'Mara says even if the error causes some distrust on the part of the court (maybe mutual distrust), you should look at Zimmerman's other actions as trust building.

    Will he appear?  He has a history of submitting.
    Danger to the community? No evidence of that.
    Financial condition? You have testimony today.
    Strength of the state's case for 2nd degree murder? Now you have evidence.
    Zimmerman was minding his own business as well.  There is nothing in Zimmerman's statement

    Lester says the only issue is the lie.  That all O'Mara is doing is a reverse Arthur.  O'Mara says he was responding to the Court's order that said the state's case was strong.  O'Mara says he is obliged to present evidence that 2nd degree murder is an improper charge, and the evidence presents a strong case of self defense.  O'Mara errs by referring to W9, should be W6 who said MMA style fight.

    O'Mara is putting on a strong argument for self-defense, now based on evidence.  O'Mara says the state's case is weak, and does not merit high bond.

    De la Rionda says the self-defense evidence can't be considered now, because Zimmerman did not take the stand and submit to cross examination.  De la Rionda says that Zimmerman was the aggressor (O'Mara will ask again, what is the evidence).  De la Rionda says we aren't here to try the case.  Martin's parents say the voice is Martin; Zimmerman's account is inconsistent; he can't be screaming with hand on mouth and nose.  W6 isn't sure who is on top.  One witness says there was a chase, which is Zimmerman chasing Martin.  Why is the 7-11 tape in evidence?  Does that mean Martin is a criminal?  Did the clerk perceive Martin as a threat because Martin was wearing a hoodie? (we don't know, but from the tape, the clerk kept an eye on Martin).  De la Rionda says Zimmerman is acting as the police, and at some point the victim does hit him.  Injuries are inconsistent with being bashed, there is no skull fracture, there is no concussion.

    Back to April 20, and Zimmerman being deceitful.  Commends O'Mara for bring the finances to the court.  Requests no-bond.

    O'Mara explains 7-11 picture brought in to show Zimmerman's size, not the hoodie.

    No disclosure in discovery yet that Zimmerman challenged Martin in any way.  Asks to not punish Zimmerman any more than he's already been punished.


    but from the tape... (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:14:19 PM EST
    ...at least the version that moved at 1 second per second, we see the clerk stroll behind the counter with a newspaper or magazine in his hands he seems to be perusing, with his back to Martin for several seconds.

    His only fear was dying of boredom before his shift ended.


    After paying for his purchase (none / 0) (#81)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:21:27 PM EST
    The 7-11 tape includes some time after Martin had paid for his purchase, and seems to be looking for more to buy.  The clerk leaves from behind the counter, and (from my memory) appears to be keeping an eye on Martin.  I don't figure there is any more concern that "shrinkage," if even that, but the clerk is keeping an eye on the customer.

    I take it you never worked as a clerk maybe? (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Mary2012 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:43:21 PM EST
    So now we know (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:41:05 AM EST
    the prosecution's "theory of the case."  DLR, at 11:05 cst, says that Zimmerman "chases him and at some point the victim does hit him."  So there you have it.

    DLR seemed strangely agitated by O'Mara putting into evidence an image of Martin from the 7-11 video.  As well as I could follow his sputtering, he's suggesting that Martin looked so "stereotypically" criminal that his appearance alone inspired Zimmerman to "chase him down."  

    Odd that DLR didn't call Sabrina to rebut Mr. Zimmerman's very persuasive testimony that the cries on the 911 tape were made by his son.  He got his head handed to him when he tried to bullyrag Mr. Zimmerman with the claim that his son couldn't have made those shouts if he was, as he claims, being smothered.  Mr. Zimmerman replied that he could tell from the injuries to his son's head and face that Martin's hands weren't on his mouth at all times.

    O'Mara said his client would testify, "when the time is right."

    Does anyone (none / 0) (#70)
    by IgnatiusJDonnely on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:43:24 AM EST
    know what Robert Zimmerman's  career path was in the Army?

    Discredited witness - Witness 2 (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by TomMaguire on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:41:57 AM EST
    "He makes the claim that he has a strong case based on some discredited stuff like there is a witness who saw a chase."

    Wasn't that the witness who saw shadows on the drapes after she took her contacts out, but she is pretty sure it was Zimmerman chasing Martin because her seeing eye dog barked twice?

    I need to look that up...

    Ahh, here is Witness 2:

    ""I couldn't tell you if it was a man, a woman, a kid, black or white. I couldn't tell you because it was dark and because I didn't have my contacts on or glasses. ... I just know I saw a person out there."

    That was a March 20 re-interview by the FDLE.  Her early statement included this:

    "She told authorities that she had taken out her contact lenses just before the incident. In her first recorded interview with Sanford police four days after the shooting, she told lead Investigator Chris Serino, "I saw two guys running. Couldn't tell you who was in front, who was behind."

    Jeralyn was not fully behind this witness in her evaluation.

    I disagree about W2 supposed recanting a chase (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by willisnewton on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:27:27 PM EST
    She said what she saw, and and she was interviewed on tape the second time shortly after (during the same visit)  her initial statement because Serino realized she had not confirmed the distance the two unidentified people were apart when she glanced and saw a chase.  She is shown a distance by Serino separating himself from her and she agrees it's 10-12 feet and says so.  

    She saw a chase, and she heard what sounded like a chase.  And the first time she was asked about what she saw she freely told what was her recollection of the events she witnessed, just as "John" says what he felt he saw and later says something that modifies what he said before.  It doesn't change what he said.  It's something said later, after reflection and possibly learnign more about the case from the media, etc.

    Later, yes, she says other things but we can't know her reasons for that.  She may not relish the idea of being the star witness in a murder trial.  She may have fear of her safety, just as others in the case are said to have.

    Is she a great witness for the prosecution?  I don't know yet.  I'd hate to go to trial with ONLY her as a witness but I don't know of a better one who can talk about the START of the fight.  GZ has his version but he's not an impartial eyewitness.  

    The fight MOVED according to a consensus of witnesses and this seem to be corroborated by the evidence found in the form of dropped objects, and of course at least one of GZ's statements made to police.  Other statements suggest he fell to the ground with one blow, sometimes backwards, sometimes forward with some "stumbling" and "pushing" involved.   He's hardly consistent on the matter, IMO.  Mostly he seems to say in so many words he was hit and then he fell, not he was hit and then he stumbles and was pushed and then he fell, IMO.  I see this as a serious problem for his credibility and I have been saying so ever since I caught a glimpse of that yellow tarp south of the T.  

    None of the dropped objects are on the path GZ claims he was on to(wards) his truck.  All of the objects lead in a trail towards TM's home for the week.  If TM were the aggressor, the prosecution may ask the jury to consider why the fight led towards TM's house and not towards GZ's car.  It's a good question for a jury to ponder, even if there may not be a clear answer from either side with proof to back it up.  I'm not sure what proof GZ can offer other than his testimony on the witness stand or statement(s) in the record about "stumbling," which is seemingly refuted by his own statements to police elsewhere.  

    But FWIW the prosecution has W2 to offer as proof the fight moved because of a foot chase.  

    There are no witnesses and no evidence that I know of to corroborate GZ's account of the START of the fight.  He's got plenty of corroborative evidence and witnesses to a fight that was in progress, and he seems genuinely to have been battered about the head to some degree.  I doubt the prosecution will deny that he was battered about the head by the deceased unarmed teenager.  They just won't admit that TM threw the first blow.  

    The prosecution is going to go to trial with what W2 said she saw and heard the first time she was interviewed.  BDLR seems to say as much now in BOTH bond hearings.  Get used to it.  Maybe he will get some traction with a jury and maybe he won't.  But no one has "discredited" this witness yet in court.  

    If she says she saw two people chasing one another that seems to contradict GZ's statements about being knocked to the ground by the initial punch, no matter who chased whom.  Again we are back to the credibility of the defendant.  

    And credibility in a self defense argument against murder with few full witnesses is almost everything.  


    Brain dead (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by JamTowzy on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:07:42 PM EST
    The preposterous scenario of a chase is pretty easy to combat logically. Especially after taking the next step of having to assign hypothetical positions. Trayvon chasing George? Bring it on. Or knocked-kneed pudgy GZ chasing running-back TM .... and catching him? ROFL.

    And what would that do to DeeDee's phone call ending, other than make mockery of it? Did the argument begin at the end of a chase up north, now, and not at the beginning of it down south? C'mon.

    We saw a glimpse of the state's "case" today, and it had the quality of some of the hare-brained ones on the internet, with dysfunctional cocktail of shaky witnesses, screwball logic, and misstatements of fact.


    it seems to me (none / 0) (#132)
    by pyrrho on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:26:07 PM EST
    a pushing/struggling/slappy fight started at the T, moved around the back, generally southward.  The screaming starts while people are in motion, perhaps it was a final struggle for the gun... I don't know of course.  But I know it was in motion and that GZ says otherwise... and it's fair to presume that's because something in the blow by blow doesn't make GZ the undeniable victim.

    Gee (none / 0) (#86)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:54:41 PM EST
    I kinda thought the unreasonable doubt think required the State to produce evidence- not hypothesis

     GZ can go to trial - not testify and the prosecution still has the to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that GZ was not acting in self defense.


    the state has to prove (none / 0) (#137)
    by pyrrho on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:10:45 PM EST
    that GZ didn't have a good reason to kill TM.  So you are saying the presumption in a murder case is that it was justified, and the state has to prove it is not.  Is that what you are saying?

    The Law Should be Common Knowledge (none / 0) (#139)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:22:59 PM EST
    George Zimmerman : Witness Support and Legal Recap - TalkLeft (hey, that's THIS site!) - Sun Jun 24, 2012

    See Question No. 3 in the opening post.


    she retracted her chase statement (none / 0) (#90)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:09:08 PM EST
    Your version is inconsistent with her statements. You are trying to prove your early biased theory is correct. Please do it elsewhere.

    BDLR claims he has multiple witnesses to a chase (none / 0) (#124)
    by willisnewton on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 06:38:30 PM EST
    In the hearing today he said. "we also have witnesses who observed one individual chasing another" and he uses the plural form of witness - witnesses to make his statement.  

    If you think W2 has recanted, that's your opinion of what her later statements mean.  I respectfully disagree.  She's not asked specifically how many individuals she saw when visited later by different investigators.  She gives a separate account of what she recalls at that later time in answer to questions put to her.  I don't know what she would say at trial under oath, but it seems likely her earlier statement would be presented to her if she needed help recalling what she said the very first time she was interviewed on tape.  If she "recants" at that time, I'd agree that she was "recanting."  I see it as remembering different details and not being asked about how many people she saw.  

    BDLR seems to think he has more than one person who saw this.  Witness 4, 7 or 10, maybe?  I don't know.  I just know what I heard him say today in court.  

    And yes, I am trying to prove my earlier biased theory is correct, as is everyone  here in some sense an advocate for what they feel is going on here.  Is there a rule against that, too?  IF so, I'll change to what the prosecution now charges, and that is that there are multiple witnesses to a chase.  That can be my new biased theory.  Sorry for the sarcasm but methinks thou protesteth too much. This matter is at the heart of the case, and your opinion differs from mine, that's all.  


    BDLR also claimed (none / 0) (#125)
    by Kyreth on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 06:53:13 PM EST
    that Witness 6 wasn't sure who was on top, which we all know is untrue.  

    And note, after that O'Mara then challenged him on the fact there's no witness in the discovery he's gotten (which is far more than we've seen btw) that points to Zimmerman confronting Martin.

    I would think that "confronting" would including chasing someone down.


    English Singular Articles (none / 0) (#141)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:54:51 PM EST

    She's not asked specifically how many individuals she saw when visited later by different investigators.


    FDLE investigators on March 20 asked W2 what she saw. She repeatedly said 'a' person and 'the' person.

    If she says two people in court, this statement will be used to impeach her.

    In the same statement, she said that she only took a 'glance' out the window, and that she wasn't wearing corrective lenses as she usually does.

    De la Rionda is bluffing.


    bluffing about chase witnesses? (none / 0) (#158)
    by willisnewton on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 03:46:41 AM EST
    How can we know if the prosecution is bluffing or not?  What's the story with witness 4, 7 and 10?  Are they real or part of this elaborate bluff too?  That's the nature or a bluff.  

    And what's at stake?  George has got to ASK for a deal to get one if they are bluffing, it would seem - that would be the nature of a bluff, too.  

    If it's a bluff, it's a good one.  

    ( I think the yelling for help is more of a bluff in some ways - both sides will claim the cries for help are theirs and experts will disagree and in the end the jury will go elsewhere to make their determination of guilt or innocence.  GZ yelling for help doesn't mean he is not guilty, necessarily.  The prosecution can afford to lose that battle so long as it is a split decision by a jury, who will have to move on to other matters to make a determination.)

    GZ told the cops with a straight face that he got out of his car to find a street sign, and we all know this was three seconds after he said, "sh*t, he's running."  and a few more seconds until he admitted he was following the youth, which may not in and of itself be criminal, but his having failed to mention it  is hardly making him look presidential.  He's running his own game of chicken already with his own self, over "inconsistencies" and "contradictions" he may have told to cover something that wasn't even illegal in and of itself.  

    He marked a spot on a map, and crossed it out quickly to be able to tell his biggest "contradiction" that I see so far - that TM "doubled back" and circled his car for no apparent reason - and the timeline doesn't fit and he himself said so in the end.    I'd like to see any possible serious defense of that whole business.  How did he move from the clubhouse parking lot to where he claims he parked without stopping?  It just doesn't fit... "in my opinion."  It also didn't seem to fit in George's opinion when they played the 311 call for him, and he REPEATEDLY said this action, and the memorable detail, the waistband comment happened by the clubhouse.  

    I agree that this is high stakes poker - and there are a serious amount of distractions to obscure all this.  I really don't know what happened that night but George does.  And he's hiding some things that may or may not mean he's committed a crime, and may or may not be able to be proven in court - and I don't think this is only my opinion.  

    At some point before trial, GZ will have to decide if this is a bluff or not.  It's easy for a spectator like you or I to say he's bluffing. We've got nothing to lose.  


    I felt that was an amazing alteration (none / 0) (#169)
    by Mary2012 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 07:06:26 AM EST
    He marked a spot on a map, and crossed it out

    Listening to the questioning I thought maybe GZ made a minor adjustment re the location of the car.  Never did I suspect he moved it from the curve (@ J8) to the straight stretch on the other side of the street.


    Big Change (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 07:50:47 AM EST
    The two locations are both on the north side of Twin Trees Lane. The marked out one is at J-10.

    Map (p. 20)

    The difference is bigger than I expected, too. I thought it was more like the length of a car than the length of a house.


    Follow the logic suggested here. (none / 0) (#196)
    by willisnewton on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:39:49 AM EST
    Play the call to non emergency against the logic suggested by the three positions:  in the clubhouse parking lot, at the first curve, and at the cut thru alleged final position, which GZ also equivocated upon during the video walk thru "re-enactment."  (at first he points to the sign in front of the Ford where two men are loitering - is the dark haired one his father, as reported in the NYT as having watched from a distance?)  but then quickly amends it to the what I call "the FT position," a mark that matches his map and is at the break between town homes.  

    The audio with Singleton regarding positions on a map starts at 20:00 but that's when GZ is hand drawing a map we don't have in the public realm yet, if ever.  Then at 26:18 you can follow along with the map as he makes his marks and gives his narrative.  

    But after you "draw the map" with GZ and Singleton, skip ahead in time and watch the video re-eneactment regarding the move from the clubhouse to the T.  (Is that another spectator parked on the curve, chatting to a bicyclist?   Note the cop waves to her - is she familiar with the cop?)   Note the directions GZ gives for parking, and how he "clarifies" his first direction from by the Ford to at the curb much closer. (what's that about?)  Also note the reason he says he exits the vehicle   - almost at the direction of the dispatcher, and ostensibly to find a street sign, not because "sh*t, he's running."  In this version TM NEVER moves away from a moving car.  


    W2 Recanted (none / 0) (#136)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:00:55 PM EST
    W2 to FDLE, March 20


    W2 absolutely recanted the chase on March 20. She indicated she saw at most one person.

    I don't see how the prosecution can introduce her earlier statements, unless she goes back to them. Earlier inconsistent statements can be used by the defense to impeach. For the prosecution they are hearsay.

    They just won't admit that TM threw the first blow.

    So far there seems to be no evidence Zimmerman struck a blow at all.

    Not withstanding (none / 0) (#209)
    by DebFrmHell on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 01:09:08 PM EST
    the fact that she has amended her original statement, I think that she would be disseminated on cross-examination.

    The fact that she has remained consistent with the simple fact that she could not identify who was running, not man, woman or child, much less could she determine age, race or ethnicity, nor distance.

    It's something said later, after reflection and possibly learning more about the case from the media, etc.

    Possibly?  I would think it is more than probable that she  was keeping track of the case and using the MSM as her source.  I can't believe that any of the witnesses weren't following this closely since it happened virtually in their backyards.

    Not everything that was being put out there in the early stages was 100% truthful.  IMO, there was early bias against the defendant so much so that The NBP was willing to put a "bounty" on George Zimmerman and his whereabouts.

    I enjoy reading your insights on this and admire the work you put into it but I find it frustrating that you never seem to acknowledge that some of this case has been derailed because of the misinformation early on.  

    People shouldn't have been that shocked to find out that GZ actually had physical injuries and that there were items in evidence that have supported his statements.  

    Not if MSM had been doing their job correctly rather than to chase the ratings and advertising $$$$ by being the mouthpiece of whichever side they were courting at the time.


    Witness 13 Statement Revisited (none / 0) (#76)
    by Philly on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:01:40 PM EST
    An interesting excerpt from the older thread, from witness 13's statment.

    "Sounded like a dog barking. Could not hear anything recognizable at first. Towards the end I heard help"

    At the time, I assumed that this witness really did hear a barking dog.  But GZ's recently released reproduced screams of "Help!" do sound a lot like a dog barking. Perhaps they evolved into the drawn out wails that were heard just before the shot, as GZ grew more and more emotional/panicked.


    The 13 year old Dog walker (none / 0) (#93)
    by IgnatiusJDonnely on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:30:04 PM EST
    Could it be his dog was growling and straining at his leash?

    I thought the... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:53:19 AM EST
    strongest part of the whole hearing came from the EMT that did not write the report.  Even though he agreed with the report, IIRC, that report only mentions one laceration when it is apparent that there was more than one.

    O'Rourke was very specific as to the amount of blood and had a list of injuries compared to the fact that other than the GSW, TM did not have any other defensive injuries.

    Donald West did that examination and I thought he was very low-keyed but brought out some good points.

    I like the forensic accountant, Adam Magill, too.  Didn't matter what the Prosecution countered with he explained it all and reinforced that the amounts transferred were transferred back in the exact same increments.  He kept saying things matched up.

    MOM I thought was very good especially by bringing up that all the judge had to go by in stating that the case the state was making was strong was in the Probable Cause and the weaknesses within it. I couldn't believe my ears, though, with the Witness 9/6 confusion.  (I was literally yelling at my laptop.)

    BdlR restated information that is not backed up by any witness because the one (W20?) didn't  have her contacts on, saw two chasing each other or just one and the fact that she couldn't identify either.  Whatever her excuse for the day...

    I do wish MOM would have addressed this right away in his rebuttal.

    The 7-Eleven video, I don't think was necessarily submitted for height or as TM currently looked as much as it was for his demeanor and the fact that he had trace amounts of cannabis in his system.  I think that is the reason for the ME Report being put into evidence and O'Mara was "playing opossum" with that.

    All and all, I think it was a good day for GZ but I bet the judge doubles his bond.

    I need a nap.  I hope there is a decision before I have to leave for work.

    7-11 Video (none / 0) (#91)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:13:02 PM EST
    I suspect O'Mara is well aware that the image he put into evidence today will eventually find its way to the media, replacing the images of Martin as a lovable teddy bear-clutcher.  As public opinion goes, so will go the flow of donations.

    thanks to CBoldt fand others for (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 04:35:22 PM EST
    recapping the hearing here. I didn't get to see it yet -- just a few minutes of You Tube video.

    Should go without saying (none / 0) (#117)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 04:42:11 PM EST
    I'm sure my summary recapitulation isn't perfectly faithful to the events, and I accept full responsibility for any and all errors.  For example, there's one point where I think I incorrectly assigned an objection to de la Rionda, when he in fact said "no objection" (to introduction of some witness statement).

    I hadn't planned to make running remarks, and rarely do so except for trying to keep my own impression straight.  Glad somebody got some use out of them, just don't assign much weight to them - wait for the formal record.


    Struggle (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Eddpsair on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:59:55 PM EST

    The hole to the centre of the chest was a function on the near contact proximity of the wound.  They were grappling.  I would submit that GZ obviously wasn't using the sights.  So it was a snap shot in the dark at close proximity, that was not aimed....so I am not sure what the fact he hit the heart says about the act above and beyond him pulling the trigger in the first place.  

    The grappling was protracted and mobile as evidenced by the 911 tapes.  Ask someone who was sucker punched which way they fell and they might respond, "I don't know, ask someone who was not seeing stars at the time.".   They are stunned, in la la land, out on their feet...  I remember getting hit once in college boxing and, though I never went down, had the feeling I had just woken up from a long nap and wondered why I had boxing gloves on.  

    What the "mixed witnesses" heard is not an "eye"-witness account.  The confrontation was at a T intersection.  Acoustically, if someone screams in one direction and then another, it could sound like they had moved one direction and then back.  The fight could have indeed moved back and forth.

    Shadow puppets  on the drapes without contacts in, a barking dog, and people hearing moving noises in an acoustic baffle (T)  through their closed windows and walls....  Is there room for error there?

    Nobody else seems to notice that GZ, in his initial interview with Singleton is FIVE DAYS OFF when he is asked what day it is.   Any first responder knows that is a standard question for level of consciousness.   Add to that sleep deprivation of a statement at 1:30am....  The adrenalin crash....  Is there any room for error?


    We must have crossed posts.  Thanks for the cites and the definitive argument.

    Falling Rocks (none / 0) (#164)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 05:38:21 AM EST
    One often hears the cliche "dropped like a rock" to describe the movement of someone knocked off his feet, but it doesn't work that way.  If you're struck in the face with enough force to take you off your feet, you are propelled backwards and, if you're trying to avoid falling, you will stagger backwards.  After the event, you may or may not be able to recall with precision your movements.

    Not Florida, but on following 911 Instructions (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 09:23:58 AM EST
    This case illustrates, I think, why the attitude of police when instructing callers is to avoid contact with a person they are reporting.

    Brickbat: The Scene of the Crime

    Jimma Reat called 911 to report that the occupants of a red Jeep had thrown bottles at his vehicle and threatened him and family members traveling with him. The operator told Reat to return to the scene of the incident. Reat at first refused and argued with the operator but relented after the operator threatened to not send police if he didn't go back. Reat went back to the scene to wait on police, where he was shot and killed by the occupants of the Jeep.

    The evidence that Zimmerman intended a confrontation is all inferential.  The direct evidence, albeit from Zimmerman, is that he did not want a confrontation.  It is also possible to conclude that he did not intend a confrontation by inference.  He's expressly avoided confrontation in every other reported incident; he may have reasonably believed that martin was running to get away; and it is illogical to say that "running away" indicates a desire for confrontation on the part of the runner.

    @cboldt (5.00 / 2) (#211)
    by Dilbert By Day on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 03:24:37 PM EST
    Re: Post #189

    - Zimmerman could have expected the fellow running away would be running away.  That the fellow running away was doing so in order to avoid being caught. That the fellow running away was doing so in order to increase distance, not to close it.

    Are you afraid that a person running away from you is going to catch you?  If so, why? -

    Even without Zimmerman's "waistband" observation, your fear is that the 'suspect' could be armed. And having lost visual contact, to trace, or follow a suspect under conditions of darkness may not be illegal, but it's definitely foolhardy; that's how people get killed. You would have to be hellbent and careless to assume that measure of risk.

    OTOH, if you are untrained, armed, and determined to see justice prevail, you might be emboldened to exit your vehicle and make reckless pursuit. Of course this wouldn't apply to GZ because he wasn't aware that he carrying a 9mm on his hip until mid-struggle. We know this because he said so.

    "call taker" terminology (5.00 / 1) (#212)
    by lily on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 03:25:21 PM EST
    Police call centers staff two positions
    1.call taker who takes the information and determines the priority based on scripted criteria.
    2. dispatchers who sends out patrol cars on service calls

    By your reasoning (4.67 / 3) (#33)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:23:52 AM EST
    why net let the estate of the aggressor pay for it?

    Peanuts, (4.50 / 2) (#3)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 06:16:26 AM EST
    compared to what the Sec. 1983 suit is going to cost them.  Corey may well be deemed an "official" of the State of Florida, and she may have made the decision to arrest, but Serino is up to his ears in the hatchet job that has been done on Zimmerman.  He, and probably other "individual" defendants, will require separate counsel, which will have the effect of multiplying the costs of defense.  Then you will have the inevitable "qualified immunity" appeals prior to trial.  Add to that liability for Zimmerman's legal expenses, should he prevail.  In my lay opinion, we're looking at millions here in costs and legal fees alone.

    I have yet to see a reasoned defense of how, consistent with fundamental principles of justice and equity, the judge could "wipe out" Zimmerman's defense and living expense fund by basing bond/bail on it.   Should he proceed to do this, I see little reason to believe the prosecution will not petition to have the amount of bail increased, as the fund is replenished.  Actually, I see no reason for donors to make further contributions, under such circumstances.

    O'Mara should have gone further (4.00 / 1) (#121)
    by JamTowzy on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 05:36:43 PM EST
    When the topics today were strength of case and Zimmerman's cooperation with authorities, this would have been an ideal time to attack Trayvon Martin's brutish assault on GZ in more emphatic, graphic terms, and to introduce the NEN call.

    TM wasn't just punching or tackling or sitting. The evidence suggests that the sole/prime target of multiple forms of attack was GZ's head. When someone is going for the head, it is a statement that serious intentions were behind the attack, and not some secondary forms of hurt. Each blow to the head potentially could be the last, and O'Mara NEVER should let the state candy-coat the brutishness of Trayvon Martin's behavior. He's got the lopsided injury evidence in his favor ... use it now and at every available opportunity. The state doesn't hesitate to use the term "murder" every chance that it has. And the Martin party has been aggressive about demeaning his client, even after the ill-advised apology. So stop apologizing and take off the gloves ... there's no need to be defensive here. Act like everyone should be offended by Trayvon Martin.

    And today should have been the day that GZ's cooperation with the dispatcher was addressed. The nonsense about disobedience should have been debunked once and for all. After all, GZ did not throw his phone away after seeing the runner run; he stayed on the line while attempting to fulfill a request. Speak the truth in court, and let BDLR go berserk again when confronted with it. Let the judge know that the defense is not going to concede the inanity of the state's assertion. Disobedience is the theme of their fairy tale, so it should be confronted head-on with a posture of confidence about the matter. His client's life would be miles better off if MOM went on the attack on a couple of the most crucial matters in this case, and went at it with conviction.


    what does a bullet hold in the center of ... (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by pyrrho on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:51:25 PM EST
    ... someones chest suggest about their intent?  You guys all seem so reasonable but how can you ignore that all his stories he goes right down, with the modification that he stumbled down a few feet southward, still far from the location of the body... how does that comport with multiple witness that heard the whole scuffle moving and specifically the screams coming closer?  If that happened while down they'd be rolling around.  How on earth can you rectify GZ's testimony with that?

    That's the problem I have with (none / 0) (#143)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 09:23:35 PM EST
    GZ's story too. I will grant that he may be misremembering it, which is why the witnesses and the tapes of their 911 calls are important. It may be natural for him to think that most of the time in the struggle was spent with him getting beaten about the head, but neither the extent of his wounds nor the audio witnesses show that IMO.  His memory is that he had a brief verbal exchange with TM, got punched in the face and went right down on his back. The witnesses heard more vocal noises and scuffling before the screaming started, and the distance between the T and where the body ended up is too great for what he describes.

    But, as I have said before, I am no longer convinced any of that matters legally.


    O'Mara Acknowledged, (none / 0) (#145)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:09:29 PM EST
    after the hearing today, that there were contradictions in Zimmerman's accounts. He said they would have to be dealt with.  Before I listened to and watched Zimmerman's interviews, I thought the case was a complete slam dunk for the defense.  Now I feel that things are not that easy for them and the Zimmerman credibility question has to be deftly handled.  Perhaps the defense will call Zimmerman's shrink, some ADD/AHDD  expert, results of psychological tests to build  up an explanation centered on Zimmerman's incredibly poor short term memory.

    The prosecution would be better off not to call any witnesses like DeeDee and Witness#2.  Instead their best strategy, I think, would be to introduce Zimmerman's statements and then rip them apart.   The prosecution has to be pretty clever in order to get a jury to conclude, from the alleged lies, that no self defense theory is reasonable.  So far, we have no reason to conclude they are clever at all.


    And, might I add.... (none / 0) (#159)
    by Mary2012 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 03:54:20 AM EST
    Before I listened to and watched Zimmerman's interviews, I thought the case was a complete slam dunk for the defense.  Now I feel that things are not that easy for them and the Zimmerman credibility question has to be deftly handled.  Perhaps the defense will call Zimmerman's shrink, some ADD/AHDD  expert, results of psychological tests to build  up an explanation centered on Zimmerman's incredibly poor short term memory.

    Part of that "incredibly poor short term memory" includes the time/moments leading up to the gun shot.  Was the gun truly fired out of fear for his life/ great bodily injury or was it fired out of anger, frustration, or for some other reason(s).  An ADD/AHDD (ADHD?) expert would be helpful, perhaps too, if both sides call such a witness. "Poor memory" is one thing, "selective memory" is something else entirely and I'm not saying GZ is using the latter or either for that matter, but in general, I would think it would be helpful to have the two differentiated as well by the experts.  

    I disagree with you re Dee Dee and her statement.  IANAL and wouldn't know how valuable a cross examination would be -- all she can relate is her conversation with TM, what he said to her; she wasn't actually there and can't answer questions re what she saw, for example.  Re her statement, however, I would think the prosecution can find an expert to translate and explain her testimony/ statement.  My understanding is (and I could be wrong) that she is using a language that is english influenced by West African languages, i.e., not a sloppy or haphazard english, IOW.  IMO & if I'm not mistaken, Dee Dee is relating that GZ followed TM in the direction of TMs dad's house and then back towards the T intersection.    

    I don't know enough yet re Witness #2 to comment either way but I would be interested in knowing what the one or two other witnesses -- they were given witness numbers (#4 and #10?) but didn't show up in the discovery, at least to this point (as far as I know) --- have to say.  One or both of these people might be who Serino was alluding to in his interrogation of GZ?  Who knows -- might be someone else entirely, but I would be interested in hearing what each of these people saw/ heard/ know about what happened that night (Feb 26).  Their testimony/ testimonies could be crucial to shedding additional light on what happened.


    I suggest that you listen to the recording. (none / 0) (#170)
    by JamTowzy on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 07:13:21 AM EST
    All this conjecture about rolling and stumbling, and the argument about the holiest time to finally shoot is unnecessary.

    All a reasonable person has to do is listen to the horrifying screams of the tape. (If you want to believe that those are TM's, then I have nothing else to say to you.) Picture yourself or a loved one in that position, and I guarantee that you would have no qualms about doing maximum violence to the brute who had delivered the hurt to the cranium.

    I can also guarantee that Chris Frickin Serino would justify taking Trayvon Martin out under those circumstances. Whether it was he, or, say, one of Sanford's smaller female officers. He would not have waited for a few more blows in order to satisfy some silly Marquis of Queensbury rules applied by second-guessers miles away from the scene.


    That is why I say it does not seem to matter (none / 0) (#181)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 10:14:59 AM EST
    legally. Jeralyn and others have explained that according to the law, all that matters is what was going on at the time of the shot, not what lead up to it.  Yes, if you listen to the tape of the witnesses 911 call, it picks up near the end of the struggle, with the screaming. But her verbal interview to Serino describes a longer struggle that led up to that point than GZ describes. GZ can be lying or wrong about any number of things and still have a legal self-defense plea.  I understand how that is frustrating to Martin's parents.

     I think if the Sanford police had done a better job explaining why no charges were brought right from the start we could have avoided all of this. Serino well knew, because he kept saying so, that they were going have to explain GZ to the world if they did not bring charges. They did not do a very good job of it.


    There are 3 fundamental elements deciding (3.50 / 2) (#185)
    by JamTowzy on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 10:40:28 AM EST
    1. The battered George Zimmerman was the observed screamer ... any other claim is nonsense.

    2. The screamer obviously felt incredibly fearful, and did so for what must have felt like an eternity.

    3. The vast weight of the evidence leads a reasonable person to conclude that Trayvon Martin was on the phone out of reach and earshot of both GZ and anyone else who could have been in and around the T. It took a special, non-coerced effort on his part to re-light the fuse on a defused situation by going back to a place of previously perceived discomfort/danger.  He did not go back to sight-see, or to apprise of GZs location so that he could call the cops, either.

    Furthermore, it was the second time that he approached George Zimmerman to within matter of feet, knowingly and voluntarily.

    From what I understand (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 10:54:37 AM EST
    your #3 does not matter in the self-defense plea. If the roles were reversed and GZ had ended up dead after attempting to shoot Martin, it would not matter in Martin's self defense plea either.

    Your 'furthermore' is evidence of what, exactly? that Martin was interested in knowing why someone was following him?


    #3 answers the likelihood of initiation (none / 0) (#192)
    by JamTowzy on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:17:08 AM EST
    If the state wants to muddy the water about GZ's recollection of the beginning of the fight in order to shift blame for his head injuries, then it will have to explain TM's bizarre presence the second time at the T. It will have to do so burdened with the evidence of his harmlessly chatting with DeeDee for minutes directly beforehand.

    The events are inexplicable, other that Trayvon Martin sought out GZ. It would not be out of character either. He had walked toward him the first time only minutes ago. It demonstrated a lack of fear on his part, contrary to his assertion to his phone partner (or to her imagination).


    I dont' see anything bizarre about (none / 0) (#197)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:40:59 AM EST
    Martin wanting to know what is going on, after it became obvious he was being watched. Looking in the truck, seeing GZ on the phone and looking at him, he could probably even deduce GZ was talking about him on the phone. His question to GZ  "you got a problem with me?" indicates he knew GZ did have a problem with him, and he got a lie in response.   Throwing the first punch at GZ was of course wrong, if that is indeed what happened.

    But none if that is material to the self defense case once the fight was in progress.


    No Such Request (5.00 / 2) (#155)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:54:53 PM EST
    he stayed on the line while attempting to fulfill a request.

    If Zimmerman saw Martin run from where he was, presumably he could see the direction he was running. It's absurd to interpret 'Which way is he running?' to mean 'Please follow him and report all his future movements.'

    There was nothing absurd about it (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by JamTowzy on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 06:57:53 AM EST
    The dispatcher asked for information about a person that was disappearing into the gloom and out of sight. It is not out of the realm of reasonable deduction to conclude that giving improved information is better than giving inferior information which could be gathered by a action which seemed safe at the time.  Zimmerman could have said "this situation is too dangerous, I've given you all that you are going to get." But he obviously did not feel that way. He attempted to please.

    As far as perceived safety of his situation: 1) we DO NOT have to guess about what GZ's thoughts were at the time. From his wealth of experience, he had concluded that runners always keep running and that doubling back was highly unlikely; 2) the dispatcher himself perceived that the situation was rather benign. He hung up the call. (His caveat was so weak that reasonable people disagree about its intent. The dispatcher DID NOT freak out, order an immediate retreat, and give a clear directive as to his level of concern. Rather than emphasizing that point, he began chatting about addresses and phone numbers. In fact, it was GZ who had to remind him that the situation wasn't perfect, and declined to give out his full information. Any person at his end of the line could interpret the dispatcher's demeanor -- while in that period of give & take -- as ho hum and not on red alert.


    He says he was too scared to roll down the (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 10:57:45 AM EST
    window and talk to Martin, but he did not feel that getting out of the car and following him was dangerous?  You don't see a contradiction in that?

    Elementary (5.00 / 2) (#189)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:07:27 AM EST
    I'm surprised, especially because it has been mentioned hundreds of times, but also because this is really elementary logic, that you find "contradiction" necessarily exists between not wanting a confrontation (not rolling the window down, e.g. out of a fearful of aversion to direct contact) and following after a running Martin.

    Zimmerman could have expected the fellow running away would be running away.  That the fellow running away was doing so in order to avoid being caught. That the fellow running away was doing so in order to increase distance, not to close it.

    Are you afraid that a person running away from you is going to catch you?  If so, why?


    Not sure - how far away from me is he (none / 0) (#199)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:51:55 AM EST
    when he starts running?  If I am afraid of him when I am in my car, I remain afraid until I can't see him any more, no matter which direction he is heading.  I would not be making judgements about which way he was likely to keep going. I am  staying in my car and telling the police which way I saw him go.

    That is me though, obviously not GZ. And as I have said, I am convinced it does not matter to his self defense case, which is strong.


    That red herring (5.00 / 2) (#207)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 12:37:45 PM EST
    was invented by Serino, and it just won't swim.  There was a great disparity of risk between rolling down the window to "engage" Trayvon and merely trying to see, from a distance, where he was fleeing to.  Zimmerman was able to see him turn down the southern leg of the "T," from his truck, and it was hardly unreasonable to suppose he would, in all likelihood, continue in the same direction.

    While you are right concerning those points (none / 0) (#122)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 06:26:43 PM EST
    I do think O'Mara was aggressive enough.
    He knows that he has to at least partly play to the Judges ego (by being overly humble about the "strong evidence" statement and George's assumed culpability in Shellie's misleading statements) if he wants more of a chance to get his client bail. Ultimately if Lester is scared or corrupt it may not matter anyway, but he has to try to do what he thinks is best to do to get his client out on bail.

    He also comes off to me me as a bit "snake like". Not in the dishonest "garden of Eden" sense but in that he likes to keep things in reserve and then "bite" you with them like a sudden snake strike when you least expect it.

    The State has a very weak case for manslaughter. I think a nearly totally non-existent one for Second Degree murder, to the extent that I consider it a travesty that such a charge was even brought. He pulled quite a few planks out of their case today and it wasn't even at a SYG hearing let alone a trial. I think he did a good job.


    George Zimmerman Sr (3.50 / 2) (#42)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:36:16 AM EST
    to the stand to verify the screaming voice.

    Lots of consternation ( none of it unseemly) in the Crump section of the gallery

    Sorry Robert Zimmerman (none / 0) (#43)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:37:03 AM EST
    BOB DYLAN Testified?!!?!? (none / 0) (#129)
    by pyrrho on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:20:41 PM EST
    sorry obligatory

    The quest for a new norm (3.00 / 3) (#214)
    by JamTowzy on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 06:19:28 PM EST
    One side is trying to make legally permanent the novel one-step rule: open the door to a car or house and take one step out during a call to the police, and then you: 1) are taking upon an unnecessary and disproportionate risk; 2) are automatically demonstrating to any target out there that you are menacing; 3) are conferring upon yourself the merited label of "stalker" or "bully"; 4) are responsible for anything that a truly bad or clueless person might do in response, no matter how inane or sociopathic; 5) giving a free pass to same for mayhem; 6) have deserved what you've gotten.

    The strict constructionist version will likely contend that not even a step ii needed, just cracking the door itself. Such aggressiveness is very intimidating to someone like a Trayvon Martin, whose unpredictability was something to be nurtured and understood, and not bemoaned. :)  

    Yes (2.00 / 1) (#176)
    by HupHup on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 08:43:22 AM EST
    The media went on vacation in Florida and ALL we got was a lousey Trayvon Martin T-Shirt.

    Donations And Media (none / 0) (#1)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 05:05:19 AM EST
    I think media bias against Zimmerman has been a big, if not the biggest, reason people have been donating.

    Wonder (none / 0) (#14)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:48:19 AM EST
    how long it will be before the "donor list" is leaked to Gutman?

    Who ever before heard of them... (none / 0) (#2)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 05:38:23 AM EST
    ...living IN Florida? REALLY!

    The only people who don't lose in this case are the PR firm and lawyers for the Martin family. They'll get paid whether Zimmerman is convicted or acquitted. Due to the publicity they've generated for themselves (in the name of their clients), they'll command higher public speaking fees when the case is over. Today, they are household names. Who even heard of them outside of Florida before this case?

    Not only does guilt sell... (none / 0) (#5)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 06:53:30 AM EST
    ..but also "crime" that can be seen to involve "children"!  The matter of George Zimmerman should have shown us this. To me it was the first rat I smelled in the news reporting over a "16/17-yr-old victim"! Although in fairness, I do see the accepted convention to hoist pictures of slain teens from the movie The Interrupters, but I am not so sure childhood pictures were revealed being used by the mourners in the movie. However, look up an article in the NY Times today and you still see cute 'lil Tray as the one slain, not the hooded dude GZ saw pictured at 7-11 less than an hour before he was shot.

    Ironically "out of respect" the news media first visually manipulated the public perception for a child to be the victim. Visual manipulation likely more powerful to plant the seed of bias so deeply rooting the written word which still persists. It possibly still continues because the death nail of any local city print media today could be the revenue lost from a boycott of their publication by local minorities. Likely now the Herald does see from the evidence and the falsehoods from State affidavits and Court sign documents the possibility of a more disastrous eventual lawsuit brought about by lawyers who want to be "fairly paid" if it does not mend its ways.

    death nail? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:43:59 AM EST
    Did you mean "death knell" or "final nail in the coffin"?

    Can't death nails be made of silver (none / 0) (#130)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:22:40 PM EST

    to dispatch werewolves?

    And imagine (none / 0) (#6)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:07:35 AM EST
    the consternation among the underwriters and risk managers of the city's insurers (Yes, been there, done that.)

    Did you check out the teddy bears bedecking Trayvon's memorial?


    media bias (none / 0) (#146)
    by SuzieTampa on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:26:03 PM EST
    If this gets deleted, I understand, and will put it in the next post on the topic. When Crump called the first press conference to accuse local authorities of racism for not arresting GZ, the local media couldn't ignore it, lest they be labeled racist, too.

    With layoffs and cutbacks, there are few reporters who have the time to dig for "the truth." So, they go with X side and Y side. In this case, GZ didn't have lawyers at first, and then got some that didn't seem so good. He never had a PR person, and he wasn't talking at first. So, the media went with one side.

    The meme was quickly established that any questioning of Trayvon or his parents was an abomination. Mainstream reporters don't want to be called racist, not just because they don't want protests by minorities, but also because they know many white liberals will join in. To put it another way, blacks make up about 12 percent of the population in FL. But that number swells a lot when you add in white liberals.  

    Soon, a distorted version (racist monster guns down innocent black child) swept through Twitter, and then it got picked up by many liberal/left blogs. African-American blogs and other media also gave it a lot of play.

    The media, including many blogs, report sensational news but don't like to backtrack, especially when they were wrong. Any veteran reporter should know that crime stories often change as new information comes out, especially in a case like this one, where we heard a lot from one side but not the other.

    Many people who tried to say, "whoa, wait a minute," were labeled as racist. That happened to me.  

    At first, the Crump team would not give the media any photo except the one when he was younger. I think Crump learned this lesson from the Martin Lee Anderson case, which was well-known in FL. The media had no way of knowing that Trayvon looked much different -- some 16- and 17-year-old boys do look quite young.


    The Narrative (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 04:35:26 AM EST
    "Please don't shoot, Mister.  You can have the candy.  Jesus loves you."  Blam!

    Straw narratives (none / 0) (#190)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:09:02 AM EST
    Easy to imagine, ...

    ... but pretty silly.


    What do you suggest the judge do about it? (none / 0) (#206)
    by willisnewton on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 12:33:55 PM EST
    What would be a better way forward than to try to ensure a fair trial takes place where the true facts are established for a jury?  M'OM has handled himself well according to most.  The judge has a fair reputation, and the defense was able to request the previous judge recuse herself and she complied.  The defense has yet to ask for a change of venue.  Regardless of what you think of the prosecution, no one from the defense side has charged them with improper acts in court outside of saying "objection, your honor" a few times, at which time a ruling is made.  

    Crying over spilt milk is natural but what's the remedy?  Everything the family of the deceased did thus far seems to have been legal, or at least they have not been charged with any crimes, not sued for slander or libel.  You may not think it ethical, but the result of their actions seems to be a trial is set to happen, and the legal proceedings are underway.  

    Do you think GZ can get a fair trial or not?  If not, what is the remedy for that?  And what precedent do you cite for said remedy?  

    It's not whether the glass is half empty or half full.   It's what you do with the water that is still in the glass that matters as one moves forward.  

    2.2 million people signed online petitions, and 30K demonstrated peaceably in NYC, and thousands elsewhere.  I'm not saying everyone is as evolved as Ghandi here, but the nine, count them NINE members of the "new Black Panther party," a fringe group who are denounced by even the REAL former Black Panthers were a distinct minority that got a lot of media play for an inflammatory "action" (printing a wanted poster) and were roundly denounced by all including notably the family, PR firm, and legal advocates for the family and community leaders.  The federal DoJ stepped in to investigate civil rights issues and to work to calm the community.  City fathers in Sanford did the best they could to address concerns by all sides, including allowing the Koran-burning Pastor Jones (smith? I forget the clown's name) to hold a pro-GZ rally.  No one person is in charge of all this, you realize.  Each is acting to their own agenda but all in all I'd say they are doing the best they know how.  

    Now we are going to have a trial that is fully subject to the scrutiny of the public, where the vast majority of all evidence and testimony has been made public and the court proceedings themselves are televised.  Seems about as transparent as it could be.  

    If  you have a better solution, I'm all ears.  


    TM was still a minor at 17 yrs of age and he was (none / 0) (#168)
    by Mary2012 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 07:01:29 AM EST
    also unarmed.  Don't you think that made a difference in any of this?  His age/ the fact that he was a teenager was always reported whether there was a picture of him or not.  

    Re "manipulation": How do you know you weren't manipulated in subtle/ not so subtle ways on the GZ side or is that question on the GZ side irrelevant?

    Ironically "out of respect" the news media first visually manipulated the public perception for a child to be the victim.

    Bond hearing this morning at 9:30 EDT... (none / 0) (#7)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:29:03 AM EST
    ...that's 8:30 AM EST or 6:30 AM MST. So set your clocks/watches!

    Rene Stutzman and Jeff Weiner report... (none / 0) (#9)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:49:20 AM EST
    in The Orlando Sentinel this morning in part (ellipsis excluded) this (no kidding):

    Zimmerman was arrested April 11 but Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. ordered him released on $150,000 bail a week later.

    But that was before he learned that Zimmerman had an on-line fund-raising campaign that was raking in $1,000 a day.

    At an April 20 bond hearing, Zimmerman's wife, Shellie Zimmerman, testified under oath that she and George were broke. In reality, according to prosecutors, they had transferred at least $135,000 between accounts in the days just before the hearing.

    What's wrong with this picture?  Raking in $1,000 per day and tarnsferring $135,000 dollars implies GZ had an "on-line fund-raising campaign" ongoing for at least 135 days....or for about 80 days prior to his first "meeting" with Trayvon Martin! As for newspaper revenues being in the toilet, obviously, The Orlando Sentinel no longer can afford to pay an editor to proofread these renegade propaganda artists!


    This is the link (none / 0) (#10)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:06:01 AM EST
    to CNN to watch live from computer or home.  

    I don't have cable so I find these links valuable.  The buffering because of old computer and craptastic connections makes me a little loopy, though!  Like I needed the help there. LOL!

    One of the local stations will probably have a live feed also.

    Does Jeralyn have Ventrilo?

    Also on TruTV (none / 0) (#12)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:27:10 AM EST
    TruTV's "anchor"... (none / 0) (#45)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:40:45 AM EST
    ...knows less about this case than you or I who aren't getting paid to know about it.

    Doesn't even know there was only one gunshot.


    Sunshine law argument (none / 0) (#13)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:40:24 AM EST
    The state argues that witness 9's second statement is relevant, and of potential use to the state to rebut defendant's claim of not being prejudiced against blacks; and that the jail calls are all a matter of public record.  De la Rionda also asserted that witness 9's second statement can be corroborated - which tells me the state has additional evidence on this point.  I don't recall any particular evidence of that nature being on the state's evidence list.

    I don't see how the state can hold both that the statement is relevant and potentially used, that it is to be turned over to defendant (as inculpatory) and that it can be withheld from the public.

    I also don't see how witness 9's second statement doesn't fit into the state's case in chief.  It is evidence of depraved mind.

    So now we KNOW... (none / 0) (#15)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:52:44 AM EST
    ...PayPal does not permit a transfer of more than $10,000!

    xfers within the credit union have no limit (none / 0) (#16)
    by willisnewton on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:59:34 AM EST
    Yes, pay pal limits amounts transferred out, so the money from Paypal to GZ's credit union account was sent in less then 10K amounts.  But the xfers between GZ's account and his sister and SZ's account have no such limit.  

    The forensic accontant claims he doesn't have records of what was transferred into her account, including the 47K she had on April 17th

    The state seems to be upset about the lack of this accounting as related to wht was transferred to GZ's sisters account.  


    Testimony suggested.... (none / 0) (#34)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:24:55 AM EST
    ...that money transferred from PayPal was immediately transferred to another account and did not accumulate for larger sums to be transferred. There are DETAILS the testimony does not reveal.  The State did not want details "divulged" to maintin its grandstanding position that "small amounts" were only transferred giving a greater appearance that money was being deliberately hidden!

    the money WAS hidden from the court. period. (none / 0) (#52)
    by willisnewton on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:07:43 AM EST
    The judge has already ruled on this in his order to revoke bond.  He had some harsh words for the defendant regarding his lack of respect for the court and the law, but in specific regards to the hiding of the money, he says essentially that had the court known he would have known about the money his decision may have been different.  He agrees with the prosecutions contention that the actions at the bond hearing were tantamount to hiding the money from the court.  

    There was no limit on the amount of money that could be transferred from one credit union account to another.  The defense seems to offer as an excuse the amounts were the same due to pay pal restrictions.  

    So, yes, I agree that the defense argument today is about the reasons surrounding the way the money was hidden, not  the fact that the money was hidden.  The state will argue the money may have been hidden for different reasons and moved in the way it was for different reasons.  But IMO the money was hidden from the court for varied speculative reasons until we heard from GZ or SZ directly it seems to me, and what they say may or may not satisfy the judge as a credible story.    


    I would suggest that... (none / 0) (#106)
    by heidelja on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:22:43 PM EST
    ...a credit union does limit the amount of a transfer from one account to another to only as much as the balance of the account transferred from. (LOL)  Nonetheless, we have to be careful how we interpret an "account" RE: The Zimmermans because the testimony alluded to there being sub-accounts as the "accounts" being transferred between. This should fairly be seen as simply their way to organize the money...nothing more. And in the totality, ALL has been balanced out per the forensic expert's testimony and their is no hidden money.

    As for the notion of Zimmermans "hiding" money, it is the point of my comment (#34).  Simply the State  cleverly avoided again today asking specific questions just as happened on Apr 20. Instead they left only allusions.  

    Case law says it best for the notion of "misleading testimony." Understanding it, all is a ruse coming about now because no one was asked on Apr 20 with the appropriate specificity necessary to result in the equally specific statement of fact that goes alleged to have been known about money in the days immediately prior to Apr 20 to suggest that money was "hidden from the Court" on that day.


    What reason did the defense give in court (none / 0) (#210)
    by willisnewton on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 01:19:01 PM EST
    What reason did the defense give for having hidden the money during the bond hearing?  I didn't get to see the whole thing.  We've heard the" fear, mistrust and confusion" argument but that was for the media, was it not?  I'm confused.  

    Donations (none / 0) (#17)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 09:02:17 AM EST
    Pretty sure that well hasn't dried up, and the above posts clearly indicate plenty of folks still in his corner.

    A couple of pleas for cash will tide him over and although O'Mara might be taking this case at a discount, we will certainly make up up in future billings, especially if he gets an acquittal which seems likely IMO.

    The better question is who isn't cashing in on this ?  Zimmermans/Martins and the City of Stanford, every one else is either cashing in or enhancing their resumes for future gain.  And I would imagine the Zimmermans/Martins will figure out how to squeeze some bucks from this once the verdict is in.

    There will be (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 09:07:15 AM EST
    Books, movies, speaking engagements....

    Oops! (none / 0) (#32)
    by marvc on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:23:28 AM EST
    The statement I made in then next to last paragraph should read "...this Zimmerman case is an aberation and NOT reflective of the totality of experiences...."

    Apologies for the screw-up! Mea culpa.

    Let the State pay (none / 0) (#38)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:32:12 AM EST
    The city of Sanford initially decided not to prosecute until certain outside agitators pushed the State to intervene. All this expense can be laid directly at the feet of higher ups in the State government and the outside interests they chose to listen to for political reasons.

    Except Serino knew that GZ said "punks" (none / 0) (#105)
    by lily on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:19:14 PM EST
    and not a racial epithet long before the media storm orchestrated by Julison/Crump/Gutman.  The police chief, city manager, Mayor and Serino all knew the truth but were silent allowing the BIG LIE to run and the narrative to gain traction for weeks on end. The FBI wasted 10 investigators time trying to find some racist angle.

    Has the FBI finished their investigation? (none / 0) (#107)
    by Mary2012 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:26:18 PM EST
    Seems to me more would be involved here than whether GZ said "punks" or any other word, but maybe that's just me....  

    the FBI already (none / 0) (#108)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:35:29 PM EST
    submitted a report saying they can't determine what he said.

    FBI Said They Didn't Know (none / 0) (#110)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:43:20 PM EST
    whether or not he said punks.  It is on page 147 of the pdf file of the original discovery document.

    The specific request to identify the word following "fucking" at approximately 2 minutes and 20 seconds of file 20120571656-513PIR.wav could not be done due to weak signal level and poor recording quality.

    Thank you both! (none / 0) (#118)
    by Mary2012 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 05:00:23 PM EST
    How Did Serino Know? (none / 0) (#123)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 06:31:28 PM EST
    It looks like Serino took Zimmerman's word for what he said. I haven't seen any other evidence for 'punks'.

    No particular reason (none / 0) (#131)
    by expy on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:23:44 PM EST
    to challenge Zimmerman's admission to using the word "punks".

    It remains unclear what was actually said, but "punks" is consistent with "a-holes"  and consistent with the prosecution theory as well. So no particular reason to go down the path of trying to enhance the audio to come up with anything different.

    Again, it's important to keep in mind that while the potential of racial stereotyping or animus is helpful to the prosecution's case, it is not necessary.  So to state prosecutors, it really doesn't matter whether the epithets used by Zimmerman have racial overtones or not.  


    The Mystery Word (none / 0) (#140)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 08:38:05 PM EST

    That's pretty much my point.

    The prosecutors, and the SPD, have only two choices in the matter. They can say 'Zimmerman said punks, as he admitted.' Or they can say 'We don't know what Zimmerman said.' The former is slightly better for them. But it is misleading to say that any of them 'knew' what the word was.  


    or it could be laid at the feet (none / 0) (#133)
    by pyrrho on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:33:02 PM EST
    of the idea that this didn't have to be looked into, didn't even need a grand jury or SYG before a judge.... I find it surprising you think waiting 2 months for your sons killer to be arrested and face proper legal scrutiny seems unreasonable to you.

    A grand jury shouldn't have been called. (none / 0) (#147)
    by redwolf on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:34:02 PM EST
    And it's clear by the fact the DA didn't call one that they thought a GJ would clear Zimmerman.

    DA's have entirely too much power in this country.  


    Correction. (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by redwolf on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:35:40 PM EST
    A grand jury should have been called*.
    A grand jury should be called in any case where someone was killed.  

    Investigative Judges (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by RickyJim on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 07:33:21 AM EST
    No country besides the US still uses Grand Juries.  England got rid of them in 1933. The rest of the world uses investigative judges, who hold hearings, to be in charge of police investigations and decide on indictments.  They usually are civil service employees and have to pass many examinations to get the job.  A prosecutor only gets a case after the investigative judge, who always writes a report, decides to indict.

    Another problem is that fact, as pointed out recently by Alan Dershowitz and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra O'Connor, that the US is the only country in the world that elects prosecutors and judges.  


    Not Clear (none / 0) (#150)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:56:36 PM EST
    It's my understanding that Corey rarely uses grand juries when she doesn't have to. She probably would have skipped it even if she had a stronger case.

    Grand Jury, Pro And Con (none / 0) (#149)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:44:56 PM EST
    Crump didn't want a grand jury.

    Given public distrust of the police investigation, I thought a grand jury was the way to go.



    Just What Can We Discuss? (none / 0) (#39)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 10:33:53 AM EST
    In response to a statement by cbolt in another thread,
    Zimmerman never claims he went down with the punch, never to move more than a few feet from that location.  That claim is put in Zimmerman's mouth by others, then they claim that Zimmerman can't be telling the truth.
    I posted an excerpt from Zimmerman's first recorded interview with Doris Singleton which went in part
    Investigator: "And you're still standing at this point?"

    Zimmerman: "No ma'am, I fell to the ground when he punched me the first time.

    The entire post where I quoted from Zimmerman's interview was deleted without a reason given.  I know this is not a neutral blog.  However it has become apparent that the state's strongest card is the "liar, liar, pants on fire" one.  No matter how strongly defense oriented this site is, it should allow discussion of Zimmerman's alleged misstatements since the forthcoming legal case may be dominated by them.

    this thread is about the bail hearing (none / 0) (#83)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:43:51 PM EST
    At one time, (none / 0) (#85)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:54:30 PM EST
    I remember reading this was an open thread about the Zimmerman case.  Maybe my confusion is that the thread was duplicated, at one time, on the Talkleft home page.

    This thread right here? (none / 0) (#151)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:17:39 PM EST
    this thread is about the bail hearing (none / 0) (#83)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:43:51 PM EST

    The one entitled

    "City of Sanford Wants Help With Expenses of George Zimmerman Prosecution"?

    I checked the main page for a separate bail hearing thread, and couldn't find one.


    Scream Identification Testimony (none / 0) (#49)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:00:25 AM EST
    Because the parents of both Zimmerman and Martin aren't scientists, their testimony may be allowed into trial but no scientific comparison would get by a Fry hearing?  That sounds like nonsense to me. I often mistake the ordinary voice of somebody I know well when they get a new cell phone.

    More Importanly... (none / 0) (#59)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:16:17 AM EST
    ...who's to say their voices aren't very similar when screaming.

    I would imagine if they had 10 screams, both parents would identify several as their kid.

    And sorry, but when is the last time a father heard his grown son scream, mine surely hasn't for a well over a decade.  I can't even remember the last time I scream for help.  And while not as long, the same has to true for the mother.  Beyond kid level, people just don't scream for help very often.

    Both surely believe it's their kid.

    If they can't nail down that scream with some sort of scientific certainty and with both parents making the same claim, they shouldn't be using it.


    Maybe that's the point (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:19:50 AM EST
    All we've heard up to this point is that Sybrina Fulton testified it was Trayvon's scream.  Now we have Robert Zimmerman saying it was GZ's - effectively neutralizing SF's testimony.

    He Said that a Long Time Ago (none / 0) (#64)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:23:41 AM EST
    This isn't new.

    Not new to us (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:26:56 AM EST
    The difference is that the Court has the state's assertion on the record, in the affidavit in support of arrest and charging.  Zimmerman's father's statement was not on the record until today.

    Got It (none / 0) (#98)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 02:15:56 PM EST
    Sabrina (none / 0) (#92)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:23:47 PM EST
    When did Sabrina "testify" about the cries on the recording?  She certainly had an opportunity to do so today.

    Sybrina gave a statement to the investigators (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:44:22 PM EST
    We don't have it in discovery yet, that I am aware of, but the state's affidavit in support of arrest and a charge of murder says that "Trayvon Martin's mother has reviewed the 911 calls and identified the voice crying for help as Trayvon Martin's voice."  If the investigators followed the same protocol with Sybrina as they did with the eyewitnesses, Sybrina's statement was made under oath.

    At an earlier stage of the prosecution, for purposes of ruling on certain motions, the judge has to accept the state's statement (Trayvon Martin was the voice yelling) as true.  That doesn't mean it is true, or that the judge believes it, just that as a logical matter, the contention is true.  That process is used to justify finding (or not) the elements of the charge, for example.

    Once defendant is given an opportunity to introduce the opposite into the record, it deflates a finding that the state's case has Proof Evident.

    Every single argument that de la Rionda confronted Mr. Zimmerman with, aside from the "he can't yell if he's being smothered," applies to the reliability of Sybrina's testimony, too.  He's undercutting both witnesses, equally, only leaving behind that supposed inconsistency between being smothered and yelling for help.


    I don't think its very likely (none / 0) (#71)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:43:51 AM EST
    That their screams would be similar.
    Forget the fact that one is significantly younger than the other one. That's not as important in determining this as the fact that we already have several recordings of George Zimmerman's voice, including a voice test reenactment AND we have one recording of Trayvon Martin's voice on the 711 tape.

    Zimmerman's voice is always rather low and high pitched, even during the original 311 call. Gentle, in other words. Trayvon's voice on his call in the 711 is rough and hard and very "manly".

    I do not think it likely that Trayvon (to borrow a sexist phrase to make my point) "screamed like a girl".


    You don't need to use "a sexist phrase" (none / 0) (#96)
    by SuzieTampa on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:59:01 PM EST
    any more than someone would need to use a racist phrase. You could just say that the scream was high-pitched, or whatever you think it was. Girls don't all scream alike.

    Boils Down to You... (none / 0) (#100)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 02:23:19 PM EST
    ...not thinking it's likely, as you mentioned twice.

    Not the stuff of science and certainly nothing more then an opinion.  Which is why it should be scraped, no one can determine who's voice we hear with any sort of certainly or scientific basis.


    lay witness opinion (none / 0) (#84)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:53:06 PM EST
    lay witness opinion is governed by Florida Evidence Rule 90.701

    90.701 Opinion testimony of lay witnesses.--If a witness is not testifying as an expert, the witness's testimony about what he or she perceived may be in the form of inference and opinion when:
    (1) The witness cannot readily, and with equal accuracy and adequacy, communicate what he or she has perceived to the trier of fact without testifying in terms of inferences or opinions and the witness's use of inferences or opinions will not mislead the trier of fact to the prejudice of the objecting party; and
    (2) The opinions and inferences do not require a special knowledge, skill, experience, or training.

    The federal rule is 901.


    To Identify A Screamer Accurately (none / 0) (#88)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 01:07:26 PM EST
    from listening to a barely audible cellphone transmission requires abilities possessed by nobody.  Having either parent testify would violate (2) IMHO.

    Not WItness NINE! (none / 0) (#51)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:03:21 AM EST
    anyone but nine!

    De La Rionda mischaracterized the testimony (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:11:55 AM EST
    of Witness John. At no time was there any confusion on Johns part to as to who  was on top.

    Exactly! (none / 0) (#58)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:16:08 AM EST
    His statement may have changed as to the voice and who was crying out and he toned down the rhetoric about the MMA style but he never changed the fact that GZ was on the bottom and TM on top.

    BDLR... (none / 0) (#54)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:12:13 AM EST
    ...has a really grating, annoying voice.

    Don't they teach lawyers anything about public speaking anymore?

    Surely he meant "6" (none / 0) (#55)
    by TomMaguire on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:12:38 AM EST
    Did O'Mara claim he now knew the case well and then attribute the Witness 6 (John) MMA description of the fight to Witness 9?

    I need a TiVo on my PC!

    Do you mean... (none / 0) (#74)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:56:01 AM EST
    ...you're watching it streaming on your PC and wish you could rewind?

    Anchor Vinnie Politan... (none / 0) (#56)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:13:45 AM EST
    ...has a really harsh and annoying voice as well, and doesn't seem to make up for it by being well acquainted with the case.

    Do we expect a ruling this afternoon? (none / 0) (#60)
    by TomMaguire on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:17:41 AM EST
    I step away for three minutes...

    How long a recess, and do we expect a ruling today?

    Good question (none / 0) (#63)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:20:34 AM EST
    I expect a ruling today.  Lester is bound by time limits under the law, but until O'Mara specifically asserts the law against the judge, the judge doesn't have to follow the law.

    In the post hearing interview (none / 0) (#78)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:10:21 PM EST
    MOM thinks that the Lester is required to review all the evidence entered today.

    He said at least the weekend.


    De la Rionda Still Doesn't Get It (none / 0) (#62)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:20:04 AM EST
    He makes the claim that he has a strong case based on some discredited stuff like there is a witness who saw a chase.  IMHO, the only chance the state has before a judge and/or jury is to list all the supposed blatant lies in Zimmerman's statements and claim that their existence shows that self defense is not reasonable.

    Lester seems to be in tune (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:25:41 AM EST
    Lester appears to be a prosecution's judge.  I think he'd easily use an underpants gnome stream of logic to find for the prosecution.

    O'Mara has to spell the law of bail for the judge.  The judge says something in the revocation of bond order that insinuates the state has Proof Evident, then briefly challenges O'Mara on submitting defense evidence (for the case) in response to the Court's contention, rather than focusing on what the prosecution refers to as the April 20 lie.


    he said in the bond revocation order (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 04:24:24 PM EST
    the state's evidence is "strong." He didn't say and has never said the state met its burden of proving "that the proof of guilt is evident and presumption great" which requires proof of a greater nature than that required for proof beyond a reasonable doubt. See here and here.

    That finding is required to find Zimmerman is not legally entitled to bail. The Florida Constitution says:

    SECTION 14. Pretrial release and detention.--Unless charged with a capital offense or an offense punishable by life imprisonment and the proof of guilt is evident or the presumption is great, every person charged with a crime or violation of municipal or county ordinance shall be entitled to pretrial release on reasonable conditions. If no conditions of release can reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm to persons, assure the presence of the accused at trial, or assure the integrity of the judicial process, the accused may be detained.

    If the state met that standard, bail would still be discretionary. Without meeting it, the judge must set bail, unless the judge believes GZ is a risk of flight, a danger, or that on bail he will compromise the integrity of the judicial process.

    What Lester wanted today was a demonstration that Zimmerman properly respects the law and judicial process.

    He seems to be equating not being truthful in a bond application, which allows him to revoke bond, with not properly respecting the integrity of the judicial process, which gives him discretion to deny bond.

    But proper respect for the judicial process is clearly defined in Florida's bail statute, and providing false or misleading information in a bail application doesn't seem to fit under it.

    Section 907.041 states:

    [c]The court may order pretrial detention if it finds a substantial probability, based on a defendant's past and present patterns of behavior, the criteria in s. 903.046, and any other relevant facts, that any of the following circumstances exists:

    2. The defendant, with the intent to obstruct the judicial process, has threatened, intimidated, or injured any victim, potential witness, juror, or judicial officer, or has attempted or conspired to do so, and that no condition of release will reasonably prevent the obstruction of the judicial process;

    There's no allegation Zimmerman did any of those things. Lying to get bail doesn't fit.

    The only other relevant discretionary reasons include:

    1. The defendant has previously violated conditions of release and that no further conditions of release are reasonably likely to assure the defendant's appearance at subsequent proceedings;

    There has been no allegation he violated his prior bail release conditions and the evidence presented today was he hasn't, or

    5. The defendant poses the threat of harm to the community. The court may so conclude, if it finds that the defendant is presently charged with a dangerous crime, that there is a substantial probability that the defendant committed such crime, that the factual circumstances of the crime indicate a disregard for the safety of the community, and that there are no conditions of release reasonably sufficient to protect the community from the risk of physical harm to persons.

    Since he's not returning to that community or his role as a neighborhood watch leader, and the judge could make it a condition of bond that he not act in that capacity anywhere, this doesn't seem to support a discretionary bond denial.

    Bottom line: Lying about bail gave the judge the ability to revoke bond but not to refuse to re-set bond. To refuse to set bail after a revocation, he's back to the original requirements for bail. The state still hasn't met is burden of presumption great, proof evident, and no  reasons for discretionary denial seem to fit.

    The state also failed to file a written motion for pre-trial detention after the bond revocation, but apparently, Lester doesn't care about that. He should and reject the state's arguments for no bond entirely.


    I agree (none / 0) (#113)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 04:35:15 PM EST
    I carried on two separate and lengthy dialogs in previous threads, one with Yman and one with expy, about the validity of Lester's June 1 decision go deny bail, and his June 11 order.  It's my conclusion that Lester's detention order is unlawful, based on the same authorities that you cite.

    O'Mara has yet to argue the authorities you cite, although he did assert in paragraph 7 of his June 22 motion that Zimmerman is entitled to bail as a matter of law.


    I agree and agree. (none / 0) (#119)
    by Kyreth on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 05:00:27 PM EST
    My gut feeling is that Judge Lester knows George is entitled to bond, but still feels George has disrespected the court and so doesn't want to grant bond too easily.  (Such a rough idea of what I'm trying to say but I can't find the words for some reason.)

    YES, the words are hard to find.... (none / 0) (#156)
    by heidelja on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 12:14:21 AM EST
    ...that describe the dichotomous reasoning of Judge Lester.  Would it be it is because he has been an elected judge to the Florida 18th Judicial Circuit so he impulsively reasons like a politician, and not that of a judge knowing the intricacies of the law? Certainly he appears to have the warts of other judges within the circuit who are more in touch to their expediency to clear their docket by rubberstamp than for any judiciary reasoning for the matter at hand before acting.

    Consider Lester's exchange with O'Mara today RE: George "testifying" to the extent to aplogogize (talk) directly to him only and avoid cross examination. George apologizing because he "disrespected" the "judicial process" for whatever that tritely means to Lester, apparently given what our moderator stated it only should be per s. 903.046.  

    For all George's alleged "inconsistencies," Lester maintains a convenient spin on the "judicial process" while he allowed lawyers to let it be played out in front of him with no qualms on Apr 20 to the dismay of George and Shellie Zimmerman who now go blamed for not respecting "the process."  Apparently, George's greatest fault being that he did not know how unfortaunate he would be for not tapping O'Mara's shoulder to disrespectively interrupt the process!


    It's frustrating (none / 0) (#120)
    by Slayersrezo on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 05:03:25 PM EST
    It's almost like the State is rubbing our faces in the fact it is not treating George Zimmerman like just any other defendant.

    Considering it's likely to LOSE in the end no matter what, why are they providing such
    A. Excellent grounds for appeal in case they DO convict
    B. Excellent grounds for a lawsuit if they don't convict or lose at a SYG hearing

    It's strange. It's almost like they fear NOT doing something more than doing something -even if its facially illegal.

    Even given RIOTS, I don't see how the State comes out ahead on this one. Individual players -maybe, but also maybe not.

    Very high risk, I'd say. And very disturbing for those of us who care about probable cause and justice.


    Hearing Really Shows the Difference (none / 0) (#75)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:58:43 AM EST
    between Europe, or better the rest of the world, and America.  Most of the time there, it is judges examining witnesses, based on written submissions from all sides, and there is no such thing as direct and cross examination.  The lawyers, defendant, etc, can raise their hand to also ask a question.  I am sure a European judge listening to the hearing would laugh at Lester's refusal to do his own examination of Zimmerman about the previous bond hearing.

    Like those (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 04:48:37 AM EST
    elegantly coiffed judges who presided over the Amanda Knox fiasco.

    Don't Know the Case (none / 0) (#171)
    by RickyJim on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 07:15:44 AM EST
    But I do know that Italy has tried to get closer to the US adversary system than other continental countries so lawyers have a court role there comparable to the US.  It started in the 90s.  Here is an account by a Colorado law professor who often writes about such things.

    SYG (none / 0) (#79)
    by friendofinnocence on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:12:49 PM EST
    Bernie de la Rionda stated that GZ would have to take the stand at an SYG hearing because the defense would have to admit his statements.  Is there any reason the defense couldn't just skip the statements and call all of the witnesses to show the state has no evidence it wasn't self defense?

    Couple of Points (none / 0) (#87)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 12:58:14 PM EST
    DLR made it very clear the State connects Zimmerman's actions to the alleged history of criminal activity by "black youths" in his neighborhood.  He also spoke of the perceived associations with "hoods."  So "profiling," as used in the Probable Cause Affidavit, apparently will be presented and argued as "racial profiling."

    If the phrases "could have avoided" and "could have defused" were used today, I didn't hear them, and I was waiting for them.

    GZ in his interview with Serino also made (none / 0) (#153)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:33:32 PM EST
    a point of explaining how the previous robberies were central in his mind that night. When asked to describe what happened that night, he started weeks earlier with the robberies, which were allegedly done by black youths.

    IIRC , according to one of his earlier calls to police, Zimmerman actually saw one or more of the suspects in one of the incidents, but he never alleges that Martin looked like them. Not sure that means anything one way or another.


    Heeeee's Back (none / 0) (#97)
    by RickyJim on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 02:01:12 PM EST
    Matt Gutman on today's hearing  Obviously, the bias is still there. No mention of Paypal requirements in money transfers and there are links to people who have bad things to say about Zimmerman.

    O'Mara Confessed (none / 0) (#99)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 02:16:14 PM EST
    At one point, I think it was near the conclusion of the hearing when he was summarizing his case for bail, O'Mara said that until recently, he wasn't familiar with the Arthur case to a detail degree.  I found that interesting.  Part of his action today was to present evidence to overcome Lester's finding that the state's case is "strong," which is sort of the legal criteria in the Arthur case.

    O'Mara did not mention, during the hearing, paragraph No. 7 in his Motion for Bail.  That paragraph encapsulates the legal argument that follows after the Court concludes defendant in a capital or life sentence case is entitled to bail as a matter of right.

    Better (none / 0) (#101)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 02:41:42 PM EST
    to let the judge carve his pound of flesh now, rather than have him be on the lookout for a chance to get it further down the line.

    Give them the rope (none / 0) (#102)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:05:21 PM EST
    I was thinking a similar thought, but not in the "pound of flesh" terms.  I don't think Lester wants to be reversed for imposing an unlawful detention; but maybe O'Mara is giving Lester the opportunity for that.

    And how (none / 0) (#177)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 08:53:56 AM EST
    might getting the judge reversed on the bail issue affect his disposition?  Judges contrive to have us believe that they are untroubled by such trifles but, under their august robes, they are but human. And a judge has so many ways of influencing a jury--the raised eyebrow, the faint smile, the tone of impatience in the voice (not to speak of the immunity issue.)  It's a bad situation.  Zimmerman appeared contrite enough yesterday, but you note he didn't offer to agree to the amount of bail the judge would have set on 4/20, had the existence of the fund been disclosed.  Lester may have said he wasn't "sure" he could have set bail on the basis of the amount in the fund, but he did accuse Zimmerman of obtaining a lower bail by his failure to make full disclosure.  I can't imagine how the judge reasoned his way to the belief that he could properly base bail on the amount in the fund, but that seems to be what he did.  That money has now been transferred to a trust, where it will be difficult for the court to reach.  So, from the judge's perspective, Zimmerman "pulled a fast one," and continues to sit on the fruits of his failure to disclose.  I don't see any way, realistically, for Zimmerman to placate this gentleman.  May as well treat him as an adversary, I suppose.

    Disposition vs. the law (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 09:03:59 AM EST
    I assume Lester would be angered at being called out for imposing an illegal detention.  But he would also be on notice that he is bound to follow the law, and that his isn't the last word.

    Hot Potato for Lester (none / 0) (#103)
    by JackisBack on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:10:31 PM EST
    If Lester has the political courage to grant a new bond does O'Mara strike while the iron is hot and go for a dismissal on lack of evidence and SYG?  Why keeping pussyfooting unless he is by confession unknowing of even the simplest of Arthur hearings.  Wonder if even knows how to go for Immunity:)

    Fun predicting the Outcome Tree (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:17:15 PM EST
    Lester is indeed in an interesting position right now, but it's one he would not be in if he'd denied the state's motion to revoke bail back on April 20th.

    If Lester denies bail, it lights a fire under O'Mara.  O'Mara won't seek reversal of an order granting bail, but he's apt to if the order denies bail.

    If Lester grants bail, O'Mara might go right back to the slow pace that's been underway for the past couple of months.  No hurry to move for dismissal when the client is free on bail.


    Zimmrman did not ask (none / 0) (#109)
    by Redbrow on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 03:37:35 PM EST
    for this case to get special treatment and have extra money thrown at it. He would have been more than content to have this case treated like every other case.

    The ones who made false allegations and demanded special treatment should be the ones liable for the expenses. Like shouting "fire" in a crowded theater when there is no fire.

    Crump should be responsible for cleaning up after the the '600 hundred pound elephant' HE put in the room.

    Since Trayvon, a high school junior who wanted to be a pilot, was black and Zimmerman is white, Crump said race is "the 600 pound elephant in the room."

    BTW how stupid is that ?- 600 lbs is very small for an elephant.

    "600 lbs is very small for an elephant." (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 11:32:54 PM EST
    He mangled togther the entirely different "memes" "the elephant in the room" and "Where does a 600 lbs. gorrilla sit? Anywhere he wants to!"

    More and more people are getting sloppy like that everyday, to the extent that those who don't know any better probably think "the 600 lbs. gorrilla in the room" really is a phrase used to mean something else.

    The language is under attack by the uninformed attempting to sound impressive.


    That's why you notice it (none / 0) (#115)
    by cboldt on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 04:37:26 PM EST
    If it was a regulation size elephant, it wouldn't have the same "special / extraordinary" quality.

    For nonlawyers, (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by whitecap333 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:42:59 PM EST
    there's another elephant in the corner, in the form of a question: can there come a point at which one must question one's duties to the state?  If you're zimmerman, buried under this avalanche of malicious untruth, you have to wonder whether the "system" is rational enough to be trusted.  He's better off with the money.

    Arthur (none / 0) (#112)
    by Eddpsair on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 04:33:56 PM EST
    Assuming proof evident does not exist, that should clear the way for bond.

    Bond is NOT a punishment.

    The point, as we all know is to assure appearance.

    Since MOM has control of the Fund, technically, it is no longer necessarily  considered for GZ, no?

    So aren't we almost back at the original place at the first bond hearing?

    GZ has spent weeks in jail.  The judge must give bond.  Bond is not a punishment.  So would Lester's judgement from the same set of fact leave him at the same or similar bond amount?

    Shouldn't the judge balance, "He lied." with, yet another voluntary act of turning himself in when that became apparent.  If he was going to flee, THAT would have been the time for it.

    Perhaps, a stern admonishment and time saved and reinstate the same or similar bond?

    yes, we're back to that place (none / 0) (#116)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 04:39:18 PM EST
    and the state still hasn't met the test denying bail as a matter of right. So it's now up to Lester's discretion, which is limited. I just posted a long comment above on this.

    The state continues to refuse to put on evidence and just brings things out on cross-exam of the defense witnesses -- and make arguments with factual inaccuracies and rank speculation.

    Zimmerman will get bond, and if Lester denies it, he can immediately file a habeas action which I think he'll win. He'll just have to spend a bit longer in jail.


    Following (none / 0) (#157)
    by Eddpsair on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 12:57:28 AM EST
    I hate to bring this up again, but your mother actually has more legitimate authority to tell you not to follow someone than a police dispatcher.(she can take away your allowance)

    Ther is no statute: "Failure to obey a police dispatcher"

    Some people want to parse words about the dispatcher asking to know what direction the guy was going, NOT being a request.  It is instructive to listen to GZ's rendition of the previous NEN call at the same house and how THAT dispatcher specifically DID ask GZ to leave the safe area under the street lamp to go get another look at what the suspicious person was doing.

    One should at least admit the ambiguity of the dispatchers words, the added ambiguity due to his pervious experience, and the legal weight of the authority of the dispatcher, which was essentially coequal to Dee Dees unheeded instructions to TM.

    Semantics (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 05:16:50 AM EST
    But the "We don't need you to do that" of a civilian "call taker" (to use Chief Lee's term) is a "police directive", don't you see, and the word "following," properly construed, includes trying to ascertain someone's location, tantamount to "pursuing" and "chasing down."

    Ach, so much of this could have been avoided by a decent minimum of respect for language.


    Chief Lee'comments (none / 0) (#202)
    by Eddpsair on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 12:11:58 PM EST
    I often find it funny that many Chiefs of police believe that special powers beyond what is codified should be given to their people.  
    City of Sanford/Chief Lee was free to "deputize" or give reserve status to his dispatchers to give them that authority.  There are about a thousand reasons he didnt.

    Until someone does that, they have no ability to issue a citizen a lawful order.  It is a matter of law.  They can only suggest, regardless of what he asserts.  

    Any argument to the contrary is wrong as a matter of law.

    Their suggestions are normally the most conservative advice, as a matter of liability.  The advice was about the possibility of danger to the caller.  

    But we  are talking criminal, not civil liability at this juncture of the case.

    If what GZ did was illegal, would Corey not have charged him? She can't, because GZ didn't do anything legally wrong under criminal statues.

    What Corey  has created is a vaguely supported theory to concoct an element  using civil liability to create new police powers for dispatchers and criminal culpability out of whole cloth.

    Show me a precedent where anyone has been arrested for failing to obey a dispatcher.  If not, this is smoke and mirrors.

    If I tell a judge I was acting on the advice of my neighbor who is a paralegal, how would that go over?

    Note that the dispatcher NEVER gave him an order|. "we don't need you to do that".  Is NOT an order. Everything the dispatcher said was a suggestion as per SOP.

    That dispatcher was well aware of what people here refuse to accept.  He couldn't order GZ to do anything.  He is not allowed to characterize anything as an order because as soon as he does and it goes sideways, the department gets sued.

    It is likely that TM would be alive if GZ had not proceeded down that sidewalk.  But TM would most definitely be alive if he had heeded Dee Dees equally prudent advice.  

    Reply to This


    Instructive Call (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 06:06:41 AM EST

    It is instructive to listen to GZ's rendition of the previous NEN call at the same house and how THAT dispatcher specifically DID ask GZ to leave the safe area under the street lamp to go get another look at what the suspicious person was doing.

    Zimmerman claimed to have heard such specific requests on 2/26, and we know he didn't. (2/27R, 2:33-51; 2/27V, 26:42-27:02, 6:45:19-39)

    Is the previous call one of those that has been released? I've listened to some of those, but I haven't come across that one.


    Where's the beef? (2.00 / 5) (#172)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 07:22:17 AM EST
    Whether or not Zimmerman was trying to assist the police, at their request, in trying to keep track of Martin's whereabouts, where is the unlawfulness of his conduct?  He was trying to protect legitimate personal and community interests, thoroughly commendable, in my view.  If that involved some degree of personal danger, that was his call to make.  The intractable fact of the matter is that intruders usually did "get away."  Where is the statute or case making unlawful Zimmerman's fact-based, particularized suspicions?  (Starting with him spotting Martin peering into the 1460 residence?)  And how does all this rationally take you to the conclusion that he ran Martin down and tackled or "detained" him?

    Strawmen And Loaded Questions (5.00 / 2) (#208)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 01:07:13 PM EST
    Recreate Zimmerman's Injuries? (none / 0) (#160)
    by Cylinder on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 04:05:29 AM EST
    In my layperson opinion, one of the most material questions of fact will be Zimmerman's account of his injury. Zimmerman claims his injuries were result of Martin, having gained a position advantage, slamming his head into either the concrete sidewalk or utility cover. In today's hearing, the state argued that this account is inconsistent with those injuries.

    It seems to me that the state has to disprove Zimmerman's account in this regard. In my opinion, the state's own expert will have to admit that having one's head beat against concrete is likely to cause great bodily injury such as loss of consciousness, concussive injury and complications of edema (swelling) and ICP (intracranial pressure). I think it's important here that any honest medical testimony would have to admit that these complications aren't some remote possibility - like the one-in-a-million fastball to the chest - but are the likely and expected outcome of a continued attack in this manner. In short, the state has to get away from Zimmerman's account of these injuries.

    Anyway - to get to the point - it would seem useful for Zimmerman to illustrate the mechanism of injury to show first that his narrative is possible and to demonstrate the ferocity that such an attack would entail.

    What are the guidelines generally concerning such demonstrations or forensic recreations? Are they allowed? Is it governed by the rules for scientific testimony (Frye) or are there other rules?

    Generally, can experts use some kind of forensic tool or stand-in to recreate the injuries and demonstrate what force of violence would be required to inflict them?

    Expert Recreation (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 06:11:05 AM EST
    As an expert, it is poor practice to attempt to recreate the event.  By "recreate," I mean to demonstrate what happened by replicating the conditions of the event.  The reason this is poor practice is that one can't know the conditions of the event with sufficient precision, so the recreation can be attacked as not faithful to the event.  The evidence in a case usually admits a range of possible events, opening the door to the argument that the recreation represents a set of events that aren't what happened.

    What is the strength of Martin?  The strength of resistance by Zimmerman?  All that gets to the velocity of the head as it meets an object.  What object was struck?  What is the shape of that surface?  What is the texture of that surface?  Did the head slide across the surface after it was struck?  Then you get the variables of human body reaction to trauma, some noggins and brains are tougher than others.

    The correct approach in a demonstration test is to set parameters around an upper or lower limit established by the evidence.  If you are Zimmerman, you want to demonstrate that low velocity impact can result in serious injury - that there is such a thing as a closed head wound (no damage on the outside, damage on the inside).  If you are the state, you want to demonstrate the maximum impact consistent with the injury (assume a smooth, hard, surface, no abrasion or sliding to increase the cut) cannot result in a serious injury.

    I don't think this is a good piece of evidence for expert opinion, but we may get experts anyway.  The reason it's not a good piece of evidence for an expert opinion is twofold. A layperson can reach a conclusion about "reasonable fear" just by having the situation described; and "reasonable fear" is NOT a function of how much injury you have, despite the state's attempt to make injury and fear synonymous.

    But, as I mentioned, I won't be surprised if experts do come in.  From reading here and elsewhere, I would say that it is easy to get the public to buy the argument that one must suffer injury in order to have a certain degree of fear (de la Rionda and Corey, smart folks, buy it and are selling it - Serino bought it, etc.), which means O'Mara may have to rebut the state by an expert showing that minor trauma can result in major injury.  The relationship between a given severity of event and resulting range of severity of injury is one that laypeople don't generally possess.

    I don't see Frye or Daubert as a barrier to some sort of demonstration.  Of course, admissibility depends on the ability of the expert to demonstrate use of devices and methods that have good scientific / medical foundation; but I don't see any novel scientific or medical analysis of data in play here (or any other novel analytical method), as was in Daubert, or insufficiently reliable test as the polygraph in Frye.

    The rules don't allow experts to come in and give BS arguments, but judges aren't any smarter than the public, so they often allow it.  When that happens, it's up to the other expert to explain the flaw in the presentation and conclusions of his opponent in argument.  Incorrect assumptions, doesn't connect the dots between one observation and another, applies the wrong scientific principle to the incident, uses the right principle but misstates the principle, etc.


    Anybody have a cite for this case? (none / 0) (#174)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 07:49:55 AM EST
    I recall reading the court decision on this case, but haven't been able to find it again.  The case goes to the proposition that "fear" and "injury" are not synonymous, and that injury at all (let alone serious injury) is not an element of having reasonable fear of serious injury.

    From Florida Law Weekly

    Criminal law -- Aggravated battery -- Immunity -- Stand Your Ground Law -- Where victim threw full bottle of beer at defendant from short distance away with sufficient force to shatter next to defendant and cause defendant to take evasive action to avoid being hit, victim prepared to throw or threw second bottle at defendant, and defendant had his back to wall and was surrounded by group of belligerent and aggressive men, defendant was justified in shooting victim to prevent forcible felony of aggravated battery -- No merit to argument that defendant is not entitled to immunity because he shot victim in back where victim did not indicate that he intended to retreat before defendant ducked his head to avoid being hit by second bottle and quickly fired shots.

    The case is Catalan-Flores (none / 0) (#180)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 09:46:28 AM EST
    'Stand your ground' law absolves man of attempted murder charge

    Catalan-Flores testified that he feared if he was hit with a bottle, the group might take his gun and kill him. He told the court he also carried a baton and pepper spray but felt his gun was the only way to keep the group from injuring or killing him.

    See too Defendant Carlos A. Catalan-Flores and victim Uriel Pena-Gutierrez | Tampa Bay Times

    The state is appealing the ruling, which was handed down in December, 2011.  I'm still looking for a link to the online version of the opinion, because I recall reading it.


    Probably off topic for this thread (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 10:18:33 AM EST
    but this really makes me sick. Another case of someone bringing a gun into a situation and then "having" to use it because it was there for anyone to get.

    Yeah, (1.00 / 1) (#184)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 10:36:53 AM EST
    why should some guy working "security" at a strip club need more than a pom-pom?

    If he is carrying it I would expect (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:00:36 AM EST
    him to have enough training to know how to keep it way from the bad guys. How can 'hey, I had a gun, and they wanted it', be your defense against using it?  Sorry, that type of circular reasoning will never make sense to me.  It tells me all you have to do do plea self defense is have a gun in the first place.

    Maybe your logic widget is out of adjustment (4.50 / 2) (#191)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:14:00 AM EST
    The fellows argument was that he thought he might be rendered unable to act, like if he was unconscious.

    Oh, wait, maybe he can keep his gun away from a determined assailant while he is unconscious.

    Your broad generalization about the law (all you have to do to plea self defense is have a gun in the first place) doesn't comport with the law.  There are literally thousands of cases that show this.  The use of self defense depends on having a reasonable fear, and having a reasonable fear for self defense purposes is driven by the actions of others, not by your own actions.

    When you follow the law, it ends up not being circular reasoning.  But of course, if you make up a rule of law, you can make a rule that results in circular reasoning, and essentially an absence of a requirement of being at risk yourself, to justify use of deadly force.  That tactic(make up a legal rule, call it SYG, then object to SYG) is coming out all over the place.  It flies in the face of what the law is.


    All right, I have learned to respect (none / 0) (#193)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:27:13 AM EST
    your opinion on the legal issues.  I did not read the whole story, just the quoted part which does not mention he thought he might become unconscious.  Let me ask you this - if the guy with the broken bottle had killed him after seeing the gun, would he have a legal self defense plea?

    Zimmerman wasn't "working security" ... (5.00 / 2) (#194)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:28:02 AM EST
    ... at a strip club (or anywhere else).

    I was (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 12:19:01 PM EST
    talking about Catalan-Flores.  Please try to keep up.

    Citation overkill (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:32:41 AM EST
    No one is claiming you have to suffer injury - serious or otherwise - to be in reasonable fear of death.  It's common sense.  If someone points a gun at you and threatens to shoot you, you suffered no physical injury at all, but your fear of death is reasonable.  The issue is whether or not Zimmerman's injuries corroborate his story or not.

    Chief Lee's Comments.... (none / 0) (#198)
    by Eddpsair on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:41:09 AM EST
    I often find it funny that many Chiefs of police believe that special powers beyond what is codified should be given to their people.  

    City of Sanford/Chief Lee was free to "deputize" or give reserve status to his dispatchers to give them that authority.  There are about a thousand reasons he didnt.

    Until someone does that, they have no ability to issue a citizen a lawful order.  It is a matter of law.  They can only suggest, regardless of what he asserts.  

    Any argument to the contrary is wrong as a matter of law.

    Their suggestions are normally the most conservative advice, as a matter of liability.  The advice was about the possibility of danger to the caller.  

    But we  are talking criminal, not civil liability at this juncture of the case.

    If what GZ did was illegal, would Corey not have charged him? She can't, because GZ didn't do anything legally wrong under criminal statues.

    *What Corey  has created is a vaguely supported theory to concoct an element  using civil liability to create new police powers for dispatchers and criminal culpability out of whole cloth.*

    Show me a precedent where anyone has been arrested for failing to obey a dispatcher.  If not, this is smoke and mirrors.

    If I tell a judge I was acting on the advice of my neighbor who is a paralegal, how would that go over?

    Note that the dispatcher NEVER gave him an order|. "we don't need you to do that".  Is NOT an order. Everything the dispatcher said was a suggestion as per SOP.

    That dispatcher was well aware of what people here refuse to accept.  He couldn't order GZ to do anything.  He is not allowed to characterize anything as an order because as soon as he does and it goes sideways, the department gets sued.

    It is likely that TM would be alive if GZ had not proceeded down that sidewalk.  But TM would most definitely be alive if he had heeded Dee Dees equally prudent advice.  

    Totally agree (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:57:15 AM EST
    In fact, even the language 'we don't need you to do that' seems to be a way to purposely avoid giving a direct order, which he knew he was not allowed to do. Maybe something that sounded a little more like advice would have been heeded however.  We'll never know.

    Jerlyn (none / 0) (#203)
    by Eddpsair on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 12:14:43 PM EST

    Please delete my above.  I have re-posted it in the proper thread above.  Sorry.  :-)


    Serino, (none / 0) (#205)
    by whitecap333 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 12:25:53 PM EST
    just to badger Zimmerman, pretended to believe that the dispatcher's words amounted to a "police directive."  I don't recall DLR going down that path yesterday, though.  No, it looks like the prosecution is bent on taking us into the belly of the beast: "profiling" and racial animosity.  To hear DLR tell it, Martin's very appearance set Zimmerman off.

    directed verdict (none / 0) (#213)
    by friendofinnocence on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 03:38:56 PM EST
    After the prosecution presents its case for murder 2, can the defense get a directed verdict of not guilty of second degree murder, even if the judge thinks the prosecution has presented enough evidence to show Zimmerman may be guilty of manslaughter?

    Comments are over 200 (none / 0) (#215)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:25:59 PM EST
    a new thread is here, this one is closed.