George Zimmerman: Bond Hearing, Final Arguments

Thanks to DiwataMan2 for his You Tube posting of a very clear audio of the 2 and 1/2 hour bond hearing yesterday in the George Zimmerman case. It begins with the media arguments. The bond hearing begins at 11:18. O'Mara's closing arguments begin at 2:03.

In between, are the witnesses who were the subject of much discussion yesterday and don't need rehashing, and O'Mara's introduction of evidence: All 11 of George Zimmerman's statements and interviews, and all of the recordings and written statements of Witnesses 6, 11, and 20, all of whom help Zimmerman. The state introduced no witnesses or evidence.

While I linked to the video of the final hour yesterday, the audio in it wasn't clear. DiwataMan2's version is crystal clear, including the Judge's brief comments. [More...]

Here's a timeline:

00:00 Media Arguments 11:18 Bond Hearing Starts
14:15 Adam Magill Financial Guy
56:05 O'Mara Moves George's audio and video evidence in
1:00:34 Video where George talks about injuries
1:03:38 O'Mara continues entering evidence regarding George's injuries
1:07:46 Kevin O'Rourke EMT on George's injuries
1:21:15 O'Mara enters George's medical records
1:24:48 O'Mara tries to enter lie detector results
1:26:44 O'Mara Enters Witness Statements #6, #11 and #20
1:37:20 O'Mara Enters Trayvon's Medical Examiner's Report
1:38:30 O'Mara Enters 711 Video Photo's
1:39:21 Adam Vincent Probation Officer
1:44:10 O'Mara Presents and Enters 911 Call with yells
1:51:49 O'Mara calls George's dad to testify
1:57:54 O'Mara Addresses bond issue, tries to get judge to allow George to address the court without being cross examined
2:03:02 O'Mara Arguments
2:17:30 Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda Arguments

I think O'Mara did a pretty good job. He got in a lot of evidence about self-defense. The prosecutor mis-stated some evidence, which the Judge will easily see -- such as that Witness 6 never changed his account as to who was on top during the struggle -- all of his statements say it was Trayvon on top.

What won't be apparent to the judge now, but will be eventually, is that the state doesn't have "witnesses" who observed a chase. The only witness it has disclosed claiming at one time to see a chase, W-2, later retracted, saying she only got a glance and didn't have her contacts in. He didn't even attempt to claim he has a witness who could say who was chasing who -- he said it was his opinion George Zimmerman was chasing Trayvon.

Prosecutor de la Rionda did give out the crux of the state's theory: that Zimmerman wasn't truthful when he said Trayvon tried to smother him, because if Trayvon was smothering him, he wouldn't have been able to scream. (He ignores that Zimmerman said Trayvon removed his hand before reaching for his gun and that Zimmerman said he began crying out for help before Trayvon tried to smother him.) He produced no evidence to contradict Zimmerman's father it was George who was crying out for help.

Prosecutor de la Rionda also admitted yesterday that Trayvon struck Zimmerman. He seems to think it was justified because Zimmerman had profiled him as a criminal. He also thinks Zimmerman's injuries weren't serious enough for Zimmerman to fear serious bodily injury. And that bald people bleed more than people with hair.

What de la Rionda never addressed: Even if Zimmerman was the aggressor, how he could have extricated himself from the beating or Trayvon's reaching for his gun. So long as Zimmerman's fear was reasonable, and he couldn't extricate himself, he was entitled to respond with lethal force. All these profiling and hot pursuit arguments look destined for the red herring pile.

The 7-11 picture was introduced to show how tall Trayvon was compared to the clerk. The prosecutor's response was it showed the clerk treated Trayvon as a customer not a threat. (Once Trayvon whacked Zimmerman in the nose, how is that relevant to defeating self-defense?)

O'Mara said Zimmerman is looking forward to testifying. Although he didn't say whether it would be at a stand your ground hearing or trial, it seems to me he's leaning towards filing a stand your ground motion.

The state said again yesterday it wasn't going to try its case at the bond hearing. It has never filed a motion asking that Zimmerman be detained based on the Arthur standard that proof of guilt is evident or the presumption great. It has never tried to meet that standard.

Here's a recap on Arthur hearings and Florida bail and pretrial detention laws and procedures.

To me, the state seemed unprepared. De la Rionda probably spent all his time preparing for a cross-examination of Zimmerman, which never happened, and the accountant. And he agreed to let all the evidence from witnesses who support Zimmerman's version into evidence, without putting in evidence of witnesses he thinks refute Zimmerman. His closing argument is not evidence. Why? Either he thought the only issue was respect for the law; he was confident the judge would rule in his favor and Zimmerman would stay in jail pending any appeal; or he knew he was going to lose the bond hearing and really doesn't care, he's just putting on a show for the victims' family and supporters.

The Judge, in revoking bond, wrote in his order:

Furthermore, "[i]f 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." Art. I. 5 14. Fla. Const.

It is apparent that Shelly Zimmerman testified untruthfully at the bond hearing. The Defendant also testified, but did not alert the Court to the misinformation. Therefore, this Court is authorized to revoke or modify the Defendant's bond.

All the judge was interested in was an explanation for Zimmerman's staying silent at the last bail hearing. He even said to O'Mara, assuming all the other factors go in his favor, he still has that issue. The judge said as he understands it, O'Mara's explanation is that Zimmerman was afraid and confused about what would happen at the bond hearing. O'Mara agreed, his point being that his client had trusted the system before, cooperated in every way, and ended up with the state charging him with second degree murder, trying to deny him bond and imprison him up to life. That made him distrustful of the court and the system.

As to the evidence O'Mara introduced, the Judge made it clear during his closing argument it wasn't necessary for the defense to introduce evidence about the offense. (Translation: they already had that hearing on April 20 and there was no finding the state met its burden under Arthur.) O'Mara deftly responded that the evidence was relevant to the bail factor of weight of the evidence, which the judge had referenced in his order, when he said the state's evidence was strong. The judge also confirmed that at the first hearing, the only evidence before him was the state's affidavit and some testimony. Even though he had read, heard or watched Zimmerman's statements and those of other witnesses, they weren't in evidence for purposes of the bond hearing.

Based on what has been disclosed to date, I see no case on second degree murder. I doubt second degree murder will make it to the jury, even if this judge rejects stand your ground. The manslaughter charge also seems weak at this point, because the self-defense evidence seems strong.

One thing to keep in mind: While O'Mara has the state's second round of discovery, we don't. It's still under redactment review. But since O'Mara seems more confident of the strength of his self-defense claim, I would be surprised if the state has much more than we've seen. And O'Mara said if there's a witness that said Zimmerman "challenged" Trayvon, he hasn't seen it.

Also coming out yesterday: There are more jail calls each side will want to introduce. De La Rionda mentioned the number 30, but how bad can they be if he didn't introduce any at yesterday's hearing? They obviously don't go to deception or obstruction (a point O'Mara made when saying he also would be introducing more jail calls at some point.)

But back to bond, the one thing the judge wanted from yesterday's hearing was a demonstration that Zimmerman properly respects the law and judicial process. I don't think O'Mara gave him that. None of O'Mara's witnesses addressed why he stayed silent or misled the court, and the judge might be thinking, what's to stop him from not respecting the law in the future if he again became confused and scared ?

If the judge wasn't required to consider all the bail factors, I think it's likely he'd conclude he feels the same now as he did on June 1 and deny bond again. He told O'Mara that's what this hearing is about, and I don't think he learned anything on those issues -- other than all the money is accounted for and there's no hidden pot of gold anywhere that came from the website donations.

On the other hand, the Judge said he didn't expect at the April 20 hearing that Zimmerman would stand up and say his wife was lying. He said he could have tugged at O'Mara's sleeve. Nor did he mean on April 20 that Zimmerman would have to testify at yesterday's hearing. He merely said he would give him that opportunity and he absolutely had a right not to testify. Keeping someone in pre-trial detention for what may be a year for failing to tug at his lawyer's sleeve seems excessive, to put it mildly.

At times, it sounded like O'Mara was making a record for appeal, and the Judge was complying, allowing him to introduce evidence he didn't really care to preserve the record. Maybe they all know how this is going to turn out.

At least if bond is denied, O'Mara will have made a good record for his habeas petition, unlike last time, when he was blindsided. And this time, there will be a written order if bond is granted or denied.

Listen to the closing arguments, and take a look at the law on bail in the links above, and let us know who you think made the better case yesterday. I think O'Mara did -- I just think the judge may have wanted more. Even so, I think he'll grant Zimmerman bond, probably on the same conditions as before.

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    One of the strongest points, IMO, was... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by DebFrmHell on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:00:25 AM EST
    the fact that whatever initial transfer was done from PP to GZ to SZ to Grace, the exact same matching increment was transferred back to GZ's account and then a check sent to MOM.

    The worst code/secret ever.  

    And he even paid back his mom.

    Worst code (none / 0) (#42)
    by ButterBoy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:14:32 AM EST
    The worst code has to be Peter Pan for Paypal.
    One has to wonder why they renamed Gracie  as Susie instead of Wendy!

    they were probably (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:06:45 PM EST
    trying to keep other inmates and guards and those monitoring the phone calls from knowing their business. I doubt they were thinking about the state's attorney's office getting copies of their calls or that they were using code to deceive the state. The numbers weren't a code as much as shorthand, leaving off the zeros.

    It's amazing... (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 04:52:33 PM EST
    It's amazing how many people seem to think that Zimmerman was being held in a special part of the jail where all the inmates and guards were above any and all suspicion, and that he should have been talking about which of his relatives had access to large sums of money at the top of his voice with no worry whatsoever.

    Amazing coincidence that the money was hidden (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by ButterBoy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:48:34 PM EST
    (according to MOM's own witness) and not in GZ account at the exact time when they knew they were to be asked about his assets in court.
    Am I wrong or didn't MOM himself admit that they (or just Shellie) did act to hide the money from the court. (because they mistrusted the court)
     I'm thinking that makes their concerns about other inmates totally off point.

    Exactly (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by cboldt on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:54:51 PM EST
    Because if Zimmerman is hiding the funds from the court, he has no concern about any other person having designs on his booty.

    IOW, if Zimmerman has concerns about the court, it's illogical to think they'd have concerns about other inmates.  One or the other, they can't be simultaneously concerned about both.



    Notice to Butterboy (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:44:26 PM EST
    You are limited to four comments a day as a chatterer. Most of your comments have been deleted for misrepresenting the facts and I'm not going to keep monitoring you. See our comment rules.

    I'm a little confused as to the "facts" (5.00 / 1) (#216)
    by ButterBoy on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:38:16 PM EST
    That I see posted here and are allowed to stand. GZ was paranoid about inmates hearing his talk, Trayvon wore his sleeves down past his finger tips, etc etc.
    Is wild speculation only allowed if it helps GZs case? Because I do see plenty of it. I only meant to clarify for Cbolt that it was possible GZ was hiding the money from everyone. I had never said - as he claimed - that it was only the court they hid funds from. I said that in the context of the bond hearings that his feeling about he other inmates were irrelevant.
    But this thread actually takes contradictory statements from GZ and presents all of them as facts in one post or another.
    So, it's a bit hard to understand how they could all be seen as fact.

    Just how constraining are courtroom shackles? (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Lina Inverse on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:01:46 AM EST
    An issue for this and the first bail hearing was the standard request that Zimmerman be allowed to wear normal clothes and not be shackled.  In the first hearing this was denied, so I ask, how constraining are courtroom shackles?  From the judge's comment that he could have "tugged at O'Mara's sleeve" one gets the impression not as much as I'd imagine, but I've learned not to trust much of anything in the case.

    Sleeve (none / 0) (#41)
    by ButterBoy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:11:50 AM EST
    You believe he literally meant him to  "tug on his sleeve"?

    In terms of breaking O'Mara's concentration (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Lina Inverse on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:26:58 AM EST
    There's a big difference between a light physical action and getting his attention verbally.

    I also bring it up because the prosecutor has been very insistent that Zimmerman only show up in court shacked and in prison clothes.


    yes (none / 0) (#55)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:44:24 PM EST
    he meant he should have interrupted O'Mara after he heard his wife's answer, knowing it was false. As opposed to standing up and announcing his wife told a lie.

    Did he know it to be a deliberate lie? (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:11:37 PM EST
    Doesn't all that depend on Zimmerman believing that his wife was intentionally giving an answer that she knew to be false?

    Said occurrence not yet having been proven in court?

    We still don't know what her understanding was about what they could or could not legally do with the money.  

    And just because she couldn't provide an up to the second balance, much less see the future to know how much they could count on eventually taking in, and whether either one of them could ever find employment again, I don't see how that can count as a deliberate attempt to deceive.

    She told them where they could get current info on the web site amounts and they erased that part without a trace when they quoted the transcript when they charged her.


    Bernie's other career in medicine... (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:48:22 PM EST
    "Prosecutor de la Rionda...thinks...that bald people bleed more than people with hair."

    I suspect he went to the same medical school as I did, the one at Non-Existant U.

    Besides, Zimmerman's not bald, he just had a very short haircut at the time.

    I don't recall him claiming he didn't know (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by leftwig on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:25:14 PM EST
    In the video taped walk through, he said he just couldn't remember the name of the street right at that moment on the NEN call.  I guess its up to the listener how believable that is.  As someone who forgets simple things quite easily only to remember them later, I can relate.  Add to it he was talking to the police and trying to keep an eye on TM, I think its plausible.

    Lester is in violation of 3.132 (5.00 / 2) (#214)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:22:12 PM EST
    The state has moved for pretrial detention under Rule 3.312.  The state attorney has the burden of showing beyond a reasonable doubt the need for pretrial detention pursuant to the criteria in section 907.041, Florida Statutes.  The court`s pretrial detention order shall be based solely on evidence produced at the hearing and shall contain findings of fact and conclusions of law to support it. The order shall be made either in writing or orally on the record. The court shall render its findings within 24 hours of the pretrial detention hearing.

    It's been more than 24 hours.

    Eidence for Self Defense (5.00 / 2) (#226)
    by Cylinder on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:16:18 PM EST
    what is there besides GZ's statements

    Multiple independant statements that both coorobrate Zimmerman's version of events and the other witness statements.

    W11 heard an altercation that began near the top of the T, travelled down the dogwalk and ended in a gunshot. W6 heard a struggle from the area that W11 claimed that moved to the rear of his patio. W11 claimed that the argument had already became a struggle as it made it to her back patio. W6 saw Martin on top on Zimmerman "either punching or forcibly holding him down." W6 expressed suprise that the altercation did not end when he warned the actors that he was calling 911. 911 calls and various earwitnesses desceribed and recorded Zimmerman's repeated pleas for help.

    Small-detail corroboration of Zimmerman's verion of events.

    W6 saw the altercation move between concrete and grass. W6 noted that after the gunshot, Martin's hands were outstretched. W6 described the pleas for help from Zimmerman after he had opened his back patio door. W6 described Martin's arms as both being down at the time Zimmerman claims he was being smothered and shortly before he perceived Martin going for his weapon. Cutcher claimed to see Zimmerman standing over Zimmerman's body after the fatal shot. Another witness saw Zimmerman walk away from Martin's body and return to it as he described on the arrival of Flashlight Man.

    Physical evidence that supports Zimmerman's version of events.

    The lack of injury to Martin's hands show that the injury to Zimmerman's head was inflicted with a weapon. The disparity of pre-mortem injury supports Zimmerman's claim of an ambush style attack. Zimmerman's keys at the T support his version of returning to the truck and being assaulted there.

    The extent of Zimmerman's injury support reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury.

    Multiple trauma to the back of the head could not only be reasonably infered to create that fear but is a likely or even expected outcome. The locations of the wounds indicate multiple points of injury.

    Witnesses describe Zimmerman not using lethal force as the first mode of defense against the attack.

    W11 hears a struggle behind her patio. W6 described Zimmerman as "definitely trying to get up" against Martin "either punching or forcibly holding him down." Various witnesses reported Zimmerman's pleas for help lasting over a minute before the fatal gunshot.

    The quality of public legal education (5.00 / 1) (#227)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 05:00:47 PM EST
    Florida law against George Zimmerman's fight for bail - CFNews13 - Amanda Evans and Scott McDonnel - July 2, 2012

    We have learned Zimmerman has Florida law against him when it comes to getting out of jail. ... Florida statute 903.035 ...

    ... by George Zimmerman misleading the court, the judicial integrity has been compromised.

    That line of reasoning is tantamount to admitting that Zimmerman can't get a fair trial in Lester's courtroom - the integrity of the judicial process has been compromised.

    sometimes it won't let me reply (3.00 / 1) (#225)
    by pyrrho on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 03:39:51 PM EST
    but I can make comments... is there something I'm doing wrong or does this just normally happen or am I on some sort of time out when this happens?

    evidence for self defense (2.00 / 1) (#224)
    by pyrrho on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 03:36:50 PM EST
    what is there besides GZ's statements.  W-6 saying TM is on top means little, he could not see any punches and retracted that.  That doesn't mean self defense, that's witnessing a struggle. The wounds also are evidence of a struggle and fight, but not of self defense as the EMT mentioned.

    GZ is either lying or his memory is scrambled from the trauma, because his stories are not consistent.  What other evidence?  and if that's the only evidence, how is the evidence strong.

    Reverse Arthur (none / 0) (#2)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 08:51:29 PM EST
    At one point, Judge Lester remarks about O'Mara trying to put on a "reverse Arthur."  An Arthur hearing is one where both sides put on evidence, and the judge makes a ruling. Is a reverse Arthur where evidence is taken away?

    Just kidding.  I figure he sees a reverse as one where the defendant has Proof Evident - that defendant has a slam dunk case, better than beyond a reasonable doubt that the situation WAS justified self defense.

    From my point of view, there is already a written bond order, see the June 11 order of detention pretrial, without bail.  I believe that order provided sufficient basis to take an appeal.  IOW, I believe the June 11 detention order is unlawful.

    Neither side argued the law.  O'Mara pointed to the relevant legal authorities in his Motion, and stated the reasons bail can be denied in his oral presentation, but he never connected the two, and seemed to have an unstated position that the detention imposed on June 1 was well taken, that the no-bail order was lawful.

    A reverse Arthur hearing (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 09:09:54 PM EST
    there probably is no such thing but I'm pretty sure what the Judge meant is a hearing where the defense puts on evidence to show the state hasn't met its burden of proving bail is not a matter of right which is the there's a presumption of guilt and proof evident, greater than that required for proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

    The June 11 order is the order of the June 1 hearing. There was never a written order for the April 20 hearing. See here.


    Lester (none / 0) (#26)
    by whitecap333 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:15:01 AM EST
    seemed curiously impatient, almost annoyed, with O'Mara's efforts to demonstrate the weakness of the prosecution's case.  In a case as high-profile as this, you can bet that he is intimately familiar with the controlling precedents.  O'Mara wasn't simply addressing the court--he was making the best of his opportunity, on live tv, to influence public opinion.  Viewed in that light, I think he was extraordinarily effective.  If Lester had already decided not to grant bail, he would not have appreciated these efforts.  The next Rasmussen poll will be very interesting.

    Nejame mentioned (none / 0) (#3)
    by Kyreth on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 08:56:21 PM EST
    on twitter that if bond is doubled or tripled, it would still be a win for the defense.  The judge would have made his point about the deception while still leaving funds for the defense.

    My opinion is that this is probably the likely scenario.

    And it would prove the judge is using bond to... (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by redwolf on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 10:43:04 PM EST
    punish Zimmerman rather than it's intended purpose of making sure that Zimmerman shows up for trial.  

    BTW, why is everyone fine with the state... (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by redwolf on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 10:56:21 PM EST
    and the Martin's using bond to punish Zimmerman?  Each day that goes by holding a man in jail just because you want to hurt him over a bond hearing just enhances the view that this is a kangaroo court.  Our justice system seems to be more a system of systematic torture than one that's interested in justice.  Keep things like this up and eventually regular folk won't respect the courts at all.

    But isn't bond supposed to be linked to assets? (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by ButterBoy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:31:56 AM EST
    I think he's still going to get bond, just higher because he is far from flat broke as originally claimed.  The error was on GZs part, and it takes time to rectify it. GZ put himself in this position.  Considering he was completely instrumental in making the money temporarily disappear- an admitted mistake on his part- he has to live with the fact it takes time to get it fixed.

    In my own opinion, (none / 0) (#58)
    by DebFrmHell on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:06:22 PM EST
    I think he is in much worse financial shape.  He had some modicum of control over the funds that were generated while he was incarcerated the first time around.

    He doesn't have that "luxury" anymore now that a third party has approval for disbursements.  The vast majority of those funds are going to be earmarked for his defense.

    He is still going to be unemployed and unemployable.  His wife is in the same sad shape, if not worse.

    I thought the 150k was high for someone in this unemployable situation and without knowledge of any fund.  

    Now that there is knowledge of the fund, I think that Judge Lester will double that.  I don't think his goal will be to deplete that fund in its entirety. Combined with the 30+ days in jail, GZ will have paid his price for that error in judgement.

    Like I said, just IMO.


    judges discretion regarding bond amount? (none / 0) (#61)
    by Philly on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:24:13 PM EST
    My understanding is that the judge could, at his discretion, set bail so high as to completely deplete GZ's defense fund.  Some TV commentators have suggested that they expect bail to be set at one million dollars or more.  That's would be more than enough to force use of a bail bondsman, meaning that a non-refundable $100,000+ would need to be applied.

    I wish someone would pay all my debts (none / 0) (#106)
    by ButterBoy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:44:30 PM EST
    Because I would definately be in better shape.

    But I have no idea what an average bond is. But apparently no one equalled that it was to high to pay 10% to a bondsman.
    Lots of poor saps have to sit in jail awaiting trial innocent or guilty. It is what it is. GZ got a nice little bonus compared to most.


    Yes, a lot of innocent people.... (none / 0) (#145)
    by Jello333 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:53:30 AM EST
    ... are forced to rot in jail while awaiting trial. And that's wrong. But then again, how many of those people have what seems like the full force of the federal gov't arrayed against them? Not only Congressmen and women, but even the most powerful person on earth has weighed in on this. And they've all come down AGAINST George. Plus of course about 95% of the mainstream media. Oh, and let's not forget the disgusting bounty by the scumbag NBPP.

    Are you telling me you'd happily trade getting some of your old bills paid off, for what George has been put through? What he has unethically, immorally, and IMO illegally been put through? Hmm....


    The state and who? (none / 0) (#132)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:04:24 PM EST
    Do you really think the Martin family has that much influence on what the state does anymore?

    I hate to say this.... (none / 0) (#146)
    by Jello333 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:58:29 AM EST
    ... but I think the primary motivation for the state from here on out, is gonna be how to conclude this case in a way that will avoid riots. Of course they'd LOVE to do that by putting George in prison for the next decade or more. But they're beginning to realize that ain't gonna happen. They're surely even starting to realize the chance of him doing ANY jail time is decreasing by the day. So.... what to do?

    The state's motivation remains... (none / 0) (#179)
    by unitron on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:42:07 AM EST
    The state's motivation remains pretty much the same, make this go away with as little fuss as possible.

    They kept it from a grand jury and hit him with a charge that's got "take a plea bargain" written all over it so they could keep it from a petit jury.

    That keeps the provision of their SYG law that kept him from being charged in the first place from being looked at too closely.

    I don't think they know if Zimmerman is guilty or not, and I don't think they really care, but I think now they're starting to get really irked with him for being so much trouble and drawing so much attention, and I think the pressure they put on him to take a deal is only going to increase.

    I wonder if his wife's trial will come first and anytime soon.


    In his order revoking bail... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Gandydancer on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 09:04:54 PM EST
    ...the judge said that granting bail had been discretionary, implying that the state's Affidavit and whatever other evidence was before the court at the bail hearing had established Proof Evident to the judge's satisfaction, and implying that he had so ruled despite the absence of an erxplicit Arthur motion or explicit ruling on the point. Is this down the memory hole now?

    But he never made that (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 09:13:31 PM EST
    finding orally or in writing. The state never argued it. As I wrote here, that was a huge problem with his not writing an order after the April 20 hearing. You can't infer he meant the standard was met.

    I now think, after yesterday's hearing, what he meant by his discretion on April 20 was his discretion as to terms and conditions of bond, not discretion as to whether to allow it.

    He made no finding other than the defendant's motion was "well-taken" and the motion said GZ was entitled to bond as a matter of law.

    This judge is not the most articulate.


    The June 11 Order says "discretion" (none / 0) (#8)
    by cboldt on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 09:22:58 PM EST
    Judge Lester's June 11 order, memorializing the June 1 hearing and no-bond status imposition, says the court would have been authorized under Arthur to keep defendant in custody without granting a bond, and that the court exercised its discretion and set a bond.  Page 2, second full paragraph.

    yes but that's not the finding (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 04:13:25 PM EST
    he made at the April 20 hearing when he granted bond. It's not in the minutes. That's my point. He never said it and he never entered a written order after the April 20 explaining why he granted bond. His only reference to his reasons for granting bond come in his June 11 order revoking bond and it is  revisionist. He makes a finding on June 11 he never made on April 20.

    He even recaps the state's arguments in his June 11 order for denying bond on April 20 and there is no reference to the state saying it had a strong case.

    And in the next paragraph he says, as we have both pointed out, he would have been authorized under Arthur to deny bond.

    But he wasn't authorized under Arthur to deny bond unless the state proved "the proof of guilt is evident and the presumption great."  The state never tried to make that showing. It sought to deny bond based on the dangerousness of the crime and Zimmerman's past arrest and injunction (which the judge then thought was unimportant, but in his June 11 order, he reverses course.)

    The video of closing arguments and his ruling on April 20 is here. All he says is the defense motion to set bond is "well-taken." The defense motion argued he was entitled to bail as a matter of right.  O'Mara's closing on April 20:

    Yes, your honor, though there is a presumption against bond initially with a felony like this, in order to maintain that, the state would have to convince you to a standard that I don't think they attempted to reach to day, that being what we know commonly as the Arthur Standard. I think that he is entitled to a bond, the question then becomes what conditions of release would be appropriate to do - what bond is supposed to do to assure his appearance back at trial.

    ....certainly, when we look at this case, I would suggest that Mr. Z's situation suggests a bond, and the inquiry concerning the probable cause affidavit was for that particular purpose. If the state is going to say to you that this is a second degree murder case because I say it is, and that is what they present to you as evidence of second degree murder, then I would ask that you consider the anti-Arthur argument, which is, not only could the State not prove this case, to the Arthur standard, that proof is evident and the presumption great....

    The judge says only,"What I'm going to do is, find that the motion is well taken, and grant the motion and set bond in the amount of $150,000. with the following conditions." That's why I wrote:

    Judge Lester made no such finding in April (you can watch the video of closing arguments and his ruling here), and the State never presented evidence other than its affidavit to meet that burden. The state said at the hearing it was not going to present evidence and try the case at the bond hearing. Judge Lester never said the state met its burden, he said the defendant's motion for bond was well-taken. He also never issued a written order after the April 20 bond hearing  finding the state met its burden or detailing any other findings. Yesterday's order, on his June 1 ruling revoking bond is the first written order addressing his findings at the April hearing.

    Since a judge only has discretion under the pre-trial release statute to deny bond in a life felony case when the state has met its burden, and Judge Lester now says he granted bail in April as a matter of discretion, he is saying for the first time that the state met its burden in April. How can he say that now when he didn't say it then?

    I think the judge is both revisionist and inarticulate. Perhaps he's not used to having his words parsed over closely. He didn't have discretion on April 20 to deny bond under Arthur unless he found the state met the Arthur standard. He can say what he wants on June 11, but it doesn't change that he didn't make that finding on April 20.


    We see it roughly the same way (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by cboldt on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:02:43 PM EST
    I think he is deliberately using mumbo-jumbo in his June 11 order.  "Inarticulate" is charitable.  His opinion doesn't track the law, and takes both sides on critical findings.

    He can claim he's revised his view of the strength of the state's case, and that he hasn't revised his view.  There's no pinning him down to any particular finding.

    I agree too, he can say whatever he wants.  But if it doesn't make sense, lots of people will notice.


    If TM was smothering GZ (none / 0) (#7)
    by ding7777 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 09:16:07 PM EST
    after breaking his nose, was there any of GZ's blood on TM's hands/hoodie?

    GZ's blood was found on Trayvon's sleeve. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Kyreth on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 09:30:18 PM EST
    Which means it might be the sleeve used when he was covering his mouth.

    blood on sleeve? (2.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Tov on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 09:50:08 PM EST
    I am having a hard time seeing the probability of that scenario...only if blood was on his hands- as well- would that make sense...IMO

    why? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:13:31 AM EST
    Kids in that age group wear their hoodies very large just like everything else and the sleeve could very well be down over his hand or wrist as it was over GZs mouth and nose.

    SPD didn't take swabs from Martin's hands. (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by J Upchurch on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 02:40:55 PM EST
    When I looked at the evidence list, they only took samples from under Martin fingernails. That might not be unrelated to the fact that Cerino is back in uniform on the graveyard shift.

    SPD, or the ME? (none / 0) (#77)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 04:29:25 PM EST
    What about the people who did the autopsy?

    Did they do any forensics?


    You are probably right (none / 0) (#117)
    by J Upchurch on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:58:14 PM EST
    I checked and fingernail scrapings were done by the medical examiner. I wonder who tells the ME what tests to run?

    Stifiling/Smothering/Silencing/whatever (none / 0) (#13)
    by turbo6 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 09:52:25 PM EST
    Given the circumstances, its probably difficult for GZ himself to truly interpret the reasoning of Martin putting his hands over his mouth. Sure, getting him to stop screaming for was probably the main objective but after the punching and head slamming a prolonged covering of the mouth could very well be interpreted as "smothering" in the heat of the moment. More so if the entire palm was covering GZ's nose and mouth.

    I don't doubt it happened, as no attacker wants undesired attention called to them, but for George a relatively quick thing that happened may have felt like an eternity to him.

    Especially since not only his calls for help didn't cease the attack, but then again neither did a witness saying he was about to call 911. However by that time the gun was probably visible and the focus of the struggle was now shifting to that.


    I was dumped out of a raft that flipped... (none / 0) (#16)
    by redwolf on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 10:52:33 PM EST
    during flood season on a river once. It felt like I was underwater and couldn't breath for ages.  I thought I was under for a minute or more.  Someone filmed the raft flip and I wasn't under water for more than 10 seconds.  Having your air unexpectedly cut off cause's your bodies natural reaction to do anything possible to get air and it does weird things to your sense of time and perception of events.  

    True. Plus his nose was broken & bleeding (none / 0) (#148)
    by Jello333 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:16:10 AM EST
    So I suspect it was ONLY his mouth he was able to breath with at that time.

    About the smothering - (none / 0) (#9)
    by Kyreth on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 09:28:26 PM EST
    I think that's such a weak thing to pin the State's case on, and O'Mara should have no problem explaining that in a variety of ways, including as Jeralyn explained it.

    George's nose was broken, and he says in the stress test that he has to breath through his mouth as a result. So, only one hand over his mouth trying to shut him up would be enough to cut off his air.

    George also explains how that encounter seemed to last forever (don't remember his exact words).  I think anyone in a life threatening situation, or in a moment of fear or stress can relate to how time seems to stand still, and something that might have been only a moment can feel much worse.

    On top of that, it only takes one moment to find you can't breath for your brain to register a major panic attack (at least for me anyways).

    It all adds up to that Trayvon could have put his hand over his mouth for even just a second, and left an impression in George that "omg he's smothering me!"

    Of course the prosecution won't bring that up as that would just further highlight how weak their case really is.

    Whoa... and the prosecution could (none / 0) (#150)
    by Jello333 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:27:54 AM EST
    ... do something even dumber. If George takes the stand, what if they tried to ask him something about his nose being broken? Something like, "If your nose was hurt so badly, why do you dwell on Trayvon holding his hand over your mouth AND your nose? It seems to me that if your nose was as bad as you claim, then it wouldn't have been much use for breathing, either. Why did you never claim that you couldn't breath from your nose if it was so bad?"

    George: "I did claim that."
    BDLR: "Oh really, when was that?"
    George: "When I was taking the voice stress test that I passed."
    BDLR: "OBJECTION!!!!!!!!!!!!"  


    the topic is the bond hearing (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 10:43:19 PM EST
    urls must be in html format or they skew the site

    Enough about DNA, take it to an open thread or somewhere else.

    EMT (none / 0) (#18)
    by Tov on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:20:22 PM EST
    testified about blood on GZ in the bond hearing. My comments were about that and in response to another poster's comment...don't understand why you deleted my comments. I made no reference to DNA- only asked an intelligent question as to blood evidence which was part of the hearing.
    I would think and hope that the defense
    team would be asking the same questions in preparation and anticipation of the state's possible line of attack. I will be more careful in the future but I am puzzled by the deletion.  

    Dennis Hearing (none / 0) (#19)
    by bmaz on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:35:17 PM EST
    I don't know whether O'Mara notices one or not either, and he has been elusive on the subject. But if he thinks he is going to put Zimmerman on the stand at trial, he would be absolutely nuts not to school him up, sandpaper the edges, and put him on for a Dennis hearing too. If he is going to testify anyway, you have everything to gain and not all that much to lose.

    I may reconsider this thought as we go on and further develop the case, but that is sure my take right now.  And I do think O'Mara is of the opinion Zimmerman will be testifying eventually.

    Zimmerman on the stand... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Tov on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:39:00 AM EST
    From what I have observed thus far, not that much preparation is needed for him prior to taking the stand- as the prosecution is one of the most inept I have seen in a long while (as a non-lawyer).
    Having no strong inclination one way or the other as to outcome- verdict, I am astounded by the seemingly incompetent actions by the prosecution. If I would make a couple of quesses...they are throwing this one either for political reasons or through sheer laziness in questioning the evidence or seeking more- to prove their case. The next hearing or if there is a trial will be very interesting. O'Mara has so far been more persuasive- given what evidence has been  presented to the court...in court...for us to see.

    In what way? (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by expy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 02:19:08 AM EST
    the prosecution is one of the most inept I have seen in a long while (as a non-lawyer).

    It seems to me that the prosecutor stayed focused on the issue at hand and didn't allow himself to be distracted by a defense lawyer who was intent on muddying the waters.

    The issue is/was setting of bail - and the only thing the Judge was interested in was the fact that the defendant concealed evidence of his assets prior to the first bail hearing.  

    It seems to me that the judge was frustrated with O'Mara's tactic of putting on a mini-trial (a phrase O'Mara himself used in closing argument) -- and at the same time I really didn't hear O'Mara address the legal authority that requires the court to set bail.

    So to the extent that Florida case law requires a formal motion or a stronger showing by the prosecution for pre-trial detention... O'Mara certainly didn't come across very clearly in asserting that point.  

    That is, it seems that O'Mara decided to take on the burden of proving the evidence to be weak -- rather than emphasizing to the Judge that the law required him to set bail, absent a stronger showing by the prosecution.  

    We'll see next week what the court ruling, but it's very possible that O'Mara's strategy may have backfired, and the prosecutor may have been wise to avoid being dragged too far into the fray.

    Keep in mind it pretty much was a no-lose setting for the prosecutor. There's probably not much chance that the judge will set bail in an amount less than it was before, so the worst case outcome for the prosecutor is that the situation is restored to the status quo, as it was before bail was revoked -- but now Zimmerman has had to spend a month in jail.


    An artifact of the facts (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by cboldt on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:21:05 AM EST
    You say you are astounded by seemingly incompetent actions and that the state may be throwing this case, losing on purpose, for political reasons or sheer laziness.

    I think we are seeing the highest caliber work performance that Corey and de la Rionda are capable of.  De la Rionda sets the direction of the case in the charging affidavit, and he is following that relentlessly.  This works better when the evidence is in your favor, than when it cuts against you.  IOW, the prosecution looks particularly inept in this case because the charge is not well brought - it doesn't even have "probable cause."

    I think the state (Corey and de la Rionda) earnestly and honestly believe Zimmerman committed a crime.  That's how they see the evidence.  They are going to argue their narrative (whatever it is) to the very best of their ability, and without concession.  IOW, they are not throwing the case, and they have no intention of throwing the case.

    It is always interesting to study the law in parallel with the case unfolding, and to see the quality of work by counsel on both sides, and of the judge.  I put substantial weight on the written materials as a measure of competency.  O'Mara's job (other than covering the turd Shellie left in the sandbox) is easier than the prosecution's, because the law and the facts are both on his side.


    Yep, (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by bmaz on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:24:09 AM EST
    I think this is the "A game" Corey and de la Rionda have to offer. And, yes, they are relentlessly pursuing their theory of case. Problem is, their theory sucks. I have still yet to see even a hint of evidence that is truly capable of sustaining 2nd degree depraved mind, even if you were to give the benefit of the doubt to the state (which of course they do not get).

    Except for one thing (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by cboldt on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:55:11 AM EST
    The allegation that Martin is the one held immobile somehow (paralyzed by fear, physically detained, detained under implied threat of being shot), which is the implication of Martin being the one heard screaming on the 911 recording, goes directly to depraved mind.  O'Mara's introduction of contrary evidence at this point was a smart move.  I think de la Rionda was miffed that O'Mara had Robert Zimmerman available to testify.  He wanted his hearsay objection to delay the introduction of evidence that conflicted with the state's evidence.

    I agree that the allegations of profiling, following and confronting, if proven true (which the state implicitly asserts it can do, i.e., that it has evidence) are equivocal as to depraved mind.  Profiling, following, and confronting can be read either as being done out of ill will; or out of an intention for community benefit.

    De la Rionda's "A game" is to be a prick.  He knows exactly where his mind is taking the argument, but he doesn't do a good job of connecting the dots and making a clear argument for his audience.  It was funny, after (I think it was after) he argued that the hearing was about the April 20 lie, he jumped to defending the state's case in chief.  If he wants Zimmerman to stay in jail based on "the lie," then he should argue that in light of Paul, 907.041, and Article 1, section 14 of the Florida Constitution.

    Neither side made the legal argument on the issue of imposing custody without bail.  The state just argues in a conclusory fashion "he lied, he disrespects the law, therefore he should be held without bail," and O'Mara says "he lied, the lie is understandable as a matter of temporary distrust, but not justified, he's trustworthy otherwise/now."  In the hearing, O'Mara accepted the state (and Lester's) implication that "the lie" is sufficient finding to support custody without bail; i.e., that granting of bail is discretionary based on a finding of "trustworthiness" without assigning that "trustworthiness" (or not) to flight risk, danger to community, or risk to the judicial process.


    I think the state was afraid they might... (2.50 / 2) (#151)
    by Jello333 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:48:06 AM EST
    ... suborn perjury. I'm talking about the fact that Trayvon's mom and dad were in the courtroom and could easily have been called to the stand to contradict George's dad. After all, Tracy, after changing his mind, has said the screaming was Trayvon. And Sybrina, after hearing from Tracy about the screams and that he (in hindsight) should have claimed they were Trayvon, herself claimed they were. So why wouldn't BDLR call one or both of them to counter Robert Z? I think it's because the prosecution KNOWS it's not Trayvon, and that Trayvon's mom and dad KNOW it's not Trayvon. Up till this point all the "It was Trayvon screaming" stuff has been during press conference, interviews, etc. But that's a far cry from saying the same thing UNDER OATH.

    Yes, but (none / 0) (#48)
    by bmaz on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:59:12 AM EST
    the scene suggested in the first couple of sentences may be the state's wet dream, there is simply no compelling, nor even particularly competent, evidence to support it.  Later the term "equivocal" is used as a descriptor, and that is maybe fair if you give the state benefits of the doubt. But they don't get that. I just do not see how Lester lets this case go to a jury on 2nd degree. Personally, I think it is pretty shaky for manslaughter, but depraved mind, no way. The only legitimate shot, under the facts as we know them for that evaporated when the state effectively admitted there was no racial animus profiling.

    The state (none / 0) (#50)
    by whitecap333 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:22:56 AM EST
    has not admitted absence of "racial profiling."  DLR yesterday protested that putting into evidence the image of a hooded Martin from the 7-11 video "speaks volumes" about this case.  I'll have to review the recording, but I thought he did use the term "racial profiling."  It's not immediately apparently why he would here be on a different page than the media.

    they also never refer (none / 0) (#67)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:01:32 PM EST
    to race in the affidavit or charges. So please drop it until one side or the other says it will be an issue. One off-handed comment during the state's argument doesn't suffice.

    As of now, the state has said it will argue GZ profiled him and followed him because he suspected him of being a criminal.

    It arose in Serino's reports and was intentionally omitted from the charges, affidavit, and press conference. It's not in their pleadings that I'm aware of.


    UNFORTUNATELY.... (none / 0) (#158)
    by heidelja on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:46:46 AM EST
    ... the implication of adverse "profiling" is one of racial profiling. Giving one the benefit  of the doubt that race is not involved would be naive.

    I both agree and disagree: (none / 0) (#22)
    by Kyreth on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:18:27 AM EST
    To me it seems as if the prosecution's entire case relies on the "liar, liar, pants on fire" theory.  I think Jeralyn had it right, that the prosecution's seemed lack of preparation at the bond hearing was due to focusing all their preparation on cross examining George.

    I think there's a very solid path to preparing George for cross, and think it won't be that difficult, as you think, but I think they'll need to be meticulous, and will have to be prepared to answer any inconsistency the prosecution throws at them.

    And, IMO, this will mean going through all of George's statements and reconstructing moment by moment what actually happened, then relating all of his statements to that.

    For example, in the reenactment video, people have pointed out that during the moment George was pointing at the backs of the houses to show the lack of an address, that they were in front of a house with an address at that moment.  IMO this was because George was getting ahead of the story.
      I think it's clear that George admits to following Trayvon until they reached the T intersection, at which point the dispatcher advised him not to follow, and George said "Okay", and at that point started to look for an address, and at that point, of course he was just behind the houses.

    So the reenactment video makes it seem like an inconsistency there where none really existed, and that's the kind of stuff they'll need to be able to answer on cross.


    wrong contradictions (none / 0) (#60)
    by willisnewton on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:22:41 PM EST
    I'm curious how the defense prepares for cross regarding other contradictions, such as how GZ claims he exited the vehicle to find a street sign, and more importantly how he claims in the video "re-enactmant" that TM doubled back to circle his car, when in the final question session he repeatedly identifies the circling/hand in waistband actions as having occurred by the clubhouse.  

    Also, I'd like to know what possible benefit the prosecution gains by showing it's trail strategy early?  I think they are intentionally being vague about what ultimate strategy they will pursue at trial.  OMara has everything to gain by front loading the process and little to lose.  


    he was at two locations (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:11:26 PM EST
    he first stopped at the clubhouse and then drove and parked near Twin Trees Lane. There was no street sign, only a house number, at TTL.

    He said TM had something in his hand while coming towards him at the clubhouse, but the circling occurred while he was in his car at TTL.

    His first interview, with D. Singleton, is pretty clear on this.

    After he saw TM run, the dispatcher asked him if he still wanted police to come. He said yes. The dispatcher asked where. He tried to give directions to where he is parked on TTL. The dispatcher asked what address he was parked in front of. He said he didn't know, it was a cut-through.

    The confusion may be over at exactly what moment he moved his car, but he's pretty clear as to what happened when he was in each place. And Singleton cut him off when he was explaining he called 911 from the clubhouse "and was trying to get through." It sounds to me like he stopped at the clubhouse, non-emergency initially put him on hold, he saw Trayvon go down TTL, began to follow while he was on hold, and then parked at TTL when the dispatcher got back on the line.

    GZ: No, ma'am. I lost contact of him as I was trying to get through cause you have to...
    DS: So does he continue past you?
    GZ: Yes, ma'am.



    S: Okay. And you said at some point he comes back and circles your car? Has he already done that?
    GZ: He looked into my vehicle...
    DS: Okay.
    GZ: But he didn't circle it at that point in time.
    DS: Okay, when does he come...you're still in the car talking to 911, right?
    GZ: I'm trying to get through, yes ma'am.
    DS: And at some point you said he comes back?

    Maybe if she had let him finish....or been listening to what he was saying. She had no knowledge of the layout of the place and her questions weren't very clear.

    You can nit-pick these minor things but they don't detract from his overall narrative which is supported by his injuries: He got attacked, and in self-defense, shot Trayvon Martin.


    In one of those interviews... (none / 0) (#86)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:45:27 PM EST
    ...he says the circling happened when he was parked at the clubhouse, or at least it sure sounded that way to me.

    Actually all of the interviews from that night and later hang together fairly well if, considering the trauma he underwent, you give him some leeway to have gotten confused about event sequence and duration.

    It's when you compare all of that to the recording of his phone call that night that you run into problems.


    no he doesn't (none / 0) (#123)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:08:18 PM EST
    he says at the first interview the circling came when he was on TTL.

    He says in the video reinactment it was at Twin Trees Lane.


    Great,... (none / 0) (#142)
    by unitron on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:24:55 AM EST
    ...now I've got to go listen to everything again.

    : - (


    Is there audio somewhere... (none / 0) (#149)
    by unitron on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:21:50 AM EST
    Is there audio somewhere of Zimmerman being interviewed by both a male and a female officer at the same time?

    I don't mean the voice stress thing video where there's a female officer in the room waiting with him for the voice guy to show up.

    Am I starting to have hallucinations about this case?


    Yes, one of the Serino interviews also has (none / 0) (#161)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 05:35:57 AM EST
    The female officer....is her ame Singleton? If you look at last weekends post that had the link to all the audio, it is maybe the third Serino tape.

    Forty Seven Seconds (none / 0) (#147)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:01:22 AM EST

    It sounds to me like he stopped at the clubhouse, non-emergency initially put him on hold, he saw Trayvon go down TTL, began to follow while he was on hold, and then parked at TTL when the dispatcher got back on the line.

    This is pretty much what I've been thinking.

    SPD phone records should clear up how much time passed between Zimmerman connecting with the operator, and then connecting with the dispatcher for the recorded part of the call. I haven't been able to find that information in what's been published, but I can't say I'm any good at interpreting phone records.

    In the February 29 interview, Zimmerman said he was at the clubhouse for at least 47 seconds after recording began. After that he fell back on 'I don't remember.'

    2/29-3, 2:05-3:03:

    Police call:
    Zimmerman: He's here now, and he's just staring . . .

    Dispatcher: OK. Just walking around the area?

    Zimmerman: . . . looking at all the houses.

    Dispatcher: OK.

    Zimmerman: Now he's just staring at me.

    Dispatcher: OK. [Unintelligible] It's one one one . . .

    Singleton: [Unintelligible] Pause it for a minute. OK, when you explained it to me, you said you had pulled over initially at the clubhouse. Correct?

    Zimmerman: Yes, ma'am.

    Singleton: OK. But it seems so fast. And then I thought you told me, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, I thought you said they asked you 'Can you still see him?' and you, you told them you couldn't, and you asked, and they said, 'Well, get to where you can see where's he's at.' And you told me it's at that point you moved.

    Zimmerman: Yes, ma'am.

    Singleton: Now you're saying he's coming up to your car. Does that mean you've already, at this point in the tape, you're, you're already on Twin Tree [sic], the street you didn't know the name of at the time?

    Zimmerman: Oh, no. I was on, I called when I was at the clubhouse.

    Singleton: OK. But he's walking up to your car now, right? On the tape?

    Zimmerman: Yes, ma'am.

    Singleton: Because you're saying he's walking up.

    Zimmerman: Yes, ma'am.

    Singleton: You're talking about when you've already left the clubhouse, and now you're on the corner.

    Zimmerman: No, ma'am. [Crosstalk]

    Singleton: You're still at the clubhouse when he does this.

    Zimmerman: Mmm hmm.

    Singleton: OK.

    A Tale of Two Georges (none / 0) (#154)
    by unitron on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 03:51:23 AM EST

    That must be the interview of which I was thinking, but everything from the 29th is just labeled Serino on the GZlegalcase web page.

    Is there any chance that the George Zimmerman who did all of those after the event interviews is not the same George Zimmerman we hear in the phone call to the police from that Sunday night?

    Maybe an alternate universe collision thing or something?


    Seinfeld Reference? (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 06:52:42 AM EST
    [I finished what's below, and was thinking about a title, before it hit me.]

    I never watched the TV show 'Quantum Leap', but I keep thinking of its premise. It seems like another mind jumped into Zimmerman's body.

    The first two and a half minutes of 2/29 is mostly Serino talking to Zimmerman about his psychological health. Then they got into the case, but Singleton was quiet for several minutes. I think Serino was establishing himself as 'good cop', before Singleton started breaking in with tough questions. They double-teamed for the rest of the interview.

    It is basically one interview, with breaks making three parts. Serino said something about moving to another room for listening to the recording in Part 3.

    Your #86 is on my 'to do' list, so I'll economize comments by answering it here.

    I think Jeralyn is right that Zimmerman said the circling was on Twin Trees Lane whenever he specified the location. But he also associated the 'hand in his waistband' remark with both the circling and the clubhouse. That may be what you are thinking of.

    2/27R, 3:46-4:03:  

    And then he came back, and he started walking up towards the grass, and then came down and circled my car. And I told the operator that. He was circling my car. I didn't hear if he said anything, but he had his hand in his waistband. And I, I, I think I told the operator that.

    2:29-3, 3:16-25:

    Police call:

    He's got his hand in his waistband.
    Singletion: OK. Pause it right there. Where's he, where are you, where are you at right now? Are you still at the clubhouse?

    Zimmerman: I think I'm still at the clubhouse, yes.

    Singleton: OK.

    A key point to understand is that the police call recording has one episode of Martin approaching Zimmerman's truck, then moving away from it. It's at most 50 seconds, between 'And now he's just staring at me' (0:47, 7:10:21), and 'These a*holes, they always get away' (1:37, 7:11:11). There's a remark every few seconds.

    It's not possible to divide this into two episodes, one at the clubhouse and one on Twin Trees Lane. There isn't time.

    That's what Zimmerman seemed to be trying to do in 2/29-3. He didn't know it can't be done, because he hadn't heard the whole tape.

    It dawned on him gradually. After what I quoted above, there is one 'I think so,' one 'I don't know', and one 'I don't remember.'


    Where was which George when? (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by unitron on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:53:20 AM EST
    Does Zimmerman ever say exactly where he was when dispatcher Sean says "Sanford Police Department, this line is being recorded, this is Sean"?

    If he dialed while at the clubhouse, but that part took a while to happen, it might help better explain the timeline.

    Or maybe just make it worse.

    But listen to his whiny, sing-songy voice on the call, and then listen to him later that night and during the "walk-through" the next day.  It's almost like 2 different personalities.


    The one Jeralyn quotes at #147 is (none / 0) (#162)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 05:43:43 AM EST
    just labelled Serino, though it includes Serino and Singleton. She gives the label of it before the quote.

    I certainly wish there was an alternate universe right about now.


    My mistake, Not J's comment, but it is 147. (none / 0) (#163)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 05:52:30 AM EST
    The other point Singleton brings out is that  there is some time, I think she said a minute, twenty seconds, GZ says he spends hanging out around a light source near the T. He claims he was trying to get his flashlight working before going back to his truck. She points out he was not afraid to walk one way in the dark, but now he says he was afraid to walk back in the dark.  Was he waiting for police there?

    Does he have a 2nd working flashlight (none / 0) (#191)
    by JoeMenardo on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:26:13 AM EST
    on his keychain?

    I'm confused too (none / 0) (#174)
    by IgnatiusJDonnely on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:09:02 AM EST
    That's the reenactment you're describing, not a recording am I correct? To me Zimmerman's car seems to be stationary during during the entire call. He seems to be parked at the spot where eventually exited the car. It is only my opinion but GZ seems to be creating a narrative from events that happened before he placed the call and events that happened during the actual call. In the reenactment this "combining" is even more obvious if one is famialiar with the NEN call.

    I'm confuseder (none / 0) (#187)
    by unitron on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:34:43 AM EST
    The more "evidence" that comes out the harder a time I'm having keeping track of it all and how it all does or doesn't fit together.

    Circling Something (none / 0) (#186)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:27:34 AM EST
    He said TM had something in his hand while coming towards him at the clubhouse, but the circling occurred while he was in his car at TTL.

    You're confusing two different remarks.

    Willisnewton is right about the 'waistband' remark, as I documented in #147. For a caveat, Zimmerman answered 'I think I'm still at the clubhouse, yes,' when Singleton asked where he was for the 'waistband' remark.

    He said 'I don't remember' for 'something in his hands' (2/29-3, 3:58-4:09).

    On the police call recording, 'something in his hands' comes 21 seconds after 'waistband'.

    I don't think Zimmerman ever explicitly put 'circling' at the clubhouse. But if 'waistband' was at the clubhouse, it's at least difficult to put the circling on Twin Trees and fit it into the timeline. That is, even if you discount Zimmerman putting 'circling' and 'waistband' together in the reenactment.

    His first interview, with D. Singleton, is pretty clear on this.

    'He looked into my vehicle, but he didn't circle it at that point in time.' That's what Zimmerman said in 2/26, as you quoted.

    I'll be very surprised if 'something in his hands' was mentioned in 2/26. I've been wrong before. But if it's there, where is it?


    Look at the map GZ crossed out middle position (none / 0) (#219)
    by willisnewton on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:08:48 PM EST
    IMO It's this middle position that makes sense, not the clubhouse parking lot or the final spot down by the T.  I've been saying this last part for WEEKS ever since Frank Taaffe argued the "circling/ doubling back" argument "according to George."  

    The "conventional wisdom" shared by many previously of TM observed loitering by the mailboxes, for whatever reason is not present in any of GZ's accounts.  But FWIW GZ does tell the dispatcher the following:

    Dispatcher: That's the clubhouse, do you know what the--he's near the clubhouse right now?
    Zimmerman: Yeah, now he's coming towards me.
    1:03  (7:10:37 EST)
    Dispatcher: OK.
    Zimmerman: He's got his hand in his waistband. And he's a black male.

    The difficulty is that if TM walked for around 34 seconds to pass GZ and then another 30 to "sh*t, he's running" that it is the LONG TAIL that doesn't fit. Common sense tells us GZ is somewhere generally in the middle between the clubhouse and the cut thru, not AT the cut thru.  

    Walking at the same speed to and from, TM would be long gone by that time were GZ already parked by the cut thru.  The timing only works in GZ's favor if TM walks fast towards the car and then SLOWLY away from the car, which seems nonsensical to me.  Any account that places the circling at the final parking spot needs to take into account the time post - "these axxholes always get away" and figure in where TM would be when GZ presumably sees him running.  I put it at around 30 seconds which gives TM plenty of time to vanish from sight, either between the townhomes or even down TTL farther, which of course GZ doesn't claim.  


    However, if GZ was closer ot the clubhouse, say, at the first curve as he marked on the map with Singleton but quickly crossed out, all the timing fits.  GZ places the call just like he said in the parking lot.  TM passes him, and he moves to regain visual, as he says, although not at the direction of the dispatcher specifically, but perhaps in response to a comment like "Dispatcher: That's the clubhouse, do you know what the--he's near the clubhouse right now?" although that seems quite late to claim as a directive to move his car.  

    But he moved to a middle position, IMO soon after placing the call.  That's where he is when GZ connects and gives "111" as the "best" address, and says TM "come(s) to check me out."

    IMO TM left the mailboxes and passed his car (not circled, but passed on his route home) and then GZ moves to shadow him down TTL.  This slow motion chase moves TM to the cut thru sidewalk's start at a walking pace, and GZ sees him run when the opportunity arises for TM to get off the roadway and ditch the car that's been following him down the street.  

    None of this is illegal, in and of itself.  GZ is free to drive where he wants.  But in my opinion GZ has omitted this middle position to make himself over in a different light.  In his version, he loses sight of TM while parked by the north side of the clubhouse and only re-acquires a visual after his car stops, parked somewhere by the cut thru. (We don't know where.) But GZ puts it at the same spot that Frank Taaffe claims, so we have a few versions to look at on video for the sake of speculation, even if the car faces different directions.

    That's all well and good, but he told this story before hearing the recorded call, which doesn't match up to a circling move at either location.  In the clubhouse version, which he seems to tell when played the tape he's not specific about being at the parking lot.  He just says "still by the clubhouse" or some non-specific comments.  But trying to fit it into a clubhouse parking lot position makes no sense.  

    When he tells it as having happened by the cut thru - which he does when drawing the map and during the re-eneactment, he leaves out the "oh sh*t, he's running" part, and exits the vehicle to find a street sign or address on RVC, noting that the teen is already out of sight.  And of course, he tells the "check me out" action it as a doubling back/ circling the car move, not a passing the car move in one general direction.  This is a major point.  

    Never once that I've seen or heard does GZ volunteer the "oh sh*t he's running" story, he only responds to it when prompted.  Call it what you will, but he's very reluctant to talk about how he moved from the clubhouse to the cut thru in a general sense and I think he's omitted an important part of the story.  

    Again, here are my visual notes to back this speculative, only one person's opinion YMMV version.  Read the notes and feel free to comment.  It's just my own opinion at present.  


    Apologies for the length here, but I've yet to see a sensible refutation of this theory IMO, without some contradiction or inconsistency being added, such as saying "by the clubhouse" = by the cut thru, or "circling" meant GZ passed TM on TTL, or some other solution to the timing that adds complexity rather than removes it.  


    It wasn't the house number (none / 0) (#76)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 04:27:52 PM EST
    but the street name he couldn't find. There is no street sign in front of that house, it only says "1211." He knew the next street ahead of him was Retreat View Circle, the street he lived on, so when he got that house number he'd have both a street and a house number, in other words -- an address to give the dispatcher.

    How would the dispatcher know the address if all he could give him was "1211".

    Also, reading through the burglary reports, it seems they were almost all on the perimeter of the development -- on Retreat View Circle. He had no reason to be familiar with Twin Trees Lane when it's not the route he took to or from his house to either enter or leave the neighborhood from either entrance.


    Well, there was this one little reason... (none / 0) (#79)
    by unitron on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 04:47:19 PM EST
    "He had no reason to be familiar with Twin Trees Lane..."

    George Q. Public living on RVC didn't, but I don't see it as unreasonable to expect Mr. "I started up a neighborhood watch program" to have gone a bit farther (further?) in familarizing himself with the entire complex.

    The real problem, though, is the "I was trying to get an address from the next street over and that just happened to take me along the same path the other guy had just taken" assertion, when everybody and his brother can clearly hear him jump out of his truck and take off running for 26 seconds right after announcing that the other guy ran.

    Granted one is making an assumption that he's attempting to follow Martin rapidly, but under the circumstances it's a pretty reasonable assumption to make.


    Just thinking.... (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by DebFrmHell on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:46:39 AM EST
    I have lived in my house for well over a year.  I can't tell you the name of the next street over despite the fact that I drive past it 2-3 times a week when I go to check my mail.

    I know what it starts with as all of the streets in this area start with the same name as included in the title of the subdivision.

    That GZ couldn't come up with Twin Trees means nothing to me.  

    He knew that Retreat View Circle did just that; it circled the subdivision.  It stands to reason that if he told the dispatcher "okay" after the "we don't need you to do that" statement around the area of the "T" intersection, that he would continue forward to RVC to get a physical address.  That is exactly how he described it in the reenactment video.

    It must be me that I don't find that odd or off.

    With his demeanor in the reenactment, I thought he was very sincere and that he was doing it to the best of his recollection.  All I see is someone trying to be helpful and still explain what he was experiencing. He is off by several feet on where things were happening but he was also dealing with the blow to the nose.

    And then there is the fact that "John" came out and told them to stop.  That he was calling 911.  No matter how that witness changed his story, he still places TM on top of the physical altercation.  So why would TM continue to assault GZ?  Why didn't that young man ask for help in restraining GZ?  Why didn't TM say anything about the gun if he was aware of it?  

    Because of this, I don't have a problem believing that he was trying to cover GZ's mouth while telling him to "shut the eff up."  GZ describes it as smothering.  I was not surprised that his blood was found on TM's sleeve.

    To me, if it is a smothering, cloth is involved.  If it is hand to skin, it would be suffocation.

    Either way, if your only source of air is thru your mouth and that is interrupted it would be reasonable to be in fear of a greater harm.

    Just IMO.


    Assumption he's following? (none / 0) (#89)
    by ButterBoy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:18:32 PM EST
    Or just recalling that he admitted he was following him?
    Going over the whole extra block to find a street name OR number that  signified  no person or no cars location has never
    made any sense. He wasn't going to be there, Trayvon wasn't going to be there, his cars wasn't..... There was no need for that adress.  
    What's more he had suggested to the police he would give them a location later. So yeah, his original version seemcompost plausible as to why he got out of the car.  I'm not sure why he tried to deny it in subsequent retellings.

    I don't know either (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by expy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:22:01 PM EST
    but the prosecution is likely to argue that he lied about looking for street numbers because the truth undermines the self-defense story.  

    That is, the prosecution will assert that Zimmerman chased Martin, and that when he caught up with Martin initiated a confrontation that turned physical; that Martin attempted to defend himself with his fists - and that Zimmerman reacted by shooting him.  The prosecution will argue that Zimmerman is lying about the street address because he doesn't want to admit what happened next after he continued his pursuit of Martin.


    How will the prosecution (none / 0) (#111)
    by DizzyMissL on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:09:25 PM EST
    explain the screams?

    Easy to explain the screams (none / 0) (#113)
    by cboldt on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:22:12 PM EST
    Just dig up some dirt out of Robert Zimmerman's past, make him into a liar, then Sybrina wins by default.

    Same with eyewitness #6, John.  Dirt or intimidation, either one will work, but no harm in applying both.


    Intimidation (1.50 / 2) (#152)
    by Jello333 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 03:06:16 AM EST
    "Guy on the bottom was the one screaming" becomes "It was too dark to see lips moving."

    "Guy on the top was beating the other guy MMA-style" becomes "The guy on the top might have just been holding him down."

    So yeah... I think intimidation has already worked pretty well on John. (I'm not slamming him... I actually feel sorry for the guy.)


    Wouldn't that be awfully risky given so many (none / 0) (#200)
    by Mary2012 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 11:24:44 AM EST
    people are paying attention to this case?

    except Expy they have no evidence (none / 0) (#126)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:22:37 PM EST
    of that, let alone proof that would contradict George beyond a reasonable doubt. This isn't a civil case where the test is which side do you believe more. They might not even get to a jury with that theory. See the 2011 Stieh case as just one example. Others are here.

    It was the State's burden to overcome Stieh's theory of self-defense and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Stieh was not acting lawfully when he stabbed the victim.

    As noted by this court in Jenkins, ... where the evidence " 'leaves room for two or more inferences of fact, at least one of which is
    consistent with the defendant's hypothesis of innocence, [it] is not legally sufficient to make a case for the jury.' "

    And the 2012 case of State v. Falwell:

    Defendant [is] not required to prove self-defense claim beyond reasonable doubt or by preponderance of evidence; rather, self-defense evidence needed merely leave jury with reasonable doubt about whether he was justified in using deadly force)... The burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, including the burden of proving that the defendant did not act in self-defense, never shifts from the State to the defendant

    they can prove their case (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by expy on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 06:03:46 AM EST
    by circumstantial evidence

    " This isn't a civil case where the test is which side do you believe more."

    That's not the "test" in civil cases either.

    The jury is free to (a) believe the defendant's testimony, or (b) entirely disbelieve and reject
    Zimmerman's testimony, in part or in whole.

    If they choose to disbelieve the testimony, they are left to fill in the gaps based on inferences drawn from the other evidence in the case.

    I have pointed out the argument the prosecution will make from that evidence.

    You seem to keep framing this case as if the jury is required to believe the defendant simply because he is alive to testify and there are no eye witnesses.  

    That's not the law.

    The jury is permitted to draw reasonable inferences from whatever direct evidence is presented. The prosecutor will argue that (a) the defendant is lying, (b) the defendant's story is implausible, (c) and that the most plausible inference to be drawn is their theory of the case.  

    I'm not offering an opinion one way or another as to how it will come out.  


    link to the (none / 0) (#127)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:23:59 PM EST
    recap of other cases is here.

    "Are you following him?" (none / 0) (#175)
    by IgnatiusJDonnely on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:10:16 AM EST

    What if (none / 0) (#189)
    by friendofinnocence on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:53:51 AM EST
    the non-emergency operator would have asked him, "Are you trying to locate him?"  Do you think he would have answered, "Yes"?

    I still don't get it (none / 0) (#84)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:37:59 PM EST
    Zimmerman goes over to RVC to get a house number and then heads back to his car on Twin Trees to wait for the police there.  So what was the point of getting that house number on RVC?

    Previous confusion (4.50 / 2) (#93)
    by JamTowzy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:38:11 PM EST
    The best explanation is that Zimmerman wanted a cop ASAP where he was at. Problem was, he did not know which entrance he would be coming through. Plus, the confusion with his previous conversation. Only a minute beforehand, directions to get to his car were botched, in addition to the address of the clubhouse.

    My feeling is that he wanted to remain at the top of the T, making himself able to spot a cop car coming from each most likely direction: 1) through the main gate successfully, despite the wrong turn info, onto either TTL or RVC. 2) or coming north up either RVC or TTL, if entering through the back gate. He was centrally located, seemily safe, and at the spot where he last saw Trayvon Martin. It was the logical place to be, presuming that runners always run and that the hooded figure was going to act like the usual runner.


    Explanation in Walkthrough (none / 0) (#97)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:00:12 PM EST
    In the video at around 8:15 Zimmerman starts his explanation of why he went to Retreat View Circle.  He seems to be talking in circles about why he went over to get an address there and then decided to go back to his car.  I hope somebody with more patience than me can listen carefully and make sense out of it.  Thanks in advance.  He certainly doesn't say that he intended to stay at the T and keep an eye on both streets.

    No one has to listen to the later explanations. (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by JamTowzy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:18:12 PM EST
    No one has to wade through the entrails of explanations made hours or days later. Take it as fact that memories of events get clouded and degraded over time. It's an accepted and oft-repeated truism.

    The information is blatantly clear-cut on the NEN. George Zimmerman asked for a cop, got the dispatcher confused about the clubhouse address, and made a mistake that would send the cop on RVC and not TTL where his car was parked. He understood his dilemma and offered to guide the cop in, if the dispatcher would only make the connection.

    The only reasonable inference is that GZ wanted to guide the cop to himself (or possibly his car, second choice. Not the clubhouse). If his preference was to eventually meet at the T (most logical), then he could easily hustle either east or west and flag down a cop car, regardless of the approach. Abandoning the T and retreating to TTL meant giving up the option of both getting an address on RVC or flagging the cop down there.

    This is not difficult. Accept that he continually wanted a cop first and foremost, and common sense follows. If the point is to ding Zimmerman and to use false memories or his best guesses in order to form conspiracy theories about his dispatch conversations, then have at it. That's the way that the prosecution is headed, in bad faith.


    So Always Zimmerman's First Explanation? (none / 0) (#109)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:58:55 PM EST
    I doubt that the prosecution will follow your urging and not highlight differences between Zimmerman's different versions of the same event. I doubt that the defense will keep to the rule that the first should be the one chosen.  For example, on the night of the shooting he told Doris Singleton that he fell to the ground when he was punched the first time but in the walkthrough he gestures to indicates that there was southerly movement before he went down.

    From some comments O'Mara made after Friday's hearing, Í think he realizes the danger to Zimmerman from the multiple versions and said he will have to deal with them. A neutral juror just might get the impression that Zimmerman is making things up as he goes along because he doesn't want to tell what really happened and doesn't remember exactly what he said at the previous interview.


    Consider the fact that (none / 0) (#118)
    by Redbrow on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:15:37 PM EST
    several different officers gave completely different descriptions of Trayvon's clothing when they filled out their reports, presumably from memory. These are professional investigators trained to gather factual evidence yet they report khakis, jeans or shorts.

    Plus they were not under traumatic stress after suffering a brutal life-threatening attack like GZ.


    Re the light colored shorts (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Mary2012 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:49:11 PM EST
    This has been discussed a couple of times and it's been reasoned the rescue team cut TMs pant-legs off near his knees in order to put heart monitor leads, one on each leg, therefore one of the officers would report "light colored shorts".  And some people refer to khakis as "jeans".

    One thing I noticed and really appreciated from the various officers' accounts is they help to tell the story, so to speak, of what transpired (perhaps in some cases even giving a clue as to the lighting, etc.) after they arrived on the scene.  It's important I would think that they each write exactly what they see.

    This (multiple officials each writing their own report) is much different, imo, than one person relating an account of what happened during a certain time frame.


    not to mention (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by IgnatiusJDonnely on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:33:41 AM EST
    the report listing Arizona Ice Tea being found on Trayvon when it was actually Watermelon punch.

    Not Everybody Will Accept the Analogy (none / 0) (#124)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:09:23 PM EST
    Between a policeman forgetting the details of what is observed in a routine police call and forgetting what happened during an intense life threatening experience.  Apparently Serino, who has plenty of experience in that area, doesn't think they are comparable.

    What I mean (none / 0) (#85)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:40:44 PM EST
    is that he still didn't know his car was on Twin Trees, even if he now has a house number on RVC.

    so he could give it to the cops (none / 0) (#121)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:47:23 PM EST
    when they called him. At first he agreed with the dispatcher's suggestion the cops meet him at the mailboxes. Then he changed it to have them call me, because the dispatcher didn't understand where he was and he wasn't at the mailboxes. He got the street number from RTV and that's the address  he would have told the cops if they called him as they pulled into the community. That's probably why he stayed at the RVC in the rain -- waiting for them. When they hadn't arrived, he started walking back to his car and Trayvon jumped out at him.

    He was unable to convey that to Serino, who thought it odd he would stand at the end of RVC in the rain. I'll bet he was waiting for the cops to call so he could give them the address and be there.


    If Z was expecting a call from the cops, (none / 0) (#140)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:30:02 PM EST
    you would think he would have his hand on his phone and not claim that a few seconds later he couldn't find it.

    Unless they changed it, both entrances to the (none / 0) (#91)
    by Mary2012 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:22:55 PM EST
    Retreat at Twin Lakes are on Twin Trees Lane and marked with signs.

    He would have no reason (none / 0) (#122)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:55:29 PM EST
    to use Twin Trees Lane other than for a few feet at the entrance or exit. He would use RVC. Here's a map. Twin Trees Lane is an internal street.

    I'm thinking... (none / 0) (#155)
    by spectator on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:14:54 AM EST
    Maybe it just slipped his mind and he made the mistake "didn't know" instead of "tip of my tongue" lol.

    he did say he "forgot" at one point.

    possibly just a poor choice of words or meaning?

    I've been wondering about it.


    It almost seemed like Judge Lester forgot (none / 0) (#20)
    by Redbrow on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:34:08 AM EST
    about making the statement "the evidence against him is strong" in the Order Revoking Bond.

    Or maybe he just meant the evidence that the Zimmerman's mislead the court was strong but he wrote it in awkward, unclear way.

    Do Judges always compose their documents entirely by themselves or do they dictate to assistants who do the final copy that the Judge just signs?

    I don't think (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by expy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 02:35:30 AM EST
    the judge ever intended to impose long-term pre-trial detention. I think the reference to evidence being strong in the order was essentially boilerplate language or make-weight so that the order itself would be facially valid.  

    It seems to me that the Judge knows what an "Arthur hearing" is. I think his reference to a "reverse Arthur hearing" reflected his understanding the the defense lawyer had effectively reversed the burden of proof, but trying to prove the strength of Zimmerman's self-defense claims rather than emphasizing the prosecutor's inability to sustain the required showing.  

    I only listened to the closing arguments, but I didn't really hear O'Mara make the case of what bond the court should now set. I think maybe he overplayed his hand and may have managed to raise the stakes.  That is... O'Mara may "win" in the sense of getting bail set, but might have missed the opportunity to convince the judge to restore the bail to its original amount by focusing more attention on the defendant's contrition and cooperation, and current financial situation.


    agree that the (none / 0) (#69)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:03:33 PM EST
    reference to evidence being strong had nothing to do with an Arthur finding. It was a reference to the "weight of the evidence" as a factor in all cases regarding what is to be considered when setting bail, like community ties, past record of appearances, etc.

    The ... (4.00 / 3) (#36)
    by JamTowzy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:26:14 AM EST
    ... main argument of O'Mara seemed to be that Judge Lester is treating a joke of a case seriously, and if he does, then let himself make a public @ss for keeping an obviously innocent man in jail. The judge appears to understand his not-so-subliminal message, now that he has begun bothering himself to look at the flimsy "evidence."  It's a little late in the game for him to be doing that in an extremely high-profile affair. Lester seems to have a special density about the attention this is receiving, and does not realize that he cannot use his normal pomposity or "discretion" available a regular case that goes by him on the assembly-line.

    The only thing keeping this turkey alive is the protection of most of the media and a judge who bought a blatantly false affidavit. Lester seems to be squirming a tad. Tough.


    Lester Squirming? I doubt it. (none / 0) (#37)
    by cboldt on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:46:35 AM EST
    My impression is the opposite.  I see Lester as being very self-confident - cocky almost.

    I agree that the press is in the state's corner, and the absence of press and public awareness of the law enables unlawful orders to stand as being correct.

    Lester isn't being held under a microscope, and as far as I can tell, his decisions have not been criticized at all.  I think he is quite comfortable at this point; and I don't think he cares if his decisions are reversed.  Jeralyn had a partial list of his reversals in a post created at the time Lester was assigned to the case.  None of the cited reversals was on the subject of granting bail.


    Lester (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by whitecap333 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 02:04:47 PM EST
    has to be keenly aware that he is now the public face of the Florida judicial system.  He is sitting atop what has to be the most potentially explosive case of his career.  The tide of media-driven opinion is running full for the prosecution, but there are troubling clouds on the horizon.  I don't know the make up of his election district, but the demographics of Seminole County would not seem to favor the media "narrative."  He seems to be the thoughtful type, and he has much to ponder.  I suspect he spent most of his vacation with his reading glasses on.  I don't look for him to do anything without extended deliberation.

    Lester was definitely annoyed (none / 0) (#38)
    by JamTowzy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:48:42 AM EST
    When O'Mara stuffed the "evidence is strong" ruling back into Lester's face, the challenge definitely did not sit well. Lester tried to protest the activity. O'Mara had to verbally remind the judge why there was a procession of witnesses to the contrary. O'Mara wasn't challenging the state, he was going after Lester.

    With the weakness/absence of a case having been stated in court, Lester essentially has to impose a year-long contempt punishment, if his intent is to keep GZ jailed. Because that was the gist of the hearing. O'Mara did not dwell on the laws governing bond, he spent most of the time on strength of the evidence and whom it favored.


    I wonder (none / 0) (#44)
    by whitecap333 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:23:06 AM EST
    if imposing a sanction for contempt wouldn't require a full-blown due process hearing, giving O'Mara another opportunity to "hotdog" to the media on the reasons for Zimmerman's "distrust of the system"?

    Profiling and Hot Pursuit (none / 0) (#31)
    by cboldt on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:27:45 AM EST
    I look at the case as embodying two disparate legal theories, the state's murder case in Chapter 782 (F.S. 782.04 - Murder), and the defendants assertion of Chapter 776 statutory immunity.  The allegations of profiling and implied allegation of hot pursuit are relevant for the murder charge, but not for the self defense case.

    The state maintains that the self-defense claim is based on a fictional account of the 80 or so seconds before the shot was fired, but has to rely on conjecture to get there.  Conjecture can't overcome the direct evidence provided by eyewitnesses.

    The state also has to rely on conjecture to make the profiling and following actions into ill will; into anything more than a desire to have the police make contact with a person viewed as engaged in suspicious activities, perhaps planning to commit a burglary.

    Anyway, all that just to explain why I don't think the profiling and hot pursuit arguments are destined for the red herring pile.  They are substantial points in the state's case for murder.  They are red herrings in the self defense argument, except as much as Zimmerman needs to either negate them to clear himself under 776.041 - Use of Force by Aggressor, or to argue that even if he was the aggressor (which the state has no evidence for), his use of force was still justified as he had exhausted every reasonable means to escape danger (fighting, yell for help, in vain) before resorting to deadly force.

    Yep, that's why it's Murder Two (3.00 / 2) (#43)
    by ButterBoy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:21:25 AM EST
    Because they are going to show depraved mind.
    It's anybody's guess who's voice was crying for help- but many are going to believe that it ended at the gunshot because it was Trayvon. That George says he continued to cry for help (or Trayvon continued to lie or swear) is quite odd. I don't think anyone backs him up at that point.

    Do you think BDLR could possibly be bluffing on the point that there's more than one witness to the chase?
    I guess anythings possible.


    Wow... (5.00 / 4) (#57)
    by Eddpsair on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:53:45 PM EST
    Butter boy,

    Interesting  theory.  TM simply reacts to GZ pulling a gun.at the T..

    So GZ pulls a gun and TM screams for help for about 30-45 seconds before GZ offs him?

    GZs father made an excellent point under cross that the smothering was not a constannt due to the other injuries that GZ sustained  requiring time and free hands  to inflict....

    Is your theory that they were they struggling over the firearm for 45 seconds with TM holding off the gun in one hand and beating GZ with the other when GZ finally got the drop on him?

    Then when the rabid, profiling, racist, cop wannabe GZ, with a DEPRAVED MIND, shoots this black kid who dared to don a hoodie in his neighborhood, he only shoots him with 1 of 8 rounds available to him and asks the first person available to help restrain him.

    Because to me, that is the very textbook definition of using deadly force to "stop, control, or neutralize" an assault.  That is not depraved.  It is using deadly for to a specific end, where the death of the attacker is NOT the ultimate goal.

    Did this depraved killer give him a few good kicks in the ribs for good measure?  Did he beat him in the head for a little payback? Did he, after gaining the upper hand post shooting ever tell TM to shut the F up as he was saying his last words.

    The fact that his first concen was to ensure TM was subdued after the shooting actually goes to validating his state of fear.  GZ has a gun, he has fired, not sure if he hit him or not, but he ended the attack and he is STILL afraid of TM.


    Not sure where you got that elaborate theory from (none / 0) (#92)
    by ButterBoy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:36:31 PM EST
     It it sure was not me. I said nothing about the T, nor s struggle over the gun till the final moments.  That sounds like GZs reenactment, but the little we do know is it wasnt at the T.
    We don't know if any blows were thrown or if the injuries were a result of grappling.
    I just mentioned its a coin toss right now as to who's voice the jury will believe is crying for help. Both sides have a parent who IDd the screams immediately as their own child.  And if they believe it's Trayvon begging for his life that is where depraved could come in.  Which I believe is what the poster I replied to was also saying.

    Scenario please... (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Eddpsair on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:57:31 PM EST
    Butter boy,

    It becomes difficult to debate if you ignore evidence. Cancel out TMs mother and GZs father statements about who it was.  

    Then consider TMs father said it was not TM.  An eyewitness said it was GZ screaming.  Didn't Chad say it wasn't TM also???   So I don't think it is a "toss up".  

    The fight didn't start at the T?   The strongest evidence, (GZ, debris trail etc) makes that not a "toss up " either.

    If GZ is a little off on his positioning, such is life, it was dark and he was stunned.   That would explain it.

    Nobody that we know of has asserted they heard two different voices begging for help.  So it is one or the other but probably not both.

    I won't put words in your mouth.  Please give a scenario where GZ confronts TM and pulls a gun, giving TM the stand your ground/self defense mindset to initiate a physical assault....then beg for 45 seconds before being shot as GZ sustains SBI at his hands.

    Give me scenario you think the prosecution will use.  Feel free to have TM as the one begging for help for the sake of argument.

    I simply don't understand  why GZ would brandish and then play paddy cake for 45 seconds while TM begged for his life and then shoot him once.

    *If someone actually intends to kill you they normally shoot more than once....  GZ had the complete freedom to do so if he was so inclined.  So....one can infer he wasn't.*



    The screams are up for grabs (none / 0) (#115)
    by ButterBoy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:28:12 PM EST
    There are no witnesses who did anything other than guess- whose screams they were -including both parents.
    So it's going to come down to what the jury intuits upon listening. And the fact they wails stopped cold at the gunshot do give a powerful impression.

    It is counter intuitive that the person with a weapon is the one wailing and begging for help. It's most frequently the opposite.

    So you can fill in the blanks anyway you want  regarding scenarios. I can think of a few that dont require huge memory gaps to fit together, but I'll spare you.

    But there are many many people who do not accept at face value that it was GZ crying. This is not really a forum for them obviously.


    he didn't have the weapon out (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:28:24 PM EST
    when he was screaming. He was screaming for help because he was getting the sh*t beat out of him.

    It's counterintuitive to suggest the person wailing like that would have no injuries afterwards. He wasn't being hurt.


    There Are Two Competing Stories (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:17:35 PM EST
    The one of Zimmerman screaming from the beating and another of Martin screaming as he desperately tried to control Zimmerman's hand that was tightly holding a gun.  Neither has been proven to me to be the right one.

    One of those theories hsn't been offered (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 05:00:23 AM EST
    The state doesn't even contend that Zimmerman got the gun out before the screaming started.  That narrative exists because people are using their own powers of conjecture.

    The state leaves a gap in evidence and narrative, and invites you to fill in whatever you want.  The only "theory" the state provides is that Zimmerman profiled, followed and confronted Martin; a struggle ensured; Martin screamed for 40 seconds; Zimmerman shot Martin.

    Are you saying that your are reluctant to accept either Martin or Zimmerman being the one screaming to a degree of metaphysical certainty? Or that either possibility is equally likely, in your mind?


    Right Now They Are in Equipoise (none / 0) (#166)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 06:20:26 AM EST
    in my mind.  (Thanks to Jeralyn for the link to the judge's decision where he used that word.)  That goes both who is screaming and Zimmerman's self defense claim.  So I have at least reasonable doubt as to his guilt.  However, the more I listen to Zimmerman, the more I sympathize with the prosecution.

    The State May Assert It (none / 0) (#169)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 06:59:22 AM EST
    starting at the next hearing.  One piece of evidence, mentioned in the blogosphere, that supports the early gun out theory is Zimmerman's motions when he describes reaching for his cellphone in the Video Interview with CVSA Expert. Start Watching at about 6:49 PM.

    And Which is More Likely (none / 0) (#170)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:29:56 AM EST
    after you hear a strange voice in the dark say, "You got a problem, homie?", reach for your cellphone or reach for your gun?

    Depends on Z's motive/state of mind (none / 0) (#178)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:34:52 AM EST
    If he was wanting to be the vigilante that evening, I'd say Zimmerman probably pulls his gun as he exists his car to chase Trayvon (prosecutions theory).  I'd suggest Zimmerman would have already had his gun pulled by the time Martin approached him if that was his state of mind.  

    On the other hand, if his state of mind was to try and give police a description of where Martin ran too (as asked by the dispatcher), then he's probably just walking, looking to see if he can find Martin while he finds the best address as to where he last saw him.  When Martin approaches, he seems startled and it could be his first thought was move away and call police or pull my gun and go on the offensive.  Obviously no one knows for sure, but given the evidence, it seems more likely its the former.  There is none of Martin's DNA on the gun which one might expect if there was minute plus struggle for it.  We don't hear anyone yell "Help, he's got a gun", though John does hear someone yelling for help.  Zimmerman has injuries that show he was hit multiple times which doesn't foot with two people hand wrestling for a gun.  IF Z has his gun drawn before getting punched,how does he not get a shot off as the punch is coming or at least before Martin gets on top of him to start hand wrestling for the gun or in the minute of fighting before the fatal shot?

    I don't see how anyone can look objectively at the evidence and suggest that its equally as likely that the gun was pulled before the first punch or at the last seconds before the shot occurred.  Same goes for the yells for help.  I guess I can concede that we don't now for certain that it was Z screaming for help 15 times or so, but the vast majority of evidence is in his favor.


    The Last Time I Heard (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:15:26 AM EST
    "I don't see how anyone can look objectively at the evidence and suggest that" the sentence concluded, "the (name of holy book of a well known religion redacted) is not the revealed word of God".

    Sorry but your heap of suppositions doesn't make me budge from my agnostic position on what actually happen in Sanford on Feb. 26.  I do have a hazy picture of Martin using the entire weight of his body, rather than his fists, to cause the injuries to Zimmerman's head but the possibilities of how the fight went are endless.  Now tell me again why Zimmerman's instinctive reaction to Martin's question was to fumble for his cellphone?  


    Why wouldn't Z reach for his phone to call (none / 0) (#193)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:41:17 AM EST
    police when Martin emerges from the dark and asks if he has a problem?  Martin is bigger (at least considerably taller and appears big in his hoodie) and is someone that Z already suspects of being up to no good and possibly on drugs.  I suspect a conflict is the last thing he wants, so calling the police seems to be fairly logical.

    I didn't suspect I would change your opinion, but thought maybe I could get an explanation as to how the two had a hand fight over a gun for a minute plus without a trace of Martins DNA being found on the gun or a shot going off.  How Z would have sustained all of his injuries if the struggle was only over a weapon seems a bit puzzling as well.


    If you a had a choice (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by JoeMenardo on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 11:31:17 AM EST
    between a gun and a cell phone, when an individual(he wasn't larger, 5'11 158) you previously thought was armed, a criminal and maybe on drugs approaches you.  Which would you reach for?

    If I did not at least use the gun to warn (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:01:52 PM EST
    the suspicious guy off, I would certainly be wondering later why I was carrying it to begin with.  

    Using a gun to warn somebody off (5.00 / 1) (#217)
    by Eddpsair on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:43:13 PM EST
    In just about every state if you use a CCW weapon to "warn someone off", you lose the lisence, lose the weapon, and go to jail on the spot.  

    The police could have come around the corner at any moment.  So he was likely to be discovered if he brandished, "Hey officer, that dude just pulled a gun on me!"   Believable since how else would a stranger know he had one on his person.

    This wasn't some deserted alley in a bad part of town, with no police in sight where he could have told the guy to "beat it" and gone his separate way...the police were going to come.

    The smart move for him was the phone and back away.  According to his statement, that is exactly what he tried to do....


    That is not a factual representation of (none / 0) (#205)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:21:36 PM EST
    Martin's size before the shooting.  The ME stated this was his length and weight 15 or so hours after the shooting.  He likely lost a couple of inches to rigormortis and a significant amount of blood (the average 160 pound body holds about 13 pounds of blood).  I imagine his family's estimate of 6'2" - 6'3" is more accurate than 5'11".  Also, as mentioned, he was wearing a hoodie that night that made him look considerably bigger (see 711 video), so while his actual weight may have been 165-170, he looked bigger which would have been Z's impression.

    I don't recall Z saying he thought Martin was armed, but said he didn't know.  Granted, its conjecture that we will never know, but if he thought these things as he's watching Martin from his vehicle and was inclined to want to draw his weapon, he'd likely have done it while sitting in his car or as he exits the vehicle.  It doesn't make much sense to me that he would suspect Martin of the things you suggest, but wait to pull his weapon until Martin is on top of him.  I wouldn't put it out of the realm of possibilities, but I'd give it significantly less weight than the alternatives.


    His bleeding was internal (5.00 / 2) (#207)
    by IgnatiusJDonnely on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:40:04 PM EST
    and as someone who grew up up around the Funeral business I can state that I've never seen somebody shrink from rigor

    Rigor mortis sets in a few hours after death (none / 0) (#215)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:28:07 PM EST
    and lasts maybe 36 hours.  After that time, the tightening of the muscles that cause the body to tighten during rigor mortis, relaxes and the body returns to "normal", so the deceased body does not stay in the "compressed" state.  The ME report states that rigor mortis is "complete" which I interpret to mean the body is at a full state of rigor mortis at the time of the examination.

    His bleeding was not all internal and I don't suggest he lost all of his blood.  I am not a medical expert by any means, but given the injuries (pericardial sac, ventricle of the heart, lung etc), most of the blood left in his body likely gathered in his chest cavities unless his heart stopped pumping instantly. Also, the performing of CPR would put more blood into the chest cavity after the heart stopped pumping.  IIRC, there was about 2.5 liters of blood collected from these 2 cavities which is less than half the content that would have been in the body prior to the shooting.  Again, I don't suggest that means he lost more than half his blood supply, but he certainly lost some amount of blood, how much is uncertain, but should be accounted for if citing the autopsy report as the source for his weight.


    The Police Were Already on Their Way (2.00 / 1) (#194)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:54:11 AM EST
    I doubt that further argument will do either of us any good.  I am happy that I have made some people aware of a possibility of how this case may unfold, that may be new to them, and will leave it at that.

    Z had called the non-emergency (none / 0) (#199)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 11:15:56 AM EST
    number before.  I imagine with a larger individual coming towards him from the dark asking if he had a problem raised his level of concern from non-emergency to emergency.  Also, he knows he hadn't given the NEN dispatcher the address that he just found, so they don't know his exact location.  

    I think there are plenty of unanswered questions, but putting forth a theory without evidence to support the most basic premises of the theory seems problematic to the conclusion that this theory is on equal footing to another theory that is backed by move evidence.  Keep the theory, but I'd reassess the probability based on evidence.


    At 6:49:22, (none / 0) (#204)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:12:00 PM EST
    is he reaching for his right pocket or hip holster?  Now if your phone wasn't in that pocket and the gun was close by, why would you pull the gun on this menacing guy or keep searching for the phone?

    If it were me and I had time to think about (none / 0) (#206)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:36:53 PM EST
    it in retrospect, I'd certainly go for my gun.  Would I automatically as a reaction to the circumstances presented go for my gun first?  I don't know. I'd probably tend to think that my gun was for life threatening situations and while fear certainly would have entered my mind, I don't know that I would have viewed it as life threatening.  

    However, I see a flaw in this line of questioning.  Your supposition is that the guy is coming at me in a menacing way, making him the initial aggressor, and I should reasonably have enough fear that drawing my weapon is a more logical choice than calling for help.  If I am reasonably afraid of the "menacing guy" coming at me to do harm, then the action of pulling my weapon would be a lawful one and we can forgo the rest of the scenario.

    I actually agree with an earlier post of yours that says the prosecution needs to show that Z pulled the gun prior to Martin hitting him, but using a scenario where Martin comes at Z in a menacing way causing him to draw defeats their argument.


    I have a exceptionally hard time understanding (5.00 / 1) (#208)
    by JoeMenardo on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:43:44 PM EST
    why GZ would reach for his cell phone and why more people don't question this part of his story.  Someone you reported who may have something in his waistband, may be on drugs and  you believe is suspicious approaches you, what would you expect calling the police to accomplish?  There is no scenario I could think of where that would be my 1st or even 2nd response.  

    why GZ would reach for his cell phone? (none / 0) (#220)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:11:02 PM EST

    To tell the police to please hurry?

    If Zimmerman's Original Story (5.00 / 1) (#211)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:59:01 PM EST
    was that he pulled his gun on Martin when the latter approached him in a menacing manner and then tried to disarm him, I think he would still be entitled to claim self defense.  However he may have calculated that the current story would somehow be more believable.  What has bothered people from Serino on, is that Zimmerman can get very detailed but when pressed about something doesn't make sense, he says "I don't recall."  He may have unnecessarily complicated his own defense by coming across as being less than truthful.  

    You don't know that, you're merely taking GZs word (none / 0) (#171)
    by ButterBoy on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:38:11 AM EST
    The witness statements are just all guess work based on their experiences. No one saw lips move, did they? and so many people outside this pro- defense blog, think its all useless to rely on their accounts of who screamed. Taking GZs word as bible is pretty much the reason its taken as truth here. I'm surprised anyone thinks any of the parents are unbiased, but then again it appears everyone thinks GZ has no reason to lie either. I'm just saying its not a given with the general public.

    You seem to be (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by DebFrmHell on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:12:55 AM EST
    discounting Dee Dee's interview with the SAO.

    "Why are you following me?" (TM)
    "What are you doing here?"  (GZ)

    So it isn't necessarily just George Zimmerman's word but also that of one of the State's "A" list witnesses.  I would think that even you would have to concede that TM started the conversation that lead to this unfortunate and tragic turn of events.

    And if he started running at approx 2:08 on the NEN call and GZ hung up at the approx 4:06 mark, where was TM?  He was not spotted by GZ during that time.  IIRC, GZ even went so far as to say "He ran." at a later point. Past tense. It doesn't seem to me that he was expecting TM to return.

    Dee Dee mentions in passing that TM told her he was "walking back."  And then a "couple of minutes later"...  (Sorry having to paraphrase since it has been a while since I listened to that interview)

    I suggest you read up on "Innocent until proven guilty" before taking a thinly-veiled dig at posters here.


    I suggest you listen to W#6's testimony (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by IrishGerard on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:48:48 PM EST
    There are no witnesses who did anything other than guess- whose screams they were -including both parents

    If you listen to witness #6's testimony - SPD & FDLE - and you still believe trayvon could be screaming then I suggest that you are not being objective.

    It's 'counter intuitive' to believe that the person on top is screaming.

    BldR's duplicitous statement that w#6 'doesnt know who was on top' is indicative of his fear of this particular witness' testimony

    btw, jeralyn's copies of W6 interviews, spd&fdle, are missing and/or corrupted, respectively.


    Counterintuitive (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Eddpsair on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:11:33 PM EST
    No, there was an eyewitness that conversed with GZ during the beat down.  

    And the majority of witnesses, even some biased towards TM said it wasn't him.  I repeat, that is not a toss up.  If it is on another site then that is not a recommendation of their objectivity.

    But I will agree it is still a fact to be argued in front of a judge/jury.

    The eyewitness never saw the weapon.  TM never said, "He has a gun."   So it isn't counterintuitive if the person doing the beat down hasn't seen the gun in the dark. It was by statute and definition, a "concealed weapon".  

    GZ knew the police were enroute and was aware that if he ever brandished that weapon he would lose his license and go to jail on the spot for a serious misdemeanor. So why brandish at the T when he thinks police are moments away?

    GZ had no history of interdiction during his NEN calls and in fact seems to have been the opposite.

    If GZ was going to draw down on TM and detain him, he had clear opportunities to confront him earlier.

    You have zero evidence that it was pulled prior to the time GZ says he pulled it..., merely conjecture.  Fine.

    I think it is counterintuitive to believe the person inflicting SBI  over a protracted period was screaming in dispair for help.


    Let's say you're sitting in a courtroom (3.00 / 2) (#153)
    by Jello333 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 03:46:33 AM EST
    Let's say they play a tape that has the voice of you son on it. You hear your son screaming and begging for his life for nearly a full minute. And then you hear the gunshot that you know ended his life. And a few feet from you sits the man who caused your son to scream and beg for his life, and then fired the shot that killed him. How do you react?  Well, I don't know about you, but me?... I'd probably be crying uncontrollably, and might even jump up in an attempt to take out the guy who had killed my son.

    Now consider this: Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton were in that courtroom when that tape was played. And yet, as we saw live on TV, neither of them had hardly any reaction at all; in fact, seemed to be listening to something someone (Crump or Jackson?) was saying.

    In my opinion, those screams did NOT come from Trayvon.... and his family KNOWS it.


    I think they were desperately trying to not pay (5.00 / 2) (#183)
    by Angel on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:18:19 AM EST
    attention to that tape just so they wouldn't have a breakdown in the courtroom.  I know if I were in that situation I would try to do the same thing.  That they didn't react doesn't say anything about whether or not they believe it was Trayvon screaming.  Are you a parent?  Would you want to hear your child screaming and being shot?  Ignoring or trying to ignore is a coping mechanism.  

    I think they will try (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by spectator on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 02:18:07 PM EST
    but they will clearly fail to show a depraved mind, i also think it's clear most believe it's George's voice.

    how about dad's comeback to the smothering?

    i thought that was clever.


    yes, but there would be no murder 2 (none / 0) (#71)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:14:08 PM EST
    if it's self defense. Profiling and hot pursuit don't negate self-defense. They only become relevant if self-defense is rejected, and the jury moves on to consider murder 2.  

    The relevant time for his self-defense claim is when he shot Trayvon, after being punched. Not that he followed or profiled him before.

    So it's a red herring if the jury finds self-defense. They shouldn't be judging self-defense by whether he was right or wrong to follow Trayvon. It's enough that he was lawfully in the place where he was attacked. Why he was there doesn't matter to self-defense. And he had as much lawful right to be on the streets and paths of his neighborhood as anyone else who lived there.


    comment deleted in response to this (none / 0) (#78)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 04:32:19 PM EST
    making up a theory for which there is no evidence and which the state has never suggested. Please don't make theories up that have no basis in the materials released to date.

    Ok (none / 0) (#195)
    by IgnatiusJDonnely on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 11:02:42 AM EST
    So that's what it all boils down to. GZ can still claim self defense even if he was trying to
    catch sight of TM.
    So this is the fine distinction that Wolfinger understood but Serino didn't.
    Is the prosecution saddled with a scenario that was written way too early and cannot be explained by forensics? Has Dee Dee's narrative evolved in order to rectify this problem? Would the state be better off with Serino's scenario?

    At one point in the call, Zimmerman says, "Oh [expletive], he's running." Serino asked Zimmerman to describe how Martin was running. "I don't remember 'cause I was on the phone," he answered. "It happened so quickly." That was unsatisfactory to Serino. "It sounds like he's running as to get away from you," the detective said as he pressed Zimmerman to describe how Martin was running. "I don't know why," Zimmerman said in response.

    On the call, the dispatcher asked him which way Martin was running. You can hear Zimmerman get out of his car and the detectives asked to confirm if he was getting out to see where Martin was going. "So, you basically jumped out of the car to see where he was going," Serino inquired. When Zimmerman replied, "Yes, sir," the investigator replied bluntly, "Okay, that's not fear, all right. That's one of the problems I have with the whole thing."

    Another area of contention was when the dispatcher asked Zimmerman, "Are you following him?" Serino asked him, "What went through your mind?" Zimmerman replied, "He's right." When Serino said, "You should have went back to your vehicle," Zimmerman said, "But I still wanted to give [the dispatcher] an address."


    Oh well (none / 0) (#196)
    by IgnatiusJDonnely on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 11:04:29 AM EST
    Where is my link to
    my source?
    Washington Post 6/25
    pretty straight forward

    sorry forgot this (none / 0) (#198)
    by IgnatiusJDonnely on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 11:13:31 AM EST
    Martin was running in the direction of his father's fiance's apartment, where he was staying while on suspension from school. Serino said, "At this point, he's gotta be hiding from you" because Martin could not have made it home and then come back to attack Zimmerman. Singleton challenged Zimmerman's entire account for why he got out of his car. "You're trying to catch up to him," she said. "You're looking for him," Serino added. "It sounds like you're looking for him."


    Is a self defense claim still good if GZ walked the eight feet into the backayard area(where his keys wre found) and TM found GZ a little too close for comfort?
    Just askin'


    Prosecution Opposing Bond (none / 0) (#32)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:49:57 AM EST
    Is it unusual for prosecutors to make a pro forma request for no bond, when they aren't even pretending they can meet the Arthur standard?

    De la Rionda keeps saying he doesn't want to try the case at a bond hearing, although it's my understanding that they are supposed to do exactly that if they seriously want bond denied.

    I thought of this when O'Mara was asking Lester to consider the effect on Zimmerman's state of mind of the prosecution opposing bond.

    Not unusual at all (none / 0) (#35)
    by cboldt on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:04:28 AM EST
    I would think that the vast majority of cases that involve detention under an order that denies bail do so without the state meeting the criteria imposed by Arthur.  Proof Evident is a very high standard for the quality and content of the state's evidence, and it is easy for a defendant to produce a scintilla of evidence in opposition to the state's evidence.

    So, the state is reduced to arguing flight risk, or bail funds are ill-gotten (drug money), or defendant is a risk to the community (repeat DUI offenders get this), or defendant will tinker with witnesses while out, thereby putting the justice process at risk.

    I think O'Mara's argument about Zimmerman's state of mind when the state charged him, asked for detention without bail, and asked for life imprisonment was intended to go to Zimmerman's distrust of "the system."  He was cooperative with investigators because he trusted the system, but when he was wrongly charged (in his mind), his trust in "the system" was demolished.  IOW, all that was to explain (but not justify) "the lie."


    there is a specific statute that sets out (none / 0) (#72)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:28:36 PM EST
    when the state can ask for pre-trial detention. See here, and scroll to sub-section C.

    (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: [lists circumstances]

    The statute says:

    (2) RULES OF PROCEDURE.--Procedures for pretrial release determinations shall be governed by rules adopted by the Supreme Court.

    Pre-trial detention is governed by rule 3.132 while pre-trial release is governed by rule 3.131.


    Prosecution Case (none / 0) (#39)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:52:36 AM EST
    From Jeralyn's lead in this thread:
    What de la Rionda never addressed: Even if Zimmerman was the aggressor, how he could have extricated himself from the beating or Trayvon's reaching for his gun. So long as Zimmerman's fear was reasonable, and he couldn't extricate himself, he was entitled to respond with lethal force. All these profiling and hot pursuit arguments look destined for the red herring pile.

    The only way I can see the prosecution prevailing is for them to suggest that Zimmerman had illegally pulled his gun on Martin, at an earlier time, and Zimmerman's injuries arose from Martin's attempts to disarm Zimmerman.  In other words, Martin was standing his ground.  They better not try to get too detailed in that theory but combined with skillful theatrics and a big list of Zimmerman's falsehoods, it might do the trick with the right jury.

    That's my take, too (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by JamTowzy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:05:48 AM EST
    The approach from the beginning -- media and prosecution -- has been to make everyone hate Zimmerman, so that a jury feels obliged to find something. The prosecution has followed the path blazed by the media, and has repeatedly misstated the evidence in their affidavit and in court, and to put the emphasis on the guy on the phone to the cops, rather than the unsupervised troublemaker who came back to confront a guy he originally ran away from.

    The jury pool will continue to be tainted until O'Mara attacks the notion of disobedience to the dispatcher.


    When did de la Rionda (none / 0) (#49)
    by Mark Martinson on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:13:46 AM EST
    admit that Martin struck Zimmerman?

    Reply to request from Mark M (none / 0) (#52)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:34:53 AM EST
    A little bit after 2:22 in the audio link Jeralyn gives.  But then he adds that there is no evidence that he bashed Zimmerman's skull.

    O'Mara's reported comment (none / 0) (#53)
    by bob somerby on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:17:37 PM EST
    I was puzzled by something reported in Saturday's New York Times:

    Mark O'Mara, Mr. Zimmerman's lawyer, acknowledged Friday that his client should have been honest with the court.

    "He should have jumped up and said she is lying," Mr. O'Mara said of Ms. Zimmerman's testimony. "He should have done something. And he didn't."

    That struck me as an odd remark by O'Mara. I don't see it reported anywhere except in the Times.

    Context? Explanation?

    Yep. He said that. (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by cboldt on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:25:55 PM EST
    It was in his closing argument.  I think he was being deliberately hyperbolic as a form of sarcasm.  Judge Lester took exception to the suggestion that Zimmerman should have jumped up and announced his wife was lying, and said that Zimmerman should have somehow obtained O'Mara's attention, "tug on his sleeve," which is discussed elsewhere in this thread.

    Lesters opinion seems to be presuming (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by leftwig on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:26:03 PM EST
    that one, Zimmerman was listening intently to his wife's testimony in order to fact check her and two, that Z actually knows she lied about something.  Does Z have a duty to do this in regards to all of the testimony at the bond hearing?  I get the point that Zimmerman cannot benefit from lies (alleged at this point in time) at the bond hearing to gain a lower bond amount, but Lester seems to have stretched it when offering an opinion that Z did something wrong by not speaking up.

    What "should have" happened (none / 0) (#88)
    by expy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:55:27 PM EST
    is that O'Mara "should have" prepared properly for the first bail hearing, by diligently inquiring into client finances before going into court representing that his client was indigent; and by properly preparing his witnesses before testimony -- that is, both interviewing them and taking care to advise the client & family members of their obligations under the bond application law to disclose all facts truthfully.

    One basic adage for lawyers in court is to never ask a question of a witness unless they already know the answer.

    So it really comes back to what happened before the April bond hearing.  Did O'Mara ask his clients about the PayPal fund, and if not, why not? Did he take the time to explain to the wife, ahead of time, what he would ask her and what her obligations were?  etc.  

    The Judge really can't inquire into the attorney-client relationship, as that goes to privileged communications -- but I have to think that the Judge has a very dim view of the narrow focus on what opportunity Zimmerman had in the court hearing to correct the false testimony when it was given.

    If the client had informed the lawyer beforehand of the amount in the fund; or if the lawyer had inquired into client finances and interviewed the wife ahead of time -- then the lawyer would have known when the wife testified inaccurately, and immediately taken steps to correct it.  

    You can see that dynamic in action with the financial witness in Friday's hearing. Somewhere along the line there was confusion about possible cash going into the sister's bank account, and O'Mara was right on top of that, asking clarifying questions on redirect.  

    If the lawyer had requested some rudimentary financial documentation in the first place, before bringing the first bail motion, he wouldn't have been in the position of needing the services of a forensic accountant two months later.


    O'Mara got a wakeup call (3.50 / 2) (#90)
    by JamTowzy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:22:23 PM EST
    MOM now realizes that Lester gives little weight to his "word", and is predisposed to buy BDLR's balderdash at face value, regardless of the question at hand. O'Mara thought that he had cured the original PayPal problem with some timely information and representations of financial control between the hearings. He never figured that Lester later would apply the worst possible interpretation to the financial transactions or jailhouse conversations, after he had previously vouched for the turnover of funds. He also figured that Lester would take into consideration that GZ cooperated with him, and continued to observe the restrictions of his bond.

    Well, on Friday, he began to display that he realizes that is fighting the judge in addition the state. He had to walk Lester through the history of his coming aboard the case, something that a thoughtful judge would have taken into consideration when dealing with the PayPal confusion.  BDLR can serially misrepresent to his heart's content without sanction. O'Mara cannot. Even though he had performed honorably after his first full opportunity to connect with his client with proper diligence, Lester didn't take it into consideration at the previous hearing. He blew his top rashly, didn't care to give it some consideration, threw his client into jail, and still harbors a grudge.


    A "wakeup call" is for people (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by expy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:09:32 PM EST
    who are sleeping.

    A competent & experienced lawyer makes appropriate inquiries before bringing a motion in court.

    O'Mara would have to be extraordinarily naive to believe that he could "clean up" the problem by simply telling the court about it a few days later.

    I don't think that's what happened. That is, I don't think that O'Mara is naive or inept. In my opinion, I think the problem is that because of the high profile nature of the case, O'Mara did something he probably wouldn't ordinarily do. He offer to represent someone charged with 2nd degree murder "pro bono", and because of that stance he skipped the normal process that lawyers typically follow in taking on clients.

    Ordinarily, a lawyer taking on a homicide case would ask a lot of questions about client finances.  Usually lawyers want to get paid for their work, so they want validation of the source of payment of their fees. A capable lawyer would be very concerned about what funds were available for collateral expenses, such as investigators and expert witnesses. That doesn't mean doing a full scale audit of the client, but it certainly would entail something as simple as checking the transaction history of an account set up specifically as a conduit for donations to support the defense.

    The moving of the fund into the separate trust account is something that should have happened before, not after, the bond hearing.


    This presumes that an attorney (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Towanda on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:17:56 PM EST
    asking his client about assets gets a full and complete answer.  

    What is the basis of your presumption that O'Mara did not ask?  That would be a first in my experience as well, with several lawyers, who always asked -- often with paper forms to fill out -- about ability to pay, i.e., assets.  

    And what is the basis of your presumption that O'Mara did not check transactions on accounts -- at least those that he was told about?



    I didn't presume that at first (none / 0) (#105)
    by expy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:38:32 PM EST
    But if I asked a newly acquired client about finances and they lied to me to this extent, putting  me in the position of presenting perjured testimony to a court... then I'd withdraw from the case. I'd figure that sort of lie created too much of a conflict-of-interest between client & lawyer to sustain further representation, for a variety of reasons.

    As to your 2nd question, the PayPal account had only been open for a short time, less than a month.  If O'Mara had merely asked for the PayPal transaction record for the previous month, he would have had all the info in hand.  

    Relying on what he was "told" rather than asking for the written bank statement is also odd, in my mind.  

    It seems to me that he should have insisted on being given recent bank statements, including PayPal, before the bond hearing. I think he should have told his client that if he didn't have that information in hand before the bond hearing, then he would not include information about client finances in the bond hearing.

    That is, O'Mara could have gone into the bond hearing without presenting either George or his wife to testify, and just pointed to George's record of cooperation with the police and surrendering himself when asked; he could have referenced the fact that George was unemployed. The outcome might or might not have been a higher original bond; I certainly don't think the Judge would have thought that Zimmerman was wealthy if O'Mara had simply chosen not to provide financial information.  


    The PayPal account... (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by heidelja on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 06:03:10 AM EST
    ...actually had only been "opened" for donations for no more than a week, if not merely days.

    Simply put, how many cases of bond requests involve ones who have been jailed when indigent, but while awaiting their bond hearing "hit the jackpot" by receiving over $10,000 per day in donations? Is the "judicial process" so inflexible all could not have comeabout any differently than it has in this case? If this is so, then O'Mara really had no choice other than to have rescheduled the Apr 20 bond hearing so all "i"s were dotted and "t"s were crossed.

    I think whatever O knew before Apr 20,  he felt could be changed. What possibly he misjudged was the Court requesting "more information" on Apr 27 and how much the State would be a snake in the grass providing more information on June 1 prompting Lester to immediately revoke bond. Only to have a second bond hearing to further garner more information on June 29.


    O'Mara was not required (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by expy on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 06:21:46 AM EST
    to put on testimony about finances at the April 20 bond hearing.

    He could have chosen to go forward with the hearing on April 20th without putting on a witness to testify to facts that he had not independently verified.

    The reason that a lawyer should try to independently verify facts that are susceptible of such verification before having a witness testify is that sometimes the witness is not truthful, and there is a great risk that opposing counsel will discover the truth through investigation; and that puts the client whose lawyer proffered the untrue testimony in a worse position than if there had been no testimony.

    Which is exactly what happened in this case.  


    Expy (none / 0) (#103)
    by JamTowzy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:32:56 PM EST
    You contradicted your own assertion about O'Mara's competence, early and often.

    what ? (none / 0) (#107)
    by expy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:51:32 PM EST
    I don't have a clue what you are talking about.

    expy he did interview her before hand (none / 0) (#135)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:11:23 PM EST
    They both said so during her testimony.

    My point (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by expy on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:14:06 AM EST
    was that he didn't do a very good job of it.

    Then you might want to revisit your comment #98 (2.33 / 3) (#177)
    by JamTowzy on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:17:08 AM EST
    Arguing against my general point in a post above that O'Mara was not quite on the ball and misjudged globally, you stated "...I don't think that O'Mara is naive or inept."

    I stated my attitude awhile ago is that neither O'Mara, Lester, nor BDLR are shining lights for the legal profession, and my opinion remains solid. O'Mara's flubs are numerous. Besides seeming oblivious and not doing due diligence regarding the widely-known PayPal account, he failed to ask the proper questions in court which could have eliminated the confusion. He slept when Shellie Zimmerman offered the proper fount of information ... he needed no tug of anybody's sleeve there, he needed a boot in the pants to have her clarify under some additional questioning when he could get the next chance.

    Even after he took over the account and cleaned up his mess, he must have misjudged that Lester would consider that to be enough. He sat like a potted plant, knocked off balance, when ambushed with the jailhouse conversations. He had some avenues, including asking for proper time to assess. (Lester obviously did not think that GZ was a flight risk, or he would have not given 2 days). And I've stated before that he had a golden opportunity to use the topic of GZ's previous cooperation to blow away the notion that he was disobedient to the dispatcher. If anything could ever change the public's viewpoint about his client's character, then that should be the first issue to settle in his favor. The false meme of disobedience is the very basis of the case.

    Puting his client on the stand to apologize to a pair of unreceptive hostiles who enabled their son, and who seem to want first-degree murder charges? Geez, apologize to your sworn enemies?????

    Now, would you like to clarify your stance about O'Mara?


    "unreceptive hostiles ..."?!? (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:25:47 AM EST
    "...who enabled their son"?!?

    What is that supposed to mean?


    O"Mara's miscalculation (2.40 / 5) (#202)
    by JamTowzy on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 11:56:28 AM EST
    Having GZ attempt to play kissy-face with TM's parents in court was a complete disaster. It never had a chance to gain any ground with them, and only gave them another high-profile opportunity to vociferously denigrate MOM's client.

    They are completely hostile to any attempt to explain. They are not understanding; they are in 100% denial about their son's primary contibution in his own demise. They are not interested in the truth, otherwise they would have dissociated themselves from BCrump. The latter's recklessness with the truth is the prime reason why this moribund case was revived, and he should be disbarred for his countless public falsehoods.


    It actually (none / 0) (#209)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:44:54 PM EST
    Quieted them down.  

    His mother said she wanted to ask GZ some questions about why what happened actually happened.  GZ answered them - the Martin family couldn't really rebut.

    Of course they are going to have their perceptions.  Trayvon was their son and no parent wants to think the worst of their kid, especially when he is dead and cannot answer for it.

    Crump, on the other hand....


    O'Mara DID ask for time to prepare (none / 0) (#182)
    by Aunt Polgara on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:18:06 AM EST
    He had some avenues, including asking for proper time to assess. (Lester obviously did not think that GZ was a flight risk, or he would have not given 2 days).

    When the state blindsided O'Mara at the hearing that was supposed to be on media access, Lester refused to give O'Mara time to prepare for the PayPal evidence, telling O'Mara he would have to respond "on the fly" if I remember correctly.


    April 20, Not June 1 (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:25:32 AM EST
    The criticism being leveled against O'Mara is that he did not prepare Shellie (or himself) before the April 20 bond hearing.  That if had prepared himself, or asked different questions, the court would have been made aware of the general amount of money originating in the PayPal site, in the first place.

    O'Mara did explain his situation at that point in time, being focused on other matters relevant to the case, although the critic argues that O'Mara should have asked about the amount of money in the PayPal account, before April 20th.  IOW, that there is no reasonable excuse for the oversight.


    I agree with you on that (none / 0) (#144)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:41:10 AM EST
    It was a bit odd (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:10:27 PM EST
    but I don't think he was being sarcastic if you listen to him say it. I think he was engaging in hyperbole -- to which the judge responded by telling him that's not what he meant, he only meant Zimmerman could have just tugged at O'Mara's sleeve. The judge has recognized Zimmerman has a 5th Amendment right to say nothing. I think he was calling O'Mara out on the exaggeration.

    O'Mara's strategy has been to admit his client was wrong in remaining  silent about the money, which misled the court when considering how much bond to set, but to continue to insist there was no plan to do so, or any grand conspiracy, as is evident from the 30 hours of jail calls in which he says there is no reference to hiding anything from the judge or misleading the court.

    I would not have agreed my client had any duty to interrupt the proceedings and contradict a witness, or his lawyer's argument, let alone say his wife was lying, and I doubt O'Mara really believes George had a duty to either speak up or tug at his sleeve, but since the judge does, if his goal is to get bond, he gets nowhere by arguing that point. He only gets bond by a mea culpa.  

    O'Mara has seemed a little quick on the draw a few times when it comes things that could hurt him. Like going on CNN to announce to America his client had money and it could be an issue before he even told the court. (I wonder if that was to get out in front of any claims that he had known.) And like his statements saying GZ's credibility has been affected by this bond issue, instead of arguing it's irrelevant to the shooting and the facts and other evidence will speak for Zimmerman to support him. In other words, it's not going to be a he said/he said case, it's a case where the physical evidence and contemporaneous witness statements support Zimmerman.

    Many of acknowledgements of his client's failures  are things he was involved in, and I think it's important to O'Mara to make sure everyone knows he had no knowledge. But he's walking a fine line, and some (not me yet) would question whether he is protecting his own reputation by hanging his client out to dry.

    And I doubt his client appreciates O'Mara's repeated statements that his wife lied to the court. She's going to need a fair jury and he's not helping that. His loyalty is only to George, but there were plenty of ways to express what happened other than by stating his wife lied. (And again one might wonder, since he's the one who was questioning her when she allegedly wasn't honest about the money, and they both acknowledged in court they had reviewed the purpose of her testifying (i.e. he prepped her for her testimony -- , which is totally acceptable) was he more concerned with ensuring  people know he was taken in as well than in defending what she said?)


    this is in repsonse to Bob (none / 0) (#137)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:14:37 PM EST
    above who asked for context/explanation.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#212)
    by bob somerby on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:59:16 PM EST
    It struck me as odd that O'Mara would convict Shellie Zimmerman that way even though she isn't his client. I was also wondering if the NYT might have reported an ironic or hyperbolic comment straight, one of the classic ways of tilting a news report.

    (If irony ever really dies, it will be because public figures come to understand that ironic, hyperbolic or joking comments often get reported straight, especially if doing do serves a purpose.)

    I'll go listen to O'Mara's comment. Thanks for the guidance.


    Hyperbole v Fact (none / 0) (#141)
    by Cylinder on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:50:32 PM EST
    O'Mara has seemed a little quick on the draw a few times when it comes things that could hurt him. Like going on CNN to announce to America his client had money and it could be an issue before he even told the court.

    It seems to me as if MOM's media strategy is to counter Team Crump hyperbole (and outright falsehoods) with fact - even facts that are less than favorable. Instead of presenting a situation where both sides are hyperpartisan and the media gets to choose which narrative to accept (we already have that answer) he is more-or-less repairing the damage done in the initial media frenzy by limiting the partisan nature of his statements.


    Ok, (none / 0) (#56)
    by whitecap333 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:50:10 PM EST
    I'm going to have to eat my words.  I can't find DLR on the audio using the term "racial profiling."  What I do hear, in his summation, describing what he believes was going on in Zimmerman's mind, is something to the effect that he "perceives himself as the police," then something about him being tired, then "in the past," then a few words I can't make out, then "people got away and they all happened to be black individuals."  This is expressly set forth as a reason for Zimmerman's actions.  A bit earlier, he rhetorically demands to know "why on earth" the 7-11 photo was put into evidence, and sarcastically inquires "Is it the implication he's a criminal because he's wearing a 'hoodie'?"  He goes on to contrast the behavior of the 7-11 clerk, who treated Martin as a customer, with Zimmerman's behavior.

    This case (none / 0) (#63)
    by whitecap333 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:46:58 PM EST
    is hardly a "slam dunk" for Corey.  If she declines to play the card under discussion, and Zimmerman walks, what's the media going to do to her?

    please don't respond to (none / 0) (#68)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:02:04 PM EST
    whitecap's continual attempts to inject race into the case. Thanks.

    The "profiling" issue explored (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Eddpsair on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:39:48 PM EST

    I understand and support your position about minimizing the discussion of race here since it can only devolve into highly reactionary rhetoric.

    It is also worth noting that the prosecution and even it's witnesses have never used any word except "profiling" as a stand alone description of GZs actions.  No modifiers, even when MOM tried to get the lead investigator to take the bait.

    Profiling, as you know is perfectly legal.  I will defer to your cites, but I believe Terry vs Ohio was likely the earliest validation of profiling by the Supreme Court.  There are however, as you are well aware, a few types of profiling that are illegal if based on certain criteria.  

    My issue is that the prosecution uses "profiling" as a pejorative term.  With distain and emphasis, and dramatic pause.  If one were to substitute another legal activity GZ was engaging in such as "driving to the store", and inserted it everywhere that the word, "profiling" is used with the same pejorative tone it would sound silly.  "George Zimmerman was DRIVING TO THE STORE!!!" (cue dramatic music, Da, Da, DAAAAAA!) :-)

    The prosecution implies that "profiling" is something nefarious.  Ironic since half of them would be laid off for lack of work if courts judged it to be an illegal activity.  So that leaves one to wonder if they are going to argue that GZ engaged in one of the forbidden types of profiling, or if they will be trying to make it sound nefarious regardless of how it is executed.  

    The latter is so easy to shred on cross of the very detectives that interrogated him.  The former seems to me to be the more likely course of action because it is more problematic for MOM to defend.     

    But just like the dispatcher issue, it seems the prosecution is attempting to make a legal act illegal, out of whole cloth....

    They could argue: Profiling is "malicious pro se", and GZ was so focused on his quarry that he disobeyed a police directive....and once you sell that, it is much less of a quantum leap that he would attempt to maliciously accost TM and put TM in fear for his safety to the extent where he had to get physical, and in a struggle for the weapon, GZ eventually managed to momentarily get the upper hand...and the same mind that profiled and ignored the police, murdered him when he got the upper hand.

    Just a theory...but it explains why they are pounding home that GZ profiled TM and that he didn't follow the dispatchers order..

    And no, I don't think they will win with it...


    Where is any evidence (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by Juan on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:16:30 PM EST
    GZ disobeyed the dispatcher? When told, "We don't need you to do that", he replied "okay". The wind noise died down & his breathing returned to normal in less than a minute. He even stated afterwards, "I don't know where this kid is". Impossible to continue to "follow" someone if you don't know their whereabouts. The dispatcher seemed satisfied his pursuit had ended as he never addressed the issue after his directive. No doubt MOM will depose the NEN dispatcher to ascertain that was the case. If he verifies that he was satisfied GZ had ended his pursuit it kinda blows up the prosecutions theory. If TM wanted to get home he had more than ample time to continue the 70 yards to get to Brandy Green's home while GZ was still talking to the dispatcher. No way for GZ to "run after him & take him down" as BDLR stated on Friday

    Not wanting to give his address (none / 0) (#180)
    by IgnatiusJDonnely on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:01:18 AM EST
    because "I don't know where this kid is" could be interprted as believing TM is still close. Tm might overhear.
    By his own admission GZ(after hanging up with the dispatcher) continued on up the sidewalk "for an address" and then back, eventually meeting up with TM. The rest is history.

    It's your site, (none / 0) (#156)
    by whitecap333 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 04:16:26 AM EST
    and I respect that.  Were it not for the forbidden subject, however, a special prosecutor would not have been appointed, and we would not have a case to be discussing.  We would not be seeing the media and a large chunk of the populace carried away in a self-righteous frenzy of condemnation.  One may reasonably doubt whether the prosecution intends to take the "high road" here, as opposed to pandering to the media and its followers.  But its your site, and I respect that.  I do hope, however, you're not suggesting that my interest in the forbidden subject is prompted by some sort of ulterior motivation.  I did not arrive at my conclusions without extended reflection.

    it's not that it's forbidden (none / 0) (#210)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 12:57:28 PM EST
    it's that it is not part of the legal case.

    The state filed a motion Friday saying W-9's testimony would only be admissible for impeachment (of GZ) or in a rebuttal case. They aren't calling her. If and when they say race is an issue in the case there will be discussion. They continue to maintain he criminally profiled him. And I'm not about to spend 24/7 monitoring comments to delete the inevitable objectionable ones on either side.

    You can discuss it at another site.


    Bernie de la Rionda Over the top? (none / 0) (#75)
    by J Upchurch on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 04:14:49 PM EST
    I thought he was rather histrionic during closing arguments. I kept expecting Lester to remind him that he wasn't addressing a jury. Is this normal during a bond hearing? At least O'Mara pretended that he was addressing the judge.

    Also, do they need to assign some tech-support for this trial? They seemed to spend too much time getting the evidence for the trial on the monitor or speakers.

    I live in Orlando and this hearing was on live TV.

    Not asked (none / 0) (#114)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:26:18 PM EST

    And they asked Shellie ( who was on courthouse tapes saying the money WAS for bond) for an estimate of funds.

    Are you sure of that?  IIRC, she was asked if she had an estimate, rather than asked to make an estimate.


    And she surely could have given an estimate (none / 0) (#116)
    by ButterBoy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:33:53 PM EST
    Why do you think she refused to acknowledge the 150k.
    Was it just that she enjoys parsing words and being brought up on perjury charges?

    She told them (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:53:45 AM EST

    She told them who had up to date and accurate info on the account.  She did not refuse any question that was asked.

    As noted before, I do not have an estimate of my wife's weight.  If asked for one it would take some noodling to come up with one.



    Well GZs lawyer admits it was deceiving (none / 0) (#213)
    by ButterBoy on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:15:31 PM EST
    And I think given she very easily gave estimates within 10$ in six occasions immediately prior to the hearing she could have done so again. She choose not to, but had shown she was fully capable of providing very close estimates if use wanted to. Instead of admiting thshe as more cash than she Jas ever seen in his life, she claimed they were flat broke.
    No matter how you slice it, that was not "to the best of her knowledge".

    I checked some more (none / 0) (#125)
    by J Upchurch on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 10:13:35 PM EST
    The hands are usually bagged at the scene, so the ME would collect any evidence from the hands.

    Were they (none / 0) (#133)
    by DizzyMissL on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:05:47 PM EST

    There was (none / 0) (#160)
    by spectator on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 05:04:22 AM EST
    quite a bit of water around, if TM pulled his hands back in and all the other action...it would seem much was lost.

    One thing for sure O'Mara has made some poor choices so far, he could really use some help.


    Covered with bags (none / 0) (#197)
    by IgnatiusJDonnely on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 11:06:09 AM EST
    to preserve evidence

    I think that de la Rionda comes across... (none / 0) (#188)
    by deanno on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:38:14 AM EST
    as someone who KNOWS he has no case here--and is grasping at straws.  At one point during Friday's hearing he stated that GZ "ran down" TM.

    HUH?  And he offers no further explanation nor proof.  This is the major thing that infuriates me when I watch TV coverage of this case.

    The TM supporters seem to say that Zimmerman ran him down or chased him to the point of the confrontation---ignoring everything else (including common sense) that says otherwise.

    @ButterBoy (none / 0) (#218)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:45:50 PM EST
    I agree that the talking "in code" from prison is an irrelevant point.  De la Rionda tries to make it a big point, but I think he's just blowing smoke.

    Code or no code, the simple questions are whether or not the two Zimmermans knew about how much money was there, whether they considered it useful as bail, and whether or not there was an effort to hide the existence of the funds from the court on April 20th.  The "code" didn't facilitate any hiding, and it has reasonable justification.

    The legal question is whether an how hiding money from the court has bearing on a no bail order.

    State's Response to Bond Motion (none / 0) (#221)
    by MJW on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:13:48 PM EST
    The state's Response to Bond Motion is now on the court website.  It's pretty much a rehash of the motion to revoke bond, with a little bit of the judge's revocation order tossed in.  Quite surprisingly to me, is makes no legal arguments for why bond can be denied.  That might make sense if the decision to grant bond were entirely within the judge's discretion, instead of constrained by Florida's constitution and statutes.

    Not citing the law makes sense (none / 0) (#222)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 02:24:59 PM EST
    If citing the law cuts against the outcome you are requesting from the court, then it makes sense to not cite it.  Plus, Judge Lester gave the state a road map for the findings that he deems sufficient to impose a no bail order.  The state followed Lester's template, and this is Lester's courtroom.

    IOW, Lester is the law.

    The state doesn't have to rebut O'Mara's paragraph 7 (citing Paul and 907.041) until the judge sets those criteria out as having effect in his courtroom.

    Prosecution brings out the racial (none / 0) (#223)
    by Redbrow on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 03:25:04 PM EST
    component of their profiling claim.


    In paperwork released Monday, Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda did not spell out what witness 9 told authorities, but he described it as information about his "bias bias against black persons," including an unspecified "act."

    http://www.flcourts18.org/PDF/Press_Releases/State%20resp%20to%20motion%20to%20reconsider%20disclosu re.pdf

    Cboldt - conflict of interest? (none / 0) (#228)
    by Redbrow on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 05:58:35 PM EST
    Legal analyst Alicia Adamson said being a flight risk or a danger to the community is also taken into consideration. However, that's not all.

    Alicia Adamson is an associate of Crump AND she represents the 13 year old dog-walking witness and his mother!

    How is this not a blatant conflict of interest?

    Zimmerman's Eye-Witness Austin Brown and the LIES his mother told

    A tearful Alisia Adamson, left, an FSU student from Bradenton and employee of Parks and Crump law firm...

    Comments are Closed (none / 0) (#229)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 06:07:30 PM EST
    at 200. After that you cannot see the reply button to respond to an individual post.

    I will start a new thread.

    Re post #214 (24 hours) (none / 0) (#230)
    by expy on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 07:11:42 PM EST
    I don't think the specific time limitations of Rule 3.132 applies in this setting -- as the prosecution brought its motion to revoke bail under 3.131, and the governing Statute would seem to be 903.035

    I think there is some confusion over the procedure that comes into play after a defendant has been released on bail, but bail has subsequently been revoked.

    In any case, I don't think that the 24 hours aspect of the rule is jurisdictional -- that is, I don't think it would mean that after 24 hours goes by, the defendant automatically is entitled to release.  In a typical setting, however, that time limit probably serves to delineate the earliest time when defense counsel can take the next procedural step, such as appeal or habeas corpus.

    In the current setting, that probably would not be  useful - in fact it might even cause more delay.

    As a practical matter, O'Mara can probably simply call Judge Lester's court clerk and ask when to expect an order, and probably get the answer he wants. Because of the high profile nature of this case, it's possible that the court would be more cagey about that info than usual.  But you always have to keep in mind that O'Mara likely has informal information about status that has not been made public. Just because we don't know yet what the status is, doesn't mean he doesn't.  

    @expy #230 (none / 0) (#231)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:49:11 PM EST
    The state filed a Motion to Revoke Bond on June 1.  That motion recites that it is brought under both rules 3.131 and 3.132.  That motion asks for a revocation of bail in conclusion, as well as in the title.

    On June 28, the state filed a motion in response  to defendant's motion to set reasonable bond.  That motion recites that it is being brought under both Rules 3.131 and 3.132.  That motion asks the court to maintain the no bond status that was set a month ago.

    You and I had a go around about the proper statute and case law to be applied in an order revoking bond and holding defendant in custody on no bond status.  We remain in sharp disagreement.  I don't find that 3.131 is the proper rule to move to revoke bail (3.131 covers pretrial release), or that 903.035 is the governing statute for revocation of bail and holding in custody on a no bond status.

    do you understand (none / 0) (#232)
    by expy on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:25:56 PM EST
    the difference between a Rule of Court and a statute?