Zimmerman Trial: Toxicology Report Is Admissible

It was a big day for the defense at the George Zimmerman trial. Before getting to the testimony, I want to address the hearings held after the jury recessed for the day.

I wrote a long post this morning about the issue of whether the toxicology report should be introduced. After hearing from both sides, the Court ruled the report was admissible, and it would be reversible error not to admit it. She cited the Arias case which I referred to earlier, and a later case citing Arias. In argument today, the defense also referred to the lighter found on Trayvon's body and his swaying in the 711 video. [More...]

Another matter taken up after court was the state's motion to strike the testimony of defense witness John Donnolly, a friend of Zimmerman's and medic during the Vietnam War. He was one of several of Zimmerman's friends who testified today it was Zimmerman screaming for help in Jenna Lauer's 911 call.

The state moved to strike Donnelly's testimony because at the time it deposed Donnelly, he had not listened to the 911 call so the state didn't ask him if he could identify the person screaming. Donnelly told O'Mara on Saturday he recently listened to the 911 call and he thought it was GZ screaming, so O'Mara called him as a witness, but didn't tell the state he would identify Zimmerman's voice in his testimony. The court refused to strike the testimony, saying the state was not prejudiced.

The court also addressed the state's objection to defense expert George Root who will testify as to the use of force. The state objected to Root providing his opinion that Zimmerman did not use excessive force and his actions were lawful. The court said the expert could not state those opinions, but I don't think she ruled out his testimony altogether. I would have to watch the segment again, but I think Root can still explain use of force to the jury.

The court then moved to the issue of the defense computer animation. Interestingly, she said there would have to be a Daubert hearing on the matter, since Frye was no longer the law as of July 1. (At the hearing on voice experts, she proceeded under Frye.) The court took a recess to wait for the arrival of the animation expert. When he arrived, the state said it had no Daubert objections to the animation. Now, its objecton was that the expert who created the animation talked to defense expert Vincent di Maio Saturday or Sunday and the state just found this out earlier today. The state now wants to depose them both again, and the matter is continued until tomorrow. The judge did not seem very impressed with that argument -- she told the state to depose the animation expert today after court recesses, and to depose di Maio by phone.

There's another defense proffer scheduled for tomorrow, someone whose name O'Mara and the judge carefully avoided mentioning, but the prosecutor and O'Mara disclosed it. [Correction: the name is Richard Connor not Robert O'Connor, who is a former Sanford Police Captain. Sorry for the confusion.) I would bet he is Richard Connor of ESI Consultants, a computer/phone forensics expert in Orlando, and that the proffer refers to something from Martin's phone that he intends to authenticate or testify about. Don West addressed the court about how long the proffer would take, which means he will be presenting the witness. West has handled all of the phone forensic issues in the case.

Whatever Connor's testimony concerns, if it requires a proffer, there is something in it that the state is objecting to, and the judge has agreed to hear the proffer before he takes the stand. If I had to guess, I'd say it's the texts about fighting which the judge previously ruled would be admissible provided:

If a contemporaneous objection is made, the offering party may be required to establish the relevance, authenticity, and admissibility of such evidence before it may be presented to the jury.

As to testimony today, Tracy Martin testified that he believed the voice on the call was that of his son. He denied that he told Officer Serino it was not his son's voice when Serino played it for him three days after the shooting. He said he told Serino he wasn't sure because he was still in shock and denial over his son's death. Martin also denied instructing his lawyer to publicly state that the Sanford police had lied in claiming Tracy Martin said it was not his voice. (See Legal Insurrection for greater detail on today's "scream" witnesses.)

On March 16, after several family members including Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton listened to the tapes at the Mayor's office, Crump held a press conference and said the police had lied. Crump said that Tracy Martin told Serino the voice was too distorted to make out, and now that he had been able to listen to a cleaned up version, he recognized the voice as that of his son. Crump also accused the police of lying to the Martins at the press conference he held to announce his discovery of Rachel Jeantel, Martins' (non)minor (non) girlfriend who he claimed blew Zimmerman's defense out of the water.

The defense called Officer Serino and Officer Singleton, both of whom testified Tracy Martin had denied it was his son's voice when Serino played the tape for Martin a few days after the shooting. Serino did not know Singleton was present in the area and had overheard Martin's reply.

Former Police Chief Bill Lee then testified that allowing the family members to listen to the call together was improper for identification purposes, and he voiced his opinion but was disregarded.

Firearms/ballistics expert and pathologist Vincent Di Maio will likely testify tomorrow. He will testify the bullet evidence shows Martin was over Zimmerman at the time he was shot, leaning over him, and the bullet entered at a 90 degree angle. Don West outlined di Maio's theory in opening.

There seem to be a lot of loose ends. Will the state recall Rachel Jeantel? Has the defense deposed Benjamin Crump yet? Will he be called as a witness? And will the defense call witnesses to show the state has misrepresented his prior calls to non-emergency? The prior calls will be the topic of my next post, since the state is piggy-backing them onto call reporting Martin as suspicious as evidence of his ill-will, hatred and spite.

I would also expect Grace Zimmerman, George's sister, to be called to testify she texted with George right before he left the house for Target the night of the shooting, as corroboration for his version of events. Here are Zimmerman's phone records for the time period of 6 pm to 7:18 p.m. They also show he called non-emergency twice, at 7:08 and 7:20. Either the records are a minute off, or Zimmerman did have trouble getting through the first time (since the call didn't connect until 7:09:34) and Officer Smith, who arrived at the complex in his car at 7:17, didn't get around to the back until 7:20 pm. Since Jonathan Manalo didn't take his picture of Zimmerman until 7:19, and he testified he took the photo before Smith arrived, it seems the phone records might be correct. If Zimmerman was at the clubhouse calling non-emergency at 7:08 pm, does that make his version of events as to when he first saw Martin and when he first lost sight of Martin more credible?

Lastly, what about lesser included offenses? Will the jury receive an instruction on both manslaughter by act and culpable negligence or just manslaughter by act?

< Zimmerman Trial: Defense Evidence Issues | Monday Night Open Thread >
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    BTW (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:10:47 PM EST
    Can we discuss the lighter in TM's pocket yet?

    since it is in evidence (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:46:02 PM EST
    and Don West mentioned it as support for the admission of the tox report, yes. But only in the context of whether Martin used marijuana that night. His prior use of marijuana has been ruled inadmissible. It's fine to couch the reliability of the report in terms of whether he was a regular or infrequent user, but no character attacks or painting him as a drug abuser. So just keep your comments about his drug use to the 26th -- no mention of tweets or anything like that.

    Objections to Root to be handled during testimony (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:19:51 PM EST
    -- I would have to watch the segment again, but I think Root can still explain use of force to the jury. --

    My notes from the hearing are:

    Guy says the motion is narrowly tailored to three opinions disclosed in the deposition.  As to others, the state can object at the time questions are elicited.

    O'Mara provides a copy of Root's deposition to Nelson.

    Nelson grants state motion as to the specific items listed therein.  Nelson otherwise allows the witness to testify.

    thanks, that matches what I thought (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:43:00 PM EST
    I heard.

    Me, Too (none / 0) (#35)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:37:07 AM EST
    That was my understanding also. Nelson granted the motion. She didn't go beyond its four corners.

    I think culpable negligence is out (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:57:42 PM EST
    There is no language in the information nor has any evidence been produced that alleges "negligence."  The shot was fired deliberately, and this is admitted by the defendant.  This is from the jury instruction for culpable negligence:

    I will now define "culpable negligence" for you. Each of us has a duty to act reasonably toward others. If there is a violation of that duty, without any conscious intention to harm, that violation is negligence.  But culpable negligence is more than a failure to use ordinary care for others. In order for negligence to be culpable, it must be gross and flagrant. Culpable negligence is a course of conduct showing reckless disregard of human life, or of the safety of persons exposed to its dangerous effects, or such an entire want of care as to raise a presumption of a conscious indifference to consequences, or which shows wantonness or recklessness, or a grossly careless disregard of the safety and welfare of the public, or such an indifference to the rights of others as is equivalent to an intentional violation of such rights.

    Witness (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by friendofinnocence on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:02:06 AM EST
    John Good testified they were all the same voice, and they were right outside his door.  He said because TM was facing toward the opposite wall, if he made any of the screams there would have been an echo.  There was no echo.

    I pity whichever State's Attorney (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:45:17 AM EST
    has to question Di Maio.

    Di Maio (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:09:02 PM EST
    Testified that Zimmerman probably suffered at least 6 separate impacts and that the dissipation of Zimmerman's nose swelling could be the result of a paramedic fixing a fracture even inadvertently.

    I am guessing (none / 0) (#80)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:00:13 PM EST
    it will be Bernie "the bald dude." I'll eat my hat if I am wrong.  (don't really have a hat)

    I missed the cross...must have been (none / 0) (#103)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:29:34 PM EST
    a fast one cuz I was only in a meeting for about an hour.

    Reasonable Fear (4.00 / 2) (#12)
    by DennisD on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:59:01 PM EST
    What do you think the chances are that the jury concludes that Zimmerman unreasonably feared serious injury, especially given that his injuries did not seem serious or great. And how is a jury qualified, equipped to make a determination about the potential damage a fistfight could do?

    Thanks all.

    Fistfight? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by morphic on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:09:01 PM EST
     where are Trayvon Martin's injuries from a fistfight?  

    "Potential damage from a fistfight" (2.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:17:31 PM EST
    also, as I read it, is referencing a fistfight as potential, i.e., something that could have happened, had the incident continued, had Zimmerman also used his fists instead of his gun.

    No Serious Injury? (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Synthesist on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:38:31 PM EST
    Well, the defense has already established with witness testimony last week that you don't have to wait until you're "almost dead" to begin to defend yourself against an attack.

    I think that it would be a mistake if the defense does not introduce evidence of cases where people have suffered serious and permanent damage by blows to the head with nothing more than a closed fist. In fact, people have died from a single punch to the head. The most recent incident that I recall was earlier this year when a 17 year old soccer player in a Utah minor league sucker punched a referee. The referee, Ricardo Portillo, died one week later after never waking from a coma. I think that GZ is very fortunate that he was able to defend himself before suffering permanent or fatal injuries by his 17 year old attacker.

    After the jury hears about cases like this, I think they will be "qualified, equipped to make a determination about the potential damage a fistfight could do..."


    How deadly are fistfights? (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Payaso on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:36:24 AM EST
    How easy is it to kill a man in a fistfight?

    It happens more than twice a day, on average. Fists and feet were responsible for 745 murders in 2010, or 5.7 percent of all murders that year, according to FBI statistics. (The data on this have been remarkably stable in recent years. In the five preceding years, the percentage of murders perpetrated by fists or feet fluctuated between 5.6 and 6.1.) It doesn't even take an experienced brawler to punch someone to death: An 11-year-old California girl appears to have killed a classmate with her bare hands in a February fistfight.

    That does not include the people who suffered brain damage or other GBI.


    Don't forget (5.00 / 0) (#47)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:03:43 AM EST

    Fists and feet kill more people each year than those dreaded "assault rifles."



    You can play jury (4.50 / 2) (#13)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:17:50 PM EST
    If the jury believes Zimmerman, put yourself in the predicament of being pinned by a complete stranger and unable to extricate yourself.  Picture yourself in that spot for a minute, fighting for all you are worth.  You are getting tired.  You scooch and your opponent spies your pistol and tells you you are going to die, and reaches for the pistol.

    Are you afraid for your life?

    Substitute whatever predicament you want, and decide if you, in that predicament, would fear serious injury or worse.  That's how it's done.  No magic.  The jury is regular people, just like you.  We give the job of "reasonableness" to a jury.  It's whatever the jury says it is.


    You can play jury II (3.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Phillygirl on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:14:58 PM EST
    Picture yourself returning to your dad's home on a rainy night with candy for your little brother and a soft drink.  Picture a guy in a car following you that you don't know.  Picture calling a friend and saying that a "creepy" guy is following you.  Picture losing the guy only to find him on foot behind you.  

    Are you afraid for your life?


    100 yards from safety (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by MJW on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:23:50 AM EST
    Man, if that happened and I were really scared, I'd head for the place I was staying, go inside, and lock the door. And I'd be talking to the 911 operator, not my non-girlfriend.

    He didn't call him Creepy (5.00 / 0) (#56)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:20:02 AM EST
    We all know what he called Zimmerman.  We also know he never told Rachel he was afraid for his life.  We also know he didn't go right home and go inside though he could have. You have made up a scenario that did not happen and we know it didn't happen because there is evidence to prove it did not happen.

    zimmerman (5.00 / 0) (#59)
    by morphic on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:52:34 AM EST
    was apparently parked while on the phone. You can't follow someone that way. According to DD, Trayvon was under the mail thing, so you can't follow a stationary object. Zimmerman claimed Trayvon was weaving around buildings. If true, you can't follow someone by vehicle that way.

    picture (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by morphic on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:55:05 AM EST
    someone you left behind nearly six minutes ago, and it's less than a minute to your destination.

    Nothing new (4.20 / 5) (#18)
    by Jack203 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:21:02 PM EST
    All I can tell you is that I don't think anyone here thinks Trayvon deserved to die.  Many think it was a tragic accident brought upon by poor decisions of both parties.

    You will find some here that agree with your side, but don't think simplistic arguments are going to win many points.  We all understand the case.


    Picture (1.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Char Char Binks on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:11:52 AM EST
    TM calling GZ a "creepy-ass cracker" to justify beating him.  Didn't dat n*&&3r breed nuff 4 you?

    What the he// is THAT ... (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:13:37 PM EST
    Didn't dat n*&&3r breed nuff 4 you?

    ... supposed to mean?

    BTW - You haven't the first clue why Martin called him that, but since we're just guessing, I'd say it was because he kept watching and following him, even after he ran away.


    He followed him after he ran away? (2.00 / 1) (#114)
    by lousy1 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:34:16 AM EST
    Where did you get that?

    There is no evidence that supports GZ following TM after their paths diverged.


    Yes, there is (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Yman on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:25:40 AM EST
    He followed him after he ran away? Where did you get that?

    Zimmerman's own words on the NEN call.  No idea where you're trying to move the goalposts with the rephrasing ("after their paths diverged"), but that's not what I said.

    The main point, OTOH, was what Char Char Binks meant when he said "Didn't dat n*&&3r breed nuff 4 you?" - and why this stuff is allowed to remain.


    The Char Char "quote" (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by vml68 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 09:25:22 AM EST
    I just read this on another blog. Apparently, it was a tweet by TM.
    Comment should still be deleted.

    If you didn't recognize the quote (none / 0) (#118)
    by lousy1 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:24:04 PM EST
    You have not examined the evidence in this case.

    I've examined the evidence (none / 0) (#120)
    by Yman on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:06:20 AM EST
    ... and if you think this is "evidence", you obviously don't know what you're talking about.

    It is evidence (none / 0) (#121)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 06:32:43 AM EST
    entered into discovery.

    Heh (none / 0) (#122)
    by Yman on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 06:47:09 AM EST
    1.  Evidence doesn't get "entered into" dicovery.Discovery is merely an information gathering process in litigation.

    2.  A lot of information is gathered during discovery - that does not make it evidence.

    3.  Some of that information is admitted into evidence at trial, depending on whether it comports with the rules of evidence:

    Evidence - n. every type of proof legally presented at trial (allowed by the judge) which is intended to convince the judge and/or jury of alleged facts material to the case.

    4)  This tweet was not admitted into evidence and is not evidence, just as the comments GZ made on his MySpace page were not evidence.

    Anything else you need help with?


    If the jury believes (none / 0) (#27)
    by DennisD on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:21:09 PM EST
    Zimmerman then the verdict is evident. I suppose I was trying to understand how a jury determines the reasonableness of deadly force by someone not  seriously injured against someone unarmed which seems to be rather subjective.

    The Jury Should Determine That Based on the Law (none / 0) (#40)
    by Synthesist on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:12:56 AM EST
    The right to self defense is a generally accepted premise. But, the legal level of force used in self defense varies from state to state. In some states, the use of "unreasonable deadly force" can result in criminal and civil charges. But, in many other states, including Florida, people are shielded from criminal and civil charges if they use deadly force in self defense under certain circumstances. This is commonly known as the "Castle Doctrine". And the state of Florida in particular has expanded the scope of the Castle Doctrine with the so called "Stand Your Ground" statute.

    Regarding your question as to the level of injury a person must suffer before resorting to self defense, see my comment #23 on this thread.


    I thought Di Maio was pretty convincing (none / 0) (#104)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:32:24 PM EST
    on the injuries and potential unseen injuries that could result from getting hit in the face. I missed the cross-examination however.

    Seems to me that the 'reasonable fear' question is the key to the whole thing.


    Jeralyn's comment (1.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Phillygirl on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:21:07 PM EST
    And there is no evidence that it was NOT days old.  The small amount of pot in his system could not have been taken the same day he was attacked.  Hair samples can prove that.  Plus, eveyone with a brain knows that pot does not make you more prone to violence, quite the opposite.  

    As to the judge's reasoning for not striking Donnelly's testimony, I have NEVER heard that used as a reason for striking a discovery motion.  They broke the discovery rule -- that's reason enough to striking it!  

    As for my post being deleted, I guess I don't quite understand this site yet -- why would a post be deleted just because an administrator thinks the post is wrong?  Prove the pot was not days old.  Prove there was nothing different the state could have done if they'd known about Donnelly's testimony.  

    This is Jeralyn's site. (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:27:54 PM EST
    She does not have to prove anything to you. She can delete your comment for any reason she chooses. The fact that she gave you an explanation is a courtesy to you. Don't abuse it.

    Deletion for non-offensive comment? (none / 0) (#105)
    by Phillygirl on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:46:53 PM EST
    Well, I guess I have to ask WHY it was deleted, and what kind of site this is.  Usually a comment is deleted when it is offensive, which mine certainly was not.  

    You can read the rules re: posting on this site... (none / 0) (#107)
    by Cashmere on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:55:54 PM EST
    Just a suggestion.  I once made some posts against the rules and have since learned to abide by them.  Perhaps you should as well as it is a very good site.

    "pot" (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:06:52 PM EST
    caused different people to react differently.  Paranoia and anxiety are two reactions to being high on "pot", either could certainly lead to violence.  Any person with a brain and experience with the substance knows that.
    For the record I am not making that argument about TM.

    Pot (none / 0) (#106)
    by Phillygirl on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:53:50 PM EST
    I and most of my friends smoked pot for DECADES!  Never ONCE did I see a person get violent on pot.  Paranoid, perhaps, but never violent, and never violent because of paranoia.  

    And while you may not be making that argument about TM, the defense IS.  


    Not according to the Florida courts (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by MJW on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:36:37 AM EST
    They broke the discovery rule -- that's reason enough to striking it!

    That's false. Excluding a witness is a last resort, reserved for the most extreme circumstances. Every other possible option must be considered first. That's particularly true for defense witnesses, because, as the courts have pointed out, there's no right more fundamental than a defendant's right to present witnesses in his or her behalf.

    McDuffie v. State, 970 So. 2d 312 (Fla. 2007):

    When, as in this case, the discovery violation is committed by the defense, special importance attaches to the trial court's inquiry into alternative sanctions because exclusion of exculpatory evidence implicates the defendant's constitutional right to defend himself or herself. See Alexander, 931 So.2d at 950; see also McBride v. State, 913 So.2d 696, 699 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005) (holding that a criminal defendant has a due process right to present evidence and that exclusion of evidence for a defense discovery violation should be imposed only if no other remedy suffices).

    Discovery rules (none / 0) (#108)
    by Phillygirl on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:56:06 PM EST
    If a cop does a search w/o a warrant, that search is automatically thrown out.  No ifs, ands or buts.  

    So why is this different?  


    "If a cop ..." Not necessarily. (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 11:16:25 PM EST
    Why should it be the same? (none / 0) (#112)
    by MJW on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 12:05:49 AM EST
    So why is this different?

    They are two completely different situations. Even if they were more similar than they are, it wouldn't alter the undeniable fact that Florida courts say excluding witnesses is a last resort.

    (Also, not all evidence gathered in warrantless searches is automatically thrown out. There are a number of exceptions. If there's an emergency situation, a search may be performed without a warrant. And also if evidence is in plain sight. Normally, police can't search a person without a warrant. But if the person is being arrested, a police officer can search the individual for weapons.)


    because one violates (none / 0) (#113)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 01:15:53 AM EST
    a rule of a court (discovery rule) and one violates the constitution. There is no constitutional right to discovery. But there is a constitutional right to exculpatory information.

    Under Brady, "the suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is
    material." Under Giglio , "When the `reliability of a given witness may well be determinative of guilt or innocence,' nondisclosure of evidence affecting credibility falls within this general rule."

    There are a range of sanctions for violations of court-ordered discovery. For a constitutional violation like an illegal search (with applicable no good faith exception) the remedy is suppression.


    Philly Girl you didn't write (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:51:36 PM EST
    it could have been either recent or days old. You wrote as a fact that it was days old. You are also beginning to chatter. Drive by snide one line comments are not welcome here, and sarcasm for the point of registering your disagreement is not welcome either. If you have something substantive to contribute to the discourse, please do. Otherwise, don't just think you can come here and ridicule comments you don't agree with. I don't have time to monitor your every comment, it's easier for me just to ban you for violating the rules.

    Our rules for commenting on this case are here. If you want the reason for them, go here, where I provided a lengthy and serious explanation to a blogger who wanted to know the comment rules on this case are so strict.


    Days old pot (none / 0) (#109)
    by Phillygirl on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:58:24 PM EST
    One of the experts said that the pot could have been ingested two days earlier.  As a former pot user, knowing how much TM's autopsy revealed, that amount was days old, IMO.  If others think I'm wrong, so be it.

    Rules (none / 0) (#110)
    by Phillygirl on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 11:02:25 PM EST
    Okay, I read the rules, I respect your right to demand what you demand.  I just don't see how you or anyone else can prove or know conclusively whether one person's statement is absolutely false or not.  If one person agrees with a witness who disagrees with another witness, then what?  Oh, well, I'll silently monitor for a few days to see how it works here.

    When can we see (none / 0) (#1)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:09:52 PM EST
    the unabridged toxicology  report?

    probably never (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:41:44 PM EST
    When the judge asked to see a copy, the defense said all it had were the conclusions in the autopsy report. That was really odd. Here is what a typical NMS lab report for a deceased looks like (It starts on page 7 and is in an autopsy report from Volusia county. There are lots of these floating around the internet.)

    Could we have an Open Thread? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:11:00 PM EST
    The one from Saturday is almost full.


    done (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:42:27 PM EST
    thanks for letting me know. I've been watching the trial and writing GZ posts for hours.

    The other proffer is Richard Connor (none / 0) (#9)
    by cboldt on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:48:50 PM EST
    Maybe spelled Conner.  O'Mara was the first to provide the name.  I don't know what this witness has to offer.

    thanks, you are correct and (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:39:58 AM EST
    I changed the post a few hours ago. I also added who I think Richard Conner is and what they might want him to bring out

    Mr. Parks was just on Piers Morgan (none / 0) (#10)
    by Teresa on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:51:33 PM EST
    I believe he said in addition to toxicology we'd see something about what's on TM's cell phone. Did anyone else see that to correct me if I'm wrong?

    I don't know what it is on his phone, if anything. I think he might have mentioned texts. Was he angry with Rachel or do we know?

    I can't stay up and watch the replay at midnight, but if anyone does it's early in the show. Right after O'Mara was on. I just want to know if I misunderstood.

    a comment by PhillyGirl (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:12:15 PM EST
    has been deleted. There is no evidence the marijuana in Martin's system was days old. No one knows the last time he smoked,and I provided the sources explaining the problems in accurately determining when he last smoked. That it cannot be determined with any precision does not mean it was days old. Only the urine test is indicative of past use. Also there is a difference between the psychoactive and non-psychoactive metabolites. If she has a reputable source that disagrees with NMS Lab's Wiki, she's free to repost it.

    As to not understanding why the judge didn't strike Donnelly's testimony, the judge was clear there was no prejudice as even the defense didn't know until Saturday and had they known, there would have been little they could do strategy wise between Sat and Monday. She should watch the video of the hearing again and then pose her question or state her disagreement in a way that doesn't mis-state facts.

    Attention legal minds (none / 0) (#28)
    by friendofinnocence on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:26:03 PM EST
    Can a lawyer lie to the media because he is directed to do so by his client?

    Only the mind of one who cares about words (none / 0) (#29)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:28:03 PM EST
    here:  I think that you mean not "can" but "should."

    I meant "can" (none / 0) (#31)
    by friendofinnocence on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:37:26 PM EST
    But, I didn't make myself clear.  What I meant to say is does a lawyer break any Bar rules by lying to the media when instructed to do so by a client?  Are there any ethical problems other than the obvious layman problems with lying?

    Well . . . (none / 0) (#33)
    by Towanda on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:07:39 AM EST
    Anyone can do wrong.  

    You're asking if it is wrong, per professional rules.

    And so, actually, the verb should be "should," under grammar rules.  Of course, anyone can violate grammar rules, too.


    You meant "may" (none / 0) (#42)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:16:17 AM EST
    I think we all know lawyers are capable of lying to the media.  Aren't most politicians lawyers?

    No offense meant to all the wonderful and completely honest lawyers here and including my sister, brother in law and my little brother who are also lawyers.

    My opinion is that not only may a Lawyer lie to the media, they should be ready to if it is advisable.  If it is not in the best interests of their client I would hope they could talk the client out of the lie.


    A lawyer may lie to media whether or not (none / 0) (#30)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:34:08 PM EST
    the client directs the lawyer to do so.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#32)
    by friendofinnocence on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:39:03 PM EST
    I really didn't know lawyers could knowingly lie to advance their clients' legal position.

    Lawyers are NOT permitted (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by HydeParkLawyer on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:09:11 AM EST
    to lie.  Rule 4-8.4:  "A lawyer shall not:  . . .  (c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation."  Florida Rules of Professional Conduct.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#57)
    by friendofinnocence on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:29:34 AM EST
    for the cite.  I was asking about a particular lawyer, but the lawyer's name didn't show up in this tread after a search, so I thought maybe discussing it was verboten.  I don't want to break any rules because I like it here, and there is probably more to come on this particular subject in court today.

    In Zimmerman's accounts of the shooting (none / 0) (#38)
    by DennisD on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:21:00 AM EST
    he only feels compelled to fire his weapon after Martin goes for it. If Zimmerman is essentially intimating that he only truly feared imminent and serious injury at that time, why is the defense attempting to show that Martin's physical assault alone justifies deadly force? Are they trying to make Zimmerman's claim about Martin going for his gun more supportable by portraying Martin in a kind of "imminent, serious threat" mode? Do they want to argue that Zimmerman actually showed restraint that night?

    From what I understand reading here (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 05:36:10 AM EST
    and the jury instructions Jeralyn provided, it doesn't matter if the fight injuries would have produced death or serious bodily injury, or even that they occurred at all.

    All that matters is if it's "reasonable" per the evidence that Zimmerman could have thought so.


    What is reasonable (none / 0) (#90)
    by DennisD on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:39:55 PM EST
    is a discussion on it's own. I was asking about a seeming disconnect between Zimmerman's reason for firing his gun and, as of yet, the defense's argument for so doing.

    It's simple (5.00 / 0) (#92)
    by Char Char Binks on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:57:49 PM EST
    The battery was enough to justify the shooting, and so was M reaching for the gun while threatening to kill Z.  These things, separately or together, along with Z's inability to stop the assault or escape from it, justify the shooting.

    Yes and (none / 0) (#99)
    by DennisD on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:00:38 PM EST
    thanks for the reply. I just found it interesting that Zimmerman's stated motivation for drawing his weapon was not the assault per se but Martin going for his gun.

    True (none / 0) (#100)
    by Char Char Binks on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 05:24:15 PM EST
    I think they can and probably will use both reasons.  The battery is of course much easier to prove than the threat.

    Are defendant's statements consistent (none / 0) (#119)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:08:46 PM EST
    as to Martin stating b/4 defendant pulled the gun, you're going to die tonight?

    going for his gun (1.00 / 1) (#46)
    by mm on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:02:56 AM EST
    You know it's very weird but it certainly seems like Zimmerman's lawyer was lying to the jury yesterday about the location of Z's gun.  Z had a holster designed to conceal the weapon.  The weapon was on the right side of his back hip which would be on Martin's left side facing Z.  Yet the lawyer was demonstrating to the jury that the gun was on the front side of Zimmerman, under his belly.  Zimmerman bought a holster that was designed to conceal the weapon.  It wouldn't have been visible to Martin if Zimmerman was on his back.  Look at Zimmerman's walk through of the re-enactment and he is clearly indicating the gun was behind him on his right side.  Now look at Z's lawyer yesterday demonstrating that the gun in the holster was in front under his belly.  Not to mention that Martin was right handed and it would have been very awkward to be reaching across his body to a weapon on Z's back.  I think the whole story about Martin going for his gun is falling apart.

    What's weird (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Char Char Binks on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:13:49 PM EST
    is you perpetuating the lies that float around the HP posts.  Z's holster was on his hip.  In the walk-through, he put his hand for a split second in a location slightly to the rear of the holster, which so many have seized upon as proof that the gun was behind his back.  He may have been showing that it was located just in front of his hand, or he may have been showing that, due to the design of a pistol grip, he reached slightly behind it to grab it.  He never said the gun was behind him.  He then clearly demonstrated drawing a gun from his hip.

    I thought the officer (none / 0) (#48)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:13:41 AM EST
    testified it was on his right hip (where most people who carry guns carry them)? I never heard the "behind his back" until a comment last night about what Lisa Bloom said on MSNBC.

    What good would a gun behind you on your back do for anyone, even if you were standing up? I won't ever know because I don't have or want one, but that makes no sense.


    it was (none / 0) (#50)
    by mm on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 07:05:40 AM EST
    on his right hip.  But it was a conceal carry holster, designed to hold the gun behind him.  Just look at the difference between where Z demonstrates where the gun was and where Z's lawyer demonstrates where it was.  Huge difference.  And not a trivial one.  This would be a very simple easy matter to clear up, just show the holster in court and demonstrate how it is worn.  

    They did show it in court and the (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 07:16:49 AM EST
    officer testified where it was worn. It has to be concealed by Florida law, by clothing or this type holster. They're worn on your side, just like O'Mara said.

    That hasn't even been in an issue for the prosecutors. I don't know what Lisa Bloom, or you on the reenactment think you saw. It was where it was.


    Trivial difference (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by woodchuck64 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:39:36 AM EST
    There's no need to call this "lying" unless you have an axe to grind.  If there is a dramatic difference between what you think O'Mara is showing and what the evidence is, you've most likely misread the video or the evidence.

    If you're talking about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-FrhYNXf8I, around 1:21:00, O'Mara is not claiming that this is the exact location of Zimmerman's holster at the time of the shooting (although maybe it was after the struggle, I don't know), he's discussing the difference between internal and external holsters.


    an IWB concealed carry holster can be carried (none / 0) (#98)
    by buddabelly on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 03:44:55 PM EST
    in many positions from appendix which is right in front to 4 o'clock which is just behind the hip to center back.

    A small pistol can easily be worn concealed inside the waistband at the appendix position. A large one can be very uncomfortable to seriously painful in the same position...iirc the pistol is a quite small Kel-Tec so in front is certainly possible as is a behind the hip carry.

    Even carried in front, if Martin was on top of Zimmerman, it would be very hard to get to a pistol in your waistband.


    This actually makes sense (none / 0) (#63)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:11:13 AM EST
    If the gun was somehow behind/underneath Zimmerman while he was on the ground, and I do not know if this is the case, then the sequence makes sense.

    If the gun was somehow trappend underneath Zimmerman's body, then that would explain why he did not use it right away.  In my opinion, it just did not make sense why Zimmerman would endure the beating he has described without reaching for his gun earlier.  Perhaps, and if the gun were trapped underneath him, he could not reach it while simultaneosuly trying to ward off punches from  Martin, and scooch away, so he was not able to immediately free his gun.  But as soon he was finally able to do so, that is when he fired.

    A number of commenters here have said how fearful the cries for help were.  It does not make sense to me that someone in that alleged state of fear would wait to use what people here have said was his only way out.

    If the gun were underneath his body, or behind him, that fact would not necessarily hurt him.   Such fact, if it existed, would explain how he could both be on the receiving end of a very serious beating and yet not shoot right away.  But, on the other hand, such a fact would show Zimmerman's account is not accurate, either....  


    why? (3.00 / 2) (#77)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 11:38:26 AM EST
    why can you not imagine that shooting someone would be the last thing a person would want to do?

    This reminds me of the Abortion debates with the right wingers.  They just can not imagine that women who have late term abortions do it for good reasons.  They insist that those women do it because that have decided that after 7 months of being pregnant they have just decided to be selfish, because they are selfish or lazy or stupid and somehow evil.  But the anti-choice folks can not or just refuse to imagine their humanity.
    And I am seeing the same thing here with this case.  Zimmerman does something many people can not understand. He carries a gun.  He is "evil", his politics are wrong.  You are see this in terms of black and white and refuse to see his humanity.  No amount of evidence matters.
    Zimmerman said he didn't even think about the gun at first.  That could be true also.  How long did the "fight" last, a minute or so?


    In my opinion (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 11:58:44 AM EST
    Zimmerman does not strike me as someone who would hesitate to use his gun.  This part of the story has never made sense to me.

    He was calm as a cucumber after the shooting, according to all who saw him.

    He told Sean Hannity that he regretted nothing he did that night...

    I do not see remorse or anguish at all.....


    To me (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:18:30 PM EST
    he seems like someone who would not use his gun. As has been pointed out, he calls the NEN and likes to stay anonymous - that says he doesn't want confrontation.

    He was calm - a) he didn't realize Martin was dead, and b) he was probably in shock.

    As for no regrets.  Well, maybe he could have answered that better, but if you are asking "Would you have done anything differently?" (i.e. if you still felt in fear for your life, would you not have shot him?), then that is a different question


    Hit post too soon (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:19:54 PM EST
    if you mean "Are you sorry the kid is dead?", I'm sure his attorney instructed him not to say anything that could be used against him, so his statement may not reflect his true feelings.

    It seems (none / 0) (#93)
    by Char Char Binks on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:03:27 PM EST
    you know him well.

    OMHO, this whole issue is pointless... (none / 0) (#69)
    by Cashmere on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:53:06 AM EST
    Zimmerman claims he thinks Martin saw the gun.  If Martin was reaching for Zimmerman's gun, he may have become aware of it by feeling it during the scuffle.  I really don't think it is so "important" that Martin actually "saw" the gun, just that he became aware of it and moved to try to get it.

    Or maybe Martin was trying to (none / 0) (#74)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:17:59 AM EST
    prevent Zimmerman from getting it?

    For those of you who own and carry a gun, if you were in that kind of close quarters situation, with your body or your arms possibly being restrained in some way, how comfortable are you trying to get your weapon out?  Is there any concern that it's going to be wrested away and used against you?

    I don't own or carry a gun, but it just seems to me that rather than trying to get my gun out in that situation, I'm doing my damndest to prevent it from being taken from me.

    If I'm wrestling with someone and I can feel or see that they have a weapon, I'm probably going to be trying to make sure it doesn't come out - if I don't know what kind of gun it is, how to take off the safety, etc., I don't think I'm going to be trying to get it so I can use it - I just don't want the other guy to get it and use it on me.

    I'd be curious what the gun owners/carriers would do in this situation, and whether it's reasonable that both of these people could have been trying to make sure the gun didn't come out, rather than trying to get it to use it.


    But one has to judge the credibility (none / 0) (#95)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:11:00 PM EST
    of Zimmerman's explanations....

    Crump's deposition did occur (none / 0) (#44)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 05:38:05 AM EST
    according to Mr. Parks in an interview tonight. He said "they didn't get anything like they thought they would" whatever that means or refers to.

    GZ case watchers help, please. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 05:49:55 AM EST
    In Jeralyn's post about GZ's phone records showing he tried to call at 7:08 and didn't get through until 7:9:34, she wrote this:

    If Zimmerman was at the clubhouse calling non-emergency at 7:08 pm, does that make his version of events as to when he first saw Martin and when he first lost sight of Martin more credible?

    Can someone explain the significance to me?

    Many have question the narrative GZ has told (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by leftwig on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:54:55 AM EST
    about when he parked at the clubhouse, what he observed while there and how that fits into the timeline of when the NEN call connected.  IF GZ only made one call to police that connected at 7:09:34, then his timeline of being connected to NEN while sitting at the clubhouse is out of whack (doesn't seem to be enough time for everything he detailed to happen).  If however, he pulled over to the clubhouse and was trying to connect with NEN around 7:08 something and couldn't get through, then pulled around the corner to try and keep an eye on TM and connected with NEN there at 7:09:34, then his story makes much more sense (only missing that the calling of NEN at the clubhouse didn't result in a connection, but got connected later).  

    Forums.talkleft.com Down (none / 0) (#54)
    by RickyJim on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:18:36 AM EST
    At 9:18EDT am getting this message:
    Error 503 Service Unavailable

    Service Unavailable
    Guru Meditation:

    XID: 1887894922

    Plus, my favorite line in the report (none / 0) (#55)
    by cboldt on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:19:49 AM EST
    "Varnish cache server"

    Thanks (none / 0) (#58)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:34:39 AM EST
    I came here hoping to find out if it was just me.

    No it is all of us ....boooo (3.67 / 3) (#78)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 11:53:16 AM EST
    just when Dr. Vincent Di Maio is on the stand.  He has shredded the state's case and he has done it with SCIENCE. Imagine that.
    He is making the state's forensic's expert look more ridiculous than she already did.  Forget the guy that did the autopsy.  

    Shaeffer(sp) thinks this animation (none / 0) (#65)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:24:50 AM EST
    should come in even by tougher Daubert(sp) standards.

    I think she'll only allow the stills. He just said again she'll rule it can come in because it's accepted. I wouldn't dare to assume that.

    She just said continue after (none / 0) (#66)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:28:02 AM EST
    recess today. My question is she, the prosecution and the defense knew this before the trial started. Why not take care of this business before the trial?

    I think she was so set on no delay that it's not fair to either side where justice should be the ultimate guideline.

    Shocker (none / 0) (#67)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:32:58 AM EST
    Sunny H on CNN can't even believe the judge should consider it. He's had the opportunity to be considered an expert 59 times, and all 59 times he was, and she acts like it's junk.

    Shaeffer said it's science, forensics and law enforcement uses it and him, including the Dept of Justice to defend police officers.

    Animation Issues (none / 0) (#72)
    by RickyJim on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:03:53 AM EST
    The basic problem I have is that we know the last position John Good saw the combatants in and the results of the gunshot.  There could have been as many as 30 seconds in between.  A huge number of scenarios could have occurred in that time.  How did he choose the one demonstrated in the animation?  It will have to be made very clear to the jury what other possibilities there are besides the one they see.

    They have a witness (none / 0) (#82)
    by lousy1 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:05:51 PM EST
    George Zimmerman who gave an immediate detailing of those moments.

    30 Seconds (none / 0) (#84)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:08:21 PM EST
    The basic problem I have is that we know the last position John Good saw the combatants in and the results of the gunshot.  There could have been as many as 30 seconds in between.

    How do you get 30 seconds?


    I Tried to Estimate (none / 0) (#88)
    by RickyJim on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:23:26 PM EST
    How long it takes to close your patio door, find your cellphone, dial 911 and wait for them to pick up.  Good said he heard the shot while waiting on the line.  Apparently the animation claims to hook up the Lauer tape with the time Good said he spent outside which he estimated as 10 seconds.  I wonder if their guess is much different than my 30 seconds.  

    TLForums Back But Estremely Slow (none / 0) (#89)
    by RickyJim on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:29:26 PM EST
    At about 1:30PM EDT.

    Its Completely Down Now (none / 0) (#91)
    by RickyJim on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:43:23 PM EST
    we're working on it (none / 0) (#101)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 05:34:35 PM EST
    it's a problem relating to the allocation of resources between TL and the forums. There's so much traffic and data on the forums that they are needing more of the servers resources than usual. If we give them too much resources, then TL goes down.

    Must be nice (none / 0) (#115)
    by lousy1 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:36:21 AM EST
    to be popular