Tag: George Zimmerman
There's been a spate of new pleadings in the George Zimmerman case. (This morning's filings are discussed here.) The defense is asking for a trial continuance (motion here) because of expert Alan Reich, who it appears, is not a speaker identification expert or analyst but a "speech" analyst. The state didn't turn over his report making this evident until May 10. It wants more time to verify Reich's credentials and determine whether his area of expertise really is an area of expertise, and to retain its own expert. (My analysis of Reich's report, which I called a joke, is here.)
The defense also filed another motion for sanctions against the state (available here). Turns out, the state didn't deliver and hasn't delivered any reports of items extracted from Trayvon Martin's phone, or identify any items extracted from the phone. What it did was turn over a raw "bin" file which is unreadable without special software. The state has the software and the defense says it is "undeniable" that the state analyzed what's in the bin files and compiled reports, but failed to identify any items extracted from the files as exculpatory or impeaching and failed to disclose any reports on the items extracted. As O'Mara says, it's like they turned over the letters A to Z and said all the words you need are in there, go find them. That's not what Brady and Giglio require. [More...]
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(Larger version here)
The defense in the George Zimmerman case today released another batch of discovery it has provided the state. They include text messages and photos extracted from Trayvon Martin's cell phone. Several texts pertain to guns (Martin wanted one), marijuana, fighting, and his school suspension. There are many messages with Witness 8.
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George Zimmerman's attorneys have filed a response to the State's motion to exclude evidence of Trayvon Martin's marijuana use. The pleading is available here and includes this information:
From other evidence in the case, it is known that Trayvon Martin brought marijuana with him from South Florida to use while he was in Sanford and that he used it at least one time after arriving in Sanford prior to his death. Trayvon Martin was suspended from school for possessing a baggie containing marijuana residue and was known to smoke n1arijuana with his friends. In George Zimmerman's non-emergency call to the police, he describes the person, later identified as Trayvon Martin, as appearing as though he was "on drugs."
Additionally, on close inspection of Trayvon Martin's physical appearance at the 7-Eleven, where he was recorded on video within an hour of his death, he sways at the counter as if he's under the influence of some substance.
The motion states the defense has deposed the state's toxicologist, Dr. Bruce Goldberger, who testified: [More...]
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We all scream for ice cream
In the first report, despite the cries on the 911 call being deemed "minimum-to-marginal material for identification purposes", the authors picked 6 "screams" to analyze. It concludes Martin likely made the first two screams and Zimmerman the last two screams. [More...]
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Lawyers for George Zimmerman today filed a motion asking the jury in his upcoming trial over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin be anonymous. The motion is here.
It's pretty unusual for a defendant (as opposed to the prosecution) to ask for an anonymous jury (sometimes called an innominate jury.) Will the state object? In at least one case, that of an outlaw motorcycle gang, the state defended a judge's discretion to order an innominate jury. (An innominate jury is one in which all information about the jurors is disclosed to the parties, with the exception of the jurors' names, addresses, and exact place of work. Some courts use the term "innominate," instead of "anonymous" because anonymous connotes a "clandestine, forbidden, and obscure" jury panel.)
Among the factors that may warrant an anonymous/innominate jury in Florida is where "extensive publicity that could enhance the possibility that jurors’ names would become public and expose them to intimidation and harassment." [More...]
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George Zimmerman's lawyers have filed a motion seeking a Frye hearing to determine the admissibility of the testimony of any voice experts the state may want to call at his trial on the issue of who was screaming in the background of Witness 11's 911 call to police. The motion is here.
The Martin family thinks it was Trayvon screaming. Zimmerman's family is equally insistent it was George. FBI experts stated no conclusion could be reached due to the quality and nature of the recording.
The Orlando Sentinel retained two experts who used different methods. Tom Owen concluded it was not George but having never heard Trayvon's voice, he couldn't conclude it was Trayvon. He used a new biometric program he developed. The other expert used a different technique and concluded a young male was screaming. (He had never heard Trayvon's voice either.)
I discussed the reliability of voice biometrics here. [More...]
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One year ago today George Zimmerman was arrested and charged with second degree murder for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The 5th District Court of Appeals has ordered the state to file a response to Zimmerman's petition for writ of cert to overturn the trial court judge's refusal to allow the defense to depose Martin family lawyer Benjamin Crump. The response is due April 28. It also granted the defense 10 days to file a reply to the state's response.
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George Zimmerman's lawyers have filed a petition for writ of cert in the 5th District Court of Appeals (available here) seeking to overturn the trial court's denial of its request to depose Martin family lawyer Benjamin Crump about his interview with Witness 8, the young woman who claims to have been on the phone with Trayvon Martin minutes before the shooting.
The 43 page petition is supported by a 271 page appendix which includes several transcripts as well as pleadings.
I think Zimmerman should win based on the waiver argument alone. I also don't think Crump comes close to being an "opposing counsel" in the case. In a criminal case, there are two parties: the Defendant and the State. Crump represents the family of the deceased -- that shouldn't make him opposing counsel. Nor does he represent Witness 8. Even if he were "opposing counsel, O'Mara explains why that doesn't prevent his deposition from being taken on the Witness 8 issue. [More...]
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As I wrote the other day, George Zimmerman attorney Mark O'Mara filed a motion for sanctions against Florida prosecutors for withholding information favorable to the defense. It was a very civilized pleading, supported by factual instances, letters and e-mails.
Late yesterday, in response, the state filed one of the most scurrilous, unprofessional pleadings I have ever had the misfortune to read. I have uploaded it here.
I cannot imagine such a pleading being filed in our federal courts by any Assistant U.S. Attorney. If this is acceptable protocol for Florida state prosecutors, I'm glad I neither practice nor live there.
I have no interest in the diatribe contained in the pleading. But I do want to discuss a few factual allegations and the legal issue.[more..]
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There are lots of new developments in the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case. Before I get to them, some readers will remember that about 10 days ago, I wrote about the newly released ABC recording of a portion of Benjamin Crump’s March 19, 2012 interview with Witness 8 and said I would follow-up with analysis. [More...]
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Found in a comment by Tara at Conservative Treehouse: this link to ABC's website with 5 minutes of ABC's recording of the telephone call between Martin family lawyer Benjamin Crump and Witness 8, Trayvon's phone friend, recorded on March 19, 2012. Crump has acknowledged ABC's Matt Guttman and his assistant were present during the interview and Guttman tweeted at the time he had a recording of the conversation.
Why are we only finding this clip now? Did ABC recently release this? It appears so. Does it have anything to do with O'Mara's motion for a subpoena to ABC News for the original recordings, to which it filed an objection but which has not yet been heard by the court? Or does it have to do with Benjamin Crump's oh-so carefully worded affidavit about his interview with Witness 8 and the circumstances of the recording?
While this ABC clip is only 5 minutes and 19 seconds of the 14 minute recording, it is so much clearer than any version Crump or the State have produced to date. Witness 8 is much easier to understand.
I'm still working on the analysis I began last night, and won't get to finish it until this evening. In the meantime, please see Diwataman's preliminary analysis.
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(Video by Diwata Man.) A hearing was held in the George Zimmerman case Tuesday. You can watch the hearing here (part 1, begins at 11:45 in) and here (part 2.) The post-hearing press-conference is here.
The first significant motion to be heard was the defense request for a subpoena to obtain the hospital records of Witness 8, Trayvon Martin's 19 year old phone friend. (Starts at 13:40 into part 1.) The defense advised the court the subpoena was no longer necessary as the state told them yesterday the records did not exist. Witness 8 had lied when she told Trayvon Martin's parents' lawyers and the state prosecutor (the latter under oath) she could not attend Trayvon Martin's wake on Friday, March 2, 2012, because she had gone to the hospital where she spent the night. More on this at the end. [More...]
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George Zimmerman will not be allowed to depose Benjamin Crump, the judge ruled today.
The hearing is going on now, you can watch live here.
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Judge Debra Nelson has issued this order setting final deadlines for the immunity hearing and trial of George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman's legal team released this statement saying that it raised $28,000. in the past three weeks and can now retain some experts. It needs much more, and soon, as the deadline for disclosing experts is March 27.
Also today, the judge in the Shellie Zimmerman perjury case denied a motion to dismiss alleging that State's Attorney Angela Corey lacked authority to prosecute the case: [More...]
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At a hearing today, Judge Debra Nelson ordered the clerk to summon 500 prospective jurors for George Zimmerman's trial for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, scheduled for June 10.
The Judge also refused to delay the self-defense immunity hearing, which will begin April 22 and last up to two weeks.
Mark O'Mara said he may ask that the immunity hearing be "enveloped" into the trial. [More...]
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