The Zimmerman Case – Week One Wrap-Up

courtesy bet.com

It was a dark and stormy night.

So started “Paul Clifford,” perhaps the worst successful novel of all time. And so started the events February 26, 2012, when George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin met, one life ended and the other will never be the same. Like the predictable silliness of the 18th Century novel, the trial of George Zimmerman started to a stupid joke, but the plot has improved since then, as have the performance of the defense lawyers . . .

Day Four began with the continuing and contentious cross examination of Rachel Jeantel, who was on the phone with Travon Martin in the moments leading up to the shooting. It was hard to listen to, more difficult to watch and damn near impossible for the court reporter to transcribe. Fortunately, the day continued on a more watchable (and transcribable) note with the testimony of two comely neighbors of Zimmerman who were “earwitnesses” to the event. While perhaps solidifying the timeline, there were two important takeaways.

The first was revealed by a female neighbor who opined that Zimmerman started the neighborhood watch program to be a good neighbor. She corroborated the testimony of the former coordinator of Sanford’s neighborhood watch program. The coordinator had praised Zimmerman’s professionalism, adding “He seemed like he really wanted to make changes in his community, to make it better.” This was another kick in the teeth to the prosecution’s strained narrative painting Zimmerman as a heartless vigilante.

The second takeaway was that everybody who was living in proximity of the shooting seems to have moved away. I wonder why.

The highlight of Day Five was the testimony of Jonathan Good, a neighbor who saw more of the fight between Martin and Zimmerman than any other witness. Good was the kind of witness that juries love. He was straightforward, unbiased and direct. I’m sure that his standards of personal grooming were also noteworthy.

Judging Good’s credibility for myself, I concluded that he was telling the truth as he saw it. And while it’s possible that he didn’t see what he thought he saw, it sure seemed like he did. He was very convincing.

Several neighbors had testified that they had seen Zimmerman, the “bigger man,” on top. Good contradicted them by stating unequivocally that he saw Martin on top, not Zimmerman, in an MMA technique called “ground and pound.” In other words, he claimed to see Martin sitting on or straddling Zimmerman’s torso and delivering blows from the top or “mount” position.

I’ve seen Randy Couture do that and it seems like being on the bottom would be unpleasant. He’s lucky that none of his opponents were armed.

There was a thorn in the roses of Good’s bouquet of testimony. Good was adamant that he never saw Martin pounding Zimmerman’s head into the concrete, which contradicts Zimmerman’s statement. It also contradicts the defense’s position that the concrete was a deadly weapon, the use of which means that Zimmerman didn’t escalate but only met force with force. Well, the concrete isn’t a deadly weapon if it wasn’t used. Still, Good’s testimony was powerful defense evidence, which is amazing since he was a prosecution witness.

Jonathan Manolo, yet another neighbor, testified that immediately after the event, he asked Zimmerman what happened. Zimmerman told Manolo that he, Zimmerman, was being beaten up and had to shoot someone to save his own life. Because this statement was excited and occurred so close to the shooting, it is considered part of the event and admissible at trial.

If Zimmerman is acquitted, he should throw a party for Manolo. While it appeared that Manolo was actually a little peeved at Zimmerman, Manolo was also the recipient of admissible hearsay, and he was the only person to document Zimmerman’s injuries in their full flower by taking cell phone photos of Zimmerman’s nose and cranium. Right afterwards, the EMTs cleaned Zimmerman up so they could check his injuries. An uncleaned wound usually looks a lot worse than one where the blood has been cleaned away, reducing their potential impact on the jury.

I’ve told Farago on more than one occasion that trials are full of surprises, and one of the biggest occurred during the testimony of the articulate Physician’s Assistant who treated Zimmerman the next day. Let’s get this out of the way first — after her testimony and seeing the accompanying photographs, I believe that George Zimmerman now has the world’s most well-known skull since, alas, poor Yorick’s. I never want to see it again.

The surprise was that, according to the PA, Zimmerman was the trained MMA guy. He was taking MMA instruction three days a week, so maybe he knew a thing or two about ground and pound.

Except for Don West’s faux pas at the beginning of the case, the lawyering has been pretty good. The judge seems to want to move things along and (as she mentioned on Day Five) has agreed with the lawyers to allow them to ask leading questions even on direct as long as they don’t push it too far. Both sides seem to be playing nice so far. There’s still a few weeks to go in this trial, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

comments

  1. avatar stateisevil says:

    Remember, this is a show trial. I know some fairly senior Florida jurists who say that if this didn’t come from the top, there would be no prosecution. There is nothing to see here. It’s a sad situation, but the law is on GZ’s side, and reasonably so.

    1. avatar Rattlerjake says:

      This is trial be estrogen! The only men in the courtroom are Zimmerman and the two attorneys. The judge is a woman, the jury is all women, and the witnesses are women. If convicted, Zimmerman can look at the bright side, he got f*cked by a dozen women.

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      Obviously based on the history of the last month this is an impossible paranoid conspiracy theory but PERHAPS Obuma/Holder might have “suggested” this BS proceed to trial??? Maybe a political agenda?

      1. avatar Felix says:

        Political correctness has a million leaders all following each other. No need to invoke conspiracy theories.

  2. avatar Ropingdown says:

    Excellent summary from the voice of experience. I would qualify the characterization of Jonathan Good’s testimony: He didn’t say that Martin did not pound Zimmerman’s head on concrete, but only that he didn’t see it. He said “The man on top move his hands down.” Surely O’Meara will elicit a clarification. It does seem that ‘indicia of a depraved mind’ has been thoroughly undermined cumulatively..so far. As for ‘concrete as a lethal weapon,’ I’ll stick with the belief that FL law does not require more than this to successful assert justified self-defense by use of lethal force: that Zimmerman had the actual and rational apprehension that Martin had the ability and immediate intent to inflict grievous bodily injury on Z, combined with the fact that Martin was (by Good’s testimony) actively blocking Z’s ability to break off, withdraw from the fight. These two elements reset the availability of FL’s self-defense justification even if Z played an equal part in the initiation of a mere fist fight. Or so I believe. That “actively blocking the ability to break off and retreat while continuing the fight” seems of little interest to commentators. I believe it is a crucial bit of law. Maybe not?

    1. avatar DJC1012 says:

      With regard to issue of Mr. not seeing head pounding on the concrete A news commentator (on Fox I think) brought up that the altercation lasted around 40 seconds. Mr. Good only watched for approx. 10 secs. before making his 911 call.
      Previous testimony was that fight moved from the grass to sidewalk. It’s quite possible Mr. Good didn’t see this part. (?)
      But it’s reasonable to assume that GZ didn’t get his head wounds on the grass. Not sure we’ll ever know if the wounds were from the pounding or if , as he asserts, Martin pulled his head up and slammed it down on the concrete.
      In any case, being punched in the face with your head against the concrete has to be relatively close to being as dangerous and traumatic as having it slammed.

      The take away, no matter what the verdict, is that GZ made a huge mistake by continuing pursuit.
      Once Martin was on his way out of the neighbor hood and the 911 operator told GZ to stand down … he should have.

      That mistake turned out to be tragic for everybody.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        I believe that according to GZ’s statement, he had broken off pursuit. Visualize this: The sidewalk is a T. GZ’s truck is parked at the end of the left limb of the T (west). There is a street at the end of the right limb of the T (east). TM’s house is at the bottom of the T (south). GZ’s statements say that he got out of his truck and walked across the limb of the T (east), to the far street. He was standing at/near the end of the right limb of the T when he acceded to the NEN operator’s advice that “We don’t need you to do that,” and at that point started walking back across the limb of the T (west), toward his truck. About the time he passed the T intersection, he was approached by TM, who was coming up the T from the south, from GZ’s left. The altercation ensued.

        So, if his statement is to be believed (which obviously I think it is, and the evidence shown thus far seems to support), your contention that GZ made a huge mistake by continuing pursuit is incorrect, because his statement and the evidence thus far both say he did exactly that.

        1. avatar RobertSF says:

          Your scenario is exactly what Zimmerman told police. Unfortunately, the scenario doesn’t fit the timeline. Had Zimmerman turned around and started returning to his truck and gotten ambushed as he passed by the T, he would have still been on the phone with the NEN operator.

          Here are some critical times:
          7:11:48 – GZ gets out of truck, starts running.
          7:12:08 – GZ stops running
          7:13:39 – GZ ends call to NEN.
          7:16:11 – First call reporting fight comes in.

          The police timed it several times. It would have taken GZ about 1:20 from the time he got out of his truck to be back in his truck if indeed GZ did what he said he did. So he would have been back in the truck while still on the phone with NEN.

          If we assume that it took the first caller 45 to react, call 911, and get through, then the fight started at 7:15:26, 3:38 after he out of his truck. What was he doing the other 2:18?

          When the police asked him, GZ tried to tell them that he stood at the end of the right limb of the T, trying to get his flashlight to work because he was afraid of walking back without a light. The police did not believe him and told him so.

          Here’s the transcript where that happens.
          http://zimmerman-vs-martin.blogspot.com/2013/04/complete-transcript-serino-interview.html

          Serino: OK, you’re in the rain, getting wet. You’ve wrote this guy off basically, you’re gonna meet the police . . . But then you get to the other side and . . . you want us to believe that you’re concerned about having a flashlight to move back where you just ran?

  3. avatar Rebecca says:

    If Martin pummeled Zimmerman like is claimed, why are there no injuries to Martin’s hands? Beating someone like that and breaking their nose should leave the pummeler’s hands swollen and bruised. According to the coroner’s report, they’re not.

    1. avatar juliesa says:

      I’m no doctor, but I believe I’ve heard that death prevents swelling. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

      1. avatar DDay says:

        He had two injuries, knuckles and gunshot.

        http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/autopsy-shows-trayvon-martin-injuries-knuckles-report-article-1.1079190

        Look up the pictures of Zimmerman’s hands, there were no injuries and he has light skin so it’s very easy to see.

      2. avatar William Burke says:

        I think this is incorrect, based on an admittedly small number of post-mortem photos I’ve seen.

      3. avatar C says:

        If my Law & Order viewership serves me correctly, a lack of a pulse does put a damper on swelling.

      4. avatar RobertSF says:

        Aside from any swelling, the skin would be torn. You ever wonder why boxers wear gloves? It’s not to cushion the impact of their blows. It’s to protect their own hands. When fist meets face, both are damaged, just like when two cars collide.

        Also, why didn’t Zimmerman have any defensive bruises on his forearms? If you straddle someone and try to hit them in the face, they will instinctively raise their arms to protect themselves.

        And while we’re at it, why is Zimmerman so uninjured? He claims Martin punched him in the face 25, 30 times, but he has no cut eyebrows, no black eyes, no split lips, no skin abrasions, and no swollen cheeks. This is what a beating like Zimmerman describes looks like.

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Martin had bloody knuckles, along with a new hole in his shirt. And if Martin didn’t do that to him, I’d like to see George do that to himself.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        It’s certainly possible to.

      2. avatar RobertSF says:

        No, Martin did not have bloody knuckles. How do these urban myths get started? Martin had no blood on his hands, none of Zimmerman’s and none of his own. What Martin had was a small abrasion, 1/4″ by 1/8″, below the knuckled of the ring finger on his left hand. That’s all he had, and for what it’s worth, Martin was right-handed.

        1. avatar the last Marine out says:

          It can out in court that Martin used a back/side path and Attacked GZ (behind) and also one man can out and Martin was on top of GZ beating him , he went to get help.. They have NO CASE at all on GZ ,, He needs to be let go and we will have justice. We need to stop all this race stuff, the FBI checked and the police checked and their was never been a work from GZ about race, YES he wanted the police to do more about the local crime , that does not show intent to kill…….

    3. avatar stateisevil says:

      Not necessarily the case. I’ve seen people punch through concrete with no visible harm to the hand. I’ve seen people punch through drywall and have to go the the emergency department.

      1. avatar DJ says:

        Except in the first case they are martial artists, and in the second they are drunk…

      2. avatar William Burke says:

        Saw it myself. A 14-year old kid. I was in the ER for having my knee struck by a car bumper, crossing and intersection at a green light. Busted me good; I’ve never fully recovered.

        I knew the kid. The one that busted his hand, I mean…

    4. avatar Gyufygy says:

      If the reports of “street” fighting are true, his hands and knuckles could certainly have been tough enough to take a beating and not have too much damage. Training on a bag for awhile or any number of activities could do the same.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        A heavy bag is not a slab of concrete sidewalk!

        1. avatar Joel L says:

          What does that have to do with anything? A face isn’t a concrete slab of sidewalk either.

    5. avatar Hannibal says:

      You can clock someone in the face and break your knuckles, or you can clock them and be free of injury. It’s part skill, and large part luck. Not probative, in my view.

    6. avatar Mark Davis says:

      Rebecca – in my youth I was a bouncer. There were instances where I punched people effectively and repeatedly without any injury to my hands.

      It is a myth that every fight results in bloody knuckles and swollen or broken hands.

      (And just for the record, I have not punched anyone for many years. The only reason I’d fight now is to save my life).

    7. Martin’s hands, specifically his knuckles, were injured. Other than the gunshot wound, the injuries to Martin’s hands were the only injuries he had.

      This is consistent with Zimmerman’s claim that Martin was punching him repeatedly.

  4. avatar DDay says:

    The case is a train wreck and it gets worse each day. Yeah if Zimmerman didn’t get out of the truck, it would have happened. If I don’t drive I can’t get in an accident. What zimmerman did was foolish but it wasn’t illegal and there is nothing that has been said so far that disproves what he says happened.

    I don’t even think the state is carrying 51% of the testimony thus far never mind the very high bar of beyond a reasonable doubt.

    The whole thing could have been prevented by each party many times but it happened. Just because it happened, doesn’t mean there was a crime. Even the pro Martin folks on tv are seeing the writing on the wall. I think it’s basically over now. The hole is so deep, I don’t see how they could recover and to recover to beyond a reasonable doubt.

    1. avatar UnapologeticallyAmerican says:

      I guess that every neighborhood watch volunteer across the country should just stay inside their house where it is perfectly safe (sarcasm).

      As a member of the neighborhood watch I have approached strangers in our neighborhood asking what they were doing. Most of the time they are lost, and I kindly help them. A couple of times however, the occupants of the car stumble through explainations and act suspiciously. My guess they were either attempting to sell drugs or case houses. I call the cops and if they are still there, they are escorted out of the neighborhood and don’t return. One such incident involved an icecream truck in the middle of the day when school was in session and there had not been a single child in the area for the previous 3 days the truck sat there for hours.

      By approaching the unknown car with several adultish males I know there could be trouble. But that doesn’t stop me from my DUTY to my family and my neighbors because of the risk of personal harm. Criminals rely on our apathy and cowardice to allow them access to our neighborhoods. If every citizen stood up and said, “NO, not where I live”, criminals would have few places to operate.

      To state that GZ was in the wrong for trying to find out why a person (at 5’11” it is hard to call them a child or kid) is wandering a gated exclusive community to which he felt he had a duty to watch…. a community who recently has been plagued with break-ins…. a community the police can’t get to for hours to investigate a suspicious individual/but minutes for a self-defense shooting… you are wrong. GZ was neither a coward or apathetic toward what he believed,and many other Americans also believe is their duty.

  5. avatar Ropingdown says:

    I was stunned by an attorney on a CNN panel today. She was CNN’s person in the courtroom, and a self-professed prosecutor. She actually said, after the PA’s testimony, than ‘none of the injuries Zimmerman sustained constituted a grievous bodily injury,’ and so Zimmerman clearly had no right to shoot. What? And she’s a prosecutor? She thinks a victim has to wait until their jaw is broken (one FL case-based aggravated wounding) and the perp is still coming at them before using lethal force? Do they have a bar exam in the state?

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      If it was Sunny Hostin, note she is “good friends” with one of the Martin family attorneys. Just saying. . .

      1. avatar Ropingdown says:

        Exactly, but I didn’t want to go into that, give the name, etc.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      The standard is “fear of grievous bodily injury,” and she is “merely” suggesting that since his injuries were not in fact “grievous,” it is reasonable to infer that he had no reasonable fear that justified use of deadly force.

      1. avatar Ropingdown says:

        …but that’s obviously an irrational inference on her part. As the guy is kneeling on you giving you two-handed poundings and you can’t break free, it is rational to actually believe he is about to, and able to, administer a blow that succeeds in cracking your skull. Sunny was simply misstating the law, as if a grievous bodily injury had to occur before lethal force was used. These analyses are not advanced. They’re first-second year law school material.

      2. avatar Ralph says:

        The standard is “reasonable fear,” not just fear. If we accept that Zimmerman wasn’t the racist that the prosecution wants us to believe he was, then we can assume that he fired out of fear. I mean, it’s unlikely that he was cleaning the gun and it just went off, or just checking the trigger pull.

        So the issue is: was Zimmerman’s fear of death or grievous bodily injury reasonable?

        1. avatar Ropingdown says:

          Having no practical experience with this issue myself, I wonder if you have a view on the statement below by Andrew Branca. What I wonder specifically is this: If the prosecution challenges the reasonableness of Zimmerman’s ‘fear of…grievous bodily injury,’ does that open to admissibility a much wider swath of evidence about Martin’s reputation for violence in his own community?:

          Andrew Branca’s view: “It is within the contours of the principle of Reasonableness that the attacker’s prior acts and/or reputation might be made relevant at trial, even if they were unknown to you at the time. The reasonableness of your perception that the attacker’s behavior was threatening would be buttressed if your attacker had a reputation in the community for behaving in threatening manner. Similarly, the reasonableness of your perception that the attacker was acting in an irrational and frightening manner would be buttressed if your attacker habitually used intoxicants, and was in fact intoxicated at the time of the attack.”

          [Blood THC levels showing intoxication at the time of the attack will, I assume, come in regardless of the above statement.]

        2. avatar Accur81 says:

          Ralph,

          Yes, Zimmerman’s fear was reasonable. Bashing the head of someone into a concrete sidewalk is deadly force. If someone had me in the mount, and was bashing my head into the sidewalk, I would shoot in self defense. MMA referees quickly stop fights when one opponent is swinging full force head and face punches from the mount position against the other opponent.

        3. avatar Ardent says:

          I if I recall correctly the reasonable fear clause is based on what the person claiming self defense was or reasonably should have been aware of at the time? Being supine, mounted and continuously beaten about the face and head would tend to seriously narrow the scope of what one might reasonably be aware of regarding both injuries and the intent of the assailant.

          Also, if he was a racist AND not in fear of his life are we to assume his motive was to kill an African American? It seems incredible that his plan was to provoke a fight then take a sufficient beating to ‘justify’ killing.

          The guy might be a racist, he might even be a serious D-head, but it’s hard to believe that at the point he pulled the trigger a reasonable person would not have been in fear of serious bodily harm.

        4. avatar tdiinva says:

          Let’s drop the presumption of racism. According to Glenn Reynolds Zimmerman has more African blood than Homer Plessy of the famous Plessy vs Ferguson case decided by the SCOTUS in 1896 in switch Jim Crow was given sanction by the Court. The narrative of the white racist Zimmerman was used to pump up black turnout in 2012. Remember if blacks don’t turnout then Democrats don’t get elected. Some analysts believe the White House wants an acquittal to get out the black vote next year so the Democrats can retain their Senate majority.

      3. avatar Ropingdown says:

        It was not reasonable to infer that a defendant was not ‘in reasonable fear of ….grievous bodily injury’ simply because the wounds so far received were not grievous. It is only reasonable to ask “what was the conduct of the attacker and knowledge of the victim that made such fear reasonable, if any?” Lethal self-defense is lawful conditioned on the reasonable expectation of imminently receiving a grievous injury, not upon already having been so injured.

  6. avatar Matt in FL says:

    There’s a broken sentence in the section about the PA that begins “Also unhelpful to the defense were the PA’s…”

    The PA’s what?! Don’t leave me hanging here, man.

    1. avatar CharlieKilo says:

      No, it makes sense. Read it again.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        It’s been fixed.

  7. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    The state prosecutor deserves to be summoned before the state bar ethics commission for even bringing charges.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      I bet you say that about all the prosecutors.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        LOL. I disagree also. And you are talking about riots AFTER the trial? There was pressure to press charges, and I think charges are justified.

      2. avatar Ropingdown says:

        Alan Dershowitz, a renowned defense attorney and Harvard professor, agreed with Dirk in a piece written months ago.

    2. avatar OldBenTurninginGrave says:

      I’m with you, but my guess is they were ordered (or at least strongly pressured) to prosecute. Too many people are too deeply angry to just let this drop. Show trial indeed, but it might calm things down to let people se the evidence.

  8. avatar Crunkleross says:

    I know the man who wrote that book.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      And I didn’t buy it.

  9. avatar DJ says:

    Will or should the defense present a person, of comparative physic to that of Martin, to show the size comparison of the victim and perpetrator? Also, if Zimmerman was atop of Martin, shouldn’t there be blood from his nose or his head be on the front of Martins clothes?

  10. avatar C says:

    Pair of articles linked from Drudge claiming that Jeantel is multilingual because she speaks improper English. They boil down to whites being racists for questioning her story at all.

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:

      Tons of tweets from Jeantel making it clear she spends a lot of time stoning and drinking. And she replied to O’Meara, when asked if Martin hadn’t simply broken off the conversation to go start a fight, “That is retarded, Sir.” And went on “if he was doing that he would have told me ‘I’ll call you back’.” To which he wanted to ask, but was cut off, “Did he usually say that when he was going to go and start a fight?” The second week of the trial will be interesting.

  11. avatar Aharon says:

    If Zimmerman is found innocent can he then sue Martin’s parents for any compensation?

  12. avatar M4T5 says:

    There were no charges until the MSM made it racial, right?

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:

      There were no charges until the US DoJ said they would take an active role in the investigation. There was also no Jeantel talking to anybody until the DoJ spoke.

  13. avatar jwm says:

    I think the biggest reason for a trial is that we only have GZ’s word that TM iniated the attack. No witnesses to the actual fight at the beginning. Had TM been killed in GZ’s house you could presume the home owner was defending his life against an intruder.

    I see brief moments of the trial on the wall TV at my gym. So far, and I’m not a legal expert, I feel that the prosocution is not proving beyond a reasonable doubt. Hopefully when the trial is over and verdict rendered one way or the other people will feel that the process worked and handle the results calmly.

    1. avatar Jason says:

      Yeah, because the anti-GZ lynch mob has been calm and reasonable so far. Expect retaliatory violence and talking heads claiming the system is racist.

    2. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      “I think the biggest reason for a trial is that we only have GZ’s word that TM iniated the attack.”
      And GZ’s ouchies, and TM’s lack of(not counting the bullet to the heart), from their “fight”. Unless you think TM beat GZ AFTER he took a bullet to the heart.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        GZ got the worst of the fight. That proves zip about who started it.

        1. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

          Nope, I’d say the thug with the bullet hole got the worst of the fight. Kinda the point of carrying.

        2. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          jwm, at his most perspicacious tells us, “GZ got the worst of the fight.”

          I can’t stop laughing and the incredible close-minded, biased viewpoint demonstrated in that observation.

          Hahahahahahahahaha

        3. avatar jwm says:

          OK, J& d and mikeyb. GZ got the worst of the fight. TM got the worst of the shooting. Never a can of troll be gone when you need one.

        4. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          Rather than admit that one of your fellow AI members said one of the stupidest things ever written on this blog, that George got the worst of the fight, you’ll double down on it and justify it with some flakey division in the time line.

          This is the honesty you guys are famous for.

          GZ got the worst of the fight right up till the moment when he killed his unarmed opponent.

        5. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

          Again with the name calling, you creepy a$$ crackah.

        6. avatar jwm says:

          J&D, if it’s got feathers like a duck, webbed toes like a duck, quaks like a……….

        7. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Mikeb30200: “GZ got the worst of the fight right up till the moment when he killed his unarmed opponent.”

          I’m glad you acknowledged that. With that in mind, how long would you have him go on getting the worst of the fight before you felt he was justified in putting a stop to it? How many punches to the face did he have to take? How many times did his head have to hit the sidewalk? How long did he have to endure a hand covering his nose and mouth?

        8. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          Matt, that hand over the mouth, like other things in Zimmerman’s story was a lie. No DNA, man.

          You can’t kill someone unless your life is truly in danger, not over a little scuffle that you’re getting the worst of.

        9. avatar Matt in FL says:

          “No DNA, man.”

          So we’re just going to ignore the crime-scene tech, the DNA tech, and the couple other people who have all acknowledged that DNA is an inexact, delicate science, and it’s very easy for there to be too much, none at all, or thoroughly confused results? Absence of DNA does not mean “person A never touched this,” it means “person A’s DNA was not found in the sample provided.”

          It’s like trying to prove someone was or was not in a room. I cannot prove you were never in my living room. All I can say is that I have no evidence that you were.

        10. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          Bingo. We have no evidence to support Zimmerman’s story. That conbined with the several lies he was caught in makes for a possibility that the prosecution will meet its requirement about reasonable doubt. The best GZ can hope for is becoming the new O.J.

        11. avatar Taco Picasso says:

          When the DNA “expert” said, “Almost every cell in the body has DNA,” the defense should have crossed with, “What cells don’t have DNA?”

        12. avatar Charlie Kilo says:

          Was raining that night, yes? Is it plausible that cells could have been diluted or washed off during the rain/scuffle? If it’s at least plausible, then taken in context with the rest of Zimmerman’s story, which has thus far been 95+% consistent, I’m inclined to believe his story. I haven’t read through all of Matt’s comments, but I’d like to think he and I agree on this.

          Again, a lot of people commenting on this story that either have ignored the facts because it doesn’t agree with what they’ve already pre-determined or they don’t know the facts. Either way, I suggest researching more on the subject. It will either get you more information or challenge your thinking, unless you are the myopic type.

        13. avatar Matt in FL says:

          “We have no evidence to support Zimmerman’s story.”

          Actually, Mike, virtually all the evidence supports GZ’s story. There are a few circumstantial things here and there that can be interpreted against GZ, but nothing that directly contradicts his story. It’s all things that “could be” and “may be.” The DNA evidence is completely meaningless, in either direction. Repeat after me: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

          As for “a possibility that the prosecution will meet its requirement about reasonable doubt,” their requirement is beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt. You have to look at every other scenario and say, “Yes, that may be possible, but it’s not reasonable.” Every single one. If you have to stretch and rationalize and strain to string together a bunch of half-assed circumstantial evidence while a much more plausible exculpatory scenario is staring you in the face (which it is), that is by definition not beyond a reasonable doubt.

        14. avatar Charlie Kilo says:

          You are missing the point Mike (but I’m not surprised), there’s plenty to support his story and nothing to refute it. All things being equal, there’s enough to support his case of self-defense (unless you are willfully blind of the facts or ignorant of the facts).

          The alternative? We just make up stuff to fit whatever theory we want, disregarding the statements and evidence that does exist. Thankfully, you aren’t an investigator or scientific expert of any sort (I hope). Please highlight, for me, what “lies” you seem to think Zimmerman is “caught up in”. I have seen none, to date, that are reliable or plausible. Minor inconsistencies? That does not constitute a lie. You can tell the same story a hundred times and the English language is such that you can use different words to achieve the same end goal.

        15. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Tony Picasso: I’m not sure what the point of that question would be, but the answer is red blood cells.

      1. avatar ThomasR says:

        Yep. If GZ is aquitted, it’s gonna be open season on “white/Hispanics”. Better have a back up gun with a bunch of extra mags if the attackers don’t stop to find out how white and Hispanic you might be.

    3. avatar Ralph says:

      @JWM, so far the prosecution is getting hammered on the murder charge. That’s the charge that most commentators described as “prosecutorial overcharging.” This has always been a manslaughter case.

      So murder may not be the only crime on the table. In fact, if murder is the prosecutors’ true end game, then they aren’t as smart as they look.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Ralph, as ignorant as I am about the law I’ve been saying from the start that murder 2 was not appropriate. Manslaughter, maybe.

        Will the jury think it was a reasonable act for GZ to dismount his vehicle and follow or question TM under the authority of his neighberhood watch credentials?

        GZ had the advasntage of a vehicle and was in contact with the cops. Would a reasonbale person think his actions beyond that justified?

        We have a 17 yo, unarmed gunshot victim on the ground. TM belonged there just as much as GZ. How many of these 6 jurors have kids or grandkids? Will they think of an overzealous cop wannebe tracking one of their loved ones down and killing them?

        TM and GZ committed a lot of stupid that night. Now the system has to pick up the pieces.

  14. avatar E. Jones says:

    With the uproar, they really had no choice but to bring the matter to trial. If they didn’t, thanks to the media inflaming everything, there might have been massive race riots -potentially hundreds of deaths, billions in property damage, etc. In a perfect and fair world, this should not have come to trial. But we don’t live in a perfect and fair world, alas. If he is acquitted, which he ought to be from the sound of things, there will still likely be massive riots -again, thanks to the media- but at least the truth will be more publicly known, and the riots might be less than had the state refused to try a man whom millions had been led to believe was a murdering racist scumbag.

  15. avatar Andy says:

    If Trayvon Martin was striking George Zimmerman hard enough in the face,which photo’s seem to make it appear,the injuries to the back of GZ’s head could be from his head being against the concrete as TM was striking him,or from his head bouncing off and back down on the concrete.I hope that GZ is exornorated,as I think that all of this is being perpetrated by higher ups not even in Florida.Maybe Eric Holder or Boobama himself!For one I am tired of all of the Political Correctness,a thug is a thug,and someone defended themselves against one,TM was not an altar boy by any stretch of the imagination,no matter what some are trying to portray him as.The pictures we are still seeing of him are older photo’s,he was a bigger grown man,plus he was in a fight club,he was trained to fight,and did fight in matches,this actually makes him a semi-pro fighter!Also he was under the influence of drugs at the time of the altercation,there was THC in his blood,bet that won’t come out in trial,This trial is a sham.On another sight,”The Daily Sheeple”,there is an article showing tweets from a number of African-Americans threatening GZ with death if he is not convicted on these charges against him,sounds like folks better board up and be ready for some trouble if he is exornorated.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  16. avatar Pat says:

    Its over. Couldn’t win manslaughter, let alone second degree murder.
    Libtard (democrat) racecard showtrial is a mockery.
    Let the Skittles be consumed in vast quantities.
    Taste the rainbow.

  17. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

    You guys are so predictable. You’re so biased in favor of the gun owner, and dare I say it, prejudiced against the black guy.

    How in the world could Martin have initiated the fight? If Zimmerman had not followed him, there would have been no incident at all. Wasn’t the fact that GZ pursued Martin the initiation of the fight?

    I think you’ve all downplayed the importance of the eye-witness who said he did not see the head-banging. That was a serious blow for the defense.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      So you consider someone walking behind another person “the initiation of the fight”? What’s a busy sidewalk? A battle royale?

    2. avatar janitor says:

      martin should have ran home or called the cops on zimmerman if he was uncomfortable with being followed. im sure its against the law in new york to just hit people that follow you too close or for too long.

      1. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

        Well, we don’t really know what happened, do we? We have no idea what was said to provoke or who hit whom first. But, of course you guys are all about poor Zimmerman having been put upon.

        Whenever there’s a so-called DGU and the guy with the gun kills the unarmed guy, and as a result we only have the gun owner to tell us what happened, I tend to think he’s lying at least a little bit in order to make his actions justified.

        In fact, it’s already a stretch. The armed guy killed the unarmed guy – and claims it was defensive. C’mon guys, admit that’s a hard sell.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          There is no stretch at all if the unarmed person started the assault.

          Your reasoning is silly. Of course armed victims are usually going to prevail when an unarmed attacker starts a fight. That is the whole point of being armed — to prevail when someone attacks you.

          Are you surprised that people who eat a large pizza everyday become obese? If not, you should not be surprised that armed citizens usually prevail over unarmed attackers.

    3. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      Well Mike numbers, I guess my presence really f**ks up your theories. I am Black, a lawyer, gunowner, and for an added bonus, I know several of the lawyers/tv personalities to this drama that I have sat down over meals w them. Oh and I think Trayon was a wanna be thug who started this and caused his own death.

      Would you like to try for double jeopardy where the numbers can really change?

      1. avatar janitor says:

        holy crap a unicorn

        1. avatar BStacks says:

          This made me laugh out loud

      2. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

        Sure Dirk, you represent less than 1% of the Armed Intelligentsia. That really messes up my theory.

      3. avatar Spunkmeister says:

        Where’s the “like” button…I can’t find it!!

      4. avatar Sammy says:

        Dirk D.,
        As a lawyer, how would you defend Zimmerman exiting his car and approaching the deceased? I see it as an aggressive action while controlling deadly force. I’m no fan of Martin, but if Zimmerman had stayed in his car we would not have this additional stress on national race relations. The truth takes a back seat to what people believe, whether that belief is the truth or not.

        1. avatar WLCE says:

          1.) he was no obligation to stay in the car
          2.) a neighborhood watch captain certainly should have the responsibility to confront a potential trespasser.
          3.) I can get out of my car and approach anybody I feel like. There’s nothing criminal about that. If you start attacking me and beating me, then expect me to shoot you. I do not have the inclination to square off with you and get in a MMA style struggle.

          I agree with Dirk. Martin has been highlighted for darwinian de-selection.

        2. avatar Pat says:

          Sammy, your a dork. No reason to try to crush Barney Fifes skull. Following someone for a small distance (doing your job as watchman) is no reason to be savagely attacked. Use your brain.

    4. avatar Fyrewerx says:

      Most likely, he did not see the “head banging” if it happened during the time period he went back into his home to get his cellphone, and then went up the stairs, while calling 911, to view the scene from his bathroom window.
      He could not possibly see, or hear, the head banging while enroute.

    5. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      “How in the world could Martin have initiated the fight?”
      By throwing punches.

      http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/image-zimmerman1.jpg

      http://abcnews.go.com/images/US/ap_george_zimmerman_kb_121204_wblog.jpg

      And don’t say Martin was defending himself from Zimmerman. Because if he defending himself from Zimmerman, where is Martin’s injuries aside from his bullet wound in the heart? People do not beat up other people after they have been shot to death. Zimmerman’s injuries came from blows struck before the gun was fired.

    6. avatar DaveL says:

      Mike, confrontation is not the same thing as provocation. If your wife confronts you about lipstick on your collar, that’s not enough to claim you were provoked into beating her.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        True, but lipstick on other items of clothing might lead to a physical confrontation.

        1. avatar Ropingdown says:

          Or no physical anything for a few months…

    7. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      MikeB,

      You do not have legal justification to suddenly rush someone and start beating them because they were following you at a distance. (I like to use the term “shadowing” to describe following at a distance.)

      If Mr. Zimmerman had suddenly rushed Mr. Martin, then Mr. Martin would have been justified to defend himself and beat-off Mr. Zimmerman. However, there is no evidence that ever happened.

      You tell us that we should all be passive and call the police whenever something looks fishy. Why does Mr. Martin get a pass? After all, all of the testimony so far is that Mr. Zimmerman was shadowing Mr. Martin and Mr. Martin thought it was fishy. But rather than call the police himself, Mr. Martin at best confronted Mr. Zimmerman and at worst rushed/attacked Mr. Zimmerman.

      1. avatar gem says:

        “Mr. Martin would have been justified to defend himself and beat-off Mr. Zimmerman”

        Unusual self-defense technique.

        1. avatar Ropingdown says:

          But, hey, it might have worked…

    8. avatar Aharon says:

      Mikeb302000 is off his meds again.

    9. avatar Church says:

      You know, even IF someone started a fight, if they tried to withdraw from the fight he started and his opponent doesn’t let off after trying to end the fight or trying to get away, you can still act in self defense.

      1. avatar Ropingdown says:

        Yep. They call “regaining his innocence.” Here’s the statute:

        Fla. Stats. 776.041. The provoker can only regain self-defense rights if:
        (2)(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
        (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

        It seems to me that someone sitting on my chest punching me, and my finding I can’t get him off me to withdraw from the fight, would meet the criteria of (a). The assertion of this circumstance, and a credible witness to it, was known to the prosecution before they filed the charges.

    10. avatar Accur81 says:

      Mike B,

      We’re predictable – we disagree with you when you say something stupid.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Exactly. Stop saying stupid things.

        It’s like “Stop hitting yourself.”

    11. avatar Ardent says:

      I . . .do not know what to say, potentially a first! Well played sir!

      To speak of bias then display it so blatantly is difficult to rebut. I maintain that you have both made and rebutted your own argument regarding where the bias resides.

    12. avatar WLCE says:

      “…prejudiced against the black guy”

      LMAO!!!

      so thats the conclusion that you have drawn? were prejudiced against the black guy!?

      ladies and gentlemen, we have a race card puller.

    13. avatar Pat says:

      Mike, why do you hate Hispanics so much? See, we can play the libtard (democrat) game too (and I dared to say it, as well). What do you have against a Barney Fife wannabe? No reason to try to crush his skull into the ground. Ha ha. I win, you lose.

  18. avatar Fyrewerx says:

    On the PA’s medical form, it said Zimmerman did “aerobics” three days per week. She got the “MMA” through verbal questioning him about it.

    1. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

      I would assume the defense is going to clarify the MMA training stuff. I just checked the web and there are several Orlando area gyms that have “MMA” exercise stuff. No different than “cardio kickboxing”. It is not fight training but rather pretty intense aerobic exercise using MMA movements. Think P90x. That ain’t SEAL training, its exercise.

  19. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    Personally I was transfixed by the testimony of the female neighbor Selma Mora. Ms. Mora definitely needs to come back again to testify. I think 8 or 10 hours of probing questions should do it. LOL I cracked up when the dirt bag OMara suggested she take her heels off, and run back and forth in the court. I was dieing with laughter.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      +1

      And three cheers for O’Mara who basically said, “stand up straight so we can get a good look at you, mama. And take your shoes off.”

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        She was clearly not disappointed in the attention from MOM. I think she was a little sweet on him.

  20. avatar DerryM says:

    Suddenly, I get it! The Prosecution doesn’t really want to convict GZ, so that’s why they’ve booked all these witnesses that are helping the Defense, on balance, more than themselves. Convict GZ and put him in prison, he becomes the Poster Child for the Aryan Brotherhood who will most likely protect him. Acquit GZ and he will have to remain in hiding forever, which may eventually drive him to suicide (looks like he’s already worked hard at “death by Pizza” from the fat he’s put on). Either way GZ will be punished for the remainder of his days and TM is dead. There’s really no Justice to be done here and the racial polarization this trial has been infused with only hurts the rest of us. Whatever verdict the Jury returns only reflects an interpretation of the Court-admitted evidence. It’s purely “lose-lose”.

    1. avatar Fyrewerx says:

      Or… “win-win”. GZ lives in misery, until “death by pizza” takes over, AND, the State of Florida doesn’t have to spend the money to incarcerate him.

      1. avatar DerryM says:

        Yep. Ironic, isn’t it?

  21. avatar the last Marine out says:

    They have NO case at all on GZ, they need to let him go, And the black people need to stop all this race hate, you have all the rights as everyone , GROW up be man get jobs , go to school, and live a moral life , that’s the only answer. NO FREE RIDES in life!

    1. avatar the last Marine out says:

      This also goes for all young people in America today ,, Start living a MORAL life (Christ is the only ANSWER) grow up , stop pointing fingers at everything , your life is in your hands , God will help you get a job etc. First find him!

      1. avatar Church says:

        I’m a very successful atheist. Christ isn’t the ONLY answer. Getting off your ass and doing something about it is, the ONLY answer.

      2. avatar Ralph says:

        Christ is the only ANSWER

        Yeah, try that on a chem test and see if you get away with it.

        1. avatar TR says:

          Yeah, that wouldn’t even fly on a chem exam at BYU. Trust me.

  22. avatar Kat says:

    “In fact, it’s already a stretch. The armed guy killed the unarmed guy – and claims it was defensive. C’mon guys, admit that’s a hard sell.”

    Unarmed youth, child, 17 yr. old kid – all misleading descriptions

    It was dark & rainey, GZ would not know whether Martin was armed or not. Also having someone break your nose and bang your head on a concrete walkway is provocation for self defense. That is what officials initially determined, until race pimps and Pres. weighed in. Plenty of people have been knocked down, hit a hard surface and suffered serious injury.

    Dumbest statement heard made by media “if GZ’s head was pounded on the walkway, why was no blood left there?” IT was raining! Washed it away. Luminol might have showed presence of blood if it had been used.

    1. avatar the last Marine out says:

      You will never win in an attack if you are down on the ground being beat up , stand your ground is just that, GZ had a total right to be there, as he lived there and was the crime watch. lots you guys will get killed because you waited for DEATH..

      1. avatar Pat says:

        Some of these morons are blaming GZ because he went a little ‘Barney Fife’ (citizens arrest, citizens arrest) and did his job a tad aggressively. What if he just sat home and houses were broken into? I would love to have someone like George looking out for my neighborhood.

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          People like George who say “Not in my neighborhood” are, on the whole, a benefit to the community and the country. Too many people lock their doors, pull their blinds, and say, “Well, it’s not my house/car being broken into, so it’s not my business.”

  23. avatar TRP says:

    All the major news organization (excluding Fox of course) were convicting Zimmerman within 48 hours of the incident. Even our wonderful Pres said he could “be my son.” What a crock of crap.

  24. avatar Taco Picasso says:

    The prosecution’s arguments remind me of one of Mike Tyson’s defenses when he was tried for rape in 1992. It went something like, “It was so widely know as to be common knowledge, that Mike Tyson was so base, so depraved, and so out-of-control that any woman foolish enough to be alone with him should expect to be raped which is implicit consent.” In the case of Treyvon Martin, Zimmerman should have know that a young black man, any young black man, is going to be so angry, so out-of-control, so explosive, that Zimmerman should have known that even to approach Martin would likely result in physical violence.

  25. avatar gregolas says:

    Ralph, thank you for the fine update on the case. Moving and starting a new job has kept me a bit in the dark this week. Your usual outstanding job.
    If I was defense counsel, I would have a doctor testify to the imminent chance of death or permanent maiming injury when an attacker has one on his back on a sidewalk, pounding him. With no way for his head to give, either neck bones and nerves or facial bones and eyes are imperiled. That would conclusively justify use of deadly force in my state, and think in Florida too.
    Do you have any info on whether they plan to use medical testimony? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

  26. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    BTW I just remembered what was to me the most stunning example of prosecutor stupidity from last week. Witness Jenna Lauer (who came across as one nasty beatch) was just about finished. Then the prosecutor BDLR, starts questioning her about her Twitter account and demonstrates absolute stunning abysmal ignorance about Twitter. The witness is looking at him as he is standing next to him like “are you effing kidding me you bald headed dude?”. I believe the jury wasn’t present for this and Bernie made an absolute fool of himself. Check it out on youtube.

    “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY0TGH1OYuY”

  27. avatar HisDudeness says:

    A couple of points:

    – Zimmerman mentioned being on top of Martin at some point, but only AFTER the shooting took place. The witnesses that testified seeing Zimmerman on top of Martin also testified that they only looked outside after hearing the gunshot. Good was the only witness that actualled saw the fight unfold.

    – Zimmerman took MMA classes, but they were fitness classes and not technical in nature. His doctor recommended exercise to alleviate his insomnia. Pretending that MMA fitness classes make you a better fighter is like saying that Zumba classes make my wife a better dancer. I can assure you this is not the case.

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