The parade of defense witnesses continued today. Which was bizarre, since they were all called by the prosecution. Zimmerman himself got to testify without being sworn in. That was a huge plus for the defense. In most cases, jurors want to hear the defendant’s side directly from the source. They just did . . .
The prosecution played Zimmerman’s video and audio interrogation tapes and the video tape of Zimmerman’s reenactment at the scene the day after the event. All of the tapes showed Zimmerman to be cooperative, respectful, calm, rational, soft spoken and well spoken. All of his stories were virtually identical except for minor details, and they aligned with most of the testimony previously rendered by Jonathan Good, who by all accounts was the most persuasive witness to date. In addition, Zimmerman stated on the tapes that Martin had covered Zimmerman’s mouth and nose during their fight. Attempted suffocation is something we hadn’t heard about previously.
During cross examination of Officer Doris Singleton—whose direct testimony had been favorable to Zimmerman—counsel asked a dumb question. In response, the Officer stated that she was concerned that Zimmerman had to leave his car to check the location, since he lived in the development and was the neighborhood watch guy. Hey, there are only three streets in the subdivision. When asked why she was concerned, she said “I was thinking that he wanted to get out of his car.” Not a major setback for the defense, but something that the defense brought out. Hey, that’s the prosecution’s job.
Listening to lead investigator Chris Serino, it was clear the cop thought Zimmerman was being truthful when he claimed that he was attacked and defended himself and described the relevant events. Well, of course he felt that Zimmerman was being truthful. That’s why he didn’t arrest Zimmerman even when the public pressure to do so started to mount. Serino himself alluded to the pressure during his cross-examination. When O’Mara continues the cross-examination tomorrow, we may find out more about that.
O’Mara has been very good at bringing out a lot of pro-Zimmerman details from the cops. It may be just me, but it sure seems that if the police have chosen a side, it’s Zimmerman’s. Again, we should know more tomorrow.
The tapes revealed a compelling piece of evidence that proves nothing toward guilt or innocence: Serino challenged Zimmerman to put himself in Martin’s shoes. Both Martin and Zimmerman were doing nothing illegal just before the homicide. Both were in a place they had a right to be. Both could have claimed their right to self-defense under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. Martin, being followed in the dark by someone he didn’t know, could have been as worried about Zimmerman as Zimmerman was about Martin. And when Martin challenged Zimmerman – “you got a problem?” – Zimmerman never identified himself as the neighborhood watch captain.
What if he had?