Day One started off bad for George Zimmerman after a powerful opening by prosecutor John Guy was countered by a flat knock-knock joke and 2 ½ hours of droning by Zimmerman’s attorney, Alan West. Day two was much better for the defense, including West. Both he and Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s lead counsel, did a very fine job of blunting prosecution witnesses . . .
It started going sideways for the prosecution when Wendy Dorival, the former coordinator of Sanford’s neighborhood watch program, praised Zimmerman’s professionalism, adding “He seemed like he really wanted to make changes in his community, to make it better.” Her assessment conflicts with the state’s description of Zimmerman as an angry white guy who was pissed off at black people.
The testimony of another prosecution witness, Zimmerman’s former neighbor, Selene Bahadoor, also did little for the prosecution.
Bahadoor said she heard running outside her home “from left to right.” When she looked out of her sliding glass door, she saw arms “flailing.” Her description of the arms made it unclear whether they were exchanging blows or high fives. She claimed that she heard someone yell “No!” and grunting incoherently. She then said that she left the room to turn off her stove, which is something that most people would do in the middle of a deadly argument. That’s when she heard a gunshot. Attracted by the sound of gunfire, Bahadoor looked outside and saw a body on the ground. She then went back to her veal bolognese or whatever she was cooking.
In his cross examination, O’Mara attacked Bahadoor for never mentioning the left-to-right business in any of her three previous interviews. The left-to-right travel is a very big deal, since if Zimmerman was going from left to right, then he was moving away from his vehicle and not back to it as he claims. O’Mara also showed that Bahadoor “friended” the “Justice for Trayvon” Facebook page and signed its petition to have Zimmerman arrested. I think O’Mara did a nice job of cross examining a very well prepared witness and putting her credibility seriously into question.
So, was it all roses and lollipops for the defense? Hardly. There was graphic testimony from the first LEO to arrive on scene who tried to save Martin by staunching his chest wound and rendering mouth to mouth. There were also plenty of pictures of the deceased Martin while the prosecution literally waived the bloody shirt and hoodie as they were entered into evidence.
Still, all things considered, it was not a bad day for the defense.
In the next day or so, we’ll find out whether Zimmerman’s previous 911 calls will be admissible against him to show that he was angry and biased against blacks. The judge seems to be keeping the lawyers on a tight leash, so this will be an important ruling.
Well, isn’t that a delightfully racist little page.
Selene was the one making stuff up to deny someone’s right to a fair and honest trial. Did she have racist motives? I believe she did!
She should be charged with perjury!
Zimmerman’s attorney is Don West, not Alan.
Too bad Z wasn’t a cop, i.e. a “god”. Then this would never have gone to trial. I don’t think Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton would have even involved themselves in this one.
“Resist we much!”
Let me start again. “Minorities” prejudiced against one another? Who ever imagined such a thing? Everybody knows East LA African-Americans…
Let me start yet again.
Everybody knows East LA “African”-Americans, HEART Korean-American shop owners? I mean, AM I RIGHT?
In the Southwest, everybody knows the entrenched Hispanic majority doesn’t consider itself superior to Anglos. I mean, AM I RIGHT?
More entitled and more macho would probably be a better fit.
The part about Ms. Bahadoor “Liking” the Justice for Trayvon page was one of the few sorta-funny moments in today’s proceedings. After it was fairly clear that she was clearly on the “Hang him high” side, O’Mara asked if she felt special sympathy for the Martin family for losing their son. She replied that she felt sympathy for both sides. He then asked why, if she felt sympathy for both sides, had she only “Liked” the Justice for Trayvon Facebook page, but not the “Free George Zimmerman” Facebook page. She hesitated for a moment, looked down and away, and sorta-mumbled that “the opportunity hadn’t presented itself.”
The “left-to right” thing is a pretty big deal, for several reasons, but I saw it differently than Dan did. I saw it as potential exculpatory evidence. Ms. Bahadoor lived on the east side of the sidewalk, so looking out her back door, TM’s home would be to the left, and the “T-intersection” would be to the right. If she heard “running feet” moving “left to right,” that would seem to me to help support the theory that TM was the aggressor. In no variation of the story has GZ ever been to the left of Ms. Bahadoor’s patio; that would be down toward TM’s home. The encounter, altercation, and shooting all took place between Ms. Bahadoor’s home and the “T-intersection,” which is to the right. GZ claims he was returning to his truck, moving west across the top of the T, when TM approached him from his left, which would be “from down the T.” If the feet were running left to right, and she’s telling the truth, that would be consistent with GZ’s story.
The “left to right” thing is also important simply because this is the first time anyone has heard it. She was sure she told “somebody” at some point in the past, but it does not appear in any of her three previous recorded statements. She was sure that today was not the first time she’d stated that detail (MOM tried to get her to admit that it was about six different times), but she had no recollection whatsoever of who she’d said it to, when, or under what circumstances. She finally settled on the story that she’d said it her sister (who was in the house with her), at some unspecified point in the past.
It was interesting that under the initial questioning by Bernie de la Rionda, she was very sure and had answers for everything, but when MOM stood up, she came down with sudden-onset C.R.S. That’s Can’t Remember Shit, for you non-medical folks. She couldn’t even recall things she had confirmed to BDLR not five minutes before.
The bottom line is, I think, that whether you see the “left to right” thing as potentially exculpatory or potentially damning, it is at this point, largely irrelevant. She is the only person to have made that particular observation, and MOM was pretty effective in the destruction of her credibility. Whether that story is true, or made up, or forgotten and remembered, if I was on the jury, at this point I wouldn’t believe a damn thing she said, and I’d be irritated at her for wasting the last two hours.
I didn’t think this case would really have any TV-style “gotcha” moments, but Ms. Bahadoor’s testimony came pretty close.
Also, it’s worth noting that the information about Ms. Bahadoor signing the online petition (titled “Prosecute the killer of our son, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin”) seems that it may have come to MOM and the defense team fairly late, actually during her testimony. The reason that some are saying that is that he asked her about the Facebook “Likes” during his first cross examination. By the end of cross, he’d done a pretty good job of tearing her down. Bernie de la Rionda then took the opportunity for a redirect. During his redirect, BDLR actually did a pretty good job of rehabilitating her credibility as a witness. However, since he took the redirect, that gave MOM the opportunity to get up for a recross, and that’s when he pulled out an iPad with the online petition and her signature on it. With that, she was pretty much done for. If BDLR had not taken the redirect, the petition never would have made it into evidence.
I’ve been wondering if it makes Zimmerman look bad that he followed Martin in the first place. I believe Zimmerman’s motives were pure, but it all went south because he did more than his job required. I think he put himself in legal jeopardy at that point.
Following TM wasn’t the bad move. GZ was neighberhood watch and he, for whatever reason, felt strongly enough about TMs actions to call the cops. Where I believe GZ made his really big mistake was getting caught up in the moment and dismounting his vehicle and going on foot. This takes it to a whole other level.
I said in one of the other posts related to this. It was dark and rainey. If the cops had been pursuing TM they would have had more boots on the ground and quite possibly a k9 unit or even a chopper. It takes that kind of effort to catch a lone runner in an area with lots of hidey holes and limited visibility. The fact that GZ thought he could do it by himself shows that he had limited real life exoerience.
I think GZ and his lawyers are going to have a real difficult time explaining why he thought it was wise or called for to begin a foot pursuit. I’ve said for a while that I don’t think GZ will get murder 2, but I wouldn’t be shocked at manslaughter.
jwm: you keep restating the same thing, but you never seem to get the whole legal issue, which is, GZ did nothing illegal. Why would he get murder 2 or manslaughter? He left his truck, in his neighborhood and walked through a common area, that he is, by definition, a common owner. He could have been out walking his dog in this area. It just doesn’t matter legally. By looking at the stuff presented thus far, he was attacked by a drugged-out thug. Self-defense. You really need to be a resident of a particular state to understand the mood/nuances of that state. Here in Florida, what TM did will get you shot, regardless of who is what race.
J&D, GZ did nothing illegal when he followed Martin. But he did do something scary. Most people would be scared if they were followed by a stranger at night and were unarmed.
What most people are losing sight of is that Martin also did nothing wrong that night prior to his confrontation with GZ, that Martin was also in a place where he had a perfect right to be, that he was disturbed about being followed and that there has been no mention so far of Zimmerman telling Martin that he was a neighborhood watchman.
Ralph, I would bet a Glock 19 that Trayvon was not even remotely scared and relished the opportunity to beat up a regular non-black citizen. I’ve been beat on by dozens of Trayvon types when I was in public school in South Florida. There isn’t a whole lot of “scared” among the gangster wannabee types down there. Trayvon’s problem is that he picked the wrong citizen to beat on.
J&D. Beat on by dozens of Trayvon types? What, were you the 1 kid that everybody knew they could pound on? Where you the 1 kid that never learned that being an obnoxious smart azz would you a beating? I went to schools that were basically all white and we still had kids like you around.
It’s a rainey night and some stranger pulls his vehicle around and starts stalking you to the point of dismounting his vehicle and coming after you on foot.
The fact of your past experiences and Trayvons race are coloring your judgement.
And I havent seen anything but speculation as to who turned it physical first.
Understand, I’ve said this before, I really could care less about either GZ or TM.
What really gets me is the double standards some of our commentors resort to to hate on Trayvon. We have routinely seen comments about cops overstepping their boundries but people jump on the GZ, a neighberhood watch guy, bandwagon and proclaim he was innocent of wrong doing.
We insist on our rights being honored. But a 17 yo that belonged in that community has no rights? He should politely submit to a cross examination by a total stranger on the street at night?
Lower case matt was at least honest in his hatred and racism.
Tossing out the old internet Race Card? You so funny, jwm!
Scathing retort, J&D.
Race Card, bitchez!
I’d suggest checking out lawofselfdefense.com for a more detailed recap of the trial events.
Sorry, the write-up I was referring to was posted at Legal Insurrection: http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/06/zimmerman-trial-day-2-analysis-of-states-witnesses/
This is a really, really good site. Here’s the recap of Day 2: http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/06/zimmerman-trial-day-2-analysis-of-states-witnesses/
The videos are ancillary to the ana1ysis; you don’t have to watch them unless you want to. It’s written by an attorney who live streams the trial with commentary.
At the end of day 2, after the witnesses were so bad (or at least not good) for the State’s case, the attorney jokingly tweeted: “Trial: Rumored: Court clerk tearfully admits accidentally switching witness lists.”
@Hryan: Thanks for the tip. That site is pretty awesome.
When I took the class for a Florida CCW years ago, one of the things they stressed was that you couldn’t pick a fight with someone (by acting like a creepy stalker, for example) and then shoot them and claim self defense. Not mentioned was what would happen if you tried to pick a fight, then backed off, then shot someone after he belatedly reacted to what you were no longer doing. And if this were a manslaughter case, I think that would be pretty relevant here.
Since it’s a murder case, though, it’s really just a matter of the defense attorney not managing to make a big enough fool of himself to distract people from the obvious inapplicability of that charge.
An interesting point.
In WI CC law; even if you provoke the fight but, In effort to disengage the conflict, give oral indication & try to flee, then use deadly force, as a result of perceived threat, you are justified in your actions.
Thought I would add that as I see his returning to his truck as that indicator, if said inter-clause exists in FL CC law.
People are making too much of the “follow” issue. Unless Zimmerman was in some kind of hot pursuit it doesn’t mean anything. You can walk in any direction and watch anyone if you’re in a public area. Someone may not want to be watched but they’re not allowed to attack the watcher because of it. Trayvon should have taken the chip on his shoulder home and put it to bed.
And that’s exactly the reason he was not arrested in the first place. The fact he is in custody is appalling.
George is not in custody. He is out on bail.
After reading Wikipedia, all I can find is that:
TM was wandering around in the rain.
GZ followed him and called the police.
GZ continued to follow him.
TM attacked GZ (extent of intentions is unknown).
GZ defended himself with lethal force.
How is this murder of any type? Did GZ throw the first punch? I’m not saying the use of a weapon was necessary in this case, but I thought it’s assumed that attacking someone can get you killed. That’s why I avoid attacking people.
The part about TM being “unarmed” is strange, as many things (including body parts) can be used as weapons. I’m under the impression that fist fights do become lethal, though I don’t know how frequency.
“Waived”? Really, Ralph?
There is evidence that does not shine a favorable light on Trayvon Martin,that has been declared by the Judge as in admissible,but they really don’t want GZ to have a fair trial,and be exonerated.They want the chips stacked against him,so they don’t have a Rodney King Episode.Plus the state AG is using this sham as a stepping stone to higher office.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.
This whole charade was orchestrated by the White House. You do all know that, right?
Nah, this whole charade is being orchestrated by the State of Florida in deference/fear of the Black Grievance Industry. The White House just winked their okay via Obama’s “Trayvon is my son” nonsense.
Far deeper ramifications than just the Florida Statehouse here, this entire charade stinks of the anti gun forces in DC. Obama most likely slipped with his “my son” reference.
These days, no conspiracy theory is off the table.
The prosecution’s witnesses are coming apart like June Bugs on a bug zapper, they’ve all told too many lies to keep track of and confusion is settling in.