Zimmerman: Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence

As I reviewed comments to my article yesterday on crime scene investigation, I noticed some concern about the apparent failure of the police to determine whether there was any blood present on the sidewalk, or in the grass next to it that might confirm or deny Zimmerman’s claim that Martin repeatedly slammed the back of Zimmerman’s head into the sidewalk. I decided to comment on that concern. As so often happens, my answer grew in the telling and after an hour or so, I realized that I had written my next post.

How lawyers deal with missing evidence is the subject of this post. The short answer is absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Luminol is a liquid that reacts with blood to produce a bluish glow. Crime scene investigators spray it on areas that they suspect might have been cleaned up to get rid of any blood that might have been present. The luminol spray is extremely sensitive and will react with invisible trace amounts of blood residue to produce a visible glow in the dark that can be photographed with the right equipment.

Although luminol is more often used in indoor environments to confirm or deny a suspicion that a particular area is a cleaned-up crime scene, it also can be used in outdoor areas where rain might have washed away all of the visible blood.

I have not seen any indication in the discovery that the crime scene investigators used or considered using luminol to detect trace amounts of blood on the sidewalk or in the grass next to it. It’s possible that they might have considered, but rejected, using luminol for some reason and did not mention it in a report.

Lawyers characterize this type of situation as a missing evidence problem. Although not relevant here, other known causes of missing evidence are intentional destruction of evidence and unexplained loss of evidence.

Depending on the materiality or importance of the missing evidence to proving its case, missing evidence can make it more difficult, if not impossible, for a prosecutor to prove a case. When the missing evidence would have been favorable to the defense, it can cause an innocent person to be convicted.

Missing evidence problems are not uncommon. I have most often encountered them when I reviewed police reports while preparing for a hearing or trial. They arise during police and crime scene investigations because the people involved did not have adequate training or a set of rules or procedures or even a checklist to follow. In this case, for example, the investigators might not have known about luminol, or, assuming they did, they might have forgotten to try it.

I most often spot potential problems, like the one suggested in this case by the apparent failure to use or consider using luminol, because I know enough about forensics, crime scene investigations, and police procedures to spot issues and ask the right questions. I know what I know because I made it my business to study and learn it. Given the ever increasing importance of forensics in criminal trials, I firmly believe that all lawyers involved in that work should do the same. I used to educate lawyers about forensics at continuing
legal education conferences in the western states and I developed and taught an upper level course emphasizing forensics in law school on the causes of wrongful convictions of innocent people.

In the Zimmerman case, I believe the defense should consult with an expert to determine whether the use of luminol is a standard practice by crime scene investigators in this type of situation. If the answer is “yes,” the defense should endorse that expert and add him or her to the defense witness list. It also should ask the expert to produce a written report explaining why the use of luminol is a standard practice in a situation like this.

The defense would send a copy of the report to the prosecutors to comply with its discovery obligations.

The defense would call this witness to testify during the defense case. If I were to make the closing argument, I would handle the missing evidence issue by emphasizing the following points. As you read this, notice that the factual foundation for the argument would have been established by the testimony of the defense expert and the argument itself incorporates the self-defense instruction while emphasizing that the prosecution has the burden of proof.

See if you can spot the problem with this argument.

(1) The prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant’s use of deadly force was unreasonable under the circumstances;

(2) The defendant testified and told you that he believed he was going to die or suffer serious injury, unless he used his gun to defend himself.

(3) The Court’s jury instructions set out the legal definition of self-defense. The instruction tells you that a person may use deadly force when he reasonably believes he is in imminent danger of being killed or suffering serious bodily injury.

(4) The defendant told you what happened. He described the circumstances that he faced that night and those circumstances satisfy the legal definition of self-defense set forth in the jury instruction.

(5) Unfortunately, the police failed to preserve important evidence in this case when they failed to confirm the presence of the defendant’s blood on the sidewalk and in the grass next to it by spraying the area with luminol and recording the bluish glow for y’all to see in a photograph.

(6) Their failure to do that not only would have supported his claim that he believed he was in imminent danger of being killed or suffering serious bodily injury, it would have conclusively confirmed that his belief was reasonable.

(7) We would not be here today, if the police had done their job.

(8) Since the prosecution has the burden of proof and its investigators were uniquely able to confirm the presence of blood, but failed to do so, you should hold the prosecution responsible for depriving you and the defendant of the evidence that would have confirmed his testimony and established his innocence.

The problem with this argument is that it assumes that detectable trace amounts of the defendant’s blood were present on the sidewalk and grass next to it and would have been detected, if only the police had used luminol.

A good prosecutor would have spotted this problem and responded with a statement like this:

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. If there were no blood on the sidewalk or in the grass beside it, the use of luminol would not have produced a visible result.

If you carefully examine these close-up photographs of the defendant’s head taken at the police department after the shooting, you will see that his wounds are minor and the blood coagulated in the form of of a small river that flowed down curling around the back and lower part of his ear. From there it flowed along his chin line and collected in his goatee.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Even if you believe the defendant’s claim that Martin bashed his head repeatedly into the sidewalk, here is no reason to believe that a single drop of blood fell on the sidewalk.

Take another look at those little cuts. The absence of significant abrasions and bruising tells you that the defendant’s head did not repeatedly come in contact with the sidewalk.

182 Responses to Zimmerman: Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence

  1. Patricia says:

    to MIke –

    Just sent you a stupid reply. What you are looking for is NOT the upper garments, illustrated, but the lower garments. I apologize.

    You asked a good question and I am an idiot. Sorrrreeeee!

  2. Vicky says:

    I agree wholeheartedly that Trayvon’s history is irrelevant. At the time he was profiled by Zimmerman, he was not involved in any criminal activity (by the way truancy is a status offense not a criminal offense) and there is absolutely no indication he was planning to commit any crime after GZ spotted him. GZ, for what ever reason, made up his mind that some kid walking home in the rain, on a Sunday evening, with his head covered by a hood, was somehow a public nuceance. He was wrong, and everything he did following that conclusion was wrong. And that includes his non emergency call to the SPD. It was not made as a good faith effort to prevent a crime. It was made so he could show the police and his neighbors how to handle undesirables in his hood.
    I can’t figure out why Zimmerman’s friends, family and the tag along GZ wannabes can’t understand that simple truth.

    • bettykath says:

      GZ made 3 or 4 calls in the 7 months prior to SPD. Every one of them was to complain about a Black youth.

      The FBI hasn’t released a report and they aren’t obligated to release their findings to the public. It could be that they are waiting for the FL justice system to do its thing. If GZ is found guilty, the FBI will probably just stay quiet. Otoh, if GZ is found not guilty, the justice department may decide to prosecute him for a civil rights violation based on his profiling TM.

    • Malisha says:

      Of course they can; they do not want to.

      • Xena says:

        In O’Mara’s interview with Piers Morgan, Morgan asked him about donations received from racist GZ supporters. O’Mara’s answer was along the lines of saying if any comment or note was sent with the donation conveying racism, that he sent the money back.

        Understand that to mean that the FBI has forewarned O’Mara that GZ’s acceptance of money from such donors might be understood as a confirmation that GZ committed a racial hate crime.

        Although GZ and O’Mara cannot prevent others from exercising their freedom of speech, it is all too clear that most of GZ’s fans celebrate what they believe was a racial hate crime committed by GZ.

    • Brown says:

      I am very behind in reading posts, but I agree his history is irrelevant. But I do remember in reading the discovery dump, Serino put in his report that TM had a field contact in Miami Dade County. He did not explain the nature of that field contact. He was 16 at the time.

  3. bettykath says:

    I’ve been thinking about GZ and what could make him lose it to the point of killing TM. I don’t think it was just ego. More likely something happened in the struggle. I think GZ clearly had the upper hand at the end, but why did he shoot?

    I have had head bonks that needed stitches. Bonks that made me see red, literally, for a few seconds. My response is cussing, sometimes to myself, sometimes out loud. The bigger the hurt, the more extreme the cussing.

    I tend to agree with others here that the wounds on his head happened at the end of the struggle. What if he banged his head hard enough to get the cuts just before he stood, the hurt giving him the additional adrenaline to take control of TM and stand. A seeing-red hurt and anger that could result in a weapon drawn and fired into the person he sees as being responsible before the pain subsided.

    • Malisha says:

      Or…George had a plan to “need a loaded gun” in order to show the Neighborhood Watch that it was OK for him to patrol, armed. There had been complaints made about him in the community to the police, from people worried about his aggression in their neighborhood; I think he went out to try to grab up some “suspect” and show everyone why he needed to carry a gun.

      I think he chose Martin.
      I think Martin didn’t go along with his “program.”
      If Martin HAD gone along with it, George’s charge could have either been forgotten or it could have been unlawful restraint. Another phrase or word for “unlawful restraint” can be “kidnapping.”
      Martin did what Serino called (and Bill Lee called) “Mouthing off” to Zimmerman, meaning, he wasn’t going to submit to George’s authority, go quietly with George, agree to be “taken in” like a “suspect.”

      George then had to “shoot him in self defense.”

      George wasn’t defending his life; he was defending his oh-so-tender-injured-ego.

    • Xena says:

      @bettkath. What made GZ shoot Trayvon? GZ gave us the answer.

      In his Hannity interview, GZ said: “I also thought the police were going to come and see me with the firearm and shoot me. I mean, I was terrified.”

      GZ shot Trayvon, not because he feared that Trayvon was killing him, but because Trayvon’s screams for help brought attention to what was happening, and GZ feared the police would arrive and see him with his gun drawn.

      So there he was with a unarmed 17 yr old crying for help, “I’m begging you” and “NOOO!” apparently with a gun pointed at him. When the resident opened his door and shouted out that he was calling 911, GZ was out of time.

      • bettykath says:

        I don’t think GZ was afraid of TM, nor do I think that any point he really thought he was in danger of serious harm or death. I agree that he had the wanna be cop mentality and didn’t like the idea of TM not bowing to his authority.

        A severe momentary pain is not a justification for shooting someone, but he could have had a reaction to the pain to really hurt someone. I’m not saying that TM is one who actually did the hurting. GZ doesn’t take responsibility for anything, he projects that responsibility onto others. But TM was there and an expendable thug who got him hurt (passive tense is deliberate) by not submitting.

      • Rachael says:

        What authority? Even by GZ’s own admission, he never identified himself period. I sure hope HE doesn’t end up being one of thes assholes who always gets away. Grrrrrrrrr

    • Patricia says:

      Betty, Zimmerman is a narcissist and a coward and a bully and those knd of people find the most minute pain EXCRUCIATING and they are convinced THEY should not EVER have to suffer – they are so EXALTED.

      I have seen the immediate rage in these kind of people flare up even when someone makes a tiny error (say, step on someone else’s shoe). Absolutely not mellow or forgiving even if it’s a tiny moment of discomfort.

      In addition to the rage, GZ had to silence TM, because this stupid charade got WAY out of hand; he knew it, and he would catch hell. (and face legal costs).

      I am more & more convinced that GZ got his nose/face mashed by the sign and pole at the dog poop station.

      Do you think Zimmerman could stand the ridicule if he had to explain his injury? How and where it happened? His friends (all 2) would be convulsed in laughter. Yes, he would have become a legend in his own time. Indeed …

      But mostly it was payback time, TM “caused him” to be hurt and feel pain (no matter how modest) and Trayvon SHOULD PAY WITH HIS LIFE.

      Silenced him, too …

      Goerge would now be free to spin any heroic tale he wanted to. Starring the great George Zimmerman.

  4. Malisha says:

    Here’s my simultaneous translation of the Robert Zimmerman bullsh+t:

    “There is no doubt that the truth eventually will be told. It’s sad so many must suffer till then.” means:

    “I’m sure that ultimately we’ll be able to cover this up and make it go away. Either folks will come to agree with us that Trayvon was bad enough to be expendable (like all those criminals I participated in railroading the years I was a Magistrate in VA) or O’Mara will get George off and then we can go on the rampage carrying on about how victimized we all were/are. It’s sad that until then, we have to keep fending off questions about why George murdered some ‘suspect’ and it’s also sad that some upstart uppity Neegras have been able to give these parents of this deceased thug some high-falutin ideas like they can milk this for money or get people to weep crocodile tears for their loss. My boy done what he had a right to do and now these shiftless no-account free-ride types are making a big deal of it. It’s a sorry shame, I’ll tell you that. Time for us to take our country back.”

  5. Mike S says:

    Robert Zimmerman posted an updated to his web site a few days ago. The date on top says 7/22 but that’s just a place holder from when the site itself went up. The text of “First Post” seems to be only a few days old.

    http://robertandgladys.com/updates/first-post/

    I don’t understand Robert’s purpose here other than yet another loud cry for money and nothing else.

    • Patricia says:

      The “Zimmermans R Us” enterprise: bizarre, pathetic.

      That’s it.

      In a NUTshell.

      • Mike S says:

        Indeed. I particularly didn’t get the part saying “I had wanted to provide updates every 7-10 days. However, with limited internet access, that has not been possible before now”.

        He seems to be implying that they’re in such desperate straits that they’re living in a cave or something.

    • TruthBTold says:

      *yawn* Who is motivated by money? What is he talking about?

      • Mike S says:

        You mean the “the great financial motives of many involved” that Robert refers to? I have no idea. It sounds like someone lost their tinfoil hat to be frank.

      • Xena says:

        The motivated by money is a slur against Trayvon’s parents. There are numerous comments from GZ fans about Trayvon’s parents only caring about hitting the “n” lottery meaning, suing everyone they possibly can.

        It’s sad that Papa Zim is buying into the arguments of GZ’s fans, as they are prejudicial, disrespectful, and conspiratorial.

        I get the impression that instead of Papa Zim going to the media and the SA’s office in defense of Zim, he should have gone to the media and stated that GZ was not residing in their home; that Trayvon’s family and friends have his compassion and prayers, and for people to please leave him, his wife, and his mother-in-law alone to live in peace and let the court decide the GZ’s fate.

    • Dave says:

      “There is no doubt that the truth eventually will be told. It’s sad so many must suffer till then.”–Robert Zimmerman

      I thought that was an interesting way of saying “So far my son has been lying his ass off.”

  6. Vicky says:

    So, the defense is building their Trayvon was a thug defense. So let’s see now. Trayvon was suspended for truancy. I’ve never quite understood the logic in suspending a kid from school for skipping school, but that’s another topic entirely. If that makes him a “thug” or otherwise bad person, then I was a teen thug. Residue of weed in a bag, meaning Trayvon smoked marijuana. Again, I was a teen thug. Graffiti on a door, didn’t do that, but I’ve seen plenty in my life. Not a good thing to do, but at least he didn’t carve WTF on another person, now that would be thuggish. Jewelry and a screwdriver in his backpack, so what! Did someone report said items missing? Silver “wedding bands” seriously, what cheap bastard buys a silver wedding band? I see people wearing all occasion silver rings all the time. Diamond stud earrings? Are the SRO’s gemologists as well? Where is the report that they were genuine earrings? How do we know Trayvon wasn’t considering piercing his ears? Or maybe he was trying towin some girl’s heart by showering her with gifts. Anyway, my point is the value of said items was probably less than $20. Otherwise, someone would have followed through with determining where they came from. And the the dreaded screw driver/burglary tool. Once again, I am a thug. I carry a screwdriver with me in my purse. One never knows when a screw driver will come in handy. The items in my purse could win me big bucks on Let’s Make a Deal. LOL My guess is that Trayvon used the screw driver for the WTF on a painted metal school door, since there was no report of a sharpie or can of spray paint in his possession or on the video. So, it’s not likely Trayvon was going to burgularize a home or leave grafitti armed with a can of tea and a bag of skittles the night he was killed.

    So far, no report of violent behavior, unless of course we are going to label him a thug for playing football. Do you suppose he played baseball too? WTF does extra curricular activities have to do with being a good or bad person? What does lack of extra curricular activities have to do with being a good or bad kid? Involvement in activities outside of school can be expensive and not all families can afford it. As for his grades, O’Mara need not go there. His client wasn’t exactly a Rhodes Scholar.
    My question is, What is the defense going to do if they discover Trayvon was your “normal” everyday student or even an underachiever?

    • bettykath says:

      Getting Trayvon’s school records is a reasonable thing for O’Mara to do. He will undoubtedly try to paint him as a thug. Remember that a fair trial requires an aggressive defense.

      It will be up to the jury to see, as you do, that his infractions don’t make him a thug. I fully expect a 17 year old kid to have a few infractions. Even so, expect the prosecutor to point out that Trayvon wasn’t doing anything thuggish to justify being profiled, followed and shot.

      • Malisha says:

        Had Trayvon BEEN a thug there was STILL no reason to profile and follow and accost him. I mean, hey, George never alleged, in any of his interviews, that he knew Trayvon was a thug. He said he did not know him, period. He said he never saw him before. But he said he knew everyone in the neighborhood. But THEN he said that he didn’t know those particular neighbors who had something to do with that night — about half the witnesses, at least.

      • rachael says:

        Exactly Malisha – exactly.

    • rachael says:

      All it does, afaic, is fuel the zimmerman people. I have seen so many horrid comments that he is a thug, he deserved to die, one less thug on the streets, GZ is a hero. Makes me SICK!!! Even IF any of the things the defense finds out are true, they have NO bearing on what was going on that night.

      With that said though, they do have every right to ask for all the school records they think *might* be applicable, just as the prosecution has the right to ask for the medical records they think *might* be applicable. It doesn’t mean they are or they will be, but that they want to check everything to see if it is. I don’t find any fault with it, except for I don’t see how it would be relevant to anything that happened that night. But they will try to make it relevant, I guess, if they can, and that is their right to putting on an aggressive defense for GZ – because it is his right to that.

      Doesn’t mean it will work though.

      • Vicky says:

        I realize it is reasonable to look at school records, but unless they reveal that Trayvon had some explosive personality disorder, anything else they might discover there is in my opinion irrelevant. He has no JO record, so that is a dead end. To date, none of his peers has reported that he was a menace at school. Those who have labeled him a thug based upon what has been released to date must be terrified of half the teenage population.

      • rachael says:

        I’ve got news for you, Vicky – “Those who have labeled him a thug based upon what has been released to date must be terrified of half the teenage population.” They probably are. This is nothing new. Teenagers have always been “profiled” IMO.

        Here at all the corner stores where kids might stop and buy a snack on the way home from school, there are signs up that only 2 kids are allowed in the stores at all times.

        People freak out when there are “packs” of teens hanging out in malls.

        Where I lived once, the manager used to get mad at the kids when they would “hang out” in the summer outside, especially in the evening. It doesn’t even get dark here until almost 10:00 pm, but kids were not allowed to be out.

        Everyone knows that kids do stupid stuff on social media to up one another.

        When I was a teen, we didn’t have social media – but then teenagers were referred to as hoodlums, now it is thugs, but teens are just another group that are “profiled.”

      • Lonnie Starr says:

        First I guess that GZ didn’t see TM at the cut through near FT’s because of the low probability of it happening that way. Then GZ does the reenactment and confirms that segment is made up. The cctv evidence analysis shows GZ didn’t pass that way or park at the clubhouse like he says.

        Now, I just came across the axiom amnesia documents exposing the fact that GZ has no GSR on him, as he should have if he took the fatal shot. There was only one shot fired and GZ has the gun that fired that shot. Unless he covered himself with a plastic tarp and had someone take it away, then he didn’t fire the shot!

        Since we’re not working a Harry Potter novel here, someone else had to take the fatal shot. Which means that GZ was given the gun back after the shot was taken by someone else. So, the shot wasn’t taken in self defense or SYG, it was part of a methodical plan to kill. GZ is now part of a conspiracy to commit 1st degree murder. The charges will be amended to reflect this new view.

        There is nothing MOM can do to defend against a conspiracy to murder charge, since all of these stories GZ has given, do not any longer apply. Because now we know that he went there, with a person or persons unknown, for the purpose of killing.

        So, it’s either that or GZ / MOM have to come up with some explanation, for why GZ has no GSR on himself or his clothing.
        Sure, the police may have let him wash his hands at the station, but it’s his clothing that they kept that gives away the story.

        You want to talk about the absence of evidence not being evidence of absence? Well the absence of GSR on GZ’s hands means nothing, since there should be GSR on his clothing. If it’s not on his clothes, then there was nothing for him to wash off on his hands. It’s that simple. GZ did not take the fatal shot, so his claimed injuries, fighting, state of mind, nor anything else GZ did that night, had anything to do with explaining why the fatal shot was fired. Because we can only conclude that (absent a tooth fairy) someone else did the shooting and gave GZ back the gun.

        Stick a fork in him… He’s done!

    • Your post has inspired me to write about the admissibility of evidence regarding a victim’s character. Look for my post in a couple of hours.

      • Xena says:

        Thank you Professor, because that was going to be my next question. It was my impression that the courts might look at that as it does the background of a rape victim and disallow it. IOWs, a defendant knowing nothing about the victim can’t raise a defense that the victim wasn’t a virgin in order to justify the alleged crime of rape.

      • rachael says:

        I agree – of course I could be very wrong, but the way I look at it is, it doesn’t matter what Trayvon’s past was, he was not involved in anything at the time GZ spotted him and went after him – regardless of his past. None of that is relevant IMO. There is NO actual evidence (other than GZ’s “story”) that Trayvon “attacked” him. Trayvon had NO motivation to, other than self-defense if he did against the one who did have the motivation – to get one of these assholes who always gets away. Trayvon is dead. Everything about GZ’s prior violence history, however, IS relevant – as to whether he has a previous history of pursuing people and violent interactions or determining people are up to something when they are not.

        Even IF Trayvon had a long criminal record, it STILL wouldn’t have mattered, because he was not involved in anything criminal at the time. If he had been involved in such things in the past, GZ might have chalked it up to “luck” that he had finally gotten one of the “assholes,” but it wouldn’t change the fact that he was guilty of murdering him.

        IMO

      • Malisha says:

        They’re trying to sell the story NOT as: Our guy targeted and killed your guy

        but as: Our guy is a good guy; your guy was a bad guy.

      • Mike says:

        Professor, is there a reason martins pants,shoes,socks,are not in the evadince dump, and the same for George’s clothes.

        • Patricia says:

          Mike, photos of GZ’s jacket & shirt are included and Trayvon’s hoodie, plus shots of bullet holes in Trayvons shirts are there.

    • Dennis says:

      That just shows how much of a monster O’Mara is. Demonizing the victim shows his true colors. I don’t have a clue how skipping school and smoking cannabis can be used to show that Martin is a violent criminal. It makes absolutely no sense. Martin has no criminal record and no violent history from what I know.

      • rayvenwolf says:

        O’Money thinks he’s Capt. Ahab and is fishing/hunting for the great black whale. He’s also trying to at least look like he’s doing his job.

      • Xena says:

        Trayvon was also a minor, which questions if anything about his “background” can be admitted into discovery. Additionally, Trayvon is dead. He cannot testify as to anything that any school documents might show. He cannot be cross-examined.

        Even a prisoner killing another prisoner in prison is charged and if convicted, sentenced. I can’t see the courts justifying that human life is worthless because of a person’s background.

        I remember so well when John Wayne Gacy attempted to defend himself by alleging all of his victims were either male prostitutes or rebellious against their parents. The State of Illinois still put the needle in Gacy’s arm.

      • bettykath says:

        I haven’t heard O’Mara say much of anything about Trayvon. Let’s not put words in his mouth.

        I have gone to a couple of sites that support GZ and left them b/c it was all about demonizing TM. No looking at evidence, no questions about what really happened. Just personal attacks. I really don’t want to see the same thing here.

        • TruthBTold says:

          @bettykath,

          Well for me, MOM started out well and hasn’t really necessary demonized TM that I can recall except for his very in poor taste comment at the second bond hearing that TM caused his own death or whatever the exact language was. There were other ways that he could have gotten his point across that wouldn’t have nullified his duty in being an advocate for his client. It really was a misplaced and distasteful comment. I don’t need an amen from the church choir to validate my beliefs or opinions, but even other legal analysts, regardless of side, agreed. I was definitely taken aback by that. Can’t speak for Dennis, but this is my 2 cents as it relates to what was posted.

      • The fact that he is attempting to get ahold of Trayvon’s records speaks volumes.

  7. rayvenwolf says:

    Well O’Money has decided to start earning his paycheck by starting discovery. http://www.cbs12.com/template/inews_wire/wires.regional.fl/30498db8-www.cbs12.com.shtml Starting with Trayvon’s school records.

    • Patricia says:

      Sure, rayvenwolf, everybody knows them tardy assholes will kill you every chance they get, so blast them to eternity!

      Zimmerman (righteously) only chased Trayvon long enough to ask “You ever late for class, bro?”

      Trayvon: “Every chance I got, homie!”

      Zimm: “I’m shocked! Then you’re dead meat, dude!” BAMBAMBAMBAMBAM!

      Everybody knows that they start out being late for class, then 20 years later they are late with their monthly HOA payments. GZ was only being a conscientious NEIGHBORHOOD watch volunteer.

    • Pooh says:

      They are not going to give up Trayvon’s school records. They are not relevant at all. Unless, at some point the prosecution wants to show that TM was a gentle boy with ambitions, who hoped to to go college and study aviation, and who yes, was maybe late to school sometimes and smoked marijuana (since the whole world knows this now already), like a lot of ordinary teenagers and ordinary senior citizens.

      On the other hand, maybe let em have em. How sympathetic is the defense going to look beating up on a murdered child for getting mediocre grades, being suspended from school, etc.

      Professor?

      • TruthBTold says:

        I agree with Pooh and Vicky regarding the school records. I think they are traveling down a dead-end road.

      • My article today will be about this today.

      • Angelia says:

        I am anxious to read the professor’s article on this. While we’re waiting, I’ll mention I think O’Mara knows the pitfalls of this as well as any of us that can see it. I believe this is another attempt by O’Mara to throw red meat to the supporters to raise some donations. Nothing new has come out lately, and he has to do something to keep this upfront. Kids needing clothes/supplies this time of year, donations must be down. I don’t think he has any expectation of being able to use it. I think just throwing out the suggestion that there is something to find, is his purpose to stir up more “Trayvon is a thug” donations.

        I can’t express how DISGUSTED I am regardless of whatever reasons he is attempting such a vile and disrespectful action.

    • Xena says:

      “Former neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman wants to use the school records of Trayvon Martin as part of his defense strategy.
      Zimmerman’s attorney said Friday that he has sent subpoenas to the schools attended by the 17-year Miami-area teen. The subpoenas request disciplinary notices, suspension notices and tardiness records, among other things.”

      Oh sure. GZ killed Trayvon because he had been suspended from school, right? Or, is O’Mara playing tit for tat since GZ’s school records were mistakenly released to the public?

    • Dennis says:

      Wouldn’t that be considered evidence of character? I think that would be the wrong door for the defense to open. Then the jury will learn about Zimmerman’s previous criminal and violent history. I’m still pissed at the legal system for offering this scum a plea deal. He should have been prosecuted to the full extent of the law for assaulting a federal agent. Had he been convicted of that felony for assaulting the BATF agent, he would never have been able to own a gun legally in the first place, and consequently Martin would still be alive.

      • rachael says:

        Just because they ask for the information doesn’t mean they are going to use it – especially if there is nothing to use. But they do, IMO, have to ask.

  8. Malisha says:

    George was doing a continuous project of trying to make sure he said something about every part of the events of 2/26/2012 that could be “knit into” the whole cloth he thought might result from the conglomerate of all the witnesses. HE DID NOT KNOW what was seen and what was not seen. So he had to explain his act of killing — so “OK he attacked me” — but he had to explain his being on top of Martin so — “OK when I shot him I lunged down on his back to make sure he didn’t have something in his hands because he was still struggling” — but he had to explain screams so — “It was me” [a famous flip-flop of the old stand-by “it wasn’t me”] and on and on and on. Something for everyone.

    Think: You have been underneath someone who is intent upon beating you to death (“because he assured me he was going to kill me”) (“Hey Homie, don’t worry, I’ll kill you, you can be sure”) (not “he threatened to kill me”) and then you take a shot and he falls.

    WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR GUN?

    You keep your gun aimed!

    You stand up if you can but even if you can’t, you stay there with that gun AIMED AT THAT PERSON and you do not move the gun one millimeter: C’mon, you’ve seen Law & Order on TV where seven cops all keep their seven guns all trained on the killer even after he has been shot and is “down” — they do not holster their guns and jump on the guy’s back; they do not holster their guns at all.

    Had George killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense he would have kept his gun trained on the killer even after the body was prone on the ground. AND he would not be sure there was no accomplice in the neighborhood, either, who might come to kill him now too; so he had to keep that gun on Trayvon until the police showed up, when he could safely relinquish HIS ONLY DEFENSE.

    If he were the victim of a deadly assault, he would NOT have re-holstered his gun.

    BTW, how did George know how much blood there was on the back of his head, huh? Eyes back there? And if there were, could they see themselves? Huh?

    • Dennis says:

      I agree. He knows that Martin was completely disabled from the fatal shot. I feel it is obvious that Zimmerman attempted to search Martin in the hopes that he was armed. Once he did not find a weapon he knew he was in serious trouble and had to quickly invent the fantasy scenario in his head before police arrived.

      It reminds me of the character Pike in the movie Basic.
      “All we got to do is tell the story right.”

      • Patricia says:

        Dennis, as I recall GZ said he frisked TM. Clearly he was hoping to establish TM as a thug and then TM’s “priors” would be researched and thus establish GZ as really after a burglar – or a criminal of any kind – or at least, as a credible armed threat to GZ.

        That’s how GZ got his blood on the Skittles.

    • bettykath says:

      Well, it seems to me that an arrest might have gone a long way in dampening public criticism. Was the spokesperson in charge of that? Never mind it was rhetorical. When things go wrong a scapegoat is needed and it’s rarely the person responsible.

    • Patricia says:

      I love the new Chief’s comment, i.e. Blame the Messenger.

      Was the document released? Is it printed anywhere?
      “Poor PR is our problem here ….. realllllly?”

        • Patricia says:

          Well, Diary, didn’t he FIRE the PIO?

          The history in Myers’ letter is that the guy requested departmental permission for private employment OUTside the department.

          Apparently he didn’t get it, and he kept bugging the Acting Chief about it.

          The punch line is that the Acting Chief sent him a long written evaluation (negative); says he would be terrible at what he wants to do outside, despite the support the PIO says he gets from the media; wasn’t good at his job INside the department; gives him some psychlogical mumbo-jumbo (which should only be given in one-on-one personal career counseling and evaluation, and then approves outside employment (as in full-time OUTside employment and zero Sanford PD employment.)

          That’s what I’m assuming from what I read.
          Then, aganst the law, he says the letter can’t be revealed.
          So am I clueless? Did this letter fire the PIO or not?

          This is the most bizarre SIUYA personnel letter I have ever seen.

          Let me know, please, if my assumption was right – he fired he guy, yes?

        • Patricia says:

          Diary, the Acting Chief wriote in his official capacity and I bet the Florida “open government” laws state that it’s a public document. The Feds have the Freedom of Information Act. In California we have the CA Public Records Act (which I use almost daily) and other states have similar.

          Public officials are SERVANTS of the people. Thus we have the right to know what they’re doing. Nothing’s “personal” in public agencies, although personnel matters ae rarely divulged (to protect the employee’s right to privacy). But if the employee wants to make it public, he/she has every right to do so. At least that’s how we look at it in CA.

      • I actually see the press taking the contents of the letter out of context. This letter was written specifically to a person and was not intended to be shared to anyone.

  9. rachael says:

    Tracy and Sybrina as well as Alicia are going to be on Dr. Phil Monday too:

    See video:

    http://www.drphil.com/shows/page/GeorgeZimmerman

    Also:

    http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_tv_tvblog/2012/09/trayvon-martins-stepmother-breaks-silence-on-dr-phil.html

    Plus I guess the defense is now wanting Trayvon’s school records.

    • rayvenwolf says:

      Actually Tracy, Sybrina and Trayvon’s brother are going to be on Dr. Phil on the 14th(yeah the promo leaves that out). Its Alicia that’s going to be on the monday episode with AMMO and his wife.

    • MedicineBear says:

      The Dr. Phil link has a trailer, and don’t miss voting in the George Zimmerman POLL — I was shocked at the poll results!

      • EveryoneIsEntitledToTheirOpinion says:

        Think the poll results are being alters. GZ supporters are voting multiple times and attacking it.. Remember they hack…

  10. Lynn says:

    Xena,
    Re: GZ’s head cuts. I believe he ran into the sign and fell bumping his head and dropping his flashlight/key on the grass opposite of the dogwalk sign. In the police station photo closeup of his face, use any straightedge item and lay it across the abrasion on the side of his nose, nick on his bridge, and 1 inch red scratch on forehead. They line up perfectly! (I first thought the nose injury was from kickback, while scratches were from the tree.) He mentions Trayvon using fists to his face, but the marks were more claw-like. After realizing they lined up I looked at the daytime photos of the sidewalk and thought the sign looked too short. I then pulled up the reenactment video and watched him walk by the sign on his way to RTC. Yes, exactly the right height to match up. I think it’s around 6 minutes into that video.

    On a side note, I can’t remember upthread who mentioned the sideways “u” on GZ head, but I thought it strange, too. You see it clearly on the police station pics that are post cleaning. All the other blood seems to have cleaned off and left only the newly trickled blood. On the neighbors camera pic you see it very clear, too. But it is not the same redness as the other blood. I have no clear guess as to what caused this “u”. Only thing I could find in photos that resembles that shape is the butt of the gun. Whacking your own head could cause those little cuts back there also. The sights on the gun are sharp little things that could break skin and give enough blood to trickle before the cops showed. Why else would he ask the neighbor if he had blood on himself?

    Have been enjoying your blog, Professor. Just not much for chiming in with replies. Thanks for educating us all.

  11. Patricia says:

    Xena, re your post:

    “Hinkster and Patricia. Re: GZ’s head cuts. I cannot find a close-up of the doggy area signs, but if they are screwed on the posts, it’s my guess that those screws are what caused the cuts. The close-up of the cuts on marinadedave’s blog reveals that the “cuts” are actually round. The distance between them, and that they are diagonal to each other, could very well line-up with a top screw and bottom screw on the posts.

    “If those signs and screws have not been replaced since 2/26/12, Luminol might determine the evidence needed.

    “f this is correct, it could mean that Trayvon pushed GZ, and GZ fell back into the sign. Also, it would completely remove GZ’s story of having his head deliberately bashed.”

    Xena, I’ve spent the last hour poring over the supplemental photos on Axiom Amnesia. Like about 150 dull shots of condos. Looking for sprinkler heads – finally found one by the doggie station. Of course, they are not supposed to be noticed. But – look on Axiom under he crime scene and other photos. The “others” have a good shot of the doggie station and GZ did reference a “sign.” It’s there for you.

    I can see that for a nose mash, but not the rear of Zimmerman’s precious head, because by the time they had grappled to the death site 30-40 feet away, the back-of the head blood would have been wiped (in a very messy manner) by the St, Augustine grass which is very tough and hairy and would make a great scrubby. The nose would be somewhat protected during the tumbling on the ground, but it’s a mess in the B&W shot.

    However, I DID have a EUREKA! moment looking at those “other shots” not considered part of the crime scene. There are a couple of shots with just the yellow markers in the grass by the dogwalk – the evidence has been carted off to the crime lab.

    Holy cow, right in that area there are about three — well, they look like concrete covers — about 10″ x 12″ mounted flush in the grass, VERY visible – all in the evidence field, in a row. Now, these could be concrete covers for sewer cleanout holes, but why the cluster there and not in other locations? The other consideration is that they are high-impact plastic or metal covers for the vaults below (usually the same size as the cover and maybe a foot deep) that protect the sprinkler valves or pressure regulators) – I think being part of the landscaping is more likely than that they are part of the sewer system.

    I know it sounds like I keep changing jobs, but I’m a farmer and we have a ton of irrigation gear. But I was also a sewer consultant for six years (infrastructure financing) so I have some exposure to that field. My strong guess is irrigation, although they do look like concrete. If we have any students on this site who live close to Sanford, they can check that out. If concrete, it”s the precise location Zimmerman would get those head abrasions/cuts immediately before climbing on Trayvon Martin and killing him.

    So I’m thinking “nose mash by the T, head scrape down by the grassy area”, before climbing on Trayvon and shooting him.

    • Xena says:

      @Patricia. Re: GZ’s nose. My thoughts concern GZ’s tactical flashlight, and that small cut on Trayvon’s right-hand, ring finger. It could be a defensive wound from the tactical flashlight coming at him, and maybe through a knocking it away type of reaction, hit GZ in the nose.

      • Patricia says:

        Xena, any blood on the flashlight?

        Anyway, GZ smashed into the doggie station (sign or other part of it) would explain the dropping of the mini-light/keychain at that location.
        I seem to be sending you a zillion replies. Please check that you get TWO re the doggie station. Thanks.

      • Xena says:

        @Patricia. (I’ll try to catch up on your zillion replies. LOL)

        No blood was found on the flashlight.

        Here lately, I’ve really thought about things that GZ did not say, such as why and when he dropped his car key and tactical flashlight.

      • Zhickel says:

        Were the car keys and flashlight found together?

        Near a fixture perhaps, as a marker – a place they’d be easy to find again.

      • Pooh says:

        The small abrasion is on TM’s left hand.

      • Xena says:

        @Zhickel. The car key with the small flashlight was found at the T. The flashlight was on. The tactical flashlight was found close to Trayvon’s body. It’s marker number 5 at the crime scene.
        @Pooh. Thanks for the correction. That small abrasion is on Trayvon’s left-hand.

    • Xena says:

      I saw those “blocks” on the ground in the area too, and also considered if GZ could have rolled while wrestling and hit his head on one. However, the angle and distance between the two boo-boo’s might be significant. It is my impression that holding the head while “bashing” would result in one large wound, or more that are in close proximity. Yet, GZ’s boo-boos are not close together.

      I just wish we could see how those doggie signs are secured to the post because from the front, it appears that they are secured in the center with maybe 2 or 3 screws.

      • bettykath says:

        From up thread, Go to Axiom Amnesia/Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin/look in the side bar and go way past the witnesses, etc. for photos.

        Go to miscellaneous. There are 3 sets: 60, 60 and 14 in each set.

        Go to the second collection of 60 – look at #40-48 for the doggie comfort station.

        Lots of screws at the station. It looks like everything there is screwed onto the post. But it puts the struggle on the opposite side of the path from where I envisioned all the action. I didn’t see any other signs.

      • Patricia says:

        Xena, the doggie sign seems like a natural for the nosebleed. Also a struggle at that locale, that resulted in dropping the little flashlight.

        But with the pristine nature of the head cuts I think we need some object closer to the killing site for that. How would the back of Zimmerman’s head stay unsmeared by the wet grass if they were on the ground wrestling for, say for 20 ft., and Zimmerman was on the ground for the early part of that?

        I think we gotta keep searching …

        • Lonnie Starr says:

          We sure do… Without any GSR on GZ, we must realize that GZ didn’t take the fatal shot. Since there is no way for him to do so without getting GSR on himself. That means that someone else, probably “white tee shirt” took the shot and handed the gun back to GZ, who is now covering up for a very dangerous individual or group. The charge will have to be changed to conspiracy to commit 1st degree murder and that carries the same penalty, only this time GZ has no way out. Because, if he didn’t take the shot, but handed his gun to someone who did, then took it back and claimed that he did the shooting, he’s toast and no prosecutor needs make any deal, because guilt will be a “slam dunk”.

          His only hope would be to deal for a witness protection program so that he can give the other people up.

      • Patricia says:

        Xena, can you direct me to the link that showed the “cuts” to the back of GZ’s head being made by something “round”?

        Thanks

      • Pooh says:

        I agree with Patricia. The cuts had to have happened near the very end of the wrestling. No sense looking at faraway trees or doggie signs. Although he still could have brushed his face or forehead on some branches.

        • Patricia says:

          Pooh, I believe the doggie sign could be the real deliverer of the facial cuts & bloody nose. The front of the face could be somewhat protected during the wrestling. But wouldn’t that facial blood have gotten all over Trayvon? Mystery …

          Zimmerman would certainly not want to reveal that he was decked by the doggie poop station.

          I mean, how heroic is THAT?

      • Xena says:

        @Patricia. “Xena, can you direct me to the link that showed the “cuts” to the back of GZ’s head being made by something “round”?”

        http://marinadedave.com/journal/2012/8/11/i-cant-get-it-out-of-my-head.html#.UEpRX41mQf5

        Btw, I don’t believe that there was any wrestling from the T to where Trayvon was killed, and any wrestling would be rolling by GZ to get Trayvon beneath him.

      • bettykath says:

        It looks to me like the size of the larger right-most laceration is of a size and shape that is very much like the circular thingee where the cover is lifted from the square concrete. Comparing photo 4 at mainadedave and photo 38 of the second set of misc photos at AxiomAmnesia.

    • MedicineBear says:

      Patricia,

      RE: The concrete vaults.

      They look like concrete from the pictures. You’ll also notice (from overhead pics of the complex) that there seems to be one vault per townhome. These are separate townhomes (not apartments) so each townhome would be responsible for their own water bill. I deduced that most of these concrete vaults would house the individual homes’ water meters, and the meter reader would lift the lid with a long bar that fits the small hole in the cover (so the meter reader can lift the cover while standing). The few “extra” vaults may be access to the sprinkler system (or perhaps a meter for sprinkler water usage which would be billed to the HOA).

  12. Xena says:

    I just did something. I again viewed GZ’s re-enactment video, looking for the doggy area sign. At 6:08-09 into the vid, GZ walks beside that doggy area sign, and it is almost even with his big head. Not only that, but I HEARD something for the first time …

    As GZ talks about when he approached the T and that his flashlight was “dead” he says “I looked around and I couldn’t see anybody.”

    Okay, tell me it’s semantics and intent shouldn’t be considered in using “couldn’t” but I think it’s a Freudian slip. Thus, he stopped at the T specifically for the purpose of looking for Trayvon and “couldn’t” see him because his flashlight was dead.

    • Patricia says:

      Xena, took me two readings to catch what you did:

      “Couldn’t” means that you couldn’t do something you TRIED to do

      If you just wanted to remark that the area was deserted (which you’d expect at night) you would just say “I looked around and I didn’t see anybody.”

      “Couldn’t” means aspiration denied. He HOPED that he could see someone, because he was looking. And he COULDN”T see anybody because my flashlight failed me.

      Subtle – but absolutely accurate!

      WOW! You’re good at this!

      • Xena says:

        @Patricia. Thank you for articulating what I couldn’t. It’s so good hashing this out with a team.

        • Patricia says:

          @Xena –

          “It’s so good hashing this out with a team.”

          Just like they do in the Jury Room, Xena –
          except they’re under pressure, with less time …

      • Zhickel says:

        Taking this comment of Z’s a bit further; if he couldn’t see anyone, it follows that he believed no-one could see him.

        Not Trayvon, but witnesses or residents. Is this another case of Z turning the truth around to the scenario that he is trying to demonstrate?

        Damn good catch Xena.

  13. Long story short, some years ago I was watching a movie in my den. I kept hearing scratching like noises and thought it was a cat. From my deduction, the cat was on top of the neighbors 8 ft wooden fence. Finally during a commercial I decided to step out and yell at the cat. As I stepped off the concrete onto the grass. There was maybe 10ft between houses.

    I saw a man with cutting/sawing into the side garage door of my neighbor. He had a saw/blade with a wooden handle. He was cutting in between the metal security strips on the door…thus avoiding tripping the alarm. I could only stand still and say “Oh, my God”.

    He saw me and ran straight towards me and I could not move. He passed me up and ran into a holly bush in my shrubbery in front of the porch. I can remember as if in slow motion….he hit it hard fell forward and somehow twisted around upon arising. To facing back at me who now had my back to the way he had run from.

    About that time I was knocked down by his accomplice that I had not seen as my eyes focused on the man at the garage door. They both ran away and I can describe that danged sharp pointed cutting knife/saw. But, can only describe him as “foreign looking”.

    So, I can picture Gz running in the dark and hitting that tree like my guy did. The guy did not fall all the way down, his feet like slipped somehow and when he came up…he came up through the holly bush limbs facing me.

    My opinion is the night of the incident before removing Gz from the scene they should have had him point out where his head was hit on the sidewalk and that area marked. Would it have not made sense to question him at the scene, instead of hauling him off to police headquarters to do it?

    • The guy was cutting in between the strips of metal on the garage door.

      • Xena says:

        Hinkster and Patricia. Re: GZ’s head cuts. I cannot find a close-up of the doggy area signs, but if they are screwed on the posts, it’s my guess that those screws are what caused the cuts. The close-up of the cuts on marinadedave’s blog reveals that the “cuts” are actually round. The distance between them, and that they are diagonal to each other, could very well line-up with a top screw and bottom screw on the posts.

        If those signs and screws have not been replaced since 2/26/12, Luminol might determine the evidence needed.

        If this is correct, it could mean that Trayvon pushed GZ, and GZ fell back into the sign. Also, it would completely remove GZ’s story of having his head deliberately bashed.

        • Patricia says:

          OK Xena, here are your shots (“Hinkster and Patricia. Re: GZ’s head cuts. I cannot find a close-up of the doggy area signs, but if they are screwed on the posts, it’s my guess that those screws are what caused the cuts.”)

          Go to Axiom Amnesia/Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin/look in the side bar and go way past the witnesses, etc. for photos.

          Go to miscellaneous. There are 3 sets: 60, 60 and 14 in each set.

          Go to the second collection of 60 – look at #40-48 for the doggie comfort station.

          #21-#25 and #35-#39 are the shots with the irrigation covers – a good closeup of the cover right by evidence marker #1 in shot #38. Could be concrete – the right color, and there’s an indent in it that you can lift the cover (like a little manhole cover) with a special tool. I bet these are concrete because they have to withstand the weight of the mowers going over it. In summer in FL you have to mow a lot – the grass looks ratty because it’s late February and winter.

          Ya’ think we got something here, between the doggy sign and the concrete covers in the lawn?

      • Rachael says:

        Xena, I’ve always thought something like that. GZ does say something about being hit with something like a sign and I think that is exactly what he was talking about.

      • Xena says:

        @Rachael. Yes. GZ told Singleton that after he was on his back, that Trayvon hit his head on the ground or a sign. There was no sign on the ground. When I just looked at his reenactment vid again, the post holding the doggy sign appears to be one-sided, which would mean that they are attached in some manner on the opposite side. The one that GZ walks by does look rather beat-up too.

    • longtimegeek says:

      Wow! It reminds me of one of my thoughts about GZ’s scenario that TM could be suspicious because of other people burglarizing other homes. (GZ himself never said that TM acted like he was going to burglarize a home.) For the two men trying to burglarize your neighbor’s home, their intent was to burglarize. Their intent was not to harm someone who might catch them. Even though you were frozen and they had a two to one advantage over you or even a one to one advantage over you, they ran away. It’s one thing to risk being caught burglarizing (unarmed or armed). It’s another thing to risk being caught harming someone, let alone killing someone.

      What are the odds that TM threatened GZ’s life? What are the odds that the only time GZ didn’t happen to be going in the same direction happened to be the minute when GZ and TM met? What are the odds that during this minute, TM threatened GZ’s life by beating GZ up and/or by reaching for GZ’s gun such that GZ had to shoot TM in the heart with a hollow point bullet?

      Your comment also reminds me of another one of my thoughts. Maybe TM froze to some degree during that minute. Maybe GZ told TM that if he stopped resisting, he wouldn’t shoot him. Maybe GZ got TM to hesitate long enough for GZ to shoot him in the heart with a hollow point bullet.

  14. bettykath says:

    Another excellent post. Thanks, professor.

    It’s strange for me to be on the prosecution’s side. The evidence and the whole scenario puts me here. Usually, I’m looking at the defense side of things. I’m having trouble doing that here.

  15. bettykath says:

    Patricia,

    “But at that time I was involved in some left coast political corruption (investigating, not doing)”

    Thanks for the clarification : )

    In the walk-thru, Zimmerman didn’t go down the path anywhere near where Trayvon ended up. Maybe the closer proximity would have interfered with his story. His details were weird. What he could remember in detail, e.g. asking for help in restraining a guy who wasn’t resisting, spreading his hands and holding him down. And all the details that he couldn’t remember, e.g. exactly where it all ended.

    • Dennis says:

      It is going to be very hard to explain to the jury why he told the witness not to call an ambulance. He knew only the police were coming. Even if Zimmerman is lying, he claims that Martin was still alive and coherent even after being shot in the lung/heart area.

      A jury in Florida recently acquitted a man that fired 6 rounds at a guy who punched him. The man’s gun jammed after the 6th round was fired, yet the man kept pulling the trigger even though the attacker was already disabled. Even the prosecution said, “If there’s not a continuous reasonable threat every time he pulls that trigger, it’s murder.” I’m not sure how those jurors sleep at night.

      • Patricia says:

        Dennis, can you give us more info on this case?

      • Dennis says:

        @Patrica

        I would be happy to share my knowledge of the case I am referring to. A link to the news article is at the bottom, but I will explain what happened in a couple of sentences. The defendant’s name is Max Wesley Horn Jr. He got into several arguments with the victim over the course of the day. He has a heart condition so he showed the victim the gun in his waistband. The victim ran up and punched the Horn. Horn shot the man 6 times, the gun jammed, and he continues to pull the trigger. At least one and possibly more witnesses saw him shoot the man 2 more times after he was already on the ground, disabled. Horn claims that the man was still coming at him even after putting 4 rounds into him. The evidence to me seems like an execution, not self-defense. After seeing the outcome of this case I am not confident in a conviction for Zimmerman.

        The 4th District court did deny Horn immunity. They ruled that if the facts of the case are disputed then it should be up to a jury to decide self-defense/SYG.

        http://www2.tbo.com/news/pasco/2010/jan/28/HORN-ar-51454/

        • Patricia says:

          Frightening. Any comments from the jurors?

          Martell appears to have been a drunken hothead. Got no sympathy from the jury. Got no justice, either (actually, it’s society that got no justice).

      • Dennis says:

        @Patricia

        I have not read any comments from the jurors. The police detective did say that the forensic evidence and witness statements prove that Martell was either disabled or not a threat anymore, yet Horn continued to shoot him and even kept pulling the trigger after the gun jammed. There is absolutely no reason to put more that 6 bullets into someone. After a couple of shots the person isn’t going to be a threat anymore. I wonder if the jurors thought Martell was Superman, the man of steel.

  16. Patricia says:

    Professor, as many students posted recently, I too was first and foremost exercised about “no testing for blood on the sidewalk.”

    But at that time I was involved in some left coast political corruption (investigating, not doing) and when news of this case broke I thought, “I can’t bear to read/hear about another brutalized kid in America.”

    But “testing the sidewalk” kept running through my mind. I only got involved this summer and at that time you had acres of evidence for us to peruse. I know that blood is stubborn, stubborn stuff, and you don’t have to see it to detect it.

    The first time I saw the “next morning video” of George spinning his story to the SPD detectives I kept screaming to myself, “Show us the spot on the sidewalk! Show us the spot on the sidewalk!” But those two geezers just kept smiling and nodding like they were humoring the village idiot, which was, in fact, how the deal was going down.

    The SPD crew knew Chief Bill Lee had visited the scene shortly after the murder. Anybody know the time & date he made a statement that this was an SYG case? Obviously the SPD guys knew that Lee wouldn’t tolerate a lot of personnel hours going into this case, because Lee had already closed the book on it.

    Blood is stubborn stuff, and I think the rain was already tapering off by the time of the shooting. The next day video interview was in broad day Florida sun. There would have been tons of detectible residue, if they had made the attmpt.

    It’s interesting that Zimmerman never said, “See, right here – look, there’s where he pounded my head.” In fact he looked nervous when he couldn’t give them all his usual little touches of (mis)information, as he looked down the dogwalk and frankly said he didn’t know where it happened.

    But those guys didn’t care. Didn’t looked like they believed him for a minute. But also they didn’t care. Chief’s orders, I guess.

    We often talk about Zimmerman being a putz (at least I do) but this is a guy who did EVERYTHING to avoid any professional medical diagnosis of his “broken” nose or cranial concussion which would have resulted from the “beating” he said he got. And he sure didn’t want an examination for blood at the scene.

    In fact, as The Good Professor pointed out, likely none of it fell on the ground. Zimmerman himself was the entire collection system.
    If there’s GZ blood on the inner neckline/collar of his jacket or his shirt underneath, it might be possible to see what’s in that blood. Evidence of concrete? Grass? Drugs?

    • CommonSenseForChange says:

      “We often talk about Zimmerman being a putz (at least I do) but this is a guy who did EVERYTHING to avoid any professional medical diagnosis of his “broken” nose or cranial concussion which would have resulted from the “beating” he said he got. And he sure didn’t want an examination for blood at the scene.”

      I have maintained from the start that Zimmerman is not a putz. He’s just “playing” one for the SPD, his family and the TV.

    • Xena says:

      @Patricia. Not that I’m an expert in human nature nor body language, but I thought it odd during his re-enactment that GZ would make physical gestures of fighting off Trayvon that would have him going in a direction opposite of where his truck was parked.

      Since GZ was on his feet, fighting off Trayvon, it would only seem natural that he would fight off going towards his truck — a point of safety, rather than further from his truck. A Freudian slip maybe of what direction he was going in when the altercation began?

      His body language is also strange when re-enacting his “fight-off.” His hands were low. What could Trayvon have been possibly doing in a “fight” where GZ would use his hands at waist level to fight Trayvon off?

      If the aggressor was opposite, and it was GZ trying to take control of Trayvon’s hands, it would be Trayvon fighting-off GZ at mid-body level and not a man just punched in the nose fighting off his attacker at waist level.

      • Patricia says:

        Xena, I thought the “hand flapping” motions strange. like a 5-year old would slap away at another kid. GZ may never have been involved in hand-to-hand fisticuffs since that age.

        So, he’s been a bouncer – so what? That’s throwing people out (guys who are already wasted and unsteady on his feet).

        All of the rage exhibition I hear about is his year-in, year-out picking on women. He goes for people more vulnerable.

        I thought the gesture Zimmerman made of Trayvon forming a fist and giving him an uppercut to the nose was based on old Currier & Ives prints of early American prize fighters.

        Xena, all of that “re-creation” was bizarre.

        I still think Zimmerman made a grab for Trayvon, up by the T, grabbing at his shirt. Possibly (just possibly) Trayvon’s elbow flipped up, bopping GZ on the nose? Could have gotten the bloody nose at that point? It looked like older coagulated blood than the later back-of-the head abrasions.

        But I REALLY think that in the wet grass and rain, Zimmerman’s grab & hold and whatever defensive motion Trayvon made de-stabilized them both, and both went down in the grass.

        Zimmerman could have cracked his nose on the doggie “poop station” up there (GZ talks about hitting his head on “the sign” at one point) DeeDee hear Trayvon saying “Get off, Get off,” before the end of the call. I think they both went down at the initial confrontation.

        But I do think they both scrambled up, with Trayvon trying to run for home. Witnesses heard/saw running. And they did close that gap, but by the time they were spotted by Jon on his patio, Trayvon must have slipped and Zimmerman was on him again. By that tme they were on the ground grappling and Trayvon was trying to stabilize Zimmerman on the ground.

        But by the time they made contact with the dog walk, (with Trayvon on top) then got totally in grass in the final location (with Zimmerman on top), here’s what hapened: Zimmerman was cut on the back of the head just seconds before he got into the final, upper body position trapping Trayvon.

        Absolutely – because there was ZERO smearing on the back of his head, and the blood trail ran forward. Because he was over Trayvon. IF it happened that he cut his head on a sprinkler head (as I earlier surmised) keep in mind that in that kind of location (long narrow strips of grass), they would be installed 12 ft. apart and flush with the edge of the concrete. But GZ wouldn’t know this, so he could be complaining that he cut his head on the concrete when he ventured out there under Trayvon, but it was the sprinkler head that got him. How would he know?

        I called and talked to the guys who had the landscape contract at the time of the shooting, found out what they used (Rainbird) and what size arcs of spray pattern was needed so how close would they placed? I’m on the board of my HOA (no picnic!) and sprinklers, sprinkler damage and sprinkler replacement is a constant hassle. GZ’s HOA newsletter complains about the cost.

        But this would never enter GZ’s mind. He just concocted the head banging story because contact with the sprinkler head would have been (briefly) painful and because of the impressive amount of blood, which scared him. (I’ve had a scalp cut similar; L-shaped laceration under an inch and it bled gallons. But after the initial bump (into farm machinery) there was no paiin – just a mess. But I was raised to be stoic in the face of pain, so it didn’t bother me. I was 18 and past the “poor baby” stage.)

        In any case, NO HEAD SMEARING means GZ did not injure the back of his head unti just before he was able to climb on top of Trayvon — likely able to accomplish this by grabbing one of Trayvon’s arm in a sadistic twist so that Trayvon lost all strength and his calling for help escalated into that desperate scream we all heard.

        No blood on the concrete to be detected. All on GZ.

        That’s how I call it.

      • Dennis says:

        The most disturbing part of the SH interview was how Zimmerman would chuckle before answering some of the questions. It is completely obvious that he has no remorse for his actions. A normal person would be distraught just from taking the life of another person, regardless if they were a bad person or not. Even police officers usually go to counseling after taking someone’s life in the line of duty. Zimmerman seems way too calm on the SH interview, even when he is facing a potential life sentence, and that really disturbs me.

      • Xena says:

        @Dennis. “The most disturbing part of the SH interview was how Zimmerman would chuckle before answering some of the questions.”

        That indicates a belief in being superior, out-smarting. For instance, when he agreed that the only other eye-witness to everything is dead.

      • CommonSenseForChange says:

        @Xena –

        “That indicates a belief in being superior”

        Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!

        I think Zimmerman didn’t even know his principles were those of a racists. He seemed to be a social climber who tried too hard to get himself ingratiated into white-world which to him equaled success and prosperity. He seemed overly impressed with money and thought all whites had money or could lead him to money if only they accepted him. He doesn’t seem to have ever considered humans valuable unless they were whites (which to him equaled money). He seems to fully have expected non-whites to be criminals and ok as hunting prey in order to ensure he’d be ingratiated by those that would accept his whiteness/defense of whiteness and any whites that had been victimized. He seemed to really have believed that if a perp was black, all blacks are the enemy.

        He disregarded all the white murderers for some reason as he formed his opinions of how to prosper. Maybe he’s just into the easiest prey to make a name for himself (bully).

        He is not superior to anyone. Time he learnt it. Some people have to learn the hard way. So pitiful he chose to learn by killing a good kid who didn’t deserve to die!

      • Tina says:

        Xena: Since GZ was on his feet, fighting off Trayvon, it would only seem natural that he would fight off going towards his truck — a point of safety, rather than further from his truck.

        Something I asked on a different post…if the whole “Yo, Homie you gotta problem”, then sudden sucker punch occurred at the top of the ‘T’…wouldn’t ‘gravity’ have forced GZ and Trayvon (according to GZ he mounted him immediately) back along that sidewalk instead of South where they ended up? Even with the whole “sissy swatting” and stumbling some 40+ feet, I would think it was in opposite direction?!

    • Marilyn says:

      Yes, you’ve nailed exactly how I’ve been feeling for months too. It’s driven me nuts. George was coherent and should have been able to show where the blood was supposed to be.

      • Patricia says:

        Marilyn, now that I’ve seen the blood flow pattern on Zimmerman’s head (for the 100th time), I’m thinking “you can’t show what isn’t there.”

        But I was stunned they didn’t ask him. They didn’t challenge anything! I think they got the word handed down by Chief Bill Lee.

  17. Brown says:

    follow the thread

  18. CommonSenseForChange says:

    “It’s possible that they might have considered, but rejected, using luminol for some reason and did not mention it in a report.”

    Documentation! This could work both ways couldn’t it? Where’s Zimmerman’s documentation of a life-threatening injury? Where’s Zimmerman’s documentation of an actual broken nose (not just some silly paper claiming a “likely broken nose”)? Where’s Zimmerman’s documentation that his wounds were new wounds not made elsewhere? Zimmerman refused medical assistance and by extension, documentation. Zimmerman doesn’t want the State to have access to his medical records either.

    “Lawyers characterize this type of situation as a missing evidence problem. Although not relevant here, other known causes of missing evidence are intentional destruction of evidence and unexplained loss of evidence.”

    There’s also the “we didn’t document it because [insert excuse]” that goes on daily. I see this in business dealings all the time. Why aren’t police required as a standard practice to provide complete reports asap instead of the continual days-after-the-fact police reports? This leaves wide open holes to be exploited — by either side. I see this lack of documentation as a way to modify stories/evidence.

    As it stands now, instead of knowing where Trayvon Martin’s effects were actually found at the crime scene, we’re going to have to rely on police officers’ memories if they are called to testify at a trial — possibly years after the fact! This is terrible police procedure, imo. Where were the earbuds found?

    Thankfully, as Professor Leatherman noted above, there’s at least picture evidence of the blood flowing towards the face indicating Zimmerman is lying about how those wounds occurred and that Zimmerman got those wounds while standing — possibly AFTER he had shot Trayvon Martin. Thankfully, the police photos show the front of Zimmerman’s boots covered with grass and soaking wet since he was the one leaning over Trayvon Martin. Thankfully, there’s 7-11 video showing the can of Arizona juice was NOT located in Trayvon Martin’s pocket and neither was his photo-pin. Thankfully, DeeDee was on the phone with Trayvon Martin and the phone records can prove it. Thankfully, there’s no Trayvon Martin DNA on Zimmerman’s gun or holster.

    • bettykath says:

      The Arizona can was in the center pocket of his hoodie and was removed by an EMT and set next to him on the ground. It is in her report.

      There is a photo showing it on the yellow tarp. I haven’t seen the report of the tarp being placed over Trayvon, nor of the can being moved from the ground to the tarp.

      • CommonSenseForChange says:

        It was supposedly SPD that removed the can from Trayvon Martin’s pocket, IIRC. But in this video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqLOeuBwJOI the can is seen to be placed in the 7-11 bag by the store clerk and the bag was found at the crime scene. Who put the can in Trayvon Martin’s pocket, if in fact, it ever really was there? You can also see the photo-pin attached to Trayvon Martin’s clothing in the same vid.

      • Xena says:

        The 7-11 bag being found on the grass opposite the mid-walk, causes me to believe that Trayvon was on that side of the dog walk when the altercation began. That is the side where Brandy Green’s home is located. Just like Trayvon’s blood found on the Skittles, it gives me more reason to believe that GZ touched the wound in Trayvon’s chest and in frisking Trayvon hoping he had a weapon, touched the candy package in Trayvon’s pocket. I still don’t believe that the blood on GZ’s face was GZ’s blood, neither that there was any of his own blood on his hands. That in fact, I don’t believe that GZ’s nose was bleeding at all.

        I just hope that the materials used by the paramedics to clean-up GZ are preserved in that First Aid Kit.

      • jd says:

        Actually Xena the 7Eleven bag was most likely the tan bag found on the sidewalk 30 feet south of the T. The white bag was probably a wal mart bag, and likely brought out by a resident in reaction to a request by first responders who asked for plastic bags to seal the hole in TM’s chest while they tried CPR.

        None of this is established in the evidence / discovery materials we’ve seen but that’s the consensus opinion at present. See the 7Eleven video for confirmation of the tan bag color. ( I wonder if the receipt was in the bag? )

        FWIW George may have felt the can in the hoodie pocket and wondered what it was if and when they grappled, but that’s certainly no excuse to shoot someone.

      • FactsFirst says:

        @Bettykath

        A few things bothered me about the Arizona can and Skittles business… Bare with me, I’m no Lawyer…
        1. Officer Ralmondo statement says, “He was SECOND on the scene. He parked near officer Smiths vehicle. He checked Martin and got no pulse. He got a bag from an Asian male and started CPR Ayala did chest compressions until relieved by Sergent McCoy. He felt the can of Ice tea in his (Trayvon’s) hoodie pocket when he was checking him out. He did not remove it”… (pg 13 of 284 evidence)
        hmmm….
        2. Officer Ciesla interview says, “When he arrived the other officers were attempting CPR on Martin. Plastic bags were brought out to seal the wound. He saw a can of “Iced Tea” but did not know where it came from. He assisted officer smith with crime scene processing. He saw a flashlight near the “T” section illuminated on the ground.. (pg 5 of 284) ****Hold UP! I thought Ralmondo said he did not remove the can**** WTF…
        HMMMM….
        3. FF Livingston interview says, “When she initially arrived, she checked Martin’s pulse and determined that Martin did not have one. “She began to lift Martin’s shirt to “START” CPR.” When she lifted Martin’s Shirt, FF Livingston discovered a can in the “front of his shirt” REMOVED THE CAN, SAT IT ASIDE, observed a gunshot wound to Martin’s chest. (during the interview, FF Livingston was asked if she remembered if there was a bag with the can. FF Livingston could only recall the can, not the bag) Hold up! Didn’t Ciesla state that he saw a can of Iced Tea on the ground but did not know where it came from… WTF is really going on?
        hmmmm…. But naw y’all, here’s what really blew my wig back!!!

        4. M.E Investigator states, when she arrived, “The victim was covered and markers down. “THE SKITTLES WAS IN THE TOP FRONT POCKET OF THE VICTIM’S HOODIE.” She DOES NOT remember the can of Iced Tea and SHE DID NOT REMOVE IT (Iced Tea) from his clothing. Police did try to FINGERPRINT the victim at the scene. Malpurs then placed the body in a bag and sealed it. She arrived at 9:44pm and left at 10:10…. (pg. 36 of 284)…. HOLD THE FREAKING PHONE!! Didn’t they take pics of the Iced Tea on top of Martin’s body??? WTF is really going on up there at the SPD?

        http://axiomamnesia.com/TrayvonMartinFiles/Trayvon_Martin_George_Zimmerman_Documents_given_to_the_Defendant_R.pdf

        SN: I love this SITE and all the commentors…. ESPECIALLY the TROLLS…. They make my day go pass FAST…. LMBO!!! THANK YOU!!!! You are appreciated…

      • bettykath says:

        FactsFirst,

        It makes sense if Ciela’s observations were of Livingston (an EMT) or other EMTs doing CPR rather than police officers. But, you’re right, the wording suggests that Ciela’s observations were of police officers before Livingston arrived.

        Questions for Ciela:
        1. Had the ff arrived before you observed the can?
        2. Who was doing the CPR, police or ff?

        It’s possible that Ciela saw the officers doing CPR, had his attention elsewhere and when he looked back he saw the can on the ground, While his attention was elsewhere, Livingston arrived and was doing her thing which included removing the can. It could be something as simple as carelessness on the part of Ciela in writing a report. This is a possible explanation but I’d want to ask Ciela the questions to clear it up.

        And no one put the tarp over Trayvon, nor the can on top. Maybe the can on top of the tarp is symbolic of the can being on his person but removed.

        Strange.

      • CommonSenseForChange says:

        @FACTSFIRST –

        !!!!!!!!!!!!

        On point. I approached it from a human side when I began to question this oddball evidence presented by SPD. I can’t imagine a person carrying a bag of Ice anything all the way home and then deciding to ditch the bag into the grass right after passing a trashcan (doggie poop stations double as that). It made no sense to me.

        As for the pro-Zimmermans claiming Trayvon stuffed his pockets in order to prepare for a fight — that made no sense either from the human side. Trayvon Martin would have stuffed both the bag and the bag’s contents into his pocket to prepare for a fight. He most certainly would not have taken the time to remove the contents, stuff that in the pocket and discard the bag. The idea that someone (anyone) would disconnect a bag’s contents from the actual contents in preparation for a fight is ludicrous on its face!

        I’ll ask again. Who put the can INTO Trayvon Martin’s pocket, if in fact, it was ever really there? If it was there, the only person who is likely to have done so is George Zimmerman! If Zimmerman didn’t do it, the evidence provided by the SPD is wrong.

        George vs. the SPD. Just what Zimmerman fantasized about!

        Spread Trayvon’s arms out and away from his body, huh? Zimmerman knew full damn well that his claims of how he left the body would contradict the SPD’s claims that Trayvon Martin’s hands were found under his first-found body in the face down, hands beneath is body position.

        Thankfully, W13 snapped a pic. Either SPD or George Zimmerman is lying.

    • logi says:

      I find it odd how GZ will tell his sory and then throw in something random,. An example in when he is describing to officer singleton how his head was being slammed into the cement in the reenactment he throws in the possibility of his head hitting a sign. There was never a mention of a sign in any of his other many stories, and furthermore he would have to be standing or falling onto the sign to receive an injury from it not flat on his back.
      He does this again when he describes putting Trayvons arms out to restrain him after he shot him. He adds, “when he was hitting me I felt like there was something in his hands” Why does he add this? It doesn’t really make sense being that the last actions he claims Trayvon made using his hands was covering GZ’s moth and nose. He was shot within seconds of that so clearly his hands were empty before being shot.

      I think he does this because he is not quiet sure who saw what and wants to cover his bases just in case.

      • Xena says:

        @Logi. “I think he does this because he is not quiet sure who saw what and wants to cover his bases just in case. ”

        Absolutely! Just in case blood was found on “a sign,” he threw in that Trayvon was bashing his head on “a sign.” He threw in putting Trayvon’s arms out in case his DNA was found on Trayvon’s wrists or sleeve cuffs.

      • bettykath says:

        This comment makes me want to see some luminol on the signs and on the sprinkler heads and on his flashlight.

  19. Malisha says:

    I am reading all the transcripts of all the statements George Z made to police, voice-stress guy, even Hannity. As I put his words and sentences into the order of “event described” I see two really creepy things happening (and these things were affecting me even before I began to move the sentences around to get them in line with each other:

    1. George sounds like a guy writing a short story. But not a very good writer. Characters are shallow; descriptions are vague and uninteresting; when detail is given it is as likely to be illogical-to-impossible as it is to be devoid of explanatory power. What was suspicious? He didn’t look like an athlete. It was raining. Did you think he was threatening you by putting his hand in his waistband? He might have been trying to trick me. “Did he say the word homie?” I don’t remember (this, after quoting TM as saying “homie” twice although it was not pertinent to the story). The whole impression is one of an immature, dishonest, cagey person trying to explain away a real event he refuses to describe.

    2. George is drawing a picture of his victim that is totally unrealistic and that, furthermore, shows how bizarrely uninterested George is in what happened that night FROM HIS VICTIM’S POINT OF VIEW. Was TM scared? No, he was skipping. What would make him suddenly turn violent? Maybe he was mad that I called the cops. (??? How would Trayvon Martin KNOW that George had called the cops?) Did he say ‘homie’? I don’t know.

    All in all, you have a situation where George is pretending to be in an alternate reality. He is pretending to be in the reality where he was innocently endeavoring to protect his neighborhood and out of nowhere, mortal danger arose causing him to defend his life with his loaded gun. The agents of all this game-show stuff? A “guy” of whom he was “suspicious” and a “punch” and a “smash.”

    It’s puerile. It’s shockingly simplistic. (“I was just being good and a guy was being bad so I had to kill him”) and it’s disturbingly like the many shows and games the children watch where being the “good guy” means that whatever you do is right, and being the “bad guy” does not need further examination.

    Perhaps the most telling part of what is wrong with this picture is the fact that not once in all the interviews, when the interviewers describe Trayvon Martin as a good kid, a kid with a future, a mild-mannered kid, an unarmed teen-ager, etc., not once does doubt creep into George Zimmerman’s narrative. No break down, no sudden tears and a cry, “OMG I thought he was a burglar,” or “Oh NO, maybe I DID accidentally scare him!” No questioning of George’s motives or actions by George. No internal monitor. No insight. No sorrow. No regrets. Bing Bang; guy was bad, I was good, kill guy, that’s over, let me go home.

    One of the creepiest things I have ever read. When you read all his descriptions at once, it is overwhelming. “He did this; he did that; I did this; I did that; I shot him.” Like a kid describing the last scene of a play he has written in third grade.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      And by extension, it’s shocking that people support GZ and claim not only would they do the same thing, they would make sure they double-tapped TM or emptied their gun into him.

      • Vicky says:

        There are some truly sick and twisted individuals roaming around with a “Go ahead and make my day” attitude. All I can say is I hope some poor kid (or adult) never crosses their path when they’re out looking for trouble.
        The thing that really frightens me is that if GZ gets away with this, he will likely kill again, and at least one of the morons you mentioned above will feel empowered to find some kid to confront so they to can live out their sick fantasy of ridding the word of someone they view as a “thug”.

      • longtimegeek says:

        Vicky – I agree! We don’t even want real cops to be vigilantes against real criminals like the Clint Eastwood movies or real vigilantes to be vigilantes against real criminals like the Charles Bronson movies. We definitely can’t have fake cops be fake vigilantes against innocent kids! If that GZ *sshole gets away again, I think he will be empowered to kill another innocent kid. I think GZ is a coward who would only select an innocent kid he isn’t afraid of. IMHO.

    • bettykath says:

      “No questioning of George’s motives or actions by George. No internal monitor. No insight. No sorrow. No regrets.”

      I’ve sensed this as well.

      http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-difference-between-a-psychopath-and-a-sociopath.htm

      Both a psychopath and a sociopath have a complete disregard for the feelings and rights of others. This often surfaces by age 15 and may be accompanied by cruelty to animals. These traits are distinct and repetitive, creating a pattern of misbehavior that goes beyond normal adolescent mischief. Both fail to feel remorse or guilt. They appear to lack a conscience and are completely self-serving. They routinely disregard rules, social mores and laws, and don’t care about putting themselves or others at risk.

      • kyma says:

        ==================
        not once does doubt creep into George Zimmerman’s narrative. No break down, no sudden tears and a cry, “OMG I thought he was a burglar,” or “Oh NO, maybe I DID accidentally scare him!”
        =================

        When I read this I thought, well, sure, he has an audience. He’s getting attention, trying to portray an image of himself he thinks he can control, thinks he can talk his way out of this, outsmart the system, thinks he made the world better place. At least this is the image he seems to be deliberately painting for the media.

        But when there are no radios, cameras, pictures, people, attention aimed at him, DOES he ask himself these basic humane ethical questions? I mean, he just killed an unarmed teenager!

        My gut feeling is no. He can’t or won’t. And someone who is can’t or won’t feel emotion, remorse, guilt, who has an inflated ego, outsmarting the world, parania most likely, looks to me a LOT like a psychopath or sociopath.

        —-Sidenote—- Just finished an really interesting book “The Psychopath Test” by Jon Rosen. There are definitely plenty of psychopaths and sociopaths in the world. George certainly could be one, but even if he is, I don’t want him getting off as mentally ill.

        My conclusion….. Very probably he’s a psychopath test.

      • kyma says:

        Oops. delete last word. “Test”

    • longtimegeek says:

      “What was suspicious? He didn’t look like an athlete. It was raining. Did you think he was threatening you by putting his hand in his waistband? He might have been trying to trick me. ‘Did he say the word homie?’ I don’t remember (this, after quoting TM as saying ‘homie’ twice although it was not pertinent to the story).”

      I’ve been wondering about this for a long time, and I don’t know how to ask all the questions I have about lying and credibility in the eyes of the law. But, I’m going to make a clunky attempt. I’ve read that many people have trouble identify lying, including law enforcement. I’ve read that people are 50-50 on being able to spot a liar after being told a story. I assume that this is before people have an opportunity to fact check the story. I’m pretty sure I’m in the upper 50% somewhere in seeing how a liar’s own story falls apart even without having to talk to anyone else or fact checking. In the defense of many honest people who are in the lower 50%, I suspect that they want to believe that other people, even people who have lied to them before, aren’t telling them lies or telling them more lies. I do, so maybe I’m in the lower 50%. When do honest people stop falling into this trap? For example, it’s bothersome to think that early actions by law enforcement may have been affected by GZ saying right sounding things in a calm, matter of fact type manner, despite lying prolifically at the same time. I don’t want the jurors to fall into a similar trap, so I’m wondering how lying and credibility for a liar like GZ is handled in court. (Yes, he reminds me of Casey Anthony, who is another *sshole like GZ who always seems to get away.)

      GZ’s answers are clearly those of a liar with plenty of indications of lying, including nonsensical answers and contradictory answers. In addition, his answers aren’t remotely close to those of an honest person. An honest person provides a real answer immediately. For example, the order of answers also matters. One question was “What was suspicious?” GZ’s first answer was “athlete”? Huh? Non-athletes are suspicious? His second answer was “rain”? Huh? IIRC, his first answer during the pre-arranged, leading, softball Hannity interview was “rain.” Rain! Rain is so suspicious! IIRC, he’s had other non-answers, and he’s repeated that spiel about his wife seeing some other black boy on some other occasion. Ookaay. GZ himself, the prolific liar by both omission and commission, has never provided a real reason to find TM suspicious and to follow him. (This should have been one of many red flags for law enforcement the night GZ killed TM.) Of course, we already know that GZ tells lies as he pleases to make the question at hand go away and doesn’t worry himself about telling a cohesive, plausible story.

      “He is pretending to be in the reality where he was innocently endeavoring to protect his neighborhood and out of nowhere, mortal danger arose causing him to defend his life with his loaded gun.”

      “It’s puerile. It’s shockingly simplistic. (‘I was just being good and a guy was being bad so I had to kill him’) and it’s disturbingly like the many shows and games the children watch where being the ‘good guy’ means that whatever you do is right, and being the ‘bad guy’ does not need further examination.”

      Yes, GZ was the puerile bad guy who never grew up. He can only see things from his own selfish point of view. He can’t see things from anyone else’s point of view. (Aren’t normal people supposed to be able to see things from other people’s points of view starting around the age of 5?) In GZ’s mind, he must be innocent because he called NEN. He was on a mission to protect the neighborhood. Anything else he had to do, he had to do, even if he didn’t follow neighborhood watch training or concealed weapons permit training. He’s not used to having to follow all the rules. He’s used to making up his own rules and his own stories. He was on a mission. He had to shoot TM. IMHO.

    • Tina says:

      Malisha: Perhaps the most telling part of what is wrong with this picture is the fact that not once in all the interviews, when the interviewers describe Trayvon Martin as a good kid, a kid with a future, a mild-mannered kid, an unarmed teen-ager, etc., not once does doubt creep into George Zimmerman’s narrative. No break down, no sudden tears and a cry, “OMG I thought he was a burglar,” or “Oh NO, maybe I DID accidentally scare him!” No questioning of George’s motives or actions by George. No internal monitor. No insight. No sorrow. No regrets.

      Depraved indifference, or result of all the times his parents where there to get him out of the serious charges from his past? GZ has never been held accountable for any of his actions. His parents are just as culpable for his actions as he is, imo. Even if I believed my child innocent, I’d still have publicly expressed sincere condolences to the parents of Trayvon. But just like GZ, they are only concerned with inconveniences placed on them… see them as victims. Yet, have no sympathy for the real victim of the crime their son committed…Shame on them!

      • TruthBTold says:

        Excellent post Tina and have thought similar. I think in GZ’s mind because he really believes his versions of what happened, that any sincere remorseful reaction would somehow point to criminal culpability. He waited until the cameras were on to offer an insincere apology, but further contradicted by his own admissions of not doing anything differently that night. Like I said before as it relates to GZ, it’s everyone else but him.

  20. Vicky says:

    Fred, According to GZ the sidewalk “head banging” incident took place at or near the T. Even if his head did strike the concrete there, the flow of blood patterns taken of Zimmerman’s head would indicate that he quickly recovered from that part of the conflict and that shortly thereafter, he was in a position that caused the blood to flow in a manner that would suggest he was looking down. We know for a fact that Trayvon was not killed anywhere near the sidewalk. Therefore, the minor lacerations to the back of GZ’s head were not such that they rendered him helpless. I would also suggest that had he been lying flat on his back during those final moments, with Trayvon attempting to suffocate him, the wet grass would have cleaned a large area of blood from the back of his head. Additionally, had Trayvon had the level of contact with Zimmerman’s head he asserts, GZ’s blood would have been found on Trayvon’s hands. After all, GZ claims Trayvon had his hands over his mouth and nose. The blood in his goatee would surely have gotten on Trayvon’s hands. And why wasn’t the blood on GZ’s face smeared all over the place in that cell phone photo if Trayvon had his hands on GZ’s nose? Not to mention GZ didn’t even have a fat lip or abrasions in or around his mouth following a 170 male pressing down on his lips. I would have expected to see evidence of blood on Trayvon’s hands and swelling or chaffing around GZ’s mouth and/or lips. Then again “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”.

    • CommonSenseForChange says:

      Exactly!!!

    • Tzar says:

      “I would have expected to see evidence of blood on Trayvon’s hands and swelling or chaffing around GZ’s mouth and/or lips. Then again “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”.”

      actually in this case…absence of evidence is prima facie evidence of absence. That is, we know the common level of injury resistance of human skin, especially skin and tissues overlying hard structures like teeth. And we certainly would expect that resistance to injury to be overcome by an physical attack capable of causing fear for one’s life.

      • Vicky says:

        Tzara, oh I agree completely. I was being facetious. The first time I heard GZ make that claim, I called BS. The photos taken at the SPD would have shown some evidence that his mouth had been subjected to the level of force GZ described. To be honest, that is the point at which I eliminated all doubt in my mind. Not that there was a whole lot to begin with, but I was willing to try to consider self defense. Then when the forensic report stated there was no blood on Trayvon’s hands, I knew for certain GZ was lying through his teeth.
        Not to mention having just shot and killed a teenager, GZ was more worried about a photo shoot and making personal phone calls than rendering aid to the young man who lay dying in the grass in front of him. If that’s not depraved indifference, I don’t know what is.

    • Pooh says:

      Excellent points well put.

      • Pooh says:

        There’s also the absence of gun residue that should have fallen all over the front of GZ’s jacket and shirt if he were on his back when he shot TM.

        • Patricia says:

          Pooh, I hope the Professor will write a full post with everything he knows about gunshot residue/fallout. They bagged GZ’s shirt and jacket. What’s the range for fallout? Only GSR found on GZ’s jacket sleeve (of the arm holding onto GZ’s shirts?).

          The GSR issue could kill Zimmerman’s defense … or not.

    • Pooh says:

      The absence of grass or wetness on the back or heels of GZ’s shoes.

    • Tina says:

      @Vicky

      DING-DING-DING-DING-DING! My thoughts exactly…

    • Lonnie Starr says:

      Talking about blood on GZ’s head, the EMT’s cleaned his hands because they said they found a lot of blood on his hands. That sounds to me like GZ merely used his hands to restart the blood flowing after the gunshot, when he put his hands on his head.

      The pictures taken at the scene seem to show the blood as already coagulated. If so, then merely placing his hands on his head, shouldn’t result in them being covered with blood. But, if a new blood flow was started, then his hands could become covered with blood.

      This saga gets more curious as time goes on.

  21. Two sides to a story says:

    As well as blood probably not dripping on the sidewalk, there’s the problem that the blood trails on GZs head are not smeared, as they would have been if an extended head pounding to sidewalk took place, or smearing after what GZ described as a lengthy pushdown in the grass. Nor did GZ have the bruising or scraping that would have occurred along with the cuts if had there been even a brief interlude of head meeting sidewalk. I’m guessing GZ either fell and hit his head on the edge of the sidewalk or some other object, or stumbled backward into the tree in the area, or if punched in the nose as described, struck his head once as he fell, or was hit defensively by TM with his cell phone, The latter would seem to have occurred either when GZ was standing up or alternately, as he straddled TM.

    • CommonSenseForChange says:

      Yes. Or as Vicky says below, Zimmerman got up after the head injury. At which point, he could have fled. No smears. I don’t even think the blood came prior to the killing. The blood flow is way wrong!

    • bettykath says:

      Remember that the emt’s cleaned him up. They would have removed whatever smeared blood was around the cuts so they could see how bad the cuts were. The blood on the back of his head was probably fresh, after the emt’s were finished.

      The dried blood around his ear and neck into his beard were from the initial blood flow while he was leaning over TM.

      I think the suggestion that he hit his head once on the a retracted sprinkler is the most probable.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        The photo of GZs head wounds taken by the neighbor with the cell phone was taken prior to cleaning up by EMTs.

      • bettykath says:

        True, but we were specifically talking about the photos taken at the police station.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        I’ll have to look at those SPD photos again, bettykath.

      • CommonSenseForChange says:

        I think it’s ok to talk about both SPD pics and the neighbor’s iPhone pic. I think the only one offered as evidence so far is the neighbor’s iPhone pic. Neither of the pictures shows smears aside from what looked like George Zimmerman’s hands touching his own head, imo.

      • Lonnie Starr says:

        Here I’d like to note something I read on the net, supposedly offered by a “blood spatter expert”, who did not identify himself/herself. But whose offer can be subjected to testing.

        That offer was as follows:

        A drop of blood on a hard surface at low humidity and room temperature, dried in 70 minutes.

        Using that as a baseline (at least until some is able to post differently with credible results), we note that GZ’s blood was on a soft, wet, oily surface in high humidity (rain) and at 12 degrees below room temperature (60 degrees).

        If these things are demonstrably true, then GZ’s injuries predate the encounter, because the blood would have taken longer than 70 minutes to dry.

        Perhaps someone with some expertise will address these issue on our behalf? Please write.

        • Patricia says:

          Lonnie, I think with GZ’s blood, it is the coagulation (from the fibrinogen content in the red blood cells) that we see. It’s not dried on his head, it’s congealed.

          That happens quickly, unless you are on an anti-coagulent, way unlikely at GZ’s age.

          • Lonnie Starr says:

            The reports I’ve read have the medical personnel saying that it was “dried blood”, which they know is different from merely coagulated blood. I’d expect medical people to be as professional in their reporting as they could be. So, if they say it was dried, I think we can expect that it was dried. Nor, if memory serves, was it a very tiny amount of dried blood, as in a thin smear. But, I got the impression they were talking about clumps of dried blood as in scabs.

            Others have seen those reports, so I’m not going to search them out again, but I’ll be content for others to report them when they find them, as will I, if I happen to come across them again. I believe it was a medic treating GZ in the squad car, if that helps narrow it down. But, it has long led me to suspect that GZ had these wounds prepared before the supposed “fight” because there would be no way to know if they could be created once the matter unfolded. So GZ had to know they’d be there to substantiate his defense claims.

            Later, all it would take is GZ rubbing the back of his head to get the blood flowing again. So, I looked for evidence that GZ put his hands on his head, after the shot, and sure enough he did.

          • Patricia says:

            Lonnie, re “So, I looked for evidence that GZ put his hands on his head, after the shot, and sure enough he did.”

            Wow, I’ll have to look for that. GZ strikes me as someone terrified of pain, so the thought of him self-mutilating himself for later effect, I’ll have to think about.

            But that’s why it’s worth keeping an open mind!

          • Lonnie Starr says:

            I think it’s in one of the witness statements, my other computer had a problem I got locked out when something put a password on my hard drive, I’m waiting for software from England UK to fix it.

            But, if it helps, I recall that it was somewhere in the aftermath when GZ gets up and is walking around, a witness sees him put his hands on his head. Of course, others here may already know where it is, I sure they will post it.

      • CommonSenseForChange says:

        @Lonnie (a/k/a Obwon :-))

        I remember you sharing that in a previous discussion. Made sense to me! It also brought into play the EMT’s “ow ow” statement she claimed Zimmerman made when the “dried blied” was forced. I’m conflicted on this as it was an after the fact statement (I think) made by a professional/expert potential witness although the not-a-dolt sociopath Zimmerman could have easily mussed the expert’s head by uttering “ow ow” for no damn reason or uttered it for later use as in his later utterance that it was TM that said “ow ow”.

    • It could be possible that TM headbutted GZ during the struggle on the ground as to how GZ got the broken nose.

      • Lonnie Starr says:

        I’m sorry but it does seem that TM’s personality profile, precludes him waging any assault on an adult. To wage such an assault first and foremost requires some confidence that it will be effective. Since there is no evidence, even at this late date, that TM has ever assaulted or even fought with anyone, where would such confidence come from?

        A child, most likely your own, might assault you while in the grip of a fit, but what they do would be easily recognized as ineffective and done without either confidence or even a goal in mind, other than a pure emotional release. That’s not going to happen with a child who is in such fear of an adult that they are actually fleeing.

        The best evidence I can find of TM’s fear of GZ is that, an untrained child will not run as a trained athlete does, with measured expenditure of energy so that they can last to the finished line. A child will instead flee, putting everything they have into it with no holding back. So, I find it questionable that TM could even run the length of a football field before being too tired and out of breath to continue.

        TM had probably just walked very quickly over the course of half a mile from 711, because of the impending rain. So that, when he ran again after seeing GZ’s truck, he probably already had little left of himself. So, he’d run all out and at “full tilt” for probably 40 or 60 yards before being too out of breath to continue. Then, with no chance to reach home, with visions of GZ behind him, all he could do was hide.

        GZ on the other hand would clearly measure his pace, and arrive with plenty of “juice” still available.

      • Tina says:

        @Lonnie

        You put that perfectly! DeeDee states that he was tired from running…

  22. Xena says:

    Professor, you have addressed and answered this puzzling question for me. Thank you so very much. If I may add, the prosecution still has to its benefit the lab reports regarding blood and DNA NOT found on Trayvon’s hands. Would that not be able to used as a reminder to the jury in closing argument?

    • Dennis says:

      I think the prosecution would definitely bring that up in their closing argument. There can only be one logical assertion from the lack of GZ’s blood on TM’s hands. That assertion is: Martin never beat his face in or covered his mouth & nose.

      • bettykath says:

        It isn’t just the lack of GZ’s blood on TM’s hands but the lack of GZ’s DNA under his fingernails. If TM’s hands were holding his GZ’s mouth or nose, there would probably be some of GZ’s DNA unless the “holding’ was done with just the heels of TM’s hands. More missing evidence? But this evidence was looked for. [grammar police?]

  23. racerrodig says:

    My opinion has always been that if Z factually had his head bashed even once and there was a trace of blood, he would have said “…look at the blood on the sidewalk, I told ya…” The police may even have noticed all by themselves. I find it impossible to believe that he had the “…head bashing…” tale that night and not one person went and looked. More likely there simply was nothing and that’s what was observed.

    The other issue is the location of Trayvon’s body. Trayvon’s head is approx 10 feet from the sidewalk. Was Z wrestling with Trayvon’s feet ?? Not one eyewitness said a thing about Z’s head being at any time on the concrete.

    • rayvenwolf says:

      I’ve called bs on the concrete story since pretty early on. I have a friend who was gay bashed and what GZ claims, actually happened to said friend. Knowing the extent of the damage done. And since we all know GZ is not simply lucky or even a mutant ripped from Marvel’s pages, I asked myself how was is possibly for GZ to be up and about immediately after something like that? Answer – never f’n happened.

      Of course passengers on the good ship Zimtanic can’t see the ocean for the icebergs and are gonna hang on til the very end.

      • thejbmission says:

        I concur! Excellent point. Amazingly Zim escapes a concussion and he doesn’t lose consciousness. Yes, there is a boo-boo on his head but I don’t think it came from a pounding on the pavement.
        I wonder if it’s too late to use Luminol? Just for the record?

    • Lonnie Starr says:

      Why bother with luminol when the supposed victim, doesn’t seriously assert a specific location to be looked at?

      GZ first asserts he was assaulted near the tee, that his head was banged there and that was the cause of his fear for his life.
      He asserts that he then drew his weapon and fired.

      Before the police go ahead and waste expensive luminol, they must have looked at the site, thought about the story and determined as follows:

      If the head bashing was the proximal cause of GZ’s fear for his life, then the head bashing must have happened somewhere 40 feet south of this point at the tee, because the shot wasn’t fired here.

      For the head bashing and subsequent fear for his life, to be a defense for discharging his weapon, it had to happen during or in close proximity to GZ’s head being bashed. So:

      1. No shot fired at the tee, where the life threat was claimed to have occurred.

      2. No head bashing at the location where the shot was fired!

      Conclusion: No need to waste luminol on a search for evidence that is not germaine to either a defense or a prosecution. Since the claimed head bashing cannot be the proximal cause of the shot being fired.

      Or, will GZ say that he was mistaken about being at the tee, and therefore mistaken about returning to his truck, but instead was continuing to follow TM trying to get home, and was then confronted 40 feet away from the tee?

      If I read this blog correctly then, the court will not allow GZ to claim self defense, if a struggle he provoked ensues, for a gun he brought to the fight.

      My guess is that, if GZ had known about this legal tidbit, he’d probably not have fired the shot, in fact, he’d probably not have bothered following. Since, he would realize that he’s boxed in, and that the court will not go along with him, following someone who had not committed a crime, then shooting that person for any reason at all, with a gun he carried there.

      In brief, since the shot was fired along TM’s path home, and not along GZ’s path to return to his vehicle, the only assumption that can be drawn is, that GZ continued to follow TM for no good, sound legal reason, then claims that was the cause for him to feel his life was being threaten, so to justify having to shoot.

      • MedicineBear says:

        Lonnie Starr,

        “Why bother with luminol when the supposed victim, doesn’t seriously assert a specific location to be looked at?”

        That’s what I was thinking after reading this post. During the reenactment video, WHY wasn’t GZ concerned about finding the location of the alleged headbanging to point it out to the investigators?

        Since his self-defense relies entirely on his fear of great bodily injury/death from the headbanging, wouldn’t he try to find the exact location on the sidewalk, point it out to investigators, and have them see if there is any of his blood there to CONFIRM his story? Instead, on the reenactment video, he seems vague about where the “headbanging” occurred — was it at the T, 40 feet south of the T, or somewhere in between?

        Another thing about his “headbanging” reenactment — his body language. Not only is the LOCATION vague in his telling, he orients himself FACING the sidewalk (instead of having the back of his head toward the sidewalk, as he said it had happened). One’s subconscious mind and body language don’t lie.

        • Lonnie Starr says:

          Police are trained to listen. It is an especially tricky job interviewing a principle in a criminal case, because some conflicts in their stories that arise, you don’t want to mention right away, because that would shut down the narrative entirely, so you let it go for later.

          Of course, when GZ tells them that he feared for his life here at the tee, but no shot was fire there, it’s not reasonable to even bother looking for blood there, because it’s not the proximal cause of fear that caused him to shoot someone 40 feet away.

          When they suggest that this area is rather far from where the body was found, GZ wiggles around a bit and starts moving a few feet south while making swatting motions with his hands. Forgetting that at this point in his narrative, he was supposed to already be on the ground. All GZ has left as a reason for shooting, after this point, is a claim that TM was going for his gun.

          But how does TM know he’s got a gun? The weapon is small, very tiny and very easily concealed, as shown in some you tube vids, even in shorts with a tee shirt it can’t be seen. There’s the matter of how TM would know where to look, let alone be able to identify that small blur of black metal as a weapon and not just a pda of some kind. Hardly any of the story is likely, in a place so dark people can’t even see who’s on top.

          But the point is, at the site of the shooting, some 40 from the tee, the witnesses place him firmly on the grass and away from the concrete. Does he realize that he can’t claim self defense, from fear of a weapon he carried to a fight he provoked?

          Finally GZ gets no GSR on himself. The police let him wash his hands and don’t test them for GSR, but that doesn’t mean that there should not be GSR on his clothing. If not, then the only logical explanation for that is, someone else took the fatal shot, then passed the gun back to GZ who holstered it, and then claimed himself to be the shooter.

          True to any promises/representations that might have been made to him before the incident took place, he was released from custody and no charges were filed. He was allowed to go home and things remained that way for about 46 days. Question: Who could have so accurately made such representations about how the SPD would handle matters? Remember, if not for the public outcry, GZ would be home free now. Just as many other people are and have been, in other cases that have not gained the national spotlight.

          If the SP investigators cannot find a way to explain the lack of gunshot residue on GZ by some natural means, then they’ll have to conclude that GZ did not take the fatal shot himself. But, his actions in the aftermath and story telling, make him part of a conspiracy to murder and obstruct justice. GZ will have to wish that the SPD did not let him wash his hands, so he’d have GSR on them, to prove he wasn’t part of a conspiracy to commit a murder. Because now all they have is his clothing, and that does not exhibit the GSR that it should if he fired the weapon.

          I get the impression he turned his back, not being able to bear to watch, so the shell casing leave a speck of lead on his sleeve. “White tee shirt” is the available suspect, he has to move fast and leave quickly.

          Leaving me with the only problem left: “Why a white tee shirt?” Why not wear black and remain hard to see? Is this some sort of message to someone? Does a white tee shirt have a special meaning to people at RATL or at the SPD?

          Meanwhile, the defense can claim, by way of creating doubt, that GZ did not fire the fatal shot, even though he may have come away thinking he did. How would the SP defeat a story that, GZ was dazed, someone came over, took his gun and fired the shot, gave it back and then ran away. Without GZ covered in GSR it’s entirely plausible. In which case, it really doesn’t matter how many false versions of the shooting GZ tells or has told, nor what is proved to be true or false. Since, if he didn’t take the fatal shot, he’s not guilty of anything but stalking.

  24. BigBoi says:

    Awesome post (as always) Professor. You are a gift to many of us. Thank you for your contributions in the quest for justice for Trayvon. Justice will not be denied.

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