Why Has the Defense Team Gone Silent in the Trayvon Martin Murder Case?

January 23, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Good morning everyone. The defense team finally appears to be doing something that makes sense. They have stopped talking. Therefore, I do not have much to report.

The Orlando Sentinel has reported that the defense deposed John (W6) on December 17 and recently deposed Mary Cutcher and Selma Mora. The defense also reported on its website recently that it had received Trayvon Martin’s school records. I have not seen any reports regarding the defense reaction to those records and the depositions.

I imagine that the absence of commentary by the defense is due to the lack of anything bad to say about the prosecution’s case that has not already has been said and refuted.

I suspect the defense team is in turmoil because it’s running out of money and cannot afford to retain investigators and expert witnesses. The recent lawsuit filed by the company that provided security and investigation services against the defendant, his wife and Mark O’Mara to recover damages for breach of contract has placed every other service provider in the area on notice not to do business with O’Mara unless they get a substantial retainer up front adequate to cover the anticipated fees and costs. I doubt O’Mara can do that.

Meanwhile, there must be substantial and increasing resentment within the team regarding the amount of money spent for housing, feeding and protecting the defendant and his wife against an unlikely threat to their safety. I never have believed that a credible threat existed. Instead, I think they grossly overplayed the threat-to-safety and racial-fear cards to curry favor and sympathy with white racists while trolling for dollars on the internet.

The fogen’s incredibly bizarre and ill-advised claim that he is not a racist because he is part Hispanic makes no sense and it cost him the support of white racists who were the group most likely to support him. After all, this is the guy who used his My Space page to hate on Mexicans and consistently described himself as white before he killed Trayvon. And despite claiming otherwise, he clearly said “fucking coons” while referring to him on the recorded police NEN call. That fact alone blows up his civil suit against NBC.

The loss of financial support by white racists must have been devastating. However, one also must add the additional loss of moral support caused by the fogen’s effort to conceal his financial assets and an extra passport from the court. I imagine that a lot of people interpreted that move as an admission of guilt.

Last, but certainly not least, the fogen told the nation on the Hannity show that he did not regret killing Trayvon and would not do anything different, if he had the opportunity to do so because it was God’s Plan for Trayvon to die. Apparently convinced that he was riding a tsunami of public support because of his stellar performance on the show, he promptly overreached when he attempted to change his agreement with Barbara Walters at the last minute by refusing to be interviewed unless she persuaded her network to pay for a month lodging in a hotel for him and his wife, plus the cost of the security team to keep them safe. Apparently he did not get the memo that nobody does that to Barbara Walter. She basically told him to go pound sand.

Although the fogen finally shut-up, he had caused irreversible damage to his defense. No reason to panic, however. His formerly estranged brother, Robert Jr., stepped into the breach to save the day. Billing himself as the spokesperson for the family and voice of reason, he attempted to put out fogen’s fire by pouring gasoline on it with predictable results. They might have been manageable and excused as an understandable overreaction to a beloved brother’s plight, if only he had stayed out of the minibars in his hotel rooms. His epic drunken late night rages on twitter revealed a damned unpleasant and clueless racist with whom no sensible and empathetic person of any race anywhere on the planet would want to associate.

Given the extreme financial predicament and ongoing clown show, I suspect raised voices, finger pointing and extreme resentments are threatening to tear apart the defense team.

I do not see the fogen admitting that he did anything wrong and I suspect his lawyers have just about run out of patience, especially if they have been working pro bono as they claim.

No one had to be a psychic to see this train coming. I am actually surprised they have maintained the appearance of being on the same page and working together pursuing an agreed strategy toward a common goal.

Do not be surprised if the engine starts smoking and the wheels fall off forcing someone to announce that they have decided they need to spend more time with their family.


Zimmerman: A Short and Concise Explanation why George Zimmerman is Guilty of Second Degree Murder

September 14, 2012

I. Introduction

Many thanks to Ada4750 for being a good sport and playing the role of devil’s advocate defending the proposition that Trayvon Martin may have provoked the fight with George Zimmerman (a) by not running all the way home to the safety of Brandy Green’s residence and (b) by confronting and assaulting Zimmerman for following him.

With Ada’s cooperation and Case 1’s unwavering analytical focus, we can now clearly see the underlying supposition for this claim; namely, Martin did not actually fear Zimmerman and chose to hide, ambush, confront and assault Zimmerman for daring to follow him.

ADA argues that Martin’s girlfriend’s (Dee Dee) testimony is absolutely critical to the outcome of the case because she is the only witness who can counter Zimmerman’s claim that Martin was the aggressor. In other words, if the jury does not believe Dee Dee’s claim that Martin told her he was afraid of the creepy man following him, it might decide Zimmerman is not guilty.

I will show why this argument is not valid and the jury does not have to believe Dee Dee to reject Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense and find him guilty of second degree murder.

In any event, her testimony will be supported by her phone records and confirmed by Zimmerman’s own statements describing Martin’s flight, disappearance from view, and import of their initial exchange of words, if not their exact words (i.e., Martin’s question why are you following me and Zimmerman’s response, why are you here?)

II. Analysis

A. Zimmerman is on trial, not Martin

The prosecution must emphasize and the jury must never forget the central truth of this case: Trayvon Martin is not on trial; George Zimmerman is on trial because he did five things that caused Trayvon Martin’s death and then he lied to the police to cover-up what he did.

(1) He should have left his gun at home because the Neighborhood Watch Program (NWP) forbids carrying a gun;

(2) He should have remained in his vehicle because the NWP forbids running after potential suspects to prevent them from getting away before the police arrive;

(3) He should have left his gun in his vehicle and immediately returned to his vehicle after the dispatcher told him to stop following Martin, instead of continuing to follow and hunt Martin down after Martin disappeared;

(4) He should not have fired his weapon because his aggressive intentions and conduct created the situation in which he found himself;

(5) He should not have fired his weapon because we know from the evidence of his injuries and the forensic evidence at the scene that he was never reasonably in imminent danger of being killed or seriously injured, regardless of what he may have believed; and

(6) He never should have lied to the police because his lies establish his guilty state of mind just as effectively as a signed confession.

B. Martin’s character and whether he feared Zimmerman are irrelevant

It does not matter whether Tratvon Martin was the most evil and violent man who ever lived, the most meek and mild man who ever lived, or something in between. Plug-in any personality you can imagine and you still have these incontrovertible facts:

(1) Martin was unarmed;

(2) As a visitor at Brandy Green’s residence, he had a right to be where he was;

(3) His conduct was not suspicious;

(4) He had not committed a crime, was not committing a crime, and was not about to commit a crime;

(5) He attempted to avoid GZ by running away from him;

(6) GZ provoked a confrontation by getting out of his vehicle and running after him; and

(7) But for Zimmerman pursuing Martin, even after Martin disappeared from view, there never would have been a confrontation and Martin would be alive today.

Conclusion

Whether Martin really feared, merely feared, or did not fear Zimmerman is irrelevant. Whatever Martin may have done, Zimmerman provoked him to do it and this is true whether Martin was a psycho gangsta or a mild mannered non-violent and peaceful kid.

It would take a mighty strange concept of justice to ignore all of the incontrovertible facts and circumstances of this case and allow Zimmerman to walk away from this situation without facing consequences because Trayvon Martin did not run all the way home to Brandy Green’s residence to hide and instead had the temerity to merely ask or demand GZ to explain why he followed him.

The legal elements of self-defense and murder in the second degree do not mention the victim’s character.

The victim can be anyone, good or bad.

The victim in this case was a good kid with a bright future ahead of him, but he did not have to be. He could have been the criminal psycho gangsta George Zimmerman claimed him to be and George Zimmerman would still be guilty of murder in the second degree.

BECAUSE when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin:

(1) Zimmerman was not reasonably in fear of suffering imminent death or serious bodily injury, as shown by the evidence of his minor injuries, the forensic evidence, and his many conflicting and inconsistent statements that are equivalent to a signed confession of guilt; and

(2) the shooting was an imminently dangerous act exhibiting a depraved mind indifferent to Trayvon Martin’s life.

Special thanks to all who participated and helped shape the discussion.

Note: the word “reasonable” is italicized to emphasize the self-defense test is objective


Zimmerman: Did George Zimmerman’s Conduct Exhibit Premeditation? UPDATED Below

August 22, 2012

We not only have considerable evidence of a depraved mind with no regard for human life, we have substantial evidence of premeditation that could lead a grand jury to indict Zimmerman for Murder in the First Degree, if the prosecution were inclined to seek an indictment, because the evidence from out of his own mouth shows that he

(1) grabbed his gun,

(2) extended his arm beyond his left hand so that he would not accidentally shoot it,

(3) aimed his gun at point blank range,

(4) pulled the trigger shooting Martin in the chest,

(5) rolled Martin’s body over so that it was face down in the wet grass,

(6) told witnesses not to call 911 because he had already done that even though he knew that no ambulance was on the way because the dispatcher at the non-emergency number that he called had only dispatched an officer to the neighborhood, rather than to a specific address, to investigate a suspicious circumstance, and

(7) mounted him by straddling his body with his full weight on Martin’s back while, according to winesses Mary Cutcher and Selma Mora), leaning forward with his hands on Martin’s neck restricting Martin’s airway.

Proof of premeditation does not require a minimum amount of time. It does require evidence that a defendant formed the specific intent to kill, reflected on the decision to kill, and went ahead and killed the person.

In Berube v. State, 5 So. 3d 734 (2009), the Court defined premeditation as follows:

“Premeditation is the essential element which distinguishes first-degree murder from second-degree murder.

“Premeditation is defined as more than a mere intent to kill; it is a fully formed conscious purpose to kill.

“This purpose to kill may be formed a moment before the act but must exist for a sufficient length of time to permit reflection as to the nature of the act to be committed and the probable result of that act.”

The evidence that establishes intent to kill is the shooting itself. Depravity, reflection and renewed intent to kill (i.e., premeditation) are established by the multiple acts after the shot to delay, to the maximum extent possible, the arrival of emergency medical assistance that, from his perspective, might have saved TM’s life, while at the same time secretively and furtively attempting to administer the coup de grace in the dark area between the two buildings of townhouses within view of many witnesses, including children.

GZ’s actions after the shot also are probative of his intentions before the shot, unless he wants to argue that he was just trying to euthanize Martin to prevent him from suffering, which would be exceedingly unwise to argue for reasons that I am certain I do not have to explain.

In other words, if he had not premeditated the death of TM, he would not have continued his attempt to kill him by suffocating him and delaying the arrival of emergency medical assistance.

He had an opportunity to change his mind, but he decided to continue his effort to kill Martin.

If I were Angela Corey, I would be inclined to leave the charge as is at second degree murder because it’s punishable by life in prison and GZ’s conduct is so extremely depraved and shocking to human sensibility that a life sentence is likely.

Since the probable sentence would be the same, there is no reason to prosecute him for the more serious offense.

Last, but by no means least, GZ’s depraved behavior after the shot exhibits consciousness of guilt because:

(1) He is not reasonably in imminent danger of suffering death or serious bodily injury, and

(2) He is attempting to kill the only witness who could definitively refute his claim that he shot Martin in self-defense

Put another way, if he truly shot Martin in self-defense as he claims, he would not have any reason to attempt to delay the arrival of medical attention to the maximum extent possible while attempting to secretively and furtively finish the job of killing him by smothering him to death in front of many witnesses, including children.

UPDATE: Mary Cutcher filled out a handwritten statement dated February 26th, the night of the shooting (p.102 of 184), in which she told the police she and her roommate, Selma Mora stepped out on their patio after the shot and twice asked George Zimmerman what was going on. She said he told the to “just call the police.” Her handwritten statement was released in the first document dump. (H/T to CommonSenseForChange)

UPDATE 2: Mirre commented,

“I thought 46 seconds was a long time. If you listen to Selma’s statement, knowing that Trayvon may have been concious, the depraved mind becomes very obvious. In Tchoupi’s chart, you can also see that one second before W18 tells the dispatcher, she sees GZ getting up, W3 tells the dispatcher she can see the police arriving on TTL.

Depraved mind indeed.”

Looks like George Zimmerman may have already known the police had arrived when he told Mary Cutcher and Selma Mora to “just call the police.”

His behavior prior to telling them to call 911 demonstrated no concern for Martin.

Equally important, I think, is that he did not call 911 to seek emergency medical treatment for himself. That suggests he knew his injuries were minor, even if bleeding and painful, and it was more important to him to gain more time for Trayvon Martin to die than it was to get medical assistance for himself.

How chilling is that?


Zimmerman: The Power of Circumstantial Evidence

August 14, 2012

Because there are no eyewitnesses to the shooting except George Zimmerman, who claims he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense, the prosecution will have to rely on circumstantial evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman did not kill Trayvon Martin in self-defense.

Unfortunately, Florida does not define circumstantial evidence other than to call it “indirect” evidence. See Wadman v. State, 750 So.2nd 655 (FL 1999).

Washington State, where I practiced law for many years, defines direct and circumstantial evidence as follows:

Evidence may be either direct or circumstantial (WPIC 5.01).

Direct evidence is that given by a witness who testifies concerning facts which he or she has directly observed or perceived through the senses.

Circumstantial evidence consists of proof of facts or circumstances which, according to common experience permit a reasonable inference that other facts existed or did not exist.

The law makes no distinction between the weight to be given to either direct or circumstantial evidence. One is not necessarily more or less valuable than the other.

Wikipedia has a good discussion of circumstantial evidence:

A popular misconception is that circumstantial evidence is less valid or less important than direct evidence. This is only partly true: direct evidence is popularly, but mistakenly, considered more powerful. Many successful criminal prosecutions rely largely or entirely on circumstantial evidence, and civil charges are frequently based on circumstantial or indirect evidence. Much of the evidence against convicted American bomber Timothy McVeigh was circumstantial, for example. Speaking about McVeigh’s trial, University of Michigan law professor Robert Precht said, “Circumstantial evidence can be, and often is much more powerful than direct evidence”. The 2004 murder trial of Scott Peterson was another high-profile conviction based heavily on circumstantial evidence.

Indeed, the common metaphor for the strongest possible evidence in any case—the “smoking gun”—is an example of proof based on circumstantial evidence. Similarly, fingerprint evidence, videotapes, sound recordings, photographs, and many other examples of physical evidence that support the drawing of an inference, i.e., circumstantial evidence, are considered very strong possible evidence.

In practice, circumstantial evidence can have an advantage over direct evidence in that it can come from multiple sources that check and reinforce each other. Eyewitness testimony can be inaccurate at times, and many persons have been convicted on the basis of perjured or otherwise mistaken testimony. Thus strong circumstantial evidence can be a more reliable basis on which to determine a verdict.

In response to a Zimmerman supporter who posted recently here that circumstantial evidence can support conflicting conclusions, I said,

Anything is theoretically possible and the nature of circumstantial evidence is such that each individual circumstance in a chain of circumstances might indicate more than one possibility. However, when examined as a totality of circumstances, they add up to only one possibility.

Put another way, the more splainin’ that Zimmerman has to do by resorting to ridiculous extremes like, I was walking in the same direction as Martin but not following him because I was looking for a street name and an address to give the dispatcher, the more unlikely his story becomes. Especially when he has lived in the neighborhood for three years, patrolled it as the neighborhood watchman on a regular basis for months, and he walked right past townhouses on TTL with the addresses on them in plain view, ignored them, and never provided the dispatcher with an address. It doesn’t take any intelligence to figure out that he was never looking for an address.

Step by inexorable step he lies and lies and lies.

What is he concealing?

He wasn’t out there exercising in the rain.

He was hunting.

The answer is obvious to anyone with a functioning brain cell.

The burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, not beyond all theoretical doubt.

I am not going to detail every lie that we have revealed and discussed at length because I want to go macro on y’all and look at the big picture.

However, if you want to review the evidence to date, I recommend you watch this video prepared by our very own Whonoze.

Is there a discernible pattern to his lies that reveals his intent or are his lies mere random occurrences that happen due to chance?

Consider, for example, his stubborn insistence that Trayvon Martin suddenly came out of the bushes next to a townhouse or materialized out of the gloom on the N/S sidewalk a few feet south of the intersection and confronted him as he was on the sidewalk cut-through between TTL and RVC supposedly minding his own business returning to his vehicle parked on TTL.

Some who post here and at other internet sites contend that we must take GZ at his word and cannot look at other evidence (i.e., the circumstantial evidence) to determine if he is telling the truth and, if not, discern his intent.

Sorry, but that is not how trials work.

GZ claims that TM sucker punched him knocking him to the ground and then he jumped on him and started beating his head into the sidewalk and punching him repeatedly in the face.

Aside from the lack of physical injuries that would be consistent with such a claim, the location of the fight is inconsistent with the location of TM’s body. That is, if GZ is telling the truth, the body and the location of the fight should be in the same place, but they are not and he has no explanation for that other than he kind of sort of stumbled after TM hit him. Yet, that explanation only gets him a little less than halfway to the location of the body and various items found within a few feet of it, such as his phone, the earbuds, the can of iced tea, the Skittles, and the spent casing.

We have to ask ourselves what does the circumstantial evidence tell us regarding the fight that ended with TM’s death? That is, what can we reasonably infer from the evidence at the scene.

The initial conclusion is GZ lied about the nature and extent of Martin’s attack because his injuries do not support his story and his conflicting claim regarding where and how Martin confronted him tells us he changed his story during the walk-through video the next day when he realized there were no bushes at the scene behind which Martin could have been hiding.

What do these lies suggest?

They suggest GZ went looking for Martin in the area between the two rows of townhouses and found him where the shooting occurred.

If that is what happened, why would he lie about it?

The obvious conclusion is that he did not want to admit that he went hunting for Martin and found him.

Why is that a problem?

Maybe it has something to do with his statement, “These assholes, they always get away, fuckin’ coons.”

Hmmnn. That sounds like GZ was determined to make sure this “asshole” did not get away.

Why would GZ lie about Martin jumping him?

Could it be because he knew an aggressor cannot claim self-defense?

A pattern is apparent in these lies. They all appear to be motivated by a desire to cover up that he was the aggressor who hunted down TM and attempted to detain him, but TM did not submit to his authority willingly. A struggle ensued in which GZ sustained some minor injuries and he shot and killed TM without legal justification.

This is the incredible power of circumstantial evidence because, ultimately, the explanations GZ offers for each item of evidence become increasingly strained until they degenerate into irrelevant and irritating whining.

As I have said before, he is his own worst enemy and his conviction of the crime of Murder in the Second Degree will materialize out of his own lyin’ mouth and the abundant circumstantial evidence.


Did Zimmerman Confess When He Said, “I Took my Gun Aimed it at him and Fired?”

June 29, 2012

Sometimes what you are searching for during an investigation is located in plain view right in front of your face, but for one reason or another, you don’t see it. I have been chastising myself for not seeing Zimmerman’s confession, even though it was obscured by a fog of inconsistencies and lies. Nevertheless, I should have seen it.

When Investigator Chris Serino was interviewing Zimmerman on February 29th, three days after the shooting, Zimmerman said,

“I didn’t want him to keep slamming my head on the concrete so I kind of shifted. But when I shifted my jacket came up…and it exposed my firearm. That’s when he said you are going to die tonight. He took one hand off my mouth, and slid it down my chest. I took my gun aimed it at him and fired.”

The key word “aimed.”

Notice that he did not say, “I took my gun and fired.”

Because of the ongoing struggle he was describing, I pictured him freeing his gun from his holster while lying in a supine position and firing it at point blank range into Trayvon Martin’s torso.

Given his description of the struggle between the two of them, he could not have extended his arm and hand holding the gun because there was not enough room between the two of them. Not only that, according to him, he succeeded in grabbing the gun because he pinned Martin’s left hand against the side of his chest using his right upper arm and that prevented Martin from grabbing it.

Do y’all see the problem? How can he possibly extend his elbow and aim the gun with Martin lying on top of him while pinning Martin’s left hand to his chest with his right upper arm.

If he accurately described their relative positions and what they were doing when he fired the fatal shot, the entry wound should have been a contact wound in Martin’s left side or possibly his back traversing Martin’s body sideways from left to right probably with a downward trajectory.

With Martin’s torso in the way, I do not see any way, he could have extended his arm and aimed his gun firing the fatal shot from intermediate range into Martin’s torso creating an entry wound 1 inch to the left of the midline and 1/2 inch below the left nipple with the trajectory of the bullet going mstraight through from front to back without deviating up or down or left or right.

I also do not see him him saying that he aimed his gun when he did not aim his gun.

Instead, like a Freudian slip, it appeared to slip out during his narrative of the circumstances leading up to the shooting.

If this is what happened, he did not shoot Martin in self-defense because he had already separated from Martin with his gun in his hand aimed at Martin and was no longer in imminent danger of being killed or suffering grievous bodily injury.


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