Jury to resume deliberations Monday in Kelly-Thomas-beating case

January 12, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Good afternoon:

The Kelly Thomas case was submitted to the jury late Thursday morning after five weeks of trial and 3 1/2 days of final arguments. The jury deliberated Thursday afternoon without reaching a verdict.

The jury was excused until Monday morning when it will resume deliberations.

This is Part 1 of prosecutor Tony Rackauckas’s rebuttal argument (51:46):

Here’s Part 2 (9:17)

Here’s the 33 minute video of the beating:

Meanwhile, check out the Hand of God.

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This is our 848th post in 26 months.

We received only two donations yesterday for which we are very grateful, but we had 666 visitors to the site and 1,358 page views. As I said yesterday, I realize it’s easy to assume others will step in and contribute, but that type of thinking doesn’t work when everyone does it.

We’ve averaged less than 1 donation per day during the past week despite hundreds of visitors per day and thousands of page views. We’re not trying to get rich here, but this just isn’t working out for us.

Fred


HLN reenactment falsely portrays shooting

June 4, 2013

June 4, 2013

Good afternnoon:

Vinnie Politano and his “expert” death investigator, Joseph Scott Morgan, stumbled badly out of the HLN starting gate with a false reenactment of the shooting that is inexcusable hall-of-shame material. Here’s the video of the reenactment:

Come on, son.

Reenactments are supposed to exactly reproduce the event being reenacted. They are misleading and worthless, if they do not.

This reenactment did not come close to reproducing the defendant’s description of the shooting because he told the police that, after Trayvon sucker-punched him in the nose to prevent him from calling the police and he fell down on his back, Trayvon mounted him in a seated position straddling his body and began raining down blows to his nose and face MMA style before switching to grab the sides of the defendant’s head and repeatedly slam the back of the defendant’s head against the concrete sidewalk. Then, as the defendant began crying out for help, Trayvon attempted to silence and smother the defendant by placing one hand over the defendant’s mouth and the other over the nose. That is when the defendant claims that he felt Trayvon’s hand on his chest sliding toward the gun that the defendant had concealed from view in a holster inside his pants against the back of his right hip. The defendant said he pinned Trayvon’s hand against his chest with the upper part of his right arm and then grabbed the gun with his right hand and fired the fatal shot taking care not to shoot his left hand.

According to the defendant, Trayvon was never standing over him leaning forward in the position taken by Politano. Indeed none of the hitting, slamming and smothering events described by the defendant would have been possible, if Trayvon were in a standing position.

So much for the defendant’s claim that he reasonably believed he was in imminent danger of death or serious injury such that he had to use deadly force to survive the encounter. Call me psychic, but somehow I do not think that is what Politano intended to demonstrate.

According to the defendant, they were in this position with Trayvon on top.

Here’s LLMPapa’s video:

Of course, it would not have been possible for Trayvon to have seen much less reached the gun from this position.

Therefore, we know the defendant was lying.

Since he and his expert ignored the defendant’s statement, what were they attempting to demonstrate?

I believe they were attempting to account for a straight-on shot front to back where the muzzle of the gun was in contact with the hoodie and shirt underneath it, but the fabric was 2 to 12 inches from the entry wound.

May I have a drum roll, please. Time to pull out ye olde trusty sledgehammer and pound a square peg into a round hole.

Yup, Trayvon must have been leaning forward and the fabric was hanging straight down.

Nice try, but no cigar.

The crime lab analyst who examined the sweatshirt and shirt beneath it found that the cloth was stretched at the time the fatal shot was fired and we have independently verified that the holes in the fabric do not align with the entry wound. They are displaced from the vertical in a diagonal direction toward Trayvon’s right hip.

Mere gravity does not account for this displacement.

I will tell you what does, however. The defendant had a grip on the sweatshirt and shirt with his left hand restraining Trayvon from getting away as he took careful aim and fired.

Not coincidentally, this also explains why the defendant said he “aimed” before he squeezed off the fatal shot in order to avoid shooting his left hand.

Politano’s clueless expert reenacted the shooting by holding his fake red gun with both hands, which is contrary to the defendant’s narrative.

Finally, we know the defendant was on top because W18 witnessed the shooting and said he was on top.

Clean heels with wet grass and mud on the toes of the defendant’s boots are not consistent with the defendant’s claim that he shimmied in an atttempt to get out from under Trayvon.

The back of the defendant’s jacket was wet because it was raining, not because he was lying on his back in the grass. A photograph of the back of his jacket taken at the police station did not show any mud or grass present.

Two conclusions can be reached from the evidence. The defendant lied and he was not in imminent danger of death or serious injury when he fired the fatal shot. In fact, he was in control of Trayvon when he killed him.

That is not self-defense.

It is second degree murder.

(H/T to LLMPapa for the video and Ay2Z for the inspiration to write this post)


Zimmerman case is simple: Trayvon Martin acted in self-defense

May 31, 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Good morning:

I hope to forever put to rest the following argument: Since the defendant had a right to get out of his vehicle and a right to follow Trayvon, those actions cannot be considered as evidence of guilt.

As I will soon show, that argument makes about as much sense as arguing that the purchase of a gun with intent to kill someone cannot be considered as evidence of premeditation because the person had a right to purchase the gun.

Both arguments fail because a lawful act can be committed to achieve an unlawful result. Yes, indeed. A would-be bank robber can purchase a clunker to use as a getaway vehicle after robbing a bank.

As any lawyer familiar with the law of conspiracy well knows, conspiracy indictments typically allege the commission of lawful acts by co-conspirators in furtherance of objectives of a conspiracy. Thus, simple events like using a cell phone to confirm a scheduled meeting with a co-conspirator are often charged as overt acts in furtherance of a conspiracy.

Therefore, the issue is not whether the act itself was lawful. The issue is what was the actor’s intent when he committed the act.

Nobody would seriously argue that the defendant could not get out of his vehicle and follow Trayvon Martin. He certainly could.

The relevant questions in this case are why did the defendant get out of his vehicle to follow Trayvon Martin and why did he lie about it afterward?

I do not believe the jury is going to have any difficulty figuring out the answers to those questions: The defendant intended to prevent this “asshole” from getting away and he shot him to death when Trayvon resisted. The defendant lied about it afterward because he did not want to go to prison.

Trayvon Martin is the only person who acted in self-defense.

That is basically all there is to this case.

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I hate to hassle people for money, but contributions have been lagging this month.

Writing articles every day and maintaining the integrity and safety of this site from people who would like nothing better than to silence us forever is a tough job requiring many hours of work.

If you like this site, please consider making a secure donation via Paypal by clicking the yellow donation button in the upper right corner just below the search box.

Thank you,

Fred


Zimmerman: Judge rules that evidence published by defense last week is not relevant or admissible

May 28, 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Good afternoon:

Judge Nelson denied the defense motion for a continuance of the trial.

None of the information about Trayvon, which caused the big hullabaloo last week after the defense improperly released it for publication to the Orlando Sentinel, will be admitted into evidence at the trial because all of it is irrelevant and inadmissible.

However, Judge Nelson granted O’Mara’s request for an evidentiary hearing on his motion for sanctions against BDLR for alleged discovery violations pertaining to that information. Unfortunately, she had to continue the hearing to June 6th because O’Mara did not have all of the witnesses he needed to present his case.

I do not believe that he has a legitimate argument, since the evidence is not admissible at trial or exculpatory, and the prosecution disclosed it to the defense in timely fashion back in January. O’Mara claims that the disclosure was not timely because he was provided with raw data that he could not interpret.

However, he specifically asked for raw data, which is a proper request, and he should have retained an expert and/or the software program that is used to interpret it. His failure to do that cannot be blamed on BDLR.

FYI: Defense counsel should routinely ask for raw data, since it is the actual result and less susceptible to misinterpretation. Note that O’Mara waited until after the panel of 500 potential jurors were summoned to jury service. His delay in filing his motion for sanctions suggests that he was more interested in gaining a tactical advantage with that motion than he was in obtaining an interpretation of the raw data.

Judge Nelson granted the defense request for a Frye hearing regarding the admissibility of expert testimony identifying the person who uttered the terrified death shriek. She scheduled the hearing for June 6th and 7th and will permit expert witnesses on both sides to testify by videophone.

The defense still has not endorsed any expert witnesses. Remains to be seen, if any legitimate experts will disagree with the State’s experts and if they have the money to pay an expert. I doubt that they do.

At a press conference after the hearing, Robert Zimmerman, Jr. aggressively promoted the conspiracy theory that I wrote about in my last post.

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I hate to hassle people for money, but contributions have been lagging this month.

Writing articles every day and maintaining the integrity and safety of this site from people who would like nothing better than to silence us forever is a tough job requiring many hours of work.

If you like this site, please consider making a secure donation via Paypal by clicking the yellow donation button in the upper right corner just below the search box.

Thank you,

Fred


Defense mendacity in Zimmerman case is disgusting

May 24, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Good morning:

George Zimmerman’s attorneys, Mark O’Mara and Don West, have unintentionally confirmed this week that they have no defense to present on his behalf by knowingly and intentionally publishing false, irrelevant and inadmissible information about Trayvon Martin to incite white racists to denounce him as a pot smoking black thug who deserved to die.

I used the word “confirmed” because three weeks ago the defendant appeared in open court and waived his right to an immunity hearing. The mixture of false and misleading information released yesterday is not a defense to second degree murder. It’s deliberate character assassination by false statement and innuendo of an unarmed teenager who was stalked, restrained and shot through the heart while screaming for help.

Here’s LLMPapa:

Last I heard, skipping school, pot smoking and participating in refereed fights between equal combatants is not a death penalty offense.

In other news, the defense attorneys filed a flurry of forgettable motions and responses to prosecution motions which, like snowflakes in April, are destined to melt when they hit the ground.

I begin with Donald West’s frivolous, dishonest and intentionally misleading reefer-madness motion that he filed earlier this week arguing that a trace amount of marijuana in Trayvon Martin’s autopsy blood should be admissible to prove that he was the aggressor even though he was unarmed and the defendant stalked, restrained and shot him in the heart.

The defense motion to continue:

1. cites no authority,

2. claims he needs to investigate Dr. Reich (the State’s audio expert who identified Trayvon as the person screaming for help), which takes about an hour if you google him,

3. claims other unnamed experts told him Dr. Reich’s opinion is based on science that has fallen into “disrepute,”

4. fails to support this assertion with an affidavit from one or more of these experts, and

5. claims he needs time to find an expert to hire even though he is supposedly in touch with all of these experts.

This motion is ridiculous and will be denied because it fails to document a reason for a continuance.

O’Mara’s motion for sanctions against Bernie de la Rionda for not disclosing the evidence that the defense obtained from Trayvon’s phone and published in its 3rd evidence dump, is frivolous because the so-called exculpatory evidence that he claims BDLR withheld in violation of the Brady rule is not exculpatory.

Therefore, the Brady rule does not apply and this motion should be denied.

West’s reply to the State’s motion to exclude opinion evidence about the defendant’s guilt or innocence generally admits that witness opinions about the guilt or innocence of a defendant are inadmissible but warns that if the State attempts to attribute the delay in arresting and charging the defendant (which isn’t relevant either), then the State will have opened the door to allowing the defense to call SPD cops to justify what they did.

I don’t believe this issue will come up as it is irrelevant to whether the defendant murdered Trayvon.

Sideline mini-trials about marginally relevant or irrelevant issues are exactly what evidence rule 403 is designed to prevent.

West’s 2-page reply to the State’s motion to exclude the defendant’s self-serving hearsay statements, which does not cite a case, generally agrees that many of the defendant’s statements are hearsay, if offered by the defense, but disagrees with the State’s argument that none of the defendant’s statements are admissible under the res gestae exception or some other exception to the hearsay rule. West asks Judge Nelson to reserve ruling until the issue comes up in trial.

This is a sneaky response because West wants to be able to ask a leading question seeking agreement from a witness that the defendant said XYZ. For example, he might ask SPD Investigator Serino this question:

George told you that he killed Trayvon in self-defense, didn’t he?

Bernie de la Rionda (BDLR) would object to the question because it contains an inadmissible self-serving hearsay statement.

Judge Nelson would sustain the objection, but she cannot unring the bell, so to speak. The jury would have heard the defendant’s inadmissible statement.

He also would probably like to mention that self-serving hearsay statement during the defense opening statement to the jury or maybe during jury selection.

The purpose of the State’s motion in limine regarding the defendant’s self-serving hearsay statements is to prevent those events from happening, and I am reasonably certain Judge Nelson has seen this trick before and is savvy enough to see through West’s tactical deception.

Therefore, I expect she will grant the State’s motion.

BTW, the res gestae exception that West mentions is a limited exception to the hearsay rule similar to the present-sense-impression exception in which the hearsay statement about an event occurs as the event happens. Thus, the statement is part of the event itself or the res gestae and cannot be excised from it.

The State’s motion in limine seeking an order prohibiting the defense from mentioning the voice stress analysis test that the defendant took should be granted because that’s the legal rule in Florida and elsewhere. The rule is based on the lack of general agreement among scientists that this type of test can consistently produce accurate and reliable results.

In other words, the test violates the Frye Rule.

Judge Nelson should grant this motion.

The State’s 3rd motion for a gag order asks Judge Nelson to put an end to the defense effort to poison the jury pool by assassinating Trayvon Martin’s good character with false evidence and innuendo publicized after the jury pool of 500 people have received their notices to report for jury service on June 10, 2013.

It is no accident that the defense waited until after the 500 potential jurors were served with their notices, but before they report for jury service. Therefore, this was a deliberate tactic to create an unringing the bell problem regarding false, irrelevant, and inadmissible evidence.

A gag order will not unring the bell.

This is quite possibly the sleaziest tactic that I have ever seen. To intentionally poison a jury pool a couple of weeks before trial with false and misleading information about the victim of a homicide calculated to incite and unite White racists to approve of the execution of an unarmed Black teenager is astonishing.

These two lawyers are fortunate that I am not Judge Nelson because I would jail them for contempt of court and file complaints against the bar association requesting their disbarment from the practice of law.

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I hate to hassle people for money, but contributions have been lagging this month.

Writing articles every day and maintaining the integrity and safety of this site from people who would like nothing better than to silence us forever is a tough job requiring many hours of work.

If you like this site, please consider making a secure donation via Paypal by clicking the yellow donation button in the upper right corner just below the search box.

Thank you,

Fred


Dee Dee is an innocent witness to a murder and must be protected from breitbarting

March 31, 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Peace, Joy and Freedom to all:

I begin with a confession. I have been awfully slow to identify the core issue presented by W8, who was assigned a fake name (Dee Dee) by the prosecution to protect her privacy. That alone should have been sufficient to trigger my curiosity. I could offer some excuses, but that would detract reader attention from where it should be.

Mark O’Mara is changing the practice of criminal defense from winning the case in the courtroom to winning the case before trial in the court of public opinion. He uses the internet and the media to dispense false information to the public about the case and to discredit and intimidate prosecution witnesses by character assassination.

For example, he has enlisted the support of two reporters at the Orlando Sentinel, Rene Stutzman and Jeff Weiner, who report the information that he gives them on a daily basis as “news. He also has endorsed a website (i.e., the Conservative Tree House) as a legitimate source of ideas and assistance. He also uses motions for discovery and motions to reconsider or clarify prior court orders as a vehicle to repeat his false narrative.

Intentionally dispensing false information about the case to the media is a low-risk strategy with high-reward potential, since the the media is willing to report the defense statement without reviewing it for accuracy and the prosecution is prohibited from commenting about the case.

Although anyone who is familiar with the evidence released to the public via the State of Florida’s remarkable Sunshine Law knows that the media consistently reports a false and misleading narrative favorable to the defense, there is little that we can do as individuals to correct false information reported by the media.

Fortunately, we can do our part here in this blog and others like it to identify and correct false information. Unfortunately, however, the national media prefers to ignore us and instead provide Robert Zimmerman, Jr., with multiple opportunities to deny that anyone in the Zimmerman family is racist and to proclaim that his brother, George Zimmerman, is a decent American who acted in self-defense to prevent Trayvon Martin from killing him with his bare hands. Never mind that Trayvon was an unarmed 17-year-old kid walking home in the rain talking via cell phone to his girlfriend in Miami when he supposedly launched this attack. Move along. There is nothing to see here, folks.

That brings me to O’Mara’s second strategy, using character assassination to intimidate witnesses and destroy their credibility before trial.

Character assassination has been used for many years to discredit and defeat political opponents and win national elections. If you should visit the Conservative Treehouse, take a look at the banner on the home page. You will see a shrine to a person described as a great American patriot and within that shrine you will see a photo of the man to whom the site has accorded godlike status. The man depicted in that photo is Andrew Breitbart who so perfected the use of manufactured evidence to support false accusations against political opponents that his name has entered our lexicon as a new verb. To Breitbart someone means to destroy that person’s reputation with a campaign of malicious lies based on manufactured or doctored evidence.

My wife and I have been subjected to a vicious and continuing campaign of character assassination by lie for daring to operate a blog that promotes evidence-based discussions of the Trayvon Martin killing. We are not alone. Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, Benjamin Crump, Natalie Jackson and many others, including Trayvon Martin, the innocent victim of the killing, have been subjected to a similar, if not worse campaign of lies.

That brings me to Dee Dee. As a victim who continues to endure breitbarting, I have some idea how she must feel knowing that two innocent girls in Miami, whose only crime was to have been named Dee Dee, were successively breitbarted by mistake. I imagine she also knows about the doxing and breitbarting of W9 (the defendant’s cousin) whose only crime was to have reported to police that George Zimmerman sexually molested her for 10 years beginning when she was 6-years-old and he was 8-years-old.

I know that if I were Dee Dee or Bernie de la Rionda I would not believe that Mark O’Mara would honor his duty as a lawyer and officer of the court to assure that no information that might assist in identifying Dee Dee is leaked from his office.

I am well equipped to survive breitbarting because I am self-employed with this blog and I have the strength, willpower and self-assurance of a warrior forged in the heat and pressure of high stake courtroom battles during a long career. I chose to create and operate this blog and I accept responsibility for what we do here.

Dee Dee is a child and she did not choose to be a witness to a murder. Yet, she is and I worry about her. The media and the general public appear not to realize that she too is a victim of the defendant’s violent act on February 26, 2012. I wonder if she is plagued with panic attacks and nightmares generated by a brain stuck on a spin cycle of fragmented memories, what-ifs, and if-onlys. No one, especially a child, should be subjected to such torture.

The realization that she also must know that she has been targeted for destruction by breitbarting frightens me and makes me wonder how any human being could be so full of hate that they would even consider hurting her, let alone setting out to destroy her with lies.

I can only regard Mark O’Mara with horror and disgust

The god of my understanding and belief is not going to be OK with this.

I think Bernie de la Rionda is doing his best to balance his duties as a prosecutor, including his duty to comply with the Brady rule, with his duty as an empathetic member of the human race to protect her from the coming onslaught.

I applaud his decision to withhold the information that O’Mara requested until the night before the hearing on the defense request for a subpoena duces tecum.

He did not violate the Brady rule because he disclosed the potential impeachment information a week before deposition, which is the first time that O’Mara could have used it for a legitimate purpose. O’Mara suffered no inconvenience and the defendant’s constitutional rights to due process of law and a fair trial have not been violated.

Mark O’Mara’s motions for sanctions, fees and costs are frivolous because they are not supported by law.

I will close with this warning. Breitbarting a witness in a murder case is witness intimidation under Florida law. Anyone convicted of that crime can be sentenced to life in prison.

I sincerely hope that anyone who participates in the coming effort to intimidate Dee Dee will be charged, convicted and sentenced to a very long and unpleasant time in prison.


Zimmerman defense team’s latest actions show fear and desperation

March 27, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

From the they-don’t-teach-you-this-in-law-school file, comes this bit of sage advice whispered to me late at night in a bar in some long forgotten city by a nationally respected criminal defense lawyer whose name I shall not disclose in this sacred house.

When all else fails and you know you have a loser case, abandon hope, jack-up the level of pain pissing off the judge and prosecutor, keep on swingin’ ’til you knock somebody down and keep on keepin’ on until they commit reversible error. You want to make them mad enough to spit nails so they go home at night and kick the fuckin’ dog

This is the desperate strategy that Mark O’Mara appears to be using with his latest flurry of specious motions that have no chance of being granted. He is personalizing the battle hoping to evoke anger sufficient to overwhelm reason and provoke an emotional retaliation that introduces reversible error into the record. He also has an eye on the rate of financial contributions to the internet fund. He needs to keep making news to loosen the purse strings of the dwindling number of racists still willing to contribute money to the defendant’s losing cause.

Why do I say losing?

Because he has, in effect, waived the immunity hearing without formally doing so on the record, and he is trying his case everywhere except a courtroom, which is the only place that it should be tried.

Hell, he is so desperate and scattered that he cannot even get it together to note up his specious motions for a hearing.

Take heart fellow Trayvon supporters because these are not the actions of a well prepared, confident and professional attorney.

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