Defendant Was Straddling Trayvon When He Fired the Kill Shot

February 9, 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Nefertari05 posted the following comment today at 2:54 pm.

“I am curious about one thing though. Many people have posted it is physically impossible to make that shot, with the straight trajectory, while laying on his back with Trayvon over him. I posted this thought many months ago, using a sexual position analogy, but I really don’t understand why if Zimmerman’s arm is raised at a 45 degree angle (aiming up, continuing the 45 degree angle), and Trayvon is leaning over, perpendicular to the gun, why it wouldn’t be a straight thru, no angle shot. Granted, I am no scientist, and my understanding of physics is elementary, at best, but a 45 degree angled arm (from a prone position), with Trayvon leaning over, perpendicular, seems like a straight shot to me. I know I’m missing something. I freely admit it. Can you explain to me what it is, so I have a better understanding?”

When medical examiners do autopsies on gunshot victims, they insert metal rods into the wounds and take photographs of the rods sticking out from the body so people can clearly see the angle of entry and trajectory of each bullet.

I have no doubt the assistant ME did the same thing with Trayvon’s bullet wound.

Couple that with expert testimony about the distance from which the fatal shot was fired and you get a pretty good idea of the location of the muzzle and the position of the gun relative to the location and position of Trayvon’s body.

Hold that image in your mind and imagine that you are the shooter lying on your back with the gun in a holster inside your waistband behind your right hip.

How do you get that gun out of the holster using only your right hand and maneuver it into the position it has to be in when the defendant fired the fatal shot?

Remember that he said he extended his arm, aimed to avoid shooting his left hand and fired.

The first problem is that his body is on top of the gun. He would have to roll over on his left hip to be able to reach the gun with his right hand and pull it out. This move probably would have thrown Trayvon off his body, but he never claimed that happened and, if it had, he would no longer have been reasonably in fear of imminent death or serious injury.

The second problem is that the presence of Trayvon’s thigh and lower leg would have complicated rolling to the left and blocked access to the gun. Also, the surface of the ground would have blocked and restricted movement of the elbow further complicating the draw (not to mention that there is no way Trayvvon could have seen the gun).

Third, I’m not sure, but I think he holstered the gun for a cross-draw with the left hand. If so, the gun butt would have been facing forward requiring an additional move to turn the gun around so that the muzzle was facing forward.

Fourth, then he had to position the gun between their bodies instead of just sticking it into Trayvon’s ribs and pulling the trigger.

All of these problems are avoided if he is on top straddling Trayvon with his knees and shins pinning Trayvon’s arms to the ground.

He could take his time, draw his gun, taunt Trayvon, aim and pull the trigger.

Mary Cutcher, Selma Mora and the teacher all said the shooter stood up immediately after the shot leaving the victim lying on the ground.

Finally, there is the displacement between the bullet holes in the two sweatshirts that align with each other, but not the wound that I have previously mentioned. The displacement indicates the defendant was gripping the sweatshirts with his left hand and pulling the sweatshirts down and to the left and away from Trayvon’s body toward himself, possibly to get his hand out of the line of fire, when he fired the kill shot.

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Featuring: LLMPapa’s New Video About Changes

January 25, 2013

Our beloved LLMPapa returns to center stage with yet another video that will have the defense team digging for the Rolaids.

Cross examining the fogen is a trial lawyer’s wet dream.


Zimmerman: Did the Defense Change Strategy?

August 17, 2012

Up until Mr. O’Mara’s press conference on Monday afternoon, the defense had been claiming that George Zimmerman was not following Trayvon Martin.

Instead, he was coincidentally running in the same direction looking for a street name and an address to provide to the dispatcher so that he could relay it to the officer en route.

Unfortunately for the defense, however, Zimmerman jogged right on past the front doors and garage doors of several townhouses directly in front of him and slightly to his right on Twin Trees Lane. Yes, the addresses were in plain view.

When the dispatcher picked up on his heavy breathing and asked him if he were following Martin, he answered, “Yes.”

The dispatcher said, “We don’t need you to do that,” and Zimmerman responded, “Okay.” Nevertheless, he continued to breathe hard as though he continued running for another 15 seconds or so.

He told the police he went past the open space between the two rows of townhouses, where he had seen Martin disappear, to the next street over. That street is Retreat View Circle, but as it fortuitously turned out, he did not have to find a street sign to discover that because he recognized it as the street he lives on.

Will wonders never cease.

He told the police he looked around but could not find any addresses to give the dispatcher, so he decided to retrace his steps intent on returning to his truck.

There is no shortage of addresses that would have been visible there although none of them were close to where he had last seen Martin.

As he approached the T intersection where the N/S sidewalk between the two rows of townhouses intersects the cut-through sidewalk between Twin Trees Lane and Retreat View Circle, he told the dispatcher to tell the officer en route to call him when he reached the neighborhood. Then he terminated the call.

He said Martin materialized suddenly out of the gloom standing on the N/S sidewalk a few feet south of the intersection and asked him if he had a problem.

When he said, “No,” and reached for his phone to call 911, Martin said, “Now you do,” and punched him in the nose stunning him and knocking him to the ground.

He said Martin then jumped on top of him and straddled him as he was lying on his back and began repeatedly slamming the back of his head into the concrete sidewalk. As he was about to lose consciousness, he grabbed his gun and shot Martin in the chest killing him.

Aside from the absurd claim that he was searching for a street name and an address to provide the officer en route — there are only three streets and he had lived in the neighborhood for three years and patrolled it for several months — there is a major timing problem and Martin’s body was found approximately 40 feet south of the T intersection..

Approximately two minutes went by before he encountered Martin.

Where was he and what was he doing?

I believe he lied to the police when he told them he did not follow Martin and when he claimed Martin assaulted him at the T intersection.

I believe the evidence at trial will show beyond any doubt that he was hunting Martin with the intent of restraining him until the officer arrived.

At the press conference on Monday, Mark O’Mara conceded that this is not a stand-your-ground case. He said it is a traditional self-defense case. He still intends to seek a dismissal of the murder charge at an immunity hearing, but he will not be arguing that Zimmerman had a right to stand his ground.

Sounds to me that the defense has decided to jettison Zimmerman’s claim that he did not follow Martin and did not stray south of the T intersection.

But if he admits to hunting Martin, isn’t the jury likely to conclude that he was hunting with the intent of physically restraining Martin?

Recall how he so indelicately expressed his frustration earlier during the call with the dispatcher,

“These assholes, they always get away.”

Did he not intend to make certain that Martin was one “asshole” who was not going to get away?

My question for y’all is, assuming I am right, will this decision help or hurt the defense?

Specifically, can giving up the obvious lie and apologizing for it, transform Zimmerman into a credible witness, or just make matters worse?


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.


13 Reasons Why Zimmerman Was Not the Person Screaming on the 911 Tape

August 8, 2012

I recently listened again to the terrified scream that ended with a gunshot and, for the following reasons, I am now even more certain that TM was screaming.

(1) The scream abruptly stops with the gunshot, which is exactly what one would expect to happen, if TM were screaming. Since the bullet destroyed his right ventricle and collapsed both lungs, he would have lost consciousness almost immediately and would not have been able to push any air past his vocal cords to make a sound.

(2) If GZ were screaming, I do not believe he would have stopped screaming at the exact instant he fired the gun because he would not have known if his life was still in danger and he needed help.

(3) Indeed, according to GZ, he thought his life was still in danger and he kept calling for help. He said he did not know if the shot hit TM and did not find out that he killed TM until an hour and a half after he arrived at the police station. He said TM sat up and said something like, “You got it or you got me.” Then TM fell over or GZ pushed him aside and quickly straddled TM’s body, which was face down. He grabbed TM’s hands and spread them apart so that TM was in a Y-position and he could prevent him from getting up or reaching his gun. He said TM was struggling to get away and kept swearing at him. GZ added that when the neighbor showed up and asked if he should call 911, he told him “No. I need help controlling this guy. Help me, please.” If that story were true, and absolutely none of it is, he would not have stopped screaming or calling for help. Consider, for example, that TM’s body was face down in the grass with his hands under his chest.

(3) There are no audible screams or calls for help after the shot and the scream that ends abruptly with the shot is not a scream for help.

(4) The person is screaming, “No!”

(5) People seeking help do not scream “No.”

(6) We know GZ was lying because it would have been physically impossible for TM to have done any of the things GZ said he did after he fired the fatal shot.

(7) GZ would have realized that no one would believe he killed TM in self-defense, if TM were the person screaming. Therefore, he had to claim that he was the person screaming and he had to tell a story that would support his claim. Depicting TM as still struggling and swearing after the shot was part of that false narrative.

(8) Unfortunately for GZ, he got carried away with supplying false details to support his false narrative. He failed to realize that he would not have had any reason to stop screaming after the shot, if the details he provided about TM being still alive and struggling to get his gun were true and, of course, he did not know that the gunshot wound would prove that all of the unnecessary and inconsistent after-the-shot details he provided were false.

Of course, I have other reasons I have mentioned in previous articles and comments explaining why I believe TM was screaming for help. Briefly,

(9) GZ was an ex-bouncer who had worked security at raves and he was over 40 pounds heavier than TM. He was armed with a loaded gun and TM was unarmed. He would have had a significant physical advantage in a wrestling type encounter with TM.

(10) GZ’s injuries were superficial and no reasonable person would believe he was in imminent danger of being killed or seriously injured. For example, the photographs taken at the police station do not support his claim that he had a broken nose and there are no X-rays to support his claim. The two small cuts to the back of his head do not support his claim that his head was repeatedly banged against a sidewalk and the pattern of the blood flow is not consistent with GZ lying on his back. It is consistent, however, with GZ’s head being upright and leaning forward. The absence of significant abrasions and swelling also are inconsistent with his claim.

(11) As mataharley pointed out yesterday, the debris field commencing with GZ’s small flashlight and key chain next to the N/S sidewalk a few feet south of the T intersection and extending south and a little beyond TM’s body indicates a struggle headed S/B toward the place where TM was staying. This is consistent with TM screaming and attempting to flee toward the place where he was staying with GZ in hot pursuit attempting to prevent him from getting away and inconsistent with GZ’s claim that TM assaulted and attempted to kill him with his bare hands up near the T intersection.

(12) The trajectory of the entry wound directly from front to back, the stippling around the wound, and the alignment of the two holes in the garments he was wearing with the wound indicate the sweatshirts were gripped together and pulled down when GZ fired the fatal shot with the muzzle of the gun in contact with the garment and 2-4 inches from the entry wound. This is not consistent with GZ’s claim of self-defense, but it is consistent with TM attempting to pull away and screaming “No” when GZ fired the fatal shot.

(13) The absence of any of GZ’s blood on the sleeves and cuffs of TM’s sweatshirts and the presence of only TM’s DNA on his fingernail scrapings is inconsistent with GZ’s claim that TM was hitting him repeatedly in the face, gripping and slamming his bloody head repeatedly into the concrete, and gripping his nose while attempting to close his mouth to suffocate him and prevent him from screaming.


Zimmerman Video Reenactment Contradicts Statement and Crime Scene Evidence: UPDATED BELOW

June 21, 2012

George Zimmerman

By Donkey Hotey

Creative Commons

Late yesterday the prosecution released the Sanford Police Department video reenactment of the shooting, starring George Zimmerman. They shot the video the day after the shooting.

Go here to see the video.

The first thing I noticed was two giant butterfly bandages attached to the back of Zimmerman’s head. A couple of flaps and he would have been airborne, if they had been actual butterfly wings. Just what he needed to cover a couple of scratches that did not require any stitches, right?

The next thing I noticed was that the location where he claimed the confrontation took place is approximately 20 feet or more away from the location where Trayvon’s body was found and yet more distant evidence, such as Trayvon’s cell phone.

The third thing I noticed is that his description of the confrontation makes absolutely no sense because he claims that after Trayvon punched him in the nose knocking him down, Trayvon got on top of him and was using both hands to cover his mouth and nose to prevent Zimmerman from shouting for help. Yet, even with both of his hands free, Zimmerman claimed only to have attempted to wiggle and slide his body farther underneath Trayvon and away from the concrete sidewalk, thereby inadvertently exposing the gun he was carrying in his waistband hoster. That’s when Trayvon supposedly declared,

One of us is going to die tonight.

Unfortunately for Zimmerman, however, no blood was detected on Trayvon’s hands or in his fingernail scrapings, which is odd since Zimmerman’s nose was bleeding.

Zimmerman said he felt Trayvon’s hand sliding down the right side of his chest toward the gun, but Zimmerman somehow beat him to it, pulled it out of the holster, and shot Trayvon once in the torso as Trayvon was straddling him and leaning over.

Zimmerman did not explain how Trayvon would have been able to see his gun from his position straddling Zimmerman’s body. Apparently, Trayvon was such a vicious and superhuman thug that he could see through Zimmerman’s clothes and legs.

Unfortunately for Zimmerman, however, the bullet must have changed course somehow in the 2 to 4 inch distance between the muzzle of his gun and Trayvon’s chest because it entered Trayvon’s chest 1 inch to the left of the midline and 1/4 inch below the left nipple. It traveled straight through from front to back without deviating up or down, left or right and exploded the right ventricle of the heart and right lower lobe of the lung, collapsing both of his lungs (See page 125).

Odd too that no high velocity blood spatter blowback from the shot impacted Zimmerman’s jacket front or sleeves, according to the crime lab.

Trayvon then sits up and says, “You got me,” like he just lost a poker hand instead of having his right ventricle and the right lower lobe of his lung exploded by a bullet. Odd that Trayvon was able to push air through his vocal cords when both of his lungs were collapsed.

Trayvon then either slumps forward or Zimmerman pushes him aside — he does not recall which — so that Trayvon ends up lying face down. Zimmerman climbs on top of him, straddling him. Then he grabs both of Trayvon’s hands and stretches them out, so that Trayvon is in a Y-position. Meanwhile, his gun is just out of reach beyond Trayvon’s grasp, so he keeps restraining Trayvon — because that’s what you have to do to dead people — as he continues to call out for help.

Unfortunately for Zimmerman, however, no neighbors reported hearing any screams or calls for help after the shot.

A neighbor suddenly appears holding a flashlight and says he’s going to call 911, but Zimmerman tells him not to bother because he already called 911 and the police are on the way. He tells the neighbor he needs his assistance to restrain Trayvon, who, of course, is still dead.

Zimmerman then holsters his gun just before the cop arrives.

I am pleased to report that he did not claim to have blown his breath across the muzzle of the gun to dissipate any remaining gun smoke in the air before emphatically slamming it into the friendly confines of his holster.

Unfortunately for Zimmerman, Trayvon was found with both of his hands under his body, not stretched out in a Y position.

Given the location of Trayvon’s body and his phone, there is no doubt that the initial confrontation took place somewhere down the sidewalk, which runs between two rows of townhouses, in the direction of the home where Trayvon and his father were staying. That sidewalk forms a T-intersection with the sidewalk that provides a cut-through between two streets.

Zimmerman claimed that, after Trayvon ran, he got out of his vehicle and walked down that cut-through sidewalk toward the next street over attempting to find an address that he could provide to the police dispatcher. When he was unable to find one, he retraced his steps intending to return to his vehicle, but Trayvon emerged out of the darkness and approached him from the intersecting sidewalk that runs between the two rows of townhouses.

That story is not true.

Since we know the confrontation took place along the sidewalk that runs between the two rows of townhouses, we have to ask ourselves, why did Zimmerman tell a different story?

Does anyone think he lied to conceal that he followed Trayvon down that sidewalk between the townhouses and he does not want anyone to know that?

Why conceal that, unless he ignored the dispatcher’s request not to follow Trayvon, he followed him, and he confronted him?

Does anyone really think George Zimmerman did not know the names of the streets and the addresses in his own neighborhood, the neighborhood he patrolled as a volunteer neighborhood watch captain?

I think Zimmerman either followed Trayvon down that sidewalk between the two rows of townhouses or he walked down the street beyond the two rows of townhouses in the direction of the back entrance to the neighborhood, which is where he told the dispatcher Trayvon was headed towards, and when he did not find him, he looped back to the other end of the sidewalk between the two rows of townhouses and started up that sidewalk toward the T intersection.

I think he intended to find Trayvon, confront him, and restrain him until the police arrived. I think Trayvon ran from him again when Zimmerman found him while he was talking to his girlfriend DeeDee on his cell phone.

I think he tackled Trayvon up near the T intersection and probably hit the back of his head during the take down.

I think Trayvon hit him in the nose in self-defense

Trayvon was the person screaming for help and he stopped screaming when Zimmerman shot him, his heart exploded, and both his lungs collapsed.

UPDATE: Commenter JD corrected me regarding the location of Trayvon’s phone. It was found next to his body at the position designated with a 7 on this Google Earth satellite photo of the crime scene that JD prepared. Although we have not yet seen the GPS/total station prepared by the police, I suspect there will be little difference between them.

The bottom line is Trayvon’s body and the debris field is too far down the sidewalk between the two rows of townhomes from the T intersection to support Zimmerman’s claim that Trayvon confronted him and knocked him down up at the T intersection.

Special thanks to JD for correcting my mistake.


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