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    « Rick Rescorla | Main | The Adventures of Zimmerman: Lesson #1 »
    Thursday
    Sep062012

    The Misconception Of A Stand Your Ground Hearing

    Right after Judge Lester was removed from the bench, Mark O’Mara said he would likely schedule a “stand your ground” hearing sometime next year. On August 31, Rene Stutzman of the Orlando Sentinel wrote:

    Nelson will now be the judge who must decide whether Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder, is entitled to immunity under Florida’s much-debated “stand your ground” law, which allows anyone with a reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily injury to use deadly force against an attacker.

    Defense attorney Mark O’Mara has said he would likely schedule that hearing next year.

    “It will take a tremendous amount of judicial courage at this point to throw the case out following an immunity hearing,” said Winter Park criminal-defense attorney David Faulkner. “My guess is that any judge, Judge Nelson or otherwise, is going to let a jury decide this issue for the benefit of the public.”

    Of late, there’s been a lot of discussion and, perhaps, some arguments, over the difference between filing a stand your ground motion and a Motion for Declaration of Immunity and Dismissal. In essence, they are nearly interchangeable; sort of like buying a GM or Chevy vehicle. You can’t have a Chevy without GM, but it doesn’t work the other way around. Without the stand your ground law, there would be no immunity and dismissal motion applicable in this case. In other words, the important thing to remember is that the immunity and dismissal motion is based on Florida’s stand your ground law, F.S. Statute 776.032: Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force, which states:

    A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer… As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

    Initially, the Sanford Police Department followed the tenets of the stand your ground statute by not placing George Zimmerman under arrest, but that act did not mean he was free from future prosecution. Now arrested and charged, Zimmerman has a right to file the immunity and dismissal motion based on the statute. F.S. 776.012 states:

    Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

    (1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

    (2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.

    Right now, we will pay particular attention to 776.012(1) and whether or not Zimmerman was right to believe that firing his gun into Trayvon Martin’s chest was necessary to prevent imminent death. After all, he said he was being pummeled to death by the teen. We will ignore 776.013 because it addresses the unlawful and forceful entering of “a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle…” 776.031 doesn’t apply, either, because it covers the use of force in defense of others.

    Before going into F.S. 776.012, it’s important to first mention F.S. 776.041 and the “Use of force by aggressor.”

     Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

    (1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or

    (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

    (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or

    (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

    Here is where some of the confusion may originate over stand your ground and immunity. By most witness accounts, and certainly something the State can clearly establish, the fight did not end where Zimmerman described. Trayvon’s body was found 30-40 feet south of the “T” joining the east/west sidewalk with the north/south one. Witnesses will testify that there was a scuffle with people running and yelling. Who was chasing whom is not relevant at this point because, once able to escape, Zimmerman chose not to. After all, he was the man with the gun. The bottom line is, he cannot prove that Trayvon cold-cocked him there at the “T” intersection. Furthermore, he cannot prove that’s where the fight ended with a bang, as he showed in his reenactment the next day. His best bet is to not bring it up at a dismissal hearing and that means the State will not be able to address it. That’s why, in my opinion, the Defense made an “adjustment” in its strategy, and it’s what led to the confusion over stand your ground and the impending dismissal motion.

    At some point, the Defense realized it stood a better chance if it heeded F.S. 776.041. Where the Defense would most likely falter during a Motion for Declaration of Immunity and Dismissal hearing lays in (1) and the first part of (2) in 776.041. Why? In (1), will the Defense be able to factually establish that their client was not the aggressor, who forced himself upon the victim, therefore committing a felony? The shooting at the “T” has been debunked by evidence. The gunshot took place far enough away to establish that Zimmerman’s story is false. If the Defense goes in that direction, so will the State, and Bernie de la Rionda will have every right to do so. And, boy, will he ever!

    There’s a big word in (2)… unless, and here’s where it will come into play. Let’s move south. For sure, there was a fight, and since no one can really prove who was on top and who was on the bottom, it’s important for the Defense to lay claim that Zimmerman was on the bottom, being beaten to death. I don’t believe (2)(b) will apply because there’s no testimony by the defendant that he attempted to withdraw. He will most likely assert that his mouth was covered and couldn’t speak, but if he does, the State will counter with the lack of evidence; there was no blood, saliva, or any of Zimmerman’s DNA on the victim’s hands. The Defense will not be able to prove it, any more than it will be able to prove that their client was the one yelling for help. If they try, the State will mention that the screaming stopped immediately after the gunshot while Zimmerman stated that he continued yelling for help as he spread the victim’s lifeless hands away from his torso.

    Let’s try (2)(a) instead. Bingo! Here’s Zimmerman’s greatest hope. By claiming, which he has all along, that his life was in danger and that he had exhausted all means to escape, he had no choice but to shoot. OK, fine, but how did he gain access to his gun? The only way to explain it is to show the judge exactly how he did it, and the only person who could do that is George. Without taking the stand, he can’t do that because the video reenactment is too sketchy. If not that, then what’s left?

    The medical records.

    Yes, let’s just say that Zimmerman did have a fractured nose, meaning broken to some extent. The ARNP who diagnosed him was qualified to do so, and that’s what she wrote in her report:

    1. Scalp Lacerations: No sutures needed given well-approximated skin margins. Continue to clean with soap and water dally. We discussed the red flag symptoms that would warrant Imaging given the type of assault he sustained. Given the type of trauma, we discussed that it Is imperative he be seen with his Psychologist for evaluation.

    2. Broken Nose~ We discussed that it is likely broken, but does not appear to have septal deviation. The swelling and black eyes are typical of this injury. I recommended that he be evaluated by ENT but he refused.

    Review of Systems:

    Constitutional Symptoms: Denies fevers and/or chills.

    Eyes: Denies loss and blurring of vision, diplopia.

    Ear, Nose, Mouth, Throat: Admits nose pain. Denies hearing loss, tinnitus.

    Cardiovascular: Denies palpitations, chest pain/pressure.

    Respiratory: Denies shortness of breath.

    Gastrointestinal: Denies abdominal pain, nausea and/or vomiting.

    Integumentary: Admits- (Scalp lacerations).

    Neurological: Admits head trauma. Denies tingling, numbness, weakness, headache, dizziness, speech difficulty, gait disturbance, loss of consciousness.

    Psychiatric: Admits stress. Denies suicidal thoughts or attempts.

    Nothing in that document paints a portrait of a person remotely close to death the day before. Even the Sanford Fire Department EMT report from the night of the incident showed nothing life threatening. Patient Conscious. Breathing normal. No external hemorrhaging. Mucous membrane normal. Extremities normal. Abrasions to his forehead and bleeding/tenderness to his nose. Small laceration to the back of his head. All injuries have minor bleeding. If you combine both reports, it doesn’t help the defense because Zimmerman cannot, in any way, shape or form, establish that he was remotely close to death, and if he tries, he opens a can of worms the State is going to take full advantage of.

    §

    Back to the matter at hand — the legalities. Enough of the medical. If Zimmerman can factually establish that his use of deadly force occurred under the circumstances outlined in the above statutes, he could walk. Peterson v. State, 983 So. 2d 27, 29 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008) showed that F.S. 776.032 established a true immunity and not just a justification for what he did. According to the Jacksonville law firm, Hussein & Webber’s website:

    The Court stated that, when immunity under the law is properly raised by a defendant, the trial court (at a hearing) must decide the matter by confronting and weighing only factual disputes.  Petersen held that a defendant may raise the question of statutory immunity pre-trial and, when such claim is raised, the trial court must determine whether the defendant has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that immunity attaches. Unlike a motion to dismiss, the trial court may not deny a motion for immunity simply because factual disputes exist.

    The main issue in this case will be whether or not Zimmerman will be able to show enough evidence to establish immunity. Once again, I must reiterate what I touched on in The Prince and the Pea: Subjective or Objective Fear in the Petitioner? Was Zimmerman’s fear subjective or objective? Was he correct in fearing for his life or did he just panic? That’s the difference, and there’s a huge distinction between the two and whether or not immunity applies. Of course, there’s one more thing that could only be brought up at trial; did George Zimmerman shoot Trayvon Martin in cold blood? For that reason alone, and for the lack of evidence showing “by a preponderance of the evidence,” Mr. O’Mara had better be preparing his client for trial. I see it no other way.

    Cross posted on the Daily Kos

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    Reader Comments (437)

    Okay it must be me who is losing it. I simply cannot understand why this SYG thing continues. Zimmerman went in pursuit of Trayvon. He did not deny that,so how can SYG apply?


    [Z is saying that, once under Trayvon and not being able to escape the beating, he had no control over the situation and was forced to shoot. That's the entire basis for his "stand your ground" immunity and dismissal motion... when it comes next year. Stand your ground is the applicable law, but the motion and hearing will be the Motion for Declaration of Immunity and Dismissal.

    By altering the original strategy, Z is acknowledging that the fight continued south of where he gave his reenactment, but at some point, TM got the upper hand and he was defenseless. Poppycock, but that's what he's claiming in so many words.]

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTommy's Mom

    My sister had a broken nose and I had to have stitches in the back of my head. Neither one of thought we were going to die. Mr. Zimmerman did not have stitches and best I can tell a likely broken nose is not a for sure broken nose, jmo. I find it interesting that he denied having a headache when he went to the doctor. Granted I had stitches but I had a headache for about 3 days. Maybe my head is just more sensitive, but it seems like a continual bashing into concrete would make it hurt. He went to the doctor less than 18 hours after shooting plus according to his family he was seconds away from wearing diapers.


    [The way I see it, there are only two possibilities. One, GZ panicked and shot, or; two, he gunned TM down like an animal.]

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

    Just thought I'd point out, where the gunshot happened etc is very easily explainable by the Defense, as the witnesses so strongly corroborate George in this regard.

    W11/20 heard the encounter and exchange of words happen at the T intersection like George described, and grunting and shuffling move past their house to the south. W6 heard the screams for help come from a distance and get closer until he looked out and saw them behind his house.

    So what the Defense's argument will likely be is that the encounter occurred at the T just like George said (backed up by witnesses, and immediately moved South before George ended up on his back, and that the only discrepency is caused by George not immediately having his bearings in the few seconds after having his nose broken in the rain, in the dark.

    Then you have people like Massad Ayoob who will say that if you are pinned to the ground, that fists become deadly weapons due to disparity of force by position of advantage (Ayoob did a seminar on the subject recently and has indicated he may testify for the Defense in the past), and W6's testimony that he saw George on the ground with Trayvon on top, with George struggling to get away moments before the gunshot, and it should be an easy case for the Defense to win.


    [Your explanation is certainly something to keep under consideration, Bryan, but at this juncture, I don't think it will work. Perhaps at trial, but not in the Motion for Declaration of Immunity and Dismissal. The reasons why I say that are too numerous, but for one thing, how can you punch someone in the nose, causing that person to fall FORWARD? It defies the laws of physics. And the way Zimmerman explained it, it's not a simple wave of the hand and it all goes away. He claims he fell to the ground right there and struggled before pulling out the gun and firing. Nowhere did he mention anything about "shuffling" to the south. As a matter of fact, he gave his story over and over and over again, and each time, it changed. Oops, gotta work it in with what that witness described. Even his description of how he extracted his weapon is going to be scrutinized, Massad Ayoob or not. Anyway, my point here is not about the trial, it's about whether the judge will dismiss the case or not, based on the motion the defense will file.

    Thank you, I really do appreciate your input, so please feel welcome here.]

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    Good point Bryan,
    BUT
    There was no DNA on Trayvon's hands which were accused of punching GZ in the nose to start, repeatedly punching GZ over a dozen times (according to GZ), trying to cover smother GZ''s mouth to keeping him from screaming like a bitch!
    So Trayvon may have been on top of GZ and there was a struggle going on but certainly that struggle did not take GZ to within inches of his life.
    GZ''s injuries attest to that.

    I know many comments pointed out first and second hand knowledge of head injuries and nose injuries but none touched on the fact of the swelling that ensues immediately after a hard obect bits the skull.
    In everyone that I witness an "egg" or "knot" formed immediately after such trauma.
    Yet other than minor lacerations not requiring stitches due to repeated head bashing against cement, this is not apparent I'm the aftermath with GZ''s head.
    Bear in mind GZ exited his vehicle armed with a firearm.
    stalked and chased down a kid doing absolutely nothing wrong excepr meandering a out talking on the phone trying to stay dry on his way to a residence he staying at.
    All the while with the police on their way.

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

    Sooo it sounds like what you're trying to explain is that you can follow a juvenile, (thus terrorizing him into running from you) and when he then turns on you and demands to know what you want and slugs you, you then have the right to shoot him? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

    Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or This is what's going to do him in. The prosecution can cite how many times GZ could have prevented this altercation and yet he didn't until he was on the ground. I think he was on the ground, and got pummeled, then TM got up to leave and was stopped by a gun, pure and simple. Another one was "going to get away" and George was p*ssed. After all HE belonged in the neighborhood, HE was the block captain and HE had a gun. This was one crook he was going to take down one way or another. Once he saw the gun TM probably was the one shouting for help. After all, he was near his own apt and probably thought his friend could hear him.

    I think if I were a prosecutor I would ask "where is the evidence the nose was cracked or broken"? The ARNP said it was possibly cracked. That's not proof, that's an opinion by someone who's not a licensed physician. It's obvious it wasn't a serious break or the attending person wouldn't have recommended him to an ENT. My experience has been that that is done when it's not clear to the diagnosing person. I've never had my nose broken to my knowledge, but I have tripped, fell forward and landed on it, and I've been hit in the nose with a hard baseball. I can see where that injury in itself can anger Zimmerman enough to pull the trigger. That and his paranoia that yet another one "will get away". But it's not enough to think you're going to die. After all, if a kid is going to kill you would you be on the ground getting pummeled in the first place? I don't think so, not nowdays when guns are so handy.


    [No, I'm not saying that at all, Connie, but the defense will argue that. My point here is to clarify "stand your ground" and what it entails, and to point out why I don't think an immunity/dismissal motion by the defense will be successful. Look what Baez did to George Anthony. By the time this defense is done with Trayvon, he's going to be portrayed as a monster killer. Tht's how pathetic it's going to get.]

    September 6, 2012 | Registered Commenterconniefl

    I also have issue with the words Trayvon supposedly uttered to GZ.
    First lets start with the yada yada "homey" phrase.
    Who says that? It was brought up somewhere that this was a Latino used word.
    And I don't think today's youth use it, maybe back in my day but I'm in my 40's.
    How about it Michelle?
    And the whole " you got me" bit Trayvon supposedly uttered after the shot being fired.
    This is a whole contradiction in itself as 1 GZ claims he did know he shot Trayvon at that point.
    And 2 GZ indicates he pulled ( sorry not pulled was able to " shimmy" down and heritage after Trayvon was reaching for it after seeing it? Feeling it?) Gun out and pointed it in the general direction of Trayvon and fired or did he say all cop like discharge?

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

    John - Trayvon's hands weren't tested for DNA, only his fingernails, so we can only speculate what blood there might or might not have been on, say, Trayvon's knuckles. Also of note, is that George's head was swollen so badly that Singleton actually asked him if that was the normal shape of his head (then pointed out the following day how much the swelling had gone down.)

    Also, I really see no indication that George was trying to do anything other than assist police with someone he thought was suspicious. George's reason for thinking he was suspicious is not legally relevant, though the State seems to be trying to make it so. If you pay attention to the NEN call, George got out of the truck specifically in response to the Dispatcher asking which direction Trayvon is running.

    George did nothing to demonstrate that he ever intended to run into, meet, confront, or detain Trayvon. Also the fact that the encounter occurred so close to George's truck (20-30 seconds walk away, with the truck in line of sight of the encounter) makes it hard to explain any kind of chase or pursuit.

    Unless there is significant evidence to show guilt that hasn't been made public, there just really isn't anything there to support a conviction. George doesn't need to be beaten up within an inch of his life to justify shooting in self defense. The test isn't existing injuries, but a reasonable belief that force is needed to prevent IMMINENT Injury, and experts such as Massad Ayoob will have that covered.


    [If blood or any foreign substance was found on TM's hands, they would have been tested. The lack of evidence, as you suggest, only shows that there was no evidence that he beat GZ to a bloody pulp. How this will help the defense is beyond me. "Your Honor, I'm basing my defense on a lack of evidence that would prove my client was beaten to a pulp by the victim!"

    Meanwhile, I'm going to check on whether his hands were tested.]

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    Connie: The medical report the Defense has shown is legally sufficient for the Defense to claim a broken nose. If the State wants to refute it, they'll need to show proof it wasn't broken. (The State is the one with the burden of proof after all...the Defense isn't required to prove anything at trial, and "Likely" broken is plenty sufficient to meet a preponderance of evidence where it's required.)

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks for the post, I read it 4 times. So, narrow it down to a split second in which the only area that matters is George's 'perception' and call it the Poppycock self-defense presentation. It won't fly any more than ZZZimmerman can.

    I wonder at what point it will finally occur to O'Mara that his client is uncoachable? Another six months for prep won't help. George will need to take a shovel to the witness box, dig a hole, cover it up, dig a bigger hole....

    Nuts.


    [Sorry it took four times to understand... or... you enjoyed it so much you had to read it over and over and over again.

    Yes, I think this hearing will come down to the wall of time specific to the beating and witnesses who will testify to what they saw. Just at that precise time. No fight starting at the T. Only the final seconds or so preceding the gunshot. That's it. That's what the defense is basing this hearing on.

    As for being uncoachable, yup, and that's why O'Mara has to focus on this one particular thing ONLY. Close the door to the rest of the incident. Cut to the chase. This way, he "may" be able to put his client on the stand, but he's still a loose cannon. With a gun.]

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCoffeeLover

    Remember, we are not addressing the trial right now. That will probably come later. This is about the merits of an immunity/dismissal hearing. Neither side is going to bring out the big guns for this. Save them for another day, when it really comes down to the nitty gritty.

    September 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    What I was saying is that we don't know what evidence there is on Trayvon's hands. We know his fingernails were scraped, and that's it. There's nothing in the blood test reports that show a test done on his hands.

    We also know that Trayvon was left on the ground, in the rain and wet grass for over three hours. (Much of that covered with a tarp, but not all of it). They didn't even bag Trayvon's hands to preserve blood evidence.


    [Granted, the cops did a schlock job all the way around. They also let GZ wash up at the police station after the EMTs clean him up. There went evidence, too. My contention all along has been that GZ may walk due to lack of evidence. Same principle you hear about with DUIs. Keep your mouth shut. Refuse all tests. The less evidence, the lower the risk of a conviction. If anything, GZ, by opening his mouth, has been his own worst enemy.]

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    Dave: Wonderful new post!

    Thanks for comparing the motions to a GM and Chevy. That makes it much easier for me to grasp.

    You asked the questions: "Was Zimmerman’s fear subjective or objective? Was he correct in fearing for his life or did he just panic?"

    At the very least, imo, it appears that the evidence points to Zimmerman’s fears being subjective—‘internal’, exaggerated fears. (Paranoia?)

    Once the blood was cleared away from his scalp, the wounds ‘objectively’ appear to be little more than superficial.

    The objectivity of a possible broken nose offers Zimmerman’s defense an easy ‘subjective’ escape route. In fact, the lack of appropriate diagnosis makes it quite easy for Mark O’Mara.

    The ‘objective’ witnesses, (tainted or otherwise), who suggest that Trayvon had Zimmerman pinned down; thus, Zimmerman could not escape, whether it was his duty or not—is where Zimmerman’s defense must take this.

    What I’m thinking here is that Zimmerman’s wounds are not indicative of a ‘reasonable’ fear for his life. Zimmerman stated in his first interview with Det. Singleton that he ‘tried to get up’, and that he ‘slid into the grass’. This would provide some indication, at least to me, that the hold Trayvon had on Zimmerman was not that strong. I note that Zimmerman was able to draw his gun, aim, and fire.

    With his screams, Trayvon indicated that he had reason to fear for his life; the gun shot to his heart, of course, confirmed it.

    If Zimmerman, at any time, would have backed off; I have no doubt that Trayvon Martin would have quickly reciprocated.

    I do not believe that Zimmerman panicked, either. Zimmerman had The Gun tucked in his waistband. I do not believe for one moment that Georgie forgot where The Gun was.

    Otherwise, Mr. George would have kept his azz in his vehicle; and 17 year old Trayvon Martin would be alive today.

    In my books, this was just plain, old-fashioned murder by a subject with a ‘wanna-be’ hero complex.

    However, with some fancy lawyering, he might walk. Let us not kid ourselves and call it justice, though.


    [Thank you, nan11. That's nice to know!

    The GM/Chevy analogy was actually an afterthought. I didn't think I had made myself clear and there was no better way for me to explain it than that. Of course, I could have picked Ford or Chrysler, but since we're dealing with GZ and TM, I thought I'd keep initials in play.

    Personally, I feel that GZ panicked. I think he was quick to pull out the gun, and I think that TM was fighting for his life when the gun was fired, intentionally or not. GZ had the gun drawn when he went hunting for his prey. Bryan said something earlier that really disturbs me. He wrote that he sees no indication that george was trying to do nothing other than assist police. The police DID NOT WANT GZ's assistance, and owning a gun or being a member of the NRA does not give anyone the right to assist the police one bit. The dispatcher DID NOT ask GZ which direction TM was running as a directive to hunt the boy down. This is very disturbed thinking. I don't mind coming to the defense of a legitimate reason to defend someone, but you cannot just assume anything about GZ. He's a proven liar. Why would these people choose to believe him anyway? Because he had a license to carry a gun? So did Timothy McVeigh and Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes. Were they within their rights, too?

    I'm sorry I'm venting on your comment, nan11, but it's upsetting, and it's purely subjective thinking.

    Had GZ only identified himself to begin with, none of this would have happened. He chose to play cat and mouse instead of behaving like the cop he was trying to be. He was a cop, alright, straight out of a cartoon. Sadly, you're right. He may just walk.

    Thanks,]

    September 6, 2012 | Registered Commenternan11

    John I do not say homey and to my knowledge none of my friends do either. It sounds like something a 28 year old would say when lying to the police. I think it is out dated slang.

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

    Yes Dave, the rereading was to be sure I had the split second perception part right. We've some strange laws where I live too, they seem to subvert justice for the victim and the defendent literally gets away with murder.

    But surely the shooter's minor injuries will come in, even in this narrow focus?


    [That's my take on it, CoffeeLover, so it doesn't encompass the entire confrontation, just that one segment.

    Yeah, states vary, countries vary, and we never know what the outcome will be. I really don't think Z's injuries will be enough to convince the judge that he was within an inch of his life. If THAT'S all it takes, I must have hundreds of lives because I've been hurt much worse than him on more than a dozen occasions.]

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCoffeeLover

    Dave~~thanks for this post. We are really getting down to some intricate laws and their interpretations now. I had to reread your post but I have always followed that routine, first time read, second time absorb. I may have to read it one more time.

    I did learn something today and that is O'Mara will file a motion titled, Motion for Declaration of Immunity and Dismissal. The title speaks volumes.


    Was he correct in fearing for his life or did he just panic?
    If I feared for my life, I would go into panic mode.

    I will not even attempt to make a prediction in how this immunity hearing will turn out. Between the present and the time it takes place sometime in 2013, we will have done a lot of speculating in how O'Mara may or may not present his case. The onus is on the defense to prove by a preponderance of evidence that Zimmerman feared for his life or great bodily harm. One thing for sure, O'Mara must take the focus off Zimmerman being the aggressor and put the attention towards Z not being able to retreat. This is why he is changing his strategy and going for self-defense immunity.

    Mark has to depose quite a few witness, including experts so I think he will take his time in gradually putting together the evidence to try and win the immunity mini trial. The state hasn't passed over all the discovery to the defense so who knows what's left to be analzed.

    If I were pressured into having to predict the outcome of this immunity hearing, I would say that Judge Debra Nelson will send it to trial and deny the motion. Things may change from now until next year. We shall see...


    [You are quite welcome, Snoopy. I knew there was continued discussion over this issue and lots of confusion. By all means, read it again and again.

    That should be the name of the motion, unless there's another one out there, but I don't think so. Whatever, its intent is to establish self-defense and justify the shooting.

    I guess I could have been a little clearer on the fearing for his life or panicking. A good example would be a soldier whose trained to use a weapon. Or a police officer. They may fear for their life, but they certainly won't panic. Nothing in Z's injuries point to a near death experience. As a matter of fact, he had the wherewithall to immediate get up and direct people on what to do - little commander that he thought he was. Sure doesn't sound like a beating, does it?

    I still think this is a "what have you got to lose" motion. O'Mara can't go wrong. He stands a chance to win without showing the state his whole hand. If he loses, he gets to see some of the state's cards, too. Yes, it's going to be months and months from now, but in the end, one thing is certain - Judge Nelson will be on the bench regardless. Unless she has some sort of problem. GZ can no longer shop.]

    September 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Dave: You said: "Granted, the cops did a schlock job all the way around." Well, I most certainly agree.

    However--schlock job or not--the hands of Trayvon Martin were tested for foreign DNA.

    Page 106

    Quote:
    Exhibit ME-2A Right hand
    No DNA results foreign to Trayvon Benjamin Martin (ME-3) were found on Exhibit ME-2A.

    Exhibit ME-2B Left hand
    No DNA results were obtained from Exhibit ME-2B.


    [Yay, nan11! I see below that Bryan wrote they were fingernail scrapings, though. No matter. My point is quite simple. Had there been blood on his hands, it would have shown up. I'm not going to accept the rain excuse. It was nothing, if only a drizzle by then; his hands were shielded by his body; and the tarp kept the rest from washing away. Zimmerman, on the other hand... well, the police let him wash his hands at will, and he sure did clean off as much evidence as he could. Thank you for your help.]

    September 6, 2012 | Registered Commenternan11

    @Bryan

    George has no authority to assist the police. Assist them at what anyway? Was TM under arrest? Committing a crime? In fact they asked him not to.This alone proves he was doing something wrong. And that point was made again and again by the investigators throughout their interviews. So that is not in his defense if you ask me.

    While witnesses have them arguing, one for a minute she felt, (thats not what George described, he described 3 sentences), a loud authoritative angry voice, then scuffling down the T north to south, George does not, initially. He has TM coming up from the south, him backing up and being struck and falling backwards on the spot, and being pinned to the ground there. Opposite of the witnesses. He tried to change that in the reenactment, but Im afraid hes locked in. Its in all his statements and interviews. Its in Ostermans fbi interview, as well as his work colleagues rendition.

    He jumped out of his car and admits himself going in the same direction as the stranger. Doesnt that in itself represent the possibility that they could meet as a result? But even then, we have audio of him expressing disappointment and frustration at the idea of them getting away. I think that shows plenty of intent. And to show his intent to chase, again, we have his very words. Are you following? "YEAH!" Seems pretty solid to me.

    Regardless of how long TM was on the ground evidence was collected immediately. Not 3 hours later. LOL. I also dont believe raining at the time, or very hard. After all, George's blood didnt wash off. They took all the swabs they needed and theres simply no proof of TMs hands being on George. They didnt look like they hit someone 25 times, as George described. And neither does Georges face. There was also no DNA found on the sleeves of his hoody, also supposedly in the pool of bodily fluid.

    There's actually, a witness, Joes wife, that feels she saw the larger man on top before the shooting. There's another witness who feel the kid was trying to get home. And yet another that thinks she saw a chase. Lets include all the witness testimony.

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterManberk

    So... Drew Peterson is guilty! GREAT!

    September 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    Manberk: There's no evidence of George doing anything he didn't have the "authority" to do. Bu "Assisting" the Police, I was of course, referring to George calling NEN, answering the DIspatcher's questions in regards to Trayvon's location and direction, etc. Nothing more. That of course, was entirely within George's right.

    And you're wrong about George not being asked to assist. He was advised he didn't have to follow. The dispatcher asked several questions of George in regards to Trayvon's activities, and answering those questions is, in fact, assisting the police.

    W11's description of the encounter also pretty much perfectly matches George's. She said it occurred in the area of the T intersection, and that it sounded like 3 exchanges of words (Like one person said something, then the other, then the first.) Nothing like a "one minute argument", and she was in the best position to tell. The individuals who think they heard a one minute argument could easily have mistook the grunts and yells that W11 described, and thought it was part of the argument.

    The witness who thought she saw the larger person on top didn't get enough of a look at them to tell more than shadows, and it was a month later after being influenced by the media that she thought the larger was on top, so her testimony means nothing. The one who saw a chase recanted it, and doesn't know if she even saw a second person, so she doesn't help the State.

    Also, the following heard on the NEN call is not contemporaneous to the encounter, so it has little to no legal relevance. George admitted he was following Trayvon; that doesn't prove anything more than attempting to keep an eye on him...he was after all just asked where Trayvon was running to. There was nothing to indicate that George was doing anything more than trying to help Police out, and there was nothing illegal about him doing so.

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    Nan, you're reading the evidence wrong.

    ME-2 was the fingernail scrapings, so ME-2A and B are referring to which hands those fingernail scrapings came from.

    His hands weren't tested.

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    Dave~~I made a faux pas in my comment upthread. I stated...If I were pressured into having to predict the outcome of this immunity hearing, I would say that Judge Debra Nelson will send it to trial and deny the motion. Things may change from now until next year. We shall see.

    I should not have added what I put in bold... of course, Nelson will grant the motion to have the immunity hearing... She will deny granting the immunity. Sry about that...


    [I understood what you meant and didn't take it any other way, Snoopy. I read it the way you meant it. No problem.]

    September 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    For an interesting case to compare (This one is probably the closest one we have to the ZImmerman case), check out State vs. Charles Podany.

    http://www.tampabay.com/stand-your-ground-law/cases/case_120

    Charles sees a truck speeding, so calls 911, the operator asks him for the license plate so he follows the truck to get it. They reach the home of the driver of the truck, at which the passenger jumps out and, unarmed, attacks Charles for following them. Charles ends up shooting the unarmed passenger in the head.

    He was granted immunity under SYG.

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    Bryan: I don’t think I am reading the evidence incorrectly.

    ME-2 is the fingernail scrapings.

    ME-2A & B is the chemical indications for the presence of blood on the right hand and left hand.

    I don't mean to be argumentative--for all I know reading these things is your specialty. It is certainly not mine.

    I will stand with my interpretations for now, though.

    September 6, 2012 | Registered Commenternan11

    "Stand Your Ground " law, which allows anyone with a reasonable fear of eminent death or great bodily injury to use deadly force against an attacker......

    This law actually has existed in the raw. If we go back to Cowboy and Indian Westerns where good was good and bad was bad, a cut and dried way of taking care of our possessions and those who were or thought to be our enemy. Pretty much ahead of time, everybody knew who would be coming after them, because the "coming" usually announced that they were "coming to get 'em", so the expectants had ample time to prepare themselves for the attack. Whoever beat the draw was the "winner"! Sound familiar? Some who were real bad had their guns drawn before getting to their destinations where guns were also all ready to greet them coming in, but at least they all, in most instances had a "fair" chance. There always was the "roadside robberies", horsejacking, etc. for which there was usually a "shotgun" rider. The Zimmerman attack on the young Trayvon Martin could be called a "hoodiejacking"!

    We know of forensic scientists who can take all sorts of little bits and prove or disprove any violent act and bring it into focus to where they zero in and out and find "who did it"! Some admit they did the killing, but still it has to be proven that the admitted killer did it because of "reason".....lots of whys. Someone was coming toward them or judged to be "up to no good". In earlier times, the forensic scientists were "backup boys on horses" who went after the initial aggressors riding them down for killing/hanging.

    They liked to get it all over with by sundown so they could ride on to a home cooked supper as they accepted their day a natural means of survival. Nobody had many questions, let along answers and the cost was of a few missed bullets, a rope for hanging, and weariness. Even though lives were lost, it was expected. A dead horse might even have been their greatest mourned loss. I always wondered if they ever cleaned up the mess after such encounters and if someday, by chance, I might have an opportunity to ride into places of history where I come upon white bones hanging from trees just as they had been left.

    It plays out that there was hardly ever mistakes made. They always got it right in those "movies" Well, John Wayne did anyway. There was hope again every time there was a good wiping out of the "no good killin' kind". Not only that, the good guy always got the pretty girl. Yes! They did! Which made for a most happy happy ending and easier to forget their losses. Yet, Some assholes, like George Zimmerman kind always got away, for a while, until the inside festering got to "em and ate up their pea brain.......

    Today, forensic scientists, along with many laboring authorities, all modern facilities and bit-by-bit-nit-picking can still make dreadful mistakes in their gathering of facts, missed facts or in their misguided interpretations of facts. By the time every aspect is done and handled by so many and the months and years pass whatever is true fact can become questionable. Witnesses aren't so sure anymore. The public pool of jurors have known or not known of what they are called for, and finally the preparation for the finish and the choice begins, guilty! or not guilty! Now who would want to go back and really live in the good old bad day, when it is all done so meticulously today? Even a killin' itself can be so planned and carried out that it is almost admirable. Plain old shoot 'em dead, that just doesn't happen, right? or does it?

    So we have DNA, thank God for DNA, none of us are alike, that is why I believe in Creation, God knew he did not want two of one kind, so thank God again for that, can you even imagine? Well, there is such self-admiration some have for themselves that they wish to be cloned. Something George Zimmerman is probably thinking about doing, if he can acquire enough donation. He would think of it as "GOD'S PLAN", more of George, yup! "with many of us them no gooders will never get away again". One flaw, he would have to deal with himself, stop popping off other "individuals" because he might mistake himself for one black teenager out for doing his shopping at Target in the early evenings.

    OK, let's say that certain DNA is actually in a part of a known crime, how it got there, always a maybe, maybe someone innocently had their hands on somebody else (now dead) for a right purpose, maybe a great big bear hug or simply brushed their hairs on their arms together while in close quarters such as a full elevator, or..... had a closer contact of personal pleasure, low and behold they become suspect. It all has to be "weeded" out, "separated" and " reconstructed" to be suitable for recognized innocence or determined guilt. All has to be proven to be beyond a reasonable doubt. All very hard work! It should be rightly rewarded with the right verdict suitable to the killin'. All so unlike the yesterdays, where "dead was believed to be dead" a simple fact seen with two eyes. The ways may be called vigilante, as the whole townspeople would come out to witness the end of "the bad ones" by hangings. Seemed adequate for the times, as what we have for justice today seems adequate for the times. However, there is always room for improvement!

    In the case of George Zimmerman, he obviously would have been riding the WRONG HORSE in the yesterday, it got shot from under him, he gets back up and claims "it ain't my horse"!! Today George is the horse himself, he's the JACKASS , not knowing which end are his ears and which is his tail, never knows his lines, ad libs wrongly everytime in rehersal, keeping his trusting director and other players totally exasperated. The audience? Boy are they up in arms over the full screen flubs he brings about. It's as though he just can't see himself as a Jackass and wants to be the hero. Had his act been one in historical times, he would have known what he was just by peering into a piece of tin at his own reflection. I wonder what his reflection tells him today.

    It is going to take years, gobs of money (not his) law men haggling, decisions of a few who may be able to tell him "Yes, George, you were an animal that night you hunted Trayvon Martin like a hungry hound dog and we have not seen any expression of humanity out of you to this day.

    Have the forensic scientists looked closely, can they be absolutely sure George Zimmerman has DNA. is it that of a human being? Or has modern science made a mistake?


    [BRAVO, New Puppy! BRAVO! Very well enunciated. Very well written. You took a lot of time to think about this and it clearly shows. I appreciate that. You gave us a history lesson and a jolt in the noggin about how animalistic we can be at times - while praising the Lord. Life is not like in the old days. By that, I include my humble upbringing, having been born in 1952. Today, it's quite evident that this younger society has a different attitude when it comes to heroes. Today, it doesn't take much to become one. Hence, Zimmerman. In my youth, a guy like him would have been looked upon as a pariah. This guy's right up there with Lady Gaga and Kobe Bryant. None of them have earned the title. At least Gaga and Bryant grew rich off their talent. Zimmerman is getting rich for killing a teenager who happened to be black. What a hero. What a sad state of affairs. Go figure.

    Thank you very much for your comment. It really impressed me.]

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNew Puppy

    Nan, I swear I'm not trying to be a jerk here hehe, but yeah you kinda are reading them wrong. =)

    ME-2 is the fingernail scrapings. Anything referring to ME-2 are referring to those scrapings. Thus,
    ME-2A is the fingernail scrapings from the right hand, and ME-2B is the scrapings from the left. If the hands were done, it would be a different number, such as ME-3

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    Bryan~~You said, Charles sees a truck speeding, so calls 911, the operator asks him for the license plate so he follows the truck to get it. They reach the home of the driver of the truck, at which the passenger jumps out and, unarmed, attacks Charles for following them. Charles ends up shooting the unarmed passenger in the head.

    This differs from the Zimmerman case in that there was an eye witness right on the scene who testified that his friend was drunk and described the beating he put on Charles who finally shot him. This is like comparing apples and turnips. I guess the driver of the truck testified for the defense and hoped he would not be charged with reckless driving. That is Pinellas County for you.

    September 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Now that said, those who know much about how nose breaks and bleeds can occur can probably tell you how it's possible that Trayvon could have caused those injuries without getting blood on his hands at all (or not enough to be noticeable; they should have tested his hands even if they didn't notice blood for that reason).

    Nose breaks don't always cause bleeding, or bleeding right away. A nose fracture is a break in the cartilage inside the nose, and bleeding is caused by the skin tissue breaking. The former often causes the latter, but not always, and not right away.

    Often in MMA fights you'll see someone with a broken nose get majorly swollen, but no blood come out (broken cartilage with no skin tear.) Also often you'll see someone on his back with no blood coming out of his nose, until he stands back up, at which time it all gushes out at once.

    ALSO, you'll sometimes see a broken nose get a softer hit later, which causes the broken nose to break the skin and cause bleeding at that point.

    So, if George's nose was broken at the T, but not bleeding until he was on the ground at which time another hit caused the skin to break, George might not have had any blood coming out until he stood up after the encounter was over, at which point it could have gushed as seen in that black and white photo.

    That's one possible scenario. Point being, there's nothing in the evidence that proves, or even makes it unlikely that Trayvon didn't do what George claimed. (With the caveat that IMO, George thought he was getting beaten up worse than he actually did, which in itself is not an unusual phenomenon.)

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    I dunno Snoopy, with W6 seeing Trayvon on top of George moments before the gunshot with George struggling and unable to get up, I think it's more like comparing red apples with granny smith apples, rather than turnips. =)

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    Bryan: No, it's okay--I'm not taking it that way. I appreciate your pointing that out.

    I see it does mention an ME-3, but I can't find any further reference as to what ME-3 might be.

    Not to worry. I'll keep looking. : - )

    September 6, 2012 | Registered Commenternan11

    Bryan: You said: Also, the following heard on the NEN call is not contemporaneous to the encounter, so it has little to no legal relevance.

    Well, it probably won't at the SYG/Immunity hearing because O'Mara is going to cleverly bypass it by going straight to where Trayvon Martin was purportedly sitting on the top of Zimmerman--preventing Zimmerman from escaping--and purportedly pummelling Zimmerman's face and head.

    But, if this makes it to a 2nd degree murder trial, you may be surprised at the importance, or the lack of importance, to the contemporaneousness of the NEN call.

    September 6, 2012 | Registered Commenternan11

    Bryan~~I do agree with you re the info about a fractured/broken nose. Swelling will begin right away but discoloration will generally take place in approx 12+ hrs depending on how much the tissues have been disturbed by an impact to the snoot.

    I am not so sure about some of the witness statements in the Z case. Four of them changed their stories. The truth is easy to remember so you can repeat your story and it should be almost the same with the exception of a few minor details. When a person tells a story and adds details not relevant to the situation and embellishes, it tends to make one suspect their testimony is being fabricated.

    September 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Dave: There could be something interesting on the late news tonight by WFTV.

    Honest, I can't see it being too much, but Darlene Jones is putting out some tweets.


    [You mean about Peterson?]

    September 6, 2012 | Registered Commenternan11

    Okay I give Up!

    I do understand that Zimmerman is claiming he feared for his life.

    I DO NOT understand how you can go in pursuit of someone whose not in the process of committing a crime of any kind and then claim SYG. Especially after being advised not to follow but wait for the police.

    Does that make sense to anyone?

    On the lighter side.

    Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


    [Is is still OK to put the lime in the coconut, Tommy's Mom, or is that passe?

    Here's the matter at hand. Zimmerman is going to do anything he can to get off this charge, just like what Jose Baez did for Casey. The way the law reads, you can pursue someone, but if you attempt to retreat and cannot, you have a right to defend yourself. That's Z's story. Whether the judge or jury will buy it is another story, but we'll find out.]

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTommy's Mom

    Keep in mind, there's no proof George continued to follow after being advised not to. The location of the encounter makes such a pursuit unlikely IMO (remember, George and Trayvon met 150 feet away from George's truck, 20-30 seconds walk away).

    George says he was headed back to the truck when the encounter occurred, and even the State's investigator acknowledged they don't have anything to prove that he wasn't.

    What we know is that George called the police because he thought someone was suspicious. George was answering the dispatcher's questions as best as he could. He got out of the vehicle in direct response to being asked which way Trayvon is running, then when the dispatcher realized that, advised George not to follow, and George agreed.

    There's still nothing reliable to indicate that George was seeking to run into Trayvon, confront him, or anything. If there was, then this would be a whole different ballgame, but as the known evidence stands now, there's just nothing to give any indication that this isn't a justified shooting in self defense.


    [Just remember, Bryan, you are taking every word that the liar has spoken as the truth. Which version do you actually believe in, or does it matter? This man is not Jesus Christ, you know. Tell me, you cannot be so biased that you are blinded by his light.

    Right?]

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    Sorry, Dave. My first remark was more my opinion of the visualization your post provoked in me than it was anything that you said. I was being snide. Sorry bout that.

    I can foresee O'Mara going right to Zimmerman being pinned down by Trayvon Martin. He (Martin) will suddenly become an adult who was twice as big as little George, and twice as threatening. Maybe even that George thought the can of tea was a weapon. If TM really wanted to do damage to him he'd have beat him with that.

    Bryan, George was assisting the police only by providing information. He didn't need to leave his truck to do that. As a matter of fact the police don't want you to do that as a neighborhood watch person. They want you to just observe and report. So he overstepped those bounds when he got out of the truck. The operator asked if he saw where the person was going. George's job was to stay in the truck and tell him that he lost sight of Martin, and where he was when it happened. He would have been expected to stick around the area to show the police where he went. That's all. Trayvon Martin was the one standing his ground. He asked GZ why he was following him. It could have been defused at that point, and any point up to there. I've seen a few examples of cases won and lost on stand your ground. To me it's iffy at best, unless (as the case you stated) there were eyewitnesses to the fight itself. From what I've seen there were mostly earwitnesses. The eyewitnesses couldn't tell you who was on top, who said what, who was yelling for help or anything else.

    I imagine a whole lot of the information we have won't be relevant at trial.


    [No problem, Connie! You know, you make an excellent point about the can of tea. Why didn't Trayvon bash Z's head in with it? That would have done the trick, for sure.

    By the way, to anyone who doesn't know, Connie is well-versed in the neighborhood watch program and its guidelines. If anyone should know, it's her, and I will take her word over anyone else's.]

    September 6, 2012 | Registered Commenterconniefl

    Tommys Mom~~Zimmerman is claiming he went in pursuit of Trayvon to see where he was going. He supposedly was heading back to his truck and was ambushed by Trayvon. Whether he can prove self-defense in a court of law is anyone's guess. I am unsure if you followed the Anthony case and trial. We thought that was a slam dunk but the Pinellas' 12 sure fooled us. Well at least Drew Peterson got found guilty today. He will be sentenced in Nov, I think the 26th. They do not have the death penalty in Illinois but at least he will be off the streets.

    You say two mat o but I say too may toe...lol

    September 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Regarding who says Homey, George does. On one of his jail calls he's talking to a friend and the friend says something along the lines of 'how you doing, homey?' and George replies 'Hey homes'. That's not exact quotes but that's how he and his friends speak.

    Bryan, you do realise that George said Trayvon advanced on him 30 seconds after hanging up with NEN when he actually hung up at 7.13.14 and the fight didn't start until 7.16 don't you? As you've already pointed out he was only 30 seconds away from his truck so why didn't he just go to it?

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebeccaB

    OK
    So that all makes sense from one perspective.
    BUT how about from the perspective of Trayvon?
    Why would he attack GZ?
    When he was supposedly walking away from him. What was bis motive foe doing so?
    Of course if that was so we'll never know now will we?
    So it does not appear with all the dirt dug up thus far on Trayvon that he has any previous history of violence now is there?
    Smoked some weed oh well nor a gangbangin thug some wish be were

    So why would some kid jump put of the darkness to do what GZ said.
    There are enough versions to refer to so I won't quote or list it.
    Did he just snap? Cause smashing someone's head against cement and telling them they are going to die does not make sense.
    Just like GZ''s story does not make sense, add up or even sound possible.

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

    @Bryan

    If Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman how/why was he found by LE on his stomach with his hands under his body.

    If Trayvon was on top why is there to blood or grass stains on the jacket Zimmerman's photo taken at the station?

    If Trayvon was on, top pinning Zimmerman down how did he draw his gun?

    If Trayvon was on top and Zimmerman was screaming for help why did the screaming stop after the shot was heard. Zimmerman said he continued to scream.?

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTommy's Mom

    Thanks Dave.

    John I have a theory. I think Martin stepped out of the bushes and asked "why are you following me?" because he had just had the creeps with someone following him. If Zimmerman had just said "I'm the neighborhood watch, what are you doing in the area?" it would have defused the situation. Instead, from reports he said "what are you doing here?" which in anyone's mind the answer would be "none of your business". You don't walk around with a uniform on saying "neighborhood watch", you don't have that on a car or truck. The only way he would have known GZ was that and not someone out to either beat him up or rob him was to have Zimmerman identify who and what he was. I think Zimmerman made a move to restrain him somehow, or put his hand out to do something like that and that started the altercation. Put yourself in Martin's position. Going into his apartment would alert Zimmerman to where he lived, he had no way of knowing how long Zimmerman would hang around if he hid in the rain... so as a teenager he just might have decided to get it over with and confront the guy following him.

    September 6, 2012 | Registered Commenterconniefl

    @bryan you can try to convince yourself that following people by car and by foot then chasing them is a right, but its not. Youre trying to justify uncivil behavior and excuse someone who did everything wrong that night. Theres more proof of him being the aggressor than there is an attack by TM. Much more. In fact, Serino writes clearly the following and chasing was the instigation in all his reports and FBI interview.

    LOL! Yeah, I'm wrong about him being asked to assist. By scolding him for following they were asking for his help. And lets get this straight, while a bunch of blogs talk about how he only got out of his car because of NENs instructions, its simply not HIS story anyway. He says he got out for an address. One major problem though, they didnt ask him for an address of was his truck was until over a minute AFTER he jumped out of it. Not where he was. All lies. There is no benefit at all in giving NEN and address on RVC when TM wasnt there, and George was going back to his truck.

    Youre cherry picking witnesses to make your story. And tossing out the ones that dont? LOL John also changed his story, but your arent using it. Joes wife saw as much as anyone. She was a close as John. And she is the only person to see the argument, before they ended up on the ground. She was able to identity George based on his body type later. Seems reasonable to me.

    Multiple witnesses describe a longer discussion, and yes, one describes it as over a minute. If you need me to find I will. You yourself just said an argument. George said he was very nice; No man, I dont have a problem. LOL. Thats not an argument.

    Yes, I know the witnesses have them down the T. He doesnt. His dad doesnt. Not in his written statement, or his first interviews. In each of those he said he faced TM who came from the south, was stuck and fell back immediately and was mounted. The body was found 40 feet away in the opposite direction.

    His state of mind, his admission to being the aggressor and his lies mean everything! They, and he are the smoking gun. Hes toast.

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterManberk

    @TM

    1) Two observations. a) W6 saw Trayvon on the ground with his arms outward after the shooting before LE got there, and b) The officer who says his arms were underneath didn't even get what Trayvon was wearing correctly.

    2) The pictures at the Station were taken some time after the shooting, with plenty of time for grass to have been brushed off etc. One of the first officers to the scene did see grass on the back of George's jacket, and W6 saw Trayvon on top of George...that holds more weight than what photos show of his jacket later.

    3) The gun would be easy to draw. To draw a small, relatively snag-free gun like George Zimmerman’s Kel-Tec PF-9 from an IWB holster positioned behind the right hip while mounted, all the person on the bottom has to do is rotate their hips counterclockwise just three inches. This creates enough space to slip the right hand in the gap he’s created with the rotation, easily draw the weapon, and fire from contact distance.

    It would take 1-2 seconds to do this once the rotation begins.

    4) I'm gonna have to ask for a source as to where George says he continued to scream, as I don't remember this claim.

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    Manberk:

    "LOL! Yeah, I'm wrong about him being asked to assist. By scolding him for following they were asking for his help."

    Yes, you were wrong about the dispatcher asking for assistance.

    Quotes from the dispatcher:

    "Okay. Just let me know if he does anything, okay?
    Yeah, we've got him on the way. Just let me know if this guy does anything else.
    He's running? Which way is he running? (This is the point where George gets out of the truck in respose).
    Okay and which entrance is that he's heading towards?

    Four different statements asking George to update on what Trayvon is doing, and where he's going. Getting out of a truck to keep an eye on someone in an attempt to help Police may have been misguided, but it wasn't illegal.

    And meanwhile, there's still zero proof of George being the aggressor. Even the State has admitted they don't know who started the fight, nor has evidence showing George is the aggressor.

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    George claimed in his video reenactment that he continued begging for help. Not one peep was heard after the shot was fired. Not one single word.

    September 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    What bothers me about all of this is that people talk about Trayvon Martin like he was an adult. He wasn't. He was a teenager. Their emotions, their reasoning, their brains are still developing. They don't have the impulse control an adult has even if they are 6 foot tall and 17. He was scared, he was angered, and he was irate that he was being followed. I imagine a lot of us would be the same. The difference is in how an adult would have handled the situation. George Zimmerman, being an adult, should have identified himself, pure and simple. Why didn't he? Because he was the block captain and because "they always get away". This time that wasn't going to happen.

    September 6, 2012 | Registered Commenterconniefl

    In the reenactment, George describes talking to the witness that came out after the gunshot and asking him if he's the police, not any further screaming. Considering how soft the last scream was on the recorded call before the shot, (IIRC, W11 had gone upstairs at that point), there's no reason to assume any of that conversation would have been caught on the 911 call.


    [He didn't "talk" to the witness, he was begging him for help. Who is that witness and why has he not corroborated that story? Where is that witness in your list?]

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    Connie: Looking at the evidence, the reason that George didn't identify himself is that it doesn't appear he had much opportunity. Despite what Serino says, the neighborhood watch guidelines were quite clear that you're not supposed to engage the person you find suspicious, so approaching him to say "Hi, I'm neighborhood watch" would likely go against what George thought he was supposed to do.

    And when he got out of the vehicle, Trayvon was increasing the distance between them. Entirely not a situation where anyone would reasonably expect to then run into him a couple minutes later so close to the vehicle.


    [Wait... a... minute... George admits he gets out of his vehicle and heads in the direction of where he last spotted Trayvon [ARE YOU FOLLOWING HIM? YEAH.] and you are somehow saying that he was increasing the distance between them? Is that like a running back heading toward his goal post, but he's actually distancing himself from a touchdown? OK. Got it. Is this some sort of trick where no means yes? ]

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

    Dave: [You mean about Peterson?]

    Sorry, no. I mean concerning the Trayvon Martin case. Apparently WFTV has obtained a copy of a memo that the Sanford Police Chief didn't want anyone to see.

    It's all pretty 'unconfirmed', though.

    I have a live link, and if I can stay awake that long, I might watch, too!

    (I'm happy about the verdict in the Peterson case, though.)


    [Oh, oh, oh... I saw something about that in a WFTV promo while watching Jeopardy. sorry, nan11, I didn't know what you meant at the time. Gotcha! thanks.]

    September 6, 2012 | Registered Commenternan11

    @Bryan If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTommy's Mom

    I do not recall any of the screams being soft. At the very beginning of one of the calls I thought it sounded like someone screamed I'm begging you, Mr. Zimmerman said he screamed help.
    Connie imo Trayvon is being remembered for being black. I realize race is not popular and I am sorry for feeling that way but that is just how I see it. He has no criminal record, yet he is called a thug and a drug dealer. Tryavon turned 17 just weeks before his death.
    Mr Zimmerman on the other hand has been arrested, has lied to the police, the Judge and the intake officer. Mr. Zimmerman has changed his story and it is sad that people just blindly accept his word. IMO the only thug on the street that night was Mr. Zimmerman. I can tell you I would be terrified if some man began to follow me in his car and then on foot. To bad Trayvon's mom did not buy him mace. My mom bought me some a while ago. I know how to use it and I am not afraid to use.

    September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

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