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April 23, 2012

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El Bango

Judge Lester was the one who asked about gun range when fired. Per Orlando Senitinel:


"A few new pieces of evidence did come out Friday.

How close, asked the judge, was the gun to the victim when it was fired?

So close, said Gilbreath, that there were burns on Trayvon's sweat shirt and skin."

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-04-20/news/os-george-zimmerman-bond-hearing-20120420_1_special-prosecutor-angela-corey-robert-zimmerman-son

cboldt

-- You don't think he'll have to testify in the immunity hearing? I would think that before a judge releases Zimmerman (assuming that occurs), he'd want to hear his direct and cross-examined testimony. --


No, I don;t think he has to appear. The state interrogated him at length. Zimmerman's self-defense claim is part of the state's evidence.


But, I don't know that he does not have to appear, for a fact. I'm basing my belief on Dennis hearing opinions that have no remark about the defendant testifying in court, yet have the judge remarking on transcripts of witness statements.

rse

Rick-saw your comment earlier about Europe running out of OPM. Hope they do not continue to see Rio as the answer as they try to get UN to "share".

That UN report I mentioned made a big deal about countries needing to revise macro policy. I have mentioned before that official WH reports say bo has gone to an explicit industrial policy in his budgets since other countries do it.

With no budget being passed and all those czars we are essentially enacting budgets by fiat. Like his other policies he is essentially ruling now. He is not acting as part of a divided republic.

It is frightening to think how out of control this would be in a 2nd term.

The book I just finished graphically called for using the schools to community organize low income minority kids and make the curriculum about engaging in collective political action so they could learn to do civics.

Ignatius J Donnelly

FYI, there appears to be an official website set up to support GZ here: http://therealgeorgezimmerman.com/

I have no idea if it is legit, but it seems to be checked out/confirmed with his attorneys by NBC in Atlanta - article here: http://www.11alive.com/news/article/237462/40/George-Zimmerman-website-raising-money-for-defense

In the footer of the home page, GZ has everyone's favorite Edmund Burke quote.


He put that up about three days before he turned himself in. Unfortunatley, in his "album" he, probably thinking it was merely a show of support, posted a photo of this.
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=long%20live%20zimmerman&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CDYQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.godlikeproductions.com%2Fforum1%2Fmessage1831603%2Fpg1&ei=17-VT9fGHpKm8ATUq4iiBA&usg=AFQjCNGWPiqjTKUAxK6aZAOfaflx1YvOcw

He did remove the next day.

AliceH

ijd@4:49 oh. never mind!

cboldt

In the Wyche case, Judge Hirsh's Immunity opinion says two witnesses testified in open court. Neither was the defendant. The opinion has numerous outtakes from statements to police, covering three or four additional witnesses.


My impression is that the defense can proceed from the state's record.

MJW

I'm basing my belief on Dennis hearing opinions that have no remark about the defendant testifying in court, yet have the judge remarking on transcripts of witness statements.

I don't know why the judge could rely on transcripts of witness statements. I do know that in McDaniel v. State, 24 So. 3d 654 - Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 2nd Dist. 2009, the court mentioned the existence of hearsay exception, such as for impeachment, then said:

Otherwise, given that the burden of proof is on the defendant to establish his entitlement to immunity, hearsay is not admissible to prove a material fact for the court's consideration, unlike at a motion to suppress hearing where the admissibility of certain evidence 658*658 sought to be introduced at trial is in issue.

Comanche Voter

Geez the explanation is that "people are confusing idiocy with ideology"!

You can tell that posturing jackanapes David Carr that people with his ideology have already demonstrated their congruence with idiocy. The pathetic truth is revealed in the pages of the New York Times every day.

NK

Immunity Hearing? Unless discovery shows the cops found some fabulous exculpatory witness for GZ (OK discovery won't show that) GZ'll have to testify at the hearing in order to prove (by 51%) that his actions were lawful self-defense. As with everything in the case, The State will probably oppose GZ's motion with the 'contradictory' statements he gave cops that night, with the 'stalking' of unarmed TMartin by following him -- in violation of dispatcher instructions and GZ's own Comm Watch training, by GZ's lack of credibility and propensity for creating a confrontation based on his prior arrest by an off-duty cop and the former girlfriend 911 call. The State will litigate hard to keep GZ under 50% of the proof, and put the case on for trial. The State will get alot of benefit of the doubt from Judge Lester-- the State Treasury signs all their paychecks-- remember that. Either way-- there will be appeals from Judge Lester's decision. Trench warfare for a while. And that's fine for GZ, so long as his Bonded release remains in effect and he's out of jail.

cboldt

Thinking aloud, Zimmerman's self-defense claim picks up wehre DeeDee's testimony stops. She's irrelevant to the self defense claim. I've noted this before, that defense is inclined to look at the last 5-10, or at most, 80 or so seconds before the firearm discharges.


O'Mara asked if there was evidence to contradict Zimmerman's account of who swung first. Nope. Okay, so we start with Martin swinging first, DeeDee is out of the picture.


Foresnic evidence of injuries, doctor report, photos. Eyewitness places screams in Zimmerman's mouth. Maybe Martin has some Zimmerman snot on his hand and/or palm (hitting, smothering). Zimmerman's account of those moments are part of the record.


What does the state put up to rebut that? Cutcher didn't see, shadows don't count, and so on.


The only times this case gets difficult is when Martin's team suggests a need to rebut conjecture - or demands an eyewitness to each discrete event in Zimmerman's account. Neither of those standards applies, both are unrealistic. The evidence is never perfect, never complete.

daddy

Excellent job today on FOX Business channel showing the President in 2008 saying that unlike Bush, he respects the Constitution, and will never go around the Constitution to get his Agenda passed.

Also doing an great job attacking the new DEM plan to tax our 401K's.

Wonder if any of this is being mentioned in the MSM?

cboldt

-- I don't know why the judge could rely on transcripts of witness statements. --


It's not a trial. Admissibility rules are relaxed. Reading the McDaniel opinion, my impression is that (in the immunity hearing) defendant made assertions in his motion, not by taking the stand, and that live testimony was given by his mother. The hearsay issue involved impeaching McDaniel's mother's testimony over whether or not McDaniel unlocked the door, admitting the victim into the house. IOW, hearsay came up other than the introduction of sworn statements.


Of course, I'm open minded on this, but I haven't seen a requirement that defendant take the stand in an Immunity hearing; or that a witness must take the stand in order to permit a sworn statement be admitted into evidence.

NK

GZ has the burden of proof. We'll see if the State has enough rebuttal evidence to even defeat 51% of evidence against the Charge. All specuultion until the hearing.

daddy

Sorry for putting in so many plugs for FOX Business Channel, but they really have been doing a fine job lately.

Next up on the very cute Jerry Willis Show, will be a discussion of "Kieth Olberman's Crazy Gas Pricing Conspiracy Theory". Ha!

And she just had on a guy who said that it has recently been revealed that in another Solar Panel Company, supported by I believe a 3 Billion Dollar Govt Loan, the Chief Exec's each got a 36% pay raise/bonus, which appears to have partially gone back into Dem Election coffers.

cboldt

defendant Saavedra gave live testimony at his immunity hearing

defendant Sandhaus gave live testimony at his immunity hearing

q

Rob Crawford

in violation of dispatcher instructions and GZ's own Comm Watch training

What instructions? There were no such instructions. In any case, dispatcher instructions are not legally binding.

And he wasn't on community watch at the time.

WHY do these things have to be pointed out over and over and over and over to you?!

GZ's lack of credibility and propensity for creating a confrontation based on his prior arrest by an off-duty cop and the former girlfriend 911 call

WTF?! Immaterial to his claim. I cited Florida statues on this.

DebinNC

Sorry, Deb

Are you really? Then please stop using my comment as a useless bludgeon. I think this was the first time I've responded to one of your posts. Lesson learned.

PaulL

NK, why in the world do you persist that Zimmerman will/should plead out? He did nothing wrong whatsoever. The State's case is a joke.

Frau Ohne Schatten

*Kim has the biggest BS detector in every known sector. (When it swings, it rings...)

*Kim has *never* embedded lies or indulged in douchebaggery. ("Hockey puckey" is for AGW.)

*Cleo? Who cares who is sez he is today,yesterday or tomorrow?

DebinNC

What does the state put up to rebut that?

Bernie's second go with Gilbreath (rebuttal?) foreshadowed he'll going with a "GZ's a liar" theme imo. Bernie seemed to find a gold mine in GZ's statement/s claiming 1) TM was atop him whaling away, 2) TM put his hands over GZ's nose/mouth, trying to smother him, 3) TM was banging GZ's head into the pavement, and 4) TM was reaching for the gun. Apparently, Bernie thinks all those actions occurred at the same time, which would be impossible, which makes GZ a liar.

NK

RobC-- it's the State's rebuttal evidence and argument. The State's rebuttal case doesn't have to prove the State's charge, just be probative to the extent it rebuts GZ's immunity claim. Example== GZ testifies he was innocently walking on the Community sidewalk, when TMartin jumped him-- self -defense. Obvious. The State will rebut saying BS-- GZ caused the confrontation by following TMartin after calling in the matter to the SPD dispatcher, they'll call the dispatcher in to testify that in the conversation the dispatcher left no doubt that they were telling GZ to stay put and wait for SPD and not follow TMartin, they'll introduce GZ's Comm Watch study materials which (presumably) say don't follow suspects, it's dangerous and can cause an unnecessary confrontation. All of which is designed to rebut GZ's claim of self-defense. The State's objective at that hearing isn't to prove murder-- or anything else-- it's to show GZ is an incredible and lying witness who's story can't be believed-- at least not 51% of his story. In the end the hearing has an audience of one -- Judge Lester, who does he believe?, and how much does he believe them? I do get it-- I'll be polite and leave it at that.

Carol Herman

It's like reading tea leaves to say you got inside knowledge on how the election turns out in November, NK.

I don't think Mittens has a chance.

As a matter of fact I think McCain's pulling 44% of the vote, pretty much tells ya where the bar is that the republicans use when they go looking for presidential timber.

NK

PaulL-- It's just my cynical view of the legal world. The State of Florida AND the United States of America vs. George Zimmerman is not a fair fight. IF GZ's Immunity claim is denied, he runs the risk of a hostile State Jury convicting him of Murder 2, life in prison, plus whatever Federal Civil Rights charges are brought. he just can't take that risk. if no Immunity, he'l have to quietly plead to a much reduced charge, minimum sentence possible and no Fed charges, IMO.

BTW-- how do you know for a fact he 'did nothing wrong whatsoever'?

Theo

I think Judge Lester might be influenced by the fact that if he denies immunity, he and/or the jury can still acquit Zimmerman later at trial. If he grants immunity, the community outrage ("they let him walk without even a trial") will all be on HIS head, with Spike Lee twittering his (supposed) address and all of that. Unless the self-defense evidence is overwhelming, I think a real danger that he cops out and denies immunity.

But NK is right -- this is all speculation until the hearing.

NK

My prediction since August 2011 has been: ABO 52+% --'Bam 46+%. Wildcard is the Mullahs.

Sara

Note to self: never trust a CNN transcript to be a complete record.

This is why so many thought it was a slam dunk guilty in the OJ case. I watched the OJ trial on Court TV and, frankly, I was surprised that the defense even had to put on a case. But, from what I'm told, CNN cut away every time there was testimony or motions that would change the narrative and therefore make OJ look like a monster to the general public. I would tune in for the evening recaps and just shake me head and wonder what trial they were watching as what they recapped was so different from what actually took place in front of the jury.

I never trust CNN and even less so when they have an agenda, as they certainly do in this case.

MJW

It's not a trial. Admissibility rules are relaxed.

That seems directly contrary to the court's finding:

The remaining issues raised by McDaniel on appeal are without merit, with the exception of his argument that the trial court improperly admitted hearsay evidence at the hearing on his motion to dismiss. While the rules of evidence are inapplicable or relaxed in certain proceedings, we have been unable to find— and the parties have not cited—any authority holding that hearsay evidence is admissible at a pretrial evidentiary hearing on a motion to dismiss based on immunity.

Frau Ohne Schatten

No Ito - thank goodness for that. Once in a lifetime is enough.

NK

MJW-- I saw your link before about that decision. Rebuttal evidence has to be 'competent' evidence insofar as it cannot be inadmissable hearsay, or violate the best evidence rule- so the State's rebuttal case has to use admissable GZ admissions, witness testimony and best evidence dosuments. But, the rebuttal evidence does not have to prove, or even be materially related to, the murder charge.

Theo

IMO, of course he will have to testify at an immunity hearing. Not because there is an iron requirement under the law that he do so -- I doubt that there is. But because he has the burden of proof on self-defense in that proceeding. Unless he has eye witnesses or video tape showing Martin beating him and him shooting just as he was about to be bludgeoned to death, how on earth is he going to establish self-defense without testifying?

The absence of strong state evidence that it was NOT self-defense will not carry his burden. GZ must show by a proponderence of the evidence that it was self-defense. I do not believe that in this case he could meet that burden without testifying.

jimmyk

The State will rebut saying BS-- GZ caused the confrontation by following TMartin after calling in the matter to the SPD dispatcher, they'll call the dispatcher in to testify that in the conversation the dispatcher left no doubt that they were telling GZ to stay put and wait for SPD and not follow TMartin, they'll introduce GZ's Comm Watch study materials which (presumably) say don't follow suspects, it's dangerous and can cause an unnecessary confrontation. All of which is designed to rebut GZ's claim of self-defense.

But none of which actually contradicts GZ's claim that he in fact did cease his following of TM, headed back to his truck, and was confronted and ambushed by TM. The term is "preponderance of the evidence." What you described involved no evidence at all.

All they've got is DeeDee's story, which I don't think contradicts GZ either since it has TM speaking first, and isn't necessarily credible.

NK

Theo@6:29-- yes GZ testifying is a given IMO as well. that opens up all of the credibility attacks against GZ that the State will want to introduce. All that said-- The State better be prepared to show Judge Lester some material evidence that GZ --you know-- actually committed a crime. Judge Lester seems to have a pretty good BS detector, and if the State just attacks GZ's credibility and introduces no direct evidence of a unlawful homocide -- not good for the State.

DebinNC

Gilbreath was under oath Friday saying he knew of no evidence GZ wasn't returning to his truck. And the dispatcher tape can be played with her saying there was no "need" for GZ to follow, which is a far cry from "left no doubt that they were telling GZ to stay put and wait for SPD."

NK

JimmyK-- we'll all have to wait and see what the State puts into its rebuttal case. It's all speculation until then. But see my earlier post-- IMO the state better be prepared to introduce some direct evidence of a homcide, not just skate by attacking GZ's credibility.

Theo

NK --
Agree, but see my 6:17 post. Judges have a tendency to take the path of least resistance and in this case that may be to let the jury decide the case rather than stick his neck out and end the proceedings. A lot will depend on how much evidence the State can produce, but showing Zim to be a liar wuold be a pretty good start. Zim has the burden of proof on immunity and if he is not a credible witness, I do not think he can sustain the burden for the same reasons that he cannot sustain the burden if he does not testify at all.

In sum, if there is an immunity hearing, Zim must testify and he must come across as credible in order to succeed. And even then the judge may kick the can down the road.

As you said, all is speculation now.

NK

Theo-- agree with your comment about kicking the can, that's a big risk for GZ. But reading the Bond Hearing transcript -- and DebinNC's revelation today that Lester asked the State cop a direct question about distance of the gun-- Lester seems like he's telling the State they have a weak Murder case. I think he'll very closely scrutinize the State's rebuttal. We'll see.

daddy

OT---War on Women Update.

Discovery of a 2,000 year old statue of a topless Victorious Female Gladiatrix from ancient Rome, teaches us that President Obama isn't the only leader to make it tougher for gals to hold a job during his time in Office:

"Few statues of female gladiators have ever been found, after the Emperor Septimus banned the fairer sex from gladiatorial combat in AD200."

Special Bonus coverage: Cleopatra's Twins with Marc Anthony rediscovered

NK

BTW- I am still very impressed with O'Mara. Putting up GZ at the Bond hearing obviously succeeded in getting GZ released. It also introduced GZ to Judge Lester (and the potential jury pool) all with no risk, because GZ had talked to the cops for 'hours' on the night. By introducing GZ in this way, O'mara got a start on enhancing GZ's credibility, to help prove his Immunity claim and to show the GZ contradictions' that will be introduced by the State are picky and unserious. O'Mara seems to have a plan. If Immunity is denied, what's the GZ end game?

cboldt

The criminal rules don't appear to require the presence of defendant at an Immunity hearing. I'm looking at Rule 3.180. A judge can require defendant's presence.

defendant Yaqubie, I can't tell, but the appellate court says "The facts largely come from a statement made by Yaqubie to the police following his arrest."

Sara

I don't think Mittens has a chance.

As a matter of fact I think McCain's pulling 44% of the vote, pretty much tells ya where the bar is that the republicans use when they go looking for presidential timber.

Paying much attention, Carole.

Mitt Romney is going to win by a landslide.


Sara

BTW-- how do you know for a fact he 'did nothing wrong whatsoever'?

The same way you know that he is a scumbag liar who deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison, NK.

cboldt

-- While the rules of evidence are inapplicable or relaxed in certain proceedings, we have been unable to find— and the parties have not cited—any authority holding that hearsay evidence is admissible at a pretrial evidentiary hearing on a motion to dismiss based on immunity. --


And then the court ruled the hearsay evidence in question was admissible; and then said that hearsay was not admissible to establish defendant's claim.


So, did defendant McDaniel testify at the hearing?

NK

Sara-- please re-post the comment where I said that.

BTW-- That's a rhetorical question, I never said that.

Tom Maguire

On the question of GZim appearing at his immunity hearing:

I completely agree that moving this off the front page is O'Mara's goal, and that keeping GZim out of the courtroom helps that.

I also agree that clearing a path of least resistance for the judge is a key part of the plan.

However, those two tactics collide a bit - it *may* be that the prosecution case is so weak that the judge can basically say "I have reviewed a bunch of dusty records and there is no 'there' here".

But Lester is on much stronger ground if he can say "I had GZim on the stand in my courtroom and found him sufficiently credible to dismiss the case".

Now, O'Mara did put GZim on the stand already, so the judge can claim he has kicked the tires. But if I were the judge looking at this hot potato I would want to see GZim testify just to CMA.

Tricky for O'Mara. An immunity hearing the week of the 4th of July (which falls on Wednesday) might work for everyone. I can't guess how realistic that is in terms of a court schedule, however. The week before Labor Day is great for the same reason.

Sara

NK: Nearly all your posts are anti-Zimmerman and indicate that you believe the State should prevail. I don't think I'm the only one here who gets that sense.0

Sara

Fox is reporting that the town commissioners are refusing to accept Chief Lee's resignation.

NK

TomM-- My review of your 7:02 will have to wait until after the train ride home.

cboldt
narciso

They kept Robles away, so they quite nearly got to the facts,


http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/23/2763913_p2/sanfords-city-commission-will.html

cboldt

-- Fox is reporting that the town commissioners are refusing to accept Chief Lee's resignation. --


Wow. That after the earlier reported "no confidence" vote must be a real shocker to the press. My hat is off to the town commissioners.

PaulL

NK, of course you have the right to be cynical, but it isn't convincing to me since I am not as cynical. Nor are the common offerings of "Doom" and "We are so screwed" that frequently pop up here. I sure don't subscribe to the view of always expecting the worst just so as not to be disappointed in the instances that good does not prevail.

The reason I know that Z didn't do anything wrong whatsoever is that his story makes perfect sense, he has witnesses, and the State offered nothing but wild conjecture to placate the race hustlers/media.

If Z. had to get a unanimous jury to be found not guilty, than I'd be concerned and could understand a plea deal. But he needs only one juror to find for him.

Plus, your idea that Romney (!) will make a deal with Z. to not file federal charges if Z pleads out to a lesser charge -- well, I've got to say that that is one of the craziest things that I've read in a long long time.

PaulL

Not that any more witnesses should be needed, but I also heard the judge ask the question about how close the gun was.

Clarice

The prosecution has to go first, I believe, even in an immunity hearing. O 'Mara doesn't have to call GZ to the stand unless he feels he's destroyed the case on direct of the government's witnesses and eviddence.

cboldt

-- The prosecution has to go first, I believe, even in an immunity hearing. --


I hold the opposite view, on the basis that defendant has the burdens of production and proof in an immunity hearing; but the prosecution has the burdens of production and proof in the case in chief, the murder charge.


He with the burden goes first.

Extraneus

Note to self: Fire any lawyer who counsels copping to the maximum charge they could ever convict me of, unless I'm paying him by the hour. In which case, think about it before firing him.

MJW

And then the court ruled the hearsay evidence in question was admissible; and then said that hearsay was not admissible to establish defendant's claim.

The hearsay was admissible for the same reason it would have been admissible at trial: it satisfied a hearsay exception; namely, a prior inconsistent statement used for impeachment.

So, did defendant McDaniel testify at the hearing?

I don't know. Why does it matter? I certainly never claimed the defendant is required by law to testify. I said there appeared to me to be no way for Zimmerman to present his version of what happened except by his own testimony. In the McDaniel case, his mother was an eyewitness, so McDaniel's own testimony may not have been as crucial as I believe Zimmerman's will be.

jimmyk

On the trial by jury vs. judge: Someone has suggested that Lester may want to kick the can to a jury rather than face the death threats etc. from throwing the case out. But if O'Mara were to opt for a trial by judge, then Lester would know that he wouldn't have that "out."

narciso

THey really are beyond parody, 'you blew the tranaxle,' when she moderated a debate, that she had a material interest in;

http://www.pbs.org/ombudsman/2012/04/busting_the_news_1.html

Neo

Sanford city commissioners voted 3-2 to reject Police Chief Bill Lee's resignation over the controversial Trayvon Martin investigation.

Mayor Jeff Triplett, and commissioners Patty Mahany and Randy Jones voted to not accept the resolution that would have allowed City Manager Norton Bonaparte to let Lee resign as chief of police.

cboldt

So, O'Mara calls the police officer who took photos of Zimmerman's injuries, and the doctor that threated Zimmerman for a broken nose. He calls "John." He calls the forensic examiner who describes the burns and powder residue evidence on Martin's and Zimmerman's clothing. He may call one or more 911 caller for the proposition of duration of the fight.


That's a thin pile of evidence, but the state, as far as I know (and O'Mara will know for certain), has no witness that can testify Zimmerman was ever in a superior position.

MJW

Cboldt, I don't disagree the defense could take that approach or that in theory it's valid; I just very much doubt a judge would stop a high-profile trial based on such thin evidence.

DebinNC

He may call one or more 911 caller for the proposition of duration of the fight.

And to verify that's her voice on tape telling GZ there's no "need" for him to follow and whether she hears herself ordering him not to follow. And whether she's a sworn police officer authorized to order anyone but her husband to do anything.

Ignatz

Is there anyone here who thinks that if the immunity hearing were strictly about legal standards that Zimmerman would not succeed?
Based on the evidence that is publicly available I don't see how he fails to carry his burden.

Rob Crawford

cboldt -- and when the state says "he refused the dispatcher's order" they rebut with the tape and actual words.

The judge, if there exists a lawyer with brains, will know that past ACCUSATIONS and MISDEMEANORS have no bearing on the validity of a claim of self-defense.

One question: am I right in assuming that even if the special persecutor is basing her case on "DeeDee", there's no requirement for her to testify? I figure since its not really a trial, then the right to confront your accuser doesn't come into play. Love to be wrong on that, though, so they can impeach that line of BS as well.

cboldt

-- One question: am I right in assuming that even if the special persecutor is basing her case on "DeeDee", there's no requirement for her to testify? --


I assume the prosecution can call witnesses too. But DeeDee's testimony stops short, in time, of the point where Zimmerman's self-defense argument starts.

Sara

And whether she's a sworn police officer authorized to order anyone but her husband to do anything.

Remember that Z called the non-emergency line and was speaking to a dispatcher. I don't know about Florida, but both my d-i-l and a good friend have worked as dispatchers in two different states and neither were police officers.

Bob

The defense has to establish probable cause of self defense in the immunity hearing but the prosecution will also be required to establish that this defense is not true. While the burden is on Zimmerman's defense as I understand Florida law the prosecution will have to show that their theory did not come to them in a bullshit session with Crump and his PR contractors. Their "theory" of the crime is not only odd but something that is going to have to be established as reasonable which it isn't.

Before the bail hearing I thought Zimmerman might be forced to plea so that all of the various government entities could just pay up to the Martins and they could heroically tell the mobs not to riot. Part of that was to be the police chief's head as well as branding the city as a bigoted hole in the road. Everything shifted during the bail hearing. The city is showing some spunk by not accepting the chief's resignation which would usher in the monetary penalty to the Martins. The scheme is unraveling.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

Here's something I'd like to throw out for discussion.

I think "John's" testimony, if a bit more detailed than has thus far been reported, may allow EZ to avoid taking the stand and win an immunity hearing. The case could be put together like this.

"John" testifies:

He personally observed TM wailing away on top of GZ who was dressed in a red sweater;

GZ was screaming for help;

"John" yelled out that he was calling 911;

"John" made the 911 call and heard a loud report like a gunshot;

John immediately came back to the scene of the altercation and observed Martin lying still on the ground, and GZ walking around as if dazed with gashes on the back of his head, and what looked to be a broken nose.

He can also observe the picture that was taken of the back of GZ's head and testify that it accurately represents the condition of GZ's head as he observed it after he returned to the scene.

With those facts established, the medical evidence may be submitted corroborating the extent of GZ's injuries.

The above evidence, IMO makes out a prima facie case that GZ was in "reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury, which must be then rebutted by the State or he wins. After the state puts up a rebuttal (e.g. DD, T's mother, prior GZ inconsistent statements, if any), O'Mara can decide whether he needs GZ's testimony or not.

I haven't seen anything in the police report or the bail hearing which really undermines the above case of self-defense.


cboldt

-- I don't disagree the defense could take that approach or that in theory it's valid; I just very much doubt a judge would stop a high-profile trial based on such thin evidence. --


I'm still under a (perhaps mistaken) impression that defendant can assert facts based on the record, without taking the stand. The assertions appear in the Motion, and find support in the investigation record. Again, looking at Judge Hirsch in the Wyech case, it looks to me that some of the critical eyewitnesses didn't take the stand. It was clear from the record that their stories didn't line up. If sworn statements aren't admissible without live testimony, how did that evidence get in?

Danube of Thought

Tonight's Martini hour is dedicated to Angela Merkel.

Sara

I do not wish to offend our great attorneys here, but my opinion is that most lawyers have no core and money rules. OTOH, I have a higher opinion of judges. I am kind of shocked at the low opinion some here have of judges. Personally, if I thought a judge was kicking the can on a case because he was afraid of public opinion, that judge should be kicked off the bench.

It seems to me that this judge already thinks the prosecution is shaky. If he does, what makes any of you think he'd have so little ethics/morals that he'd kick the can?

PaulV

If the prosecution is unable to add anything in the bill of particulars and O'Mara finds out by depositions there is nothing there, things change. Would a motion to dismiss or reduce charges be permissible? O'Mara will have opportunity to review interrogation of Z. With review of evidence Z should be good witness for himself.

Cecil Turner

The judge, if there exists a lawyer with brains, will know that past ACCUSATIONS and MISDEMEANORS have no bearing on the validity of a claim of self-defense.

Those two incidents are beyond weak, anyway. In the ABC thing, he's accused of pushing an undercover cop (in defense of his buddy)--reduced to anger management (which gives a good indication of how serious it was). In the girlfriend thing, she calls the cops and says he just came over for no reason (he says to get papers), then she agrees to send the papers, and the only mark on anyone is the blood on Zimmerman (she says the dog bit him . . . in the cheek). The only allegation of violence she has is years-old, and she admits hitting him in that one.

Anyone who's seen any actual domestic abuse or assault on police officers can tell you, this ain't it.

Danube of Thought

how did that evidence get in?

Beats the hell out of me. It would never get in at trail, at least in California. On the other hand, California has very lenient--and completely different--rules of evidence for preliminary hearings (hearsay runs rampant), and there may be something of that kind at work in these immunity hearings.

AliceH

Ig - that's my take. Those arguing GZ will not prevail in an immunity hearing seem to me to be mostly basing that on the view that most all people in the justice system treat ethics and integrity as a situational matter, as though there were an opt-out for officers of the court who worry about political implications.

cboldt

-- Would a motion to dismiss or reduce charges be permissible? --


Yes. A Motion to dismiss for failure to make all the elements; and either in the same filing or a separate one, a Motion to Grant Immunity.

Ignatz

--I do not wish to offend our great attorneys here, but my opinion is that most lawyers have no core and money rules.--

Sara,
I've been in and out of civil court countless times approaching forty years; just one of the blessings of owning land in a state full of lunatics.
I have interacted with hundreds of lawyers in that time and I can't honestly say lawyers as a whole are significantly different than any other similar cohort of people.
I can't readily discern any greater percentage of sinners or saints amongst them and the same goes for judges who almost invariably are lawyers themselves.
If anything I've been surprised how many are truly concerned about acting ethically.

Sara

And you thought Tom had covered this case to the nth degree. Ha ha.

Does the Third Amendment Speak to the George Zimmerman Case?

Ignatz

I have also been amazed at how many true dunces are somehow able to pass the bar.

Danube of Thought

I posted without seeing MJW's case. Looks to me like he'll have to take the stand.

If the judge were to find as a fact that GZ's lawfully following Martin was the initial provocation, he won't be following the law.

Jack is Back!

Done some quizing among my friends in Seminole County about Leaster. As far as I can tell, he is a stand up guy, VN vet, Gator (yes that is important), most likely Republican because of known political associations, and very much on the side of victims of really bad guys like pedophile murderers and meth addicts killers.

BUT, he is married to a felony prosecutor for Orange County (Orlando).

Rob Crawford

(she says the dog bit him . . . in the cheek)

Not that odd. Our dogs seem to go for the cheeks more than anything else -- it's within their reach and a large targ...

Oh. You meant on his face.

jimmyk

I am kind of shocked at the low opinion some here have of judges. Personally, if I thought a judge was kicking the can on a case because he was afraid of public opinion, that judge should be kicked off the bench.

I don't think anyone's making blanket statements about judges. But surely there are some who are more open to political agendas than others. We've seen that again and again in cases to constitutional questions. And then some judges are just more competent than others--remember Judge Ito? He may well have been a fine judge who just melted under the glare of the TV cameras. These things happen.

So too with Lester--he may be a fine judge with all the best intentions, but consciously or subconsciously could opt to err on the side of sending it to trial.

Agree with Iggy on lawyers, though thankfully my experience is limited. Some ambulance chasers, but mostly people with a high degree of integrity.

MarkO

Doesn't Zim waive his 5th Amendment rights for the entire case by taking the stand in the SYG hearing? Is there some Florida provision that limits his exposure. Otherwise, he waives the privilege and could be called by the State, could he not?

MarkO

By the way, judges are lawyers. Most, not all, judges are lawyers who could not make a living practicing law. Draw your own conclusions.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

BF@8:06:

Whether or not the photo has been "vetted" it can be authenticated by a witness who has actually seen what the photo purports to depict and testifies that what is in the photo accurately shows what he observed at the time.

MJW

Those two incidents are beyond weak, anyway. In the ABC thing, he's accused of pushing an undercover cop (in defense of his buddy)--reduced to anger management (which gives a good indication of how serious it was).

Even that overstates what happened. The cop claims that when he was trying to escort Zimmerman away from the interview area, Zimmerman "shrugged way from me and then pushed my arms away with his hands."

Jane

"BUT, he is married to a felony prosecutor for Orange County (Orlando)"

Why the "but"?

Presumably you can be a prosecutor and want the correct result.

narciso

Everything is like reading tea leaves, but I think Lester showed he could be fair at the
bail hearing, then again Gilbreath was so incompetent at that presentation, I half expected Henry Mancini's theme to echo through
the hall/

Jack is Back!

Jane,

Just saying pillow talk can always provide a different prospective. Can't it:)

Clarice

Jim: "I haven't seen anything in the police report or the bail hearing which really undermines the above case of self-defense."

And I haven't seen anything in the police report or the bail hearing that makes out the Second Degree murder case.Taking the record facts as given for the purpose of the motion, how does the prosecution survive a motion to dismiss?

MJW

Doesn't Zim waive his 5th Amendment rights for the entire case by taking the stand in the SYG hearing?

That was discussed a while ago on another thread. I think the general conclusion was that he can be cross-examined on matters reasonably related his testimony, but he still maintains his 5th Amendment protection on other matters. However, I believe if he testifies, the prosecution can use his silence on other matters against him.

In the bond hearing, the prosecution was limited to cross-examining Zimmerman on his statement, and the defense successfully objected when the prosecution attempted go go beyond that. On Greta's show, an attorney said if Zimmerman had done that at trial, he'd be fair game on all matters. I think, based on some SCOTUS cases, that that's probably incorrect.

Jack is Back!

BTW, Lester is 17 years private practice. UF Law School. Has tried some notorious Florida murder cases. His comment at the bond hearing was probably in reference to thos like Casey Anthony and Ted Bundy among a dozen others.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

I agree, Clarice. I don't see evidence of second degree murder. I mentioned earlier that I thought judge's question and his ruling on bail did all but invite O'Mara to file his motion to dismiss murder 2.

Threadkiller

Honestly, I do not know enough to know if this is bad:

"Yes, this is the Russian stock market."

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/russia-will-not-reopen-situation-has-been-reocginzed-emergency

I would guess it is bad.

Sara

Hah! Google Books Lists “Dreams From My Father” As One of Bill Ayers’ Books

Heh!

Clarice

If I were O'Mara, I'd begin with a motion to dismiss. If that fails, he can proceed to a motion for immunity, but the dismissal motion ought to come first, and that will force Corey to fish or cut bait.

MJW

If I were O'Mara, I'd begin with a motion to dismiss. If that fails, he can proceed to a motion for immunity, but the dismissal motion ought to come first, and that will force Corey to fish or cut bait.

Perhaps his demand for a bill of particulars may be the first step in that direction.

Rick Ballard

"I mentioned earlier that I thought judge's question and his ruling on bail did all but invite O'Mara to file his motion to dismiss murder 2."

That was my take as well. I don't believe that this judge is going to cede his courtroom for a circus. Especially not one with a clown pretending to be a ringmaster.

PaulV

Z's job for the foreseeable future is to study his police interview and know what he said. He has motivation to do so. Assuming he told the truth as he knows it he will be a good witness. I also assume if Corey had anything she would have used it.

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