12 Apr

It’s going to be a tough sell [Reader Post]

                                       

In announcing the charge of second degree murder brought against George Zimmerman, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey said

“We do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition. We prosecute based on the facts on any given case as well as the laws of the state of Florida.”

I am not so certain. It’s an interesting charge and more severe than many expected and it may prove to be a difficult hurdle to clear:

But prosecutors face steep hurdles to win a second-degree murder conviction against neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin, experts say. They will have to prove Zimmerman intentionally went after Martin instead of shooting him in self-defense, refute arguments that a Florida law empowered him to use deadly force and get past a judge’s ruling at a pretrial hearing.

Legal experts said Corey chose a tough route with the murder charge, which could send Zimmerman to prison for life if he’s convicted, over manslaughter, which usually carries 15-year prison terms and covers reckless or negligent killings.

The prosecutors must prove Zimmerman’s shooting of Martin was rooted in hatred or ill will and counter his claims that he shot Martin to protect himself while patrolling his gated community in the Orlando suburb of Sanford. Zimmerman’s lawyers would only have to prove by a preponderance of evidence – a relatively low legal standard – that he acted in self-defense at a pretrial hearing to prevent the case from going to trial.

One defense attorney thinks it might not even get to trial.

There’s a “high likelihood it could be dismissed by the judge even before the jury gets to hear the case,” Florida defense attorney Richard Hornsby said.

The Florida second degree murder statute says

A second-degree-murder charge arises out of the killing of another person where there is no premeditation, according to the Florida State Legislature. It is a felony and carries up to a life sentence. To be charged with second-degree murder, a defendant must have committed or attempted to commit one of a variety of criminal offenses in which a death occurs and demonstrated “a depraved mind regardless of human life.” Those offenses can include kidnapping; aggravated abuse of a child, an elderly person or a disabled adult; and aggravated stalking. First-degree-murder charges are brought when the killing was plotted in advance and can carry a death sentence.

Trayvon Martin’s mother expressed relief at Zimmerman’s arrest:

In Washington, Martin’s family pleaded for calm in response to the decision. But Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, clasped hands and smiled in relief when she heard Corey utter the words “second-degree murder” on television.

“We wanted an arrest and we got it,” Fulton said later. “Thank you Lord, Thank you, Jesus.”

But that’s not going to be the end of it.

“We’re just glad that he’s behind bars, but we’re not satisfied,” said Ms. Dawson, executive director of Hurting Families With Children In Crime, a Jacksonville nonprofit. The turnout was lighter than expected, but that was because Mr. Zimmerman was charged, Ms. Dawson said, adding, “There would’ve been a riot if they wouldn’t have arrested him.”

Aaron Brown, a civil-litigation lawyer who organized a Trayvon Martin rally last month in Jacksonville, said the case is now “justice delivered, but not yet justice served.”

As mentioned, many were surprised by the severity of the charge. It is suggested that the point of the second degree murder charge is leverage:

“Prosecutors look for leverage. They’ll typically overcharge knowing that gives them wiggle room for plea discussions,” said Derek Byrd, incoming president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “She knows that she could offer him manslaughter at some point or get in front of a jury that could split the verdict and agree on a lesser offense.”

We’ll see how it goes, but it cannot be overlooked- George Zimmerman does not have to prove he is innocent. Zimmerman is going to have some interesting witnesses at his disposal:

Two weeks ago, during an exclusive interview with the Sentinel, Lee disclosed certain details of the investigation and during that session, attended by Serino and others, Serino said his investigation turned up no reliable evidence that cast doubt on Zimmerman’s account – that he had acted in self-defense.

“The best evidence we have is the testimony of George Zimmerman, and he says the decedent was the primary aggressor in the whole event,” Serino told the Sentinel March 16. “Everything I have is adding up to what he says.

I believe Corey had to bring charges to keep Sanford from being torched. Nor do I doubt the severity of these charges is politically motivated. Angela Corey, who once brought a first degree murder charge against a 12 year old, is running for re-election. Maybe Corey is seeking leverage, or maybe she chose a bridge too far. We shall see. It is going to be a tough sell.

About DrJohn

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.
This entry was posted in Law Enforcement, Police Authority, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Thursday, April 12th, 2012 at 4:30 pm
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101 Responses to It’s going to be a tough sell [Reader Post]

  1. cali
    hi,
    where where you all this time? we are over the 600 on the other POST.
    thank’s for coming
    bye

    ReplyReply
  2. jimrtex says: 52

    @MataHarley:

    The affidavit of probable cause states:

    Zimmerman spoke to the dispatcher and asked for an officer to respond because Zimmerman perceived that Martin was acting suspicious. The police dispatcher informed Zimmerman that an officer was on the way and to wait for the officer.

    There were no officers on the way at that time, though the dispatcher was preparing to dispatch them and formally open the report. He did not know where Zimmerman was. He did not know whether Zimmerman was in his car.

    His “just let me know if he does anything else” can only be interpreted as a telling Zimmerman to keep observing Martin. The “just” can not be claimed as emphasizing that the only action that Zimmerman should do is observe (eg “just observe” and “don’t protect your life” or “confront Martin “)

    “just let me know if you want the two tickets to the baseball game” does not not mean take no other action, don’t bathe, don’t get dressed, don’t go to work. It is simply letting the person know that they should inform them if they do want the tickets. Zimmerman should let the dispatcher know if he saw anything else.

    Later the affidavit of probable cause says:

    Martin attempted to run home but was followed by Zimmerman who didn’t want [Martin] to get away before the police arrived. Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and followed Martin. When the police dispatcher realized Zimmerman was pursuing Martin, he instructed Zimmerman not to do that and that the responding officer would meet him. Zimmerman disregarded the police dispatcher and continued to follow Martin who was trying to return to his home.

    Note: “[Martin]” in the first sentence removes all the totally unsupported fantasy and conjecture of the affidavit. Zimmerman got out of his vehicle to determine where Martin was headed, so that the police would know where Martin was when they did arrive (and possibly search along Oregon to the east and southeast of the back entrance to the subdivision). The dispatcher logged this important information.

    It is a total misrepresentation that the dispatcher instructed Zimmerman to stop following and wait for the police at anywhere near contemporaneous instances. They were separated by 1-1/2 minutes. And it was Zimmerman’s suggestion that he wait for the officer where he was at, rather than go to some other place such as Zimmerman’s residence or the mailboxes by the clubhouse.

    So either the claim is that Zimmerman was “following” for the final 1-1/2 minutes of the call and another 1-1/2 minutes before the altercation began, or that he stopped while the dispatcher was on the phone, and then renewed the effort after he got rid of the dispatcher. In either case, Martin was not trying very hard to get home.

    The relentless pursuit claim is simply not going to stand up to beyond a reasonable doubt.

    In which case, Zimmerman’s disregard for human life is going to have be established based on events after the surprise encounter near where Zimmerman was at when talking to the dispatcher; unless there are some aspects of Zimmerman’s carrying that were unusual and he admitted to in his initial questioning (eg he put the gun in his holster when Martin was approaching to check him out). But even that could be interpreted as self protection.

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  3. MataHarley says: 53

    jimrtex, don’t you think it might be prudent to wait and see what evidence the prosecutors have compiled and will present, instead of pretending you know everything and need to tell them what’s going on?

    An Affidavit of Probable Cause is not a mini, nor detailed/sequential, presentation of all their evidence. It’s merely a summary outline of their conclusions that a crime has been committed, based on the evidence they have. I suggest they have far more than you and I. They keep that evidence close to the vest until after arraignment and the trial commences. At that time, the defense will file for discovery, and be able to plan their own defense strategy.

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  4. Ivan says: 54

    @MataHarley:

    Obviously the dispatcher would want to know if Martin was drawing a weapon.

    Really? Your interpretation is correct, but DJ’s is not? Are you now a mind-reader in your part-time job of sticking up for drug-dealers?

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  5. MATA
    hi,
    what you Describe, was it before or after TRAYVON TALK ON HIS CELL PHONE TO A HER AND SHE TOLD HIM TO RUN, AND HE SAID NO?

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  6. jimrtex says: 56

    @retire05:

    Let’s be clear with exactly what the dispatcher told Zimmerman. The dispatcher, after asking Zimmerman if he was following the suspect, and Zimmerman replying in the affirmative, did not say “Don’t do that.” which would have been a direct order. The dispatcher DID say “We don’t need you to do that.” advising Zimmerman that there was not a requirement for him to follow Martin since the PD had been dispatched.

    I’m not disagreeing with your interpretation here, but I think you may be missing where the prosecution is going with this. The prosecution is not going to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman had disregard for human life based on what happened after Zimmerman met Martin and they started arguing. There aren’t a lot of reliable witnesses who saw enough.

    The man who was interviewed by the local TV station did make a 911 call consistent with what he said in the interview. Conceivably he have been prompted into making a more definitive explanation by questioning by the police.

    There is the women who was extremely traumatized (the 911 dispatcher talked to her for 15 minutes), and who had heard the argument and the screaming, but apparently did not look outside. Maybe she remembered more when the police interviewed her.

    There was the woman who at the very end of her call that it was they guy in the white tee shirt who was on top. But how close was she?

    There were the two women, one who was on the phone, while screaming at someone else to call Shirley, and trying to get the other woman to relay what she saw, which was the black guy was standing up after the shooting. The police have said that they refused to give any statement, other than a 1/2 page written cursory statement, before they later went to the press.

    There was the 14 YO who may have seen some of the fight, but whose dog got loose and was being chased when he heard the shot. On the 911 call he said he didn’t see anything, but that might mean he didn’t see the shooting. His mother later said that when the police did finally interview her son, that the police hinted that racial profiling was going on here. But you’re not going to get a conviction of Zimmerman based on an inference by a non-witness that the police officer thought that racial profiling was going on.

    So they are going to have to spin a narrative that Zimmerman ignored advice from the dispatcher because of his disregard for human life:

    1st degree murder = premeditated.
    2nd degree murder = disregard for human life
    manslaughter = reckless, negligent, or careless.

    They’ll probably also present Zimmerman’s CHL and Neighborhood Watch training as evidence that he should have taken more care in chasing after Martin.

    But they aren’t actually charging Zimmerman with disobeying a lawful police order.

    The investigators for the prosecutor did meet with the girl in Miami (last week). It is unknown whether she could really give a convincing narrative for the full period of the call. And there is still the problem that she talked to Martin for 6 hours that day. She had been on the phone when he told her a strange man was following him; that he was going to try to reach home; and that she heard the first of the confrontation, including what she later interpreted to be a shove that caused the call to disconnect; she was unable to call back; and must have heard sooner or later that Martin was dead, and been shot as he returned from a 7/11, and not bothered to contact anyone.

    According to Martin’s lawyers there were two calls at the end (and these were on Martin’s phone records as being received from her number). The first ended at 7:07 when Martin was seeking shelter from the rain. So if there was a hard rain, it had let up sometime after that. Now if Martin was trying to find a place of shelter under behind the houses, this would certainly be suspicious.

    I was caught out in a hail storm one time, and took shelter on a stranger’s porch. I also made sure that they knew I was there.

    I took Brandy Green’s comments that appeared on the local TV coverage the night after the shooting as merely indicating that her house was very close, and that Trayvon Martin had been sitting out on her porch when she and Tracy Martin left for dinner. I couldn’t make sense of it any other way – unless we are going to have the surprise version that Zimmerman chased Martin all the way to her house, where he was sitting on the porch. And that Zimmerman then walked back 500 feet to the north and somehow the altercation began then. That is pretty far-fetched (and how would Brandy Green know that?)

    If you watch the very beginning of the video, she and Tracy Martin are in the distance around where she lives walking toward the camera.

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  7. jimrtex says: 57

    @MataHarley:

    jimrtex, don’t you think it might be prudent to wait and see what evidence the prosecutors have compiled and will present, instead of pretending you know everything and need to tell them what’s going on?

    So you think that there is some other evidence outside Zimmerman’s call to police where they told him to wait?

    Should I include a link so as to imply that you hadn’t actually listened to the recording?

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  8. drjohn says: 58

    Many people have real doubts about the merits of this case:

    Here and here and here.

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  9. drjohn says: 59

    @jimrtex: Martin had time to get to his desination- lots of time. I stand by my interpretation of Martin’s path and Tom Maguire’s as well.

    And it remains non-sensical that Zimmerman would hold a gun on Martin as Martin screamed for 41 or more seconds before shooting him. That’s ridiculous.

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  10. drjohn says: 60

    From Wagist:

    Until now, it has been somewhat of a mystery why Martin never made it back to Brandy Green’s townhouse when he was so close, and how he and Zimmerman ended up at position [F], so close to Zimmerman’s truck.

    Had Martin jogged straight to Brandy Green’s when George Zimmerman first reported him running at 7:11:42, he would have been there by 7:12:12. Considerably before Zimmerman could even finish giving police directions to the complex.

    Bingo.

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  11. drjohn says: 61

    And here is the Wagist guess at Martin’s path.

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  12. Aye says: 62

    @drjohn:

    Why would you put any confidence at all into an analysis (map or otherwise) that has failed to be accurate about a most basic fundamental thing such as the location of the body?

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  13. drjohn says: 63

    @Aye: It’s nice to have choices.

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  14. Aye says: 64

    @drjohn:

    It’s nice to have choices.

    So you know the information you’re feeding the readers is not good, yet you want them to eat it anyway?

    What you’re peddling is the blogging equivalent of tainted meat.

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  15. drjohn says: 65

    @Aye:

    What you’re peddling is the blogging equivalent of tainted meat.

    I don’t agree, but you’re entitled to say that.

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  16. and I must remind all , that the word ” PUNK ” doesn’t mean any color person.
    it does mean a person out to criminal actions,
    and there was many PUNKS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD COMMITING CRIMES AROUND THE SAME TIMES,
    AND WAS TRAYVON CHECKING TO GIVE INFOS TO OTHER MAYBE NOT FOR HIMSELF,
    BUT GIVING INFO FOR CRIME PURPOSE IS BEING IN THE SAME CIRCLE, DID HE KNEW ONE OR MORE OF THE BREAK IN THIEVES? THAT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO LEARN, AND WOULD CONFIRM ZIMMERMAN SUSPICION WATCHING A PERSON CHECKING THE HOME. AS WE KNOW THAT THE THIEVES DO THAT BEFORE BREAK IN.

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  17. MataHarley says: 67

    drj: Had Martin jogged straight to Brandy Green’s when George Zimmerman first reported him running at 7:11:42, he would have been there by 7:12:12. Considerably before Zimmerman could even finish giving police directions to the complex.

    Let’s put aside your blame on Martin, not retreating for a moment. I’ll get to that below.

    First you say that Zimmerman stopped chasing/following Martin when the dispatcher asked him to. Now you say (via agreeing with waglist/McGuire) that he “jogged” 255′ (plus perhaps), at a pace of over eight feet per second, the entire time during the call – ergo not ceasing when asked. Physics suggests he can’t do both. Like Aye says, pick a horse and ride it.

    Then we have others who insist that the movement slowed after he supposedly says “okay” and agrees not to follow … in which case he would never have made it that distance in that time. Either way, neither account places him over 250′ from his truck in that short time, and still jives with your meme that he was complying with the dispatchers advice.

    The problem with waglist and McGuire is that they fail to utilize simple distance measure tools, average movement speeds at different paces, and see what is physically feasible within the given time. Not to mention that if Marinade Dave’s on site reporting places the truck where he asserts, the location for the truck is just as incorrect as the location for the body on the maps you use.

    But then, even were your and waglist’s/McGuire’s fable correct, it’s still two minutes from hanging up until the altercation. So he makes it to the end of the sidewalk in 30 some odd seconds, but takes two minutes to travel 100′ back to the west to the site of the death? How does that work if he is, supposedly, following the dispatchers instructions not to follow and making his way steadily back to his vehicle or the mailboxes to meet the LEO?

    Oh wait.. he isn’t. Because he changed his mind at the end of the phone call, rejecting the dispatcher’s suggestions that he meet the LEO at either place, and just told them to call him so he could tell them where he was when they arrived. A man complying with the dispatchers warnings not to follow would be able to say where he was going to be, and then go there.

    And BTW… something you still ignore. Both your and McGuire’s (and waglist) have Martin going right past Zimmerman, and him not rolling down the window with a simple question to ask why he was in the neighborhood from the safety of his car. If Zimmerman let that opportunity go by, I doubt it will play in his favor since he had the opportunity to satisfy his suspicions, and while on the phone with the PD.

    The onus is not upon Martin to return to Green’s house before getting killed. If an individual is fearful of a stranger, following him, and doesn’t want him to know where he lives, he would be foolish to lead him to his door. And, in fact, the SYG law applies to Martin’s position since he is the one that perceives he is in imminent danger from a stranger tracking him. Martin, in fact, has no duty to retreat but can stand his ground. Or do you think only Zimmerman possesses SYG rights?

    At this point, it’s up to the prosecutor to present what evidence they have collected, their reconstruction of the evening’s events, and see if it flies thru the jury if it goes to trial. If it doesn’t, then Zimmerman walks free and you can send him a donation.

    Zimmerman and his attorney have the chance to attempt his SYG rights via the immunity hearing. If he’s granted immunity, you can still send him a donation. If the judge doesn’t, he goes to trial. That’s our system, and how cases involving a death with similar circumstances are handled every day.

    As far as the others that say they have “real doubts”, Dershowitz said a judge would never let the affidavit thru. That turned out to be incorrect, since it was sufficient in the judges eyes to proceed. If you are so sure the prosecution can’t prove their change, what the heck are you worried about? Your strenuous objection for the wheels of justice to turn for the victim in this case – a dead teen, not Zimmerman – is disturbing.

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  18. MATA
    IT SEEMS THAT BOTH OF THEM PERCEIVE IMMINENT DANGER,
    AND TRAYVON if he did SO, DECIDED TO DEFEND WHAT HE PERCEIVE,
    BY ATTACKING HIS PERCEIVE ENEMY,
    ZIMMERMAN PERCEIVE TO BE IN IMMINENT DANGER, WHEN THE BASHING WOULD NOT STOP ALONG WITH THE THREAT OF BEING KILLED AS TRAYVON SAID TO HIM AT ONE POINT IN TIME,
    AND HE HAD THE GUN TO SAVE HIS LIFE,
    TRAYVON HAD MANY CHANCES TO STOP THE BASHING HEAD, BUT PROBABLY CONTINUE BECAUSE HE WANTED THE GUN, HE PERCEIVE TO BE IN A STRENGHT POSITION TO GET IT

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  19. MataHarley says: 69

    Bees you have no evidence or facts that Martin got the gun. And if Martin did attack Zimmerman, which we also do not know for a fact (only Zimmerman’s account), he is still within his SYG rights, and is not using unnecessary force – ergo he wasn’t the one who brought a gun to a fist fight.

    You also do not know that Martin had “many chances to stop bashing” Zimmerman. Remember than the fight/altercation appears to have happened in a minute or less. Obviously Zimmerman was not so subdued that he couldn’t use his gun to kill Martin. And there is no dispute that Zimmerman shot the teen.

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  20. Aye says: 70

    @MataHarley:

    The most striking thing about Dr J’s pogo logic is that when you point out to him that his points are inarguably incorrect on the most basic of issues, he say’s “it’s nice to have choices.”

    I keep wondering how he can knowingly serve up the blogging equivalent of tainted meat on one hand then, on the other hand, rail against NBC (and the rest of the media) for doing the exact same thing.

    The hypocrisy is absolutely deafening.

    Of course, a huge difference that cannot be ignored here is that when NBC, NYT, et al get caught out, at least they retract. Dr J, however, stubbornly marches forward without pause or correction.

    Reckless. Irresponsible. And stunningly arrogant.

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  21. drjohn says: 71

    @MataHarley:

    First you say that Zimmerman stopped chasing/following Martin when the dispatcher asked him to. Now you say (via agreeing with waglist/McGuire) that he “jogged” 255′ (plus perhaps), at a pace of over eight feet per second, the entire time during the call – ergo not ceasing when asked. Physics suggests he can’t do both. Like Aye says, pick a horse and ride it.

    Ahem. Nowhere does Linehan state that Zimmerman jogged at all. And neither did I.

    Had Martin jogged straight to Brandy Green’s when George Zimmerman first reported him running at 7:11:42, he would have been there by 7:12:12. Considerably before Zimmerman could even finish giving police directions to the complex.

    Martin and “he” are one and the same.

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  22. MATA
    WHAT ABOUT ALL THAT WE HAVE COLLECTED OF KNOWLEDGE SINCE THIS BLOG BEGAN.
    IT DOESN’T COUNT ANYMORE?
    DID WE DO ALL THIS ENQUIRY FOR NOTHING TO BE BELIEVE?
    I am pacing my words from those, and suddenly it doesn’t count,
    is in it what the black inciters want us to believe?
    bye

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  23. drjohn says: 73

    @MataHarley:

    The onus is not upon Martin to return to Green’s house before getting killed. If an individual is fearful of a stranger, following him, and doesn’t want him to know where he lives, he would be foolish to lead him to his door. And, in fact, the SYG law applies to Martin’s position since he is the one that perceives he is in imminent danger from a stranger tracking him. Martin, in fact, has no duty to retreat but can stand his ground. Or do you think only Zimmerman possesses SYG rights?

    Wow, is that ever tortured logic. Had I lost the guy as Martin did, Green’s place is where I would go. Zimmerman did not know where Martin was going and Martin had lots of time to make it. He also had lots of time to call 911 if he felt threatened. Therefore, he did not feel threatened.

    He never mentioned a gun to his girlfriend because none was drawn.

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  24. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says: 74

    Some of the people posting her have vivid imaginations. Clearly Zimmerman stated he had lost track of Martin when the dispatcher stated they did not need him to do that. The dispatcher asked for Zimmerman’s address, which Zimmerman gave him then stated he did not want to say it out loud as he had lost sight of Martin. Zimmerman was on his way back to his vehicle when Martin came up behind him, asked him if he had a problem then proceeded to assault him. Try paying attention.

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  25. MataHarley says: 75

    Sorry drj. The “tortured logic” is a crown only you wear.

    If Zimmerman were at the tee, or close to it when he stopped moving on the phone call, he could see where I ran to the house.

    Not knowing where Martin was when he started his “run/fast walk”, per the girlfriend’s account to the media, it’s hard to tell. But the distance from where the sidewalk starts at the bend in the road to the “tee”, and south to Green’s house is 493 feet. A major leager averages a run of about 7′ per second, so it would take Martin 1’10″ seconds approx to run that distance. Not a good idea if Zimmerman has a view down that path, and Martin doesn’t want him to know where he lives.

    If you’d lead someone following you to your house, I can’t help that you are a fool beyond words.

    Speaking of tortured logic, I find it ironic you have this notion that if you follow me when I’m doing nothing wrong, and I feel threatened, that when you kill me, it’s my fault because I chose not to run to my house and reveal to you where I live. If I hide out so you can’t see where I live, and you don’t go away and retreat, I’m not going to feel any less threatened by your actions.

    He never mentioned a gun to his girlfriend because none was drawn

    I’m sorry. I didn’t realize, in your ominpotence, that you had a transcript of the four minute phone call details and conversation between Martin and his gal pal. So have you been called to be a witness?

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  26. drjohn says: 76

    @MataHarley:

    I’m sorry. I didn’t realize, in your ominpotence, that you had a transcript of the four minute phone call details and conversation between Martin and his gal pal. So have you been called to be a witness?

    If Martin had uttered something about a gun Martin’s girlfriend would have told Crump and Crump would been screaming “gun” for the last month plus. It strains credulity to think otherwise.

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  27. drjohn says: 77

    @MataHarley:

    Speaking of tortured logic, I find it ironic you have this notion that if you follow me when I’m doing nothing wrong, and I feel threatened, that when you kill me, it’s my fault because I chose not to run to my house and reveal to you where I live. If I hide out so you can’t see where I live, and you don’t go away and retreat, I’m not going to feel any less threatened by your actions.

    So now you agree with me that Martin was hiding from Zimmerman, only to emerge and confront Zimmerman. OK.

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  28. drjohn says: 78

    @MataHarley:

    Not knowing where Martin was when he started his “run/fast walk”, per the girlfriend’s account to the media, it’s hard to tell. But the distance from where the sidewalk starts at the bend in the road to the “tee”, and south to Green’s house is 493 feet. A major leager averages a run of about 7′ per second, so it would take Martin 1’10″ seconds approx to run that distance. Not a good idea if Zimmerman has a view down that path, and Martin doesn’t want him to know where he lives.

    Martin lost sight of Zimmerman! Martin could easily have made it to the house and gotten in before Zimmerman was even off the phone with SPD!

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  29. drjohn says: 79

    Trayvon Martin: The Media Myths

    As a bit of cocktail party prep I wanted to get suggestions identifying the most pervasive and misleading media myths swirling about the Trayvon Martin shooting and the current George Zimmerman case.

    So, to start. The NY Times and others have inveighed against Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. SYG does eliminate a ‘duty to retreat’ but that is not in play here because Zimmerman was reportedly on his back getting pummelled.

    The only consequence of SYG is that it entitles Zimmerman to a pre-trial hearing evaluating his self-defense claim; the case could be ended right there. If not, Zimmerman can raise the same claims in a full trial.

    A second myth is that Zimmerman ignored the instruction of the 911 dispatcher not to follow Martin. That may be true, but it can’t be proved from the 911 tape. The Times got this right even though their editors did not.

    As a third myth, the general notion seems to be that Martin was innocently headed for home. That was presumably true when he first caught Zimmerman’s eye, but he had plenty of time to get home, a clear path ahead of him, and Zimmerman behind him. It is highly probable that Martin doubled back. Why?

    Indeed.

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  30. MataHarley says: 80

    Nope. I don’t know what paths and movements Martin took that night. Just using your omnipresent, filled with holes, story, drj. Unlike you, I admit I have no idea where Martin went, but recognize there are many options and possibilities. It’s you who’s fixated on “tortured logic”. Perhaps we should just take up a collection to buy you a backhoe to replace that shovel you’ve been using for your Zimmerman is innocent mini series.

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  31. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says: 81

    I have no idea where some of you are getting your information, however, the job of the prosecution is to prove beyond a resonable doubt Zimmerman committed 2nd degree murder. Considering the wounds on Zimmermans head and nose, verified by the medics present. The only other witness is unable to testify due ot being dead. I believe you can speculate all day, but Zimmerman IS innocent. Martin, by his approaching Zimmerman when he could have gone on home, and his assault on Zimmerman (of which there is evidence) makes this a clear case of self defense. If Alan D. thinks this is a weak case, it is a weak case. Probably not even reaching trial.

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  32. drjohn says: 82

    @MataHarley: You and Aye cannot simply disagree. You both feel the need to deride and insult and condescend. That’s says more about you two than it does about the rest of us, so help yourselves. Nastiness doesn’t make you right. It just makes you nasty.

    This despite the fact that you have no proof that anyone else’s version is wrong, but anyone not sharing your opinion is a tool. My miniseries has been pretty popular, hasn’t it? LOL

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  33. retire05 says: 83

    @drjohn: In spite of all the suppositions that are whirling around this case, none of us really know what happened in theose fateful last two minutes except what we have gleened from news reports, et al.

    But what we can say with certainty is that the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman only questionably meets the criterion for 2nd degree murder. And we also know that George Zimmerman was a man who, after listening to the 911 audios a number of times, wanted to be sure that the police were, in fact, on their way and that they [the PD] would be able to locate him, as well as locate Trayvon Martin.

    Did Zimmerman continue to try to follow Martin after he was told that the Sanford PD did not need him to do that? What I hear on the tape, and considering Zimmerman’s labored breathing relaxed, I am of the opinion he did not as he was busy trying to make arrangements with dispatch for his meeting with the en route officers.

    Some have tried to lay the blame on Zimmerman for following (one could say “monitoring”, others have called it “stalking” although what Zimmerman did that night does not meet the legal criteria for “stalking” in the state of Florida) Martin, so I will let Andy McCarthy address that as I feel that McCarthy is a bit more well versed in the law than those who are trying to deny this was anything but a self-defense case. In reponse to another article on NRO by David French, McCarthy states:

    “1. David makes much of the fact that Zimmerman may have continued to follow Martin despite a dispatcher’s admonition to the contrary. But a citizen engaged in innocent behavior (including investigating a potential crime) is not required to heed a dispatcher’s advise. If Martin (I think McC means Zimmerman) had disregarded the direction of a police officer on the scene, that might be different.

    4. …………………the prosecutor cagily says, “Zimmerman confronted Martin (note the active voice is used when nothing criminal is claimed — “confronting” someone is not a crime) and a struggle ensued? [as if the struggle, presumably meaning the physical encounter, happened spontaneously --no one is identified as initiating it]. If I ask, “What are you doing?” and you respond by punching me in the nose, and this leads us to grapple, my having confronted you does not alter the fact that you are responsible for the ensuing struggle.”

    What Zimmerman did (monitor Martin) might be considered by some as illegal and threatening, but there is no Florida statute that deals with simple “following.” Forensics will show the proximity of the gun when Martin was shot. Point black range with a trajectory of a weapon fired from near Zimmermans waist to Martin’s chest on a upward trajectory will give credence to what Zimmerman has stated. If forensics show that the weapon was fired some distance from Martin, traveling at a level, or almost level route, then Zimmerman was no longer on the ground when Martin was shot.

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  34. retire05
    yes,AS I SEE IT ALSO, and many other,
    you explained it well
    thank you
    bye
    you know the black inciters said if there is no conviction, we will riot,
    I want to see conviction on the 6 who attack the 80 YEAR OLD VETERAN FROM NAM,
    AND SOON

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  35. DrJohn says: 85

    @retire05: I agree that the forensics is critical. If it turns out that there is no evidence of close contact GSR and it appears that Martin was shot straight on and not upward, Zimmerman’s case is in trouble. Otherwise, this will be a tough sell.

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  36. DrJohn says: 86

    But the second-degree-murder charge announced by Special Prosecutor Angela Corey on Wednesday was a surprise for some legal experts. It’s a first-degree felony, carrying a penalty of up to life in prison.

    Michael Grieco, a defense attorney and former felony division chief for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, said he was “very surprised.” Based on the information made publicly available and the probable-cause affidavit released Thursday, “It’s a stretch charge,” Grieco said.

    The difference between manslaughter and second-degree murder, Grieco said, comes down to one word: intent. In a manslaughter case, “for all intents and purposes, it’s an accident.”

    As applied to this case, “second-degree murder means that [Zimmerman] pulled [his gun] out and he meant to kill that kid,” the former prosecutor said — and that is something he said could be difficult to prove at trial.

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-04-14/news/os-george-zimmerman-2nd-degree-murder-20120414_1_manslaughter-charge-craig-sandhaus-second-degree-murder#

    ReplyReply
  37. DrJohn
    hi,
    I say, ZIMMERMAN DID NOT HAVE THE INTENT TO KILL AT ANY TIME, HE COULD HAVE DONE IT BEFORE,
    BUT WHILE HE WAS BEING BASH AGAINST THE CONCRETE MANY TIMES,
    HE HAD A BROKEN NOSE MAKING IT HARD TO BREED, HE HAD THAT WEIGHT 140 POUNDS LOCKING HIM DOWN, HE JUST HAD THE INTENT TO STOP THE BASHING PAIN FROM KILLING HIM.
    IT WAS THE ONLY OPTION LEFT
    BYE

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  38. retire05 says: 88

    @DrJohn:

    If forensics/ballistics show that the bullet traveled in a path that is consistant with having been near to Zimmermans waist (where the gun was located), upward to Martin’s chest (accounting for the height differences in the two men) and the powder residue shows it was at extrememly close range, that will support Zimmerman’s story. If not, he’s go problems.

    But I also read that the 7-11 nearest the gated community has video of an “African-American male” making a candy and tea purchase between 6:00/6:30 p.m. that night. Using the latest time (6:30) and the distance between the 7-11 and the gate of the community, 8/10th of a mile, adding another 1,000 feet from the entrance to Brandy Green’s town home, Martin would have had plenty of time to travel that distance by walking, not running, as the average ground covered is 2.5 miles per hours. Yet Martin was at the club house when Zimmerman first saw him and called dispatch at 7:09 pm, 39 minutes after the purchase.

    Using the average of 2.5 mph walking time of a normal adult, and the distance of 5,224 feet from 7-11 to Brandy Green’s townhouse, Martin, had he been going straight back to the townhouse could have arrived there in 23 minutes or at 6:53 p.m. (using latest video time of 6:30 p.m and adding 23 minutes travel time), 14 minutes prior to the time Zimmerman made his first call seeing Martin near the Club House, approx. 800 feet from Green’s residence.

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  39. jimrtex says: 89

    @DrJohn:

    That’s why the affidavit of probable cause is larded up with all kind of suppositions about Zimmerman’s state of mind. “Zimmerman … observed Martin and assumed Martin was a criminal”. That’s going to be a tough sell. Unless Zimmerman’s statement to police says something like that, it is going to have to be based on the factual statement that there have been burglaries in the neighborhood, quite possibly meetings with police that instructed people what to look for, how to make sure their doors and windows are secure, etc., and Zimmerman’s observation that Martin appeared to be doing the things that the police might have told him to look out for. I don’t think Al Sharpton is going to be called as an expert witness as to Zimmerman’s state of mind.

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  40. Nan G says: 90

    A couple of new things have come out at this bond hearing today:
    There was ONLY the one gunshot even though a witness at the perimeter thought he/she heard two shots (echo?).
    There was gunshot burns on Martin’s sweatshirt as well as stipling on him for the close proximity of the two when the gun was fired.
    (NOT from this bond hearing was George Zimmerman’s statement that Martin’s last words were about the gun and who was going to get it. Something like, “OK, You got it.” Im[plied in this was that a struggle had ensued after Martin had seen that gun.)

    ReplyReply
  41. jimrtex says: 91

    @Nan G:

    There was ONLY the one gunshot even though a witness at the perimeter thought he/she heard two shots (echo?).

    On one of the 911 calls there was a loud noise, perhaps 15 seconds before the shot. If you were told there was a gunshot on the recording, you might think that was it, until you heard the actual shot.

    I’ve heard that it was a door closing. A sliding glass door when closed quickly can make a lot of noise.

    ReplyReply
  42. Nan G says: 92

    Another bit of breaking news:
    ABC News has obtained the photograph of the back of George Zimmerman’s head taken just three minutes after the shooting.
    It was taken on an i-phone and shows blood trickling off of two wounds.
    Here is the link:
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/george-zimmerman-case-exclusive-photo-shows-bloodied-back/story?id=16177849#.T5F9pNUmzTp

    ReplyReply
  43. drjohn says: 93

    If there is GPR on the hoodie, this case is over.

    ReplyReply
  44. drjohn says: 94

    Well, maybe the prosecution got the wrong instructional video.

    It’s hard to pick the lowest of the low, but the darker moments for the prosecution included:

    - The admission by co-lead investigator that he had not personally interviewed George Zimmerman;

    - the admission that he had not requested Zimmerman’s medical records from the hospital;

    – the admission that the state has no evidence to contradict Zimmerman’s claim that, following the advice of the police dispatcher, he headed back to his car;

    – the admission that the state has no evidence to contradict Zimmerman’s claim that Martin assaulted first.

    – the admission that the investigtors have not been “given any insight” by the voice experts at the Orlando Sentinel and the FBI who attempted to identify the screams on the 911 tape (My ‘told you so’ moment).

    http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/

    It’s going to be a tough sell.

    ReplyReply
  45. Ivan says: 95

    @drjohn:

    You and Aye cannot simply disagree. You both feel the need to deride and insult and condescend. That’s says more about you two than it does about the rest of us, so help yourselves. Nastiness doesn’t make you right. It just makes you nasty.

    This despite the fact that you have no proof that anyone else’s version is wrong, but anyone not sharing your opinion is a tool. My miniseries has been pretty popular, hasn’t it? LOL

    Good to see someone other than myself call Aye and Mata, aka “the Oregon witch” on their bovine fecal matter.

    Both Aye and Mata are vituperative in the extreme. I gave up a long time ago attempting to be civil to them as doing so only seems to fan their flames of hatred even brighter.

    Keep up the good work, DrJohn, don’t stoop to their guttural level.

    ReplyReply
  46. Richard Wheeler says: 96

    Dr. J’s unwavering support of Zimmerman is eerily similar to his devotion to the mistreated Col. Gaddafi.

    ReplyReply
  47. Richard Wheeler
    I would think that giving you a vacation would have improve your mind,
    but you are hopeless, unrepaireble

    ReplyReply
  48. Nan G says: 98

    George Zimmerman’s lawyer went public today to apologize about George taking the stand and apologizing to the Martin family.
    Apparently his apology offended them.
    So his lawyer apologized for it offending them.
    Now, had George Zimmerman NOT apologized, wouldn’t they also be offended?
    They were before the apology, so, I think the answer is ”yes.”

    ReplyReply
  49. Nan G says: 99

    Oh, my!
    A whole passel of documents have just been made public!
    Here is the link to all of these:

    04-23-12
    Appointment of Special Prosecutor

    04-23-12
    Arraignment Notice

    04-23-12
    Capias Returned

    04-23-12
    Exhibit List Redacted

    04-23-12
    First Appearance Minutes

    04-23-12
    Florida Press Assn. Motion to Intervene

    04-23-12
    Hearst Corp. Motion to Intervene

    04-23-12
    Pre-Trial Intake Sheet

    04-23-12
    Motion to Allow Telephonic Testimony

    04-23-12
    Notice to Set Bond Hearing

    04-23-12
    Motion to Set Bond

    04-23-12
    Minutes of Bond Hearing

    04-23-12
    McClatchy Co. Motion to Intervene

    04-23-12
    Minutes From Disclosures

    04-23-12
    Motion to Disqualify Trial Judge

    04-23-12
    Order Granting Motion to Disqualify

    04-23-12
    Order of Reassignment

    04-23-12
    Notice of Appearance

    04-23-12
    Order on Status Conference

    04-23-12
    Probable Cause Affidavit

    04-23-12
    Motion to Appear In Civilian Clothing

    04-23-12
    State Response to Define Motion to Appear In Civilian Clothing

    04-23-12
    WFTV, Inc. Motion to Intervene

    ReplyReply
  50. Nan G.
    THAT IS INTERESTING TO GO THROUGH
    THANK YOU, FOR THE INFO.
    THANK’S FOR THE 100.

    ReplyReply

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