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Zimmerman Trial LIVE VIDEO – Day 3 – State’s Witnesses

Zimmerman Trial LIVE VIDEO – Day 3 – State’s Witnesses

Today we will again be covering the Zimmerman Trial live, all day, with streaming video. Continuing commentary will be posted in the Twitter feed of selected contributors below the first video feed, and breaking news will be added at the bottom of this post.

We’re also trying something a little different today. Typically we post a detailed end-of-day wrap up each evening, but often the detail built into that post means it doesn’t go live until after 8PM. Today we’re going to try to do a brief mid-day update at the lunch recess, and another brief update when the Court recesses for the day. We’ll then follow up with the usual detailed end-of-day wrap up, including video and embedded Tweets, at the usual time in the evening.

This morning Court is expected to start at 9:00AM and continued questioning of the State’s witnesses.

Click here to see our wrap-up and analysis of yesterday’s very, very bad day for the State:  Zimmerman Trial Day 2 – Analysis of State’s Witnesses

For all of our prior coverage on issues specific to the Law of Self Defense as covered at my own blog, click here: Law of Self Defense Blog: Zimmerman Trial

Live Stream Video


[For live-stream video without commentary, see NBC live feed at bottom of this post.]

Twitter Feed:

(My tweets can be identified as coming from @lawselfdefense.)

Live Stream Video Alternative


Wednesday, June 26 Commentary

. . .

Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense,” now available in its just released 2nd Edition, which shows you how to successfully fight the 20-to-life legal battle everyone faces after defending themselves. UPDATE: July 5, 2013 is the LAST DAY to take advantage of the 30% pre-order discount, only $35, plus free shipping. To do so simply visit the Law of Self Defense blog.

BREAKING: “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition” is now also being carried by, at list price but with a commitment for 2-day delivery.  A Kindle version to come within a week or so (I hope).

Many thanks to Professor Jacobson for the invitation to guest-blog on the Zimmerman trial here on Legal Insurrection!

You can follow Andrew on Twitter on @LawSelfDefense (or @LawSelfDefense2 if I’m in Twitmo, follow both!)on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.


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Just a heads-up, Andrew, that that link you’ve been tweeting this morning doesn’t work for me. I end up on a 404 – Page Not Found page at your personal blog.

#Zimmerman Trial: Rumored: Jerry Counelis now declares himself "huge fan" of Zimmerman, "I was so wrong"— Andrew Branca, LOSD (@LawSelfDefense) June 26, 2013

#Zimmerman Trial: Rumored: State to ask Judge to instruct its witnesses to testify "the right way."— Andrew Branca, LOSD (@LawSelfDefense) June 26, 2013

Is it a bad link, or just me?

    LXIXTIME in reply to AmyFL. | June 26, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Watching this trial closely has really scared the hell out of me. I’ve seen numerous witnesses clearly lie under oath (proven by basic simple logic and the hard evidence). The American Court System though I know it is one of if not the best in the world but it is seriously flawed by such behavior.

doesn’t work for me either

if wordpress did you actually publish it?
its not on your homepage either Andrew, is the State’s “star witness” going to testify today?

    Oh my goodness. Thanks for that link – I hadn’t seen that!

    Uncle Samuel in reply to EBL. | June 26, 2013 at 11:24 am

    The only question about this witness is whether she will manage to show up sober. Like most of her peers, she has put her whole life and all her social, bodily and mental processes on public display.

Mr. Branca, you need to have a collection of your “rumor” tweets. These are comedy gold.

Mister Natural | June 26, 2013 at 9:52 am

witness 18 is a nut. no family, no friends to call, just completely out of emotional control.

    I half expected her to go full Blanche DuBois on that poor 911 operator and close out the conversation with a whispered, “Thank you, kind sir… I’ve always depended so on the kindness of strangers”.

    …at which point she’s led away to a mental hospital — by a very kind man in a white coat.

West is wearing a yellow tie. In a murder case. WTF

Mister Natural | June 26, 2013 at 10:18 am

how many shots did zimm fire
i thought it was one lucky shot
witness 18 said she heard “pop pop pop”
how many shots did the cops say were fired?

    rokiloki in reply to Mister Natural. | June 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    He fired one.

    Police found only one shell casing and the clip in Zimmerman’s gun was full (the extra round in chamber is what he fired at Martin)

On the Last Refuge website a commentator points out, accurately, that the Women’s Marathon was not an Olympic event in the boycotted 1980 Olympics. The witness claimed to have qualified for the event. Will the defense pick up on this way to attack her credibility?

LilMissSpellcheck | June 26, 2013 at 10:33 am

Tweets mocking the witness’s demeanor are beneath the dignity of an officer of the court. Funny. Probably true. Even possibly deserved. But they make the tweeter look like a goofball.

Andrew: Excellent commentary and write up. Under what conditions and when could the Judge give a directed verdict?

[…] The best source for commentary has been Legal Insurrection where Andrew Branca, a lawyer and self de… […]

In my humble opinion, the defense is making a serious error in permitting the prosecution to lead its witnesses all over the place. When the witness is asked to identify particular places on maps and photos , the pointer should be in the witness’ hand, not the prosecutor’s.

My apologies, but does this link work: Only one reply needed (we did have some IT issues last night, had to transition hosting companies).

Apparently not one of the state’s star witnesses from the neighborhood has control of their online presence. I’ve found them all. Jeantel, the 19 year ole, has been busy deleting tweets this morning, but she has her Facebook and twitter accounts linked, and they are not disappearing from her 100% public FB page. Here’s the direct link to her “Court nails”:

Mark Buehner | June 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

Lemme get this straight- the prosecution is trying to make the case that a short, overweight middle aged man summoned the police, hung up with 911, then proceeded to chase down a tall athletic 17 year old that had a lead on him, got on top of him and beat him up while leaving no marks on him, took out his gun and shot him in the chest in the middle of the neighborhood, got up, flipped the body over, bashed the back of his head into the pavement and smashed his nose, then calmly sat down and waited for the police that he had called? Thats it right?

    Observer in reply to Mark Buehner. | June 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    It’s striking how well the media campaign to paint Trayvon Martin as an innocent little kid worked — even with the witnesses who saw or heard some of the fight.

      Mark Buehner in reply to Observer. | June 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      This trial is just bizarre- there is _no way_ the prosecution can present a closing argument with their version of what happened. Its too ridiculous. They are going to have to spin out a vague cloud of possibilities and emotion… ie exactly what a defense team would do. Meanwhile the defense is going to try to piece together a timeline of what they say happened and draw on specifics to make a reasonable picture. Its all upside down.

    rokiloki in reply to Mark Buehner. | June 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    don’t forget the self-inflicted lumps to the sides of the head as well. 😉

Mister Natural | June 26, 2013 at 11:45 am

IMHO the State of Arizona is more dextrous in it’s procedures and presentation

The AP (and all the MSM outlets that get their news straight from them) are running with

“Zimmerman’s neighbors heard boy’s cry; saw Zimmerman on top”

as their main summary talking point for all of this morning’s testimony so far.

Bless their hearts. This serial implosion of all the State’s witnesses must be hard on them.

Thanks for the updates and commentary.

At what point will these Obama voters be charged with perjury?

This is weird. Apparently in Seminole County prosecution witness memories improve with time. You can take statements from the witnesses over and over but when they get to trial they suddenly remember things they forgot to mention previously. Coincidently, the facts remembered just happen to dovetail with the prosecution’s theory of the case. Clairvoyant prosecutors are cool.

caseyanderson2112 | June 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I have a question about today’s events with Witness 18 (who said Zimmerman was atop Martin and shot him in the back.)

Many years ago I was witness to a terrible motorcycle vs car accident in which one person died at the scene and the other landed on the hood of my car. According to the emergency personnel at the scene, I went into physical shock based on my vital signs, etc.

In my memory I distinctly see one person driving the motorcycle (looked like a man) and another on the back (looked like a woman.) Yet all other witnesses reversed that order. I asked the investigating officer why I remember it one way yet everyone else saw something else. I was told that when involved in a traumatic event the mind often uses expectations/assumptions to make sense of what one saw, sort of a make-the-world-right-again phenomenon, and that is used to make the memory. In my mind I expected a man to be driving the motorcycle, therefore every memory I have of that motorcycle prior to impact has the man driving. Try as I might I cannot find any memory of the “woman” driving the motorcycle and the “man” on the back. (Turns out both were women. One with long hair wearing a skirt, one with short hair in jeans and a plaid shirt,)

I was interviewed by both police officers during the investigation and by two attorneys during preparation for a civil suit. No one called me to testify because my memory has obviously been compromised by my own mind and is of no use to either side.

I am stunned that the state put that woman on the stand knowing that her memory is at odds with forensic evidence. Why would they do that? What possible benefit accrues to the state by presenting a witness whose memory, if the witness is being honest, does not match physical evidence?

(cross posted from CTH)

    As we learn more and more about how memory works, that’s exactly right. We don’t have tape recorders in our heads. We have a series of stories, and we use scripts, archetypes and prejudices to maintain this story.

    The other scary thing is that every time you remember a memory, you change it. As the scripts gets told again, the assumptions that are built into it become integral parts of the memory. If we were really scientific, witness recollections would take a far, far backseat to physical evidence.

      caseyanderson2112 in reply to phelps. | June 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      I was very distressed to learn that my mind had messed up my memory of the event. If it messed up that–and it was a very serious, very traumatic memory–what else may it have messed up?

      At any rate I thought it odd that the state put that woman on the stand knowing that forensic evidence is conclusive–Martin was shot in the upper abdomen, not the back. What possible purpose did her testimony serve?

      Thanks for the info about memory.

Mr. Branca, Londo posted on another forum the suggestion the defense ask Manalo to compare Zimmerman’s actual jacket to Martin’s actual hoodie for size comparison. What do you think?

With this Manalo witness O’Mara continues to botch crucial cross-exams. Trust me; it is not as difficult to impeach a witness with prior inconsistencies as he is making it appear. The defense quiver seems to be loaded with arrows. They even get to depose witnesses in advance in Florida – a huge advantage not usually available in criminal cases. Yet, O’Mara is not effectively using that advantage. This, I believe, is the witness who was alluded to in the defense opening as not having seen anyone outside until after the shot when she looked out her window and saw one person on top of the other. That seems to be consistent with a snippet of an earlier statement that was glossed over in cross that she heard a shot looked out and saw shadows. That, it seems to me, should be the main thrust of the cross, not this going round and round about whether the decedent or the defendant was on top. If the witness’ bottom line is the smaller of the two guys was on top, that will always be Martin. He was smaller than Zimmerman at the time of his death. O’Mara ends the morning by asking in an open-ended manner if the witness has seen a photo of Martin wearing a Hollister shirt. Of course the witness has no idea what he’s talking about, but she remembers a picture with him wearing a football uniform. He then again asks if she’s seen the Hollister shirt photograph. Look, the way it should be done (if for some reason you want the witness to testify about the Hollister picture) is you take the picture in your hands, you carry it up to the witness stand, you lay it in front of the witness and you ask your question. This would be a relatively easy cross for an attorney who thought about his questions in advance, wrote down his questions and methodically used them to point out the flaws in her testimony. O’Mara is leaving lots of money on the table.

    ConradCA in reply to rhorton1. | June 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Martin was over 6′ and Zimmerman is much shorter. Furthermore, how did Zimmerman get the injuries to the back of his head and the wet/grass on his back if he was on top?

    Your not analyzing the evidence or the trial. Your advocating for the persecution.

    Tom Devlin in reply to rhorton1. | June 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm



Nice song by someone following the case. Please give thumbs up to Georgie-Zimfan:

Mr. Branca, I’m glad you added Diana Tennis to twitter feed. If possible please add @RichardHornsby, another Orlando defense attorney.

Where I practice, when the defense moves items into evidence in the prosecution case it loses the right to move for judgment of acquittal (directed verdict) at the close of the prosecution’s case. I wonder what Florida law is on that issue.

FYI, just posted a mid-day update about an hour ago.


This judge is amazing.

This Jeantel is amazing. It’s hard to listen to questioning of someone that stupid.

    It is a very good thing West is very detail oriented and has the patience of Job. This witness is extremely hard to manage.

Gees, how are you supposed to question some one like that?

How does the court reporter….how does anyone-

I wonder how many in the court room feel like they need a drink right now

PackerBronco | June 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Everything is backwards in this trial. It seems that for Zimmerman to go free, the defense will have to prove him innocent beyond a reasonable doubt.

Slappy McPorkchop | June 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Do you think that the defense will keep her on the stand until the Judge calls it a day? I’d let her stew about her lies overnight and impeach the living daylights out of her tomorrow morning when the jury is fresh.

Mark Buehner | June 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm

It seems to me the tapestry the defense is drawing together is this outisder and media influence has poisoned all these witnesses to one extent or another. Instead of tearing down all these witnesses and risking alienating the jury, they are setting them up as victims of outside influences who (through no fault of their own) have their memories tampered with.

This witness is a ticking time bomb. If West can get her angry at him while keeping his calm demeanor, he can get her to implode without getting the jury mad at him. Her reliability is based on entirely on her memory which is not as good as she thinks it is. For example, she corrected West on the day of the week March 16 was. She said it was a Sunday, and West asked her if it might have been Saturday. She was adamant it was Sunday, even after West gave her the opportunity to correct herself. March 16 was on Saturday this year.

As an aside, I would have hated to to be the prosecutor team member assigned the impossible task of prepping her for today’s testimony.

I don’t think Ms. Jeantel will be in a great frame of mind tomorrow. She seemed tres unhappy that she is subject to the imposition of finishing her testimony. BDLR will have fun thinking about ways to rehabilitate her without using flagrantly improper leading questions.

Utterly amazing. Ms Jeantel is so incoherent and speaks so poorly that it almost impossible to see how she can be cross-examined. The only way is to essentially to show that she is smart enough to knowingly lie. West has his work cut out to show that she is somehow misrepresenting the facts.

    Jim in reply to bernie49. | June 26, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    From my comment on the other thread, bernie:

    West’s plodding, meticulous, style coupled with his calm, unflappable demeanor is the perfect skill set for dealing with a witness like this. I will be very surprised if West is through by the lunch break tomorrow. ISTM he is just getting started. BDLR is clearly doing a slow burn.

      bernie49 in reply to Jim. | June 26, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Jim: OK, but, without some form of a smoking gun, will the jury be able to sort it out? Her incoherence is just staggering and trying to unravel it, is potentially mind-numbing.

DeeDee says she only watches the Weather Channel on tv, but then thinks that West should know about The First 48.

Uh, oh.