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Zimmerman Trial LIVE VIDEO – Day 4 – State’s Witnesses

Zimmerman Trial LIVE VIDEO – Day 4 – 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.

During the lunch recess, or immediately thereafter, we will post a mid-day update. 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 to continue with West’s cross-examination of Rachel Jeantel (aka, “Dee-Dee”, aka “Trayvon Martin’s 16-year-old girlfriend”), the person who was purportedly speaking with Martin by cell phone moments before he was killed by George Zimmerman.

To see yesterday’s video of witness testimony and our exclusive analysis, click here: Zimmerman Trial Day 3 – End-of-Day Analysis & Video of State’s Witnesses

For all of our prior coverage on day-to-day events in court, as covered here at Legal Insurrection, click here: ARCHIVE: Zimmerman Trial LIVE coverage all day, every day

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.)

Thursday, June 27 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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I don’t think Jeanteal can read

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Nick. | June 27, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Unless her friends do it for her, she types, texts and reads well enough to reveal far too much about herself online.

    Mister Natural in reply to Nick. | June 27, 2013 at 9:24 am

    surely you jest! what 19 year old almost 12th grader can’t read a transcript of a legal deposition?

    snopercod in reply to Nick. | June 27, 2013 at 10:27 am

    She admitted in open court that she couldn’t read the letter that she allegedly wrote. The girl is 19 years old, and can’t read, but she can sure as hell vote. She should be the poster girl for literacy testing prior to voting.

West picks up where he left off yesterday, electrifying the courtroom with a scintillating cross.

Mister Natural | June 27, 2013 at 9:30 am

creepy ass cracker is not a racist term because BLACKS CAN NOT BE RACIST!
look it up

We mortals can only dream of approaching West’s ability to focus laserlike on the crucial issues in the witness’ testimony, dismantling it through the exquisite use of leading questions. THIS IS NOT HOW IT’S DONE.

    Mister Natural in reply to rhorton1. | June 27, 2013 at 9:40 am

    put up or shut up, mr know-it-all.
    how about putting up your curriculum vitae so we can appreciate the supremacy of your enlightened self.
    sounds to me like you are a LEGEND IN YOUR OWN MIND

    Bud_Denton in reply to rhorton1. | June 27, 2013 at 11:40 am

    It is true that both West and O’Mara are deviating from textbook, leading-question-only cross. So what? This isn’t law school moot court. West is slowly but surely demolishing the credibility of this so-called “witness,” the state’s star witness, remember.

    The verdict is all that matters. Not whether you followed the cliched textbook way to get there.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to rhorton1. | June 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    First-year law student, product of some crappy, third-rate libtard college, possibly an HBU.

Why did West want to approach the bench?

Quick note on this witness’ inability to read or write cursive handwriting – this is the standard of teaching nowadays in public chools.

Apparently over the last 15 years, public schools have stopped teaching cursive handwriting because they say that all students need are ‘keyboarding’ skills. They call it keyboarding and not typing because they don’t teach touch-typing either.

Anyways, all this came to light because a few months ago my ten-year-old stepdaughter, who is in the Gifted and Talented program at her public school (!), couldn’t read a letter that her grandfather had sent her because it was written in cursive. Sad.

    ThomasD in reply to Cassie. | June 27, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Yep, my 12 year old has never learned cursive either.

    KrazyCrackaEsq in reply to Cassie. | June 27, 2013 at 9:52 am

    She is 19 and I’m pretty sure when she was in grade school the schools still taught cursive.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Cassie. | June 27, 2013 at 10:14 am

    “..because they say that all students need are ‘keyboarding’ skills.”

    And all the progressive movement needs is a population that cannot read our nation’s original documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, written in cursive. Future American kids will stare dumbly at our founding documents like 12th century peasants stared at a Latin bible, while progressives slowly massage what the docs say as they transpose them, knowing that each year there will be fewer Americans who can detect the discrepant edits.

      Sanddog in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 27, 2013 at 10:47 am

      I hadn’t thought of it in those terms but without the ability to read cursive, you’d always be dependent on others to reproduce old texts into a form that would be easily understandable. And you’d be dependent on them to do it accurately. Sounds like a progressive dream.

      Unfortunately, I think you might have a point. I am a liberal myself, and even I am starting to see a conspiracy here. The dumbing down of America continues; a population that is functionally illiterate and unable to access original documents is much easier to manipulate.

      BTW, the other excellent non-MSM source for Zimmerman trial coverage is – Professor Jacobson links to it on his front page. They are criminal defense attorneys in Colorado who have been following the case since last year. Very interesting coverage.

So she lied and said she was 16 instead of 18, she lied about her name to Trayvon’s mom, calling herself “Diamond Eugene”; she lied to ABC and used yet another fake name, calling herself “Dee Dee”…

What’s up with that?

legacyrepublican | June 27, 2013 at 9:49 am


As I read the tweets and the direction the questioning is taking the defense, I am wondering if the settlement between the HOA and the Martin family has become important as Jeantal talked to the Martin attorneys before talking to the state.

Can the defense compel the records for that settlement to become unsealed and see if there is any relevancy now to her testimony?

Mister Natural | June 27, 2013 at 9:56 am

so the defense attorney can not start a new question by confirming the answer of this semi-retarded mumbling almost 12th grade orator. to make sure he’s understood her answer correctly, but this judge can admonish/instruct her to answer more loudly because her mumbling remarks cannot be understood by the court.
have i got that right?

Where is Mr. West going with this? He keeps giving her reasonable ways to change her testimony.

    Mister Natural in reply to PhillyGuy. | June 27, 2013 at 10:00 am

    he does it so she can change her testimony. and then we can all wonder which version is the truth.
    Miss dee dee, were you lying then or are you lying now?

This is going to take 2 days not 2 hrs.

Wow, West loses cool.

    Fabi in reply to rhorton1. | June 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I can’t imagine why he’d be frustrated? What a jerk.

    Oh, and the defense is losing again today, right?

    PhillyGuy in reply to rhorton1. | June 27, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Actually if one listens carefully, she basically said she doesn’t know if “follow” means follow in a car or follow on foot.

    Tomblvd in reply to rhorton1. | June 27, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Can’t blame him. That willey Jeantel is running rings around him, fooling him with that sleepy-eyed, dim-witted, illiterate act.

    Then she keeps him on his toes by constantly changing her story.


She snarls at West, “GOT IT?”

That preternaturally-calm demeanor she entered the courtroom with this morning is starting to slip already.

Is anyone making popcorn?

    Fabi in reply to AmyFL. | June 27, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I’m taking a shot of tequila every time she says ‘yes, sirrrr’.


    Tomblvd in reply to AmyFL. | June 27, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Whatever sedative they gave her is starting to wear off.

    I think the defense realizes she’s medicated and is delaying, waiting for her real self to reemerge.

      Major Variola in reply to Tomblvd. | June 27, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      One hopes that West’s beta-blockers keep him from losing it. And that the botox injections to prevent
      smiles from the legal staff keep their mouths anesthetized when on camera. I think the
      court reporter is going to take a work-related stress medical leave after this.

      BTW, whose discretion is it, whether to charge
      with perjury?

She’s so petulantly poignant! I’m positive.

This is the worst witness in the history of witnesses!

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Emil Blatz. | June 27, 2013 at 10:47 am

    ALL the prosecution witnesses are dubious and unreliable. Their supposed expert witnesses were even worse, so the Judge would not allow their testimony.

Holy cow Mr. West is making her back off her original assumptions without pissing her off. That was very sharp.

    bernie49 in reply to PhillyGuy. | June 27, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Which assumptions? West lost me a long time ago. If he has a plan, I do not see it. I know that I am multi-tasking while I am listening, but I do not believe that many on the jury are really tracking on what is actually happening – if anything.

    This is one witness where getting her to answer “Yes” and “No” questions doesn’t necessarily result in clarity, since it remains unclear what she is agreeing to or disagreeing with.

Mister Natural | June 27, 2013 at 10:38 am

so our intellectually gifted 19 year old almost 12th grader was offered advice on attitude adjustment by the prosecution, so she thinks she’s being “polite” by answering “Yessir, yessir, yessir” in an arrogant, sarcastic manner?
BDLR must be so pleased

Insufficiently Sensitive | June 27, 2013 at 10:41 am

The Seattle Times interrupts its full-page eruptions of joy over the DOMA ruling to bring us today’s only coverage of the Zimmerman trial: the penetrating testimony of one Rachel Jeantel (they print a dramatic snippet) who was the ‘last person to speak with Trayvon’.

Mr. West has on a tie with blueberry, white and salmon stripes today.

I won’t be sure what to make of that until I hear from rhortin1.

    rhortin1 will likely say that shows he is an amateur because a real trial lawyers wears a tie with gold, blue and red highlights.

      I am not going to give the witness a hard time about speaking and reading because I keep making typing mistakes. But then again, I have hooves for hands so when you consider that, I am doing pretty well.

Dang, what happened the that volatile, highly entertaining Dee Dee we had yesterday?
Does anybody actually believe that she was NOT coached last night by someone?
No way this girl decided to always say “sir” and “ma’am” on her own.

    divemedic in reply to fogflyer. | June 27, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I think that was why West asked her about it. It plants the idea in the jury’s mind.

    Ragspierre in reply to fogflyer. | June 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

    OK, something you’ve GOT to understand…

    an UN-COACHED witness is the victim of legal malpractice.

    I often woodshed my witnesses for HOURS…frequently with a video camera so they can see what I’m talking to them about…before a deposition or trial.

    My first…and most often repeated…instruction? “Tell the truth; NEVER LIE!”

      Rags is right, nothing wrong with coaching provided it starts with telling the truth (and that is repeated, often).

      CrankbaitJohnson in reply to Ragspierre. | June 27, 2013 at 11:03 am

      There were explicit instructions from the bench prior to yesterday’s adjournment that Jeantel discuss the case with no one. Do you coach witnesses after they are instructed in that manner, Rags?

        Ragspierre in reply to CrankbaitJohnson. | June 27, 2013 at 11:23 am

        Oh, HELL no…!!! For one thing, my integrity is kind of where I live. For another, I NEVER put a client in a position where they are tempted to lie. Not to protect me, especially.

        I did not hear those instructions, either. Those are interesting, all by themselves…

          Some states (e.g. Delaware) have very strict prohibitions against coaching mid-testimony. Once a witness is sworn and begins to answer questions, lawyers are strictly prohibited from contact with that witness.

          I don’t know what the FL rule is, but for this trial, the Judge is clearly adhering to the no contact rule.

          fogflyer in reply to Ragspierre. | June 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm

          Yes, she was instructed by the judge not to speak with ANYBODY about the case. The judge even specifically added ” this includes any lawyers”

          That was why I asked the question if anybody was believing someone had not coached her on her behavior in the court.

          fogflyer in reply to Ragspierre. | June 27, 2013 at 1:01 pm

          As a matter of fact, I think the turn around in Ms Jeantel was so obvious, that I think the judge should have specifically asked her if she had any discussion about the case or her testimony with anyone since the trial ended yesterday. Probably should have just asked her that as soon as she sat down today.

Can you believe it, Mr. Branca, al sharpy has found another Tawana Brawley..

    I was living in New York metro area at time of Brawley fiasco. Unbelievable that Sharpton has been so accepted into the liberal MSM. Or I suppose to be expected. His lies effectively destroyed life of an honest young prosecutor. Sharpton lost civil suit, then said he has no money, too bad.

On re-direct, Mr. De La Rienda better ask Rachel is she meant “follow on foot” and not “follow by car” or defense will have effectively neutralized her. I’m not sure the damage is already done.

Mr. West can say that Rachel didn’t exactly know, so there is no way you can assume that GZ chased him. Plus he used the telephone timeline to support that.

Did others see it that way?

    ThomasD in reply to PhillyGuy. | June 27, 2013 at 11:52 am

    At this point, given her performance, I’m not sure I’d ask that question and risk having her confirm the prior statement.

    Perhaps better to let it slide.

The parents of the victim are always present when prosecution and law enforcement conduct their interviews, right?

Are the parents private co-prosecutors? Sweet!

    Observer in reply to Fabi. | June 27, 2013 at 11:19 am

    The violation of normal police protocol makes sense when you consider that this is not a normal criminal prosecution — it’s a political persecution, and it was undertaken to satisfy the lust for blood (and coin) of the racial grievance industry, and set in motion by the “sweet, sweet parents” (as Angela Corey referred to them) of innocent little Trayvon.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Fabi. | June 27, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Sweet parents, so sweet that Trayvon’s Dad called one of the Zimmerman family/friends a MFK-er yesterday.

Lots of good points being scored.

They better take her out of the court room in handcuffs. This cannot stand. Criminal.

How could TM be by the back where he lived and wind up dead near the front? He had to have doubled back if what she said is true.

    fogflyer in reply to PhillyGuy. | June 27, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Yep, that is going to be a huge part of the defense’s case that I don’t think the state will be able to overcome. When they lay out the timeline and the map, they will show the jury that even according to Jeantel’s testimony, Trayvon, a 17 year old high school football player, had over two minutes to run approx. 400 feet to get to the home he was staying at, yet somehow ended up in a confrontation with Zimmerman still 300ft away. A baby can crawl 100 feet in under two minutes. Just no reasonable explanation for this, other than Trayvon decided to go confront Zimmerman.

Uncle Samuel | June 27, 2013 at 11:21 am

NOTE: Ms. Jeantel’s tweets and online revelations have been scrubbed (like Trayvon’s) of all references to drugs, racist hate/anger, sex and her dread of remaining sober during the trial.

Mister Natural | June 27, 2013 at 11:23 am

now it’s “yessir, mr west”. how charming.
and did you here her answer the judge “yessir”?

Why isn’t West asking more leading questions? Isn’t that his right on cross?

    rokiloki in reply to rokiloki. | June 27, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    *Non-leading* I meant. He should be asking questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer, shouldn’t he?

      Mister Natural in reply to rokiloki. | June 27, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      questions that require a “yes/no” answer are called “closed end ” questions.
      those that allow the ongoing response, with no limit are “open ended”
      Doctors are taught to ask closed questions otherwise the patient may go on, on, on.
      docs will ask what’s good instead of of how are you to limit the scope and duration of the answer.
      the defense does not want to allow this drug addled 19 year old almost 12th grader to go on a stream of consciousness excursion , on and on and on

The defense better be pretty damned sure what’s on that recording before playing it.

inspectorudy | June 27, 2013 at 11:29 am

Some of you on this site assume that West is doing a great job with his Columbo style of bumbling but I don’t think so. Today watching the trial he wanted to play the portion of Janetel’s remarks at the deposition where she said that she “Coulda heard Trayvon”. West had never put the recording into evidence and then acted like he was offended that the judge wouldn’t let him play it until it was entered as evidence. Is this his first trial? He also lets this monster bully him around and lets her talk over him. You might think this is a good tactic but I don’t.

Mister Natural | June 27, 2013 at 11:30 am

can you instruct me as to how to post an avatar on this site?
please and thanks in advance

One must keep reminding one’s self that this is direct examination by the State, the defense hasn’t even begun to put on it’s case.

Holy Moly

What could be wrong with admitting De La Rienda’s taped interview with Rachel being admitted into the record? Why would he object?

    PhillyGuy in reply to PhillyGuy. | June 27, 2013 at 11:36 am

    sorry that was an incomplete cut and paste

    Mister Natural in reply to PhillyGuy. | June 27, 2013 at 11:37 am

    maybe because they believe that no normal english speaking person csn decipher her answers thereby suggesting that the prosecution heard/transcribed what it wanted to hear

amberlynn595 | June 27, 2013 at 11:39 am

It’s crazy to me how biased these commentators are. I don’t know if Zimmerman did it or not ( I wasn’t there) but good grief the media should give some semblance of impartiality.

I am not sure West is not beating dad horse on this one. Ms Jeantel is so inarticulate the tape is like a Rorschach Test. The jury will hear what they want to hear. Insufficient basis for impeaching her.

    PhillyGuy in reply to bernie49. | June 27, 2013 at 11:43 am

    We don’t want to be beating dad horses of course. But I think the tape allows the jury to hear in Rachel’s mighty inarticulate way that she was unsure if it was TM’s voice.

    CrankbaitJohnson in reply to bernie49. | June 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    You said earlier you’re “multi-tasking,” that West lost you long ago, and presume the jury is also bored. However, many tweets from media are indicating the jury is rapt, including one characterizing them as like spectators at a tennis match watching the back and forth between West and Jeantel. One request that Jeantel speak up came directly from a juror.

Face it, the only way the jury is going to know what Jeantel’s testimony was is by reading the transcript….even that might prove difficult.

Mister Natural | June 27, 2013 at 11:48 am


Great product of public schools on display. Can’t read, can’t speak and an attention span of a gnat. WHAT!!

My God. What an inexcusably bad decision to play that recording.

Right the points West scored earlier are being nullified by one own goal after another.

    PhillyGuy in reply to rhorton1. | June 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Not sure about that. She’s been all over the place. I’m pretty sure what she said in the courtroom was different than in the recording.

Note to self: pick up gas for mower–I hear the grass growing.

Say swish dummy

Clearly this gal has some super human hearing in order to be able to hear wet grass…

PackerBronco | June 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm

That court stenographer should charge time and a half to transcribe this testimony.

All the jury is thinking about now is lunch and I’ll bet the judge makes West finish before taking that break.

CrankbaitJohnson | June 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm

“That’s retarded.” Lol. Guessing the pitchfork brigade is too busy with Paula Deen to condemn “ablism” right now.

    Thankfully I watched the testimony on MSNBC and learned from their experts that Trayvon calling George a creepy-ass cracka and an n-word was part of the culture, and therefore all in good fun. However, if George had called Trayvon an n-word — well, there’d be hell to pay!

    Where do I get a current copy of the rulebook?

Mister Natural | June 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm


No sirsh mumble mumble sirsh mumble yesssh shir

Mister Natural | June 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm

is she starting to nod off?
are those “i need my cocaine” sniffles?

A devastating-to-the-defense answer as to why Zimmerman approached Martin and not vice versa. A perfect example of why you don’t ask questions to which you don’t know the answer.

    A perfect example of why you don’t ask questions to which you don’t know the answer.

    Sometimes it is better not to comment on a post when you don’t know what you are talking about too.

    But I suspect rhorton1 intentionally trying to stir the pot and misdirect.

    Glenn Reynolds is spot on with this observation:

    Separated at Birth: George Zimmerman and…?

      Matt in FL in reply to EBL. | June 27, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      The comment at that link (“The mainstream coverage of the trial is so abysmal that I don’t think casual observers realize what a farce this is and how weak the State’s case is”) is spot on. I have some friends who are interested in this case, but don’t have time to follow it in the detail that I do, so they’ve been getting snippets here and there from the major broadcast media. Then when we talk about it, and their understanding of what’s going on is diametrically opposite of mine, both because the evidence (soundbites) they’re hearing and the opinions of the commentators are thoroughly biased toward the prosecution.

well I’m not liking this group of questions by Mr. West. I think he is backtracking and boring the jurors.

    jayjerome66 in reply to PhillyGuy. | June 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Agree. The defense is screwing up today. Bumbling. Not having proper evidence marked. West was wrong choice to cross this witness.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to jayjerome66. | June 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      Just laying a sure and solid foundation of facts and principles. Repetition/reinforcement are the most empirically proven effective heuristics of learning.

Mister Natural | June 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm

i fear that she’s having some serious and noticeable consciousness issues here

Replace waterboarding with West cross. Enemies will be begging for it to end: “I’ll tell you anything, just please make it stop.”

A few thoughts:

1. I feel bad for this witness. She is clearly out of her element and in over her head. This is not a fun experience for her, it is not going well, and she just wants it to be over. She may have some learning disabilities and perhaps a speech impediment, which may explain why she is a 19-year-old junior in high school and why people are having so much trouble understanding her.

2. At the same time, her behaviors beggar belief. She was on the phone *all day* with her friend who’s been suspended and is staying at his father’s girlfriend’s house, the last thing she hears is an altercation before getting cut off followed by total radio silence, and she doesn’t think anything of it? Please.

3. This is pure speculation, but I suspect that the bizarre behavior – her complete avoidance of the police, the media, Trayvon’s parents, and the Martin family’s lawyer – are all indicative of the fact that she felt extremely guilty about the whole thing. Why didn’t she attend the funeral? Could it have been that she felt implicated in the sad event….say by egging Trayvon on? She may well have encouraged the confrontation or even been the one to suggest it. That’s the only thing I can think of that explains all these behaviors. She may have been the one to egg him on.

    jayjerome66 in reply to Cassie. | June 27, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    She has had substance abuse problems; maybe she was too drunk or stoned that day…

    I’d provide more details, but the sound of the wet grass outside my house is affecting my concentration.

      It is illegal for the underage to have any substance abuse problems. It is illegal for adults to have some substance abuse problems.

      Perhaps “DD” was adverse to interactions with the law because her substance abuse problems might escalate into a legal problem.

    wyntre in reply to Cassie. | June 27, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Oops. Where’s my post?

    Anyway, I can’t figure out why you feel sorry for Deedee.

    It’s clear she considers herself fabulous and beyond reproach.

    She may not be able to read or write but the public school system has succeeded in instilling a super size-portion of self-esteem in this moron.

    DuraMater in reply to Cassie. | June 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    A tragic product of the mixing of limited intellectual capacity with aberrant cultural moorings is on display. They have always been among us. But as one who has resided in Miami Dade county for over 55 years and engaged in post-secondary education for nearly 3 decades, I can bear witness to the fact that the area has experienced an overwhelming increase in this element of society since the 70s & 80s.

    I must also point out, however, that the most toxic component of our demographic shift remains the forced tolerance-> inclusion -> adaptation of what was once considered unacceptable cultural characteristics in the name of diversity. Illiteracy can be overcome, indeed relatively high levels of rhetorical abilities achieved but the core character deficiencies tend to remain.

    Some cite our public educational system where it is true many of these kids are merely warehoused pending release onto society. And it should make anyone shudder to contemplate how many DDs were bused to the polls to vote last November. But at the same time, I know there are some things that even 12-14 years of warehousing cannot change.

    Matt in reply to Cassie. | June 27, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I’m not an attorney, but it seems to me there are several things we would expect of the “perfect” witness at a criminal trial:
    * Communicates clearly
    * Was in a position to know what happened
    * Speaks about her observations not conclusions
    * Gives a consistent account
    * Appears to be telling the truth all the time
    * Intelligent enough to understand what is going on
    * Hasn’t been inappropriately influenced by either side
    * Takes the whole thing seriously

    Experienced criminal attorneys surely have a better list than this, but it seems reasonable to expect jurors to give a lot of weight to a witness which meets these criteria, and less weight to a witness who doesn’t meet them all.

    Does Ms. Jeantel meet any of them?

    And what does it say about the state’s case, if they need to rely on such a witness?

Unbiased judge. Jeez.

wow Mr. West is blowing this right now

    rokiloki in reply to PhillyGuy. | June 27, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Why? Her testimony did suggest Trayvon approached Zimmerman. But just now she added new testimony to say Zimmerman was right behind Trayvon following him closely.

    If she earlier said she didn’t know if Zimmerman got out of his vehicle, then it is very relevant as to the credibility of her new statement.

      PhillyGuy in reply to rokiloki. | June 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      He’s boring the jury. There’s so much he went over and in such a haphazard way, it’s going to be difficult for them to remember all the things he did show.

        Uncle Samuel in reply to PhillyGuy. | June 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

        That’s what his assistants are for – to summarize and outline principal points to present to the jury. We have a LONG way to go.

          Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | June 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm

          Be patient. This is NOT a one-hour Law and Order program. Or a group of ClintonObamesque talking points.

          PhillyGuy in reply to Uncle Samuel. | June 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm

          I suppose. But even I got bored – and I love this stuff.

          daveugber in reply to Uncle Samuel. | June 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm

          It’s tortuous, but there is a reason. This girl KNOWS something. She was on the phone with TM for HOURS and can only say they talked about the all star game and the rain…as well, the purpose for west’s mundane approach (in my opinion) is to frustrate the girl into an agitated state of mind, because she does not possess the emotional intelligence to maintain her guise of politeness and meekness when upset. Look, this girl is one of the dullest tools in the shed, and she’s all over the board with her recounting of key moments… she is AVOIDING the recalling the amount of time between when TM ‘ran back behind his daddy’s’ and when the phone went dead, because it was in this period when he probably told her ‘i’m gonna kick that n###a’s 4$$’…she KNOWS TM attacked GZ, and she wants nothing more right now than to get out of that town.

Why doesn’t the judge have the most updated transcript available to her? She’s depending on the prosecutor to provide hers.

I don’t think the defense is blowing it. This is the state’s star witness, the whole reason charges were brought. I think it’s important they delve deep into her testimony and poke holes in it, which they have done.

    Ragspierre in reply to AmyFL. | June 27, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Or crow on State case toast…???

      PhillyGuy in reply to Ragspierre. | June 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      what do you think so far, Rags?

        Ragspierre in reply to PhillyGuy. | June 27, 2013 at 2:47 pm

        Well, fer sure there is reasonable doubt allllll over this.

        I mean, nothing so far has just shouted “credible” WRT to any of the State’s witnesses, outside of the first several.

        Each one of the last three has nicely impeached themselves.

        I don’t believe them. I sure doubt the jury can.

    Major Variola in reply to AmyFL. | June 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I’m a little confused. Where can I buy Creepy Ass Crackers? Are they like stoned wheat thins? Do you dunk them in chocolate milk?

The time frame of her testimony makes it evident TM either circled back or waited for GZ in the dark.

If TM was in front of father’s girl friend’s house as surly snide witness states, no way GZ reaches him there before he’d be able to get inside.

So Smoking Gun finds that Rachel’s Twitter and Facebook posts were deleted as recently as yesterday. So who did that? Was she not instructed to stay off social media sites?

Also, do anyone think she was high when she was talking to TM?

The defense needs to ask who this friend was that wrote the letter for Rachel so that they can verify the truth of that statement. For all we know “friend” could be Crump or someone affiliated with him.

Great work. Thanks.

Mister Natural | June 27, 2013 at 1:11 pm


CrankbaitJohnson | June 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Hope this “cracker” nonsense doesn’t affect the Martins’ endorsement negotiations with the Arizona Beverage Co.!

The defense KNOWS that Treyvon told this girl he was going to ‘kick that n###a’s a$$’… as defense, i would point out that there was a whole 2 minutes between when Treyvon told her he was out behind his daddy’s place and when the confrontation took place…that would give Treyvon plenty of time to circle back around to the location of the shooting/fight, and would blow the prosecution’s claim that GZ confronted TM, since it would be TM who walked 60 yards AWAY from daddy’s place to where he was killed…to me, this is a teenager (just like his ‘girlfriend’) who wasn’t taking life seriously enough at a very important moment…

A little OT, but what do you guys think about this?

    daveugber in reply to rokiloki. | June 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    He was a sometimes violent, troubled youth…his angel wings were confiscated when he turned 15, i’ imagine….

    JohnHenryabc in reply to rokiloki. | June 29, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Just read it… interesting. That he put the pin in his pocket is the most suggests that he was getting ready for a fight.

What happened to the “no commentary” live stream?

NBC “no commentary” live stream is down.

I’m nolawyer but that seemed like a really biased decision by the judge. The witness already denied making the comments (IIRC, she said “That’s your opinion.”)

So why is the judge giving her an out?

West is right on this point, the Judge is wrong. It is the tape recording that impeaches the witness’ earlier testimony and he should be permitted to play it. Probably not a significant enough error, however, to cause appellate reversal

So defense cannot recall her?

CrankbaitJohnson | June 27, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Understanding Your Cable Bill, a public service video courtesy of the FDLE. Fascinating stuff, unlike the defense cross. Imagine the Law & Order drama chords after ever reply about “payment gateways” and “IP addresses.”

I can’t believe the defense could not get Trayvon’s prior history of fights in (if it exists as some have indicated it does). I know the judge is doing her level best to protect the prosecution but couldn’t West have asked for Trayvon’s state of mind when he made the Cracker crack? If he could get her to say angry then you go down that path.

Also, don’t lawyers ask character questions and then when a witness avers to the spectacular nature of their friend it opens the door to contradictory evidence? Or could they have asked if it would have been out of character for Martin to case a house for robbery as Zimmerman was suspicious of him doing? I know I am being ham handed in my examples but I think a good lawyer would have handed this woman her ample ass and would have gotten in every bit of evidence they chose to go after that has been excluded to this point even with a hostile judge presiding.

I also notice Andrew has not really weighed in on how the defense did with this witness like he has with others.

    If you were following my Twitter feed you would have seen probably a couple of hundred posts on Jeantel.

    @LawSelfDefense (no “of” within)


      Voluble in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 27, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      I saw some of them but am waiting for your excellent summary. I know it takes a lot of effort to provide those so thanks once again.


Great question (about woman that called 911, currently testifying)

Why was Trayvon in her yard?

This woman testifying is far more critical to the case than Jeantel.

As one of the prospective jurors responded to the prosecutor who wanted to know if he needed to work magic to convince her: “There is nothing magic about the truth.” This appears to be the first truthful witness who was at the scene. She is very believable. She is truthful for both sides. Imagine that.

I wonder if the prosecutor is trying to persuade the judge that the defense cross, by eliciting that Zimmerman was not hot-headed when the witness saw hi,opened the door to otherwise inadmissible bad character evidence.



LilMissSpellcheck | June 27, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Zimmerman’s lawyers need to demand cursive handwriting specimens from all the stockholders and attorneys of Trayvon Inc.

My money’s on Crump.

Samuel Keck | June 27, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Most entertaining in-court comment of the day:

Prosecutor DLR: “I’m the ‘bald-headed dude’ “. 🙂

[…] have been following the case by internet video feed. At Legal Insurrection guest poster Andrew Branca […]

get the feeling that you shouldn’t defend yourself unless your head is split in two and your face is smashed and your teeth have been punched out.

[…] as the trial of George Zimmerman continues full force, it is clear that the intensity of emotion surrounding the case has not abated […]

Well I wonder if the prosecutor’s plan is to just have the defense witnesses present his case since his own witnesses basically supported the defense. (sarcasm)

Some one at the state should be going to jail for this case.