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Zimmerman Trial Day 10 — Mid-day — Vietnam Combat Medic Identifies Zimmerman as Screamer

Zimmerman Trial Day 10 — Mid-day — Vietnam Combat Medic Identifies Zimmerman as Screamer

The defense team of Mark O’Mara and Don West began their first full day of presenting their case to the jury today, although so far this morning it’s been nothing but O’Mara. Rumors are that the defense plans to call ~25 witnesses, and they moved through a handful of them swiftly this morning.

John Donnelly, Vietnam Combat Medic

The most powerful of these witnesses was arguable the last one to testify before lunch, John Donnelly. A pleasant older man, Donnelly was introduced to the jurors as a physician’s assistant. It also soon emerged, however that he was a close personal friend of Zimmerman’s, and indeed admired the younger man considerably.

The kicker, though, was when it was disclosed that John Donnelly had served as a combat medic during the Vietnam war. The importance of this historical piece of information was revealed as O’Mara progressed through his direct. Here, for the first time, was someone who could genuinely be said to possess personal expertise in being able to correlate a person’s normal speaking voice and their screams in extremis. And George Donnelly, firmly and without the slightest hesitation, identified George Zimmerman as the screamer.

John Donnelly, Vietnam Combat Medic, Part 2

John Donnelly, Vietnam Combat Medic, Part 3

John Donnelly, Vietnam Combat Medic, Part 4

When BDLR sought to impeach Donnelly on cross, he just dug himself a deeper hole. “Isn’t it true that you donated $2,500 to George Zimmerman’s legal defense fund?” asked BDLR “Yes, that plus another $500,” answered Donnelly. “And you also said on direct that you bought Mr. Zimmerman some suits?” “I wanted him to be able to dress with appropriate respect for the court,” Donnelly responded. The more BDLR sought to advance the impeachment of this witness, the more the quiet dignity of the war veteran became associated with George Zimmerman.

That was a theme throughout all of the morning’s witnesses. Each of them at a minimum identified the screamer in the Jenna Lauer 911 call as being George Zimmerman. They also accomplished something more subtle, as well. They associated their own quiet, modest, respectful and hard-working demeanor with George Zimmerman, creating a visceral impression of him that would have been impossible without him taking the stand (and which might not have survived what would certainly have been a vicious cross-examination).

Sandra Osterman, Family Friend, wife of Federal Air Marshall Mark Osterman

The first witness of the morning was Sondra Osterman, the wife of Federal LEO Mark Osterman. She described a very close friendship with both George and Shellie Zimmerman–indeed, she had married them. Throughout her testimony she referred to Zimmerman as Georgie, a nice humanizing touch. O’Mara played the Jenna Lauer 911 call for her and asked her to identify the screamer. “Definitely, it’s Georgie,” she testified.

Sandra Osterman, Part 2

BDLR sought to accomplish impeachment by questioning her about the book she and her husband had written about the events of February 26, 2012, a subject he was mysteriously permitted to pursue even though the subject of the book had never been raised by O’Mara on direct. He suggested that she had a “stake” in the outcome of the trial, because she and her husband were donating all the proceeds from sales of the book to the Zimmerman legal defense fund. How she had a “stake” when she was keeping none of the money was unclear to me.

BDLR then began what would be a cycle of expletive-laced questioning with every juror. He would play for them the non-emergency call Zimmerman made that evening, in which he refers to those “fucking punks,” and mutters that “these assholes always get away.” When recounting these phrases to each witness BDLR would fairly shout it out in the courtroom, although repetitive playing of the recording only reinforced that Zimmerman’s actual tone was one of resignation and frustration, not ill-will, spite, or hatred–the emotions BDLR wished to associate with the utterances.

BDLR’s typically sarcastic and petulant tone invariably emerged soon into his questioning of each witness. In the case of Sondra Osterman it was when he asked her, “Are you saying that George Zimmerman referring to “these assholes” means he wants to invite them out to dinner?” Sondra stood her ground, saying she didn’t believe Zimmerman sounded angry. That brought in this rather humiliating exchange for BDLR:

BDLR: “You don’t think he was angrey? But you weren’t there that night, right? You’re just speculating.”

SO: [laughs] “I guess we both are.”

On re-direct O’Mara took BDLR’s theory of the case down at the knees. He stepped through the recording almost sentence by sentence, asking after each one, “Does that sound like spite to you? Ill-will? Hatred?” Each time Sondra Osterman responded, “No.”

Mark Osterman, Federal Air Marshall

Next up was Sondra’s husband, Federal LEO Mark Osterman, who had previously been called as a State witness (one who, like many of the State’s witnesses, testified in a manner favorable to the defense).

Mark Osterman, Federal LEO, Part 2

Mark Osterman, Federal LEO, Part 3

Mark also identified the screamer as George Zimmerman, but the real value of his testimony centered on Zimmerman’s management of his sidearm. He affirmed such fundamentals as the need for a self-defense firearm to be loaded to capacity, including a round in the chamber and a topped off magazine, as well as the standard that a deadly-force attacker be engaged center-mass. Mark noted that every LEO job he’s ever had used those standards, and that his own wife had a CWL and that’s how he trained her, as well.

BDLR tried to trip him up on cross by re-launching the odd suggestion that the fact that Zimmerman had re-holstered his gun meant Zimmerman had lied when he’d said he was not aware that Martin had died of his wound–after all, BDLR argued, one would keep an attacker at gunpoint until they were deceased, right?

Osterman clarified that in fact one would keep an attacker at gunpoint only so long as they were a threat. Once they were prone on the ground, badly wounded and no longer a threat, it was appropriate to holster one’s sidearm and secure the individual or otherwise ensure safety.

Geri Russo, Co-Worker

Next up was a co-worker of Zimmerman’s, Geri Russo. Her role was simply to identify the screamer as George Zimmerman and she did this with quiet confidence. State prosecutor Guy conducted cross, but simply got nowhere in impeaching or undermining her testimony.

Geri Russo, Part 2

Leanne Benjamin

Finally, the last witness before John Donnelly was another colleague of Zimmerman’s, and elderly woman named Leanne Benjamin. She, too identified the screamer as George Zimmerman. Perhaps the most disturbing part of today’s testimony was having to listen to BDLR bark at this poor woman during his cross-examination of her, yet she never lost her balance, and stuck firmly to her identification.

Leanne Benjamin, Part 2

Leanne Benjamin, Part 3

Well, time to grab some lunch. Join us back at the live feed at 1:30PM here:

Zimmerman Trial Day 10: Live Video, Analysis of State’s Case & Witnesses


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. Take advantage of the 20% pre-order discount (valid only until the jury returns a verdict), only $40.  NRA/IDPA members can also use coupon code LOSD2-NRA at check out for another 10% discount and free shipping.

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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Testy Troll | July 8, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Angela Corey was just seated.
She seemed awful chummy to the Martin Family.
This case stinks to high heaven!

She has called them “those sweet parents”

Well after all, she did buckle to the mob pressure and indict even though she was too afraid to send it to the grand jury.

I would like an attorney or someone familiar with trials to explain this to me…

Why doesn’t the defense ask each witness if the prosecutors contacted them before the trial to help identify who was screaming?

I don’t comment because I Ron really have anything to add. But it’s always interesting to read about this trial.

I don’t comment because I don’t really have anything to add. But it’s always interesting to read about this trial.

Humphreys Executor | July 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm

How does Serino get to testify as to Mr. Martin’s out-of-court declaration and not Singleton?

It is bad enough that so many people believe things without any evidence. What is worse is that some people have no conception of evidence and regard facts as just someone else’s opinion. -Thomas Sowell

    Henry Hawkins in reply to divemedic. | July 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm


    I understand this storyline is about a court of law, not a science lab, but if it were a science lab, they’d still be looking for evidential proof that the screaming came from Zimmerman or Martin at all. Then they’d be stuck with the lack of evidence to support the assumption that any screaming could only come from the victim.

    The standards for ‘fact’, by the needs of the individual magisteria of law vs. science, are very different.

      iconotastic in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      If you know from an eyewitness that at least during the time that Zimmerman was on the ground it was him screaming and you believe that no one testified the voice changed over the entire event then one can reasonably infer that the screaming was done by one person and that person was Zimmerman.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to iconotastic. | July 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm

        “If you know from an eyewitness that at least during the time that Zimmerman was on the ground it was him screaming and…”

        As I understand it, there was no eyewitness, and that testimony from ‘ear’witnesses is conflicting and based on their opinions as to who was screaming.

        “… (if) you believe that no one testified the voice changed over the entire event then one can reasonably infer that the screaming was done by one person and that person was Zimmerman.”

        This illustrates what I meant above about science and law. Science doesn’t proceed on belief and always seeks to isolate out subjective ideas as to what is a reasonable inference, knowing from its long history that it is a pathway to error. Science would not hold that a thing isn’t true simply because no one testified to it.

        Science has no deadlines and can afford to wait till the required evidence is obtained or proved nonexistent. Law hasn’t that luxury because, for society to function, court actions must come to a resolution at some point.

        Mine is not at all an indictment of the justice system or law, merely a pointing out of differences with science, which also purports to seek the facts. Whenever science can provide answers the courts employ it and that is wonderful, but when a trial necessarily has to proceed on less stringently determined ‘facts’, it can be hard for a scientist to watch.

        By virtue of an ill-spent youth (Cass Corridor, Detroit), I have had great experience of street and prison yard violence, where I have heard every one present scream during one fight or another. Mostly the victim/loser screams, often the attacker screams, sometimes onlookers scream (friends/family of combatants), sometimes everybody is screaming. My point being that even if it could be determined with scientific accuracy exactly who did the screaming, what body of science (or law) assures us it’s always the victim who screams, that if it is determined Zim is the screamer, therefore Zim is the victim? That is one grand assumption based on the belief (and likelihood) that a majority of screams come from the victim. But not all, not by any means.

          John Good is that eye witness. He is the one who strongly identified George as the one on the ground and the one who was screaming.

          kentuckyliz in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 8, 2013 at 6:15 pm

          In a way, TJ and JS have corroborative bits of testimony that support GZ’s version of events. They both say TM spoke first (although JS is misattributing and the jury knows it).

      punditius in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      Yes, they are. Things which are facts still need to be interpreted. The law deals with the interpretation of facts. A scream is a fact, albeit not measured with scientific instruments. If you know someone, you can know what he sounds like when he screams without measuring the scream.

      It is important to measure things with the instruments appropriate to the nature of the inquiry.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to punditius. | July 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm

        “Yes, they are. Things which are facts still need to be interpreted.”

        Therein lies the potential pathway to error when humans interpret facts.

        “The law deals with the interpretation of facts. A scream is a fact, albeit not measured with scientific instruments.”

        I recall an attempt to introduce a (pseudo)scientific process by which the prosecution concluded the screamer was Martin, properly rejected.

        “If you know someone, you can know what he sounds like when he screams without measuring the scream.”

        Anecdotal, but I have no idea what the screams of 99% of the people I know sound like because I’ve never heard them scream like on the trial recording. How often does the typical human hear a friend or loved one screaming bloody murder, and if the answer is ‘often’, how fallible is the human memory on comparing screams heard days, weeks, years, decades apart?

        “It is important to measure things with the instruments appropriate to the nature of the inquiry.”

        Yup, but like I said, the courts understandably don’t have the luxury of unlimited time that science has to determine facts.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm

          Replying to Aussie, who posted too deep to get a Reply button:

          Aussie: “John Good is that eye witness. He is the one who strongly identified George as the one on the ground and the one who was screaming.”

          I was not aware of that. He literally saw this, as opposed to heard it and assumed the rest? Awesome for the defense if so.

          To stick to my science theme, science would value Good’s input, but not hold it as fact until fully corroborated and replicated, again, procedures for which a court hasn’t the time.

          Matt in FL in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 8, 2013 at 5:15 pm

          @Henry Hawkins: If you reply to the most recent previous comment that does have a Reply button, your comment will stack sequentially below it. As I just Replied to your comment of 4:45, as your 5:09 comment didn’t have a button.

          To the subject of your question, John Good heard a disturbance, stuck his head out, saw them fighting (he saw the “ground and pound”), yelled at them, and then went back inside to get his phone to call 911. He was inside when the shot was fired.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm

          Thanks, Matt. I’ve only been posting here, uhhh, two years or more and haven’t had that Posting 102 course yet.

          Hey, did you hear that a civilian grand jury has indicted Angela Corey?

          Matt in FL in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm

          @HH: It’s a WordPress thing, that rule applies almost anywhere with comments.

          Shaking my head at Cit. GJ.

Spealking of Corey getting chummy with the Martin family, I read this howler over the weekend (WP Capehart “Five Myths): “Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump told me in February that the Hollister T-shirt photo of Trayvon was taken in August 2011, when he was 16 years old. That was six months before he turned 17, on Feb. 5, 2012. He was killed three weeks after that.”
Give me a break.In six months, the iconic Hollister wearing TM kid morphs into 160 lb, 6 foot “Hip/Hop” TM? Oh, I forgot. Lawyers never lie.

    kentuckyliz in reply to Redneck Law. | July 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    TM’s aunt has already said that the Hollister photo is from when TM is 14…from three to almost four years old. I looked a lot different at 14 than 17.

Physics Geek | July 8, 2013 at 2:33 pm

So this is a show trial, right? The verdict has already been rendered and we’re supposed to enjoy the spectacle of a ridiculous, meritless prosecution.

As bad as this case has been going for the state-and rightly so- I have zero faith in the jury here. Remember: the Menendez brothers had to be tried twic.

JackRussellTerrierist | July 8, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Just to lighten the mood for a moment with a laugh: Let’s contrast the impression that Rachael Jeantel’s demeanor left, as a friend of Trademark’s, with that of the quiet dignity and backgrounds of today’s friends as witnesses for the defense. 🙂

True Trial Story:
25 years ago I represented a large bank against claims made by a borrower. The claim was that the bank officer acted with malice against the business borrower, withheld some credit, thereby causing the business to go bankrupt. That was all false.
Plaintiff’s very able counsel had what he thought was a great piece of evidence regarding malice: On one occasion the bank officer said to the customer: “Fuck you, Mike.” (Named changed here.) Plaintiff’s counsel brought that up, sometimes screaming it, at least 20 times during the trial. Our strategy was: I never mentioned it in front of the jury. Bottom line, the jury tired of the plaintiff’s counsel repeated using the expletive.
We won.

Pollack: “If mounted, guy on top can do a lot more than person on bottom.”

Just… wow. I look forward to Andrew’s critique of the state prosecutors. Both – especially de la Rionda – come across as morally small and unprincipled hacks.

You know, for the most part I haven’t cared all that much about this case. For precisely the reasons Andrew and others have offered, namely, that this was a fairly clear cut case of self-defense that should never have gone to trial.

But the fact that Zimmerman was charged at all – especially anything more than manslaughter – and this went to trial, along with the utterly despicable behavior of (1) the news media and (2) the state prosecutors… that a regular man just trying to keep an eye on his neighborhood should be subjected to this state funded hell… all for the sake of advancing the progressive Narrative on race.

A whole bunch of people need to pay for this travesty. Odds are they won’t. But at least Zimmerman won’t be sacrificed to advance their vile agenda.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to rick67. | July 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Why have you separated the media from the state?


    Exiliado in reply to rick67. | July 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Zimmerman has already been sacrificed.
    His life is torn to little pieces, even if acquitted.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Exiliado. | July 8, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Based on this morning’s defense witnesses, I’m hopeful that there are enough good people in GZ’s life to carry him through the aftermath as needed.

      That will be my prayer.

    BubbaLeroy in reply to rick67. | July 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    I have always cared about this case because it could be more effective than any gun controls in disarming the populace.

    If you carry a gun, you cannot use it to defend yourself even if some f’ing punk gangbanger has you on the ground and is beating your head on the concrete. So carrying a gun just means that you have to worry about the punk who is giving you a beat down getting the gun and shooting you with it after he beats you unconscious.

    I have always believed the old adage that it is better to be judged by 12 (6 in Florida) then to be carried by 6. Judging by what has happened so far to George Zimmerman (and what may still happen) I am not so sure anymore.

      Matt in FL in reply to BubbaLeroy. | July 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      @BubbaLeroy: Just keep in mind that this case almost worked exactly as the law is designed to work, and that’s how it works most of the time. If we were plotting statistics, this would be a six sigma.

        I agree with Matt. Most genuine self-defense cases (as I so far believe Zimmerman’s to be) just end up short blurbs in the local press. Bad Guy tries to do something Bad; victim shoots him; police talk to witnesses and question the shooter; and if it’s clear it was a righteous self-defense the story ends with “no charges were filed”. FIN.

        There was a violent carjacking up near me last year (click) that ended that way. I’m guessing no-one outside a 50-mile radius of here even heard about it — just as no-one outside Seminole County would have heard of the Zimmerman case had politics and race-agendas not intervened.

      psmeall in reply to BubbaLeroy. | July 8, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      Seriously though. I wonder how many of these 6 women jurors know of someone, or have been a victim themselves of some crime committed by a youth or youths? Black or White.

      kentuckyliz in reply to BubbaLeroy. | July 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      People are creeped out by “God’s will,” but to me it signals that GZ reconciled his pangs of conscience (expressed to the first officer interviewing him, and he even asked if she was Catholic). In the stress and shock of what he had gone through and had to do, GZ thought he had violated “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” (Bad Bible translation–it is more like thou shalt not murder.)

      But in the Hannity interview, GZ said it was God’s will. GZ isn’t that great about “finishing the sentence” and expressing the complete thought and meaning of what he is getting at–which is why it would be a disaster to put him on the stand.

      I am sure a priest or catechist can attest to a conversation in explaining real Catholic morality on self defense. Here is the Catechism of the Catholic Church citation:

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to rick67. | July 8, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Why have you separated Crump and the family from the State? They were the original instigators of this kafkaesque nightmare.

Another dumb BDLR cross.

The cross:

Q: Isn’t it true that you donated $2,500 to George Zimmerman’s legal defense fund?
A: Yes, that plus another $500.
Q: And you also said on direct that you bought Mr. Zimmerman some suits?
A: I wanted him to be able to dress with appropriate respect for the court.

How stupid. If you are going to cross for bias, it must be done with a light touch. Like this:

Q: You’re a friend of GZ?
A: Yes
Q: You have been friends with George for years, right?
A: Yes
Q: You are supporting GZ with money, clothing, and a significant amount of your own personal time?
A: Yes
Q: You have made this large effort to help GZ be acquitted, correct?
A: Yes!
Q: And your testimony today is part of that effort?

So GZ was soft, by no means an accomplished athlete, and had not mastered a single fighting skill. Is this the foundation for a ‘disparity of force’ argument?

jackkerouac | July 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm

BDLR: “You don’t think he was angrey? But you weren’t there that night, right? You’re just speculating.”

SO: [laughs] “I guess we both are.”

Ha, ha, ha! That was just … awesome. You don’t see cross like that except in the movies.

Carol Herman | July 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Nancy Grace got canned from Good Morning America. (I gather GMA is Dan Abrams “stage.”) And, we know Dan Abrams thinks the State hasn’t proven the charges. And, GZ “walks.”

Angela Corey has also stopped doing media interviews. Could this mean Rick Scott (the 1st term Republican governor) felt the hot potato he birthed?

I also thought the first witness this morning would be Vincent DiMaoi. But that’s not the case. (And, O’Mara has submitted names of 26 witnesses to be called for the Defense.)

Has clearance yet been given for the “marjiuana,” and, impairment of behaviors? First thing on record in the call to police GZ makes, he mentions that he’s calling in on a “suspicious character” that seems “imparred.”

It still seems the Defense is racing forward with excellent witnesses. Also, maybe it’s just me, but looking at this witness from the “boxing” gym … He looks thin. But he looks like if someone picked a fight with him, it would be the last fight the other person ever picked in his life.


CNN’s analyst takeaway of Adam Pollock’s testimony is that his testimony was a big plus for the prosecution, because it showed GZ was training to be an MMA fighter. Are they even watching the trial? Does anyone else think Pollock’s testimony favored the prosecution? I thought his testimony favored the defense.

Testy Troll | July 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I keep hearing testimony/statements that on the Hannity Show, GZ showed no remorse.
It’s important that the interview was not shown in it’s entirety.
In point of fact, he did show deep regret about the events of TM’s death.

For some strange reason, the Judge did not deem this worthy of inclusion.

That stinks, once again!!!

Testy Troll | July 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Big risk taken by the Defense in having the father testify!
They have already got his response from the two police officers!

    WMMC in reply to Testy Troll. | July 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Agreed. What could they possibly gain by calling him. Not a good move. IMO.

      Testy Troll in reply to WMMC. | July 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      I think Mr Crump has been deposed. Maybe MOM was trying to get the father to impeach himself on a dealing with Mr Crump.
      Otherwise, I can’t understand the strategy.

        WMMC in reply to Testy Troll. | July 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm

        I was thinking the same thing when Traymom testified and MOM kept asking her if she had prior knowledge of the 911 tape she was about to hear. Like he was setting her up for a trap. But with Traydad we already had the testimony of two police officers claiming Traydad said it was not his son. Should have just left it at that. IMO.

    florida in reply to Testy Troll. | July 8, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    My guess is that the only way MOM could get over defense hearsay objection to officer’s testimony on what dad said is by promising (during bench conference) that defense was going to call father to testify. That way it would be “impeachment” and not “hearsay”. Not strictly legal to impeach your own witness or to put impeachment testimony on before the witness but wouldn’t surprise me.

BDLR continues his attempts to appeal to inflame the passion and sympathy of the jury for the victim.

Okay. I just laid down a few minutes because not feeling well. So I get up and now they’re talking about Donnelly, and then dismissing his testimony. So what he heck happened?

Oh, I’m sure that judge is not a human being. Pretty sure.

Testy Troll | July 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm

My God!
This Judge just ruled in favor of the Defense re the Richardson hearing??

I’m shocked!

But it was the correct ruling!

Next the Toxicology Ruling

Well, we know that MOM will not ask a question he doesn’t already know the answer to ( please, I know it’s ending w/ a preposition, just deal)…. there must be a perjury trap concealed in there somewhere.
Oh wait, did I say trap? meant ‘question’.

    People write as they speak. In this case where you ended with a preposition, it is in fact because of the way that you speak. I am not a grammar nazi, it is spelling and keyboard error. I am my own worst critic on that score. So if you have to end a sentence with “to” because that is the way you speak, I say “so what”!!

      “Not ending a sentence with a preposition is a bit of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.”
      Sir Winston Churchill

      kentuckyliz in reply to Aussie. | July 8, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      I agree with the natural spoken language approach to writing. We are to write with a voice, and the reader audiates a voice inside his or her head. See I used the plural to stay gender netural but had to fix it because it didn’t agree with the singular subject. When one reads, one hears an audiated voice inside one’s head. That just sounds so formal and stiff and incomprehensible. People blink and stare and think, “One what?”

      gxm17 in reply to Aussie. | July 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      My dad was an English professor and he always told me it was rude to correct informal speech. It’s not a term paper, he’d say. (He loved colloquial speech.)

        My dad was an English professor and he always told me it was rude to correct informal speech.

        My momma was just a momma but she always told me it was rude to correct strangers, period.

        “Bad etiquette is using your dinner fork on your salad. Bad manners is pointing out that someone used their dinner fork on their salad. And having bad manners is a bigger sin than having bad etiquette.”

        Although I do confess to gleefully letting my manners slip when it comes to trolls. 🙂

      graytonb in reply to Aussie. | July 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      Well, of course I, would say in speech ‘ to which’ , but when I saw that written, it just seemed so….
      pretentiously pompous.// 🙂

I didn’t hear it, did the judge toss the testimony of Mr. Donnelly, or not?

Where did the concept that the State is entitled to a fair trial come from?

No one will believe that Crump et al never had instructions for Tracey & Sybrina, no matter what they say.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to graytonb. | July 8, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I sort of believe it. I think Mr. & Mrs. Grifter tacitly agreed with subtle hints and suggestions from Crump, a master at racist publicity for the purpose of legal Maneuvering For Dollars.

    Crump drove the $ bus. Mr. & Mrs. Grifter were happy camper$ along for the ride.

FYIW…Fox35 Orlando body language expert…my summary…Based on body lang. she sees 70 yr old juror (E40?) as the strong influencer, the admired one among the jurors; this older juror seemed very connected with Leanne Benjamin, the older woman witness.

“Expert” feels juror body language mirroring each other – Summarized that she felt jurors really connected with the defense witnesses who ID’d George’s voice this morning. I laugh off O’Reilly’s body language woman, not familiar with this one. Who knows?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to MKReagan. | July 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    O’Reilly’s body language guru ought to be laughed off, as should most of them. Most of us can read body language to a degree, but the ‘pros’ who detect all manner of inferences from the littlest tics, looks, and postures just make a lot of it up because (1) it can pay good money, and (2) there is no way anyone can prove you wrong till much, much later, if ever. Think astrology or personality tests like Myers-Briggs.

With respect to the toxicology report: Did the 7-11 tape show the purchase of munchies?

    graytonb in reply to guycocoa. | July 8, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    CNN headline: ‘ Tracey Martin says I Never Said That Wasn’t my son’s voice’.
    oh really?

    Spiny Norman in reply to guycocoa. | July 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Munchies? Nah, just 2 of the 3 ingredients for “purple lean”, which he (allegedly) bragged about using on FB. Maybe they didn’t have the Robitussin DM at the store, or he already had some at his dad’s place.

    (When I was in high school, 30+ years ago, we called slugging cough syrup “doing Robies”. I don’t remember anyone mixing it with grape soda or watermelon punch back then.)

    byondpolitics in reply to guycocoa. | July 8, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    The watermelon fruit drink & skittles are 2/3 of the ingredients for a common street drug that killed Pimp C. Cough syrup is the 3rd ingredient.

      Ragspierre in reply to byondpolitics. | July 8, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      And in a court, that information gets exact 2/3 of the way to nowhere.

      My pistol, plus ammunition, is 2/3 of the way to me killing an innocent bystander.

      That last third is a very long mile.

Zimmerman must be winning cuz CNN quit showing the trial and is showing reruns of the plane crash instead.

So the state is arguing that they shouldn’t be allowed to mention the marijuana because there has been no testimony that says the level in TMs blood is important. Isn’t that the point?

    Fabi in reply to divemedic. | July 8, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    It’s all falling apart now! You can’t allow the toxicology evidence because it confirms that GZ was right by saying that TM looked like he was on drugs! lol

    Wrongful prosecution! Bring in Attorney Crumpster!

    If Trayvon be high, GZ can’t go bye-bye!

      Ragspierre in reply to Fabi. | July 8, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Really? Other than we don’t like people who use drugs (unless they are Cary Grant), how does drug use exonerate Zimmerman?

      Provided the tox evidence, the defense still has a very, very steep causal hill to climb.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to divemedic. | July 8, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    This isn’t a whole lot different than the defense in a DUI case wherein the defendant obliterates a family of five from this good earth claiming that the defendant’s BAC shouldn’t be allowed in.

Testy Troll | July 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Another victory for the Defense on the Toxicology Report

The case is getting worse and worse for the State!

Now the Judge is covering her rather rotund ass on the Defense side.


I’m shocked that defense received those two rulings! Judge maybe having an attack of clarity & conscience??

Henry Hawkins | July 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Do the legal eagles here suppose that Judge Half Nelson was skewering towards the prosecution’s favor during their presentation to ensure no one could allege an unfair trial, all the while intending to make damn sure the defense would get every opportunity to walk away victorious in this travesty of justice?

Or is she issuing ‘make-up calls’, like a ref or umpire might in a sports game after a bad call or three?

    Matt in FL in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    @Henry Hawkins: How about “a little from column A, a little from column B”?

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Judges are people, complete with a their own set (and maybe it is a REALLY BIG set) of foibles.

    They DO have biases, and this one is known for being very tough in criminal cases.

    BUT they sometimes are convinced…just like the rest of us…that their original predilections were wrong.

    We may have seen a sea-change today.

    wyntre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    You are trying to giver her far too much credit.

Sunny Hostin on CNN looks like she’s about to throw up.

Henry Hawkins | July 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm

OTBTOT (off topic but technically on topic):

I was just at a weather website story about growing tropical storm Chantal, currently moving into the Caribbean. Below the article, the comment section had just two comments:

– I hope Chantal doesn’t interfere with the coming Trayvon Martin riots.

– I think they should change the name from Chantal to Tropical Storm Jeantel.

Humphreys Executor | July 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm

TM did behave strangely at 7-11. He fumbled with his money. After heading out of the store, he turned around and went back to the BACK of the store and appeared to pick up something off the floor. And why did he take so long to get back the housing development? Was the whole trip to the store a pretext to get out of the house for a “smoke” break?

Random notes:

Somebody mentioned yesterday that Guy looks like he’s got a plug of ‘backy in his lip. I didn’t see it then, but it’s all I can see today.

Judge Nelson has a really high-tech superwhamodyne chair.

I think that we have gotten to the point where the primary driver for a guilty verdict is whether of not the names of the jurors are published. If their names are published, they could reach a guilty verdict simply out of fear for their safety once the trial is over.

    rekorb in reply to Cleetus. | July 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    I wonder what Florida law says about purposely or inadvertantly releasing juror’s info. Seem to remember Casey Anthony jurors from Clearwater area were rightfully fearing for their safety. Somehow the info was leaked. Judges always tell jurors they can speak to media only if they so choose. Is there an adequate penalty for leakers? Or legal recourse for jurors that have to move because their address was leaked.

      Jurors’ names are usually public record in Florida. In unusual cases the judge can order they be kept secret for some period of time to let the public cool down a bit, but usually only for a few months.

      In the Anthony case, the jurors’ names were not “leaked”. The judge had put a three-month cooling off period on naming them, and they were named the day that three month period expired.

      I feel for the jurors, but on the other hand you can’t have justice happening in secret. “Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.”

    graytonb in reply to Cleetus. | July 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Unfortunately , once the sequestration ends, so in all likelihood will the anonymity, sanctioned or not.

The defense may not now attempt to sway the jury by adducing evidence that the decedent, Trayvon, was a thug in training. Yet, his mother can tell the jury that Trayvon is in heaven. This strikes me as a backdoor way of asserting that Trayvon led a morally blameless life, which is just not true. In a trial in which doors open all over the place, doesn’t the “in heaven” assertion open the door on who Trayvon Martin actually was?

Now the PMSNBC lunatics are saying that GZ had his gun holstered BEHIND HIS BACK and TM could not have reached for it! Behind his back – where the Hell did that lie come from?!?! Hey GZ, as M$NBC to your lawsuit list!

    Fabi in reply to Fabi. | July 8, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    And now, since he couldn’t have seen the gun, there’s no self-defense! Yes, indeed! The punches to the face and the injuries to the back of the head were not enough! No DNA evidence on the gun! GZ’s guitly, guilty! lol

    The internet & twittersphere was buzzing with a similar “narrative” earlier today:

    Hey O’Mara, if GZ had an internal holster then explain how Trayvon saw it and grabbed for it in the dark and rain?

    …and a thousand variations on that. All from people who have probably never even seen a gun in real life before, yet are now holster experts.

    Mac45 in reply to Fabi. | July 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    People who wish to see George Zimmerman convicted, as opposed to those who merely wish the law to be observed and enforced, are grasping at straws. The location of the pistol and whether Martin saw it or not are of limited importance to the case. There is more than sufficient evidence that Zimmerman had a reasonable fear that he would suffer grave bodily injury or death if he did not use deadly force to stop the assault. Zimmerman’s belief that Martin had seen his pistol and was attempting to gain control of it is only one element of that fear.

    Also, since it would be impossible for Zimmerman to shoot Martin with the pistol behind his back, Martin would have had ample opportunity to see it, of it were being deployed, no matter where the holster was.

Why isn’t the defense simply offering the animation as demonstrative evidence? I do not see how the defense could establish that the animation is a scientifically accurate recreation of the events. What am I missing?

Carol Herman | July 8, 2013 at 6:22 pm

How did the day end? Did the jury finally get to go home?

Judge Nelson SAID that if she didn’t find for the defense (on one of the motions), she’d be setting herself up for a reversal.

What did the judge make of Angela Corey being seated in her courtroom near the Martin’s?

Why, at the end of the day, was O’Mara told to bring in the next witness (who was 15 minutes away.) Where I can find NOTHING now being streamed. The day ended? Or has everybody just pulled out cots?

Carol Herman | July 8, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Among the ‘motions” a non-lawyer can get seasick. But I think that Mr. Donnerly’s testimony (where he is the freind of GZ and donated to his legal fund. Bought him suits, shirts and ties), was so effective … It turns out he was medic in Vietnam. Where, for over a year, he heard comrades screaming after they had been wounded in battle.

And, it was Mantie (I think) who was arguing that this testimony needed to be scruck, because the prosecutors were unaware of this background? And, the judge said “no?”

Will every time the Defense scores a point, will the prosecutors go back and try to get the testimony removed?

I am appalled at the State of Florida! TRUTH should be the overriding objective. But obviously not here.

judge little debbie nelson got her hair done over the weekend, About two inches trimmed off. And, hew highlighting. Since she’s playing to the cameras, is it possible she has heard of the case breaking down? If Dan Abrams has stated (and Drudge ran with it). Zimmerman WALKS.

It’s possible little debbie half-nelson is finally in fear of her reputation? Maybe, she should change from black robes to white ones?

    Mercyneal in reply to Carol Herman. | July 8, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    I think little Judge Debbie HAS been watching the news. She’s seen Abrams report that the prosecution doesn’t have a case. She knows which way the wind is blowing.

    Hence: her allowing the toxicology report that shows Martin had pot in his system.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Mercyneal. | July 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      Right. Her Honorless is setting Trademark as the fall guy for an NG verdict. If she lets the defense show what a druggie thug Trademark is, it will lessen the likelihood of riots, especially being laid at her feet.

      I harken back (again) to the Duke lacrosse case. There were no riots when all the charges were dismissed. Why not? Because it was well known by then that the supposed victim made the whole thing up, was a druggie street whore/call girl and the prosecutor played beyond fast and loose with the rules to the point of corruption and basically suborning perjury.

      creeper in reply to Mercyneal. | July 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      I’d bet the farm she’s also been reading this blog.

Gandalf the Black | July 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm

I cannot wait to hear how Traydad perjuring himself immediately after the two cops directly testified as to his reaction to the tapes helps the prosecution and Crump’s cause.

The cops testified they wanted Traydad (or anyone) to contradict GZ’s story. What would the odds be of them NOT following up if Traydad’s answer was not clear/muddled?

This case is becoming a perfect metaphor for our body politic.

    swimmerbhs in reply to Gandalf the Black. | July 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    they wanted to disprove the credibility of the cops the called. two people said that he said no to was that might son, now he said that isnt what he said

      Gandalf the Black in reply to swimmerbhs. | July 8, 2013 at 6:57 pm

      Both cops are State’s witnesses!

        swimmerbhs in reply to Gandalf the Black. | July 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm

        the state cant impeach its own witness so they do it, even the defense calls them. They didnt like that the testimony they gave was going towards the defense

        they are trying to say both cops lied that tracy martin told him no that was not his son

      pausebreak in reply to swimmerbhs. | July 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      The two police officers were prosecution witnesses, so it would seem odd that the prosecution would want to discredit their witnesses. Is the prosecution now going to claim the cops lied and therefore none of their testimony is credible? Or is there testimony only credible if it fits a particular prosecution insinuation? Those prosecutors can make your head spin

[…] Zimmerman Trial Day 10 — Mid-day — Vietnam Combat Medic Identifies Zimmerman as Screamer […]

I have thought about it for awhile and decided that the defense put Traydad on today so that the crocodile tears for “out precious little trayvon the thug” are over. Now the state has not reason to call family during rebuttal. Except with BDLR’s hysterics I’m sure he will want another chorus.

I certainly hope the jury listened over and over to the GZ 911 tape and then BDLR’s repeating of the words in nothing close to the vocal tone, volume or inflection and wondered what his problem is.

I certainly hope their are jury instructions that that they cannot consider BDLR’s repeating of the words as evidence and must just listen to the tapes.

    swimmerbhs in reply to Judyt2013. | July 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    the jury got sick and tired of hearing those words, and after 15 times he finally said excuse my language. which he should have done since the beginning

Heh, the older lady finally pointed out that old Bernie was yelling the cursing and George was just speaking or muttering them.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to LoriL. | July 8, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    That one was sweet. 🙂

    Jim in reply to LoriL. | July 8, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Note the similarity in age and demographic background between the “older lady” and the jury. Her put down of BDLR was more than a flesh wound, IMO.

The only hate, ill will and such has been displayed by the prosecutors, Larry, Mo, and Curly. I know their job is to convict but they obviously have nothing to work with. I believe the case is over and proven in GZ’s favor. The largest contention is who was screaming on the 911 call. It makes perfect sense to me the only logical person to be screaming for help is still alive and had the visible wounds to prove it. Of course the screaming stopped when the gunshot sounded. This means the threat was neutralized. I believe this case has far reaching effects on law abiding gun toting citizens everywhere. May God be with Mr. Zimmerman and his lawyers.

Broward Co. Sheriff’s Dept Monday issued a video asking the community not to riot after verdict. They are enlisting members of the Miami Heat to urge youths to ” Speak up, don’t Act up”.

Has anybody else noticed the similarity of the way the two retired military guys (Mr. Donnelley and Mr. Zimmerman’s uncle) were able to identify Zimmerman’s screams in a way that I would suspect non-military people might not understand?

Mr. Zimmerman’s uncle said he wasn’t even watching the TV when he heard what he immediately identified as George’s screams. Of course, today Mr. Donnelley said he was able to identify the screams but he wished he didn’t have that ability.

I hope that’s not lost on the jury.

How will Donnelly ignoring the witness sequestration order play out today? He was in court, at least on the 26th of june, and possibly other dates. I haven’t watched the video but he may have been exposed to the 911 call but his testimony doesn’t jive with that. Why would the defense let him sit in on the trial ??

    Matt in FL in reply to Vince. | July 9, 2013 at 6:25 am

    I’m not disputing that it happened, but do you have a source that Donnelly was in court? I heard Mantei say that he “heard that he may have been,” but that’s the last that it was spoken of in court.

    I don’t see the Court holding him in contempt and throwing him in lock-up, so I doubt there will be any consequences for Donnelly personally.

    As for consequences for the defense–was he there on their instruction? I doubt it. Did they KNOW he was there and not inform? How would we know? Apparently the State didn’t notice at the time, and they’d previously deposed him, so knew what he looked like.

    In any case, what’s the demonstrable prejudice to the State? If having Tracey Martin and Sabryna Fulton present every day represents no prejudice to Zimmerman, as Nelson has ruled, could the ancillary and cumulative testimony of Donnelly be so important that his transient presence in the Court on a previous day causes prejudice to the State? I doubt it.

    So, my expectation for the consequences of Donnelly having earlier been in court?

    A big, fat nothing.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Ragspierre in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 9, 2013 at 8:46 am

      This is the kind of thing you have nightmares about if you try a case.

      You try to assure everyone understands the instructions, and that they abide by them.

      You have to keep MANY balls in the air during trial, and for most of us, it never occurs to turn around and look at the people who have slipped in. Or to go out in the hall and make sure our witnesses are not discussing the case. Sort of the last thing on our minds, but it can destroy days of work, and your reputation in court.

      Vince in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 9, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      Well, it looks like we’ll find out. Judge Nelson mentioned that they’ll be discussing Donnelley tomorrow morning before the jury is seated.