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Zimmerman Trial Day 6 – Analysis & Video – State’s witness Chris Serino seriously undermines charge

Zimmerman Trial Day 6 – Analysis & Video – State’s witness Chris Serino seriously undermines charge

If you didn’t listen to the live streaming of the Zimmerman case, you missed the most astonishing cross-examination of a trial that has been hip-deep in astonishing cross-examinations. (Fortunately for you, we provide the video, below, if you need to catch up–it’s worth it.)

Chris Serino, Investigator, Sanford PD, Cross-Examination by O’Mara

Chris Serino, Investigator, Sanford Police Department, Cross-Exam, Part 2

Chris Serino, Investigator, Sanford Police Department, Cross-Exam, Part 3

On the stand was Chris Serino, who was the lead investigator for the Sanford Police Department on the Trayyvon Martin shooting. Defense counsel Mark O’Mara led cross-examination with his usual consummate skill, obtaining responses from this witness–remember, the State’s witness–that all but completely guts the State’s charge in this case.

Among the key revelations so far:

Zimmerman was always completely cooperative, open, and straightforward with all the police investigators over many weeks of multiple interviews, both in person at the police station and phone. The sense given is that Zimmerman demonstrated endless patience.

O’Mara noted that Serino was leading an investigative team, gathering and sharing evidence ,that included all levels of the Sanford Police Department up to the Chief, and even members of the 18 Circuit State Prosector’s office. Asked if there was ANYTHING that Zimmerman had said that contradicted the wealth of evidence possessed by Serino, the Investigator answered, “No, sir.” No physical evidence, no witness evidence, no officer statements, nothing? “No, sir.”

In fact, noted O’Mara, the evidence Serino had all fit into a self-defense theory, and Serino agreed that it did, and that his information supported self-defense. Serino would note this in the normal course of an investigation because in addition to investigating crime it was also his charge to investigate defenses, including self-defense.

Serino offered to help Zimmerman obtain help, including psychological help, for the nighmares and anxiety that he cautioned often followed a event as traumatic as having to take a human life in self-defense.

He noted that, “In this particular case, Zimmerman could have been a victim, too.”

O’Mara asked if Serino was familiar with such symptoms from having observed them in fellow officers who had had to kill in self-defense, and the question brought a quick, if tardy, objection from State prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda.

O’Mara also asked about Zimmerman’s affect at the time of the incident. Serino agreed that Zimmerman had presented a “flat” affect but put it down to trauma. When asked if Serino has perceived Zimmerman to seem uncaring or cavalier for having had to shoot someone beating him up, Serino’s response was beaten out by a quick BDLR objection.

When asked by O’Mara about the severity of Zimmerman’s injuries, the Investigator replied that they did not seem to him, a career police officer who has seen far worse, as life threatening, but that one also had to take into account the mental trauma of the event of having survived a life-and-death situation. O’Mara noted, however, that in fact the extent of injuries don’t matter for purposes of self-defense, and Serino agreed. “In fact,” observed O’Mara,” we don’t need to see life-threatening injuires, not any injuries, dow we?” “No, sir,” answered Serino.

Serino noted that in this particular case he was under quite a lot of external pressure to move the case forward.

There were also external concerns about racial profiling that he was required to get clarified.

Serino agreed that at no time had Zimmerman ever expressed, ill-will, hatred, or spite toward Martin, and indeed had seemed shocked when informed that Martin had died, exclaiming, “He’s dead?”

In seeking this clarification Serino observed no evidence whatever of any anger or disdain by Zimmerman towards Martin. When asked by Serino if Zimmerman would have acted in the same manner if Martin had been white, Zimmerman said he would have. When asked by O’Mara if Serino believed him, Serino answered, “Yes.”

For a more comprehensive sense of just how much pressure was under, see:

Zimmerman Trial: Evidentiary Flashback: Investigator Serino Tells FBI He Was Pressured to Bring Charges

At one point Serino was pressured to initiate a “challenge meeting” with Zimmerman, in which he would try to goad Zimmerman to making substantive changes to his testimony or to admit to a substantive omission from his prior testimony. The purpose of the “challenge meeting,” it was explained, is to try to break the suspects story and get to the truth. Indeed, the investigator might even pretend that some piece of incriminating evidence existed, or otherwise exaggerate evidence contrary to the suspect’s narrative, to try to find a chink in the suspect’s story.

The trouble, Serino recounted, is that he couldn’t really do an effective “challenge meeting” for the simple reason that “I just didn’t have much to challenge him WITH.” In this case, O’Mara asked, you didn’t have much to hit him with? “No sir,” answered Serino, “I did not.”

Nevertheless, the “challenge meeting” was held. In the absence of any real contrary evidence with which to challenge Serino, the Investigator pretended to have some ready to spring. They had discovered, he said, video footage of the events that evening. “And what did Zimmerman say when you told him that?” “He said, Thank God,” Serino answered.

The last O’Mara question of the day, the last words the jury heard to take with them into the evening recess, could only be characterized as catastrophic for the State’s theory of the case. Looking directly at the man who had been the chief investigator on the case, who had possessed access to ever bit of evidence of any sort, who had interviewed, and re-interviewed, and re-re-interviewed–applying increasing from each interview to the next–O’Mara asked him:

“Do YOU think George Zimmerman was telling you the truth?”

Serino succinct answer: “Yes.”

That ended today’s court session, but not Mark O’Mara’s cross-examination of Chris Serino, which will continue tomorrow morning at 9AM. Join again then for another day of all-day live video coverage of the trial, a rolling Tweeter feed of selected contributors, and both mid-day and end-of-day analysis and video of the day’s testimony.


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’m wondering if this case is dismissed before a Jury has a chance to decide. That being said, Zimmerman better write a best seller, he’s going to need the money for bodyguards.

Not to mention a new social security number, among other things, perhaps even a name change.

    I pray this jury is honest and competent. If they are they should vote for acquittal about ten minutes after they select the foreperson.

      myiq2xu in reply to EBL. | July 1, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      The quickest verdicts take about 20 minutes. The jurors take a potty break, elect a foreman then hold a vote to see where they stand. If they all agree on a verdict there is nothing to discuss so they tell the bailiff to inform the court.

        The only jury I was on took less time than for the bailiff to go out and get us a pot of coffee. We were agreed, signed the paperwork and sealed it in under five minutes. Then we had to sit around because everyone else went to lunch.

        Don’t they generally hold out for the lunch? Then again, the lunches in that court house probably suck and it is not like they haven’t tried them already.

        stevewhitemd in reply to myiq2xu. | July 1, 2013 at 9:23 pm

        Many years ago I served on a jury in a murder case in Chicago. It was pretty clear that the defendant was guilty and that the state (despite having really, really green counsel) had the evidence.

        Nevertheless it took us about nine hours to find the man guilty, and a number of us jurors, me included, went back and forth for quite a while.

        So you never really can tell. Don’t take a long deliberation to mean that Mr. Zimmermann is in trouble. It just might take the jury a while.

      MrE in reply to EBL. | July 1, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      Let’s just hope the jury doesn’t use the same voting machines they used to elect Obama.

    That is not incompetence by CNN, that is malice. They are told repeatedly not to release information like that.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to EBL. | July 1, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      The State/Prosecution let that information out without obscuring the SSN, etc.

      The buck stops there.

        I am full of contempt at the system.

        Juba Doobai! in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 1, 2013 at 9:59 pm

        It’s like the State wants to exact a penalty at any cost. GZ will likely be a victim of identity theft, and lose whatever credit rating and finances he has.

        I cannot imagine that CNN staffers did not look at the document before posting it. They know the dangers of one’s SSN becoming public knowledge. The release smacks of media complicity with the State.

    Observer in reply to McCoy2k. | July 1, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    It will be interesting to see how much this defense is costing Zimmerman. Of course, there is no way to measure the cost of his lost reputation, or the security he and his family have lost. He’ll have to spend the rest of his life hiding his identity, and/or constantly looking over his shoulder. But the hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars in legal fees he has been forced to incur, and the lost wages, etc., probably add up to a pretty staggering amount. I hope the public ultimately gets to see that cost, so people can know what these phony “show trials” really cost the individuals who are unfortunate enough to get caught up in these political games that Obama and his cohorts in the race-baiting industry love to play.

      TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Observer. | July 1, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      The release of confidential and personal information by the State and the State-Controlled Media should be worth something with 6 or 7 zeroes on the end.

      nifepartie in reply to Observer. | July 2, 2013 at 4:43 am

      The defense for GZ is working pro bono. MoM normally collects $400 an hour.

      hesperus in reply to Observer. | July 2, 2013 at 11:00 am

      show trial? Does that mean you already know the outcome?
      Reputation? Try lying about funds to the court.

      You’re pathetic

    Catherine in reply to McCoy2k. | July 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Wouldn’t that involve the judge being solely responsible for the outcome of the trial? Would she want very vocal people to blame her for the case being dismissed? Isn’t it easier for her to let the jury decide the case? If the jury decides GZ is not guilty, people will blame it on the jury and not on the judge.

      Juba Doobai! in reply to Catherine. | July 1, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      If the judge dismisses, it takes the pressure off of the jury to find him guilty so they won’t be the victim of the race-hustler crowd.

Holy he’ll.

If this was a “regular case”…other than that this case wouldn’t have been brought to trial…would the judge have just dismissed this charges and gave the prosecution a serious chewing out?

Considering the lead investigator thinks he’s innocent, how the hell (1) was this case brought to trial, (2) was this case brought to trial as murder 2??

Complete vindication for George Zimmerman today.

Great coverage, Andrew!

    Milhouse in reply to bccobbs. | July 1, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    It’s precisely because the Sandford police investigator concluded that there was no case, that the governor appointed a special prosecutor, who came to a different conclusion, for reasons that are pretty obvious and have nothing to do with the evidence.

      kentuckyliz in reply to Milhouse. | July 1, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      And don’t forget, that special prosecutor Angela Corey cancelled the grand jury 24 hours before it was to start. I am shocked that such a move is even possible. That alone should be grounds to overturn a conviction. Perhaps Floridians need to pursue a change in their laws that require a grand jury. If you can indict a ham sandwich, this ham sandwich should have made an appearance in the grand jury Panini grill.

Andrew, is this exceptional lawyering or a softball case, or a little of both? Will they earn a elite reputation for this trial?

    nifepartie in reply to rayc. | July 2, 2013 at 4:47 am

    MoM is considered an excellent lawyer by others in his field. he normally collects $400/hr, yet is working this case pro bono. Certainly not a “publ

    Underpaid, IMO.

I hear music, I see an obese woman, is she singing?

    Solomon in reply to hoglaw. | July 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Yes, SIR!

    I hope we do not hear this: Kill the Cracker, kill the Cracker!

      kentuckyliz in reply to EBL. | July 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm

      I see people tweeting to GZ acquittal rioters about advances in CCW permits, density of AR 15 ownership, and personal defense tech and laws since 1992. Advising that flat screen TV’s don’t make good body armor and Bring Your Own Body Bag for speedier service. Write your SSN in sharpie on both arms for quicker identification. There is some counterthreat going on. The rioters and people who want to Kill a Cracka for Trayvon better be ready for what they might and will encounter. It’s really stupid to threaten the wave of cracka killing when gun and ammo sales are breaking all historic records.

        I don’t like either the threats or the counter-threats. People ARE armed here, it’s not going to be like the LA riots, there’s going to be a lot more active defending of self and property if things go ugly, and people WILL get hurt. I hope it’s mostly just “big talk”, all this stuff about killing a cracka for Trayvon and all, but still, I think it’ll be a good summer to stay away from cities.

        Juba Doobai! in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 1, 2013 at 10:05 pm

        I really shouldn’t laugh, but I can’t help it.

        Anyway, as I’ve said before, when you are 12% of the population, it’s a bad idea to threaten the likely well-armed others.Somebody really ought to tell my fellows in the community that “whitey” is not afraid of them.

        Observer in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 1, 2013 at 10:06 pm

        I watched the first few minutes of the “Dr. Drew” show on HLN this evening. (The doctor wasn’t on; they had a guest host). There was a panel of commentators, one of whom was a black woman in some faux African get-up. She referred to the Zimmerman jury as “the Klan.”

        The prosecution hasn’t even finished putting on its case, and this woman is already calling the jurors racists and criticizing them for a verdict that they haven’t even rendered yet!

        No matter how this ends, it won’t end well.

        nifepartie in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 2, 2013 at 4:52 am

        I’ve seen tweets of African americans literally praying for an acquittal because they want to go loot stores, two of them said they need new TV’s, another one said he has wanted to kill a white person since he was 12. To anyone who thinks there will be little or no problem upon announcement of “not guilty”, they’ve got another thing coming. Now if the media just posts the verdict in cursive, we will all be able to have a peaceful weekend.

Andrew, what about the info the jury heard from “The Challenge Interview” conducted by Serino and the female investigator.

Now, I wouldn’t say that it actually helped their case on legal grounds, but don’t you think is was harmful to the defense to have the jury hear two police officers say that Trayvon would have been justified in defending himself if he thought he was scared and thought he was being followed?

Hopefully, O’Mara will be able to get him to admit that the law is certainly not written that way.

The police also said this would never have happened if Zimmerman just identified himself as neighborhood watch or if he had just stayed in his car.

Of course, they also got to hear GZ say, “Thank God, I hope someone got the whole thing on videotape!” when Sorino bluffed that there might be a video of the event.

O’Mara does seem to be doing a very good job so far of explaining that this interview is just an investigative technique, but I still worry about how much this may have influenced the jury.

So, what do you think?
Will the jury be influenced by hearing police ask George in such an aggressive and accusing manner why he didn’t identify himself and why he didn’t just stay in his car?
Or will O’Mara’s cross effectively negate any prejudicial aspect of the video interview?

Looking forward to tomorrow!

    Aridog in reply to fogflyer. | July 1, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Good point. I had to ask right here why the drawn out Serino episode. He struck me as an interrogator who talked too much. Others explained it to me as a sequence in case building. Makes sense. Dense as I am I got the message that O’Mara put out…that this is a technique for validation not a presumption of anything by itself. I suspect the jurors will get it also.

      kentuckyliz in reply to Aridog. | July 1, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      I heard the legal commentators on CNN gushing about how great MOM did on CX with Serino, that it was masterful and will be taught in law schools. Friendly, open ended questions, got Serino to say his pressure tactics didn’t mean he believed those things, that he couldn’t find any conflicting information in multiple interviews with GZ, and that he believed GZ and found him truthful and credible and consistent over multiple tellings, including with pressure tactics. Serino has high credibility as an experienced interrogator with a long career, and he seems hard boiled and straightforward and straight out of central casting.

        fogflyer in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 1, 2013 at 10:22 pm

        Well, that is good to hear, but unfortunately I just clicked on CNN and HLN and both of them were showing clips from the “challenge interview”. So now America gets to hear the cops saying Martin had a right to defend himself, that Zimmerman should have said he was Neighborhood Watch, that he should never have got at of his car.

        Of course all of this is being aired without an explanation that the cops are doing a confrontational interview and saying things that aren’t even true just to rattle him.

        God, I am disgusted with the media… I feel nauseous.

    myiq2xu in reply to fogflyer. | July 1, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    It is possible for two people to both be in reasonable fear of the other without either party being guilty of a crime.

    A simple example is two undercover cops shooting at each other because they both thought they were being robbed by the other.

      Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to myiq2xu. | July 1, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      You need to create a better and more detailed scenario for a real answer. The one you propose is lacking in many elements.

      if you are trying to reconcile TM’s alleged behavior with what is known about the case, with the hope that it was all just a tragic misunderstanding, sorry.
      At least in my opinion.

      Here’s why, and this relates to the weakness of your scenario: The moment one of them commits a forcible felony, then he can no longer claim self-defense from actions arising therefrom.
      Once TM assaulted GZ it was no longer a simple misunderstanding.
      There is a line.
      TM crossed it, as the evidence appears to indicate. Your scenario doesn’t have that because it is too sketchy.
      There is always a line.

        I was offering a hypothetical set of facts for the proposition that it is possible for two people to both be in reasonable fear of the other without either party being guilty of a crime. I gave one scenario but I can imagine others.

        I never said that it applied to this case.

          Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to myiq2xu. | July 1, 2013 at 10:52 pm

          Neither did I accuse you of that. Conjectured only why you would posit such a scant scenario.

          Actually, it was a silly and ill-formed question. I was trying to treat you seriously.

          Sorry you took offense.

      Cowboy Curtis in reply to myiq2xu. | July 1, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      Yes. But its only self defense if you are under attack. Someone punching you, or pulling a knife and saying “Give me your wallet!” is grounds to defend violently defend yourself. Being followed at a distance by stranger, yelled and cursed at, or watched suspiciously is not…even if its by a creepy ass cracker.

      Unless Zimmerman physically attacked Martin, Martin had no right to lay a finger on him, and doing so was a crime.

    Northern Sentinel in reply to fogflyer. | July 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    If you feel threatened, rather than just annoyed,
    by a person you perceive to be following you
    and if safety was only steps away,
    then what reasonable justification is there for choosing
    to confront the follower instead of choosing safety?

      divemedic in reply to Northern Sentinel. | July 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      The key there is that you must reasonably believe that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to yourself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.
      Explain how someone watching you from a distance constitutes a reasonable belief that the other person is placing you at risk if imminent death or great bodily injury.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to fogflyer. | July 1, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    In suggesting that if GZ had identified himself as NW all would have been well, the cops assume many things about TM that they didn’t know, like the fact that he was a thug and into beating people up MMA style.

    I don’t think it would have made a bit of difference for TM to know GZ was an NW guy and I don’t think TM was ever afraid of GZ. He was just looking for trouble because he was upset about getting suspended and shipped out away from his homies and he saw a chance to give somebody a beatdown.

    The cops should not have made the assumption that TM was a good boy or scared. He was neither. In fact, I think if TM knew GZ was NW, he would have considered him even a more tantalizing target. I also believe he would have attacked GZ when he approached the car if GZ hadn’t been protected inside the car. Approaching the car like that was a pretty damn aggressive thing for a “frightened kid” to do when he was own home and a locked door where mere steps away.

    Gee, maybe it’s just I, but if I’m scared of somebody I just know the first thing I’m going to do is approach them in their vehicle with me exposed in the open.


      Remember though, this was asked in a confrontational interview that is designed to intimidate and trip up the subject of the interrogation. The cops did not necessarily believe that saying he was NW would have prevented anything. It was simply their tactic to beat him down and try to get him to contradict himself or “come clean”.

      The best part though was when Serino lied and said they might have a video of the entire event and George said, “Thank God!”

      Uncle Samuel in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | July 2, 2013 at 7:01 am

      IS THERE ANY CONCRETE PROOF that anything Rachel Jeantel said about the conversation with TM is true?

      Is there an NSA or any other kind of recorded transcript of their conversation or texts?

      If not, there is NO PROOF that TM was afraid or that he did not jump and assault GZ just like Zimmerman testified.

        Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 2, 2013 at 7:06 am

        This woman* has already changed her testimony several times, thus her claims are suspect.

        *Some claim this woman is a composite and that there are several ‘DeeDees’ in the mix Crump has produced.

        Crump and company and the media have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.

The MSNBC version of the prosecution’s day today was a stark contrast to what I watched happen. Marcia Clark on the Rev Al Show was a sight to see. Evidently she has had so much botox her vision is distorted. Meanwhile Goldie Taylor – who regularly gives the most pro-prosecution spin- declared the prosecution case to have a long way to go after the court recessed for the day. You’d get whiplash watching the coverage, I swear.

    Jazzizhep in reply to Mary Sue. | July 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    WOW, Goldie Taylor is on MSNBC? I don’t know who she is, but I have been seeing her tweets and they have been over the top. I thought she was just some super pro-TM tweeter. I remember the name b/c they were nauseating, and she is a part of the MSM, double WOW?

    Fabi in reply to Mary Sue. | July 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    For a day or two last week, MSNBC came perilously close to sanity. Glad they redeemed themselves today. One of the gabbers started down the SYG path and, a bit surprisingly, the others told him it was conventional self defense. But they balanced out that clarity with a legally futile examination of GZ’s injuries.

And the MSM is still trying to convict him during the trial. Showing his DL ID and SSN# on CNN! See where the race whore’s are showing up en masse – Ashley Banfield for one. They have to “report” about the MSM narrative instead of the facts. This country is going to hell in a hand basket!!! Stay strong GZ. There are common sense people out here who believe in the truth and don’t follow the MSM narrative.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Granny55. | July 1, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Maybe Putin will offer George asylum too.

    fogflyer in reply to Granny55. | July 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    What was there purported reason for giving out this information???

      ConradCA in reply to fogflyer. | July 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      So the New Black Panthers and other thugs woul be able to deliver justice to Zimmerman if he is acquitted .

        Uncle Samuel in reply to ConradCA. | July 2, 2013 at 7:17 am

        Yep, the NBPP Bruthas and Farrakhan have stated that their street law is higher than white man law.

        Farrakhan wants the US to deed Detroit to the blacks to make up for slavery.

        These people are insane with hate.

        Black muslim supremacy is the ideology that hate produced and keeps alive:

        It is the ideology of Holder, Sharpton, and the Obamas and of DeeDee, Trayvon and the gangstas of South Chicago, Detroit and LA. The ideology that fuels and perpetuates the culture of looters, rapists, drug users and sellers, the violent, poverty, joblessness, promiscuity, and illiteracy, and people who live on entitlements and vote more than once.

Goetz von Berlichingen | July 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Thanks for watching MSNBC so we don’t have to, Mary Sue.
You are doing the Lord’s work.

De-lurking long enough to say “thanks!” This is the sort of analysis that ought to be provided by our esteemed professional journalists but never is.

legal questions:

Can the defense call the county prosecutors who chose not to prosecute, or are these the same attorneys? And would they call an atty, specifically a prosecutor, to testify?

It seems like the introduction of the GZ interviews are a chance for the defendant to testify w/o being crossed, is this usual? Realizing the defense usual tries to keep these out b/c of substantive inconsistencies.

Branca tweeted:
Andrew Branca, LOSD @LawSelfDefense
#Zimmerman Trial: RECALL: Invest. Serino Tells FBI in March 2012 He’s Being Pressured to Bring Unwarranted Charges

How or under what circumstances would lead to this being introduced into evidence? I would like to see it introduced, but it doesn’t seem relevant.

Well, it seems that Nancy Grace is the last man standing, from what I can glean.

I wonder if today’s testimony cracks that harder than a rock predisposition to the “truth”.

    Aridog in reply to Browndog. | July 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    You watching Nancy Grace? As someone else said here, that is God’s work…bless you for it so the rest don’t have to see her preen. :))

I wonder if there is going to come a point where the judge will stop the trial and point out what a miscarriage of justice it is.

If I were BDLR, I’d be on the phone with O’Mara this night, asking if he’d convey to his client an offer to plea to a charge of illegally discharging a firearm…or any damn thing.

This is going into the crapper for the State.

If the Head be Split,

You Must Acquit !

    kentuckyliz in reply to Rick Z. | July 1, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    That is genius! If The Head Be Split, You Must Acquit. Actually, it’s if you believe GZ was in fear for his life, whether or not he had any injuries or contact, and that fear is reasonable according to a reasonable man standard, you must acquit. There are nurses and security personnel on this jury. They have probably had experience and/or training to know about head on concrete injuries and risk. I wish the judge would do the right thing and take the heat off the jurors though. They will be under as much danger as Good and GZ.

It hard to imagine how defense counsel could elicit testimony any more damaging than he already has. Part of me thinks he should just say no further questions. On the other hand this is so entertaing I hate to see this end.

    Matt in FL in reply to Pauldd. | July 1, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    I would love to see:

    “State rests, your honor.”
    MOM stands up.
    “Defense rests, your honor.”

    Won’t happen, but it’d be a pretty powerful point.

      Browndog in reply to Matt in FL. | July 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      Aside from the human element, of a man’s freedom hangs in the balance, I’m certain with all the effort O’Mara has put into this case, the hounds of hell won’t keep him from showcasing his work.

      I’ll defer to Rags on this point.

        Ragspierre in reply to Browndog. | July 2, 2013 at 12:05 am

        I have to confess to not following that closely to know really what…if any…telling hits have been scored by the State.

        I honestly can’t think of any off the top of my head. Nothing new…nothing at all damning to Zimmerman.

        And after today, with your top cop saying he found Zimmerman believable, really, where do you go?

        To just announce that you rest would be powerful…and very risky. On what cursory information I have, the State has not met any burden at all. But I have not been seeing those juror’s eyes throughout this, and I’d just have to.

        I’d be fascinated to know what Robt. Hirschhorn’s read is on this from inside the courtroom!

      stevewhitemd in reply to Matt in FL. | July 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      Andrew handled that earlier last week. Won’t happen; the defense dares not rely on just beating up the state’s case. The state has put testimony and evidence in and the defense, in addition to the cross-examination, now has to refute that testimony and evidence point by point.

      I’d look to a very careful and detailed presentation by the defense. They won’t go at it so long and deep so as to bore or annoy the jury, but I think O’Mara takes every opportunity he can to demonstrate that the state simply doesn’t have a case.

        Milhouse in reply to stevewhitemd. | July 2, 2013 at 1:06 am

        What evidence has the state put up? There doesn’t seem to be anything to refute, since the defense agrees with pretty much everything the prosecution’s witnesses have said!

      nifepartie in reply to Matt in FL. | July 2, 2013 at 5:31 am

      It could also likely come off as foolish or arrogant to the jury.

If Zimmerman had not shot Martin, would Martin have faced assault and battery charges and an attempted murder charge for his attack of Zimmerman?

    Browndog in reply to Annie. | July 1, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    It would have remained localized–misdemeanor assault, not even have made the local news.

    Benjamin Crump changed all that.

      Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to Browndog. | July 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      Depends on whether anyone walked away from that fight.
      Could have been murder.
      Isn’t that kind of the point about self-defense? You just don’t know.

    Canusee in reply to Annie. | July 1, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Recent trial where the victim did not have a gun to protect himself. (GZ was the victim; Just because the aggressor got killed does not mean that status gets upgraded to victim.),0,7268166.story

    Chicago teen thug Malik Jones, 16 years old at the time, punched a 62 year old man in the jaw. The victim fell and his head hit concrete. He died the next day from the head injury (“blunt force trauma”).

    It was part of a “Pick ‘Em Out and Knock ‘Em Out” game. Two other teens were present, one of them videotaped the incident and then posted it on a facebook page.

    Anthony Malcolm told Chicago Police detectives he wasn’t certain his friend was going to clock the older man collecting soda cans in the West Rogers Park alley. Even after Malik Jones allegedly boasted on video “I think I’m gonna knock this mother f—– out.” Even after, Cook County prosecutors said, another pal also expressed his desire to attack the unsuspecting Delfino Mora, 62. […] Mora, who was holding a red aluminum can when he was approached by the youths, apparently didn’t seem to understand Jones and looked toward Ayala, thinking he spoke Spanish, prosecutors said. “Got some money in your pocket?” the teen prosecutors identified as Jones asked the confused Mora. Then, that teen can be seen punching Mora once in the jaw. “Bitch,” Jones allegedly hissed as the 5-foot-5-inch Mora crashed hard on the pavement — a shocking scene that elicited gasps from the deceased man’s large family watching the trial. […]

Andrew you need to edit the following paragraph:

“When asked by O’Mara about the severity of Serino’s injuries, the Investigator replied that they did not seem to him, a career police officer who has seen far worse, as life threatening, but that one also had to take into account the mental trauma of the event of having survived a life-and-death situation. O’Mara noted, however, that in fact the extent of injuries don’t matter for purposes of self-defense, and Serino agreed. “In fact,” observed O’Mara,” we don’t need to see life-threatening injuires, not any injuries, dow we?” “No, sir,” answered Serino.”

In a just world, Zimmerman would walk free with a groveling apology from the State of Florida, and Zimmerman would sue all those responsible for this trial until they were left muttering to themselves, pushing shopping carts under the interstate and soiling their Depends.

They deserve nothing less.

I understand that CNN has to cut away to commercials occasionally – that’s how they pay their bills. But why do they keep interrupting testimony so their bloviating gasbags can talk?

    TJP1982 in reply to myiq2xu. | July 1, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Because they don’t like what the testimony says. Doesn’t put asses in the seats when you are utterly wrong. Gotta give it to Sunny Hostin. She is going down with the ship.

    Matt in FL in reply to myiq2xu. | July 1, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Because what they have to say is more important than what’s occurring in the court, of course.

    Or because they’re fatuous, bloviating pricks.

    Your choice.

Question…I did not see all of Serino’s testimony today, but ABC News reported this…

“In his initial report in which he recommended manslaughter charges, Serino wrote that Martin’s death could have been avoided if Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, had not left his car after calling police to report a suspicious person on Feb. 26, 2012.”

Is this true? I thought I recalled hearing that Serino never actually recommended manslaughter charges. Anyone know for sure one way or the other?

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to MegK. | July 1, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Just remember that the alphabet-news networks have been schooled in real reporting by the likes of the Enquirer and enumerable blogs over the past few years.

    The truth may not have an agenda, but a government-backed pack of lies and innuendo definitely do.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to MegK. | July 1, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    That’s the total opposite of what Serino Said.

    The MSM have their own narrative that is completely disconnected from reality.

    cjharrispretzer in reply to MegK. | July 1, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I’m listening to a reporter named Rory O’Neill, who is reporting from the trial in FL, on KFI AM640 in Los Angeles and he is reporting that Serino is going to testify on Monday that he recommended a Manslaughter charge. I was going to ask if that was true, and now I see this post. WTH?

    kentuckyliz in reply to MegK. | July 1, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I watched. The MSM is intentionally mistaking Serino’s pressure questions for his opinion on the case. Interrogators can lie and create pressure and say things they don’t really believe. MOM handled this on CX.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to MegK. | July 1, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Always remember that this is a perpetration of a NARRATIVE. The media just flat f*****g lies. They just make it up. Hard to believe? yes. But you’re witnessing it in action. Recognize it for what it and don’t let disilusionment make you question your own eyes, ears and common sense.

    Lisa_PA in reply to MegK. | July 2, 2013 at 1:23 am

    I believe what they are referring to is the “challenge interview”, where the investigator was throwing all kinds of accusations, even lying, to shake Zimmerman’s story. That is the same interview where the cop said they had video of the incident, and Zimmerman said “Thank God”. The media is not very intelligent, but I’m sure you already knew that. 🙂

Remember also, that the Police Chief got ran out of town on a rail for not charging Zimmerman, and Angela Corey impugned the integrity of the Sanford Police Dept..

…yet the State calls the boys in blue (yea, and women) to testify–basically against their own police work, and their former chief.


    VetHusbandFather in reply to Browndog. | July 2, 2013 at 1:20 am

    I was just thinking about this as I read Serino’s cross-examination. What in the world was the State thinking when they called Serino to the stand? Seriously this whole trial is a slap in the face to his original investigation. They are basically telling him he did a crappy job investigating the case, and then begging him to prove that they are now right and he was wrong. I’m pretty sure a competent prosecution wouldn’t have touched this guy with a 10 ft pole! There are a lot of people here that think the state is intentionally losing this case, calling Serino to the stand certainly bolsters that theory.

      Estragon in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 2, 2013 at 2:06 am

      Prosecutors were between a rock and a hard place on this one. If they didn’t call the lead investigator, the PD’s most experienced detective and interrogator who conducted the entire investigation – note there were no new investigators called, and everything in evidence is what Serino’s investigation found – it appears they are hiding it.

      Of course, that is a built-in risk when you come in after a decision not to charge has been made. They were sunk either way.

i believe gz version of what happened except for this:

i believe he was on nieghborhood watch, not going to the store. And also, i believe he got out of the truck to keep tabs on tm, not look for a street sign, however, no way was he looking for a confrontation. that’s just retarded. and of course, i could be wrong.

    Humphreys Executor in reply to dms. | July 1, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    When you listen to Zimmerman’s call to the police, you hear how utterly helpless and confused he is in articulating where he is. It’s kind a strange for a neighborhood watch guy but it totally fits with the rest of his story. I know there are places in my home town I can easily find but I’d be darned if I could give directions on how to get there.

      kentuckyliz in reply to Humphreys Executor. | July 1, 2013 at 9:58 pm

      However, Lauer didn’t know the street names either, and things are laid out in a circle with walkways between the houses and the streets. The street names change but the residents aren’t clear where. That was a new housing development and none had lived there very long. However, even today Sgt Raimondo was confused about the name of the next housing development over and their street names. He had clearly studied this one to prepare for trial, but was confused about the next one over because it had recently changed. GZ screws up the clubhouse address on the NEN call from the start of the call before things got stressful and didn’t understand the dispatcher’s follow up questions about it. It’s hard to know how to give directions for a neighborhood that loops around like that, instead of being laid out on a square grid.

        kentuckyliz in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 1, 2013 at 10:00 pm

        Also, it came out crystal clear from the NWP coordinator lady’s testimony that the NWP program aims to get neighbors to know each other–no mention of knowing the street names and transitions to new names and house numbers. Knowing EACH OTHER.

    yes you are wrong. ZM was going to the store. Neighbourhood watch does not require patrols. It means looking out and being aware of the environment.

    kentuckyliz in reply to dms. | July 1, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    If you listen to the NEN call, the dispatcher repeatedly asks GZ where is the suspicious person, what direction is he going in, what actions is he taking. After a NWP training program that repeatedly emphasized that you are the eyes and ears of the police in your community, but don’t confront and engage, but you can follow at a distance to observe (as testified to by the NWP trainer lady today)…BOOM GZ was following the NWP training instructions in answering the dispatcher’s repeated questions. He was immediately obedient to the dispatcher when the dispatcher made requests. GZ was later immediately obedient and cooperative with LEOs.

Andrew, I have just recently stumbled on the blog by the way of mike danials blog. I am pro Zimmerman all the way and just wanted to say you are doing a fantastic job. I would also buy the book if it was on itunes or kindle or even pdf as i do have learning disabilities. but i wanted to ask your opinion at one of are many statutes. we have a statute for use of force by the aggressor. He was not committed a force able felony and he did not provoke the attack. Could he also use this;

776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

For those interested Jeralyn over at Talk Left has a great article about TM’s complete cell phone records just released by the court. It seems there’s a full minute between RJ hanging up phone and the fatal shot and some other tidbits thats come to light.

    Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to styro1. | July 2, 2013 at 2:17 am

    A full minute? I though Ms. Jenteal said she heard the altercation start?
    She wouldn’t fib, would she?

Mrs. Leroy Goldberg | July 1, 2013 at 8:36 pm

The police chief who was run out of town is counting his blessings.
Florida is going to have to deal with an acquittal, look for the Rachel crowd and their social media to take action.
Why is the 911 call not being released in the case of the white guy on I4 who was shot and killed between Orlando and Tampa?

    Matt in FL in reply to Mrs. Leroy Goldberg. | July 1, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I’m guessing it’s not being released because it doesn’t contain any helpful (to the public) information that wasn’t already provided, and therefore it would be undoubtedly hurtful to the man’s family with no benefit except to the ghouls who want to hear the man’s final minutes.

    That shooting was a case of mistaken identity. A guy has turned himself in.

I have a question for Andrew (or anyone else in this Forum who knows the answer) … media is still repeating that “the dispatcher told Z to not follow M and to stay in his truck.” I saw an article on this somewhere that I can’t find that Z replied “OK” to the dispatcher and was returning to his truck when Martin accosted him. Andrew do you know if this is true (or did anyone else see this)? If so, the media, INCLUDING BILL O’REILLY, needs to stop saying this!

    Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to Mika-Samy. | July 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Read the transcripts of the NEN call. He was not told to stay. And he was not talking with anyone who had the power to compel him to do so had it been said.

      The dispatcher testified that he could hear the door bell alarm from the vehicle, and he does not at that moment tell GZ to stay in his vehicle. Only after hearing the wind noise as GZ walks to the T does he ask GZ if he’s following the suspicious person, and GZ says where he is, and dispatcher says we don’t need you to do that. Dispatcher understates that and issues no commands because he is not allowed to–it is a liability issue. GZ obviously thinks TM is gone and it’s over but still wants a police officer to come out. He’s trying to figure out where he wants to meet the officer and asks the dispatcher to have the officer call him. No such call happens before TM returns to the scene to confront GZ.

    Humphreys Executor in reply to Mika-Samy. | July 1, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    As Churchill said: “A lie can get half way around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.”

    dms in reply to Mika-Samy. | July 1, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    that was confirmed in the call he made to dispatcher. you could tell then he was out of his truck

      Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to dms. | July 1, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      what was confirmed? Please clarify your statement. I find it ambiguous.

    Yes on the original call, the one that has not been tampered with, George did say ok. He was on his way to his truck when he was accosted by TM.

      Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to Aussie. | July 1, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      Let’s address false understandings as they appear and not confirm them.
      The following is from memory:

      He was asked if he was following TM.
      He (GZ) said ‘yes’.
      Dispatcher: “OK, we don’t need you to do that.”
      GZ: “OK”

      Dispatcher is not a LEO. Dispatcher did not say, stay in truck.

      GZ left his truck because dispatcher asked him for an address, or words to that effect.


        Also the following was at a distance.

        However, I note that everyone is missing what George said about TM’s last words. Those words, that is what George said first are important.

        “You got it” Think about those words very carefully.

        It is the end of this case for the persecution.

          kentuckyliz in reply to Aussie. | July 1, 2013 at 10:15 pm

          I think TM said You got it out of surprise, since TM was so clearly dominating the fight to that point. The first interviewer lady said you got me and planted that in GZ’s mind. It shows up in the walk through video.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Aussie. | July 2, 2013 at 12:09 am

          I think “You got it” was TM’s way of saying he won the beatdown, meaning GZ got a beating.

          Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to Aussie. | July 2, 2013 at 2:23 am

          “You got it” was perhaps a reference to the result of the struggle for the gun?

          “You got me” were Dillinger’s last words.

          “Got it?” Were Ms. Jeanteal’s words. Soon, perhaps, to be replaced with “get me outta here!” uttered from behind gray bars.

        ok. he gets out of truck to get address, on the way back he looks for martin, dispatch says we don’t need you to do that, and then martin bushwhacks him. i’ll buy that.

      Mika-Samy in reply to Aussie. | July 1, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Thank you, and to all of you who replied to my question. That is exactly what I thought I had hear and am just astounded that the media is still spouting this LIE! Going to do an email to O’Reilly right now. He needs to get his facts straight before he pontificates!

txantimedia | July 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Andrew, I sat in stunned disbelief through Serino’s testimony. I thought he would be antagonistic toward the defense based on his questioning of Zimmerman. I now think he’s extremely pissed about the way things have gone and eager to help the defense in any way he can.

I cannot WAIT for BDLR’s redirect. Spittle will be flying. It’s going to be glorious. Serino just destroyed whatever remnants were left of the State’s case.

Humphreys Executor | July 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Serino is like a detective out of central casting. I read the transcript of the 2/29 interview. He came after Zimmerman hard. I am amazed Zimmerman didn’t lawyer up. I know I would have.

KrazyCrackaEsq | July 1, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Don’t forget the gift that was given by Chris Serino when he said he heard about Zimmerman volunteering with black youths.

Goetz von Berlichingen | July 1, 2013 at 8:52 pm

When did Serino make his “lateral” move to patrol?
And why that happened.
I would not be surprised if this is some of the most satisfactory testimony he has ever given in his life.

Emil de Blatz | July 1, 2013 at 8:58 pm

OK, criminal defense is not my bailiwick. So, after the State rests, the defense moves for a directed verdict, right? How often is that granted? Methinks it is incredibly rare, but has a probability of around .25 at this point.

    kentuckyliz in reply to Emil de Blatz. | July 1, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Directed verdict? Political forces are still at work. How big do you think this judge’s cajones are? She should do it to protect the jurors from threat. She already faces the threat, as a judge. These poor jurors are going to be threatened like Good is now.

Think BDLR will come charging out of his chair, arms swinging wildly and frothing at the mouth when it’s his turn on redirect of Serino tomorrow? The 2 Sanford Investigators killed the states case today. I can see why BDLR didn’t put Chris Serino, Doris Singleton, John Good and Jenna Lauer the witnesses who knew the most on the 1st couple of days. The jurors would have wondered why the defense was going first. The prosecution needs to bring this farce to an end or the judge needs to do her job and end this.

Last Friday me and txan had a rather lengthy and spirited discussion regarding the possibility that the defense could argue GZ showed restraint by only firing once and killing him. I said I would apologize if the defense tried this tact b/c I didn’t think you could convince the jury this is true since TM was killed with one shot.

While the defense has not attempted the maneuver, thus far, THE PROSECUTION has done it for them. Did you catch the exchange where the prosecutor was asking about GZ “frisking” TM while he was still alive. The State, I think (but who knows with them), was trying to show he was dead, but it was obvious from the video GM thought he was still alive.

So, I offer a semi-apology for not realizing that fools actually go where angels fear to tread.

    cjharrispretzer in reply to Jazzizhep. | July 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    I’m the one who originally posed that question, and I enjoyed all of the responses. I was also astounded at the testimony in court today regarding GZ’s belief about TM being alive. For anyone to believe GZ was a trigger-happy killer is just denying the truth. Everything about GZ’s actions shows he was trying to avoid any kind of confrontation, and then any kind of shooting at all. He didn’t want to shoot anyone, but had no choice.

    txantimedia in reply to Jazzizhep. | July 1, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    jazz, it was rather bizarre to see the prosecuting attorney arguing that if GZ had really been in fear for his life he would have shot TM more times.

MariettaGator | July 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Obviously, no one that believes the SOF is winning is actually watching the trial. If this were a football game it would be Zimmerman 60, SOF 2 at this point. Every pass the state has thrown has been intercepted and returned for a touchdown. The SOF gets 2 points for West’s bad joke. The Z team hasn’t even had the ball yet.

The people that insist the SOF is winning remind me of that OJ juror quoted after the trial- “So what if they had DNA? Everybody got DNA”.

Mansizedtarget | July 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm

This judge won’t do her job. She has low ratings in Seminole County, clearly can give a shit about the jury (which is very unusual), and favors the prosecution. She has shown no courage throughout this trial. Her ruling on Frye was a no brainer with the audio. Beyond that she has allowed this farce to go all the way. Speaking of which, what is amount of time for this case. This should be a week long trial at most. And she should have held state to 3 or 4 days at most for their main. I hate when judges don’t hold everyone to strict time limits.

She won’t do the right thing. She has the crim pro equivalent of a JNOV post verdict anyway as an option. I believe it’s called “arrest of judgment” She’ll punt.

I think her crappy attitude is why O’Mara and co. held off on the pretrial hearing on whether defense established by a preponderance. They have that option to make a motion to that effect after prosecution’s case to preserve error anyway.

    Jazzizhep in reply to Mansizedtarget. | July 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    i have seen the reference to Frye a few times, what is that? if you could keep the legal-speak and latin to minimum, it would be appreciated 🙂

      Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to Jazzizhep. | July 1, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      Admissibility standards

        Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to Goetz von Berlichingen. | July 1, 2013 at 9:41 pm

        Hearings are held to determine the admissibility of evidence and the testimony or outside sources…such as ‘experts’. Expert testimony admissibility is held to the Frye Standard.

        ahh, so Frye is not a reference to a specific piece of evidence in this case, it’s a ruling regarding (n) piece of evidence under Frye…that clears some of my confusion…thx

      Humphreys Executor in reply to Jazzizhep. | July 1, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      It’s the name for the rule FL follows regarding admissibility of expert witness testimony.

      DuraMater in reply to Jazzizhep. | July 1, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      I’ve read that sometime in July this year, Florida is moving away from Frye and adopting the more widely applied Daubert standards.

      These guidelines are essential in determining whether “expert scientific” testimony is, in fact, expert; in the sense that the methodologies, analytic techniques and conclusions of the witness meet the rigors of validation in the scientific community of their specific field. It is intended to filter out charlatans, junk science and sham-wow wizards who would only confuse the jury with a side show or present testimony based upon unsubstantiated science. “The courtroom is not to be ued as a laboratory.”

        Bruce Hayden in reply to DuraMater. | July 2, 2013 at 1:55 am

        The Florida test sounded more Daubert than Frye anyway. As I understand it, the philosophy in Frye states used to be fairly loose admissibility standards for expert witnesses, the theory being that dueling experts give fact finders enough evidence to decide which is more credible. So, you had John Edwards getting rich on junk science, and police testifying as experts on criminals. In other words, a lot of bogus expert testimony. Daubert required that judges act as gate keepers for expert testimony, and also that it is a well established field of expertise. In Florida though, supposedly a Frye state, the judge acts as a gate keeper, using similar limits to those in Daubert. Something like that.

    kentuckyliz in reply to Mansizedtarget. | July 1, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    How can you think that she gives a shit about this jury? Pardon my French but I am so angry. Today, the jury said they COULD NOT HEAR the AV (interview tapes and video of the defendant) that were being presented. THE JUDGE TOLD THEM THEY COULD LISTEN TO THEM DURING DELIBERATION. Just how can this jury understand the follow up questions and arguments being presented when they can’t hear the tapes and video? If I were a defendant under such conditions, I would be having a hissy fit about not getting a fair trial. This is HEINOUS. And yes my all caps are screaming. I mean it. How can this judge do this?! Attorneys in the room–what say ye?

      Humphreys Executor in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 1, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      Yes, that was total BS. The jurors are doing their civic duty under very difficult circumstances. The judge should bend over backwards to help them do their job.

      fogflyer in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 1, 2013 at 11:54 pm

      And while we are on this subject…
      How hard is it to replace the freakin’ microphone!?!?!?!?

Curious perspective from Karren DeSoto, Criminal Defense Attorney, on MSNBC’s Chris Hayes show this evening:
“I think that Trayvon Martin’s parents have a great case against the state of Florida because the concealed weapon is the problem there.  No states allow people to have a concealed weapon on their person. <>
Well… Texas… well… and we can talk about Texas, because there’s a lot of cases out of there. But having somebody — allowing somebody — to have a concealed weapon is like having a toddler with a machete.”
Obviously a back-bencher but also perhaps the anti-Andrew in training (!) I shudder to think that a) there are such ill-informed attorneys out there and b) the complicit media fall over themselves to give them a soapbox.

    Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to Solomon. | July 1, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    This is so stupid it can’t be true. Something has to have been misstated.

    News hasn’t fallen that far, has it?

    I love to have these defense attorneys make absolute fools of themselves on TV in front of millions. After this case who would actually want to hire a defense attorney who spent hours on TV beclowning themselves by declaring the state was winning this case. Would YOU want a defense attorney that doesn’t even know that CCW is legal in most states?

      cjharrispretzer in reply to jack burton. | July 1, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      God, what an idiot legal analyst. EVEN in CA we can obtain CCW permits. It’s not easy, and you have to jump through a million hoops, and prove you have a NEED (like a crazy ex-husband who may kill you as in my case), but it IS possible….and we have the strictest laws in the country. These people are put on TV on purpose the mislead.

        healthguyfsu in reply to cjharrispretzer. | July 1, 2013 at 11:04 pm

        Florida is quite simple. You have to be fingerprinted, submit to a background check, get your own “passport photo” for the id, take a half a day course on safety, and pay about 50 bucks for 5 years.

          They did lower the fees last year, but it’s still $42 for the fingerprint check and $70 for a new license ($112), $60 for renewals. It’s good for 7 years now, not 5 (they changed that in 2008). But yeah, the State doesn’t go out of its way to make it onerous. As long as you’re a law-abiding citizen, it’s pretty simple.

          The states seem to divide between those who see carrying as a privilege they grant to a select few, and those who see it as a basic right for any law-abiding adult. Florida is obviously one of the latter.

      the people on the news figure they can say and do anything because the people watching are stupid and won’t remember anything after this is all over.

      Lisa_PA in reply to jack burton. | July 2, 2013 at 1:47 am

      On HLN, they believe that Zimmerman should have stayed in the truck, and that this constitutes evidence that Zimmerman was the aggressor. Of course they also said that “Rachael Jeantel was telling “her own truth”, and that is as valid as THE truth.

        Aridog in reply to Lisa_PA. | July 2, 2013 at 8:36 am

        That scares me. Rachel’s “own truth” reminds me of Dan Rather’s “false, but accurate” excuse. Now that we have very high court judges re-defining words and parsing semantics, the very idea, promoted by MSM, that an “own truth” is equal to “the truth” is similar to believing in a flat earth.

    faboutlaws in reply to Solomon. | July 1, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Every state but Illinois has a concealed law and the will end soon there. Zimmerman had a concealed carry permit that was valid. You can’t get dumber than a MSMBC reporter.

    MrE in reply to Solomon. | July 1, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    What a loon DeSoto is! By way of reference, I just applied for my non-resident CCW permit from Utah after taking a class in Chicago. The permit will let me carry concealed in over 30 states with the reciprocity agreements in place.

    Per the instructor, since the Sandy Hook tragedy and pols threatening gun bans and more regulations, the class has been full to capacity (40) every time it is offered. What struck me most profoundly about the class, was the diversity of people applying for CCW permits. Young, old, male, female, black, white, asian – all there defensive training and to certify for their CCW permit.

    These days, it seems like the only safe assumption to make about anyone is that they are carrying a concealed firearm and are prepared to use it.

    Maybe that’s not a bad thing.

    Observer in reply to Solomon. | July 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    So Zimmerman’s concealed weapon was the problem? Not the fact that Martin jumped Zimmerman, knocked him down, and was trying to beat him to death?

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Solomon. | July 1, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Yeah, but an attorney none-the-less, taking the NBC 40-pieces of silver to opine.

    But then, what is it they say about the 99% giving the 1% a bad name?

    Bruce Hayden in reply to Solomon. | July 2, 2013 at 2:10 am

    Are you sure that they were an attorney? Passed the bar somewhere? The basic problem is sovereign immunity, most often combined with some sort of state constitutional RTKBA (plus now federal 2nd/14th Amdt.

Last week I raised the notion that a manslaughter conviction would be practically as bad as an M2 conviction.

The response was a reading of a manslaughter penalty that, while significant, was much less than M2.

However, today a FL attorney noted that, because Martin was under 18 and b/c of the firearm, that even manslaughter would carry a 30 year term.

Remember, Corey just put a woman away for 20 years for firing a gun IN THE AIR, as a warning shot against a possible assailant.

MOM must not allow this jury to mentally accept manslaughter as a fall back, split the baby decision.

The case against M2 is won; now MOM must focus on the manslaughter charge in the defense case.

    Solomon in reply to bildung. | July 1, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Fortunately, the Bidens live outside the dragon lady’s jurisdiction.

    kentuckyliz in reply to bildung. | July 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    GZ has not committed any crime by which he would forfeit his self-defense defense. I can’t see how this chasm of doubt can be bridged by the state. Self defense = no manslaughter.

      TrooperJohnSmith in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 1, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      Yes… it is either self-defense or it is not. Just as you cannot be sort of dead or sort of pregnant, you are either lawfully defending yourself or you are not.

rabid wombat | July 1, 2013 at 9:46 pm


First, I am not a lwayer. As I have read, a Frye hearings is specifically about the admissibility of experts. It is where the court decides with the input of the two teams the admissibility of experts on both sides. Branca has a great write up on this site about the specifics in this case. you can infer a lot of the definition from it.


Serino reminds me a tinsey bit of Bruce Willis.

The challenge interview is disturbing. If a law enforcement officer lied in a challenge interview to trip up a defendant, how is that not “fruit from a poisoned tree”, akin to evidence gathered from a search warrant granted under false pretenses?

    legacyrepublican in reply to Milwaukee. | July 1, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    I would think that it would take a great deal of care and an experienced officer to pull it off without it compromising the integrity of a case. Obviously, that is why they let the senior most homicide officer do it with GZ.

      txantimedia in reply to legacyrepublican. | July 1, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      You’re both wrong. The police can lie freely during interrogations. There are some limits, but the kind of lie Serino told is perfectly acceptable.

        Oh my, it reminds me of the nonsense I used to hear from criminals in the brief period I worked at a public defender’s office in upstate NY.

        “But I asked him three time–THREE TIMES–if he was a cop. If I ask him three times and he doesn’t admit it, then he can’t arrest me!”

        No, I’m not kidding. Tons of “myths” like that. And they’ll still believe them after they’ve been convicted, they just tell themselves that particular court “broke the rules”.

        Working there taught me one thing: I’ve never tried heroine, I guess it must be fun or people wouldn’t use it, but in my experience it’s use sure doesn’t correlate with high cognitive function.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Milwaukee in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm

          Of course undercover police officers lie, that’s the point. They need to worry about entrapment. However, I don’t waste time watching a lot of television, and I wasn’t aware that the police lie during interrogations. That seems unethical.

          What seems apparent to me is that any cooperation with police officers can be damaging. Especially since if a person does cooperate up to a point and then refused to cooperate, prosecutors can say “Well, he answered these questions, but when we got to this subject clammed up.”

          Solomon in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 2, 2013 at 12:07 am

          If it’s the needle that bothers you, you might be pleased to learn that there’s a novel delivery modality catching on that avoids the stick. You fill an inner tube with the junk and wrap it around your neck. Oiling your hair down first makes it easier to get the tube over your head and into place.

          Lisa_PA in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 2, 2013 at 1:58 am

          Apparently, defendants are not the only people who can not comprehend this tactic. The press seems to be about as intelligent, since they are reporting the questions asked in that interview as part of the actual evidence.

          Bad PTSD does not correlate well with high intelligence. PTSD tends to retard brain function. Dr. Lonny Shavelson found that 70% of female heroin users had been sexually assaulted during childhood. For males the numbers are 50%.

          For the most part our heroin laws are a way to persecute abused children.

        Milwaukee in reply to txantimedia. | July 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm

        ” The police can lie freely during interrogations. There are some limits,…”

        This is vague due to it being self contradicting. If they can lie freely then there are no limits.

        Serino did have video tape, but it was blurry and inconclusive and wasn’t going to prove anything, so that wasn’t a flat out lie, it was deliberately misleading.

        Sam Spade said the one lie she told didn’t count because they knew she was lying.

        Can you elaborate on what sorts of lies are permissible in a police interrogation room? I would guess that the rules for the condition of the suspect matter. Somebody who has been charged, arrested and read their rights might hear some lies. Somebody who hasn’t been charged and is just a person of interest and is still loose on the street might hear other lies. What sorts of lies do you think the ham sandwich hears before it gets charged?

          txantimedia in reply to Milwaukee. | July 1, 2013 at 11:14 pm

          Would you prefer that I had said they can lie freely about certain things but not about others?

          BTW, Serino did not have the video he claimed he had. He said that Trayvon’s phone was on and may have recorded the entire encounter. Sort of a grey lie, but perfectly acceptable in good police work.

          txantimedia in reply to Milwaukee. | July 1, 2013 at 11:28 pm

          The classic example may be seen on TV all the time. Johnny’s in the other room confessing right now. You’ve got five minutes to tell us the truth, or Johnny gets the plea deal. Meanwhile, Johnny is being told the same thing.

          Or, we have three witnesses that saw you commit the crime when they have none. They just need enough knowledge about the crime to convince you that witnesses must have seen it because otherwise how would the police know it?

          They can’t tell lies like, your child support will be revoked if you don’t tell us the truth. IOW, the lie cannot result in coercion.

          This is why, before you sit down for a sworn interview with police, you should retain a lawyer. The lawyer knows the law and knows what can get you in trouble and what cannot.

          randian in reply to Milwaukee. | July 2, 2013 at 12:58 am

          I believe that some sorts of lies should be illegal, if they aren’t already. For example, telling a suspect he’s under arrest when he isn’t, or the reverse. Telling a suspect he has no right to refuse a search or to have an attorney, when in fact he does.

          Telling lies to coerce confessions is problematic as well. People have confessed to crimes they didn’t commit because they thought the police were framing them.

    kentuckyliz in reply to Milwaukee. | July 1, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Law enforcement is allowed to lie in interrogation. You don’t watch Law and Order at all, apparently. 😉

      TrooperJohnSmith in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 1, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      That’s why I’ve always told my children to lawyer-up if the cops get to the point of taking you downtown “for a talk”. Don’t give a damn if you’re innocent and calling cor counsel might make you “look guilty”.

      Yes, cops lie, not only about the facts of the investigation but also about what will happen to you if you don’t cooperate. That’s why there are so many false (coerced?) confessions.

      aerily in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 1, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      I’m too busy watching first 48 with my new buddy Dee Dee aka Diamond aka Daisha aka Jeantel.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Milwaukee. | July 2, 2013 at 12:21 am

    It’s absolutely legal and acceptable under SCOTUS.

    Milhouse in reply to Milwaukee. | July 2, 2013 at 2:53 am

    1. There is no poisonous tree. The policeman is entitled to lie, in order to trip up the suspect. There’s nothing wrong with it.

    2. The “fruit” doctrine was invented by the Supreme Court in the 20th century, and relates only to illegal searches. It’s not some common law doctrine with wider application.

Piers Morgan tonight “explained away” the Sanford Police’s testimony being helpful to the defense: “they were in CYA mode, since they failed to charge, so OF COURSE they were going to say they believed Z and couldn’t find evidence worthy of a murder charge.”

Can we send that idiot back where he came from?

    faboutlaws in reply to avwh. | July 1, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Piers Morgan is in America because he’s slightly more afraid of muslims than he is of guns. But not by much.

AFAIK all 50 states have CCL on the books. I don’t think there is any state that doesn’t allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon. Most require a permit some states it’s very hard to get 1 and a couple you don’t need a permit at all.

    MrE in reply to styro1. | July 1, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Illinois doesn’t. Legislature passed a law early June, but Gov. Quinn is sitting on it. We’re under deadline from the Federal court, who ruled IL ban on concealed carry was unconstitutional last December. It’s going to be an expensive one, requiring 16 hours of training and has no reciprocity. Typical Illinois. Sure glad we don’t have to buy a permit to exercise our other constitutional rights …

Here is what I remember, from the mid 90’s. An open and shut case against OJ Simpson. For me, I was 100% convinced of his guilt when I learned that he had received major cuts to his hands the very day his ex was brutally murdered. His explanation was that he had crushed a glass out of anger when he learned that somebody had offed his beloved. Since I have never had a massive cut anywhere, and didn’t know anyone else who had either, I found it too coincidental to believe. But that little piece of evidence was about 100th on the list, because it never got mentioned. There were weeks of evidence that the prosecutors considered more compelling than something I felt proved OJ’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

And I remember where I was the day the verdict was announced. All 200 people in my business at the time were gathered around a TV. At the announcement, no white person reacted in any way. Every black person began dancing in the aisles. The white people simply went back to their desks.

And that was more than a decade before Obama.

It’s interesting to hear the discussion on this excellent forum. The Zimmerman case is being treated here as if we live in a rational world where justice will inevitably prevail.

But I live in a post-Obama world. I expect Zimmerman to be convicted. The jurors are afraid for their lives. And if they do somehow whip up their courage and vote for justice, I expect riots that will make the Rodney King fiasco look like a birthday party.

All aided and abetted by the political class, of course, and led by the organizer in chief.

    Mary Sue in reply to donmc. | July 1, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Speaking as a recovered OJ trialaholic, I can relate completely. I swore I’d never get as invested in another trial after that insanity. I remember my then 4 year-old daughter watching me gasp when the jury delivered that verdict. She said call them Mommy and tell them you know he murdered those people. LOL, as if everyone would suddenly change their minds when I weighed in.

    I couldn’t fathom that jury would come back so quickly – let alone let him walk- it still boggles the mind. Watching this trial I can’t fathom anyone finding Zimmerman guilty yet I sit and watch the “experts” one after the other weigh in saying Zimmerman’s version of events is complete hogwash. Ming boggling.

    It was one thing for OJ to have gone free despite the mounds of evidence against him. It is quite another for an innocent man to be convicted because a national circus created enough outrage to force his prosecution. It would be a travesty beyond anything I have witnessed.

    txantimedia in reply to donmc. | July 1, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    OJ was innocent. I watched the whole trial. If you have an open mind, read Bill Dear’s “OJ Was Guilty, But Not of Murder”. He cracked the case, but nobody cared.

    BTW, I knew who the murderer was about 2/3rds of the way through the trial.

      fogflyer in reply to txantimedia. | July 2, 2013 at 12:42 am

      I also watched the whole trial. And read Dear’s book.
      It was interesting, but glossed over some important items. He had to come up with some pretty unbelievable stories to account for blood, DNA, timeline, etc.

      As I said, it was interesting, but certainly did not convince me of OJs innocence.

      BTW-if you haven’t read the book or heard of this, he thinks OJs son Jason committed the murder and OJ helped cover it up.

    I watched the OJ case gavel to gavel. The defense planted reasonable doubt in my mind. I especially thought that the LAPD DNA lab was very sloppy.

    I’m an engineer. Contamination is a very real problem with DNA. The tests are very sensitive. That is both good and bad.

    I later heard from an insider on the OJ team that he was guilty as sin. Which just goes to show what a good lawyer(s) can do.

I was just listening to the Michael Savage show while I was in my car and I’m wondering if the defense will need to put on a gun expert to say that a person carrying the gun GZ was carrying isn’t a hothead just because he carried his gun the way he carried it ie 1 bullet in chamber and 7 bullets after that. I’m not a gun owner and know nothing about guns and how to fire them. Aren’t there jurors in this jury who also don’t know guns?

    healthguyfsu in reply to Catherine. | July 1, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    I thought it was a bit “hot headed” at first to have a live round in the chamber based on how I prefer to carry.

    However, after thinking about it, having it in the chamber that way probably saved his life. It’s unlikely he would have been able to pull back the slide and then fire without interference from his attacker. It has made me rethink how I am going to carry in certain situations…although I haven’t planned on changing my carrying position just yet.

      txantimedia in reply to healthguyfsu. | July 1, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      Hopefully that will get you to always carry with one in the pipe. I always do. In an emergency, the seconds it takes to rack the slide can determine if you live or die. Besides, if your hand is injured, you may not be able to rack the slide.

      Please carry one in the pipe. Practice safe gun handling and you will not have a problem.

      cjharrispretzer in reply to healthguyfsu. | July 2, 2013 at 12:02 am

      Are you serious? I carry CCW and it never once in my life occurred to me not to carry in a way which allows me to be the most prepared possible to engage a threat. The only thing is I keep the safety on. I cannot imagine racking the slide if I were in a life-threatening situation. I carry because I am truly in fear of my life from a man who has threatened to kill me. I am always on alert (when he’s not in prison). Anyway, when I train and practice with my gun, I try to practice under stress situations, with my heart rate up, with the target approaching me, etc. I practice drawing my gun from the holster, or my purse, and seriously people! Are there really those of you who think it’s wise to not keep a round in the chamber ready to go? I’ve never even heard the criticism before that it means a person who carries that way means they’re hot-headed. If anyone thinks that is the case, I’d like to see them react in life-threatening situations. Do cops keep a round in the chamber?

      fogflyer in reply to healthguyfsu. | July 2, 2013 at 1:36 am

      No one I know carries without one in the chamber. What’s the point?

      VetHusbandFather in reply to healthguyfsu. | July 2, 2013 at 1:37 am

      While I don’t think carrying one is the chamber is ‘hot-headed’, personally I wouldn’t always carry with one in the chamber. I think it’s better to make a decision based on what kind of risk has presented itself. For example, if your are in your vehicle you probably don’t need to have a round in the chamber, you can expect to have some sort of reaction time to charge your weapon. On the other hand, if you are walking in a dark, and mostly deserted parking garage late at night then it may be wise to have one in the chamber. I’m not saying that anyone here is wrong for saying otherwise, just my personal preference. Anecdotally, if I was in GZ’s shoes that night, I would have chambered a round before I left my car.

        cjharrispretzer in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 2, 2013 at 2:06 am

        VetHusbandFather- It’s just my humble opinion that it’s not wise to keep changing up the way you are carrying. That way, when a threat emerges, and adrenaline floods your system, your brain doesn’t have to take the time to remember if you chambered a round last time or not. It should always be one way or another. Making your brain decide whether or not it needs to take another step before you are ready to shoot may seem inconsequential now, but in life-or-death, the less decisions you need to make, the better.

      Aridog in reply to healthguyfsu. | July 2, 2013 at 9:10 am

      A presumption is being made here that a round n the chanber is “agressive.” Not really so, because today’s plethora of semi-automatic “striker fired” pistols are designed to have a round in the chamber with alleged safety automatically engaged…e.g., like the original Glock pistols, now imitated more or less by most manufacturers in some of their lines. Actually, Smith & Wesson began the concept with their Model 39 9mm pistol, which chambered a round as you loaded the magazine, and also lowered the hammer to a blocking bar internally. First time you did it it was disconcerting to see the hammer drop. The S&W M39 also had a separate thumb safety locking lever for double safety.

      I’m not a fan of “striker fired” pistols, but that may be because I am an old coot most familiar with handling and using a Model 1911 Colt semi auto in .45 caliber. “Cocked & locked” is called “condition 2” …e.g., you have to disengage the thumb safety to get the pistol to fire. “condition 3” would be where no round is in the chamber and you have to “rack” the slide to load the weapon. No one carrying a concealed pistol should think “condition 3” is a good idea…you will likely have your gun taken away from you before you can rack the slide…then get shot with your own pistol.

      If real safety and ease of maintenance is your first concern, carry a modern double action revolver (one that blocks the hammer if the trigger is not fully pulled to the rear). You can carry it safely with the cylinder fully loaded and fire it “double action” which requires a long relatively hard trigger pull to cock and discharge the revolver in one motion. At close self defense range it is accurate enough. My personal first choice for carry is a Model 49 S&W revolver, in .38 +P, which has a hammer shroud to avoid snagging on clothing or pockets. As a revolver it requires much less maintenance than my Model 1911 .45…which requires unloading and cleaning the magazines regularly.

      The main point is that virtually all revolvers and pistols are designed to have a round in the chamber safely….and that is how you should carry them.

    Fabi in reply to Catherine. | July 1, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    According to my notes there is one confirmed gun owner (E6) on the jury and three more jurors who are familiar with guns, i.e., friends and family.

I endorse donmc’s comment above.

Every time there seems to be an occasion to set something right in this very disturbed country, it get sabotaged in some novel way.

Here the injustice is plain to be seen. That won’t save George Zimmerman.

Because the fix is in. This comes from the top of the administration and is deliberate.

Notice that it’s always ratcheting in the same direction.

There’s a storm a-coming. I feel it in my bones.

I am grateful for many things in my life. My wife. My family. My country and the fact that I don’t own a liquor store in Sanford, Florida.

[…] Prosecution witness, Sanford police investigator Chris Serino admits during testimony that there is … […]

Does Florida allow the defense to motion that the prosecution has failed to prove their case once the prosecution rests? Isn’t there a minimum set of facts the prosecution must prove in a case like this?

    V.McCann in reply to Xmas. | July 2, 2013 at 12:53 am


    Rule 3.380. Motion for Judgment of Acquittal

    (a) Timing. If, at the close of the evidence for the state or at the close of all the evidence in the cause, the court is of the opinion that the evidence is insufficient to warrant a conviction, it may, and on the motion of the prosecuting attorney or the defendant shall, enter a judgment of acquittal.

      Bruce Hayden in reply to V.McCann. | July 2, 2013 at 1:39 am

      Don’t know about FL, but you typically need to have filed this sort of motion in order to have JNOV available asking a judge to nullify a guilty verdict by a jury. Normally, this sort of thing is prevented by, I think, the 7th Amdt. But instead with a JNOV, the judge reconsiders the motion to dismiss for lack of of evidence, directed verdict, etc., sliding around the Constitutional issues.

        Does the constitution actually require, anywhere, a jury for the plaintiff or prosecution’s purposes? Isn’t it entirely a right of the accused.

        In fact, I think it would be a wonderful idea to have juroes entirely at the discretion of the defendant, to avoid, for example, the “Bronx Jury” affect of deciding civil cases on the basis of class.

        Ragspierre in reply to Bruce Hayden. | July 2, 2013 at 9:11 am

        Dunno what you guys are talking about…but neither do you.

        A motion for a directed judgment, or a motion under that code cited, is NOT a JNOV.

        It is made…under that code apparently by any of three interests…PRIOR to the jury getting the case. No verdict has been rendered.

        A JNOV is only considered AFTER the verdict has been returned. As the name implies…

        V.McCann in reply to Bruce Hayden. | July 2, 2013 at 1:56 pm

        The Seventh Amendment applies in civil cases. The right to a jury trial in a criminal case belongs to the defendant, which is why the defendant may waive it. Section (c) of the rule I cited above allows a defendant to either renew or make a motion for acquittal if the jury returns a guilty verdict or is discharged without a verdict. Other Florida rules allow the judge to set aside a guilty verdict or order a new trial.

MOM was on Greta, really interesting. Catch the rerun. She also had the (an) atty on from the Martin family, and he was quite tolerable

Another great write-up, thanks. We need to get you on TV.

Outside of Florida are there states where self-defense can’t be fully asserted if you start the altercation? Is this imperfect self-defense?

“We have video of the incident”

“Thank God!”


Carol Herman | July 1, 2013 at 11:08 pm


Serino’s voice is a dead ringer for Sgt. Friday. “Yes, ma
Even to the facial “expressions.” Jack Webb. Ramparts Division. LAPD.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Carol Herman. | July 2, 2013 at 4:53 am

    And this was the best part of Serino’s testimony:

    In the absence of any real contrary evidence with which to challenge, Serino, the Investigator pretended to have some ready to spring: That they had discovered, video footage of the events that evening.

    “And what did Zimmerman say when you told him that?”

    “He said, Thank God!,Ï hope they got it all.” Serino answered.

fulldroolcup | July 1, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Idiot “prosecutor” on Hannity tonight kept describing minor discrepancies in GZ’s testimony as “lies”. I suppose she’s paid to be the foil here (to use a Shakespearean term), but…”lies”?

“Lies” about issues that don’t go to the issue of self-defense? Lies are knowing false statements, not changes in testimony, which may occur after reflection of events occurring during physical or mental distress. So…why the snot? Is that all she’s got??

Also: Testimony from the Mensa member (u no hu) was that TM called her from his dad’s house. So why did he go back to ambush GM? Who stalked who here?

    Really makes you question everything else the media reports on. What’s that law? Something about how you stop trusting the media the first time they report on something you have direct experience with?

    Thank God I use Insty as my information broker.

I still bet the reason the GF didn’t attend TM’s funeral is she egged him on or cheered his own suggestion/bragging that he’d drop the “crazy ass cracker” in their phone conversations, and therefore felt guilty about what happened.

Speaking of phone conversations, why isn’t the NSA helping out one side or the other with a transcript of the calls between TM and the GF that night?I’d love to know what was said that the GF didn’t tell because it wasn’t “helpful” to the State.

They may as well stop the trial now. O’Mara is a fantastic lawyer but he’s got a slam-dunk case on his hands. The State’s Attorney doesn’t agree with the Investigator and they think they’ve got murder 2? Ridiculous.

Also notice the hypocritical response on Twitter. Blacks say they’re mad because Zimmerman profiled Martin as a violent criminal because he was black. If Zimmerman walks (which he will) they are threatening to kill random white people. Doesn’t this justify profiling??

Henry Hawkins | July 1, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Does the Florida justice system have a ‘mercy rule’, like in kiddy sports, say kiddy football, where they call the game if one team goes up by too many touchdowns? ‘Cause it’s 51-0 at the half for the defense they way I see it.

    I’m wondering if the defense has a vested interest in running up the score. Not just to ensure Z goes free, but also to get this travesty into the record for lawsuits against Florida, Jackson, Sharpton, CNN, MSNBC, etc.

    Would they (or parteners in their firm) be most favorably positioned to represent Z in these lawsuits?

Carol Herman | July 1, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Dee-Dee is a ghetto dweller. She doesn’t leave her neighborhood much. While she did tweet back and forth with some people she knew who attended the wake.

It costs money to climb on a bus. (And, hours in transit, where you wait for “your bus”). And, NOBODY offered to take Dee-Dee there! No Crump. Nobody from the family. Separate from her discomfort of looking at a dead body.

You know, I’m disappointed in O’Mara. He seems to be playing to the camera with his cross. When he knows he has points to make. And, he’s making them appear it takes all day to follow the line of reasoning.

Is it good he ended with Serino coming back t’marra? Sure. But the jurors are sequestered! Doesn’t this, alone, get to be grating? Wouldn’t you want to get home? Wouldn’t you want to reach a point where you could talk about this case to members of your family?

O’Mara knows the State hasn’t rested. And, he knows he does get his own shot. With his own witnesses. But he’s like the doctor who comes into the room. And, you begin to flinch. Because you know he’s going to hurt you.

This judge is STINK-O. She doesn’t move things along. She’s not even considerate of the jurors! Have you ever seen that before? (“Well, if you can’t hear the audio, or see the video, you can ask for it while you are deliberating.”) Yeah. Sure. I’ll make note of that.

As to CNN, and the terrible thing they did flashing Zimmerman’s personal information, just as an aside: Did you notice Zimmerman was writing in cursive?

Maybe, some of St. Skittles fans are as bereft of an education like Dee-Dee? They don’t “do” cursive. They couldn’t read the address. The best they got were numbers. Which they’d have to memorize. But to reach Zimmerman they’d have to leave the “hood.”

The place where rioting could take place? A mall called LAUDERHILL. Because the mob texts itself to show up there. When they get in the mall, they riot … by running gangs into and out of stores. Cops came. Helicopters flew overhead. And, police with dogs did disperse the crowd.

I was also living near Pasadena, back in 1991 when the Rodney King Riots broke out. And, the cops weren’t able to contain it for 3 days. Here? Where I live? There are move guns in homes than there are residents. Gun cabinets opened. NO PROBLEMS CAME THIS WAY.

But up at Walnut, above Colorado, where you have Pasadena City College, sits blocks worth of car repair places. So, I know from one owner of such a place, that the metal frames came down outside their space. And, upstairs, they spent 3 days … with armed friends. Sure, there was a toilet. And, even a kitchen. But it was also possible to barbecue meals on the roof. Where armed people just waited.

On Day #3 a group from the Black area of Pasadena, was coming together to raid the car places. There seemed to be a leader. (If anyone got killed there was a plan to toss bodies into a military truck and cart them away.) But it didn’t come to that. The mob grew large. And, one man with a rifle loaded it. And, aimed about a block away … at the toe of the leader. One shot. Picked up the tar in front of this man’s toe. And, you never saw a whole bunch of rioters turn like crazy people … or wild horses … hooving it home.

Oh, if anything burns, it burns inside their own neighborhood. Liquor stores, for sure. And, all the places that won’t exist later on where, before the fires, they used to be able to buy milk. And, baby food. Need this stuff? Take a bus. Travel for miles. And, of course, all the waiting for buses.

People don’t understand Los Angeles. But to “see it,” spread out one of your hands in front of you. All your fingers wide apart. With each finger representing a “route” around mountains. If another riot ever happens? The snipers are on the rooftops, shooting only at looters who try to break into stores. You’d be surprised at how fast looters don’t want to be hassled like that.

Plus, today, people don’t even want to give police reports.

Carol Herman | July 1, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Ah. And, how come I know Dee-Dee spoke with Trayvon often. And, the subject matter was usually his fights.

When it’s O’Mara’s turn, will Dee-Dee come back? Will her other conversations with Trayvon be admissible because he did two things. He loved to fight. And, he loved talking to Dee-Dee about them.

In O’Mara’s hands, when the Defense starts, can’t we see a whittling away of St. Skittles? Why, if his parents were all trying to pull themselves out of the ghetto, did Trayvon “dig” ghetto talk so much?

Out of curiosity, does anyone else just randomly lose their subscriptions to threads here? It’s happened to me 3-4 times since the first of last week. Tonight, I subscribed to this thread at 7:57 p.m. and got 54 emails between then and 9:06 p.m. A few minutes ago I realized I hadn’t heard anything in a while, and I come over here to check and my subscription is turned off, and there’s been 100 new comments in the meantime.

Is anyone else seeing this?

I saw a story that “Florida State’s Attorney Angela Corey has been indicted by a citizens’ grand jury, convening in Ocala, Florida, over the falsification of the arrest warrant and complaint that led to George Zimmerman being charged with the second degree murder of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.”

Any chance it’s true?

I’m still trying to catch up… but I haven’t seen this mentioned yet and it seems SUPER important to me…

According to this missing person report on 2-27-12

Tracy Martin claimed to have seen his son at 8:30 pm the night before… AFTER he was dead… in some clothing he wasn’t wearing.

Am I missing something here…

    Uncle Samuel in reply to AmberK. | July 2, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Doesn’t fit the official Crump/Julison/Obama/Sharpton Narrative so it can’t be true. (extreme sarcasm)

    Where was Tracy when Trayvon was shot?

    Where were Hillary and Obama when Benghazi was being over-run and Americans slaughtered?

Stephaniegaatl | July 2, 2013 at 1:42 am


Do we know yet where the phone and blootoof were found by the police? I’ve read that TMs blootoof was found in his pocket haven’t read where his phone was located.

IIRC RJ said she was on blootoof (doing her hair) and that TM was also on blootoof. If so, how did that blootoof get into his pocket before the fight started if RJ says he was talking to her with it?

Did he put it there in anticipation of his jumping GZ? Had he changed to phone and was not using the blootoof device.. how would RJ know if he did?

Wouldn’t this show him premeditatively preparing to jump GZ?

    Trayvon wasn’t using bluetooth, he was using ear buds. And crime scene photos show them laying in the grass near his body. “At marker No. 7, this is Trayvon Martin`s cell phone and ear buds”.

    I’m pretty sure the demonstrably false OMG CONSPIRACY!!! He took them off and put them in his pocket!!! Which proves SOMETHING!!! myth fell out of that somewhat overwrought “Conservative Treehouse” site.

    But like the “ass-cracker” and “purple drank” memes, there’s not much to it.

Do you think it’s possible he won’t call any witnesses at all?

    Sayit in reply to mzk. | July 2, 2013 at 9:21 am

    From what I am seeing, why would they have Zimmerman on the stand ? It looks like this is going in Zimmerman’s direction. He seems like a pretty chill guy and has been consistent in his story. I don’t think he would hurt himself if he did. But I think the rule of thumb with Attorneys is if you don’t need to put them on the stand you don’t.

I don’t worry about the jury so much. Intimidation might lead a jury to let a guilty man walk, but it’s a whole different thing to convict someone you know is innocent.

The judge probably won’t intervene, she will let the jury decide. She probably understands that lacking any blockbuster from the State, no guilty verdict could stand an appeal, the elements of self defense being virtually undisputed.

She could at least take M2 off the table and allow the jury to rule on manslaughter, but I don’t even see her doing that much. The defense told her flat out they were not ready due to the delayed production of discovery, and she blew them off. GZ need not look for any favor from the bench.

    nifepartie in reply to Estragon. | July 2, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Yes but if GZ is convicted of manslaughter, he may as well have been convicted of Murder 2nd*. In florida it is up to 15 years for manslaughter, but it is 30 years for manslaughter of a minor or with a firearm. So lets hope the jury either acquits GZ or finds him guilty of justifiable homicide.

      divemedic in reply to nifepartie. | July 2, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Isn’t the 10/20/life law in play here? If so, this would mean that any felony with a firearm that results in death is life in prison.

        I have no legal expertise whatsoever, so have no way of judging the accuracy of this or how it applies to Zimmerman, but this is what the Jacksonville Times-Union had to say last year about 10-20-Life in that case of the woman who got 20 for firing a “warning shot” at her abusive partner:

        The “10-20-Life” statutes exclude manslaughter from any minimum sentencing requirements, Assistant State Attorney Mark Caliel confirmed. That means if Alexander had actually killed her husband or one of his sons and been found guilty of manslaughter, she could have instead gotten as little as time served.

        Caliel (as a State prosecutor) made that statement in order to make the point that he wanted manslaughter included in the 10-20-Life statutes, but it struck me at the time as a strange loophole.

        Second degree murder with a gun definitely falls under the sentencing requirements, but unless Mr. Caliel has been taken out of context, or I’m just hugely misunderstanding this (which could be a very real possibility!), it doesn’t sound like manslaughter with a gun necessarily does?

        Maybe someone with some actual legal expertise in this could chime in here and let us know.

The Beasley Firm, Philadelphia is on board to do the civil with the media at least. Suit against NBC is already in the works. This was in the press last year.

OK great….you can tweet. But do you really have to show the tweet box with its contents after you just got done writing the contents of the tweet in the article? Really?

I’m flashing back to kindergarten when the teacher would read to us then hold up the picture for all to see.

    There’s always haters. 🙂

    Where can we find YOUR coverage of the trial, gs425?


    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      its those that complain about others writing that never step up and run their own sites in my experience.

      Sayit in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 2, 2013 at 9:14 am

      Hey Andrew—I have a question. The Media keeps trying to run the play that Martin was a Arizona Watermelon sipping, skittle crunching kid and was “unarmed”. Martin was trained in Marshall Arts – wouldn’t that make his hands lethal weapons ? I seem to recall a Boxer that got into a bar fight and killed the guy and the Judge gave him a harsher sentence as he said his hands were lethal weapons … Just wondering

    Mister Natural in reply to gs425. | July 2, 2013 at 8:32 am


There are two separate threads above that need addressing, the are interrelated.

1. Will the defense rest without putting on a case?

2. Why did GZ carrying a gun with one in the chamber?

I like the dramatic effect of resting without putting on a defense. In fact, most of the evidence the defense could offer has already been presented in the state’s botched case. That won’t happen, however, because of question 2.

The defense needs two witnesses; first the air marshall who trained GZ, and second, a self-defense expert. These two would help instruct the jury about carring a concealed gun.

There have been at least 2 “crawlers” on TV where some idiot thinks GZ is guilty because “no one carries a gun to go to the store”, and he is shocked that someone would carry with one in the chamber. In fact, most people I know wouldn’t go to the store without a gun. Seven-11 stores aren’t called “Stop and Robs” for no reason. And, a semi-auto without one in the chamber is just a rock.

So the defense, at a minimum, needs to address this issue with the jury. There are probably many additional reasons for putting on a defense.

    Aridog in reply to hoglaw. | July 2, 2013 at 9:43 am

    You item #2 is not an issue for resolution. As I explained earlier today, modern “striker fired” semi-automatic pistols are designed to have a round in the chamber normally. The design, such as several Glock models, presumes safety features *automatically* engaged until the trigger is pulled.

    IANAL, but I am fairly expert on handgun handling, carrying, and usage. As I said earlier, the ultimate safe concealed weapon, in my mind, is a modern double action revolver carried with rounds in all cylinder chambers and the hammer un-cocked….and blocked as well by an integral device that is released only upon full pulling of the trigger to the rear of the trigger guard.

    No legitimate self defense firearms safety course would recommend carry a semi-automatic pistol without a round in the chamber unless just using it at a range for target practice…when, after a first shot, the pistol is cocked and unlocked with a round in the chamber anyway, until manually unloaded and de-cocked.

      hoglaw in reply to Aridog. | July 2, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Reasonable minds can differ, but if I was defending this case I would want the jury to hear this to dispel any thoughts they might have. The defense surely has a self-defense expert ready to testify, and no expert worth his fee would recommend an empty chamber.

      I understand your “striker fired” comments, and have several in my small arsenal. The jury is not gun-savvy and needs to be educated.

      Juries can come with strange reasons for their verdicts. I’ve talked to some jurors after my trials and was always surprised at something they thought important that neither I nor my opponent considered relevant.

    ThomasD in reply to hoglaw. | July 2, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    2. Why did GZ carrying a gun with one in the chamber?

    Presumably for the same reason he carried a firearm in the first place – so that he could discharge a projectile when necessary.

    Having an empty chamber is like leaving your seat belt off until the moment you foresee a collision is imminent. Cops don’t do it so why should you?

    Matt in FL in reply to hoglaw. | July 2, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    WRT to “no one carries a gun to go to the store” I offer the following. Feel free to use it if you find yourself in this situation:

    “This is tied in to another thing I often read on the internet ‘You carry a gun to the (grocery store/restaurant/nice neighborhood/sewing circle/whatever)?’ No, I don’t. As Kathy Jackson phrased it so well, I don’t carry a gun ‘to’ anyplace; I just carry a gun. I put the gun on in the morning with no more emotional freighting or special foresight than my shoes. In fact, probably less, because I may wear different shoes, but I always carry the same gun.

    When I put my shoes on, I did not run though a complex internal calculus of ‘Well, there’s a ‘No shirt, No shoes, No service’ sign at the bank, and I think I have to wear them at the grocery store, too. On the other hand, it’s warm out, and I could put those errands off and not wear shoes today…’ I just put my shoes on. It’s the default state, just like putting the pistol in the holster on my belt. As I go through the day, I don’t constantly think about my shoes, and whether I might ‘need’ them at my next stop. Ditto, the gun.”

    It’s not mine, I got it from here: The rest of it’s a pretty good read, too.

    But it’s by far the best response to that question I’ve ever seen.

    dnsguns in reply to hoglaw. | July 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I don’t know anyone who carries a semi-auto pistol without one in the chamber. May as well not carry at all. The only time I do not have a fully loaded, and by fully loaded I mean one in the chamber and the magazine filled to capacity, is if I’m someplace with metal detectors. For those who wold ask why would you take a gun to the store, why not? Is the store somehow excluded from having a bad actor around? No crime has ever taken place at a store? If your going to arm yourself you may as well carry 100% of the time. Very few places are 100% crime free. In fact no place comes to mind. Even inside the courthouse your exposed to crime. Most of the time the criminal is in black robes but you can still be the victim.
    The commentators on TV last night were making a big deal out of the fact Z’s gun was fully loaded and chambered. That somehow that showed deadly intent. Go figure.

[…] Zimmerman Trial Day 6 – Analysis & Video – State’s witness Chris Serino seriously undermin… […]

Rayc asks: “Andrew, is this exceptional lawyering or a softball case, or a little of both? Will they earn an elite reputation for this trial?”

I think that a “little of both” is the correct answer. The defense has so much material to work with I think even an inexperienced defense counsel could score significant points. That being said, I think the defense team’s cross-examination has been brilliant. I could write pages about some of the nuances in the cross-examination that leads to me this conclusion, but I will limit myself to a few general observations.

I have seen many trials where the cross-examination is meandering and scatter shot, scoring a few points here and there, but with many swings and misses. By contrast in this case, I think the cross-examination has been focused like a laser. Every line of questions has a clear purpose and is designed to elicit facts that will fit into the defense’s closing argument. This may be less than obvious to the layman, but believe me when I say that the lawyers watching this case can see that each question asked is part of a larger game plan and that the defense is seldom, if ever, reaching dead ends in its questioning.

I particularly like the style of the cross-examination. Many well-known defense attorneys come across with a strong and dramatic style of cross-examination. Examples would be F. Lee Bailey and Johnny Cochran in the O.J. Simpson trial. This style can obviously be effective, but it doesn’t suit my taste.

I much prefer the style on display here: low key and methodical. If you listen to the talk shows they have been describing the testimony as “explosive” and “dramatic”. Notice, however, it’s the testimony, not the conduct of the defense counsel that has been “explosive” and “dramatic”. After each witness, the defense has left the prosecutions points in rubble, yet I think that defense counsel has been able to come across as very matter of fact, and likeable, even winsome. It takes considerable talent to pull that off.

Finally, a small point. Notice how yesterday’s testimony ended perfectly for the defense. Defense counsel elicited the testimony that after the investigator tried to bluff Zimmerman that he had a videotape of the incident, Zimmerman responded, “Thank God”. This is obviously not the response one would expect from a liar and defense counsel is able to obtain a concession from the witness that either Zimmerman is being completely truthful or he is a pathological liar and that the investigator has no reason to believe that Zimmerman is a pathological liar. It was no coincidence that the jury adjourned at this crescendo in the cross-examination. Defense counsel orchestrated his examination to end on this note at about 6:00 p.m. when the judge previously announced the court would adjourn. Such exquisite timely took some talent.

cherohacksnews | July 2, 2013 at 9:43 am

Really like this guys coverage of the trial. Despite my best efforts to avoid this trial because of it’s clear divisiveness here in Florida, I simply can’t with 24 hour coverage on the radio.

My question is after a discussion here in the office was, Why does the prosecution need to call this lead investigator? Did they even have to call him for prosecution or could they simply work on discrediting the witness when the defense called him up? Clearly he didn’t exactly help the prosecution and really helped the defense. Can someone explain? Thanks!

    jeffwood in reply to cherohacksnews. | July 2, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    The officer was the chief investigator. If the state didn’t call him as their witness, it would look very bad to the jury. The testimony is going to come out either way, better to call him themselves then hide.

[…] is the Sanford Police Detective, Christopher Serino, who initially charged Zimmerman with manslaughter, which the prosecution changed to Second-Degree […]

Andrew – If Serino believed GZ was telling the truth, why did he want to file manslaughter charges against him? And why did he make the snarky comments to the FBI about GZ having a big man complex”? Wouldn’t both of those tend to mean that he didn’t believe GZ or think he didn’t have a valid case of self defense? Or that he believed GZ did not have the right to defend himself? And why did he think GZ’s injuries were not significant? I’m confused. Those MSM sites are using what Serino said to say Serino thought GZ was guilty.

[…] Zimmerman with a false claim he had video of the shooting that night Zimmerman responded “Thank God!”  Why? Because no one wanted to believe Zimmerman when he said he was acting in self […]

[…] this is just fascinating to me because I teach this age group and not fascinating to anyone else. – Coverage of Florida v. Zimmerman over at LI. I found the “challenge meeting” question and answer particularly […]

OpenTheDoor | July 5, 2013 at 10:47 am

My own race, Whitey MacKracker, is embarrassing the stuffing out of me. Vikings kicked some ass once, we still can Do The Dew.

OpenTheDoor | July 5, 2013 at 10:48 am

Painted blue.

[…] Investigator Chris Serino, Sanford PD:  If Jeantel was the Prosecution’s star witness, Serino was the star witness of the defense.  Serino was, for a time, the lead investigator in the case, eventually returning to patrol potentially due to leaking information to the press or because of various internal pressures.  He is also reported to have favored prosecution for Zimmerman, but one would not know that by his testimony.  Video of his testimony and Branca’s take is available here. […]

[…] Zimmerman Trial Day 6 – Analysis & Video – State’s witness Chris Serino seriou… ( […]