The Undisputed Facts in the Zimmerman Trial, and the Competing Scenarios of the Prosecution and the Defense

The prosecution is wrapping up its case against George Zimmerman today, after presenting nearly forty witnesses in total, and having provided the jury with a fairly comprehensive overview of the available evidence. The defense has not gotten a chance to make its own case yet. From the trial so far, we have a rough idea of the facts that are agreed to by both parties. And, based only on the agreed-upon facts, there appear to be two possible scenarios for what occurred on the night Trayvon died.

The first, the defense’s scenario, is that Trayvon, while walking home from the store, decided to kill Zimmerman in order to defend his honor, after Zimmerman offended Trayvon by following him. And the second, the prosecution’s scenario, is that, when Zimmerman followed Trayvon and encountered him in the grassy area between the houses, Zimmerman tried to detain Trayvon, and Trayvon resisted, resulting in the fight that lead to Trayvon’s death.

By my reckoning, these are the facts that both the prosecution and the defense would agree to:

  1. On the night of the shooting, Trayvon stated that he was going to walk to the store to get skittles and a drink. Trayvon did in fact get those items from the store, and he was walking directly home from the store at the time that Zimmerman first saw him. There is no evidence to indicate that, prior to the moment of the fight, Trayvon was engaged in any form of unlawful behavior. Zimmerman was correct in that he did not recognize Trayvon as being a resident of the community, as Trayvon had only been there one week at the time of his death.
  2. Zimmerman pursued Trayvon for a period of approximately four minutes, while Zimmerman was in his car and Trayvon was moving on foot. Trayvon and Zimmerman did not speak or attempt to speak to each other at any point during this time period.
  3. Based on the fact that Trayvon was walking in the rain, and that Zimmerman did not recognize him, Zimmerman believed that Trayvon was either on drugs or in the middle of committing a criminal act. Concerned that Trayvon was a criminal, Zimmerman called the non-emergency number to request that police be dispatched to investigate Trayvon.
  4. Trayvon was on the phone with a friend, Rachel Jeantel, for the duration of his walk home from the store. Call records show that the phone call began before Zimmerman first observed Trayvon. The records also show that, at approximately 7:12pm, the call’s connection was dropped unexpectedly, but that the call was resumed 20 seconds later.
  5. At some point during the four minute period that Zimmerman was following Trayvon by car, Trayvon became aware that he was being followed. After realizing he was being followed, Trayvon continued to walk in the direction of the house where he was staying.
  6. After Zimmerman had watched Trayvon walk for approximately four minutes, Trayvon’s pace changed. Trayvon had previously been walking, but at approximately 7:11:42, Trayvon began either to run, or to skip. Zimmerman, who was on the phone with the police dispatcher, stated “shit he’s running” while opening his car door. Zimmerman, now on foot, moved out into the “dog walk” area, moving in the same direction that Trayvon had ran or skipped away a few moments before.
  7. After Zimmerman exited his vehicle, he could not see Trayvon, who had started running before Zimmerman could get out of his car. There is no evidence that Trayvon saw that Zimmerman had left his vehicle. Both Zimmerman and Trayvon state in their respective phone calls, to dispatch and to Jeantel, that they have lost the other individual. Zimmerman ended his call with the police dispatcher two minutes after he got out of his car, and he remained on foot in the “dog walk” area. Trayvon remained on the phone with Jeantel while continuing to walk through the neighborhood, on an unknown path, and he did not return to his house.
  8. At approximately 7:15:40pm, Trayvon and Zimmerman came into close proximity with one another, while both were moving on foot in the “dog walk” area. Trayvon was still on the phone with Jeantel, but after an initial exchange of words between Trayvon and Zimmerman, the call was dropped.
  9. The fight between Trayvon and Zimmerman lasted between a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 100 seconds. For the last 45 seconds of the fight, there is a continual yelling of “help,” in a desperate and panicked manner, from one of the two individuals involved.
  10. All witnesses and parties agree that, at some point prior to the gunshot, the fight involved both participants on the ground, with one on top of the other.
  11. At 7:16:56pm, Zimmerman fired a single  round into Trayvon’s chest, immediately incapacitating him and leading to his death shortly thereafter.
  12. Approximately one* to three minutes later, the first law enforcement officers arrived at the scene. Trayvon was face down in the grass. Zimmerman was standing nearby, with his gun in his holster. Zimmerman identified himself as the shooter, and was taken into custody.

Based on the above facts, then, either of the following scenarios is plausible:

Scenario 1: Zimmerman sees Trayvon walking home from the store. Zimmerman is a concerned neighbor, and because he does not recognize Trayvon, he comes to the possibly mistaken — but understandable and well-intentioned — conclusion that Trayvon is “on drugs” and “up to no good.” Zimmerman follows Trayvon, and calls the police to come question Trayvon and investigate the situation. When Trayvon skips away and out of sight from Zimmerman, Zimmerman leaves his car. Zimmerman does not intend to follow Trayvon after he loses sight of him, but Zimmerman believes he can gather better information for the police if he is on foot.

After Trayvon observes that a man in a car is following him through the neighborhood, Trayvon decides to skip away from the car, and he heads into the “dog walk” area behind the house where he is staying. Approximately four minutes after having skipping away from Zimmerman, Trayvon makes a decision to go back and find the man in the car. Trayvon does not know who his pursuer is, but he feels “disrespected” that the man followed him. Trayvon decides that he will attack the man, in revenge for being followed. Trayvon either announces this intention to Jeantel, and Jeantel later lies about it, or else Trayvon decides to attack Zimmerman without informing Jeantel of this plan. Although Zimmerman is no longer where Trayvon last saw him, Trayvon eventually manages to find Zimmerman at the “T” junction. Trayvon goes in to attack Zimmerman, while angrily demanding “Do you have a problem?” Zimmerman tries to back away, because Zimmerman did not want to encounter Trayvon. As Zimmerman is trying to avoid confrontation, Zimmerman does not identify himself to Trayvon, and responds only that “I don’t have a problem.” Although Trayvon does not at first take any action against Zimmerman, Zimmerman believes that he is in danger, and immediately attempts to call 911 when he sees Trayvon.

Seeing that Zimmerman is trying to call the police, Trayvon punches Zimmerman in the face. After getting punched, Zimmerman stumbles 40 feet southwards until falling to the ground, and Trayvon straddles him. For at least 60 seconds, Trayvon punches Zimmerman between 20 and 30 times, attempts to bash Zimmerman’s skull in with the sidewalk, and uses his hands to suffocate Zimmerman, who is unable to breathe and about to black out. Zimmerman does not fight back, but does try to protect his head from the concrete by repeatedly squirming away. Zimmerman also yells continuously for “help.” Witnesses on the scene ask what’s going on, during the course of the fight. When Zimmerman begs for assistance, they tell Zimmerman they are calling for help, but refuse to intervene in the fight themselves. After a minute or so of punching Zimmerman in the face, and otherwise attempting to kill Zimmerman with his bare hands but being unsuccessful in the attempt, Trayvon notices that Zimmerman has a gun. Trayvon tries to grab the weapon, and he informs Zimmerman that he intends to kill him with it. Zimmerman manages to draw the gun first, and fires once into Trayvon’s chest, killing him. * * *

Scenario 2: Zimmerman sees Trayvon walking home from the store, and comes to the mistaken conclusion that Trayvon is “on drugs” and “up to no good.” Zimmerman pursues Trayvon, from his car, and calls for police to come investigate. Zimmerman frequently calls police when he observes strangers walking through his neighborhood; on the five prior occasions when he has done so, it has always been to report unknown black males who are walking through the gated community. Recently, a skinny black teenager is believed to have committed a crime in the neighborhood, and Trayvon matches that description. While following Trayvon, Zimmerman expresses his frustration  to the dispatcher that assholes like Trayvon always “get away.” When the “fucking punk” then decides to run from him, Zimmerman, who is armed, leaves his car to follow Trayvon on foot.

After Trayvon observes that a man in a car is following him through the neighborhood, Trayvon is initially apprehensive. He is on a phone call with a friend, and he informs her that a “creepy ass cracker” is following him. The friend, either as a joke or as a warning, says to be careful, because the stranger might try and rape him. Trayvon tells her not to joke about that, and expresses nervousness. Trayvon’s friend then tells him to run when the man keeps watching him, and at first Trayvon says he is only going to “walk fast.” The man continues to pursue Trayvon in his car, however, and eventually Trayvon agrees with the suggestion to get away. He heads back through a cut-through, where the car cannot go, and Trayvon believes that he has lost the man in the car. Trayvon’s precise direction is unknown, but he does not  make it inside his home. Thinking that he lost Zimmerman back on the street, Trayvon remains outside in the “dog walk”, talking on the phone with his friend.

After Zimmerman loses sight of Trayvon, Zimmerman leaves his car, and continues to keep a lookout for Trayvon while walking through the neighborhood. Zimmerman is searching for Trayvon, hoping to be able to find Trayvon’s location so that the police will be able to apprehend him when they arrive in the neighborhood. A couple minutes later, Trayvon and Zimmerman run into each other in the “dog walk” area. Trayvon says, “Why are you following me?” Zimmerman says, “What are you doing here?” Zimmerman moves to question Trayvon, hoping to keep him there until police show up. Trayvon doesn’t know Zimmerman, and in fact minutes earlier Trayvon had been discussing with a friend how creepy this guy was, and how he might be a rapist, or have other bad intentions. Trayvon freaks out and resists Zimmerman’s attempts to detain him. A fight then breaks out in earnest, initially with both parties upright and moving around through the grassy area, and then with both parties wrestling on the ground. Neither Trayvon or Zimmerman sustain significant injuries, but Trayvon, having seen Zimmerman’s gun during the struggle, screams in terror, trying to prevent Zimmerman from getting off a shot. The two are locked in place on the ground for nearly a minute, until Zimmerman finally overpowers Trayvon and draws the gun, firing once into Trayvon’s chest, killing him. * * *

In order to prove scenario 2, the prosecution’s job, in addition to familiarizing the jury with the known facts of the case, was to convince the jury of two basic facts: the only evidence that Trayvon tried to kill Zimmerman is Zimmerman’s own words, and that nothing Zimmerman says about that night can be believed. To bolster this case, the prosecution also tried to demonstrate Zimmerman’s vigilante, hero-wannabe tendencies, thus explaining both his skewed perception of events, and the likelihood that he would try to detain Trayvon.

If the prosecution succeeded, the defense has a big problem on its hands, as Zimmerman has few available options for rebutting the prosecution’s case — because there is no way that he can take the stand to present that evidence himself, and there is no one else who can present it for him. Meanwhile, the prosecution has already presented a witness that was, quite literally, in the middle of a conversation with Trayvon at the time the fight occurred. Rachel Jeantel was, indisputably, a witness to Trayvon’s descriptions of what he subjectively experienced in the moments leading up to the fight. Her testimony is consistent with all the available physical evidence, and she provides direct evidence that, at the time the fight occurred, Trayvon did not have the slightest intention of committing homicide.

The doesn’t leave much middle ground: either Rachel Jeantel is lying, or George Zimmerman is lying. They cannot both be telling the truth. But Zimmerman’s defense won’t focus on Jeantel, because there is nothing more to be covered there. Jeantel’s testimony is itself wholly consistent with the available physical evidence, and the defense won’t gain any ground by trying to contradict it that way. Jeantel may have been lying, but the defense has no way of disproving her words, other than by attacking her credibility in general. And for better or for worse, that part of the trial is done with.

Which means Zimmerman’s defense — assuming, that is, that it is not based on trying to destroy Trayvon’s character — a defense that would be unlikely, because it would open the door for the prosecution to try to do the same to him — has the job of trying to convince the jury that it is at least possible that Zimmerman isn’t lying about Trayvon attacking him.

This post is long enough for now, but in my next post I’ll give a run through of all the problems with Zimmerman’s testimony that the prosecution has tried to highlight. It will be interesting to see how the defense is going to try to rebut those attacks on Zimmerman’s credibility, without introducing either character evidence or Zimmerman’s own testimony.

-Susan

44 thoughts on “The Undisputed Facts in the Zimmerman Trial, and the Competing Scenarios of the Prosecution and the Defense

  1. “Zimmerman pursued Trayvon for a period of approximately four minutes…”

    If that 4 minutes is supposed to be the length of Zimmerman’s NEN call, then your definition of pursuit is apparently broad enough to encompass a period of around a minute or more, just of the part we can hear, of the pursuer standing around with no idea where the pursued has gotten off to.

    And you, who was so close so early to the correct end time of Trayvon’s last phone call, have, with this sentence

    “Less than 60 seconds later, the first law enforcement officer arrived at the scene.”

    created the very real possibility of misleading, since that expands the definition of “scene” to include the entire neighborhood and its entrances.

    The photo of the back of Zimmerman’s head was taken at 7:19 something, over 2 minutes after the gunshot, and Officer Smith did not arrive in the back yards and within handcuffing distance of Zimmerman until after that photograph was taken.

    • The four minutes is an estimate of the time it took to walk from the shortcut by Taafe’s house, to stand in the mailbox awning momentarily, and then walk up through to the cut-through. I wouldn’t have been shocked if it ultimately turned out that Zimmerman didn’t see Trayvon walk through the shortcut, but had gotten a call from Taafe instead about it, in which case it’d have been less than 4. But by Zimmerman’s story, it’s ~4.

      My time of 7:17 for the first police officers responding on scene is based upon the two incident reports from Ayala and Smith which give their response time at 7:17, on one of the later 911 calls reporting multiple flashlights appearing at 7:17:55, and on the clubhouse video showing the first headlights entering the complex at 7:16:57. It’s an estimate of the time, and the time down to the minute isn’t particularly important for purposes of this post.

  2. One problem I see immediately is you fail to account how TM ended up at the T, after he ran away from that area, minutes earlier. You are using Miss Jeanteal testimony as a basis, but she did not explain that, in fact her testimony is contradictory on that fact.

    In fact Miss Jeanteal testimony puts TM by his father’s house 70 yards away, how then did they travelled those 70 yards, to start the confrontation at the T, in the time it took from their call ending to Jenna’s call to the 911 operator which connected at 19:16 11. That can only occur is TM backtracked towards the T. Something which she denies, but their is not other possible explanation. So her testimony and recollection is suspect to say the least. Not in the consistent with the available evidence, at all.

    You blow by the injuries sustain by GZ, and describe them as minor, when no injuries are needed to have a reasonable fear of great bodily injury or death, but the fact that he was injured compared to the lack of injuries on TM must also be taken into account. You missed that fact.

    • We have no real idea which way Trayvon went, to that degree of detail. That he looped around down and then back up towards the T sounds like the most likely explanation to me, but it is not undisputed because we have no actual idea. Jeantel didn’t know what the lay out of the complex was, nor where specifically Trayvon was beyond generalities, and Zimmerman’s story is that he doesn’t know where he went.

      Hence why it’s not included on a list of undisputed facts.

      It is undisputed that neither Zimmerman nor Trayvon suffered significant injuries. I’d be happy to stipulate that Trayvon had zero wounds beyond the finger abrasion and the gunshot wound through the heart, but there have been objections from the defense that he suffered worse injuries and they were just undocumented. So again, it does not go on the undisputed list.

      • You are picking which part of Ms. Jenteal testimony to look at, she was very clear that TM was by his father’s Condo, at trial she went further and said he was outside his Condo. If you are going to take her testimony as fact, then you have to take all of her testimony as such, the same way you discounted GZ’s testimony.

        None of the witnesses testified that they saw GZ on top prior to the shot. Only later in some cases seconds later.

        Another fact that is wrong is that the police arrived at RTL within a minute but not to the scene. That was 2 minutes later. That information is on the police logs.

        One undisputed fact, though the prosecution is making hay out of it, is that the law does not require any injury, just a reasonable belief of such.

        • I believe her testimony. I think she testified as to exactly what Trayvon told her. She cannot know, and we cannot know, what “outside his father’s condo” means in terms of actual distances, but I think it’s likely he was close by, somewhere in the dog walk area.

          But that does not make it “undisputed fact.” The parts of her testimony I’ve included are specifically those parts that the defense expressed no disagreement with, or which are corroborated by other evidence.

          • I do not believe she was testifying truthfully or more accurately completely. She completely blows by the time that passed between the store and his arrival at the complex, and also does the same thing when asked as to what happened between the time he ran and the confrontation started. Her gaps are huge and telling. Let’s not forget that she in my opinion will be called back this time as a defense witness and then they will explore those questions.

          • I think you’re missing the entire point of this post. Which is examining the evidence in the case that all sides agree to. Not making specific credibility determinations.

            But the defense would be dumb as hell to call Jeantel back. They already either scored the points they needed to, or they didn’t. Calling her back would would just let Jeantel show again that she sticks to her story, does not say anything that is contradicted by other evidence, and that she appears to complete lack the aptitude for carrying out a sustained plot to commit perjury. Also she’s a teenager talking boring teenage shit on the phone, I’d be suspicious as hell if she could recite in detail what they talked about, or if she knew where Trayvon was at every second of their long phone call.

  3. I believe Zimmerman lost track of Trayvon and began to slowly observe the dogwalk while Trayvon hid in some way but when they encountered each other face to face Trayvon asked him why he was following him. At this point Zimmerman should have identified himself as neighborhood watch but he didn’t. Zimmerman asked Trayvon what he was doing there at which point Zimmerman may have attempted to grab Trayvon to hold him for the police and Trayvon yelled at him to get off of him.

    At this point Trayvon my have punched Zimmerman. They roll around on the ground which is why some witnesses saw Zimmerman on top and some saw Trayvon on top.

    Once Trayvon gained the upper hand George panicked, went for his gun, and fired. Trayvon falls to the side of Zimmerman, landing on his stomach, hands under him.

    I don’t recall if anyone confirmed Zimmermans statement that he spred Trayvons arms out to sides.

    I think Zimmerman overestimated his own abilities and underestimated Trayvon.

    • I’m shocked why the prosecution has not emphasized that the shot angle (straight, front to back) could not occur in the position that GZ claims they were in at the time of the shot. Try lying on your back with a person over your torso (let alone beating you) and pull a gun from your waistband, THEN SHOOT THE PERSON STRAIGHT THROUGH THE HEART no upward or side angle. Virtually Impossible. I think TM may have let GZ up thinking help was there heard John’s voice, then GX executed him out of rage.

      • I have tried to keep an open mind while listening to all of the evidence. But I have real doubts about GZ story. I wonder why we don’t have the angle of the shot, is this just a CSI thing!?!
        Having wrestled in high school, I don’t see how someone can reach down to their side and get a gun from holster while a person is straddled on top of them. Even if you can get the gun, how do you bring the gun around the other person’s leg to get a clean shot at the chest (front) of them? Seems more likely that you would shoot them in side and leave powder burns on other person’s pants or side.
        I personally believe GZ had already pulled the gun or pulled it when he confronted TM. GZ’s story that he went for his phone in his right front pocket is the same motion as getting gun out of holster.

        Listening to the 911 call with someone yelling, it sound like a young man not a mature male voice or anything close to GZ’s voice that I have heard to date. But giving the benefit of doubt on the GZ’s story, I have two major points.

        1) If GZ has mouth and nose covered by TM at some point, why do none of the yells sound muffed during the 911 recording?
        2) We hear the yelling stop once we hear the gun shot. In GZ’s story, he fired gun and didn’t know that he hit anything. He gets up from ground and TM says something and falls over. If GZ is yelling for help and is scared for his life, why does he stop yelling once he fires the gun. If he is unsure that he shot TM, I would assume he would keep yelling his head off hoping for someone to come to his assistance. But after the shot is fired, there is silence until neighbor arrives. There is silence because the person who was yelling is dead.

        These two points makes me believe it was TM that was yelling!!

        Also, I have heard how does GZ make up a story on the fly and within seconds of the first officer on the scene. GZ made general statement that he was yelling for help and no one came to his aid to officer and paramedics. No other details from what I have heard. Then they put him in back of patrol car while scene is secured and such. How long is GZ left in car by himself before questioned again? During this time, I assume he fabricated his story on the event to support his version.

        Susan, I have “enjoyed” your articles as much as one can given the tragedy of this event.

      • I am asking around with some medical people I know but am not comfortable with any answers so far. The Damage appears to say that the shot was at an angle and the stippling 2×2 appears to indicate that the gun was 3-4 inches from the skin, while the firearms expert testified that the gun was in contact with the clothes. The ME using a DC version of the fifth “I don’t remember anything including the important conversation yesterday with BLDR” automatically raises questions. Specifically the damage to the lungs does not seen to match the path indicated “Front to back” an angled path would make more sense, the ball is now in the Defenses court and I will specifically be looking for an explanation that makes sense.

        The other part of the ME’s statement that I am looking at is the Clothes. The DNA guy testified that the clothes were put in a plastic bags wet and smelled of ammonia, and procedure is to air dry the clothes and then place them in paper bags. When asked about this the ME stated that he could not remember the autopsy much less the details but the clothes should have been dried and put in paper bags. The chain of custody goes from the ME’s office to the DNA guy.

        On almost a side note it was pointed out that if one stick is used for five fingers then the DNA for each finger would wipe part of the DNA off for the last finger scraped. There should have been a separate swipe for each finger.

        http://cfnews13.com/content/dam/news/static/cfnews13/documents/TRAYVON-MARTIN-AUTOPSY.pdf

  4. Pingback: Minute-by-Minute Timeline of Trayvon Martin’s Death | The View From LL2

  5. I agree with scenario #2, it seems the most logical with Zimmerman’s thought process on the phone and Trayvon’s thought process while he was on the phone as well. Unfortunately Trayvon is not here to give his side. I pray God does not let an innocent man go to prison or a guilty one go free.

    • That is speculation and the State’s burden, the testimony by Jeantel that she could hear things after the call ended is very fishy. Especially when such testimony was not offered originally, but gotten after some prodding from BDLR.

      This is tragedy, made worse by so much speculation by people trying to fill-in blanks and contort testimony to the facts they want to believe. I am skeptical in all areas, but I tend to follow the law and the State has not proven its case. It is a heavy burden beyond reasonable doubt, right now all the State has done is raise doubt but has not met its burden.

      It could not prove depraved mind by any stretch of the mind, unless you did not listen to the testimony, at most the State made a case for Manslaughter.

  6. I have always believed that the physical altercation began not at the intersection of the T, but behind John Good’s house and the evidence corroborates that. First, Martin’s phone and Zimmerman’s flashlight are found on the ground there (they both dropped as soon as the fight began) and Zimmerman himself claimed, the first two times, that Martin’s punch knocked him to the ground. It was only in the re-enactment that he “made up” this whole stumbling thing to get the fight behind John Good’s house.

    Once you can demonstrate that Zimmerman lied about his location when he ran into Martin, his entire story begins to fall apart. I actually believe Martin threw the first punch because Zimmerman either had his gun out or he was reaching for it (when he claimed he was going for his cell phone). Martin was screaming and fighting for him life. It is highly unlikely that Zimmerman was the one screaming in such anguish but then had the composure to stop Martin and fire a perfect shot into his chest.

    Also, look how the prosecution will play on the fact that Martin is right handed will undermine Zimmerman’s account. If Martin did reach for the gun while Zimmerman was on the ground, he would have turned his body (since the gun/holster) was on the right side – but that was a direct shot.

    There are so many other inconsistencies also which I think the State has been holding back on, either waiting for summation or in the even Zimmerman takes the stand.

    • You conveniently leave out Jenna Lauer’s testimony, backed up by the Manolos, that the arguing started on the north side of her house, meaning the west part of the top of the T and the fact Zimmerman’s Honda key with tiny flashlight still on was found by police evidence collector Diana Smith at the T.

      • I am not discounting it I don’t believe it since they were in the front of their townhouses when the fight began and then moved to the back of their homes as the fight continued. Remember they live in end units which means they are getting sound from different areas. And if we are going to accept John Manalos testimony as true, remember he contradicts what Zimmerman said when Manalo came on the scene. Zimmerman claimed he had helped asked Manalo restrain Martin. Manalo never said that happened.

        Oh and don’t forget Bandahoor had the sound going left to right

  7. To understand what happened in Sanford, FL on 2/26/12 you need to study the game of chicken played by two fools that night. The following is clearly implied by the evidence but neither the prosecution nor defense will admit to it.

    1. Zimmerman stops his Ridgeline near his friend’s Frank Taaffe’s house to watch Martin loitering in the rainy darkness. He heads away towards the the clubhouse to call the cops.
    2. Instead of taking the quick diagonal shortcut by the lake, to get to his father’s girlfriend’s house, Martin follows Zimmerman to the clubhouse and passes close to the truck, checking the creepyass cracker out and tugging at his waistband. Martin then heads up Twin Trees Lane in the direction of home.
    3. While still on the phone with the police dispatcher, Zimmerman decides to follow Martin up TTL. He loses sight of him and stops the Ridgeline some feet from a cut through between TTL and Retreat View Circle with headlights on, pointing into the cut through.
    4. Martin comes out of the darkness and circles the truck. Zimmerman is too frightened to open his window and say anything to him. Martin runs into the cut through and turns right into a dog walk leading to the back of his destination. However Zimmerman thinks he is heading for the back entrance.
    5. Instead of waiting for the cops to come and search the area, as he had done previously when sighting suspicious persons, Zimmerman gets out of the truck and heads into the cut through. He has never adequately explained his reasons. The rest is well known.

    Since exactly what the interaction was between the two when they met up face to face is unknown, Zimmerman is comfortably not guilty by reason of self defense. He is also well within the class of as***les.

    • None of that is “clearly implied.” That is one interpretation of what happened, but those are not facts both parties would be willing to stipulate too.

      And Trayvon never circled Zimmerman’s car, that is completely impossible, so that sure as heck ain’t implied. And the idea that Trayvon “tugged at his waistband” is, while not impossible, odd and not credible. Trayvon did have a phone there, and was talking on his blue tooth, so it’s possible Zimmerman saw him answering Jeantel’s returned call — the timing fits. But at any rate, Zimmerman was incorrect and paranoid about all of Trayvon’s acts, so his comments cannot prove Trayvon “pretended” to have a gun.

    • Why didn’t GZ mention the “circling” of his car during the non-emerg call? 3 choices and the first two don’t count! Bottom line, GZ’s story continued to elongate as he tried to strengthen the false narrative that he created,

      • The car circling is a minor part of the narrative I’m giving. It occurred in more than one Zimmerman interview and I don’t see him gaining much by fabricating it. Unlike you and Susan, my conclusion about Zimmerman’s lies/untruths is, “Zimmerman is an unreliable witness to the events of 2/16/12 7-:30PM EST so his statements in general should be ignored if they are self serving”. Your conclusion is that they imply guilt of murder or manslaughter despite lack of other evidence for that. Different strokes for …………..

        • I disagree that it’s a minor detail. I think GZ made it up to make it seem as though Trayvon was trying to intimidate him. Not once has GZ given any statement that he was at fault in any way or made any mistakes.

    • We do know what happened when they met up according to Jeantel: Trayvon asked George why he was following him. That’s NOT an attack as George is claiming.

  8. Didn’t the defense clearly impeach Jeantel at the trial? I thought they clearly proved she changed her testimony or it was manipulated when she claimed it was Trayvon’s screaming for help. I do remember West reading her deposition when she said “you know it’s not his.” She was impeached and not credible.

    • Storm, you are right. Mr. West got her to confirm to the two lies, 1) she didn’t go to hospital instead of funeral and 2) she is not a minor, that she admitted to on direct examination. While Mr. West was doing his job as the “Bad Guy or Heavy” for the Defense, he didn’t get Ms. Jeantal to change the substance of her testimony. I’m sure the all women jury were quite impressed by the bullying techniques of a seasoned trial lawyer against a high school girl that is not use to public speaking and can’t read or write cursive.

    • I’m not sure how anyone can say RJ was credible. She admitted that she lied under oath about what TM said (“creepy ass cracker”) because Sybrina was in the room. What else did she lie about?

      But the biggest problem is that she describes GZ as following TM throughout the duration of the call (actually I think there were 2 w/ a 20 sec disconnet) and that’s contrary to the NEN call. Sean said it was his clear understanding that TM had left the scene.

      The defense will have a timeline expert to explain all this to the jury.

  9. “Her testimony is consistent with all the available physical evidence, and she provides direct evidence that, at the time the fight occurred, Trayvon did not have the slightest intention of committing homicide.” That’s a big leap. Her testimony does not disprove malicious intent either. I remember encountering “creepy” people when I was younger and had very violent, if defensive, emotions.

    • I said consistent with, not dispositive of.

      And it is reasonable for people to react defensively and violently if accosted by a creepy person following you in the dark. Which is why Zimmerman initiated the confrontation.

  10. Pingback: Zimmerman’s Statements are the Defense’s Own Worst Enemy | The View From LL2

  11. They just called Singleton to testify that she heart Tracy Martin say that it was not his son without actually saying the words she heard, now Serrino will say he heard Tracy’s response as well. Then will most likely be Tracy Martin to tell the jury what he said. If he changes his story then the 2 officers can be called to tell the jury what he actually said.

    • I haven’t read about yesterday’s proceedings yet, but I don’t give any significance to the voice ID issue at this point. It is natural and to be expected that both families hear their loved one in the screams — whichever side is wrong is mistaken, not lying. The sound is distorted, and they’d never heard their family member scream in mortal peril, so their (naturally biased) ID isn’t worth much. Just like how Zimmerman says it doesn’t sound like him — most people wouldn’t recognize straight off that’s what they sound like, so that doesn’t mean anything.

      I do find his inability to recreate the scream for a sound sample suspicious though.

    • I haven’t had a chance to watch any of the trial live, but I’m catching up on it now. Looks like the defense is going to rest early tomorrow — damn.

      The summaries of the ME’s testimony are interesting, but it doesn’t seem like anything particularly new is coming of it. More interested in this nonsense about an animated reenactment.

      • I saw parts of it during the admissiability argument, In was expecting Avatar got stick figures. On the other hand When the defense turned the prosecutions foam dummy witness into a defense witness I literally fell out of my chair laughing 🙂 don’t know how the jury took it but irony was great. Guy should not have brought it in.

        • foam dummy witness

          As opposed to all the regular dummy witnesses there have been on the stand…

          From what I’ve seen of recaps, the defense mostly did what they had to do, and focused more on emphasizing the confusion and uncertainty rather than trying to prove their own narrative, which they can’t really do.

          The part I can’t get over though is their decision to call Pollack, the gym owner. That seems insane to me. To admit that Zimmerman had been doing MMA training for 1.5+ years, at 6 hours per a week? (And then to try and claim he was no more than a “1 out of 10”? Even though Zimmerman got in shape and lost 60 pounds?)

          Still boggled by that. I don’t see how the jury can credit it.

          • Even worse for the defense is that Pollack said there was no way Zimmerman could access his guy the way he said he did in the re-enactment.

          • As opposed to all the regular dummy witnesses there have been on the stand…

            🙂

          • The second part of my post didn’t come through, I think that was to try and get the Jury Instruction From JUSTIFIED FORCE on Capabilities:

            In considering the issue of self-defense, you may take into account the relative physical abilities and capacities of the defendant and Trayvon Martin.

            —–

            Also I am curious on your opinion on the Child Abuse argument, they are giving this instruction to the defense as part of trying to get Felony Child Abuse Entered since the first illegal act was the Actual Assault, this covers them if the jury doesn’t believe beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman started the fight itself. This also explains why they were proposing with the Dummy that Trayvon may have been pulling away:

            However, the use of deadly force is not justifiable if you find:

            Give only if the defendant is charged with an independent forcible felony. See Giles v. State, 831
            So. 2d 1263 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002).

            1. George Zimmerman was attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of Aggravated Assault; or
            Define applicable forcible felony. Define after paragraph 2 if both paragraphs 1 and 2 are given.

            Forcible felonies are listed in § 776.08, Fla. Stat.

            (At this point if part one is given by the Judge the Defense argues for paragraph 2 as well. If the Judge rules against Felony Child Abuse on the grounds that a proper defense was not given to this charge then both paragraphs go away and you get to the next mandatory paragraph at the bottom.)

            2. George Zimmerman initially provoked the use of force against himself, unless:

            a. The force asserted toward the defendant was so great that he reasonably believed that he was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and had exhausted every reasonable means to escape the danger, other than using deadly force on Trayvon Martin.

            b. In good faith, the defendant withdrew from physical contact with Trayvon Martin and clearly indicated to Trayvon Martin that he wanted to withdraw and stop the use of deadly force, but Trayvon Martin continued or resumed the use of force.

            (This wording is up to the Prosecution to write and I am not familiar enough to try to attempt the wording other than to describe Felony Child Abuse)

            (Read in all cases)

            In deciding whether defendant was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge him by the circumstances by which he was surrounded at the time the force was used. The danger facing the defendant need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, the defendant must have actually believed that the danger was real.

            (They are also arguing that there is a definition in the JUSTIFIED USE OF FORCE Instruction for “Deadly Force” but not a definition of “Great Bodily Harm”)

  12. Susan, thanks so much for this. Right now I’m reviewing the transcripts of Zimmerman’s statements to the police and then while looking for a diagram of the crime scene, I came upon your blog. Nice job here. I still have lots of reading to do….

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