Shellie Zimmerman Arrested and Jailed for Perjury

Shellie Zimmerman was arrested today and jailed for perjury, based on her false claim of indigency under oath at the bond hearing at her husband’s bond hearing. She posted a $1,000 bond and was released about an hour later.

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting:

In an affidavit, prosecutors revealed new details about Shellie Zimmerman’s alleged efforts to hide money from the court.

Four days before she testified to having no knowledge of the funds, the affidavit says, Shellie Zimmerman began a series of transfers into her account — totaling $74,000 between April 16 and April 19.

The affidavit says about $47,000 more was transferred from George Zimmerman’s account to his sister’s [account]. Shellie Zimmerman withdrew about $18,000 more cash, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors say the Zimmermans used a rudimentary “code” to discuss the money in recorded jailhouse phone calls — referring to $100,000, for example, as “$100.” At least two of the calls, the state alleges, were made while Shellie Zimmerman and her husband’s sister were at a local credit union making the transactions.

“In my account do I have at least $100?” Zimmerman asked. “No… there’s like $8. $8.60,” she replied.

Zimmerman told his wife to “pay off all the bills” with the money, prosecutors said, including an American Express card and a Sam’s Club card. He also instructed her on how to pay for his bail.

According to the affidavit, after her husband was released on bond days after the bond hearing, she transferred more than $85,000 back into his account. A branch manager at their credit union told prosecutors he knew the couple, and saw Shellie Zimmerman talking to her husband on the phone on April 16.

The manager said he’d helped Shellie Zimmerman transfer control of George Zimmerman’s account, at one point speaking directly to George Zimmerman by phone.

In addition, USA Today is reporting that Judge Lester, who presided over the bond hearing and to whom the case is preassigned filed an order earlier today stating in part,

Lester concluded that Zimmerman’s wife had “testified untruthfully” about her husband’s finances at his initial bond hearing and that Zimmerman had failed to tell the court about one of his two passports.

Lester also noted that the evidence against George Zimmerman “is strong.”

“Most importantly, though, is the fact that he has now demonstrated that he does not properly respect the law or the integrity of the judicial process.”

Devastating news for George Zimmerman.

At this point, I do not believe Mark O’Mara can represent Shellie Zimmerman because, to do so, would create a conflict of interest. His primary duty is to represent and protect George Zimmerman, his client. Needless to say, if George put her up to this, her best interest would be to rat him out and her own lawyer likely would advise her to do so.

Meanwhile, O’Mara may have some potential legal issues to deal with also. How could he not have known about the money in the Paypal account? And what about the second passport that he apparently had in his possession. Did he knowingly participate in the fraud perpetrated by the Zimmermans?

I have a feeling the bond hearing will be stricken due to these recent developments. It is an incredibly dangerous minefield for George and Shellie Zimmerman, for George’s sister, and potentially for Mark O’Mara and even George’s father.

If the hearing goes off as scheduled, expect the prosecution to be beating a drum repeatedly with the following question,

What did you know and when did you know it?

88 Responses to Shellie Zimmerman Arrested and Jailed for Perjury

  1. jd says:

    Thanks very much Frederick. That really helps me understand some things better. The passport and the father are two things that I can’t stop wondering about, but those answers won’t be revealed next – that’s just the dramatic angle.

    I have my suspicions about how things go next but predicting the future with this case is foolhardy. Perhaps after the hearing on the 29th and also after GZ’s statements to the police are revealed the endgame will be obvious.

    The squeeze play against Shellie is obvious, but predicting George’s behavior is not an easy thing to do.

    I tend to think the plan was to flee, and that it was foiled by the GPS device alone. Moving assets out of his accounts was not just to appear indigent – it was in preparation for those assets to be seized when he did not show up for his next court appearance. But of course these are idle speculations at best.

    From a legal standpoint there will be a different picture to show on the surface. Lots of moves still to play out, all ending in the same place – a long prison term for a man with no credibility.

  2. Two sides to a story says:

    Apologist for Zimmermans, a lttle bit, Peter? The point that SZ did clearly know how many smackeroos were in the Peter Pan and said she didn’t know is the crux of the matter. Judge Lester and the defense clearly agree.

    • Peter says:

      You should look at the link I provided. Shellie did not lie.

      Shellie was asked about what was in the account “right now.” She responded to the question literally and her answer makes it clear that was what she understood the question to be — she responded did not know the “current” amount and said her brother-in-law had that current figure and that he was available.

      You can spin that into “perjury,” all you want. But this case is going nowhere, particularly with the exonerating tapes the prosecutor forgot to mention (see above unless you deny that conversation exists) and the testimony of the bail bondsman that will happen at the upcoming bond hearing.

      • masonblue says:

        Once again, you are absolutely wrong.

        Here is a transcript of de la Rionda’s cross examination of Shellie Zimmerman:

        Q: And you mentioned also, in terms of the ability of your husband to make a bond amount, that you all had no money, is that correct?

        A: To my knowledge, that is correct.

        Q: Were you aware of the website that Mr. Zimmerman or somebody on his behalf created?

        A: I’m aware of that website.

        Q: How much money is in that website right now? How much money as a result of that website was —

        A: Currently, I do not know.

        Q: Do you have any estimate as to how much money has already been obtained or collected?

        A: I do not.

        You ignored the critical question and her perjured response.

        Give it up, Peter. Even Mark O’Mara has admitted that she lied.

        I am going to ban you, if you keep on willfully misstating the evidence in the case. I placed this quote in my most recent article about the 6 recorded jailhouse conversations between George and Shellie Zimmerman. Therefore, you have no excuse for claiming that you did not know about it.

        • Peter says:

          Here is the full transcript which you and the prosecutor edited to remove key answers:

          BDLR: Okay. Were you aware of the website Mr. Zimmerman or somebody on his behalf created.
          SZ: I’m aware of that website.
          BDLR: How much money is in that website right now? [… incomplete question …]
          SZ: Currently, I do not know,
          BDLR: Who would know that?
          SZ: That would be my brother-in-law.
          BDLR: And is he- I know he is not in the same room as you, but is he available so we can speak to him, too, or the Court can inquire through the State or the Defense?
          SZ: I’m sure that we can probably get him on the phone.
          BDLR: OK. So he is not there now.
          SZ: No he is not, sir.
          BDLR (Makes a dramatic gesture with arms extended directed toward Judge Lester and where the phone speaker is situated, so as if to appear that he was addressing a witness in the witness box). Do you have any estimate how much money has already been obtained or collected.

          Shellie immediately referred BDLR to her brother-in-law who had the answer she believed BDLR was looking for

          837.02(1) expressly provides that:

          “Whoever makes a false statement, WHICH HE DOES NOT BELIEVE TO BE TRUE, under oath in an official proceeding in regard to any material matter shall be guilty of a felony․”

          When Shellie answered, she used the word “currently” and immediately said her brother had the current amount and was available to provide it. So the prosecutor KNEW AT THE TIME she answered that she believed the question dealt with current amounts and that was the question she was answering — the question used the words “right now.” So I see no way she can be convicted for perjury when, by her very own qualification explaining her answer, she show her belief that the question was for a “current” amount.

          Masonblue, I am glad you agree the only purported “perjured” statement is the one you highlighted but you left out the full answer. There is no perjury here.

      • Peter says:

        All O’Mara says is a MISTAKE was made, due to “fear, distrust and/or confusion.” That’s it. There was no “concession” anyone lied.

        He said that to appease a biased Judge, so the Judge does not hurt his client any more than he has already.

        The Judge allowed the State to make a mockery of the bond hearing by using it to try to ensnare Shellie into a bogus perjury trap. And it did so by both withholding the amount they already knew of and refusing to ask for the amount from the brother-in-law. That was the only way they could create a bogus perjury charge and in doing so the State had to create the need for an otherwise unnecessary new bond hearing … all to the State’s advantage.

        AS for the

      • Peter says:

        Here is a link to legalinsurrection.com that has the COMPLETE transcript quotes including the parts I said were edited out:

        http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/06/perjury-charge-against-shellie-zimmerman-raises-more-questions-of-prosecutorial-overreaching/

        Do a page search and go to the part that says:

        “The deleted transcript language certainly gives a very different context to the issue of whether Shellie knew how much was available or had an “estimate.” She offered to get the person who knew on the phone, but the prosecution didn’t take her up on that.”

        The word “transcript” in the above section has a link to the actual court transcript. Here is that link to the official transcript for the hearing:

        http://www.flcourts18.org/PDF/Press_Releases/excerpt%20of%20bond%20hearing.pdf

  3. jd says:

    IANAL – but what about criminal conspiracy? What did the father know about hidden funds and passports and when did he know it? Who is “Ken” and what’s his involvement in moving all this money around? What of the sister, who let money go in (and out, presumably) of her account? Shellie seems caught six ways to sunday, by virtue of her performance in court but the father gave testimony as well. Is he a “potted plant” too?

    Seems like the gambit would be to draw out the various members of the conspiracy after initially learning of the misdeeds. The difficulty there is that the window was small – mid april they conspire to move and hide money and passports – and then on 22nd of April, GZ is released (at midnight) with a GPS on his leg or orders for one to be fitted. I’m not sure the order of this, but if I were the court I’d do the GPS first. So if he was planning to use his hidden money and passport to flee, he had to change his plans on the 23rd.

    On the 25th, GZ writes a large check to Mark O’Mara who comes clean on the hidden money to the press and the court. (But not the passport – not until June 1st, IIRC.) We don’t know if the prosecution was monitoring the suspicious calls in a timely fashion, but if they were they didn’t let on anything until O’Mara contacted the court. So the window for a wiretap would have been mid-april to the 25th or so to catch GZ and friends discussing current plans for flight, or plans that were foiled. Was the prosecution that on top of things or not? The hidden money angle was handed to them on the 25th of April. Perhaps they only started digging then. Prior to the earliest call about moving money, I’m not sure if they had probable cause for a wiretap.

    • I doubt the prosecution sought to review the recorded jailhouse telephone conversations until after O’Mara notified them about the large sum of money in the Paypal account. After that, they would have used subpoenas duces tecum served on Paypal and the bank to follow the money.

      Now that they have charged Shellie, who really is dead in the water, I think they are going to try and flip her to nail George down tight on putting her up to it. Then they can prosecute him for perjury as a principal and/or aider and abettor.

      Adding a perjury charge to the second degree murder charge in a case where his credibility is the key to him winning the case really puts a big hurt on him.

      There are specific legal rules regarding joinder or severance of charges and I am not certain that Judge Lester would allow the perjury and second degree murder charges to be tried together. The basic rule is that the charges have to be related or connected in some way to each other such that proof of the perjury, for example, would be relevant to proving the murder or absence of self-defense.

      I have argued elsewhere in these threads, possibly this one, that just as evidence of flight to avoid prosecution is admissible in a murder case to prove guilty mind (i.e., the killer’s knowledge that he did not kill in self-defense), evidence of perjury to conceal (a) possession of $155,000 despite a claim of indigency, and (b) possession of a second passport in order to bond out of jail pending trial should be admissible for the same purpose.

      If the prosecution makes this argument or another one like it, and Judge Lester is inclined to allow joinder or severance, if they are already joined, he would have to weigh the probative value of the evidence against its potential for prejudice.

      Evidence of perjury would not be admissible to prove he’s a liar and, therefore, should not be believed.

      I doubt the prosecution obtained a wiretap.

      State prosecutors rarely charge conspiracy and I do not believe they will here, unless Shellie leads them to believe that others were involved. We know that Ken and Susie were involved in moving the money around but we do not know if they knew Shellie was going to lie in court. Even if they did, prosecuting them successfully might require some substantial independent corroboration of Shellie’s testimony that they did (assuming she claims they did).

      Same would apply to George’s father.

      Hope that answers your questions.

    • Peter says:

      Seems like a lot of sandcastles in the sky being built here.

      No one seems able to answer the question as to why, if SZ was asked about how much had been already raised “right now”; and she said she didn’t know the “current” amount and said her brother-in-law did and was available to give that amount. Then why didn’t the prosecutor just ask the brother-in-law for the amount? The only reasonable answer is a combination of a) they already knew how much from the tapes, and/or b) they didn’t want to know since that would destroy any perjury charge. No jury going to convict her of perjury.

      Here is an interesting analysis of exactly what was asked of her and her responses that make an excellent case that SZ did not commit perjury.

      http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/06/perjury-charge-against-shellie-zimmerman-raises-more-questions-of-prosecutorial-overreaching/

      The latest as reported at talkleft.com:

      “Mark O’Mara told Piers Morgan tonight he will introduce another conversation at the June 29 bail hearing. In it, George and Shellie discuss her testifying at the April 20 hearing. George tells her, “Before you testify, pray first and tell the truth.” [More…]”

      Imagine how many more exonerating conversations there are in those tapes!

  4. jd says:

    More passport(s) mysteries are revealed in the latest release of tapes and transcripts. The last tape of the 6 is the passport one. Listening to the last call, and reading the transcript is seems clear that GZ and SZ are talking about two different passports, one in a bag and another in a box. We heard some of this at the previous hearing but the full call and transcript gives context – and later Shellie goes on about a mysterious reason the one in the box “needs” to be moved out of a box with both GZ and SZ’s name attached. I’m curious what others make of this. She says, “Because what you told me to do yesterday would then mean that I need to go and get that out.” What in the world is she talking about?

    The transcript is slightly different here than the one the prosecution used at the last hearing, as well. GZ says “hold on to THEM” not “hold on to THAT” as previously transcribed, thus IMO indicating that he accepts the idea of two passports being identified and their locations known.

    I seem to recall O’Mara claimed the second (aka valid) passport was found as the couple packed to move, after GZ made bond. Is that an accurate description of what happened?

    • I am trying to find the tapes and transcripts. Do you have a link to them?

      Nevr mind, I found the Information charging her with perjury, together with the Affidavit of Probable Cause and supporting jailhouse phone call transcripts here.

    • More passport(s) mysteries are revealed in the latest release of tapes and transcripts. The last tape of the 6 is the passport one. Listening to the last call, and reading the transcript is seems clear that GZ and SZ are talking about two different passports, one in a bag and another in a box. We heard some of this at the previous hearing but the full call and transcript gives context – and later Shellie goes on about a mysterious reason the one in the box “needs” to be moved out of a box with both GZ and SZ’s name attached. I’m curious what others make of this. She says, “Because what you told me to do yesterday would then mean that I need to go and get that out.” What in the world is she talking about?

      Here’s the exchange:

      SZ: Man I gotta ge that bag from him.

      GZ: Mn. You know what?

      SZ: Huh.

      GZ: I said, do you know what?

      SZ: What?

      GZ: I think my passport is in that bag.

      SZ: Oh really, Well I have one in a safety deposit box.

      GZ: Okay, you hold on to them.

      SZ: For you. Uhm, I’m thinking of going to the box that has both of us on it.

      GZ: Mm Hmn.

      SZ: over by somewhere else

      GZ: Yeah.

      SZ: and getting it out.

      GZ: Good idea

      SZ: Because I think mine, I think the one that I have only has my name on it.

      GZ: I think you’re right. You should double check.

      I suspect she is telling him that his second passport is in the safety deposit box with both of their names on it and she wants to get it out and put it in her safety deposit box that only has her name on it.

      Make sense?

      BTW, in one of their conversations, he mentions wanting them to go to “heaven.”

      Do you think passports are necessary to get there?

      Could they have been planning a trip there if things started sliding sideways in the case?

      If so, how might that impact the hearing on the 29th?

      • jd says:

        “Heaven” seems to the the code word for the out of state undisclosed location. Elsewhere he talks about how the showers are in comparison to the one he had in “heaven.”

        And yes, I totally agree with what you are saying about the two deposit boxes and the two passports. What I don’t know is what they feared? I assume GZ geared his assets might be seized at some point, but that’s an action that takes place AFTER one becomes a fugitive from justice, not while one is awaiting trial and enjoying the good will of the court. So, yeah… my suspicions are strong that they planned to take flight, but there is no real proof of that yet. Just a room full of smoke one could cut with a knife.

        And the hard nut to crack for the prosecution is going to be proving any of this planning to flee stuff in court. It’s all well and good to stand aghast at what they are saying, but how do you prove it? It does seem like this sort of talk would be enough to get a wiretap warrant with, however.

    • A basic principle of criminal law is that a person who aids and abets another person to commit a crime, in this case perjury, is just as guilty as the person who committed the crime.

      I suspect the prosecutors are much more interested in prosecuting George Zimmerman for perjury on an aiding and abetting theory than they are in prosecuting Shellie Zimmerman.

      Will they attempt to flip her in exchange for pleading guilty and recommending a sentence of probation, if she cooperates and testifies against him?

      I don’t see anything in the transcripts where he tells her to lie to the court, even though it’s apparent that they were moving the money around while attempting to conceal what they were doing for that purpose. Therefore, they might want to use her to plug up that hole in their case, and who knows what else she might have to say about what he told her regarding the shooting.

      And there is matter of the passports and what, if anything, they intended to do with them to which I referred in my previous reply to you.

      I’ll bet the prosecution would love to add a perjury charge against him.

  5. KJ says:

    I suspect when the injuries to the story to the evidence do not align, there will be little place for him to go considering his credibility issues. I am guessing a SYG hearing would foolhardy at this point as the judge does not believe he is earnest and the question of who provoked has little evidence outside of circumstantial and most of that would point to Zimmerman being the aggressor and not Trayvon. An immunity hearing would give further opportunity for the State to cross examine and expose more issues there. I imagine O’Mara would not want that.

    • He doesn’t necessarily have to put his client on the stand. Instead, he could use the hearing as an opportunity to cross examine the prosecution’s witnesses creating an additional transcript of their testimony to use against them by confronting them with any inconsistencies in the trial testimony before a jury compared to previous statements.

      I’m still thinking this case could end in a plea bargain.

      Before I forget to mention it, I agree with you that Judge Lester will likely be ill disposed to rule in Zimmerman’s favor at an immunity hearing.

  6. Chi says:

    I agree that it will be the lies told by Zimmerman that will sink his absurd self-defense claim. When the jury hears the 911 recordings and the desperate cries for help, and then the two audio experts on the state’s witness list tell them it’s Trayvon, it will be all over for Zimmerman.

  7. jd says:

    GZ is the one whose testimony will sink his self defense case. He’s very likely pushed a false narrative that leaves out how the fight moved, and added details like the verbal death threat that seems preposterous to me, the way his father relates it. His dad tells a story that the gun was detected, then TM gives a verbal death threat and then does NOT go for the gun, but instead keeps hitting GZ, who then draws the gun. Seems foolhardy at best. But there’s no way really to disprove that sort of story.

    The part that’s going to sink him is the idea that the fight started with a sucker punch that put him on the ground at the initial meeting. The physical evidence and witness statements don’t agree with this, especially when it is coupled with the idea that GZ was on a path to(wards) his vehicle at the time.

    Dee Dee is just a supporting witness to the general idea that GZ is not a credible person, and that he pursued TM until he found him, tried to detain him, and eventually shot him.

  8. KJ says:

    Peter, you understand they had calls on and off the whole time and hung up or where disconnected for a few minutes in between. No where in her testimony did she talk about WHEN they hung up and restarted. It was one fluid questioning of the time period and situation, not the call times. He first mentioned the person watching him at the clubhouse and they hung up or disconnected after that and she called back. Your timeline is completely based on one call time. Your maligning of this young teen female is disturbing.

    • Peter says:

      There are two key calls on Martin’s records (we have yet to see DeeDee’s records).

      DeeDee was very specific that the first call was dropped at about the time Martin started walking from the “mail shed.”

      DeeDee was also very specific the next (the 3:01-4:00 minute) call (the KEY CALL) began while Martin was walking towards the back path. The is the only call that matters.

      The issue is, if the events she described can possible fit into the time window for the length of that call, knowing what we know about the dispatcher tape and times involved for the various movements. That is what my analysis was about.

      There is only one call I am looking at because that is the single call that spans the events she testified about and extensively related about to the media, the 3:01-4:00 minute call.

      • As I recall, the calls partially overlap, but her call with Trayvon continues after Zimmerman terminates his call with the dispatcher.

      • Peter says:

        Yes, they overlap and that is exactly the analysis I did in my post at: “June 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm.”

        I separated out the possible time window AFTER the dispatcher call hangup that DeeDee could have remained on the phone from the length of her call rounded upward to 4 minutes.

        I used the start of the call from when she said she reconnected before Martin passed Zimmerman in his car and ran, and aligned it with the known time points from the dispatcher tape.

      • Peter says:

        How? What I said was:

        “The dispatcher call lasted 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

        The dispatcher tape, shows Zimmerman says Martin ran at about 2:08 into the dispatcher call which, assuming a 2-3 second delay in relaying that fact, means Martin ran at about 2:06 into the call.

        DeeDee testified that she re-connected with Martin as he was still heading towards the back path after leaving the “mail shed” (before he started running). This reconnection, at best, would have had to have been at least 15 seconds BEFORE Martin began running — meaning the reconnection had to beginning at about 1:51 into the dispatcher call at the latest (2:06 (running start time) minus 15 seconds (call start time)).

        Because DeeDee’s call was anywhere from 3:01 to 4:00 minutes (from Martin’s T-Mobile records), the time window for her remaining on the phone AND HER HANGUP, AFTER ZIMMERMAN HAD HUNG UP, can only be between 22 seconds and 71 seconds! That is the only time window possible.”

        Where and how was the above misaligned? And by how much? By seconds (which, if so, would make no difference to the implications)?

    • Peter says:

      BTW, there is no “maligning” issue here, just a reality check. The defense will demolish DeeDee’s testimony on the stand and the State will undermine her story when it presents its own version of what happened after Zimmerman got off the dispatcher call.

      The dispatcher tape is a critical piece of evidence because it was made before the events that unfolded were even conceivable and it is contemporaneous. There was nothing like the chase DeeDee described to the media and in her sworn interview on that tape, so her story had to occur at another time, particularly the events leading up to the confrontation. When could they have happened in the short time window from after the dispatcher call ended to the confrontation? The State and DeeDee have to explain that.

      DeeDee is the principal witness accusing a man of murder. Of course she will be questioned extensively and every aspect of her story will be dissected and challenged — doing that here, is not “maligning” her, it is reporting the reality of what the challenges to her testimony most likely will be.

  9. KJ says:

    Are we using Zimmerman’s account as the “official” version and seeing if DeeDee’s matches up? That would not be proper investigation and one based on speculation of events.

    • Peter says:

      No.

      YOUR ACCOUNT that you will use to try to discredit Zimmerman’s walk through.

      Let’s see how much of your theories actually agrees with DeeDee’s story.

  10. KJ says:

    You argument seems very one sided. I doubt any argument presented will shift your mindset from what you believe and your speculation of incomplete data. There will, most likely, be parts of DeeDee’s testimony that are admissible as testimonial evidence, and parts that are inadmissible as hearsay. Your terms of “building a story around” do not really relate to what actually happens in the courtroom nor in front of a jury. If only cases could be made and won with a single one or two items of evidence as, according to your logic, there would be no need to investigation or the building of an entire case.
    .
    With 228K ‘likes’ on the “Justice for Trayvon site” and roughly 2.6K ‘likes’ on the official George Zimmerman site, I can see why you would think that America has shift their opinion and sees George as the public “victor”.

    • Peter says:

      KJ, when you are ready to post your take on why Zimmerman’s walk through it false, please make sure you insert all the fictional events DeeDee described. Particularly, those after Zimmerman hung up with the dispatcher.

      Then we will see if she is telling the truth or not.

      Then we will see if you, yourself, aren’t also implicitly “throwing DeeDee to the wolves”

      • Frank says:

        If Gz first called 911 dispatcher parked at club house, then he says Tm was coming towards him, while parked at club house. he then backs out turn right in the direction Tm went. as lt turn left as street goes. he sees TM again. TM turns and looks and sees car headlights he believe its the same car following him start to run, Gz Reports That To 911 Dispatch, pull his over and stop, Get Out, you can hear the door chimes, you can also hear him charge his weapon and head in that direction, cause he tells the 911 dispatcher he head toward the back entrace before he gets out, when Tm turned the corner between the town homes he stop running,he`s out of breathe, girl confirm that, then tells her that he lost him. in mean time Gz can be heard in 911 call banging on his flashlight, may be low batteries, Tm Is Walking In a dark area. Gz Accidentlly drops keys as he turns corner to right, flashlight comes on Tm sees It and stop Turn around and ask why are following me, Gz Replie what are doing around here Tm has his hands in his hooded jacket holding his phone and other items from store, Gz Is Nervous of What He might on him, attempted removed Tm Hands into plain sight, an struggle to place Tm loses earpiece Cell phone goes dead.The two struggle for position during which Gz Head makes contact with Square plate in grass( Which looks like water meter cover) Tm managed to get on top Gz, Gz pull his weapon out, Tm sees it and yells out realizing he`s in Trouble, trying to get up and free himself, Gz grabs and pull his hoodie and fire his weapon, not sure where or if him hit, Tm Falls forward on Gz, Gz gets out from under stands up scared, Panic Check to he had some kind of weapon on him, then people start coming out, police shows up

  11. KJ says:

    Peter, I sense you do not know much about phone records or how calls are recorded and processed. I believe you are looking at “leaked” billing records that were printed off an on line bill search off the phone owners T Mobile account. There are multiple phone lines on there it appears and a single search to location was done. That is not how law enforcement utilizes switched telecom records evidence.

    For every retail and wholesale communications operator that operates or offers communications services in the US, they have a requirement to comply with the CALEA Act of 1994. In that, there has to be a specific storage and retrieval of information guidelines that have to be adhered to when law enforcement requires copies of records. For T Mobile and other Tier I operators, it is a centralized office that is called and handles in compliance with the mandated act.

    The records you saw in the “unofficial” documents that were given to the press were billing records. Billing records have a completely different applicability and rule they have to abide by that has nothing to do (in any way) with the CALEA requirements. A billing record is only one aspect of their account and is certainly, not considered the “official record” of a specific usage transaction. The billing relationship is a business relationship, not the technical relationship to their account. The records that will be considered “official” will be directly processed from the switch and in a completely different format and context (billing only utilizes limited fields in a record for its own purpose). I could see a billing records in a civil trial, but never in a criminal trial. There are already processes and formats in place for that.

    I will not go into the nuances of bill presentation and allocated times of usage events as that would elongate this unnecessarily. I can with every confidence say that call times and call duration are not accurate, nor considered “legal representations” of usage transactions for any other purpose BUT end user billing. If that is the majority context of your argument above, I would consider reevaluating and revising.

    • Peter says:

      Good try!

      The State and every other pundit will destroy DeeDee once they try to destroy Zimmerman’s walk through scenario. Her story and when the events of her “life or death” chases can never rationally be explained in any possible time line when compared to the dispatcher tape, phone records maps (and time constraints).

      No one expects to see the State’s case showing a mock-up of DeeDee’s story, they would be laughed out of court.

      BTW, her phantasmagorical story has already self destructed. No one can rationally ever describe when the event happened when compared to the dispatcher tape and even her own interview testimony.

      Public opinion polls have shifted dramatically in favor of Zimmerman’s self-defense claim, so all of those people don’t believe DeeDee’s incredible story anymore

    • Peter says:

      BTW, the State used a start time of 7:12 for DeeDee’s second call.

  12. Peter says:

    For anyone who STILL believes DeeDee’s phantasmagorical story:

    Here is why the State, every pundit and Crump (who has already has) will throw DeeDee to the “wolves” once the Zimmerman walk-through is released … and at trial.

    THE PHONE RECORDS DOOM DEEDEE’S TESTIMONY AND THE STATE WILL GRAPHICALLY REPUDIATE HER STORY AT TRIAL BECAUSE OF THOSE PHONE RECORDS:

    I explained how the Martin phone record start time of the critical second call by DeeDee to Martin, dooms DeeDee because the records show it started at 7:12 which is AFTER Martin started running based on the dispatcher tape. Yet she extensively testified about how after the first phone call was dropped (while Martin was at the “mail shed”) she immediately called back and then HEARD Martin as he approached and passed Zimmerman’s truck and started running. In short, she says she reconnected before the running which was before the phone call that started AFTER the running.

    MOREOVER, DEEDEE HAS A MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM — WHICH IS THE LENGTH OF THE CALL:

    The T-Mobile phone records show a 4 minute call. Which means a call lasting between 3:01 and 4:00 minutes. One thing we can be fairly certain of is that T-Mobile keeps accurate records of call length because there would be billions at stake in class action suits if T-Mobile was shortchanging customers on call length billing.

    What this means is that DeeDee’s testimony will be refuted by EVERYONE (including the State) once analyses begin on trying to destroy Zimmerman’s walk through scenario. This is because:

    The dispatcher call lasted 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

    The dispatcher tape, shows Zimmerman says Martin ran at about 2:08 into the dispatcher call which, assuming a 2-3 second delay in relaying that fact, means Martin ran at about 2:06 into the call.

    DeeDee testified that she re-connected with Martin as he was still heading towards the back path after leaving the “mail shed” (before he started running). This reconnection, at best, would have had to have been at least 15 seconds BEFORE Martin began running — meaning the reconnection had to beginning at about 1:51 into the dispatcher call at the latest (2:06 (running start time) minus 15 seconds (call start time)).

    Because the dispatcher call was 4 minutes and 30 seconds long, and DeeDee’s call reconnected at 1:51 into the dispatcher call (if you believe DeeDee), that means that DeeDee was on the phone for 2 minutes and 39 seconds at the same time Zimmerman was on the phone with the dispatcher.

    Because DeeDee’s call was anywhere from 3:01 to 4:00 minutes (from Martin’s T-Mobile records), the time window for her remaining on the phone AND HER HANGUP, AFTER ZIMMERMAN HAD HUNG UP, can only be between 22 seconds and 71 seconds! That is the only time window possible.

    So giving DeeDee the benefit of the doubt on the time the call started (which I don’t believe will work for her), and assuming the call lasted until the last second possible — at the 4 minute length mark — LEAVES HER ONLY A TIME WINDOW OF 22 TO 71 SECONDS for her ENTIRE multiple chase sequences she testified about.

    Obviously, based on the only possible time window, the multiple “out of breath” chases, “cornering” and attacking she described so graphically as hearing on the phone, could not have happened the way she says within the time window of 22 to 71 seconds. Also, at least 10 seconds has to be subtracted for Zimmerman to have at least spotted Martin and began the “chase.” This leaves the time window for the chase, now at 12 to 61 seconds!

    What happens now is the State (and pundits) must now try to destroy Zimmerman’s walk-through story, particularly what he did just after hanging up with the dispatcher.

    The State, to completely avoid destroying DeeDee, has to present a scenario that ties into DeeDee’s testimony of her chase within the only possible 12 second to 61 second time window that she was on the phone and the chase could have happened!

    Does anyone seriously believe the State, or any of the many pundits out to destroy Zimmerman, will tailor their stories to fit DeeDee’s story? Will they all have a new story that says that within 10 seconds of getting off the phone with the dispatcher Zimmerman immediately started his multiple “breathless” chases of Martin and show how and why everyone ended up near the path intersection under DeeDee’s story?

    Not a chance.

    Crump (and the State) had to have known of the DeeDee testimony dilemma before she was being placed in when she gave her statement under oath … they had her phone records.

    The State, at the beginning of the interview, even strongly hinted at the problem by telling her THEY HAD HER PHONE RECORDS. YET SHE STILL TESTIFIED TO HER IMPOSSIBLE STORY — UNDER THE “GUIDANCE” OF CRUMP, WHO THREW HER TO THE WOLVES AND LET HER TESTIFY.

  13. KJ says:

    I have a question. Why is, out of all the witnesses in the evidence, DeeDee the most infamous and controversial? I keep seeing (even media outlets) suspecting she was “staged”, “paid off”, or the like. There are sights writing long articles about what a “joke” she is. I listened to the interview and she sounds like a young teen. She obviously has a lot of grief. I could not find anything not credible about her and seeing that no one really knows her identity in the “blogsphere” and thereby any personal information, how are “reputable” media outlets doubting her credibility?

    Is this a legal issue because she is young? It is my experience that teens and young people, many times make as good of, or sometimes better witnesses than adults. I suspect if she cries or emotionally breaks down on the stand, it will increase her credibility, not take from it as I keep hearing.

    I am not sure Professor Leatherman if you can shed any light on this.

    Thanks.

    • I agree with you. At this point I see no reason to think she lied about anything and George Zimmerman has confirmed that Trayvon asked him why he was following him and he replied, what are you doing here?

      Plus, the cell records confirm the timing and length of the call.

      • jd says:

        plus, the obvious – if she was “coached” to lie, or chose to lie on her own to help her friend, why not have a story that does a better job of implicating GZ in a crime, such as flashing his piece or say, giving a verbal death threat?

      • Peter says:

        She is 16. Not too bright. Her coaches are not too bright, only interested in “catchwords” and “images” (white man monster chasing and gunning down “innocent” black child, etc.). They didn’t need a better story, the media created if for them.

        In any event, her story never made sense. Polls show the majority of citizens now believe self-defense and there has been a sizable shift among blacks towards self-defense — meaning, obviously, with all her positive media publicity, she is now not believed.

        Wait until someone actually deposes her (and not the soft-ball prosecutor treatment where, despite the favored treatment, she made startling admissions) or puts her on the stand.

  14. Chi says:

    Peter,
    I’ve seen all the pictures. I stand by my assertion that Zimmerman’s injuries *that night* were superficial. I’ve been a nurse for many years and spent several of those working in the prison system, so I treated a lot of wounds caused by fighting. It was also part of my job to examine the hands of the people involved… and I’ll just say the lack of any injury to Trayvon Martin’s hands except for one 1/4 inch cut on his LEFT finger (Trayvon Martin was right handed) does NOT add up.
    Did you know that Trayvon’s finger nail scrapings had NO DNA from George Zimmerman? Yet you think Trayvon was using his hands to repeatedly hit Zimmerman in the face and pound his head on the concrete? If so I can’t agree. Looks more to me like during the struggle the two fell to the ground and Zimmerman hit his own head on the ground. I think it’s obvious that these two wrestled on the ground prior to the shooting. IMO Zimmerman did not want Trayvon, his prize suspect, to “get away” like those other “a-holes” Zimmerman mentioned to the dispatcher.
    As far as Zimmerman’s physicians report the next day…. that gave Zimmerman how much time to “enhance” his injuries to match his story? Problem is while Zimmerman may be a proven liar (already), science does not lie, and the science tells us Trayvon’s hands did not beat Zimmerman’s head or face.

    • I agree.

      Hell, I’ve received worse wounds than Zimmerman while I was playing pickup basketball.

      Yes, I also noticed the absence of any of Zimmerman’s DNA on Martin’s fingernail scrapings.

      • Peter says:

        Where did you play basketball? I hope not Iraq (a joke):

        I still say, here is a link to pictures of Zimmerman’s injuries.

        http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/342834/20120518/george-zimmerman-trayvon-martin-shot-evidence-photos.htm#page2

        His medical report and those pictures show:

        1. broken nose,
        2. two black eyes
        3. cuts or abrasions on both sides of his forehead,
        4. swollen lip
        5. multiple cuts and abrasions on top of and the back of his head.

        Not badly beaten up? Beyond a reasonable doubt?

        The pictures were taken by the police on the night of the incident.

        A jury will have no problem dismissing the written paramedic report after seeing those pictures and hearing from Zimmerman’s expert witness.

        • I’ve seen the photos and I do not believe his injuries are serious.

          Moreover, he could have sustained them when Trayvon was trying to get away from him; in other words, resisting an assault by Zimmerman.

          After all, we only have Zimmerman’s word for it that Trayvon jumped him and the biggest longshot Louie at Hialeah wouldn’t put a fin on his credibility anymore after his stunt at the bond hearing and lying under oath to Trayvon’s parents that he thought Trayvon was only a couple of years younger than him.

          He told the dispatcher Trayvon was a teenager.

          I doubt you know what a jury is going to do.

          Let me put it this way. With his credibility shot, do you think Zimmerman is willing to risk a life sentence in prison that a jury will acquit him?

        • Peter,

          I realize you would like it to be otherwise, but no matter how much you huff and puff, George Zimmerman’s injuries were not serious.

          Read this article by a person trained in medicine and law.

          Also, you need to read the autopsy report. Trayvon’s abrasion (i.e., scrape) was to his ring finger on the underside or palm side in the area of the finger where a ring would normally be worn.

          It was not an abrasion to his knuckle.

          You also claim Trayvon was a skilled MMA fighter. Please provide a source for your claim. I have not seen that in any of the materials that I have read.

          You are aware, I hope, that the witness John, who said he saw Trayvon throwing down punches MMA style on Zimmerman, has recanted his statement and no longer claims that Zimmerman was the person screaming for help.

      • Peter says:

        The paramedic report listed Martin’s age as 20 and height at 6′ and 160lbs.

        Also, look at the size of Martin compared to the clerk (who is about Zimmerman’s size) on the 7/11 tape. In the dark even the paramedic thought he was 20.

        As for the extensive damage to Zimmerman, we can agree to disagree. I can only say that must have been some basketball game to get a broken nose, two black eyes and the other extensive hits all about Zimmerman’s head and face.

        The state has to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. I cannot see how it possibly can do that.

        As for Zimmerman and the bond hearing. I suggest you look at Jeralyn’s take on the Shellie Z perjury matter at talkleft.com

        Without getting into a big debate, consider that the State, at the time of the Shellie testimony, knew exactly how much was in the accounts from the tapes. They had “broken” the “code” (incidentally Jeralyn gives very good reasons why an inmate in Zimmerman’s position would use a “code.” After all, he wasn’t a drug dealer or bank robber, the money was legitimately raised)

        The State knew from the tapes that any information Shellie had was at least 4 days old and that she had turned the website over to her brother-in-law. The State then purged that critical part of the transcript where Shellie immediately said her brother-in-law had the CURRENT website amounts and was immediately available to give that information — which the State never wanted because they had that information and were withholding it from Judge Lester in order to entrap Shellie in a perjury trap.

        The question to shellie was about balances “RIGHT NOW” a careful wording because they knew she only knew about amounts FOUR DAYS AGO. There was never any followup to ask about balances FOUR DAYS AGO because the whole purpose of the ambiguous question was to entrap Shellie — not get information they already had. And to also keep the information they had on the amounts from Judge Lester to spring their perjury trap later.

        The state went through a whole charade of dramatically “later” discovering the amount and only then telling Judge Lester — the amount they ALREADY KNEW OF at the time of the hearing! It was all a sham, and juries don’t like dirty tricks like that.

        You can be sure, the State listened to every second of the tapes before the bond hearing because they wanted, desperately, to keep him in jail — and away from attorneys who could help him. The State knows full well how difficult it is for a lawyer to mount a defense when the defendant is in jail.

        BTW, Shellie gave a technically correct (and legally correct answer under perjury standards) by answering the trick question the way she did because she did NOT know the amount raised “RIGHT NOW.” Entrapment was the whole purpose of phrasing the question that way.

        As an example, what if in the intervening 4 days 40k was raised (public opinion polls have dramatically shifted toward Zimmerman’s self defense claim) and she said 135k? Would she then also, “catch 22” style, have been prosecuted for perjury because the question was “RIGHT NOW”?

        I am simply amazed that Judge Lester let his courtroom be used in this sham way by the State and allowed the later charade of the State and for not questioning the State why it didn’t disclose the 135k itself on the day of the bond hearing — even after Shellie testified.

        • The paramedic report listed Martin’s age as 20 and height at 6′ and 160lbs.

          Also, look at the size of Martin compared to the clerk (who is about Zimmerman’s size) on the 7/11 tape. In the dark even the paramedic thought he was 20.

          So what? Zimmerman told the dispatcher twice during the conversation that Trayvon was a teenager and the autopsy report indicates he was 17 yo, 5’11” and weighed 158 lbs.

          Trayvon was a beanpole.

          By comparison, Zimmerman resembles a fire hydrant and outweighed Trayvon by 42 lbs.

        • BTW, Shellie gave a technically correct (and legally correct answer under perjury standards) by answering the trick question the way she did because she did NOT know the amount raised “RIGHT NOW.” Entrapment was the whole purpose of phrasing the question that way.

          As an example, what if in the intervening 4 days 40k was raised (public opinion polls have dramatically shifted toward Zimmerman’s self defense claim) and she said 135k? Would she then also, “catch 22″ style, have been prosecuted for perjury because the question was “RIGHT NOW”?

          I am simply amazed that Judge Lester let his courtroom be used in this sham way by the State and allowed the later charade of the State and for not questioning the State why it didn’t disclose the 135k itself on the day of the bond hearing — even after Shellie testified.

          Oh, man. Your argument does not pass the straight-face test. I am not going to call it absurd, but it’s close.

          Why do you think she’s using code to discuss amounts of money that just happen to match up with the amounts that were in the account at that time?

          And what makes you think that the prosecution had reviewed the tapes before the bond hearing?

          No one usually is monitoring phone calls as they happen. Conversations are recorded and reviewed later for incriminating evidence, typically. And if someone is monitoring the call, it’s a low-level jail employee who is screening calls for contraband or possible jail breaks.

          In other words, the recorded calls were not reviewed until sometime after the bond hearing. Then and only then did the lie become apparent.

      • Peter says:

        Rather than debate the SZ issue, here is a link to talkleft.com. (“George Zimmerman: Written Order vs. Oral Ruling at Bail Hearing” http://www.talkleft.com/story/2012/6/13/13212/2614 )

        Jeralyn has some very compelling reasons why “code” would be used — remember this was not drug or bank robbery proceeds. Why would they want to disclose, whether to the State, which already has leaked anything possible to hurt them. Just look at the media reaction after the sums were released yet no mention that their legal bills would run into 7 figures.

        Another aspect was the very real possibility of a guard or even an inmate, on hearing such money amounts could rob or kidnap a family member or also disclose it to the press. There was not only nothing illegal about talking in “code” in their situation but it made a lot of sense.

        As for, don’t take this the wrong way, your naivety on how prosecutors operate. In a high profile case like this, someone in the prosecutor’s office would have listened to the conversations every day. And I would not put it past them if paperwork did some vanishing. The bond hearing was coming up and ANYTHING they could get on the Zimmermans they were desperate to get. The tip off is that right after Shellie gave a correct answer when asked for the balances “right now” she IMMEDIATELY SAID HER BROTHER IN LAW HAD THOSE NUMBERS. I find it impossible to believe that the combination of 1) using the words “right now” instead of “four days ago” (which would probably have triggered a correct answer) and 2) and COMPLETELY giving up on simply getting the number from the brother in law, shows dramatically that the reason the State asked the question was to entrap (and they already had the number from the tapes). It makes no sense whatsoever to NOT just get the information from the brother in law if they really wanted it because it was so “critical” to a bond decision. If they called the brother in law, no perjury charge! It was all a sham.

        Lastly, there is evidence from other places on the web (and you can be sure the defense will get to the bottom of the issue) that Martin was promoting among others his age MMA type schoolyard fights (the defense private investigators will dig up a lot).

        The age of consent for professional MMA fighters is 18. Here is a link to two middleweights (about the size of Martin) and you can see how much damage can be done in seconds even with a referee quickly stopping a bout to prevent serious injuries. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIb8klvd64c&feature=player_embedded

        The fact is that the jury will see pictures of the extensive damage done to Zimmerman and see that there were no marks on Martin except on the striking area of his fist and conclude that, at 17, he was a formidable fighter and PROVED IT.

        It makes no difference how Zimmerman is portrayed (e.g., as a “fireplug”) since he can also be portrayed as a short 5’7″ overweight, pudgy white guy who was winded after running just a few seconds after exiting his truck. You, as a lawyer, know how the arguments go. The whole point is to prove reasonable doubt.

        • Naive?

          I was a death penalty lawyer who specialized in forensics and trying complex cases in state and federal courts. I have represented serial killers in cases that had massive press coverage from around the globe.

          I’ve dealt with honest and dishonest cops and prosecutors and know their tricks.

          Slinging uninformed insults is a good way to make enemies and convince people that you are ignorant. It’s not a good way to persuade others that you are right

      • Peter says:

        I am quite sure, after your experience with dishonest prosecutors, that you have weathered quite well far more then someone simply expressing the belief you give the appearance of being “naive.”

        If offense at what I said in using the word “naive” is your counter argument then I withdraw the word … and ask you to substitute a non-offensive word instead “_____”

        I have seen an uncountable number of tricks by prosecutors and lawyers that squarely match or exceed what the State did here. I simply, not for a minute, believe the State did not know, on the day of the hearing, of what was in those tapes and even more.

        NO ONE who really wanted the information that was asked, would EVER not simply ask the person the witness had just stated had the information — the brother in law — for the information. If they ever really wanted it. Sorry, we can agree to disagree on this matter.

        IF the prosecutor wanted the information and they had gotten the brother in law on the phone to get the information, THERE WOULD BE NO PERJURY CASE.

      • Peter says:

        “Read this article by a person trained in medicine and law.”

        ***Is that the doctor who made a fool of himself on national TV proclaiming Zimmerman suffered not injuries? Did he examine Zimmerman? I hope we can agree to disagree on this subject … the high-def pictures taken by the police show a bad beating.

        “Trayvon’s abrasion (i.e., scrape) was to his ring finger on the underside or palm side in the area of the finger where a ring would normally be worn. It was not an abrasion to his knuckle.”

        ***Then he was a more formidable fighter than I thought, Martom didn’t even suffer that single injury in a fight where he beat up Zimmerman pretty badly. I cannot see the prosecution arguing for an “immaculate” beating, someone beat up Zimmerman.

        “You also claim Trayvon was a skilled MMA fighter. Please provide a source for your claim. I have not seen that in any of the materials that I have read.”

        ***I said amateur schoolyard MMA type fighting. Martin had posted his own “fight club” type videos on his youtube account which were quickly purged. They were saved by some and can be found in a Google search. The bottom line is that in a fight between Martin and Zimmerman, Martin was the “hands down” winner in short order and the pictures show extensive damage to Zimmerman.

        “You are aware, I hope, that the witness John, who said he saw Trayvon throwing down punches MMA style on Zimmerman, has recanted his statement and no longer claims that Zimmerman was the person screaming for help.”

        ***he didn’t “recant” in the sense of not being an excellent witness for Zimmerman. He only said he didn’t see “the lips moving” and that the arm movements were not necessarily punches (e.g., could have been punches, MMA style punches, smothering and other fighting type actions). I believe his credibility was enhanced by saying what he did because he was just anticipating what any normal cross-examiner would ask, given the light conditions. He is still absolutely certain Martin was on top. A far cry from recanting.

        • You obviously have no experience in these matters and you do not engage in thoughtful discussions. Instead, you proclaim certain things to be so and insist you are right when you are absolutely wrong and just making it up.

          The only thing you have mastered are the right-wing talking points on the sheet in front of you.

          You are a troll.

  15. jd says:

    Thanks for not answering my basic question. Why is TM’s body in between the town homes?

    As for the father, he was present at the video taped walk thru, according to the New York Times, who spoke with Sanford PD sources inside the investigation.

    I agree that GZ acts strangely. I don’t see any evidence of a concussion, and neither did EMTs. He refused transport to the hospital three times, the last time while he was in the cop car so the cost of an ambulance ride was not the concern. Perhaps a drug or alcohol test was his worry, who knows?

    We won’t know if he had a cold beer in the car either, since he called someone, likely his wife and had her move the car before the investigators discovered he did not walk to the scene. (NYT)

    In the photo of his bloody head taken by the resident witness-12 GZ can be seen holding a cell phone to his ear. And, the witness describes speaking to the wife directly. An important element of the investigation was lost right there, possibly for the simple reason that he didn’t want to pay for a tow truck charge. Or, other explanations are possible.

    And you know, I doubt you are the only one who “went thru the dispatcher tapes” carefully. You make the repeated claim that “the dispatcher told Zimmerman twice to keep reporting on the suspect’s movements” when actually he asked him two questions, not yet aware that the caller had exited his vehicle and was presumably following the suspect. If this is “telling him to DO something besides report his observations, then the next utterance is also telling him to do something… to stop following the youth. Of course, dispatchers are trained in how to speak to callers so that the police doesn’t fall victim to lawsuits. It would be foolish for a 911 operator to tell someone “go downstairs” or “stay upstairs” etc since they cannot know what the situation is. So they are trained to coach people to stay calm, report what they can without exposing themselves to further danger (an important point) and to wait fort the pros.

    2:08 (7:11:41 EST)
    Shit he’s running.
    Dispatcher: He’s running? Which way is he running?
    2:16
    BEEPING HEARD
    Zimmerman: Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.
    2:22
    Dispatcher: Which entrance is that that he’s heading towards?
    WIND NOISE STARTS
    Zimmerman: The back entrance…fucking [unintelligible]
    2:23
    Dispatcher: Are you following him?
    Zimmerman: Yeah
    Dispatcher: Ok, we don’t need you to do that.
    2:31
    Zimmerman: Ok
    Dispatcher: Alright sir what is your name?
    Zimmerman: George…He ran.
    2:39
    Dispatcher: Alright George what’s your last name?
    2:46 WIND NOISE STOPS

    Regarding this: “Also, Zimmerman stopped immediately after the dispatcher warned him” Actually is seems like he causes wind noises for around nine seconds before he’s informed by the operator, and then he continues making the same sounds for fifteen more seconds.

    I agree that GZ likely did not see TM after saying “he ran” in past tense. However, it’s also likely he lost sight of him before that time, when he says “effing punks/goons/etc” so take that into account, because that means GZ was running after someone he could no longer see, which speaks to intent.

    He’s moved away from his vehicle for 24 seconds. And yes, he never makes it back. Was he ever “returning” to his vehicle? I can see that he may have returned TOWARDS his vehicle at some point, but any movement between the town houses doesn’t classify as that activity, since his car was elsewhere.

    And if he’s not returning to his vehicle, what is he doing? Looking for an address? There are no street signs between the town homes.

    If a rat reaches the end of a maze and turns back, has he given up looking for the cheese?

    Now, on to Dee Dee. She wasn’t there, so whatever TM told her about where he was seems relative. Trayvon walked a long ways to the 7Eleven and back, so the idea that he was “close to home” is relative. Did TM have time to reach his home? yes. Do we have ANY evidence that he did so? Chad didn’t even get his skittles, and TM didn’t pick up a butcher knife or baseball bat. You are speculating based on what? Not enough data.

    Did GZ get bested for a time in some sort of a struggle? It appears so. He’s got photos as evidence and witnesses to a struggle where he seems to be on the bottom.

    Does this prove he acted lawfully? No.

    Prosecution charges that his statements are inconsistent with witness accounts and physical evidence.

    Do I know what happened? No. Do I know what DIDN’T happen? Yes. GZ did not get knocked to the ground by one blow while he was on a path to return to his vehicle. The location of the body ALONE proves that, and is corroborated by the dropped objects, witness testimony, and likely the testimony of GZ himself. And if a jury sees that he is lying about how the fight started, then they are not likely to find for self-defense.

    Credibility is everything to a man in his position. Too bad he’s lost it before we even hear what he has to say for himself.

    • Peter says:

      Wait for the actual walk through.

      You missed this: At about 1:30 in the dispatcher tape the following occurs:

      GZ: Something’s wrong with him. Yup, he’s coming to check me out, he’s got something in his hands, I don’t know what his deal is.
      PD: Just let me know if he does anything ok
      GZ: How long until you get an officer over here?
      PD: Yeah we’ve got someone on the way, just let me know if this guy does anything else.

      So, a few seconds before Martin runs, the dispatcher twice tells Zimmerman to “let me know if he does anything”

      Here is a website describing symptoms of a concussion (in particular a Grade 1 or Grade 2 concussion):

      http://www.drugs.com/cg/concussion.html

      Zimmerman exhibited the signs of a concussion. It was to Zimmerman’s health and legal disadvantage to NOT go to the hospital (he had nothing to lose in the way of a defense and everything to gain. Grade 1-2 concussions do not necessarily show up on an MRI and it may not even have been done based on his symptoms — the ‘cure’ is rest). I believe Zimmerman will have expert testimony that he was likely suffering from a Grade 1-2 concussion and PTSD

      Dee testified in her interview that Martin had told her he reached Brandy’s apartment just after running and she said she heard him out of breath while there. So this was about 20-30 seconds after he first ran.

      I don’t know much about rats and cheese, but I don’t think his actual “milling around” or looking actions (which we will see in the walk through) have any real significance as long as the dispatcher tape shows that he didn’t see Martin until the hangup, leaving only 60-90 seconds until they spotted each other and the confrontation happened.

      • If Zimmerman started down that walkway between the townhomes looking for Trayvon, he has a problem.

        Why?

        Because that conflicts with his story about giving up the chase and returning to his truck.

      • Chi says:

        Peter, why the exaggeration of Zimmerman’s injuries? I work in health care and have treated many wounds. Zimmerman’s wounds were very superficial. He didn’t need so much as a band-aid. Dershowitz did the same. I don’t know what is going on with Dershowitz these days, but I have lost a lot of respect for him.

        Here is a really good article that explains why Dershowitz was wrong to criticize Corey as well: http://viewfromll2.com/2012/04/29/why-alan-dershowitz-is-completely-wrong-about-the-zimmerman-case/

        Also you have no idea if Zimmerman exhibited signs of a concussion, you did not see him or treat him. Read the EMT report. Anything reported the next day by his personal physician is suspect in my eyes. Fact- Zimmerman declined to have any treatment that night. Quite honestly Zimmerman looked just fine to me. Nothing like the gun shot wound in Martin’s chest.

      • Peter says:

        Here is a link to pictures of Zimmerman’s injuries.

        http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/342834/20120518/george-zimmerman-trayvon-martin-shot-evidence-photos.htm#page2

        His medical report and those pictures show:

        1. broken nose,
        2. two black eyes
        3. cuts or abrasions on both sides of his forehead,
        4. swollen lip
        5. multiple cuts and abrasions on top of and the back of his head.

        Not badly beaten up? Beyond a reasonable doubt?

        See in the pictures how many different places are damaged on the top and back of Zimmerman’s head. The concrete sidewalk, no matter what angle a single hit occurred at, is still a flat plane so there had to be many different hits on concrete to reach the different areas of damage on Zimmerman’s head (even a single corner hit would still be a single isolated hit).

        Also, are you saying that even a single hard hit on concrete could not permanently damage or kill a person? If you are saying that, I believe most jurors will say otherwise, as will expert witnesses

      • Peter says:

        “If Zimmerman started down that walkway between the townhomes looking for Trayvon, he has a problem.

        Why?

        Because that conflicts with his story about giving up the chase and returning to his truck.”

        Let’s wait for his actual walk-through he gave the police then see what inconsistencies there are. I am firmly of the belief that pretty much any reasonable walk-through he gave will hold up (particularly under the beyond reasonable doubt standard) with some normal leeway given to persons under the stress he was under.

        I note that the police, at the time, had no problem accepting his walk-through as a reasonable account of self-defense.

        • Well, not really. The Sanford Police Department recommended the State’s Attorney charge Zimmerman with negligent homicide in its Capias request.

          That means they did not accept his claim of self-defense.

          He wasn’t charged because the State’s Attorney disagreed and I believe he had a conflict of interest because he knew Zimmerman’s father and they had been in contact.

          He stepped down and the governor appointed Angela Corey to handle the case. With some additional investigation to supplement the police report, she and her staff decided it was a murder 2.

      • Peter says:

        Frankly, I don’t remember all the details except that Zimmerman was not arrested that night because his claim of self-defense was accepted.

        Serano prepared his report on March 15, after the national headlines hit and it looks as though it became a case of CYA (who wants to lose his pension of something like this, so play it safe).

        Serano also made the silly statement that all Zimmerman had to do, to have prevented murder, was to say to Martin, who was acting suspiciously enough to call a police dispatcher, “I am a block watcher. What are you doing around here?” Remember, even the (infamous) “DeeDee” said Zimmerman said something like that, but without the “I am a block watcher” part which Serano now says would have changed the whole case. Will a jury believe that silly Serano statement? I don’t think so.

        My guess is that dispatchers are trained to NOT have someone making a report, to approach and engage a suspect on his own in such a manner. Let the police do it, that is why a police car was dispatched and on its way. And, indeed, he advised Zimmerman to not keep following the fleeing suspect to protect Zimmerman, not the suspect.

        • Nope. The Capias Request is dated March 13, 2012.

          See p. 26-27 of the discovery at the NYTimes site, specifically, p. 27.

          The decision not to arrest Zimmerman that night was made before the police figured out who Zimmerman shot and killed and long before they completed their investigation. It’s not unusual for police to investigate and release a suspect pending the completion of their investigation. In police jargon, it’s called an I&R.

          As I said in my earlier comment, the State’s Attorney declined to pursue charges in the case.

          Therefore, I do not believe you can assume the police let him go because they had decided Zimmerman acted in self-defense. They were sufficiently confident he was not going anywhere, so they released him that night pending the completion of their investigation.

          This is an expected outcome, given Florida’s SYG law.

      • Peter says:

        When Serano wrote his report, lets use the March 13 date, the case had already hit national headlines in a big way … a point I was trying to make. This explains Serano’s strange report written at that time, after the national headlines on the case (all anti-Zimmerman). Also, I seem to remember an earlier statement from the Sanford police dept, including reference to Serano, favoring self-defense.

        Here is a CNN link before the report was written showing the case had become public in a big way before March 13:

        http://articles.cnn.com/2012-03-12/justice/justice_florida-teen-shot_1_martin-family-gated-community-dispatcher?_s=PM:JUSTICE

    • You know something.

      You are very good at figuring this case out.

      Very good.

      I think I can help out with why Shellie Zimmerman moved his truck.

      After the police took him to the station house, they called her and told her to bring him a set of fresh clothes and shoes because they were going to place all of his clothes and boots into evidence.

      She collected his clothes and shoes, retrieved the truck, and drove it down to the station house to deliver them. Then returned home with the truck.

      (unless she had her own vehicle and used it to deliver his clothes and shoes)

    • anonymous says:

      you do not know if Zimmerman stopped chasing him or not is the problem with your theory. You trust him. I do not. I find him a racist pig to be honest. Wannabe cop at best. Definite loser. Go to jail Zimmerman, your fan club awaits.

  16. Two sides to a story says:

    An interesting theory. The incomplete evidence leads to other theories as well.

  17. Peter says:

    Wait for the actual Zimmerman statement. I don’t really believe Zimmerman had much contact with his family after the events so his father simply projects snippets.

    Zimmerman, for a while after the event, was acting strangely, which is a symptom of a grade 1 or grade 2 concussion (which I think he had, even though unreported) he also had the symptoms of PTSD. So let’s see his actual walk though first.

    As for events, I went carefully through the dispatcher tape. Just before Zimmerman left the car the dispatcher told Zimmerman twice to keep reporting on the suspect’s movements (strange the media and most pundits didn’t listen to the tape and report that key item — which explains why Zimmerman exited his car after Martin disappeared running). Also, Zimmerman stopped immediately after the dispatcher warned him (the reason that everyone ignores for the warning was to protect Zimmerman not the suspect from a fleeing suspect turning on him). I believe he was jogging/running for only about 10-15 seconds (and the rest of the time was catching his breath), but lets see his walk through. The key is that after stopping he remained on the phone for almost 2 1/2 minutes while telling the dispatcher he had no sight of the suspect. Where he milled around or even looked I don’t believe is too important because throughout that time Martin was never in his sight as proven by the tape.

    Meanwhile, DeeDee, in her interview, clearly said that after Martin started running he directly ended up at Brandy’s unit (assume that took 20-30 seconds running/jogging) and he was then winded. So why did Martin go back away from the unit after he reached the unit? Why didn’t he just go into the unit and watch the game? Maybe he did go in the unit and drop off some weed similar item (he was carrying a lighter)? If he had some weed on him that would be another reason to run because Zimmerman could have been calling the police — the last thing he needed after being suspended for drugs twice. All of these possibilities will be raised by the defense.

    DeeDee also admitted that Martin never told her he was afraid of the guy on the phone in the car. She admitted she reached that conclusion only because Martin spoke “in a low voice.” Hardly, good “expert witness” testimony on fear. DeeDee also admitted that the reason Martin said Zimmerman was “crazy” and “creepy” was because Zimmerman was staring at him. So, that testimony brings to mind the first rule any urban high school male learns: “don’t stare at the wrong person because you might get beaten.”

    I think Martin was annoyed at Zimmerman and went back to see if the police were called (after ditching anything incriminating he may or may not have had) and from hiding watched Zimmerman until he got off the phone then quickly attacked him in retaliation for “staring” and possibly trying to cause him trouble by calling the police. DeeDee, for the first time, stated Martin saw Zimmerman sitting in his car on talking on the phone.

    The myth of Martin the “child” is just that. He beat Zimmerman very badly and Zimmerman didn’t leave a single mark on Martin. Martin was apparently also involved in MMA type fighting at school. He was, as evidenced through the severe beating he gave Zimmerman (at 5’7″ and 200lbs, overweight, pudgy and out of shape), a formidable fighter who can and did a lot of damage in a short period of time.

    Now, lets see the walk through and go from there.

  18. jd says:

    I have a question for Peter – where did the fight start, and why is the body between the townhouses? If a rat gets to a dead end in a maze, and turns back, had he given up looking for the cheese?

    GZ told the police operator he was following the teen. He’d run, walked or jogged about 24 seconds away from his vehicle. He never made it back. When did he start “returning to(wards) his vehicle, and why? When did he STOP “returning to(wards) his vehicle?

    In what manner did GZ travel to John’s back yard? Was he “returning to(wards) his vehicle” when he did so?

    And, is GZ’s father lying or telling the truth (when he is known to have been present at the video taped walk thru with investigators the next day) when he said the following to the media?

    Because this tale doesn’t match the witness statements and physical evidence in the form of dropped objects scattered all south of T intersection of sidewalks, leading to the body.

    From the Sean Hannity interview with Robert Zimmerman:

    Robert Zimmerman: From where George’s vehicle was, uh, there’s a sidewalk that goes to the next street over.

    Hannity: Okay

    RZ: Off of that sidewalk there’s another sidewalk that goes between two rows of town homes. It my understanding that Trayvon went between the two rows of town homes and George was walking down to main sidewalk to see if he could see where Trayvon was going. He continued walking down that side walk to the next street. He wanted an address. All he could see was the back of the townhouse and he could not see an address so he asked the dispatcher to have the responding unit call him and he could tell them an address. So he walked down to the end of the street, I’m sorry, the end of the sidewalk to get an address. He did not know where Trayvon Martin had gone. As he was walking back to his vehicle there was a sidewalk that goes to his left, and Trayvon came from that area where the sidewalks meet. He asked my son if he had a problem and George said, “No, I don’t have a problem.” Trayvon said, “Well, you do now.” He punched him in the face, broke his nose, knocked him to the sidewalk and got on him and started beating him.

    2nd telling, same interview

    RZ: When the dispatcher said we no longer need you to do that, and George acknowledged “okay,” he no longer knew where Trayvon was. So he continued walking down the sidewalk directly in front of him to the next street to get an address. If….he got an address, he was walking back to his vehicle. Trayvon came from his left side, asked him did he uh, did he have a problem? George said no. At that point, Trayvon said “well you do now.” He punched him in the nose, again, knocked him to the concrete and started beating him. George was there yelling for help for at least 40 seconds; it’s clearly him on the tape, there’s absolutely no doubt about who it is….

  19. jd says:

    Judge seems to have issued a written ruling – no link to that yet

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/F/FL_NEIGHBORHOOD_WATCH_MEDIA_FLOL-?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A judge says statements a former neighborhood watch leader made to detectives after he fatally shot 17-year-Trayvon Martin can be released to the public.

    But Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester ruled Wednesday that the identities of witnesses who observed the fatal confrontation between Martin and George Zimmerman can stay private.

  20. jd says:

    Also undisclosed are the statements of witnesses four and seven, or their names or whereabouts. It’s all well and good for people like Dershowitz to see who will give him a platform on the public bandwidth leased to corporate media to say whatever he likes, but the truth is that the case is ongoing, the investigation is ongoing – as the perjury charge shows – and all of the material is not yet public, nor need it be to satisfy idle curiosity.

    Consider well that the judge has read the statements from GZ and considers the state has a strong case. I’m unsure if Mark O’Mara has read these statements yet or not. To me it’s unclear if his motion to waive a speedy trial, coupled with the state’s motion to seal these statements from the media has given leeway for the state to withhold these vital materials form the defense at present. Of course they would have to turn them over prior to trial.

    When told he would see the statements as exculpatory O’Mara said “I haven’t said anything yet” but the judge said he would see them as exculpatory and the prosecution would see them as inculpatory. I’m unsure if that confirms or denies anything about his seeing the statements yet or not. I’m hoping there is clarity on this matter that has eluded my layman’s eyes this far. Can anyone help me here?

    Also, fwiw, whatever Dershowitz is claiming about the state not making it’s case properly has not made it into a motion from the defense for summary dismissal.

    The state will present it’s case when the judge decides it’s time.

    • Peter says:

      You state: “When told he would see the statements as exculpatory O’Mara said “I haven’t said anything yet” but the judge said he would see them as exculpatory and the prosecution would see them as inculpatory.”

      Maybe I missed it (probably) but who said that statement to O’Mara and when? And did Judge Lester actually say he viewed (or would presume) Zimmerman’s statements as exculpatory.”

      If the above is true then my argument and Jeralyn’s concerns with Judge Lester’s (revisionist?) order is further heightened if the undisclosed Zimmerman statements are exculpatory or even neutral.

      I neglected to add to my quick notes on the “evidence” seen so far that in Zimmerman-dispatcher tape, Zimmerman only exited the car after the suspect had disappeared (consistent with only wanting to keep the suspect in sight as suggested by the dispatcher twice a few seconds earlier) and that after he stopped jogging/running the few seconds in the direction the suspect went, Zimmerman made it clear through the end of the call that he did not see the suspect (disproving the “DeeDee” life and death multiple chases for at least the period of the call). The dispatcher call ended anywhere from 60-90 or so seconds from the confrontation so what “chase” could there have been. Also, Dee Dee, in her sworn interview, said Martin, once he started running had gone straight to Brandy’s unit and she is unclear as to what Martin did that got him back to the attack site several minutes later (and disputing the State’s position in the probable cause affidavit that Martin was always just trying to get to Brandy’s unit). There were many other inconsistencies in DeeDee’s story that will come out over time.

    • A defendant’s exculpatory statement can become an inculpatory statement if the evidence in the case conclusively refutes it. In that situation, the exculpatory statement will be recognized as a lie.

      Many juries have convicted defendants whose exculpatory statements were disproven by the prosecution. In that situation, the seemingly exculpatory statement turns into a confession of guilt.

      • Peter says:

        I completely understand what you are saying about an exculpatory statement not meaning much at trial. Maybe I didn’t state it clearly, but my problem with this whole case is that all I can divine from everything the State has said is that its entire case is:

        a) showing some sort of inconsistency in Zimmerman’s statements. But the State already said it had no evidence as to who was the aggressor and the ballistics tests are consistent with self-defense at least in terms of closeness of the single shot and its angle. And once Martin moved from on top of Zimmerman, he never fired again and Zimmerman said he tried to wrestle with Martin once the immediate threat was gone. I find it impossible to believe any conviction could be upheld even with some inconsistencies in remembering such a “life or death” fight and the exact details without a direct confession by Zimmerman (which we now know doesn’t exist);

        b) the testimony of the unidentified “Dee Dee,” who’s story has been plastered across the national consciousness in the media but who, when under oath, tells an different, inconsistent, and suspiciously false story.

        It seems to me to be a problem if the State admits they have no evidence to support the essential elements of murder. In doing so, the State inexplicably and implicitly implies it distrusts DeeDee’s public statements which related a dramatic tale of a “hunt to the death” of a innocent black child by a “crazy” and “creepy” Zimmerman who runs down and corners Martin, after multiple “out of breath” chases, then attacks him — all apparently within the 60-90 second time window after the dispatcher call ends and the confrontation occurs (from the 911 calls). Yet, the State somehow also contends it has evidence to contradict Zimmerman’s statements sufficient to prove murder.

        Incidentally, DeeDee, in her sworn interview, when specifically asked, explained that Martin had called Zimmerman “crazy” and “creepy” only because Zimmerman was looking at him.

        I’m sorry, it all makes no sense to me and I cannot see what possible secret evidence the State could have that can undo the harm of what is already public information about this case.

  21. Peter says:

    Just goes to show you that “the law is an ass.” Really.

    The hearing was the combined Bond Hearing and an examination of “probable cause.” The only “evidence” presented was the abominable “probable cause” affidavit that Dershowitz so roundly and correctly criticized. Yet Judge Lester, in his order made the finding “the evidence against [Zimmerman] is strong.” A ruling that should result in an immediate recusal.

    Every piece of the State’s “evidence” — the dispatcher tape, the witnesses on balance, the respective damage to Zimmerman and Martin from the fight part of the confrontation, and the police acceptance of self-defense after hearing Zimmerman’s statement — all not only were in Zimmerman’s favor under the beyond reasonable doubt standard also under a preponderance of evidence standard.

    So what is the State’s entire case? The mysterious 16 year old who magically appeared (to “connect” the “dots”) and finally was forced to give a statement five weeks later, DeeDee! This is the very same DeeDee who, on national TV, describes a phantasmagorical life and death chase.

    The fundamental foundation of the State’s probable cause case was DeeDee, the “eyewitness” who “saw” it all: the hunt, the wild breathless chases, the “cornering” of Martin (who was in abject fear) by the “crazy” white guy, and the ultimate attack of Martin by the “crazy” guy.

    Without DeeDee, the State has no case … or real evidence.

    So Judge Lester, to make his statement, had to accept as true the testimony of DeeDee, an unknown person he never knew the name of, never took testimony from and where no one had even seen her statement at the time! In reaching his “finding,” Judge Lester put his stamp of “veracity” on DeeDee (since otherwise there was no case)!

    Judge Lester has set himself up for considerable later embarrassment and should recuse himself immediately. He never should have made that statement.

    As a side note, up until the Lester statement, the worst “finding” of guilt by a judge I have seen was during the notorious Amanda Knox murder trial in Italy. A magistrate found Amanda and her boy friend guilty because the admitted perpetrator could not have gotten through a window by himself. Soon after, every yahoo in town was taking a ladder lying nearby and climbing through the window and it was happening so ofter that a guard had to be placed to stop it. Judge’s can, and do make fools of themselves.

    • I think you vastly underestimate the strength of the prosecution’s case.

      BTW, the proper legal standard of proof to apply when reviewing an affidavit of probable cause is whether the assertions, assuming they are true, establish probable cause or reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant committed the crime charged.

      The prosecution was not required and likely did not reveal its entire case in its affidavit for probable cause.

      The allegations do not have to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt or by a preponderance of the evidence.

      Most of the evidence has not even been released yet, including the 5 statements that George Zimmerman gave to the police, the locations and identification of various items of evidence recovered at the crime scene, and the location of the various witnesses at the time they observed events that occurred that night.

      • Peter says:

        “I think you vastly underestimate the strength of the prosecution’s case.” A bold statement.

        I have i) listened to the dispatcher tape, which supports Zimmerman completely, including the parts where a) the dispatcher twice tells Zimmerman to keep reporting on the suspect’s actions just before Zimmerman exits his car; b) then warns Zimmerman not to continue following a fleeing suspect (to protect Zimmerman) a few seconds later when he hears Zimmerman following his first suggestion; c) Zimmerman immediately says ‘OK,’ heeds the warning, stops and takes another 10-15 seconds to catch his breath (Zimmerman is a pudgy, overweight 5’7″ 200lb male (from the police report) who was obviously out of shape); ii) read the witnesses statements (holding aside the mysterious “Dee Dee”), particularly those of “John” (the best witness) which on balance strongly supports Zimmerman; iii) seen the autopsy results (not a mark on Martin EXCEPT on the striking area of his fist and Martin’s own mortician says there was no evidence of a fight on Martin’s body); iv) seen the graphic high definition photos of Zimmerman on the night of the attack (he was basically “beaten to a pulp” with a broken nose, two black eyes, contusions and scrapes all over his face, head, forehead, and the back of his skull and from later symptoms almost certainly suffered a grade 1 or grade 2 concussion); v) heard Gilbreath stated under oath at the hearing that there was no evidence on who confronted who or threw the first punch (certainly Zimmerman likely never even threw any punches, only Martin); vi) saw that the police who first heard Zimmerman’s statement so believed it consistent enough to find self defense.

        Query? What is it that Judge Lester saw? What could he have seen that was withheld from O’Mara (who didn’t have any discovery before the hearing).

        It what you say is true then the “Arthur standard” for bail (the “Arthur standard” for bail in Florida requires the State to “establish[] at the hearing that “the proof of guilt is evident and the presumption great.””) no longer exists in Florida because all that is needed is for the State to present a successful probable cause affidavit as the only proof needed to establish guilt and the defendant can never see the “evidence” presented ex parte to the judge. It makes no sense.

        Jeralyn at talkleft.com did an interesting analysis on how Judge Lester entered a revisionist order that contradicted his findings at the hearing in order to bypass the Arthur standard for bail see: http://www.talkleft.com/story/2012/6/13/13212/2614

  22. jd says:

    Federal money laundering case possible? It seems the scheme involved transferring amounts between accounts all at amounts slightly less then ten grand. What could the purpose of this have been, and where did the husband and wife learn about such tactics? I hear that is called “structuring” as in hiding it from the bank and the IRS and is reason for a bank to flag a client for a federal money laundering investigation. IANAL nor am I an accountant so I will just say I wonder what this is all about.

    Charging the wife seems like classic prosecutorial tactics – now they have driven a wedge into the family and the other members are left waiting for the second shoe to drop – did any of them talk to George on a recorded call, or do they stand to face potential criminal charges if Shellie turns state’s evidence in exchange for immunity? Could a court ordered wiretap or confidential informant be about to help the state file more charges against other family members? Paranoia strikes deep into conspiracies. Don’t forget the state has GZ’s cell phone and all his text messages from when he was in hiding, including the time when he was setting up the pay pal donation mechanism.

    They each have to ask themselves these questions and wonder if maybe they should be the first to ask for immunity in exchange for testimony. What could the brother be guilty of, if he moved the money from the Pay Pal account to GZ’s account? Anything? Nothing? I don’t know. IANAL. But if he spoke to his brother on a recorded call, he has to try and recall if he said anything wrong or not, and so on, and so on for the dad, the mom, and the sister.

    I’m sure I am getting the details wrong but you get the basic idea. Divide and conquer, and a race to rat out your own family members before they do the same to you. Each will need his own lawyer if he or she thinks he might be charged.

    • First, we have to know how, if at all, the Husband-Wife privilege impacts the case. I am not familiar with the Florida statute, but normally the privilege does not apply to communications between the husband and the wife regarding the commission of a crime as coconspirators.

      If that is the case, the prosecution might see some benefit to flipping her to testify against him. But if she can’t testify against him without his consent, her cooperation would be of little use to the prosecution.

      Besides, they have the tapes and all jails have signs advising that all calls are recorded and a prerecorded message advising both parties to the phone call that the call is being recorded.

      Those tapes will be admissible.

      Second, the federal crime to which you refer is called structuring, just as you thought. The crime consists of structuring a series of financial transactions to avoid triggering the bank’s requirement to notify the IRS of any cash transaction that exceeds $10,000.

      For example, say you wanted to deposit $60,000 but you didn’t want to trigger the bank report to the IRS. If you were to break that up into six cash deposits of $9,000 and one cash deposit of $6,000 to avoid triggering the reporting requirement, you would have committed the crime of structuring transactions.

      Note that it’s a federal crime, not a state crime, so the state isn’t going to charge him with structuring.

      I don’t really see the feds getting involved, if at all, until after the case is resolved in state court and maybe not then, assuming he is convicted.

      Nevertheless, the prosecution might seek to introduce the evidence as uncharged misconduct evidence under evidence rule 404(b), if the evidence is probative of an issue in the case, such as intent, motive, knowledge, common scheme or plan, and absence of mistake or accident.

      I think the prosecution might argue that it is relevant and admissible to show guilty mind for the same reason that evidence of flight to avoid prosecution is admissible.

      I think Shellie needs her own lawyer to discuss her options with him or her. No one else has been charged, but George’s sister may be in some potential jeopardy, so she might want to consult her own lawyer too.

      Seems pretty clear that George, Shellie and the sister should not be testifying at the hearing and if they are called to testify, the should take the Fifth.

      Because this is now such a mess, I am thinking O’Mara will call off the hearing.

      Oops, I’ve written another blog in a comment.

  23. jd says:

    You can read the court document here:

    http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Shellie-Zimmerman-Arrest-6-12-12.pdf

    This is the “information” the state provided the court that charges Shellie Zimmerman with perjury. Apparently there is a new player in the game, the sister of George who had money placed in her account by the wife. She didn’t testify at the bond hearing so she’s committed no crime per se, but she is new to the cast of players and involved in the family drama at least.

    Lots of details to go over in this document.

  24. bliss says:

    All I have to say is GOD DON’T LIKE UGLY.THE BIBLE ,TEN COMMANDMENTS SAYS THOU SHALL NOT KILL.KARMA IS A MUTHER.G.Z. LIVE BY THE SWORD,YEA SHALL DIE BY THE SWORD.

  25. lynp says:

    Thanks Frederick for your thoughts and analysis. Call me naive’ but did she outright lie? Is Judge Lester allowed to make these public comments about the defendent and evidence and stay on the case?

    • Hard for me to imagine that she did not lie, given what she said and did in the tapes and the judge’s findings and conclusions were in his order revoking George’s bond. Probably would have been better form to have found that she was not credible. At any rate, he made the finding on the way to issuing the order to revoke the bond and that finding was certainly supported by the evidence.

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