Zimmerman Witnesses Practicum by Patricia

August 31, 2012


I decided to post Patricia’s latest version of her excellent work in progress as our Friday Night Practicum. She is attempting to put the evidence together to figure out what really happened.

I am posting it as an article, rather than leaving it in a comment where she originally posted it, in order to make it easier for everyone to read and comment.

* * *

To WhoNoze, Princess, Sandra, gbrbsb, The Professor and my fellow students –


My quoting WITNESS #6 is not the same as saying he’s going to be a great witness. (“Were you lying then, or are you lying now?”) Or that they’ll call him.

But the fact that he was willing to review his statements impressed me, and what he had to say answered this question that has long nagged me: “Where were the defensive wounds, on either Trayvon or Zimmerman?”

As I heard it, WITNESS #6 isn’t throwing his 911 call into the trash can.

He is saying (and I paraphrase wildly), “Look, it was dark out outside, and I may have interpreted the position of the top guy’s arms as delivering a beating, based on the stance I’ve seen on television, on MMA. Because on TV MMA, once you’re in that top position, you beat the crap out of your opponent. But in reality I didn’t see arm motion in the air, and it’s entirely possible that what I really saw was the top guy with his arms down, not necessarily because they just landed a punch, but it could be that he was in reality pressing down on the bottom guy’s arms to restrain him. Because I did see the bottom guy straining to get up.”

We’ve asked on this site, “What the heck was George doing all the time he was wrestling with Trayvon, that Trayvon doesn’t have a mark on him?” In other words, couldn’t HE land a punch on the kid?

Not if Trayvon had gotten control of Zimmerman’s arms – and when it comes to “reach,” the taller Trayvon would have had this singular advantage.

In the interview, WITNESS #6 is asked about his knowledge of MMA. Only what he’s seen on TV. Ever wrestled? Never.

Well, surely we all know by now that TV “wrestling” is scripted (they actually story-board the moves) to be visually brutal, as contrasted to Greco-Roman classic wrestling which relies on strength, leverage, etc. Further, the “man on top” position is favored, as it’s an easy camera angle. Gets very vivid shots.

But it’s nobody was filming a TV contest that night. A life or death contest is what Trayvon must have felt he was in. If his only “weapon” was the ability to hold Zimmerman to the ground, that’s what he would use.

But it would be more exhausting for Trayvon (who already spoke to DeeDee of his fatigue before the encounter) than for Zimmerman, and in the end the stockier, more muscular guy ultimately got the upper hand – and body.

I noted also that de la Rionda scheduled the interview with WITNESS #6 to see if he recalled the sounds of punching or head-banging, and WITNESS #6 was firm in saying “No.”

WITNESS #6 was the only witness who stepped a foot outside during the confrontation (I think it was literally “a” foot onto his patio). He saw the grappling in two locations: grassy area, then moving over to the concrete. Much closer than anyone else.

Later, from upstairs he observed Trayvon’s dead body in a solely grassy area.

With the contact with concrete (or sprinkler head) so close to the final moments, it proves to me that the cuts to Zimmerman’s head were very late in the encounter because

(1) they bled in the direction consistent with Zimmerman leaning forward over Trayvon,

(2) the blood outline was not washed off by any intermittent rain, and

(3) the crisp blood outlines are consistent with Zimmerman NOT being under Trayvon at the time of the shot, because the coarse St. Augustine grass would have scrubbed off some or most of the blood and blurred the outlines, and also

(4) the speed of coagulation for a young healthy male would be consistent with the scalp cuts (I’m tempted to call them “cutlets”) being just moments before the fatal shot.

I bow to WhoNoze in all things related to sound technology. He is the master! Yes, there was a time gap when WITNESS #6 is inside, securing his door, trying to get up the stairs to observe what he senses could be a dangerous conflict outside – and, I think, his fianceé is on crutches trying to get up the same stairs – dialing 911 (in competition with others at that point, who knows if there was a delay in connecting?).

So WITNESS #6 missed the shooting. And in that minute/seconds (WhoNoze is better equipped to ascertain the precise length of time; not my area of expertise) the wrestlers have moved onto grass, Zimmerman manages to mount Trayvon, pinning him to the ground unable to escape, snarl a few curses and shoot him through the heart.

Frisk the body, flip it, frisk again, check out exit wound. Get up, wander a few seconds in consternation, back and forth to the body, with hand clasped to forehead (“How the fuck am I going to explain THIS?”).

WITNESS #6 testified in interview as to how he saw the body originally placed (arms, legs). Other witnesses saw Zimmerman GET UP off the body.

WITNESS #18 was upstairs the whole time. She testified how dark it was (“I didn’t see because it was too dark.” and how little she could see, But what astounded me was, at 4:17 into her 911 call she cried, heartfelt: “that young boy.”

From her upstairs view, she could see that the victim was a youth!

She was the first to discern that. (Other than the killer, of course.)

She could also discern that the shooter was Hispanic, and stocky – again, remarkable in the night, although the arrival of flashlights may well have illuminated him.

I am not writing my “term paper” on dueling witnesses.

I report to you how WITNESS #6 put significant pieces of the puzzle together, and that they fit: (A) timing of the late sequence for the scalp cuts; (B) the restraint by Trayvon on Zimmerman’s arms that prevented swinging between the two and resulting lack of defensive hand injuries for both; (C) Zimmerman’s striving to rise from the restrained ground position (which he ultimately attained); and (D) How Trayvon’s body ended up in the all-grassy area.

I am not a Medical Examiner. I have no clue if there would be signs of, say, a painfully-twisted elbow that would show up post-mortem. (I did see the video of the screaming detained youth in Vancouver.)

Trayvon Martin was considered a John Doe. They had the confessed killer, the gun, and the fragmented hollow-point, which was the cause of death.

His body was remarkably free of external trauma except for the fatal hole in his torso. What other “cause of death” would they look for?

For the Murder 2 charge, would a twisted elbow matter?

Zimmerman does state he had “wrist control” … whatever that meant.

How both sides use the witness statements are up to them. Keep in mind that there are witness statements NOT YET RELEASED. More surprises coming down the track!

I would always consider witness statements the least credible evidence.

What O’Mara cannot dispute:

(A) the photo of Zimmerman’s bloodied head that proves yes, he could EASILY escape, being in the dominant position over Trayvon Martin, but CHOSE INSTEAD to fire the Kel-Tec into Trayvon Martin’s torso, and

(B) the trajectory of the 9mm hollow-point bullet that pierced Trayvon Martin’s heart and lungs.

Professor, fellow students, that’s the end of my report for today.

Thanks for reading.

Zimmerman: Is Intimidation the Defense Strategy?

August 30, 2012

People like Pliaja are not interested in finding out what really happened during the encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin on February 26th in Sanford, FL. They are only interested in promoting George Zimmerman’s demonstrably false claim of self-defense to assure that he wins his case. We know that they are marketing and selling his defense because they refuse to engage us in reasoned debate about the significance of the forensic evidence. Instead they repeat what George Zimmerman said as though it were inscribed in stone by some deity and cannot be questioned.

Indeed, as Crane and I have learned recently and y’all have witnessed, Zimmerman’s supporters have no discernible interest in determining the truth. Instead, they will go to extraordinary lengths to intentionally produce, publish and repeat a series of false, misleading and defamatory statements in order to discredit, demonize and destroy the professional reputation and good character of anyone who dares to question George Zimmerman’s story.

As dishonest and morally reprehensible as their campaign of disinformation against me has been, they have significantly lowered the bar reaching a deplorable new low by personally attacking Crane and my daughter.

We are not the only targets of their hatred. Look at what they have done to demonize Trayvon Martin and his family

With that as background, let us consider yesterday’s decision by the Court of Appeals granting the writ of prohibition effectively removing Judge Lester.

The Court concluded by a vote of 2-1:

“Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.330 requires arial judge to grant a motion to disqualify without determining the accuracy of the allegations in the motion, so long as the motion is “legally sufficient.” R.M.C., 77 So. 3d at 236. “A motion is legally sufficient if it alleges facts that would create in a reasonably prudent person a wellfounded fear of not receiving a fair and impartial trial.” Id. (citing MacKenzie v. Super Kids Bargain Store, Inc., 565 So. 2d 1332 (Fla. 1990)). Although many of the
allegations in Zimmerman’s motion, standing alone, do not meet the legal sufficiency test, and while this is admittedly a close call, upon careful review we find that the allegations, taken together, meet the threshold test of legal sufficiency. Accordingly, we
direct the trial judge to enter an order of disqualification which requests the chief circuit judge to appoint a successor judge.”

Notice that neither the majority opinion nor the dissenting opinion provided an explanation or justification for the conclusion that it reached.

Don’t Go to Law School — Find Out Why

August 30, 2012

by Crane-Station

While Fred works on another post, I will share this for readers who are interested in the subject of law school and higher education.

These videos are satires that address the God-awful truth about graduating from law school into a declining economy. Many graduates, even from top-tier law schools are saddled with debt and unable to find any meaningful legal work. It is very frustrating for many who have dedicated many years to higher education, only to be forced to work in unrelated, low-paying jobs upon graduation.

There are also some unethical and predatory practices among some of the start-up law schools. I have personal interest in this subject, because my husband, who is the blog owner here, Frederick Leatherman, was enticed to teach, along with many others, at a start-up law school in this area. He became a whistle-blower on some egregious corruption that involved, among other things, the deans stealing thousands of dollars in student loan money from students. When Fred became aware of the unethical practices and counseled students to seek placement at other law schools, he was fired from his job. The school subsequently closed and filed for bankruptcy; many of Fred’s students did go on to graduate from other schools and are practicing law today. As it turns out, the situation at the school I have just described is not all that unusual.

For further reading on the subject please visit the discussion over at Professor Paul Campos’ blog Inside the Law School Scam: http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com



Zimmerman Update

August 29, 2012

I spent the past couple of days catching my breath and reading your comments to get a sense of where we are and where we should go.

I am very impressed with the depth of knowledge and the civilized discussion. Your contributions have made this site the best place to go to learn about the case and participate in intelligent fact-based discussions.

Many thanks to each of you for all of your time and effort.

For the most part, I have been ignoring the torrential flood of sewage coming out of the pro-Zimmerman camp. Their arguments in support of Zimmerman have softened, but the substance has not changed significantly. With one important exception worth noting, they continue to accept what George Zimmerman says even though it should be apparent to them, that he has not provided a coherent, internally consistent, and credible account of his activities leading up to the shooting.

Mark O’Mara announced the exception at his press conference recently when he said he would no longer rely on SYG. Instead, he will be claiming traditional self-defense . I have interpreted his statement to be an admission that Zimmerman was hunting for Trayvon Martin prior to the shooting. That is, he was not stationary as he would have been, if he had complied with NWP rules and obeyed the dispatcher’s admonition not to follow Martin. No doubt Martin would be alive today if Zimmerman had returned to his vehicle and remained there waiting for the police to arrive.

The defense gains from this strategy by no longer having to promote and defend Zimmerman’s claim that he coincidentally went in the same direction as Martin pursuant to the dispatcher’s request to find an address to relay to the officer whom he had dispatched in response to Zimmerman’s call. That explanation is not credible because

(1) the dispatcher did not ask him to get out of his vehicle to search for an address and
(2) residential addresses should have been visible from where he parked his vehicle on Twin Trees Lane or, if not, he only had to go a few paces to find one.
Zimmerman certainly had no reason to walk all the way to Retreat View Circle to find an address that was beyond the area between the buildings where Martin went. Zimmerman had no reason to wait in the rain for the officer to arrive and we know he did not intend to wait there because he did not stay there.

O’Mara appears to have finally recognized that Zimmerman’s excuse for not remaining in his vehicle until the officer arrived will not withstand scrutiny. While he certainly is correct, he has created a significant credibility problem for the defense by repudiating a major claim that Zimmerman made in an apparent effort to conceal that he got out of his vehicle to find Martin.

Admitting that your client lied about an important matter invites the public and eventually the jury to question everything else he said. This is the classic problem captured by the question:

“Are you lying now or were you lying then?”

That’s a tough question that no defense attorney welcomes.

Meanwhile, as we have increased the heat on Zimmerman’s defense, the Zimbots have focused their efforts on spewing false and defamatory statements about Crane-Station and me. Their frantic-desperation meter has been pegged out for the past couple of weeks and that confirms that we are on the right track. Their frustration, hatred and fear is evident for all who have eyes to see and their conduct is morally and ethically indefensible.
We also believe they are doing George Zimmerman and his defense team a major disservice by aggressively promoting their belief that he will win the immunity hearing .
A defense victory is unlikely in my opinion. Wishful thinking is not going to result in an acquittal. He is looking at a potential life sentence, if he is convicted. Hopefully, the defense team is advising him to seriously consider that possibility as they continue to review the evidence and analyze the casew.
I do not want to read too much into O’Mara’s announcement that he will not rely on SYG, but it’s definitely an encouraging sign , notwithstanding his continuing effort to try his case in the court of public opinion.
I believe the phone records contain important information and I am disappointed that they will not be released to the public before trial. Nevertheless, I understand and support the Court’s decision to protect the privacy of people whose telephone numbers appear in those records.

Here are a few reasons why the records might play an important role in this case. For example, I want to find out if Zimmerman called anyone or anyone called him during the time period commencing when he terminated the NEN call and ending when he called someone just before Officer Smith took him into custody. If he called someone or someone called him during the time between the ending of the NEN call and the fatal shot that might negate the possibility that he was being beaten by TM as well as confirm that he was not the person screaming.
It might also support a theory that he did not act alone. I have speculated, for example, that someone might have gone directly to the rear entrance and worked his way north in the grassy area between the buildings attempting to flush out TM and herd him toward GZ up at the T intersection. If there were such a person, they likely would have communicated by cell phone keeping each other informed.

Why Did George Zimmerman Kill Trayvon Martin?

August 26, 2012

I fear the answer is:

He wanted to be respected and he believed he would be respected, if he could get away with killing an expendable person whom no one would miss or care about.

He thought Trayvon Martin was expendable, a statistic no one would miss or care about, if he died.

George Zimmerman appears to be extremely submissive, inadequate, manipulative, controlling, fearful, angry, self-destructive, and above all not very smart.

His life is a tapestry of massive failure for which he appears to compensate by lying and manipulation.

All in all it’s a deadly combination, an accident waiting to happen.

We can tell from the forensic evidence and his lack of serious injuries that his description of his encounter with Trayvon Martin is a fantasy. I suspect it provides us with insight into who he is and how he thinks.

I believe George Zimmerman probably would have killed any apparently “expendable” stranger he encountered that night on “his turf” who did not willingly submit to his authority as the self-appointed sheriff of the neighborhood.

That person could have been you or me or anyone else on foot in that neighborhood that night looking for an address.

Trayvon Martin was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Don’t know enough about George Zimmerman to be more specific, but there is something very wrong with his thinking process and we see evidence of that all over the place.

It’s almost as if he killed a projection of the person whom he most despises in the world, a nobody. In other words, I suspect he killed a projection of himself.

I wish he would take a battery of psychological tests that I could review to get a better understanding of who he is.

Looks to me like he was playing the role of George Zimmerman, under-appreciated Super Hero and now he’s playing the role of George Zimmerman, Super Victim.

He appears to be oblivious to having killed a human being. He shows no remorse and incomprehensibly dismisses what he did as “God’s plan.”

Trayvon Martin’s life appears to have been no more important to him than a cockroach.

I think he is a danger to others and belongs in a psych ward or in prison.

Welcome to the world of forensic psychiatry and psychology.

In the discussion that follows, please do not demonize him. He may be a failed human being, but he still is a human being and not an evil demon.

Did George Zimmerman Have a Reasonable Suspicion that Trayvon Martin Intended to Commit a Crime?

August 25, 2012

I believe it may be useful to compare what a police officer may have been able to do to Trayvon Martin, if he had seen him walking in the rain.

A police officer could not have stopped Trayvon Martin and temporarily detained him to determine his identity and investigate what he was doing in the neighborhood, unless he had a reasonable suspicion that Trayvon had committed, was committing, or was about to commit a crime.

Whenever you see the word “reasonable,” as part of a legal test or rule, you should immediately realize that the test or rule is objective, not subjective.

Let us assume for the sake of argument that George Zimmerman actually believed Trayvon Martin was, as he put it, “up to no good.” In other words, he had a subjective hunch that Trayvon was casing the neighborhood looking for a house to burglarize or someone’s property to steal.

A subjective hunch is not a reasonable suspicion unless there were sufficient articulable facts and circumstances such that a reasonable person in George Zimmerman’s situation would have suspected Trayvon intended to burglarize someone’s home or steal someone’s property.

We know the answer to that question is “No,” because Chris Serino told him that. Based on what George Zimmerman claimed to have seen, he did not have a reasonable basis to stop and detain Trayvon Martin.

Regardless what the Zimmerman supporters say, this is an undisputed fact and conclusion of law.

Serino was right. Walking through the neighborhood looking around at houses and hanging out in the covered mailbox area while it was raining does not suggest criminal activity of any kind is about to happen.

Serino also told him that his hoodie notwithstanding, Martin was not dressed in gang attire because he was wearing tan chinos and white tennis shoes.

Therefore, a police officer would have violated Trayvon’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy, if he had stopped and detained him for a few minutes to check his identification and ask him what he was doing in the neighborhood.

Police also have a community caretaker responsibility, however, that does not necessarily involve preventing criminal activity. If an officer saw a front door open, for example, she could walk up to the open door and look inside or call out to see if anyone is home.

If she saw Trayvon walking in the rain looking around at houses, she could approach him and ask him if he needed any assistance. That type of contact does not constitute a stop because the person contacted is free to leave at any time. The protections of the Fourth Amendment do not apply to those types of contacts.

George Zimmerman passed up two opportunities to do the same thing, but declined to do so.

By the way, if you should ever find yourself in an ambiguous situation after being contacted by a police officer, just ask the officer politely if you are free to go.

If the answer is “No,” the protections of the Fourth Amendment apply to you. You can be temporarily detained long enough for the police officer to determine your identity and confirm or reject his suspicion. If the officer determines that there is probable cause to arrest, he may arrest you and take you to jail. If not, he must release you.

At any time, you may assert your 4th Amendment right to refuse to consent to a search, your 5th Amendment right to refuse to answer questions, and your 6th Amendment right to counsel. If you decide to assert any or all of these rights, do so politely.

Be advised that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege and not a right. If you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI and asked to take a breathalyzer, your refusal will result in a suspension of your license, regardless if you are subsequently acquitted of DUI. You can always insist on a blood test.

Probable cause is reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed a crime. As such, it is more than reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has committed a crime.

I believe it’s now clear that George Zimmerman assumed Trayvon Martin was a criminal looking for a house to burglarize or some property to steal and he hunted him down with the intent of detaining him in order to prevent him from getting away. He was so determined to do that that he intentionally and willfully disregarded the Neighborhood Watch rules and the NEN dispatcher’s admonition.

Acting as a private citizen, he had no authority or right to touch Trayvon, let alone restrain him.

Now that we have reviewed and understand the SYG law, we realize that Trayvon had the right to stand his ground and use reasonably necessary force to defend himself.

I am not satisfied that he used any force to defend himself, but if he did, he had a right to do so.

Since George Zimmerman was the aggressor, he had no right to use any force, let alone deadly force to defend himself.

Assuming for the sake of argument that Trayvon Martin used excessive and deadly force to defend against George Zimmerman’s initial use of force, George Zimmerman would have been required to attempt to withdraw from the confrontation and offer to quit fighting before he could lawfully use deadly force to defend himself.

George Zimmerman never claimed that he did and there is no evidence that he did.

Therefore, George Zimmerman did not act in self-defense. He committed an imminently dangerous act with a depraved mind indifferent to human life and that is the definition of murder in the second degree.

Did Zimmerman Hasten Trayvon Martin’s Death Via Positional Asphyxiation?

August 23, 2012

George Zimmerman has admitted straddling Trayvon Martin’s back, who was lying face down in the grass after he shot him, and stretching out his hands in a crucifiction position to prevent him from getting away and possibly getting control of his gun, which was lying in the grass just beyond his reach.

He did not explain how the gun ended up there or how Martin’s hands ended up tucked under his chest when the police arrived.

In her handwritten statement dated February 26, 2012, Mary Cutcher wrote inpertinent part (p. 102/184):

I was in the kitchen and I heard someone yelling: almost crying. Then I heard a gunshot. I went outside and saw a man on top of a guy laying on the ground. He was putting his hands on his neck or chest. I yelled “everything ok” and he did not reply. I said it again, “is everything ok?” He said to call the police. My roommate called 911.

[Emphasis supplied]

On March 1st during a telephonic interview, she said the larger nman “appeared to be holding the person on the ground by pressing on his back.” (p. 47/184)

[Emphasis supplied]

In my article posted yesterday, I detailed what Zimmerman did and did not do to delay the arrival of emergency medical assistance at the scene, despite his own injuries, which he claimed were so serious that he believed he was imminent danger of suffering death or serious bodily injury.

I suggested that his motive for delaying the arrival of medical assistance might have been to assure that Trayvon Martin would be dead when they arrived.

Keep in mind that he could not have known whether Trayvon Martin would die when he shot him and, despite the shot that destroyed his right ventricle and collapsed both lungs, Trayvon might have remained conscious for several minutes, according to two forensic pathologists interviewed by Rene Stutzman of the Orlando Sentinel.

My article yesterday has a link to her article.

Today, I follow-up on my article yesterday and discuss what George Zimmerman might have done to assure that Trayvon would not live long enough to tell anyone what really happened when George Zimmerman shot him.

Wikipedia defines positional asphyxiation as:

a form of asphyxia which occurs when someone’s position prevents them from breathing adequately. A significant number of people die suddenly during restraint by police, prison (corrections) officers and health care staff.[1] Positional asphyxia may be a factor in some of these deaths.

Prone Restraint

Research has suggested that restraining a person in a face down position is likely to cause greater restriction of breathing than restraining a person face up.[2] Multiple cases have been associated with the hogtie or hobble prone restraint position.[3][4] Many law enforcement and health personnel are now taught to avoid restraining people face down or to do so only for a very short period of time.[1]

Risk factors which may increase the chance of death include obesity, prior cardiac or respiratory problems, and the use of illicit drugs such as cocaine.[5] Almost all subjects who have died during restraint have engaged in extreme levels of physical resistance against the restraint for a prolonged period of time.[5] Other issues in the way the subject is restrained can also increase the risk of death, for example kneeling or otherwise placing weight on the subject and particularly any type of restraint hold around the subject’s neck. Research measuring the effect of restraint positions on lung function suggests that restraint which involves bending the restrained person or placing body weight on them, has more effect on their breathing than face down positioning alone.

Physical Forceful- Prone Restraint is defined as:

placing an individual’s body FACE-DOWN (“prone”) upon ANY surface (such as the ground, a long back board, an ambulance wheeled stretcher, a bed, or any other surface), and Restrainers physically applying pressure with their HANDS (and/or OTHER BODY PARTS) to the Victim’s shoulders, posterior torso (“back”), hips, and/or upper legs – physically preventing the Victim from moving out of the PRONE position.

Choke holds have been banned by most emergency services because they can cause death two ways::

(1) Obstructing the airway and/or

(2) Carotid artery compression cutting off blood to the brain.

If I were a member of the prosecution team, I would do everything possible to investigate this possible theory of the case because I cannot think of any valid reason for George Zimmerman to be straddling Trayvon Martin’s back, unless he was attempting under cover of darkness to surreptitiously and furtively finish him off by positional asphyxiation while surrounded by witnesses, including children.

A logical place to start would be to find out if he took the CPR course, which is a part of the Criminal Justice curriculum at Seminole Community College. If he did, were they warned about positional asphyxiation and the dangers of choke holds.

I would also check with his fellow private party bouncers to see whether they were ever warned not to use choke and sleeper holds.

I also would check with the police liaison for the Neighborhood Watch Program to see if this subject was covered in the materials and if she ever discussed it with Zimmerman.

This avenue of inquiry might well determine the outcome of the case.

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