Zimmerman: The Defense Subpoenas for School Records and Social Media Accounts Were Proper

Diary of a Successful Loser posted the following comment last night after I went to bed. It raises several important issues, so I have seized it as an opportunity for yet another teaching moment.

” At times I get the feelings that O’Mara really does not believe in GZ’s innocence. He mentioned being accused of digging up stuff on Trayvon and countered that with GZ’s Constitutional rights to have a lawyer try his best. I have yet to hear O’Mara say that he really and honestly believes in GZ.”

You will rarely hear a lawyer say that on behalf of any client because lawyers are not supposed to judge their clients or vouch for them. They have a duty to represent each client zealously to the best of their ability, whether the client is innocent or guilty.

Absence of vouching for the innocence of a client should never be interpreted as evidence that the lawyer believes his client is guilty.

If I were representing Zimmerman, I would have asked for the same stuff he’s asking for.

Look at it this way.

Assume GZ were convicted of murder 2 and O’Mara had not presented any character evidence that TM was kown to be an MMA-style fighter and aggressive bully who picked fights. As I have stated elsewhere, such character evidence would have been admissible regarding who was the aggressor.

Let’s put aside and forget for the moment that introducing evidence of that pertinent character trait would open the door to allow the State to present evidence that Zimmerman was an aggressive bully.

Further assume that O’Mara had not subpoenaed TM’s school records and they did contain evidence that TM was an MMA-style fighter and aggressive bully who picked fights. I do not believe this is true, but let’s assume that it is for purposes of this teaching moment.

Zimmerman would have a great ineffective assistance of counsel argument against O’Mara that could result in the case being reversed and remanded for a new trial.

The Sixth Amendment established the right to effective assistance of counsel. The SCOTUS defined what constitutes effective assistance of counsel in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984).

The Strickland test is a two-part test that basically establishes a minimal standard of performance that a lawyer must provide to comply with the Effective-Assistance-of-Counsel Clause of the Sixth Amendment. If a lawyer’s level of performance (1) falls below this minimal standard and (2) the lawyer’s error is so deficient as to undermine confidence in the outcome, a reviewing court must undo the damage. If the outcome was a guilty verdict by a jury, the case must be reversed and remanded for a new trial.

Wikipedia has a good summary:

The Supreme Court began its decision with the idea that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel “exists, and is needed, in order to protect the fundamental right to a fair trial.” A fair trial is one in which “evidence subject to adversarial testing is presented to an impartial tribunal for resolution of issues defined in advance of the proceeding.” Criminal defendants require counsel’s skill and knowledge in order to be able to successfully rebuff the State’s attempt to imprison or execute them. Accordingly, the Court has ruled that counsel must be appointed for criminal defendants if they cannot afford to hire their own counsel. But the fact that “a person who happens to be a lawyer is present at trial alongside the accused… is not enough to satisfy the constitutional command.” Counsel must play the role in the adversarial system that allows the system to produce just results. Hence, the right to counsel is the right to the effective assistance of counsel.

A claim that counsel was ineffective, then, has two components. First, the defendant must show that counsel’s performance was “deficient,” such that counsel’s errors were “so serious that counsel was not functioning as the ‘counsel’ guaranteed the defendant by the Sixth Amendment.” Second, this deficient performance must be so serious as to deprive the defendant of a fair trial. Without these two showings, “it cannot be said that the conviction or death sentence resulted from a breakdown in the adversary process that renders the result unreliable.”

In order to show that counsel’s performance was “deficient,” the defendant must show that it fell below an “objective standard of reasonableness.” The legal profession is capable of maintaining standards that justify the law’s presumption that counsel ordinarily serves his function in the adversary system. This includes such basic duties as assisting the defendant and showing him undivided loyalty by representing him unburdened by any conflict of interest. Counsel should advocate the defendant’s case, consult with the defendant on the important decisions and keep him informed of important developments in the course of the prosecution. But these basic duties do not serve as a “checklist” for counsel, for “no particular set of detailed rules for counsel’s conduct can satisfactorily take account of the variety of circumstances faced by defense counsel or the range of legitimate decisions regarding how best to represent a criminal defendant.” Counsel must have “wide latitude” to make “reasonable tactical decisions,” lest the requirements for constitutionally effective assistance distract counsel from “the overriding mission of vigorous advocacy of the defendant’s cause.” Judges who evaluate ineffective assistance claims should, in turn, be highly deferential to counsel’s decisions and avoid scrutinizing them in hindsight. Harsh scrutiny would encourage the proliferation of ineffective assistance claims and “dampen the ardor and impair the independence of defense counsel.”

A criminal defense attorney has a duty to investigate a case. This duty usually includes hiring an investigator to locate and interview witnesses. In a case like this, it also includes hiring consulting experts in police procedures and forensics to review what the police did and to evaluate the procedures used and the results obtained by crime lab personnel testing evidence in the case.

More pertinent to our discussion, the duty to investigate includes subpoenaing records that may contain relevant information or that might reasonably be expected to lead to the discovery of relevant information, unless those records have been provided in discovery.

O’Mara’s decision to subpoena school records and social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) is something I would have done and I expect every competent criminal defense lawyer also would have done.

Whether there is anything relevant and admissible in any of those records remains to be seen.

My concern today is that O’Mara might “inadvertently” publish the records on his website, whether they contain relevant information or not. The records are protected by privacy statutes because he is a juvenile, they contain private information about him and they are supposed to remain private, even after they are turned over to O’Mara. He certainly knows he should not publish them on his website or release them to the media, and he would have some serious ‘splainin’ to do, if he does. The my-secretary-did-it card is practically unavailable because the State has already played it.

Recall that the State published Zimmerman’s woeful junior college records in violation of his right to privacy and quickly acknowledged and apologized for the “clerical mistake.”

The apology did not unring the bell, of course, and now the world knows Zimmerman was a failing student.

Inexplicably adding to Zimmerman’s woes, O’Mara failed to make a sufficiently specific and timely objection to the State’s release of W9’s statements claiming that Zimmerman had molested her for a 10-year period beginning when she was 6-years-old and he was 8-years-old.

In my professional opinion, O’Mara’s failure, although obviously unintentional, was a clear violation of the objective standard of care that a lawyer should provide to his client under Strickland v. Washington. Whether it turns out to be material to the outcome of this case remains to be seen.

If Zimmerman is convicted by a jury and a reviewing court decides that O’Mara’s error materially affected the outcome of the trial, the conviction would be reversed and the case remanded for a new trial.

Since I identified and commented on his miscue at the time, I think it’s only fair that I approve of his use of subpoenas, as it is something I would have done.

To be clear, I do not believe he will find the information that he is looking for. Nevertheless, I believe he is entitled to look for it.

I hope this clarifies the legal issues regarding the subpoenas.

210 Responses to Zimmerman: The Defense Subpoenas for School Records and Social Media Accounts Were Proper

  1. Malisha says:

    PYorck, oh yes I get it. I do think some of GZ’s FaceBook stuff has come out, although I don’t know how. I read comments he made from 2005 (at a time when he seemed to be coming unglued — angry at Mexicans, assaulting Veronica, attacking an ATF officer, getting charged with a crime so he had to do “diversion” instead of jail, etc.) in which he sounded bitter and angry that he had to work at a low-paying long-hours job. His rage seemed to have been touched off by his having to swerve in his vehicle to avoid hitting some “Mexicans” who were walking in the street. He presumed, apparently, that they were doing so in preparation for robbing cars. ??? What’s THAT about?

    What else has he said on FB? I don’t know. I imagine if the prosecution wanted that stuff they would get it, or if the feds wanted it, they have already gotten it.

    Meanwhile, nobody on-line has been able to answer my question about the “shooting” that allegedly had taken place in RTL before 2/26/2012 that was reported by several news sources in March of this year. I contacted a Florida attorney about it and he never responded. I think I’ll check on how to do a FOIA to get it from the Seminole County police files. The way it was mentioned a dozen times and then suddenly vanished from sight and no mention ever made again about it makes me think that perhaps the shooting was…

    Oh nevermind. I’ll try to find out and then report what I discover, even if all I discover is that the police down there know how to write a kiss-off letter. 😛

    • whonoze says:

      I believe GZ’s anti-Mexican comments were on an old MySpace page, not Facebook. I think the info came out because the page was still up, even after the notoriety of the Martin case had hit the national media. Apparently George, like just about every other human being, had forgotten MySpace existed. But I assume Google’s bots had scanned the page long ago and it was not forgotten by their computers or overlooked by their search algorithms. But I wonder what search terms the human who found it used, and how many pages of results (s)he had to look over before finding it.

  2. PYorck says:

    Would we or would the defense know if the FBI had been digging through GZ’s past and present online history?

    • Malisha says:

      I’m sure the FBI could search through anything they wanted to search through, but given the statements made by George, the NEN call, the location of the shell casing, and the data from the autopsy and location of the body at the crime scene, they probably had no reason to spend taxpayer money checking on whether Trayvon was a good boy or a naughty one. :mrgreen:

      • PYorck says:

        No, I meant Zimmerman’s online activities. I think if you want to investigate his possible racist tendencies then that is at least as useful as asking his gun dealer.

  3. Kelly Payne says:

    Trayvon wasn’t just screaming for help he also screamed “i don’t know!!!” at least twice. i also believe he screamed “don’t shoot”

  4. Malisha says:

    SearchingMind, very good post. That’s the point entirely. Nothing Zimmerman has said can change the physical evidence and nothing anybody else might have said, or “been,” or “seemed” can change it either. I won’t go as far as to blame O’Mara for this, though. He got handed an impossible case and the only alternative he sees is to stir up a bunch of irrelevant crap to try to gain public advantage for his client so he can plead him out or take him into a prejudiced jury.

    If you read Rick Friedman and Patric Malone’s book “Rules of the Road,” which deals with defending personal injury defendants in civil trials, not criminal defendants in criminal trials, but which makes points that should be taken very much to heart in this case, you will see that there are three main ways that a defendant can WIN in looking “not liable” which, in the criminal law sense, would amount to “not guilty.” The three are: confusion, complexity, ambiguity.

    Just make sure the jury are confused, the information presented is or seems complex, and there is ambiguity about something.

    The prosecution has to prove that:
    1. George killed Trayvon on 2/26/2012;
    2. with malice and/or ill will;
    3. and without justification;
    4. and that Trayvon Martin was innocent of causing his own death.

    O’Mara can’t go for any ambiguity on point 1. It is neither complex nor confusing. George says he did it; the cops say he did it; he did it.

    2. There is very little ambiguity on point 2, since George called Trayvon “up to no good” and “asshole” and “fucking punk” and admitted he was following Trayvon. So O’Mara will go for complexity and confusion. He will try to show that George was not demonstrating ill will towards Trayvon, just towards some nameless burglars but he didn’t really mean Trayvon and George is not racist and he has ancestors and blah blah blah blah. Anybody who couldn’t deal with that and get back to the simplicity of the “malice and ill will” that George spewed from his own mouth on the NEN call would be an incompetent attorney. We have to hope that BDLR is not that.

    3. Point 3 should not bring in any ambiguity but if there is a point at which it could enter, this is the point. The main point in defeating the “ambiguity” argument, however, lies in showing that George’s version of events is quite simply, unequivocally, and clearly UNTRUE. That should not be very hard. He had to have lied about his reason for getting out of the car. He had to have lied about being knocked to the ground with the first single punch (and there’s more on that one, which I’m not adding here). He had to have lied about being “mounted” (wow, I can’t understand why he likes to use that word!); He had to have lied about the number and force of punches and head-smashes. So the ambiguity, complexity and confusion on that point can be dealt with and, again, the way to deal with them is to use the simple unambiguous things known about the scene such as the passage of time, the location of the body and shell casing, and the angle of the fatal wound.

    4. All that can remain as being ambiguous, confusing or complex is the issue of Trayvon Martin having done something to cause George to have HAD TO SHOOT HIM DEAD. This is the only real area O’Mara has any wriggle room in. That’s why he is concentrating his wriggling HERE. He is also taking “squirming” and “wriggling” lessons from his expert client, shimmying George.

    • whonoze says:

      Even if we stipulate that EVERYTHING Zimmerman has said is untrue that does not establish what IS true. It cannot be inferred beyond reasonable doubt that Zimmerman is making false statements to hide his guilt. There are two types of personality disorders associated with chronic and habitual lying — Narcissitic Personaity Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder — and GZ’s traits and history line up pretty well with both of them. He also has quite the history of mendacity BEFORE shooting Trayvon — lying about finishing his academic program so his buddy Osterman would throw him a party etc. etc. etc.

      Prof. L has observed this: lying is just what GZ does. It’s what one expects from him. In that respect, any given lie he tells is utterly unremarkable and proves nothing more than, “Yes, George Zimmerman is full of crap and cannot be believed about anything.

      The ONLY concrete evidence that Zimmerman pursued Trayvon immediately prior to the shooting is DeeDee’s testimony. I happen to believe her, but that’s not the point. If her credibility in the minds of the jury becomes undermined, the prosecution case begins to fall apart. Take away George’s account (he’s lying) but if you take away DeDee’s as well, there remain a variety of possible explanations for the shooting and the preceding encounter, which range from Murder 1 to ‘not guilty by reason of self-defense’.

      So, if the defense can impeach DeeDee, they can basically argue that George is crazy. The argument would go like this: There was no rational objective justification for him to shoot Trayvon, but his subjective consciousness is not rational. Trayvon didn’t smash his head, and didn’t hit him. Trayvon was screaming in anguish. But George was also yelling ‘Help me’ in his wimpy voice too weak for the mic to hear, and he really was scared, and he really thought he was going to die if he didn’t defend himself. He’s a confused, disturbed fuck, but that’s not a crime. he never should have been given a concealed carry permit, but that’s the state’s fault for not protecting him from himself (they didn’t catch his lies on his application). He should be in therapy and on meds, and he should never be allowed to carry a weapon again. So we’ll plead him to some lesser felony to take care of that: obviously making false statements to police and obstructing a criminal investigation! But he didn’t have the mens rea for murder two. Dissociation from reality is not depravity. The defense rests.

      Not that this is necessarily a winning argument. But in order to get a murder 2 conviction the prosecution will need to establish that Zimmerman confronted Trayvon, that he did so in anger, and that he was not afraid. Other than DeeDee, the evidence for this is thin: Alan Reich describes the the second voice he makes out behind the screaming on W11’s 911 call as aggressive rather than plaintif. The witnesses who encountered GZ a short time after the shooting describe him as calm, not appearing to have been recently traumatized psychologically. Maybe W11 and or W18 will recall at trial that the voices they heard before the scuffle started both had an angry tone. Forensic evidence that GZ had Trayvon under ‘wrist control’ with some kind of pain-inducing hold would go a long way to undermining the self defense argument. But is any of this beyond reasonable doubt? I dunno.

      DeeDee is what seals the deal. Crump said as much when he unveiled her to the press, and he was right. If her credibility is broken, its an uphill climb for the prosecution. If I was BdlR, I would be a fool to rely on the kind of wishful thinking on display in posts here. I would be imagining every possible attack on DeeDee and working overtime on how to combat them, not relying on the Judge to intervene, or the jury to be sympathetic.

      BdlR: Did Trayvon say the man was coming to hit him?
      DeeDee: You could say that.

      No, you couldn’t. That is a LIE, made as part of a sworn statement. You might as well deal with it, because either BdlR is going to have to, or GZ is going to get himself a new trial on the basis or defense incompetence. The point being it CAN be dealt with. But not by wishing it away, or pooh-poohing it’s potential significance.

      • nemerinys says:


        I believe the prosecution can make its case without having to use any witness testimony except one – Zimmerman himself, via the NEN call. With a map of the neighborhood and a stopwatch, the prosecution can prove that Zimmerman had to have closely followed Trayvon in his car, and, obviously, that he later followed Trayvon on foot (he admits doing so).

        In the same manner, they can present the timing issues vis-à-vis when Zimmerman first sees Trayvon to the point he made the NEN call, and described Trayvon as approaching him. I wonder, for example, how Zimmerman was able to describe Trayvon as wearing a “dark grey” sweatshirt unless he was actually observing Trayvon while the latter was in a lit area.

        They can prove Zimmerman’s injuries were “minor” (as described by the EMT medic in his report) and that there is no evidence that Trayvon attacked him in any way, shape or form. Moreover, the placement of Trayvon’s body and most of the evidence proves that while Trayvon was close to his destination, Zimmerman was not where he should have been unless he was undeniably pursuing Trayvon.

        I doubt the prosecution will bother with any of the eye- and earwitnesses unless they are deemed credible and unimpeachable. They do, however, have counterarguments should the defense present any of these witnesses, such as W6 and W11. I personally think DeeDee will do fine; she will be 17 or 18 by the time the trial takes place, and she will simply present testimony of what she heard.

      • Lonnie Starr says:

        I don’t know so much about discrediting DD as a way to support GZ. The simple fact is, GZ had control of the only deadly weapon there. Without a deadly weapon in hand, it’s hard to see how TM could rise to the challenge of being an imminent threat of great bodily injury or death to GZ.

        Once GZ had secured his weapon, he failed to give any warning and fired a shot dead center, saying that he took pains to avoid hitting his other hand. Meaning that he also had control of what he could do with his other hand. That doesn’t sound like GZ was involved in any process of defending himself, but rather, in the process of maintaining a superior position over TM. So then, if he’s not angry or otherwise disturbed, why does he take the kill shot without issuing any warning? His previous statements reveal a perturbed state of mind.

        Once his gun was secured, and he knew the police were on their way and would be arriving shortly. Why does he not simply back away and hold his “suspect” at gun point? It’s going to weight heavily against him at trial, that he had secured his weapon and immediately fired at an unarmed child. I don’t think he’ll be able to sell the idea that an unarmed 17 year old boy is a deadly threat to anyone. Less to someone in secure possession of a fire arm. Jurors just aren’t going to like this at all.

        • jm says:

          Lonnie says: “So then, if he’s not angry or otherwise disturbed, why does he take the kill shot without issuing any warning? His previous statements reveal a perturbed state of mind. Once his gun was secured, and he knew the police were on their way and would be arriving shortly. Why does he not simply back away and hold his “suspect” at gun point? It’s going to weight heavily against him at trial, that he had secured his weapon and immediately fired at an unarmed child. I don’t think he’ll be able to sell the idea that an unarmed 17 year old boy is a deadly threat to anyone. Less to someone in secure possession of a fire arm. Jurors just aren’t going to like this at all.”

          Great points. I am only hoping BLDR can make this case against GZ as well as you did so the jurors are convinced.

          • Lonnie Starr says:

            All they have to do is, start with the charge, then work backwards, collecting the relevant facts. Then work forward again to put the collected facts in order. Then reading backward and again forward, you begin to see things you missed revealed.

            One has to keep in mind that this is all in the past, thus, every event, known and unknown is fixed in time. Things cannot move or change any more, they can only be discovered or escape detection.
            To that end there is the physical, which must reside within the “envelope” of science, and the psychological, which is more difficult to place, since almost anything at all is possible in the psychological world.

            However, the psychological world is constrained by certain “mile posts” that it is necessary to stay within, if rational actions are to be accomplished. It is by looking at the actions of a person, and comparing how they line up with accomplishing objectives, reaching goals, effective planning and such, that we can see how “connected” to reality, that person is, and perhaps even what the “reality” is that they are working with.

            Just as GZ doesn’t appear to realize that by following Trayvon, he is creating a relationship, that will persist unless and until it is dispelled by some physical communication. He also doesn’t seem to realize that what he says, is the product of a state of his mind at that time.

            During his NEN call, for example, he is trying to create a message of urgency, by painting Trayvon as a credible source of potential harm to himself and his neighbors and/or their property rights. To accomplish this goal, he uses things he has learned, that police are most likely to react to. “Hand in waist band”, “On drugs”, “Young black”, “Walking aimlessly in the rain”, “Coming to check me out”, “He’s running for the back gate”. All go to reveal that GZ’s state of mind was to create an impression that there was something to fear from Trayvon’s presence. Of course, he had no evidence that any of these opinions he was communicating were true. We now know that they weren’t true and that many of them were simply made up. Because he wasn’t faithfully reporting what he was seeing or what he had seen, but was just telling a likely story.

            The SP has plenty of time to create the narrative of both the physical evidence and the psychological mile posts revealed by it. So, I don’t fear they’ll miss what they need to be extremely persuasive in front of the jury. It is the defense who will have to weave such a complex story, it will be difficult to believe it, in light of the simple evidence trail.

      • Malisha says:

        “coming to hit him” formed part of a question because DeeDee had previously mentioned that Trayvon said the creepy guy was gonna hit him. George was in the car at that time, wasn’t he?

        “You could say that” does not mean, “If you want me to say that I will.” It is not a lie.

        For instance, had Shellie said, on the stand, under oath, in answer to the question, “Is it true that you and George are broke?” the answer, “You could say that,” she would not be able to be effectively charged with perjury. That’s why lawyers are trained in taking depositions to seek clarification of the answers they are given. They have to follow up if they receive an equivocal answer like that, they would have to say, “OK but do you know of any money that you and your husband HAVE, or either one of you HAS?” or something better and clearer than that (I’m no lawyer).

        I don’t think DeeDee lied and I don’t think she’s going to come off as a non-credible witness. BUT we don’t have to discard George’s statements just because HE lies. They are still 100% use-able against him. That’s why the officer said, in the bond hearing, “We have [George’s] statements, we have the shell casing, and we had Mr. Martin’s body.”

        George’s statements include the following uncontroverted information:
        1. He followed Martin;
        2. He expressed ill will toward Martin;
        3. He killed Martin;
        4. He advised a witness not to call 911;
        5. He lunged onto the back of Martin after shooting him.

        THEN you have the fact that his statements explaining why the killing amounted to self-defense cannot be true. In the end, the true facts (1 through 5) are corroborated by the physical evidence (including the NEN call). The lies about self-defense are disproven by the physical evidence. It really is a wrap.

        DeeDee’s testimony only shows two things: (1) That she was on the phone with Trayvon until the time that call ended; and (2) that Trayvon was running (or otherwise moving) away from George.

        • Lonnie Starr says:

          More on your No. 3 Malisha:

          While GZ had control of his weapon with his right hand, his other hand was, from his description, blocking the place where he intended to shoot!

          Trayvon’s garments show that they were being pulled downward and to the left when the shot was fired If so, then GZ was not in the process of defending himself, he was in the process of preparing to shoot an unarmed 17 year old kid. After pulling TM’s garments with his left hand, as he moved it out of the way of the shot, he fired without warning! While TM’s hands did not even touch the hand GZ was using to hold him by his clothing.

          Screaming and pleading occurred while GZ was in sole control of his weapon. That screaming and pleading stopped abruptly with the shot being fired.

          Thus, for GZ’s self defense claim to be accepted as truth, the jury will have to believe that an unarmed child, whose clothing was being pulled on, while a fire arm was being pointed at him, while he was screaming and pleading, was also a deadly threat to GZ, such that TM could do great bodily harm or kill GZ in an instant, had he not fired his weapon.

          I don’t see how that could be the case, I don’t believe the jury will either.

  5. fauxmccoy says:

    you are too kind, sir 🙂

  6. whonoze says:

    Prof. L.:

    If you were Zimmerman’s attorney, how would you handle the segment of DeeDee’s interview with BdlR in which, as I put it, “she offers to perjure herself.” Please review that segment of the recording. At ~15:51 into the interview, BdlR asks DeeDee if Trayvon said the man was coming to hit him just before the confrontation.

    DeeDee: [very quietly] Yeah. You could say that.
    SA d l R: I don’t want you to guess. Did he ever say that?
    DeeDee: [after long pause, still quietly] How he said it, he just…
    SA d l R: [interrupting] No, no. Do you understand? Did he say that or not? If he didn’t, that’s alright…
    DeeDee: The man, he got problems. Like he crazy.
    SA d l R: Trayvon told you that?
    DeeDee: Yeah the man lookin crazy. Looking at him crazy.
    SA d l R: When did Trayvon tell you that?
    DeeDee: …He was walkin, before he say he was gonna run….
    SA d l R: He said the guy looks what?
    DeeDee: Crazy. And creepy.

    Thus, despite BdlR’s admonition, DeeDee never says anything amounting to “No, Trayvon did did not say that,” but instead goes back to an earlier point in the conversation to bolster her assertion that Trayvon was afraid of Zimmerman.

    Now, I do not care how anywhere here interprets this passage, or how they think it speaks to DeeDee’s overall veracity. I know that (and I mostly agree). But we are not going to be sitting on a jury in Seminole County FL, and we are not defense attorneys with an ethical obligation to present a zealous defense of George Zimmerman.

    So, first, I would like an experienced defense attorney to role-play, evaluate this part of DeeDee’s statement to BdlR from a defense point of view, and imagine how you might use it at trial (if at all.)

    Second, role playing a prosecutor, how would you prep DeeDee in anticipation of any strategies you think the defense might take?

    • SearchingMind says:

      “she offers to perjure herself.” –

      Hey Whonoze, Professor is taking a nap. So let me intrude – if you would not mind my clumsy way of doing that. I think the premise of the question: “she offers to perjure herself.” is entirely unsupported by the segments of the statements you posted of DeeDee and as such make the question impossible to answer. The said question can only be answered if one assumes that “she [DeeDee] offers to perjure herself.”

      However, if I were a defense counsel in this case, I would very subtly try to confuse DeeDee and trick her into making inconsistent statements to effectively impeach her on the stand (and I am already hearing ‘Objection!’ even before finishing my first question to DeeDee), while bearing in mind that impeaching her will not erase the fact that she verifiably was on the line with Trayvon until the very moment Zimmerman attacked him and the telephone fell off his hand and went dead.

  7. Chris Bennett says:

    look the bad part of this situation martin cant defend his record due to zimmerman killed him. The record does not effectively provide a way for martin to defend his creditability…. SO I say this this is sad …… the person on trial is zimmerman not martin….

  8. SearchingMind says:

    Takeaways from friday’s hearing

    The defense strategy is emerging before our very eyes and one could validly argue that defense counsels are inept and awkward:

    O’Mara intends to get the indictment of Zimmerman thrown out by using his depositions of SPD officers to demonstrate that the indictment was politically motivated. O’Mara claims that his deposition of SPD officers revealed to him that the police department did not want to file criminal charges against Zimmerman because of lack of (enough) evidence, but the special prosecutor decided to indict him anyway (based on political considerations). In his televised interviews O’Mara further claimed that he never expected to go down this path. He explained that ‘now that this path has opened itself up, he expects to explore it and follow it to wherever it may lead’. Consequently, O’Mara filed his (surprise) “emergency motion” to sequester the police officers before their deposition – because O’Mara feared that prosecutors might coach them and/or instruct them on what (not) to say and, by so doing, make his mission impossible. The judge wasn’t amused by that. The judge pointed out that the “motion” did not cite any legal authority and has no basis in law. To that O’Mara replied, ‘it is not really a motion’, your honor, it is just “a demand” that we have. How sad, O’Mara, how inept – I thought. ‘In which law school did you learn that’ – is the question I would have loved to ask O’Mara if I were in the court room.

    O’Mara also intends use the contents of Trayvon’s school records, FB-page and Twitter account to demonstrate that:

    – the trajectory of the bullet that killed Trayvon is consistent with Zimmerman lying with his back on the ground, with Trayvon on top of Zimmerman, straddling Zimmerman, dishing out heavy blows MMA-style to Zimmerman’s head and face, covering Zimmerman’s mouth and nose with his (Trayvon) hands in an attempt to suffocate him (Zimmerman) to death;

    – the absence of Trayvon’s DNA on the gun and the holster of Zimmerman was caused by the intrinsic thuggish nature of Trayvon;

    – The absence of Zimmerman’s DNA on Trayvon’s hands, fingernails, the cuffs of his sleeves, etc. is a result of Trayvon beating Zimmerman MMA-style;

    – Zimmerman’s injuries were caused by Trayvon and the said injuries are consistent with the head of Zimmerman having been repeatedly bashed at least 14-times on the concrete sidewalk and about to “explode” just seconds before the fatal shot;

    – The self-defense stories of Zimmerman are consistent with other physical evidence (the location of Trayvon’s body, the shell casing, etc);

    – The self-defense stories of Zimmerman are internally consistent and consistent with one another;

    – Zimmerman did NOT deny that the voice screaming for help on the 911-tape is his voice;

    – Et cetera, et cetera.

    Seriously, O’Mara is telling someone facing a life prison sentence that all he and D. West have got are the school records of a dead boy and his juvenile descriptions of himself? As I watched O’Mara and D. West darting around during the proceedings, I thought to myself: what clowns. Zimmerman is, indeed, in deep sh**t.

  9. Malisha says:

    Professor, I love this wrap-up paragraph: “O’Mara and West are just a struttin’ and a hollerin’ right now because the road is smooth for awhile. Meanwhile, ahead of them they ain’t got nothin’ but axel breakin’ potholes and tears to wash the dirt off their faces.”

    That’s where I think this is headed. Because it started with a pothole big enough to throw the elephant in.

  10. chi1224 says:

    I would bet money that there isn’t a single record anywhere- school or social media– that will show Trayvon Martin was an aggressive person prone to fighting. It’s my belief that it simply does not exist because Trayvon was a respectful, normal teenager and there are no victims in his wake.

    While I agree with the professor that O’Mara’s decision was legally sound, in the end it won’t mean squat. The problem we have is that people who simply want justice in this case are tired of the grandstanding and phony BS coming out of the defense camp, and the shameful way O’Mara is attempting to try this case in the media where he has all the control, and can effectively lie to the public.

    But soon enough this will get to an actual courtroom, with a real jury and a judge to enforce the rules of law. When that finally happens it is my very strong opinion that it will be all over for Zimmerman. The case against him is rock solid. The evidence will speak loud and clearly. Zimmerman’s multitude of lies will come back to bite him with a vengeance. Then there will be the screams of a helpless teenager as he cries out for help and begs for his life.

    There will be NOTHING O’Mara can do to stop this conviction. for those that seek justice for Trayvon Martin I say hang on! Justice will be served.

  11. Tee says:

    You have me over here cracking up. Gotta get up off the floor with the part about “he looks like he’s on drugs or something he’s just starring.

  12. Jun says:

    WTH was up with asking for the addresses of all the state’s witnesses and Trayvon’s address?

    They shouldnt be allowed to harass people like that and its not like Omara is going to give away the Zimmermans’ addresses and all their hideout addresses

    Why are they making the trial more complicated than needed?

    Its about Feb 26, 2012 and the murder…

    God so sick of this crap!

    • grahase says:

      I was a witness in a hit-and-run case involving 2 arguing pimps and a couple of hookers fighting on my street corner. The police only caught one pimp charges with the hit-and-run. Nasty people. I asked the Crown to leave my address out of it and they guaranteed it would not be made public. When I was on the stand, the defense asked me where I was when I witnessed the event. I said I was in my apartment. He asked for my address, including apartment number. The judge said I had to answer. So much for the Crown Attorneys guarantee.

      The defence probably wants to know the location the witness was in at the time to see if the light was right, they were close enough to pick up a voice or person, etc..

      • Malisha says:

        No, the witnesses they wanted addresses on were Trayvon’s family living in Miami and other people from Trayvon’s life who were listed as prosecution witnesses. West talking about the “environmental factors” of their addresses means he wants people running around trying to find neighbors who can give them some “dirt” on these people to satisfy the Outhouse crowd and give them something to scream about saying that all Trayvon Martin’s family and friends and neighbors and mourners and witnesses were a bunch of thugs and dope dealers and slum dwellers and dog-kickers and miscreants and all those code words for “Black.”

      • grahase says:

        malisha – I never caught that it was Trayvon’s family and neighbours the defense was after. That is lower than low. How about the prosecution announcing Georges hide-out location to the world. Just about as nasty

      • bettykath says:

        Doesn’t the defense get to depose all witnesses on the prosecution’s list? If so, knowing how to get in touch with them seems reasonable.

        • The usual arrangement is for the deposition of prosecution witnesses to take place in the prosecutor’s office and they make them available according to a schedule previously worked out between the lawyers and the witnesses.

      • Jun says:

        If you see how the Zimmerman family and his cult acts, it is not a good idea for them to give the defense the addresses of these people because Robert Zimmerman Jr. will harass them and attempt to intimidate witnesses. Look at his twitter tirade against Crump and Jackson. Look at the treehouse how they are harassing the cousin George has allegations of molestation against.

        • Brown says:

          Totally agree. The judge made a great point of saying if O’mara used a process server to serve those suponeas, who’s to say that server won’t leak their addresses and names. The state is willing and able to set those meetings up for O’mara. I would think that would be less work for his office if the state did all the calls set up scheduling etc…

    • PYorck says:

      There are numerous people working for the family and apparently they are not staying at their former homes. Nevertheless the donations from the general public go towards their foundation.

      There is a good chance that this goes beyond plain old pro bono representation and they have backers of some sort. Surely there is some mud to be slung there.

    • SearchingMind says:

      That attempt by D. West to get the addresses I found profoundly odd and pathetic. It could be argued that he (D. West) wouldn’t mind if Trayvon’s parents and relatives would start getting death threats and have to flee their homes. Who knows what would happen if those addresses get into the hands Robert Zimmerman jr. I guess he would like to take revenge for his parents who have had to flee their homes. I am really very grateful to O’Mara for getting rid of Judge Lester. Judge Nelson reads between the lines quicker than Lester, grasps very quickly the things that are not said (by the parties) and rules accordingly. Did you see how she tackled the argumentative D. West on the issue of addresses? That was a polite, subtle slap down.

      • Brown says:

        I also liked how she address the thirty days after and before. She said something to the effect if that’s how you want the medical records then the social media should be in the same time frame. Did you see O’mara’s face when she said that, priceless!

      • Malisha says:

        SearchingMind, I agree about Nelson. She’s very sharp. Her polite, subtle slap-down was a clear indication that she was not going to engage in argument on the issue. Then when O’Mara asked if he could file motions later, she had the perfect answer: Anybody who wants to file motions can file motions; I will rule on them. In other words, you ain’t getting past me, boy, so let’s move on to the business of the court.

  13. romaine says:

    during the end of deedee’s interview with fdle she states that one of the problems TM had was he did not like to fight….which means to me that he may have had encounters that involved physical aggression and TM chose to walk away while taking the physical abuse….

    • Lonnie Starr says:

      That sounds to me like she’s protecting the “manliness” of her boy friend, who doesn’t fight at all, but she wouldn’t say so, because she knows how boys pride goes. But, then, one has to realize that when she says “doesn’t like to fight at all”, she’s talking about fisticuffs with his peers!

      When teens get so mad that they do fight, it’s usually not throwing blows, but wrestling until one of them surrenders. This is very telling that TM had no fighting skills at all. Less knew any moves he could believe would be an effective defense against a bigger, stronger adult.

      • Brown says:

        I really don’t know her personality to make a call on her “protecting views”, but I do know what “Mama’s boy mean. IMO her saying that shows how she viewed TM as a person. jmo….

  14. fauxmccoy says:

    my pal of many years, michelle shocked performing (don’t mess around with) my little sister

  15. Finally, here’s Gillian Welch, David Rawlings and Old Crow Medine Show performing The Weight.

  16. Here’s Boogie Chillun with John Lee Hooker, Charlie Musselwhite, Carlos Santana, Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, and Ry Cooder.

  17. Here’s Ry Cooder and David Lindley playin’ All Shook Up.

    Cooder is playing a 12 string electric mandolin with a slide and Lindley is accompanying him on a 12 string electric guitar.

  18. Live performance of Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show.

  19. Tee says:

    Professor does opening up the social media door means now that the sp can use zimmermans social media account to prove that he indeed have race issues and aggression problems.

    • Yes.

      Basically, the rule is a version of the old What’s-good-for-the-goose-is-good-for-the-gander rule that no one with any damn sense violates no matter how much they strut and holler ahead of time.

      O’Mara and West are just a struttin’ and a hollerin’ right now because the road is smooth for awhile. Meanwhile, ahead of them they ain’t got nothin’ but axel breakin’ potholes and tears to wash the dirt off their faces.

      • Erica says:

        Hi professor, I wanted to know what did you think about sequestering witnesses and do you have the emergency motion that was filed by the defense yesterday?

  20. Tee says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t’ think MOM can get Travyon twitter information from my understanding twitter purges all account information after its been deleted for 30 days. Now they can get Facebook information if Facebook don’t fight them because that information never goes away even when deleted

  21. Malisha says:

    EveryoneIE, of course there is a political fix in the case, but it won’t be able to go the distance, and that’s why O’Mara has to distract everyone for another six, eight months or so. See, when there’s something as firm in place as the fix in Florida, it can be used for thousands of cases, thousands of different situations. But when a kind of “Arab Spring” thing happens with everyone in the streets and the people will NOT just let go and give up and go home and shut up, you get a groundswell that has to be dealt with.

    In my opinion, George will not personally be able to get away from this one. That’s what makes the Outhouse crowd so incensed; they actually believe he should be able to get away with it because it’s UNFAIR to him to come down on HIM when it used to be OK to do what he did. They’re also saying they don’t want THEIR privilege to access the benefits of a fix like this taken away. That’s what they really mean when they talk about their FREEDOM being taken away. It’s their freedom to have privilege. It’s their freedom to not be blamed for their own wrongdoing.

    Zimmerman will lose and pay a big price. I don’t know if the whole system will change much, that may depend upon the feds, and I don’t trust the feds as much as I would like to. But we shall see.

  22. Malisha says:

    You know, I was watching a dumb TV show just now and somebody walked up to somebody else and punched him in the nose. It suddenly occurred to me that there is yet another reason that George’s story cannot be true. I am not going to put it up here because I don’t want Outhouse to see it. I’m having it sent by someone in Florida, directly to the prosecution, using U.S. mail, written out by a pen on paper. It would not have occurred to me at all if I weren’t watching dumb TV tonight. Wow, I got a chill when I said that!

  23. It appears the release of the latest information about the judge ruling is highly suspicious. Why didn’t she just release during the week? This case is political now and the election is playing a role. Florida is such a corrupt state on many levels. Why should any human being who was hunted and gun down like and animal not receive justice or have to demand justice. The creep that did it claimed he is the one screaming even to steal a child’s last cry for help.

    There are some low-down people in this world. GZ is clearly a mentally unstable person and for the Martin family to continue to deal with the tricks and injustices in this case is mind-blowing.
    If this case is tried in Seminole County I just can not see a conviction for GZ. His wife will walk free because strings are being pulled by many racist groups. I will never believe Mark O’Mara isn’t being paid in some form or fashion. He is just a slick attorney who loves the media circuit. When Mr. O’Mara claimed he would return all funds donated by racist groups it was such a lie. Didn’t the Zimmerman family pay off all of their debts with the racist donations.

    Something smells here….This is just my opinion.

  24. Malisha says:

    I’m glad there was an Internet report that NBC settled. ❗

    It does the following: (a) gives an opportunity for some journalist somewhere to investigate this and then print the article refuting the rumor; (b) embarrasses the Outhouse sources who came up with this disrespectable piece of refuse; and (c) leaves the folks who were threatening the lawsuit with egg on their face. Rotten egg, in fact.

  25. Well Debra Nelson awarded the defense what they wanted. This case is fixed… The Martin’s will not get justice. Sad…

    • I hope everyone remain calm because this is clearly being used to create a war between people. I believe the judge should issue a gag order. It is time because Mark O’Mara is going to create a race war he is clearly being evil at this point. He has a liar for a client and keeping this case in Seminole County is what he wants.

      • Jun says:

        its Omara and Zimmerman’s cult. The case is actually just about a boy who was killed and the killer. Everything else is irrelevant and theatrics. We shouldnt take the focus off the main issue.

    • Malisha says:

      Judge Nelson gave the defense what the law gives any criminal defense. IMO everything she gave them will amount to NOTHING when the real case become the issue on which the court is focusing. Let the Outhouse folks get their cheap thrills and let them all use up a lot of cheetos imagining how they are dismantling the prosecution and showing, once and for all, how they and their hero of the moment (George) are allowed to dish out justice in these United States.

      The prosecution is not being hurt by this. In fact, nothing that the prosecution needs to prove is even in jeopardy. This is because the initial NEN call really makes Trayvon Martin’s real character and real reputation, and that of his girlfriend, irrelevant, in the final analysis. The only story that supports a self-defense finding is the one that the prosecution can disprove.

      George is not gonna walk unless he runs. But I also do not believe there will be a trial. I still have my money on a plea deal after O’Mara has done his “big hero protecting little hero from the bad bad thugs” act to his client’s and the Outhouse’s satisfaction.

    • Earth to EETTO.

      Come in please.

      Seriously, you are letting your imagination run amuck.

      The case might indeed be fixed, although I doubt it. But what Judge Nelson said yesterday is not evidence that it’s fixed.

      The legal rules to apply were clear and unambiguous and she applied them in a non-controversial fashion.

      • Oh no Professor, maybe I was misunderstood. I believe the Judge should issue a gag order.

        Just do not want this case to turn into a Rodney King or famous OJ case. There are many who suffer under this kind of injustice everyday regardless of race or creed. They are gun down and the police cover themselves and buddies. I just want peace and justice for those that can no longer speak for themselves.

        Justice for all…Just my opinion…

  26. Malisha says:

    NBC settlement? I don’t think so. First of all, they were not sued. If you think they would settle before being sued, I don’t. Second of all, a news source like that can’t start doing settlements like that without totally losing its ability to report news! Think of it: anybody who didn’t like anything would be encouraged to sue, frivolously, and get a little settlement to “go away.” Not NBC. Not likely. What is more likely is that this is more proof of the fact that what appears on-line cannot be trusted and must be fact-checked carefully. This makes it even more obvious that the various things O’Mara thinks he will be getting with these Internet subpoenas will not be doing his client any good in the long run.

    It used to be easy to start a rumor in high school. NOW it’s easy to start a rumor everywhere. And Outhouse is not a reliable source.

  27. whonoze says:

    So Crump volunteered to tell the court who was in the room when he interviewed DeeDee and he didn’t mention Matt Gutman and the ABC crew?? Gutman’s voice is clearly audible on the recording…

  28. whonoze says:

    I am convinced that several images purporting to be screen-grabs of Trayvon’s or DeeDee’s social media pages are forgeries produced by neo-Nazi groups. They are very good at that sort of thing. If I was the judge, I would demand exacting proof of the provenance of any material gathered from the web before admitting it in court. If the judge does allow any ‘social media’ material in, I would hope the prosecution calls expert witnesses to testify just how easily screen-grabs can be forged, how easily fake accounts can be set up, how easily real accounts can be spoofed…

    In other words, IMHO anything the defense pulls of the web is useless as evidence unless it comes with substantial corroboration – e.g. multiple witnesses who have a history of visiting the pages before the shooting, and who read any alleged messages the day they were allegedly posted.

    • Jun says:

      Deedee is actually a “codename”. They are all obviously phonies, especially the “Trayvon” ones. They do not know which one’s are authentic and if there are authentic posts from them, since there was word of the Nazis hacking their accounts.

    • grahase says:

      whonoze – you are so right. I have problems with the photos too. I even have a problem with the photo of Zimmerman in the squad car. It was faxed by the officer taking the photo from his phone. So, I hope the original (in his phone) was verified by someone in law enforcement. With technology today, IMO, for evidence to be entered, it should be verified by whatever means. If it can not, it should not be evidence and used in court as something other than authentic and why it is not authentic. We are all on a very slippery slope with some technology today.

      • looneydoone says:

        The B & W Photo clearly shows white tape across gz’s nose.
        The EMT didn’t tape him up at the scene. Neither did the PA the following day when he was examined. That photo is suspicious.

      • grahase says:

        loonydoone – that is exactly what I thought. The photo does not look like someone with a Peruvian heritage. It looks to me like someone who is Middle Eastern. I have seen many, many phone photos and the quality is quite good. This is apparently a photocopy or facsimile transmission. I hope that photo is verified. Someone said that there is a colour copy. If so, why has it not been included with the other discovery. Why just the one B&W. Because this is an important photo — the only one showing Zimmerman’s bloodied face and broken nose.

      • Malisha says:

        Looneydoone, it always bothered me that all of a sudden we get a black-and-white photograph to show the blood on George’s nose. That’s first. Second, the picture is weird. Third, George said he had blood all over him and in his eyes so he couldn’t SEE! That picture doesn’t show that at all, in addition to which, I don’t care WHO you are and WHAT happened, when you finally stand up after a beating and there’s blood all over your face and all in your eyes and everything, you wipe your face on your sleeve. Everybody does that, especially if it’s in your eyes.

        But I don’t see white adhesive tape on George in the black-and-white photo. Can somebody show me that picture and point out where the white adhesive tape shows up? Maybe I’m just not viewing it right.

      • looneydoone says:

        In the B & W photo, the outline of tape on gz’s nose is quite clear. It’s “T” shaped . Look from the bridge down to the tip of gz’s nose

      • looneydoone says:

        Funny you should mention gz’s “looks like”
        I’m in Latin America, and to the last person we *think* he looks E European……Hungarian, German/Austrain, Romanian, Bulgarian, “Black” Russian.

  29. Malisha says:

    Grahase, “In other words, if I may, are you saying that the next kid that is killed in the same fashion will be treated the same way. So, if this next victim was on the football team, a big strong kid who was known to be a scrapper with a D average and who liked to party deserved to be shot dead. Point being — a gun to a fist fight. Cmon. Zimmerman should not have gotten out of his truck. I guess Serino was right by saying — if he was a thug – two thumbs up.”

    I think it’s probably the unfortunate truth that any Black kid killed by any white man (“White Hispanic” is just another way of saying it) is automatically on trial in this country, at least in Florida. This is not even ONLY about racism; it’s about power, and power concedes nothing. The powerful make the laws AND THEY ENFORCE THEM. If you have a victim who is considered less worthy of protection, he or she will GET less protection. Right across the board.

    So in a way, this makes me feel more secure about the whole Trayvon Martin case, and this may surprise you, but here’s my take on why this is true: I think Sharpton and Jackson and the NAACP and the other organizations who jumped into this in March were well aware that if they were going to bat for a thug, even though it was obvious that the thug was MURDERED, they would not do their own constituents any favor. I actually think that in a certain way, the organizations climbing on board for Trayvon was a sign that he was essentially “pre-screened.” He was a victim who could not be turned into a thug, no matter how hard they already knew the killer and his team were going to try to do that.

    Now if you telescope back in time, you will probably be able (after a lifetime of research funded by somebody with unlimited funds) to find a hundred slightly questionable Trayvons for every Trayvon whose death or victimization was otherwise NOTED. The anonymous Trayvons. Perhaps they didn’t pass the initial test of their families and supporters and defenders being able to prove that they were “good enough to pass muster with the law enforcement afterkill teams.” How many times did a family member go into the prosecutor’s office to complain that their son was murdered, only to hear, “Ma’am, we have evidence that your son was committing a crime at the time that [whoever it was, police or layman] had to kill him. I wouldn’t want to open up that can of worms if I was you.”

    This is a social problem of the greatest import. We see hints of it on cop shows on TV. A recent one showed some guy out deliberately killing people on the sex-offender registry to avenge the death of his own son. Half the cops in the show said, “Good for him.” But that show was meant to pull heart-strings. It wouldn’t do, in our society today, to show a white guy out deliberately shooting young Black men and half the cops saying, “That thug needed killing,” but you will see that all over the Outhouse, sometimes in words that are not very far from those I scripted.

    The profiling done by George before he killed Trayvon was similar to the profiling done by the police AFTER the kill. THAT is what the feds should be looking into. I sure hope they are.

    • Jun says:

      I dont really think its a white or black thing in court. I think its just the way most defense lawyers work. Its the same that Sandusky tried with his “victim blame and victim conspiracy against him” defense. Its the same with rape victims or any other type of victim. Its just one of the defenses used by criminal defense lawyers. The problem is it can work sometimes, and as sleezy as we think it is, it will not stop them from doing it. As long as the ducks are in a row it shall work out.

    • grahase says:

      Thank you for your words. I sincerely hope that the international attention to this case will put everyone on notice, especially law enforcement and would-be vigilante nuts. Each case must be investigated. I still have trouble believing that Zimmerman may have just walked away. This form of justice is not acceptable. If left as is, where do we all go from here. It can not be a very good place in what is considered a civilized society that values human life. Thanks again.

  30. They are such bad influences… Parents allow these children to wait youtube and honey boo boo, dancing with the stars. These are not roll models… I wish we were in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

  31. Maybe this will warn others about using face book and twitter. You need to be careful what you read and type online. It is too easy to make social statements and it can easily be misconstrued. Very distressing to see the defense try to manipulate the system. GZ murdered Trayvonn Martin but the victim is on trial. What happened to GZ violent criminal and doctored medical records. Can someone answer that for me? Why is this murderer walking free here?

    • grahase says:

      You are right, of course. But, tell that to a teenager. Better yet, tell that to Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. Their fame came from YouTube with sex tapes.

    • Jun says:

      Dont worry too much about it. It is always a good idea to think before you speak and how you act, always, however, a good or bad person is still allowed to be a victim of a crime and have their rights. No one in the world is perfect.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      Because he is entitled to due process and a fair trial.

  32. grahase says:

    Trayvon committed no crime here. Zimmerman stalked him and killed him. Trayvon had the right to defend himself the moment Zimmerman went for his phone. Trayvon’s school records mean nothing to this case. Like a rape victim, the defense is attempting to discredit the victim and to portray him as an aggressor. Sorry, Professor. I can say what I like using social media because I am not under oath. If I become a witness in a case, I am placed under oath and this is where the truth will be told. For example, if I were a teenager, I may text my Mom to ask her if I can go to the library after school. In reality, I wanted to go with my friends to a movie. After the movie, I Twitter friends with my opinion of the movie. Now, I become a witness in a murder trial. Will the defence call me a liar and my testimony is not to be believed. We are going backwards here. They used to do this with rape victims. I do not agree that these records should be combed over JUST IN CASE the defence can find something that they may be able to twist in favour of their client.

    • Malisha says:

      No matter what DeeDee said in her social media posts, and no matter what she tweeted, that won’t seriously damage her credibility because she was not UNDER OATH at the time. I can tell you all right now that I am a gorgeous 5’9″ willowy raven-haired beauty with striking green eyes and that in 1996 I was runner-up for “Miss “Miss Arizona” and tonight I can tweet (if I can figure out how!) that my boyfriend just gave me a four-carat flawless diamond ring and we’re going to Cancun for a week but if somebody hijacks my car tomorrow and throws me in the street and I roll to the curb and survive, give a good description of the guy and he’s arrested driving my vehicle down the freeway two hours later, I don’t think he’s getting off! If I’m on the stand testifying and the defense lawyer asks, “Didn’t you lie on your social media accounts?” I will answer, “not under oath I didn’t.”

    • I think you are overreacting to standard procedure in any criminal case.

      The scope of discovery is much broader than the scope of admissibility.

      I have previously explained that, if evidence exists that TM was an MMA style fighter and aggressive bully who picked fights with other people, then character evidence of that personality trait would be admissible to support Zimmerman’s claim that TM was the aggressor.

      Zimmerman has two major problems. First, I do not believe such evidence exists. Second, even if it does exist and he introduces it, the prosecution gets to do the same thing to him. He cannot afford to take that hit. Therefore, you are just witnessing the usual gamesmanship, albeit more publicized than usual.

      There is no reason to hit the panic button.

      The social media accounts have been hacked, but there are ways to detect that and I expect the prosecution has the resources to discover and expose frauds. The admissibility of any information obtained from school records or a social media account can be challenged at a pretrial hearing. Therefore, there is a way to detect fraud and a legal procedure to exclude fraudulent or otherwise inadmissible evidence before trial.

      • Jun says:

        Awesome. That is my only worry because Omara has lied numerous times in court and in his motions, so I was expecting scrutiny on anything he submits, just like everything else. My thoughts were that Omara may try and use false and phony records to submit as evidence.

      • Tee says:

        I think most of us are just afraid of what those records may show so we”re speaking out f fear that (a) MOM will use this to justify why his client shot and killed Trayvon and (b) that he will leak it somehow. We have to understand that this is normal durning a trial and if he didn’t do it he would be doing a disservice to his client. I personally don’t believe he will garner what he is looking for all he will find is normal teenage stuff. If it had been something more I believe it woul have already been leaked like the marijuana smoking and the school suspension.

    • Lonnie Starr says:

      Another problem they’re going to face, in trying to use these social media accounts is, they’re going to have to prove that the accounts were not hacked, AND, that it’s really Trayvon at the keyboard. Good luck to them with that.

      • Tee says:

        I don’t think that they will introduce Trayvon social media information I believe MOM just want them leaked them to taint the jury Poole. if he introduce Trayvon social sites then it will open them up for SP to introduce Zimmermans social media comments and we all know what he said on them was race related.

        • Brown says:

          Also mentioned by O’mara that to fight Facebook in court takes alot of money they don’t have. It seems to me O’mara wants the family to hand that over and say here you go Mr. O’Mara we would like you to continue your quest of putting our dead child on trial, and not your client the admitted shooter. But here you go and if there is anything else we can assist with you like the games he like to play on XBox will gives those to you too, have a nice day. (sarcasm)

        • Lonnie Starr says:

          Well at least the FBI has highly skilled interviewers. They’ll use secret words and phrases, skillfully inserted into the interview so casually a ‘normal’ person wouldn’t notice, but a person with a bent towards that field, will quickly seize upon and/or react to.

          If you want to do something meaningful, go to the Southern Poverty Law Center and learn these symbols and phrases they use, then watch for them in the records. Otherwise the mentions go over your head. The haters are rich with linguistic cues and codes, our ignorance helps their cause not ours.

  33. Malisha says:

    Tee, “It amazes me that the defense is spending so much time on dee dee conversation, i guess they think she’s hiding something.”

    It’s not that they think she’s hiding something, it’s that they imagine that if she is “torn to shreds” that means that GEORGE’S narrative will be the only surviving narrative. They aren’t thinking straight. They’re thinking that “Either DeeDee is believed and people think George hunted and killed Trayvon, who was scared or DeeDee is a liar which means that Trayvon enticed, ambushed and tried to kill George who only defended himself.” They’re thinking that everything George said would make sense if ONLY Trayvon had not been on the phone with DeeDee. That’s just plain STOOOOPID.

    If Trayvon had not been on the phone with DeeDee, the undeniable physical forensic evidence would still be George profiled and followed Trayvon, that when there was physical contact between the two of them said contact did not include Trayvon getting George’s blood all over him OR George’s DNA all over him; that regardless of whether the words spoken were “Why are you following me for [sic]?” or “What the Fuck’s your problem, homie?” the response given by George did not include either a calming and non-threatening assurance that he meant no harm and was simply a Neighborhood Watch guy OR A WARNING NOT TO DO ANYTHING AGGRESSIVE BECAUSE GEORGE WAS ARMED AND WOULD NOT HESITATE TO DEFEND HIMSELF, and that. after possibly receiving minor injuries described by a homicide detective as “capillary type lacerations,” George shot Trayvon through the heart with a single hollowpoint bullet that went in at NO ANGLE at intermediate range, although the bullet had previously passed through Trayvon’s clothing at “contact range” at an angle.

    See, without the phone call, George still comes out in a world of trouble and O’Mara’s still got to deal with all that.

    • Jun says:

      I believe Zimmerman’s own statements, the bullet casing, and the body is actually enough…

      Deedee is just icing on the cake…


      I learned something about biased people, in that, their personal bias, makes them blind to certain facts, and they come up with existentially irrational conspiracy theories based on their assumptions. Because of said bias, alot of them are being lead down the primrose path of potted palms, and cant see everything else in the picture, hence all their focus on Corey, Crump, Natalie Jackson, Obama, etc.

      Deedee becomes their focus, and this discovery oops plot is their idea of revenge for the W9 and other info, which they claim is a “media conspiracy” against Zimmerman (BIG LAUGH). They also do not realize that George’s history is not likely going to be used unless he opens that door, and it sounds like he is going to open that door. Lastly, a lot of the Treehouse aka Tinfoil Hat people, are cowards that hide behind a computer to attack people who are weaker and more vulnerable or unable to defend themselves. In real life, people like that would probably get arrested by the cops or punched in the face.

  34. Diane says:

    I read yesterday that ABC was in the room with them, not the FBI. Part of the issue was that Crump’s recording (which is what the defense got a copy of) was of inferior quality to the one that was broadcast.

    So it’s assumed that ABC was doing their own recording, but why were they there? Was Crump doing a program with them on the case? Why was it sent to the FBI? arrgggg, I wish the trial started Monday so we’d get some answers!

    I sure hope that Crump’s involvement with her doesn’t ruin her testimony in any way!

    • Xena says:

      It’s my impression that the recording of the call was sent to FDLE and/or the FBI as part of their investigation to determine if there was sufficient evidence to charge GZ. The State took DeeDee’s statement thereafter.

    • Jun says:

      I dont know but I think ABC just simply has their own recording of her for their show. I dont necessarily think ABC was in the room. I think ABC came afterward when Crump dropped the bombshell against Zimmerman and ABC figured “that is a great scoop for the case”

  35. CherokeeNative says:

    “hardly” not “hardling” sorry

  36. CherokeeNative says:

    @Whonoze – it should also be added that Crump volunteered to come forward at the hearing and discuss the DeeDee recording – he was sitting in the courtroom and did not have to do that. He also volunteered to give his deposition (he isn’t a listed witness) and volunteered to give the list of those who were present when the recording was made. Had Crump anything to hide, he could have forced the parties to go the necessary legal route of getting this information from him. That he didn’t says a lot IMO. Contrary to what the Conservative Tree House peeps are claiming, Crump was hardling shaking in his boots….utter nonsense.

    • Xena says:

      @CherokeeNative. You are correct. The person who demonstrated a nervous type of attack mode was West. It was as if I could read his motive; “Let me demean and embarrass this man and use it to convince supporters to send more money.”

      IMO, what MOM and West did yesterday was like selling tickets to a play. All the time, there sat GZ, angry and nervous. His plan to have another judge oversee discovery — in the garbage. His plan to circumvent Judge Lester’s orders — in the garbage.

      He appeared before the nation as an angry, medicated, loser.

      • grahase says:

        He snuck his Emergency paperwork in though didn’t he! Lots of detail in that paperwork and ready for public consumption. He is not a stupid man.

    • Malisha says:

      Oh I hadn’t read that foolishness about Crump “shaking in his boots.” It is the kind of image the Outhouse folks like so they make them up to view them in their lonely little heads. But they’re inconsistent. They would have it that Trayvon Martin was NOT shaking in his boots when Zimmerman had told the cops, “Shit, he’s running” and “he ran” and admitted he was following the kid. When it would be logical for a kid his age and background to shake in his boots (ever seen those movies where the serial killer stalks his victim on a rainy evening and then, having caught him, throw him in his SUV and drives him to a deserted warehouse to torture and kill him?), they deny it on behalf of a dead kid whose last living words were described by their own guy as “ow ow.”

      But they’d like to think about Crump “shaking in his boots” so they go ahead and let their imaginations run away with him. He voluntarily stood up and spoke to the open court ON TV when Nelson had just said he did not have to do that; he volunteered information (nobody asked him who was present in the room!) and was forthcoming and congenial. More eyes were on him than ever were on West or O’Mara and he cut a better figure. (It was good to see someone who didn’t appear to be whining.)

      What’s not understood in general is that Crump’s position was that the information from Trayvon Martin’s school records and social media accounts was not relevant. This hearing did not say they WERE; only that they were discoverable.

      A strange thing was that something counterintuitive came up. The many times I have argued against the idea that Trayvon Martin having been an imperfect person is not relevant because Zimmerman did not KNOW him when he “reported him” and followed him and killed him, it appears that under Florida law that does not matter. In other words, when you’re making a self-defense claim and the other person has a “reputation for violence,” you don’t have to KNOW that beforehand for it to count in order to presumably strengthen your claim. So that takes Zimmerman’s position down from, “He profiled, followed and confronted an innocent unarmed kid whom he then killed,” to “He profiled, followed and confronted a dangerous, often violent unarmed kid whom he then killed.”

      Would the fact that George took the initiative, while not knowing whether Trayvon would run, submit, or fight change the equation in terms of whether he committed murder? I don’t think so. Florida law says that IF Trayvon was a well known thug, but George didn’t know it, it can still count to exonerate George IF IN FACT GEORGE KILLED IN SELF-DEFENSE.

      The only question becomes one that has been posited at the Outhouse, yet in reverse, for one simple reason: Thug or non-thug kid (“NTK”), Trayvon Martin had a right to stand his ground when George appeared on 2/26/2012. I have seen the Out-house crowd simply boiling over with rage and simultaneously expressing victorious glee as they spout off: “That thug decided to attack the wrong guy because he didn’t realize George had his gun on him.” They gloat that the “Thug” was also “dumb” and whereas he hoped to kill some poor innocent white guy, he “got justice” when he tried because George turned the tables on him.

      Well think about that meme for a minute. Let’s say George phoned NEN and said all those things about Trayvon and let’s suppose they were true, and Trayvon was a Thug. Then George goes skulking through the neighborhood to try to find his thug and guess what, the thug, cleverly figuring that the asshole wouldn’t dare to follow him like that unless he had a gun, thinks, “This damn fool’s gonna kill me unless I get the drop on him and get his gun away from him,” so he has only one defense (since he is himself unarmed): surprise. So he hides, then leaps out and punches him in the nose, mounts him, and begins to beat him hoping that he will lose consciousness so the Thug can disarm him and gain control of the gun until the cops arrive (because once he has the guy under control he will call 911 and the cops will probably be overjoyed and very grateful to him for having brought in a much-sought serial kidnapper/killer who had been preying on high school kids for years). But George, who is a contortionist, manages to get the gun (which is very hard to get because the knee of the thug is between the gun and George’s helpless little useless hand) and shoots him dead. So the Thug’s plan for his self-defense did not work. It went wrong. Yet…it was still SYG for Thug and murder for Zimmerman, because Zimmerman profiled and followed someone, even though, when you look at the way things went down, he made a big mistake following a thug that night. Should have waited for the cops.

      What I think is going to bury George is this: Regardless of his knowing or not knowing of Trayvon’s alleged or imaginary reputation for violence, George’s verbal (to the NEN) and admitted physical (“Are you following him” “yeah”) conduct that night establish that he initiated a violent confrontation with Trayvon Martin and once you have done that, you just don’t get to claim self defense when you are armed with a deadly weapon and your victim is not. All this stuff is evidence that O’Mara is doing his job but it is not to worry about. The goose is cooked. It may be a very silly goose and it may be squawking for a long time to come but really, the goose is cooked.

      • grahase says:

        I agree with everything you have just said. So, why is the judge allowing the rest of this so-called discoverable information (fishing expedition) being allowed. Exactly — what does that have to do with this case. It isn’t Trayvon’s they really want — it is DeeDees. They want to impeach her.

        • As I have written before, her credibility is not that important. The phone records are important because they establish that she was talking to TM until just before the fatal shot. Zimmerman has confirmed the two most important things she said:

          (1) TM said “Why are you following me for?”

          (2) GZ said, “What are you doing here?

          And the line went dead.

          That makes Zimmerman the pursuer and the aggressor.

      • Jun says:

        I dont think Omara will be successful in impeaching Deedee. I honestly believe he will appear as a jerk in court trying to do so and it will just hurt his case even more because the judge and jury will be thinking (What a jerk).

  37. Mr Leatherman~~I noticed that Don West in his motion about Crump’s recording of Dee Dee mentioned the ‘chain of custody’ of that recording. I thought of you right away and the excellent post you devoted to the ‘chain of custody’ of evidence.

    • Xena says:

      It is exciting learning things here and then when watching the hearings, see them applied where we have knowledge and don’t get all upset thinking that the party who talks the most, waves their hands the most, and jumps up and down the most wins.

    • Malisha says:

      Of course we haven’t heard much about the “chain of custody” of the various photographs of Zimmerman’s injuries, have we?

      • Xena says:

        Malisha, I doubt that the State will argue the chain of custody for the photos taken by the resident. The photos are for the benefit of the defense. If they fail to provide the chain of custody for the photos taken by the resident, guess what? The State can object to their entry into exhibited evidence. The State has the pics taken in the police station, and they have GZ’s medical records. Neither provides evidence of a broken nose or life-threatening injuries.

    • grahase says:

      The nuthouse is wanting the ultra clear copy that ABC aired. It is not the same one O’Mara has. This is their concern about chain of custody.

      • Malisha says:

        Xena, Grahase, here we are going back to the chain of custody of the pictures of George’s head. I saw two of them. That in itself gave rise to a mystery. Here’s what I am wondering about.

        I’ll call the first picture I saw, the one ABC aired, “Outdoor-pix.”
        I’ll call the second picture I saw, the one that appears to have been taken of the back of George’s head with similar blood rivulets on it, “Indoor-1.” Along with it we see a picture of the front of George’s head, and his face, with a tiny nick on the bridge of his nose, which I call “Indoor-2.”

        I presume Outdoor-pix is the one O’Mara wants a clearer picture of because that’s the one ABC aired. Jonathan Turley immediately blogged that it “was given” to ABC and that it “showed serious injury” to Zimmerman. 😕

        OK. I printed out the two back-of-head pictures and compared them and they don’t look the same, not at all. Angles of the rivulets look different, etc. I wanted to get both color photocopies re-photocopied onto clear plastic and lay one over the other, but I never did so (expense, time, and the suspicion that someone with good computer equipment could do something better than that and it would show up on the blogs any minute, which it has not).

        But my questions about the pictures have been posted both here and over at Turley’s several times.

        The first, Outdoor-Pix, is described as having been taken by a by-stander a few minutes, at most, after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, because it’s out there in the grass with a time-stamp on it from the photographer’s cell phone. George is on a cell phone at the time, sitting on something, in the grassy area at RTL. His kindly by-stander photographer is standing behind him, aiming his camera DOWN.

        About this picture: ALL BLOOD on the left part of his head appears to start at a horizontal slice, either as if he had been sliced across the head or as if he had a baseball cap on and paint or blood or theatrical make-up had been applied beneath it. Very strange configuration. The right-hand part of George’s head’s blood trail looks more normal and less questionable in that photograph.

        O’Mara was questioned by a journalist shortly after the inflammatory picture aired (the Zimbots started screaming, “Is that enough blood for you?” and naturally, I answered, “no”). O’Mara’s answer was very evasive. He did not say, as Turley had, “This picture shows serious injury to my client, who was only defending himself.” Nowadays he does not even MENTION the head injuries to his client; he leaves all that to Osterman, who has elevated them considerably, blink blink blink blink solemn look, blink blink. 😕 What did O’Mara say? He said that he was not sure how OR IF the defense was going to use that picture. Guess what my guess is about that picture? Defense would now like that picture to retroactively go away. The “chain of custody” of that picture fascinates me.

        Then, police arrive, and they have George cleaned up by the EMTs who later give statements. Cleaned up includes cleaning the blood off his head and, allegedly, his face, beneath his nose.

        Then, he arrives at the police station and there is a video of him getting out of the squad car, getting patted down a little bit by a cop without gloves on, whereupon the cop stashes something into the trunk of the squad car and leads George, without any visible blood on him, into the station house to be interviewed.

        The pictures known as “Indoor-1” and “Indoor-2” then: are they taken against a grey-beige colored wall INSIDE the station house? They do not appear to be outdoor pictures on a dark night. Did the two Indoor Pictures get taken after George was already in the station house? If so, isn’t it strange that his head spontaneously started to bleed again and bled more or less in the same pattern that it had bled when his physical circumstances were so completely different, by his own narration? First time they bled he was on his back on the ground getting killed; second time they bled he was upright in the station house getting interviewed? Huh?

        Now let’s look at Outdoor-Pix compared to Indoor-1. On Indoor-1, clearly the rivulets on the left side of his head come from a little nearly triangular chunk-like wound on the left side of his head, kind of high up. The rivulets on the right side come from a scrape that looks pretty thin and maybe 3/4 inch long. NOT THE SAME as the visual origins discernible on Outdoor-Pix!

        Notice that when O’Mara described the plight of his poor client LATER in the public media discussion, he was talking “nose nose nose” and did not once mention “smashed head.” I had a good laugh over, “I think my client was reacting to having his nose broken and he reacted by shouting help help help.”

        So, whereas I am sure that there are folks in the FBI crime lab who are able to figure this out better than I am, I wonder about everybody else’s thoughts. :mrgreen:

        • Due to the ability to photoshop digital photographs, I expect the State will challenge the admissibility of any digital photograph offered by the defense, and perhaps vice versa.

          This sort of challenge would be appropriate to take up as a stand-alone pretrial hearing with experts testifying as to authenticity and the judge deciding what can be admitted at trial and what cannot.

          There are likely to be pretrial authenticity and chain of custody issues regarding voice and possibly video recordings as well.

    • Jun says:

      I think Deedee just did a brand new recording for ABC, that is why its so clear

  38. bgesq says:

    @Whonoze: yes, actually, Attorney West insisted there were better copies of the tape than what he had received, and he demanded to know who else was in the room at the time of the call. Attorney Crump was in the Courtroom, and althought the judge didn’t want to put him on the spot, he voluntarily approached the bench and submitted to Mr West’s questions. He stated that the conversation was recorded by speakerphone, that several people were present, that he turned the call over to the FBI, presumabaly to enhance the quality. The judge directed that he preserve the call on his phone, and provide a list as to who was present during the call within 10 days. He basically stated that he and the family were standing ready to cooperate fully.

    • Tee says:

      I don’t think there is anything to hide with the phone call. I say let it play, open his school records and social networking sites so that the judge could see them then we could move forward. MOM is grasping at straws and that’s ok that is his job now it’s the sp job to put the nails in Georges’ coffin and nail it shut which I believe the evidence will do sooo nicely

      • grahase says:

        In other words, if I may, are you saying that the next kid that is killed in the same fashion will be treated the same way. So, if this next victim was on the football team, a big strong kid who was known to be a scrapper with a D average and who liked to party deserved to be shot dead. Point being — a gun to a fist fight. Cmon. Zimmerman should not have gotten out of his truck. I guess Serino was right by saying — if he was a thug – two thumbs up.

      • Jun says:

        Grahase, I know u dont like it, and I dont either but its very typical of a criminal defense lawyer and its nothing new. Would it work is a whole nother ballpark because generally people like that appear very petty doing things like that and that is a fail against the judge and jury

      • Malisha says:

        Gun sales have gone way up in Florida since the Zimmerman case. It looks to me like people may be saying, “if anybody can kill me anytime they want and just walk away, I better be armed and then I’ll kill them first.”

        Tell me again why we didn’t let Florida and certain other states (you know who you are) secede from the Union?

      • Jun says:

        I agree Malisha. What I dont understand is why no one in that complex had a gun. Someone shoulda came outside at the screams and told Zimmerman to drop it and then pop him in the chest if he tries anything.

      • ShannonInMiami says:

        @JUN. i agree! someone shoulda came out there and beat the shit outa zimmerman right then and there! I can’t imagine why, especially the only guy, didn’t even try to save Trayvon! All he had to do was at least stand out on the patio!

        One night around 10pm i heard someone yelling outside. As i look back i know i waited too long if it had been Trayvon.. but after a few minutes–maybe a minute or two, i opened up the door and went out to see, i was on the 8th floor, there were a lot of trees below, but i did see someone. So i asked if everything was OK, did they need help. Then i saw the security guy walk out there and he looked up and kinda waved me away. I ended up calling the front desk and was told it was a neighbour kid trying to get his friend to come out.

        But in Trayvon’s case, he was clearly screaming for help- loudly, and the witness 11 guy saw him and knew he was screaming and why. He could of came out.

        i wonder how he feels today. i wonder if he and the woman are still together after what happened. i wonder if she is still worried about protecting the HOA now that she’s had time to realize what happened in her own back yard.

  39. Malisha says:

    DeeDee’s interview with Crump was not a law enforcement interview. I can’t understand why it is part of the picture at all. Crump is not the prosecutor. Does the prosecution get to see recordings of Zimmerman’s phone conversations with third parties? It’s out of the ordinary.

    Now it is true that Crump gave the recording to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who gave it to the FBI, but it remains a conversation between a witness and a non-witness that took place after the alleged crime. What’s that about?

    • It’s part of the picture because Dee Dee is a witness in the case and she was telling Crump and the others in the room about her conversations with Trayvon during the half-hour or so leading up to just before Zimmerman shot and killed him.

      • Tee says:

        MOM wants to know if dee dee was coached by crump he wants to know if its two different statements like what his client is use to doing i believe this is what he is banking on. He’s hoping that dee dee gave to different accounts of what she heard and what trayvon may have said to her ie. I’m going to beat this mutha f..ker azz this is what he’s hoping to her on them tapes.

    • grahase says:

      He is looking for discrepancies in the telling and retelling of her story. They are trying to claim she was coached. So, if they go into her social media accounts and she told one friend she was at the mall and told another friend she was at the stadium, this proves she is a liar and can not be trusted. However, social media comments are not given under oath. Social media comments are open to interpretation. You can be sure the defence will interpret them in a fashion whereby DeeDee will become a known liar. It is the mirroring thing again. George is a liar and he lied about what happened that night. DeeDee is a liar and lied about what she heard that night. After all, she lied on Twitter, didn’t she. She lied to her own best friends, just like George did to Osterman. (I do not know what are in DeDe’s accounts – only hypothetical)

      • grahase says:

        Further — turn it into a he said, she said thing – just like the good old days in a rape case. The woman had to defend herself more than the accused. The defense did everything in the book to discredit her right down to the very clothes she was wearing. She asked for it. She wanted it. It was consensual. Okay. Trayvon wanted it. He asked for it. He sought George out. Therefore, George is the real victim here. Don’t think for a minute that O’Mara is going to play nice, nice in the courtroom with the minor known as Dee Dee.

        • Lonnie Starr says:

          It gets so much worse every time there’s a point that the defense can raise, there’s more GZ testimony to knock it down.

          GZ says that for a fact, TM tried to get his gun from him, while he was on his back at the T. So, if TM knew, from that point on, that GZ was armed. What, exactly happened, between an armed GZ and an unarmed TM, some 40 feet away?

          The defense wants us to believe that an unarmed teen waged a ferocious attack on an adult he knew was armed. But, there’s no evidence at all that TM was on hallucinogens or other mind altering drugs. Perhaps the defense is on hallucinogens or other mind altering drugs???

      • Lonnie Starr says:

        Well, if they’re going to go the route of saying that DD lied, they’re going to have to show who coached her. Meaning they’re going to have to pick someone who knew what happened that night. I don’t think Crump knew what was in the evidence dump, most of it had not even been developed at that time. So the choices would be either GZ, Osterman, Serino? I don’t think there are any good choices to do the coaching.

        I don’t think the defense would want to face that kind of major fail in front of a jury. Trying to claim she was coached, then have the SP show that only the defendant and/or the police could have been the coaches. I’m sure the jury would find that extremely amusing!

  40. PYorck says:

    The problem the problem that I have with the subpoenas is not really that O’Mara will get access to that information or that he might use it if something admissible is found. It is how he presents the fact that he is seeking this information to his audience.

    Although seeking that information is justified, that is just not all that he is doing. He is also communicating hypotheses to the general public. To what extent is that justified?

    Will he soon hold a press conference to announce that he is seeking confirmation that Trayvon wasn’t a crack addict? …that the Israeli Government neither confirms nor denies that TM was a Mossad agent?

    I believe that a legal justification for a step taken by the defense does not necessarily cover all publicity related to that step.

    • Malisha says:

      Pyork, the Israeli Government already denied that TM was a Mossad agent. Their agents do not use MMA and they do not “mount” enemies they have punched in the nose. They use Krav maga and if they have an enemy down, they first kick him in the head HARD and then stomp on his face after which they kick him in the groin three times, frisk him, find his gun and then shoot him in the neck. Got it?

      If TM was an agent, he was working for the Saudis.

    • jm says:

      PYorck says: “He is also communicating hypotheses to the general public. To what extent is that justified? Will he soon hold a press conference to announce that he is seeking confirmation that Trayvon wasn’t a crack addict? …that the Israeli Government neither confirms nor denies that TM was a Mossad agent? I believe that a legal justification for a step taken by the defense does not necessarily cover all publicity related to that step.”

      Exactly. He is implying Trayvon is a bad guy, thus generating more donations from stupid/racist people and poisoning the jury pool. MOM is a sleaze.

      • Malisha says:

        Don’t forget that the jury pool can be “poisoned” but it cannot be utterly controlled — by anybody. I was involved in a big, possibly heart-rending (not mine, but…) written exchange with a poster over on the Jonathan Turley thread who climbed into me on her own initiative early in the April-May storm of protest against poor George having been charged with a crime. Lots of pro-Zims were on the Turley threads. Some of them were Jeralyn Merritt fans and then an assortment of others. This one called herself Southern Belle and she leaped into the fray telling me — specifically ME — that she was “prejudiced” and that she was right to be “prejudiced” because “colored” people were so awful. Instead of writing her off as a racist idiot, I began a conversation with her and drew her out. I admitted to being racist myself (which was immediately misunderstood by other racists over there who got all lit up by that statement as if they were on EXtacy!) and explained that perhaps everyone raised in this country should recognize the subtle apologetics of racism and confront it as often as possible so we as a society could heal. She spent a couple of weeks in an intense tantrum against anything I said and then seemed to want to really discuss some issues without all the hatred. She ended up coming to terms with a lot of her own assumptions and misconceptions and then she began to seriously evaluate what had taken place on 2/26/2012 in Sanford, Florida. She was, in a certain sense, liberated, and able to address the events without her fierce self-vindicating hatred getting in the way of her obviously still intact intelligence, and she realized Trayvon Martin had been murdered.

        Since O’Mara’s bluster is not about evidence but about his fishing expeditions and his kowtowing to the funding sources’ wild imaginings, if there IS ever a trial, believe me, he will not be allowed to go prancing around the courtroom waving his pretty hands in the air to describe a bad kid who tried to kill his client. He is going to be on the same short leash that every defense lawyer gets put on and that leash will be measured by how far he departs from the actual admissible evidence. Believe me, a judge like Nelson is not unable to manage this.

        This is theater. It is meant to manipulate the public. There are no real rules. If there is a trial, even a poisoned jury is going to be treated to some LAW in that courtroom. A whole different kinda thing will be happening.

      • grahase says:

        The judge should have denied the request for subpoenas. It is one thing to have O’Mara make the request. However, he has not presented any proof that there is information in any of those records — I can see no probable cause to allow the information. What was the probable cause — someone from the nuthouse said so. Sorry. I gave an example below. It matters not what the records show – Zimmerman stalked Trayvon and killed him and his statements do not jive with the evidence. Whether or not Trayvon was a thug or not does not matter. He was unarmed and they are trying the victim. No different than finding witnesses who will testify as to a rape victim’s sexual history — those days, I had hoped, were gone forever. Trayvon did not ask to die. A rape victim did not ask to get raped.

      • rayvenwolf says:

        Grahase I feel the same way, but just because she opened the door, does not mean that a California judge or Facebook and Twitter are just going to roll over for them. Facebook has already said they have ZERO intention of handing over anything unless ordered to do so. Neither twitter or FB are gonna roll over for O’Money and I doubt GZ’s defense fund can afford the time and effort of fighting them.

        We don’t have to like it, but the man is doing his job and the less avenues of appeal open to GZ if/when convicted the better.

      • Lonnie Starr says:

        What you’re seeing is the way lawyers used to conduct themselves, because there was no glare of a public spotlight that could be thrown on cases in remote places like these.

        Historically Courts, Leader and Rulers know that, popular decisions do not have to be rational or even possible, while on the other hand, it is almost impossible to make an unpopular decision, no matter how badly required it may be. MOM is a lawyer used to practicing in the “dark corners” of the court system, where, unobserved, pretty nearly anything goes.

        Of course, that’s not to say that what he’s doing isn’t all that remains available to be done in this case. It’s a “high profile” case, he has to either maintain a high profile, or “push” the public away. He has also put himself at the mercy of the public for compensation. He can’t go back while donations continue to trickle in at several hundred dollars per day, even though he needs more than that. Thus we get all this “theater”.

        Nor was it a foolish move to do so, the fact that 200k plus had come in, was quite a shocking surprise to him, about this brave new world of social media. Too bad he didn’t think to consult with a social media expert, to determine why this money had come in and/or from where. Remember, at that time SYG was in question, and it seemed like GZ had a reasonable claim to it.

        This hullaballoo over TM’s records, means little to nothing, since all that really matters is, “Was TM a reasonable threat to GZ’s life and well being, at the time when GZ fired the shot?” Obviously, the answer that falls from GZ’s own mouth is “NO!” Because, by that time he asserts that, he had gained total control of the weapon, plus he had the freedom to decide where to place the shot.

        Unless someone is willing to believe that TM would continue to attack an armed man, holding him at gun point, we have to believe that GZ could have simply backed away, instead of shooting. GZ states that he had choices that he could make at that point in time, and he decided to fire a shot without warning. Thereby killing an unarmed child.

        On another note:

        There’s a question about police testimony, because “grass stains” are not expected to shake out, or fall off a jacket. GZ’s more absorbent pants should show even more evidence of moving across wet grass. So, there may be evidence that a police officer, claimed to have seen what could not be seen? This witness requires special attention, because he/she is responsible for official reporting.

        Also, on another note, we need to read more at the Southern Poverty Law Center, to become more familiar with the obscure language of hate groups. There are terms that someone may have used, that we, who are not aware of their usage, would miss.

  41. Mr Leatherman~~once again a big thank you for another informative article. Although I have not been commenting very much, I am a faithful reader of what you put out. I also appreciate your explaining the rights of a defense lawyer in representing his client to the best of his ability. You did a marvelous job in explaining the ‘ineffective counsel’ if and when a case ever comes down to that. Your time and efforts in keeping this blog up and running hopefully will be rewarded by those who have learned a lot here.

  42. Two sides to a story says:

    *Dee Dee deposition was covered quite extensively in the hearing*

  43. whonoze says:

    At this hearing, did the defense bring up the recording of DeeDee’s interview with Crump? (No one’s mentioned it, so I’m guessing they didn’t, but I figure I should ask anyway…) If they did address this issue, what was said?

    • roderick2012 says:

      Wow, you’re really obsessed with the original recording of DeeDee’s testimony.

      I guess you should be happy that O’Mara can troll her Facebook account so the Conservative TreeNuts can get their jollies.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      Yes, the Dee-Dee was covered quite extensively, and too much commentary to get into here. You should listen to it yourself. Trent Sawyer has recorded the hearing and published it on YouTube. CTH, ironically, posted his recordings yesterday, complete with his pro-TM commentary in the background.

      • Xena says:

        CTH, ironically, posted his recordings yesterday, complete with his pro-TM commentary in the background.

        ROFLOL!!! So sundancecracker relies on Trent Sawyer for info to provide to his treeslums!!

    • Yes, the issue came up and Ben Crump came forward and provided a brief explanation.

      There were several other people in his office listening when he had Dee Dee on his speakerphone and was talking to her and recording the conversation. I believe he said someone from the FBI was present.

      Judge Nelson gave him 10 days to provide the defense with a list of the people present, which he agreed to do, and she authorized the defense to take his deposition at a mutually convenient time sometime after that.

      The defense said it would depose everyone who was present.

      Before Judge Nelson asked Crump to come forward to the lectern, Bernie de la Rionda told her that Crump had provided him with the recording Crump made of the call and he had provided the defense with a copy of that tape. He said that was the only copy that he knew about.

      Judge Nelson cut-off defense attempts to question Crump. She told them to hold their questions for the deposition.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        Thank you, Prof. Your nutshell explanations are quite good.

      • Tee says:

        It amazes me that the defense is spending so much time on dee dee conversation, i guess they think she’s hiding something. I don’t care if Trayvon told her that an elephant was running across the street, she was still on the phone with Trayvon that’s what matter. No one decides to attack someone while talking on a phone. How crazy do they think we are that we would believe that Trayvon was hiding in the dark waiting to attack George who he didn’t know was searching for him on foot all the while talking to a friend on the phone. Really MOM!

      • Xena says:


        It amazes me that the defense is spending so much time on dee dee conversation, i guess they think she’s hiding something.

        If MOM is taking his litigation instructions from the treeslum folks, then he is looking to discover;
        1. That the first DeeDee interviewed by attorney Crump is not the second DeeDee interviewed by the State, and;
        2. That neither DeeDee was on the phone with Trayvon the evening he was killed, and;
        3. This would lead to DeeDee not being a witness in the case, to attorney Crump being disbarred, and GZ suing him for malicious prosecution having the charge against him dropped.

        You see, their agenda is layered in if A is true, then B must be true and all we need to prove that A is true is to find a C that we can then use to find that B is true.

      • Tee says:

        Personally I know it’s not that hard to prove that I was on the phone with someone, check my phone records with the company. Trust that MOM know this just as he know that dee dee was on the phone with Trayon that night crump could not change phone records. I think MOM wants to know if dee dee told crump something different than what the state has given him and if dee dee was coached by crump.

  44. jennifer says:

    Well stated (and I am an avid Trayvon supporter), but it is good and needed to not rely so heavily on emotion and look at it in the context of the law. I was really upset yesterday, but after some thought and reading this, I do understand.

  45. Malisha says:

    Although I think they might have been issued wrong, and although I believe the entire self-defense claim is IMPROPER because it is so obviously out of line with the physical evidence that it is frivolous, it is STILL the right of any criminal defendant to make ANY AND EVERY defense, so in that regard it is proper.

    They’ll get all the information the ask for about Trayvon Martin and it won’t buy them a penny candy in the real case.

    IF, however, it accidentally “leaks” out to the public to cause more distress to the victim’s family and supporters, then I think the act of leaking it should be investigated to the highest degree of available powers and prosecuted to the full extent of the law so that whoever deliberately tried to overkill Trayvon Martin after he has already been killed is punished for that. And I believe pieces of it WILL leak. And I also believe that total utter lies will leak that some claim came from Trayvon’s school records and this will be an attempt to make the victim’s family reveal the records to SHOW that the leaked stuff was dishonest. I believe the attempt will fail but I have no doubt all this has a good chance of happening.

    Within the small circle of people working on the defense with full authority, there can and may be someone who would seek to create havoc by such behavior. I would hope that at least the federal authorities would vigorously punish any violations that may occur. This is not just a fishing expedition; it is a morally reprehensible one, but legally it is harmless. Harm that may be done will definitely point to somebody having broken the law to achieve the anti-Trayvon effect they seem to so cruelly desire. It kinda reminds me of big heavy sweating adrenalin-pumped George “lunging” on top of his dying prey and “spreading out his hands” after shooting him through the heart.

    It won’t change anything. Zimmerman has done his crime and he will have to do the time. After he’s in prison, there will be plenty of time to rehabilitate the image of Trayvon Martin if there has actually been any kind of damage done to it by these impotent flailing defense gestures of a fish on a hook.

    • I doubt the school records contain what they are looking for, but there remains a possibility they will publish them, if they contain embarrassing information, and claim they mistakenly did so. That risks a contempt citation.

      I also agree that the Treehouse Gang, acting in the “finest” Breitbart fashion, may publish lies on their site and claim the false information was obtained from the records.

      All that I can say is that I hope O’Mara takes suitable precautions to prevent any leaks and that he denounces false information about what is in those records.

      He should keep in mind that Judge Nelson not only has the contempt power to punish leaks, she also can issue a gag order. The State’s Motion for a Gag Order will be heard at the October 26th hearing. Granted, that’s a little less than a week away, but the motion can be renewed at any time.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        I’m almost certain someone will find a way to leak TMs school records. This has been a “leaky” case.

        Maybe this will even be done in such a clever way that the leak can’t be traced or in some threatening way in which no one will want to point fingers at the perpetrator. There are several GZ supporters over at the CTH who are quite capable of pulling this off. And of course, the MSM is also fully capable of playing the game, as they’ve been the main players in the past.

      • ShannonInMiami says:

        Yes, so Omar isn’t allowed(or supposed to) make Tray’s school records public, but he can do it anyway as long as it’s a mistake? What kinda of contempt/punishment could he really get? A fine? A spanking?
        I ask cas he’s keeps publishing these long winded, exaggerated motions to the court and then puts them online.
        But these contain all kinds of negative references/innuendos toward Trayvon and anyone else he doesn’t like, and he gets away with it.
        I thought this was one of BDLR’s issues he wanted heard in this last hearing? I can’t recall if it was only in reference to this latest motion concerning the school records or if it was supposed to be for all of the future insulting MOM motions?

        I’m also convinced he’s trying to intimidate witnesses with the comments he makes in court and by asking for addresses and face book stuff. Why is he allowed to do that too? It’s not fair! And I think it’s very likely some will NOT come forward if they even suspect Omar will rummage thru their life. Most of these people are not gonna have lawyers on retainers hangin around ready to explain their rights and protect them from him.

      • grahase says:

        They have already said that NBC settled with George because they knew they were wrong and wanted the problem to go away.

      • Xena says:


        They have already said that NBC settled with George because they knew they were wrong and wanted the problem to go away.

        If that’s true, it’s a good thing for MOM. Since the order of the court forbids that GZ open a bank account, it means that the settlement went straight to MOM for the defense fund. GZ was able to purchase a new sport’s jacket and shirt to fit his portly weight gain, MOM and West can get paid; and there might be something remaining to satisfy the judgment of the court when GZ is sued for wrongful death.

      • Jun says:

        proof of the NBC settlement?

        I dont think they would because its fairly frivolous but if its a couple thousand STFU drop it, then I guess its understandable

        but I would figure them to fight it

        and Omara better watch any mistaken leaks because… even if false information drops stating that it was from the leaks, they will know the exact source… so Omara knows better, at least I hope so

      • Two sides to a story says:

        I was thinking hacker or fake hacker to spring a leak. And set up some sort of false trail so it doesn’t affect GZLC.

  46. Thank you for your detailed response, Professor. My next question pertains to the judge’s green light to O’Mara to go Trayvon’s and Dee Dee’s social media posts. This permission on the judge’s part does not automatically grant O’Mara access to the content in those accounts, does it? What happens next? Does Twitter and Facebook HAVE to comply with this judge’s order?

    • Judge Nelson only agreed to authorize (sign off) on the subpoenas. They still have to be served and lawyers for Facebook and Twitter can still move to quash the subpoenas.

    • roderick2012 says:

      Dairy, I don’t understand Judge Nelson’s decision either.

      Whatever O’Mara could gleam from DeeDee’s social media he could ask her during her deposition.

      It’s just to impress the Conservative Treehouse Nuts.

      • fauxmccoy says:

        beyond that, facebook at least has a policy of not releasing this information and will fight vigorously to defend their policy. such legal argument would be held in california (where facebook is incorporated) and likely under federal court jurisdiction. this will be a very costly exercise for o’mara/zimmerman and the outcome is doubtful.

        yes, judge nelson gave permission to proceed, but the hurdles are great.

  47. roderick2012 says:

    The argument that Trayvon could have been a bully and that his social media accounts can be used to prove that.

    If Trayvon had been a bully there would be live breathing victims who like Zimmerman’s past victims would have stepped foward months ago

    That’s why this fishing expedition by the defense stinks to high heaven–attempting to prove behavior through words and not actions.

    • The school records would be inadmissible hearsay.

      Assuming they contain information that TM was an MMA-style fighter and an aggressive bully, the defense still would have to find the witnesses who would testify to that character trait. Presumably the records would identify them or make them identifiable.

      Again, just because the records would not be admissible, does not mean they are not discoverable.

      Also, even if the records contain the information that he is looking for, they are still private and he should not publicize them.

      • roderick2012 says:

        I understand what you’re saying but this is just another delay tactic by the defense.

        Also it makes George look like a victim(again) and O’Mara will use it to rally his troops (donors).

        I can imagine the Zimbots organizing a protest of Facebook and Twitter.

    • Malisha says:

      I completely agree, roderick. Not only would there be people coming forward talking about how he had beaten them up and bullied them, but there would be a bus driver who insisted he had assaulted him or her, and there would be all kinds of twitters all over the web talking about how finally Trayvon Martin had picked on somebody his own size (actually, bigger) and there would be a few prior victims who were angry enough to say, “I wish I had a gun when he beat me up and smashed my head on the sidewalk last year” and crap like that. Trayvon Martin really IS what can be called “squeaky clean.” The Outhouse is simply engaging in a smear campaign; nothing new. It will not work.

    • Lonnie Starr says:

      Well said Professor. My only fear is that MOM may obtain false material from his web searches, because these things are easily hacked. He will need to vet any such material very carefully and evaluate it in light of Trayvon’s overall personality traits, or risk being caught submitting fraudulently created material. Since that would create an even bigger disaster for the defense.

      Worse yet, there is a defense against any appeal from the “effective counsel” quarter, that perhaps it was a decision made, “to risk it”, for the sake of providing it in a time critical fashion and within budget — or to capture the drama of the moment at a critical time.

      Where counsel may have been ineffective by design, to capture a moment, while sacrificing prudence and/or due diligence, is a “command decision”, that allows the attorney to take worthy risks.

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