Can Shellie Zimmerman testify against her husband in his murder trial

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Good morning:

Today’s topic will be the husband-wife marital privilege. What is it? What does it cover? How does it apply to Shellie and George Zimmerman?

The husband-wife marital privilege is an evidentiary rule that protects confidential communications between spouses from disclosure to third parties. The purpose of the rule is to encourage open communication between spouses without fear that one spouse may be forced under penalty of law to disclose what the other said.

The privilege does not apply to all communications; it only applies to communications that were intended to be kept confidential.

Not all confidential communications are protected. For example, in Florida there is no privilege:

(a) In a proceeding brought by or on behalf of one spouse against the other spouse.

(b) In a criminal proceeding in which one spouse is charged with a crime committed at any time against the person or property of the other spouse, or the person or property of a child of either.

(c) In a criminal proceeding in which the communication is offered in evidence by a defendant-spouse who is one of the spouses between whom the communication was made.

See: FL Stat. 90.504(3)

Open communications between spouses in the presence of other people are not confidential. For example, anything the defendant may have stated to his wife in the presence of another person, such as Mark or Sondra Osterman or Frank Taaffe, regarding his encounter with Trayvon Martin before or after the shooting would not be privileged.

Communications between spouses during recorded jailhouse telephone calls are not privileged when the parties are warned at the beginning of the call that it will be recorded.

I believe an interesting argument can be made, pursuant to FL Stat. 90.504(3)(c), that Shellie Zimmerman can testify about disclosures by her husband regarding the alleged murder since she is a “defendant-spouse.” Even though she is a defendant in a different case, the two are related matters.

Certainly the argument is more powerful regarding the admissibility of any statements that her husband may have made to her about her alleged perjury because it occurred at the defendant’s bond hearing in an effort to conceal substantial assets exceeding $100,000 from the court, including a second passport that the defendant may have been planning to use to flee the jurisdiction to avoid prosecution.

Flight to avoid prosecution is admissible to show consciousness of guilt and, as Judge Lester noted in his order setting bail, the evidence supported an inference that only the fortuitous attachment of an ankle bracelet with a GPS device prior to the defendant’s release from jail may have prevented him from fleeing the United States with a valid passport and more than $100,000 of other people’s money.

Should the fortuitous circumstance that related criminal cases are pending against a husband and a wife under different cause numbers, instead of a single cause number, exclude application of section (3)(c)?

What do you think?

(H/T to Searching Mind for spotlighting this issue in comments this morning)


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206 Responses to Can Shellie Zimmerman testify against her husband in his murder trial

  1. Professor

    OOPS! One of my comments went into moderation. I posted 3 links and that might be the reason for the moderation.


    Click to access mot_req_court_inquiry.pdf

  3. NOTICE OF HEARING for April 30 in Zimmerman case.

    Click to access noh_043013.pdf

    • Lonnie Starr says:


      April 16, 2013
      1:30 pm Robert Zimmerman, Sr, co/OLG
      3:30 pm Gladys Zimmerman, c/o OLG
      April 17, 2013
      9:00 am Robert Zimmerman Jr, c/o OLG
      1:00 pm Mark Osterman, c/o OLG
      3:30 pm Sondra Osterman, c/o OLG
      April 18, 2013
      1:00 pm Frank Taffee, c/o OLG
      3:00 pm GZW V, c/o OLG

      Hoo Boy, no wonder they all went quiet.
      Hey Racer, any word on how TCTH is taking this news?

  4. pat deadder says:

    reply to myself I went back and listened to Singleton and fogen again now I get what he meant Osterman was there.I’m a little dense.But in my defense fogen confuses me.

    • Trained Observer says:

      pat –Have picked up on so many details escaping me me early on. It’s difficult to absorb all at once … with Fogen, as you say, at the forefront of the confusion..

    • Malisha says:

      I took it to mean that a neighbor called Shellie and Shellie called Osterman, who was “THERE” — meaning at the scene.

      • pat deadder says:

        Thank you all I get it now I’m starting to become paranoid with fogen and was starting to read too much into just a normal statement.I do believe Osterman will tell the truth on the stand.He said he would die but not lie for his best friend.It seems Osterman thought fogen was and saving money so either Osterman is a liar or fogen had him fooled as well.As far as his relationship with the SPD I think they just laughed at him behind his back but they also kissed his ass to his face because he was such a shit disturber and somewhat friends with Mr Lee..

    • Trained Observer says:

      Am hoping trial proceedings leave no mystery on who was there and who was where (if not there) when this stalking/shooting came down. GPS records and text messages may well tell a tale involving far more than Fogen, the triggerman.

  5. boar_d_laze says:

    @Whonoze re the third party hypothetical:

    A prosecutor would call Mr. Osterman and not Ms. Zimmerman to testify about the conversation.

    If Mr. Osterman denied the conversation, Ms. Zimmerman might be called to impeach. Since the communication was not made to her, I think — but don’t know for sure — the spousal privilege might not apply. But since the communication — in your hypothetical — was made within the spousal residence, it’s possible that any communication might be privileged. I don’t know Florida law well enough to give an opinion. .


    The 3(c) exception simply does not apply to testimony by Mrs. Zimmerman in the case against Mr. Zimmerman because she is not a defendant.

    That’s not my opinion, it’s the plain and unambiguous language of the statute. Neither it nor I can’t make it any clearer.

    The situation contemplated by 3(c) is one which a defendant spouse offers testimony (as opposed to having it compelled) and prevents the non-testifying spouse from asserting privilege if the spouses are both defendants in the same preceding and have opposing interests. In other words one defendant spouse cannot prevent the other defendant-spouse from testifying to communications if the testimony were in the testifying spouse’s legal interests.

    But I remind you that the exception is limited to testimony in proceedings where both spouses are defendants.


    • boar_d_laze says:

      Whoops. I garbled the 3(c) exception. It’s not necessary for both spouses to be defendants. The non-testifying spouse can’t invoke the privilege to prevent the testimony of the defendant-spouse. This allows the defendant-spouse to use even “private” evidence in order to exculpate herself.

      But again, Shellie Zimmerman is not a defendant in the case against her husband and 3(c) does not limit George Zimmerman’s right to claim spousal privilege.

    • whonoze says:

      Got another hypothetical for you, BDL. It seems Shellie can ‘sing’ all she wants to the cops — e.g. telling them MO was there and the nature of the conversation in the hypothetical — she just may be prevented from saying any of that in court.

      Does anything happen to privilege if the partner makes public statements against the interest of the defendant? Again, hypothetically, say Shellie writes a quicky tell-all book “The Real, REAL George Zimmerman, Really” and puts it up for sale on Amazon. Then the details are front page on The Miami Sentinal the next day. I would guess that doesn’t change anything, but I thought I’d ask anyway…

      • Trained Observer says:

        Well, whonoze, it’s the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, but, hey, that’s one real fine title … 🙂 This is why Ben Crump will include the Missus and other Zims in any civil litigation against Fogen, I think, to prevent any of this low-life tribe from profiting on a tell-all. As for your actual hypthetical inquiry, dunno …

      • boar_d_laze says:

        Hypo in which Ms. Zimmerman talks to the cops:

        Depends on the jurisdiction, and depends on the circumstances under which Ms. Zimmerman gave the information to the police. Under some circumstances, a court might view a breach of spousal privilege in the same way it would view a 4th Amendment violation, apply “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine, and exclude evidence directly gained as a result of Ms. Zimmerman’s statements to the police — unless it was either “in plain sight” or subject to “inevitable discovery.”

        Not to be repetitive, but it just depends.

        Hypo in which Ms. Zimmerman talks to the Daily Blat:

        If Ms. Zimmerman blabs Mr. Zimmerman’s private communications to the papers the genie can’t be put back in the bottle. However, what’s in the papers doesn’t necessarily get into court as evidence. Even if “everyone already knows,” Mr. Zimmerman could still invoke the spousal privilege to keep Ms. Zimmerman from testifying to the communication in court. Even if the prosecution managed to get the statement admitted using some other witness, it wouldn’t be of much probative value without Ms. Zimmerman’s testimony.

        The hypo itself:

        “MO was there” is not a particularly good hypothetical. Mr. Osterman’s presence or non-presence is not material to the case against Mr. Zimmerman as that case appears to stand now. If it were material, Mr. Osterman could be called to the stand himself and third party testimony would not be necessary unless the State were attempting to prove some sort of conspiracy and cover up — which it is not.


        As a non-attorney your big take away shouldn’t be my conclusion but a combination of a lawyer’s reference to jurisdiction and circumstances, requests for specificity, respect for the defendant’s rights, and use of hierarchical, “if-then” reasoning.


  6. mamere says:

    Thank you for this link.90.504 Husband-wife privilege.—
    (1) A spouse has a privilege during and after the marital relationship to refuse to disclose, and to prevent another from disclosing, communications which were intended to be made in confidence between the spouses while they were husband and wife.
    (2) The privilege may be claimed by either spouse or by the guardian or conservator of a spouse. The authority of a spouse, or guardian or conservator of a spouse, to claim the privilege is presumed in the absence of contrary evidence.
    (3) There is no privilege under this section:
    (a) In a proceeding brought by or on behalf of one spouse against the other spouse.
    (b) In a criminal proceeding in which one spouse is charged with a crime committed at any time against the person or property of the other spouse, or the person or property of a child of either.
    (c) In a criminal proceeding in which the communication is offered in evidence by a defendant-spouse who is one of the spouses between whom the communication was made.
    History.—s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; ss. 10, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379.
    I knew spouses had 100% immunity against being forced to testify against each other. But I am wondering why you guess GZ has not moved to stop her? Under Fl. Law, he has that right so obviously he isn’t involving that right and she cannot be forced to testify against her husband so both had to have agreed.

    It does not matter whether they still co-habitat or not. Just the marital contract itself gives total immunity.

    My guess is case is over as being pled out. Her attorney is A on Martindale- Hubbell rating site. He moved her upcoming court issue to after GZ’s trial. Meaning, come to senses and you can move on.

    The state had to offer a concession to GZ for him not to block her testimony.

    BTW, this immunity only applies to spouses. Not parent/child. A parent can be forced to testify or (assert 5 th amendment) against their own child. I was amazed at this lack of immunity between a parent and their child.There is none.

  7. thejbmission says:

    Thanks for the Shellie Zim update Professor,
    I’m really curious about Shellie and her whereabouts on Feb 26th.
    with that in mind I think BDLR was brilliant charging Shellie with perjury. He basically nipped it the bud and I don’t blame him. Those people (the Z’s) let lies roll off their tongues like butter so I’m sure that this time when SheLiesAlot is sworn in, she’ll tell “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.
    So help us God.

    • PiranhaMom says:

      @ Jun,

      Creative, Jun, but need clearer enunciation so we can make out the words – which from you, should be profound.

      Assuming this was a mix, could your sound engineer trim back the bass and increase the treble? Just on your track.

      The dancing ladies come through loud and clear (and overwhelm the video).so you can dial them waaay down.

      Want more Jun, less feathers.


      • JUN says:

        I actually mix it myself

        I can make a version like that for you but I tend to like my mixes where you can hear all instruments including voice

        • PiranhaMom says:


          I find you are an articulate, cutting-edge guy. So what you say is important. I may be the only person who could not catch your words, so don’t edit for me.

          Your own words are a separate track, yes? So, if need be, you could re-mix. I am not an audio engineer, but I was an independent producer for ten years, so sat in during all final mixes. Did not work on video, so the technical parameters could be vastly different. On film, you had to have a crisper enunciation of the dialog tracks during the final edit, because the composite master often blurred things a fraction, and what you want to end up with is a release print the audience understands. That’s your only goal. SFX, music and even ambient sound (if noisy) had to back off in the interest of dialog clarity.

          In your case, The Message surely rides supreme, so I want the viewer “to get it.”

          Remember … “In the beginning, was the Word.”

          Congratulations on an intriguing video. While I could not differentiate the words, I saw a lot of power coming off the screen.

    • Xena says:

      @JUN. That’s SO COOL!!!! Wish I had a Facebook account so I could congratulate you on your page. Great work there, Jun.

    • Rachael says:

      Very nice!!!

    • JUN says:

      Thanx =)

    • Malisha says:

      Jun, BRAVO! ❗

      I don’t know how to “like” it electronically but I “like” it!


    • type1juve says:

      That was good, I like the old school flava!

  8. Mary Davis says:

    @ Rachael. You know, when you have been in an abusive relationship, you can spot a victim a mile away, (whether verbal or physical, as I’ve been in both). I sensed some kind of abuse when I first listened to the jailhouse calls.

    • Rachael says:

      I think he is a very controlling person.

    • thejbmission says:

      Oh absolutely Mary Davis, Shellie was very obedient.. a little too obedient if YKWIM. Hmm..she may even think he’s crazy.

      • Ya know for her to roll on fogen…….Well I see someone else other than joonur on the talk show circuits after the trial….maybe even a book………..”My life of lies with fogen”……I think she’d need a ghost writer though.

        • PiranhaMom says:

          @MountainMan –

          Pat, I’ll volunteer to be Shellie’s “as told to.”

          Have her agent call my agent.

          We’ll do lunch.

      • Malisha says:

        MMPat, I think to be safe her working title should be:

        “My life [if you could call it that] of lies [except for the part about Peter Pan, who is real, unlike the imaginary friends of SOME people I know such as the army of Black people that Mark Osterman was gonna organize into a march if they weren’t too busy being up to no good] with [if you could call it that] Fogen [unless by then I have forgotten his name].” 😈

      • PiranhaMom says:

        @Missionary –

        Yes, Shellie may recognize that GZ has mental/emotional/abusive issues.

        The one reason I think she might refuse to testify, even if pushed, is her fear that GZ might not be convicted – even with a re-trial, if GZ is still out on bail – she would fear for her life if she had testified.

        If her attorney cuts a deal for her, it should include 5 – 10 years of witness protection, or until GZ is convicted, sentenced and incarcerated .

  9. ay2z says:

    This is off topic, but visited Blackbutterfly tonight and played Senior Zim’s ”make it stop’ audio and something that he said caught my attention. Never thought it could mean anything significant before, as Sr Zim was saying how upset the news was when everything was not true.

    He said he heard a story about his son “being on patrol with someone else and something else happened”.

    This could have been anything about nothing, or speculation about past events, but what if this notion originated from inside his family’s camp, some chat going on and he thought it was some more made up media stories. Wondering because the venture into Colonial Village and texting sis back and forth before heading to the store, sure sounds like others involved in surveillance as he was on patrol, and something else happened, like following a boy from Colonial mail and cutting him off at Taafee’s place.

    It’s possible that Sr Zim heard about the tests as he said on TV, but he might also have heard more and thought it was just stories.

    • ay2z says:

      texts. the text messages

    • Two sides to a story says:


    • aussie says:

      “Being on patrol with someone else” is one of the stories Robert Snr was claiming people were making up and spreading around…. stories that were being spread. One more thing for him to be upset about.

      “.. Wondering because the venture into Colonial Village and texting sis back and forth before heading to the store, ..” there is ZERO evidence for. That is all speculation, largely here on this blog, and of very recent origin, ie about a year after Robert Snr made his “make it go away” speech to the cops.

      • cielo62 says:

        aussie~ but any texting done by GZ will come out as soon as his phone records become available at trial. Again, just speculation but it can fit within the parameters of Dee Dee’s explanation of Trayvon’s journey back home. There IS a path that could include Colonial Village which also has an actual “shed” structure where Trayvon might have harbored from the rain. Again, once the phone records become available, this theory could just as likely end up on the dung heap.

        • Lonnie Starr says:

          The Colonial Village mail kiosk is too out of the way to be of much use. Trayvon would more likely have kept moving through CV and, if needed used a breeze way for shelter, rather than the mail kiosk there.

    • Lonnie Starr says:

      Let me clarify the current consensus; Although GZ claims to have first noticed Trayvon near Taaffe’s, that is a likely story, based upon the cctv’s showing he didn’t stop there. The only car on RVC in the right time frame to be his, comes straight over to TTL, loops back to RVC then turns and goes back to the mail kiosk again.

      At the time this car comes into view, Trayvon is already at the mail kiosk, thus the FT leg of the story is false. But, additionally, GZ could not know that Trayvon had not been captured on other cctv’s that might have made his FT place story even more wildly false. Thus, to fabricate this segment, with any hope of success, GZ had to have been informed that Trayvon had traveled this route. Thus we now have DD confirming it.

      GZ’s ability to be accurate about things he could not have seen himself, indicates that he’s being informed, either before or after the fact, by someone. Thus, we have to look at what he said, when he said it, and what could have been known by whom before then.

      • tonydphotog says:

        I’ve always had a problem trying to understand why Fogen didn’t know the color of Trayvon’s pants, but was very thorough describing everything else. Did his informant forget to mention the color of his pants? I would guess, yes.

        Also, I believe the first time he actually saw Trayvon was when he blurted out that he’s black. It was as if he suddenly had a visual on Trayvon.

        • Lonnie Starr says:

          Hmmm… Good catch! GZ didn’t know the color of Trayvon’s pants, but he could see the button on the hoodie, and get the color of the hoodie right as nautical twilight was ending on an overcast day. Hmmm… Perhaps GZ’s spotters did not want to be listed on GZ’s phone? Then he could have had them calling someone else who was in the truck with him. Probably in the back seat, ducking down and gesturing which way to go and other hand signals.

          Gee this is way too complicated to be the simple thing it appears, I really hope this isn’t true. But we can’t stick our heads in the sand, we have to be prepared for this to be something worse than M2, it already seems that way, even without a conspiracy theory. But there’s so many artifacts circling around, it wouldn’t take much evidence to push this thing over the edge.

      • You all have thoughtful comments says:

        I think that mentioning Trayvon’s white shoes and tan pants would have pointed to the fact that Trayvon was dressed conservatively.
        George did NOT want to paint the picture that Trayvon was dressed conservatively.

        • Lonnie Starr says:

          Speaking of dress, if you look at the first bail hearing again, you’ll no doubt notice that GZ looks great in chains.

          • PiranhaMom says:


            ” if you look at the first bail hearing again, you’ll no doubt notice that GZ looks great in chains.”

            Bling, bling, bling …

          • Lonnie Starr says:

            Also notice how MOM goes over to him, knowing that his hands are chained to his waist, and offers to shake hands??!!?? You can see how the gesture tortures GZ, with difficulty he extends his hand and it’s stopped by the chains because MOM has kept his own hand just a bit too far for GZ to reach. Only after GZ’s hand stops for that fraction of a second, does MOM close the rest of the distance so they can shake.

            Because the hand shake is so unnecessary, anyone want to venture a guess why MOM saw fit to torture GZ? [1st bond hearing vid]

  10. boar_d_laze says:

    Professor Leatherman wrote:
    I believe an interesting argument can be made, pursuant to FL Stat. 90.504(3)(c), that Shellie Zimmerman can testify about disclosures by her husband regarding the alleged murder since she is a “defendant-spouse.” Even though she is a defendant in a different case, the two are related matters.

    Interesting hypothesis, but not a colorable argument.

    Although Shellie Zimmerman is a defendant in a case which is related to Florida v. George Zimmerman, it’s not sufficiently related to provide grounds for revoking the privilege because Ms. Zimmerman lacks any adverse life, liberty, safety, or property interests (as expressed in the statue) in the case against Mr. Zimmerman for murder.

    Therefore neither she nor the Court may deny Mr. Zimmerman’s claim of privilege should he choose to invoke it.

    The argument made by several posters that Mr. Zimmerman may lack standing to assert spousal privilege because he and Mrs. Zimmerman are (or may be) separated is false on its face. Section 1 of the statute expressly states that the privilege may be invoked by either spouse for any communication made while the couple were husband and wife — even after the marriage has ended. “Separation” is not an exception.

    It’s always a good idea to read a statute before trying to outsmart it.


    • Rachael says:


      • Mary Davis says:

        @ Rachael. No you never said she deserved help. I didn’t mean to insinuate that either. I also know what an abusive relationship can do to someone, being in one myself many years ago. Frankly, if it were me, I would make a deal to save my ass, especially when my husband is not looking out for my interest. But at the same time I don’t know how she could have just looked
        the other way. I would feel differently if she would have said “Honey we just cannot do this. This is not going to work. This is going to backfire on us. This is just not right”. She just seemed to care only about the money. Like you said, it is not to late for her to do the right thing. Let’s just hope she does the right thing.

    • JUN says:

      I am not sure if it pans out because Fogen is already throwing her under the proverbial bus

      • ay2z says:

        Nostalgic, bet no one has heard of this band in the US, but it’s a precursor to BTO. About his girl leaving…. Done Shellie’s gone (if and when it happens, for her own sake)

      • boar_d_laze says:

        You’re not sure if what pans out?


      • JUN says:

        your theory

      • boar_d_laze says:


        What I’m writing isn’t “theory.” Nor is it a matter which is open for legal debate.

        It’s both statutory and well-settled, “black letter” law that the Florida spousal privilege belongs to the defendant whether or not he’s “throwing [his spouse] under the proverbial bus.”

        No matter what the spouse’s feelings are for the defendant at the time testimony is sought, there’s nothing the non-defendant spouse can do about it.


      • JUN says:

        I think you need to reread it because it says that the spouse can testify if they choose to

        Look under 3 c of the rules

    • SearchingMind says:

      @ boar_d_laze

      You said: “The argument made by several posters that Mr. Zimmerman may lack standing to assert spousal privilege because he and Mrs. Zimmerman are (or may be) separated is false on its face. Section 1 of the statute expressly states that the privilege may be invoked by either spouse for any communication made while the couple were husband and wife — even after the marriage has ended. “Separation” is not an exception.”

      I think the above statement is just not correct – on several grounds of which I will but state and elaborate on two:

      a. It is flat-out wrong to state that “Section 1 of the statute expressly states that the privilege may be invoked by either spouse for ANY communication made while the couple were husband and wife …”. There is, IMO, an ocean of difference between your claim and what is actually in the Statute. As the Professor correctly pointed out, FL Stat. 90.504(1) protects only “communications which were intended to be made in confidence between the spouses”. The only “communications” protected under the statute are those communications that were:

      (1) made between both spouses (i.e. Shellie and GZ),

      (2) in the absence of third parties (i.e. any individual who is neither Shellie nor GZ) and

      (3) where both spouses (i.e. Shellie and GZ) have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

      Anything (communication or otherwise) that does not meet aforementioned requirement is NOT protected.

      A good deal of information Shellie may have, fall outside the ambits of FL Stat. 90.504(1). Among such information would be:

      (i) information/knowledge Shellie gained independent of GZ,

      (ii) communications Shellie and Zimmerman had with- or in the presence of third parties,

      (iii) communication Shellie alone had with third parties,

      (iv) communications GZ had with third parties in the presence of Shellie,

      (v) Shellie’s knowledge of GZ’s whereabouts in the hours preceding to the murder (yes I said murder!),

      (v) the ownership- and the daily use of the murder weapon (GZ claims he always had the loaded murder weapon on himself except at work. That raises very serious questions that might see this case turning into murder1 – if GZ lied about that),

      (vi) the jail house calls, etc.

      Thus, your suggestion/assertion that there exists a BLANKET SPOUSAL PRIVILEGE is an ILLUSION.

      b. I think it is hasty and on the face of it wrong to assume that some posters have stated that GZ lack standing to assert spousal privilege because GZ and Shellie are/may be separated. No poster here has stated any such thing. The separation-argument has to do with Shellie’s emotional/mental ability/strength to testify against someone she is living with under the same roof, while married to him and in love/sleeping with him. If GZ and Shellie are no longer living together as husband and wife, it will be (according to “some posters”) a lot easier for Shellie to testify against GZ regarding matters that do NOT fall within the perimeters of FL Stat. 90.504(1) and NO spousal privileged may as such be successfully asserted by GZ.

      boar_d_laze, I would really like if you stay, debate and shear your vast legal experience with us, instead of taking off anytime your positions are challenged and then drop in again after several weeks/months exclusively to point to some “errors” and then take off again when challenged. I hope you prove me wrong – this time around.

      • PiranhaMom says:

        @ Searching,

        While we’re waiting to see if BDL returns, could you check out the scenario I posited re: Shellie in the Honda w/GZ (if the prosecution has phone pings saying her phone was there).

        If she was in the vehicle that night, can BDLR quiz her about it? Without mentioning GZ? Is it verboten for Shellie to ID GZ?


      • SearchingMind says:

        PiranhaMom, I just finished reading your post from 20 April 2013 at 6:43am up-thread and no one has articulated why Shellie’s testimony is relevant better than you did. Prosecutors (and I am sure they have more questions for Shellie) may not need Shellie to make their case, but Shellie’s testimony would indeed still be a huge coup-d’état for prosecutors. The questions you formulated could be answered without any breach of spousal privilege (and I know Professor will chime in with corrections if I am wrong). Shellie can also be asked to ID GZ in court by pointing to him (but it would also be enough if she says ‘my husband’ and BDLR asks: ‘by your husband you mean the defendant, GMZ? ‘ and Shellie replies: ‘yes’).

        • PiranhaMom says:

          @Searcher –

          Thanks for taking all that time. I needed to know whether GZ could prevent Shellie from testifying as to her own observations and knowledge of events that DO include her husband.

          I recognize two factors — it would take one other item of evidence (phone GPS records) to place her in the truck with GZ that night to enable the prosecution to “squeeze” her (under the threat that she could be charged with being a co-conspirator or accessory?). And that she could take the Fifth – but, if she had an agreement to testify in exchange for “consideration” GZ could not, then, prevent her from taking the stand and telling what she knows. (Not what GZ “said.”)

          The reason(s) I think Shellie may have been in the truck is his inadvertent blurt of “my wife” and that Trayvon could be checking to see “who else” was there (sorry I don’t have he precise quote for that) – and also that it was usual for them both to go shopping together.

          At Sanford PD that night Zimmerman did not really have the cash (or credit available) to go shopping, but it would be reasonable to think she, as “the little wifey” carried the purse – with the money. (Most guys HATE grocery shopping but GZ strikes me as so controlling that he would insist on supervising her purchases … “No carrots! We already have two carrots at home!”)

          Additionally, some here have heard what they consider to be “suggestions” from someone else in the vehicle during GZ’s tracking after Trayvon, overheard on the NEN311 call.

          That could be Shellie.

          But I think the decisive factor would be evidence from her cell phone via GPS tracking that night.

          This technology could enable the prosecution to secure her testimony.

          Thanks, Searcher, for establishing that GZ cold not prevent that testimony.

      • boar_d_laze says:

        If in some way it seemed as though I were expanding the privilege beyond the plain meaning of the statute, I apologize for lack of clarity.

        Yes, the privilege only extends to those communications which were intended to be private communications at the time they were made.

        However, in those jurisdictions which do recognize spousal privilege, as a practical matter, spouses are seldom called to testify about almost any communication made between them.

        Communications which were not intended to be private are usually irrelevant, immaterial, banal and mundane. You’re not going to get a conviction on “He asked me, ‘would you care for more sugar?'” Or, “Do you think Tim Gunn is gay?”

        If the immaterial communication was part of a larger conversation in which held some material evidence and the prosecutor is trying to insinuate the evidence without actually educing it, that prosecutor will and should be stopped by the defense attorney and/or the trial judge. If not, there will be grounds for appeal.

        If there is some doubt as to whether the communication was intended to be privileged — for instance if it was made in a public place but out of earshot of any witness — careful judges will err on the side of privilege if there is any doubt. Consequently, it’s usually a waste of time and good will to attempt to bring such a communication into evidence. Even if the testimony is allowed, it will be fertile grounds for appeal.

        And, if the communication was made in the hearing of a third party, so clearly not intended to be private, the third party will be called to testify — not the spouse.

        Prosecutors who feel compelled to bring in meaningless detail, and/or motion for the admission of evidence which should be properly excluded, irritate courts and jurors, and lose a lot of cases which would otherwise be slam dunks. Marsha Clark is an outstanding example.


        • Hi, Boar.

          Always a pleasure.

          You make good points. However, we may have a situation which may be closer to that of a married couple acting as coconspirators with the intent of achieving a specific criminal purpose.

          We do not know what Shellie would say, if she agreed to cooperate and testify against her husband. Depending on what her testimony would be, which could be ascertained by voluntary proffer from her attorney if she is seeking a deal, she may have acted with intent to assist him to detain Trayvon before the murder knowing that he was armed and the confrontation would at least involve an assault, and after the murder she may acted with intent to help him evade prosecution by fleeing the jurisdiction with her money manipulations and her perjury at the bail hearing.

          Whether indicted or not, I think the existence of a criminal partnership may well pierce the marital veil as to communications in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy that, absent a criminal purpose, would normally be shielded and protected by the privilege.

          That’s the essence of my argument.

        • Lonnie Starr says:

          Normally you would be correct, because the information usually sought in such cases is either privileged or irrelevant. However, in this case the information that would be sought would not have to be privileged and would still be relevant and material, because well…

          Let’s say GZ had asked Shelly to pass the sugar, in this case that information would be very important, since it places them at a location at a particular time. Things that Shelly observed at different times would give us her location and probably GZ’s location as well.

          So, even without hearing privileged information, there’s quite a bit to learn if Shelly were to testify.

      • boar_d_laze says:

        Searching Mind,

        Your comments about me were uninformed, untrue, rude and unnecessary.


      • whonoze says:


        Since you’re taking a wider view of spousal privilege than Searching, I’m curious how you’d interpret the presence of a third party issue, if the third party was material to the case.

        For example, let’s say Mark Osterman was at the Zimmerman home when GZ received a phone call informing him of a ‘suspicious person’ walking through RATL. Let’s say SZ, MO and GZ were all in the same room at the time. Let’s say SZ overhead GZ and MO discuss what GZ should do, and GZ concluded that he should take his gun, go out and investigate, with MO staying behind because an Air Marshall can’t get personally involved in such things.

        Let’s say Shellie was willing to testify to all this. Would MO’s presence as a third party enable her to do so, or do you think if MOM asserted spousal privilege Judge Nelson would rule in his favor? Strictly hypothetically, of course.

      • whonoze says:

        @Searching Mind:

        Boar may (or may not) have over-reacted to your comments, but I would politely suggest that we refrain from things like making assumptions about why people do or don’t post messages here.

      • SearchingMind says:

        @ boar_d_laze

        I apologize, boar. All the people here have been- and are doing excellent job. But without you and Case#1, it feels different. I had to be forceful in my rebuttal to, inter alia, get you to know that you have been missed.

      • Malisha says:

        I believe that privilege also vanishes if the spouse invoking it has already told the same thing or similar things to any other third person involved. IOW if Fogen told Shellie something AND also told it to: Osterman, Taaffe, Daddy, Junior, Gracie, Hannity and all of America, Sean on the NEN call, witnesses at the scene, Singleton, Tim Smith, or any other third party (which presumably would include the first two bozo attorneys who purported to represent him before he was charged), his spousal privilege would evaporate as to the subject matter of the disclosures. Only if he told (a) Shellie and (b) his doctor and/or his lawyer whom he agrees was actually his lawyer [therefore, NOT the two bozos] could he maintain the privilege.

    • Yep, I know it’s a stretch, and if I were a prosecutor, I would want to avoid injecting an unnecessary appealable issue into the record, but I think it’s a tantalizing issue nevertheless.

  11. colin black says:

    You all have thoughtful comments says:

    April 20, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Don’t think twice about it, Trained Observer.

    GZ probably wears a long, blonde wig when he goes out and Shellie probably wears a hoodie and elevated men’s shoes
    No your getting him confused with Junior.

  12. Trained Observer says:

    Crazy1946 — Always a possibility! When it comes to exploiting the elderly, there’s no end to who likes to get in on the game. Take this bit of messiness involving a former Broward Circuit Judge who also presided over part of the Anna Nicole Smith court wrangling.

  13. crazy1946 says:

    I have noticed many people commenting on SZ and her nursing goals. I would suggest that many have a miss conception as to what her career goal’s actually were! I submit that she was not studying to become a LPN or a RN, but simply a Nurses Aide

    Click to access oei-05-01-00031.pdf

    In the state of Florida they must be licensed to be hired. Now because it fits the profile of both she and Fogen, most of the NA’s deal with the elderly, one could suspect that Fogen supported her in this endeavor because it offered not only an income (from SZ’s) work it also offered the opportunity to possibly profit from befriending some elderly people who had assets that he felt he was entitled to! Perhaps some of you will disagree with what I am saying, so be it, however look at both of these losers and you might consider what I have said is not only possible, but likely as well…
    SZ will not turn on Fogen unless she knows for sure that he will be convicted, she is scared of him and what he would do to her if she did. Don’t consider that she will make it into a “witness protection” program, she is small potatoes and offers no real benefit to the state or federal government in her testimony! The only thing she would receive from turning on Fogen is possibly having the felony charges dropped or receive a lighter sentence for the crime she committed…

    • Xena says:


      Perhaps some of you will disagree with what I am saying, so be it, however look at both of these losers and you might consider what I have said is not only possible, but likely as well…

      You’re not far from the mark. On his application to Seminole Community College for vocational certification, it had “LPN” as career, but he then went for licensing as an insurance agent. So, the nursing thing for ShelLIE was most likely GZ’s idea since he apparently failed pre-registration tests for the LPN program. His math scores are horrible.

    • type1juve says:

      Thanks so much for pointing this out. SZ doesn’t appear to have the brains nor the temperament to become a nurse. It is an insult to nurses for the media to continue to push that lie. She was studying to become a nurse like Fogen had aspirations of becoming a judge. They are both losers and SZ is probably knee deep in this shit which is why she is staying so quiet.

      • ladystclaire says:

        @type1juve, I’ve been a CNA and even though it’s not like being a nurse per say, Those of us who were/are CNA’S did indeed hold the lives of those who depended on us, in our hands. I can look at this woman and tell, that she is not one who would even make a good CNA, let alone a RN. you see, the LPN programs have been phased out completely so, you either advance your RN degree by obtaining a BS or you go on to become a Nurse Practitioner.

        One can also further their Nursing education by becoming a Physician’s Assistant. IMO, ShelLie does not have the personality nor the attitude to be either of the medical personnel which I have listed here.

        Also like you, I believe she is involved in this entire thing also. she has really kept a low profile and, with that said, I believe she was with her low life husband when he took that child’s life. There is also the matter of how some in this country are smearing a deceased kid who did no harm what so ever to Fogen or anybody else for that matter. it is so wrong, for these people to make up lies about Trayvon as well and, what they are doing to his family is wrong as well.

        This POS Zimmerman is the only one, who can put an end to this entire campaign to smear this child and his family. it’s really a shame, that there are so many hate filled people in this country, who call this B*****D a hero among other things just because hi murdered an AA child. I have read some really awful things that they have posted on various sites and, it’s all uncalled for.

    • Rachael says:

      I thought someone located her online school and unless she was going for something after her RN – like a masters or maybe it was a nurse practitioner or something (where you already had to be an RN), there only was a CNA offered.

      I agree with you about the witness protection thing but having felony charges dropped could be motivating enough, especially if she has spent enough time away from him now and has been receiving counseling. Also, if there is any chance they could say she is an accomplice, that would be very motivational too.

      I also agree about the befriending elderly with assets part.

      I know for a fact that just because they may not do the witness protection thing, doesn’t mean they can’t help her in other ways. BTDT.

      • Xena says:


        I thought someone located her online school and unless she was going for something after her RN – like a masters or maybe it was a nurse practitioner or something (where you already had to be an RN), there only was a CNA offered.

        Not even CNA. Rather, a diploma in Medical Assisting Services.

        The payment ShelLIE made to Herzing University Online was a mere $50.00 — not nearly enough tuition for an advanced program.

        On their website, they announce that they have a new 12 month program — Diploma in Practicing Nursing in Florida.

      • Rachael says:

        Good God! I really wish the newspapers would stop with the nursing student stuff.

        • Xena says:


          Good God! I really wish the newspapers would stop with the nursing student stuff.

          Tells us the difference between reporters and investigative journalists, doesn’t it? It also lacks all common sense because they should know that no one can learn nursing online.

          But, it goes along with the story that GZ purchased 2 guns. That was not verified and when GZ killed Trayvon, it was with the gun registered to ShelLIE.

      • crazy1946 says:

        Xena, I think if you look close enough you might discover that the medial assistant course is for employment as a CNA. I would suggest that you consider that SZ was using a student loan to take that course, much like Fogen probably did to attend the school that he did not complete. Wouldn’t it be funny if the IRS were to attach the funds that they have to pay off their student loans! SZ is possibly in more trouble than has been brought out yet, did she knowingly purchase a gun for Fogen, that is called a straw purchase and the penalty is pretty high. Even if Fogen manages to some how weasel his way out of this one, he still will have a lot of problems with the law… Karma can be a real b****h sometimes! Ok, I suppose it is time for me to return to my place under the rock!
        With all you folks that are saying “from the desk of ++++” maybe I should have put “from the outhouse of Crazy1946”?

        • Xena says:


          Xena, I think if you look close enough you might discover that the medial assistant course is for employment as a CNA.

          There is nothing “certified” in the program information.

          I would suggest that you consider that SZ was using a student loan to take that course, much like Fogen probably did to attend the school that he did not complete.

          What do you think the $50 payment to the school was for?

          Wouldn’t it be funny if the IRS were to attach the funds that they have to pay off their student loans!

          Hahaha. By the end of June, there won’t be a penny in the defense fund for any attachment.

          Ok, I suppose it is time for me to return to my place under the rock!

          Please don’t. Stay out in the fresh air. 🙂

        • PiranhaMom says:

          @ crazy –

          You hit it right the first time: ” … from under the rock of crazy1946.”

          (O–house, on this blog, has an “unfortunate” connotation.)

          Welcome aboard, crazy – well-presented post!

      • Rachael says:

        Well Xena, there are online nursing programs, but you still have to do clinicals, which cannot be done online.

        • Xena says:


          Well Xena, there are online nursing programs, but you still have to do clinicals, which cannot be done online.

          Whew!! That’s a relief to hear. For a moment there I thought you were going to say that students have to make dolls and stick them with needles. 🙂

      • Mary Davis says:

        @ Rachael. This is just my opinion. I don’t think SZ deserve any help whatsoever. Fogen did not put a gun to her head and make her obey him and lie about the money. Just listen to the jailhouse calls. She was so excited about all the money and what a good life they were gonna have. She never once thought about what her husband did to a young teen, actually killing Trayvon. Her mind was only on the money. She is a greedy b—h. I don’t mean to sound cold, but I can’t help the way I feel. Like Fogen, she deserves jail time for her perjury. I really don’t think the prosecution needs her to convict Fogen. If she was a decent person and really cared about herself and her husband, I think she would have advised him to do the right thing about the money. I just hope she doesn’t get off lightly.

      • Rachael says:

        @Mary Davis,

        I don’t know that I said she deserves help. I just said that it is possible they could make a deal and help her. I also agree she should have done the right thing – but it isn’t too late. Then she was “in love” with him and like you said, greedy, thinking only of the life she/they would have. But I still say that if she has been away from him and receiving counseling, she might now care enough about herself and Trayvon’s family to do the right thing. Certainly, it would have been better at the time, but I’ve been in abusive relationships (and believe me, if she was involved with GZ, the relationship was abusive, even if not physically), and things are not what they seem all the time. But it isn’t too late for her to do the right thing now – provided she is really doing it for the right reason and not just to make a deal to preserve her own life, which might be all that it would be, which would be sad. I mean the end result would be the same, but if she did it because she really believed it was the right thing to do, I would feel differently than if she just did it to save her ass.

      • Rachael says:

        @Xena – LOL – there is a doll I’d love to make and stick needles into.

      • Rachael says:

        Let me know when they’re done. They could sell them to raise money so we can all go to the trial. It will be our “trial fund.” LOL

  14. You all have thoughtful comments says:

    The fact that no pictures of gz with his family have been released just reinforces that gz has been estranged from his brother and mother and probably still is.

    I think that his family has come to his defense for their own private reasons and not for any good feelings they have for gz.

    The public is not dumb. They will realize this.

    • PYorck says:

      Because of the strange dynamics in that family I wonder if there is any chance at all that GZ will throw them under the bus during the trial. Not to excuse a single thing he did, but from everything I hear I do not envy his life. Now that the defense has effectively admitted that his account is untenable and it will be very difficult to replace it with a good alternative, I could imagine a sob story about how a life of abuse turned him into the loser he is today.

    • Malisha says:

      YAHTC, there you go again claiming (without evidence) that “the public is not dumb.”

  15. fauxmccoy says:


  16. dianetrotter says:

    What else would you put on a knucke head other than a knuckle bandage.

  17. Xena says:

    So, Shellie can answer questions about on Sundays, “they” always do their grocery shopping. She can answer how GZ came into possession of a gun registered in her name. She might even be asked questions as to how the decision came about for them to pack up and move out of their home when GZ left the police station after killing Trayvon.

    Oh — and knuckle bandages — gotta ask her why she put knuckle bandages on GZ’s head when the physician’s assistant did not apply bandages and said to treat with soap and water.

    • Trained Observer says:

      @Xena — posted a “beg to differ” response to your take on SZ as a pre-Civil War bride on previous thread 🙂 Can’t wait for more about the Missus to surface. Table may be tilted in your favor, given Sims’ “getting stronger” statement.

      P.S. Speaking of groceries, I was at Winn-Dixie Tuesday night 4/16 (typically I shop by day, weekends), so I don’t know the night shift. In a wide, uncongested area near the meat case, a W-D guy, 25 or so, walked up behind me and loudly asked “and how are you tonight, young lady?”

      First, I’m not ancient, but I ain’t young.
      Second, my appearance is always low-profile, and I wasn’t flashing tatts, tights or purple hair.
      Finally, I wasn’t looking puzzled or like I needed help.

      So, you ask, what’s your point? When I turned around, the inquiring W-D guy looked (I’d swear under oath) like a clone of Fogen. Not the current fatso, or the slimmer version emerging from jail after bond was revoked, but the Fogen of Feb. 26, 2012. — same age, body type, face, hair cut, same everything right down to the smirk.

      I was so shocked, I didn’t even have time to give him a withering glance for his age-stupid inquiry before one of the managers called him away for some task. It was not my plan to say anything here about this, but I’ll admit the experience lingers.

      No, no, no, I don’t think Fogen has shucked his GPS to become a South Florida W-D stocker.

      But I do wonder: How many Zimmerman-type cousins are on the loose in Florida? Do they all have the same offensive personality trait … hell-bent on calling attention to themselves even when no one’s paying attention?

      • Xena says:

        @Trained Observer.

        Do they all have the same offensive personality trait … hell-bent on calling attention to themselves even when no one’s paying attention?

        It’s called flirting. LOL!!!

        Yep — GZ was flirting on Hannity’s program. He wanted people to like him — send him money — a real Gigolo without physical intimacy.

      • You all have thoughtful comments says:

        Don’t think twice about it, Trained Observer.

        GZ probably wears a long, blonde wig when he goes out and Shellie probably wears a hoodie and elevated men’s shoes.

      • Two sides to a story says:


        I saw a Fogen clone walking across a restaurant parking lot in Cali last summer. A delicious irony, as the look-alike was most likely Mexican and not white/black/Peruvian.

      • Malisha says:

        They don’t have to look like Fogen to act like that, of course.

        There was some kind of crime-and-forensic show on TV and it began (in the part where they always discover a body) with some guys working in an industrial laundry and laundry coming down the chute for them to put into the big machines and there was a body rolling down the chute. One of the actors playing a laundry-worker was the spit and image of Fogen @ 2/26/2012!

        He had no speaking parts. But when the made-for-TV movies start coming out about this case, he will have his big break! (I never could discover his name; I did look for it unsuccessfully.)

    • Nef05 says:

      She can also state if she saw him receive a phone call immediately prior to leaving, though she probably can’t speak to whatever he told her the phone call was about or who he told her was calling . Though if he did get a call and said the caller’s name during the phone conversation, anything she heard during the conversation to the 3rd party, or she happened to look at the caller ID and recognized the number, she could say that.

      She could also say whether she saw him drinking any alcoholic beverages that day, and how close it happened prior to him leaving the house. As well as anything she may have personally observed regarding seeing him take his medication (taking more than prescribed, taking with alcohol, etc).

      She could be a veritable mine of information, based solely on what she observed, which is fair game under privilege.

    • gbrbsb says:

      I’d be happy she answer any with or all of that… but will she, and will she answer honestly, which is maybe on of the reasons why there is such a thing as spousal privilege. That said, the UK no longer has spousal privilege as such so that a spouse can testify for or against (except if co-defendants) and while a defendant can compel a spouse to testify in their favour, the prosecution cannot compel a spouse to testify against a defendant except in very limited circumstances. Something like that.

  18. colin black says:

    I dont think Shellie is liveibg with foggagge word estranged springs to mind.
    Either wich way this man has ruined many lives as well as stolen Trayvons with a callous reflect action that other people would have more thought on swattting a fly.

    Than this deviant took in ending a Childs life.Whilst Begging Pleading for mercy an Screaming for help that would never arrive.

    G Z was an is a SOULESS EMPTY PEICE OF HUMANT FLOTSAM SET TO WASH UP in obscurity alone in prison.

    His FamiY hate him an exiled him from there lifes in shame at his molestasion of his Cousin as well as inumrable things we have not heard about.

    They spring to his defence because he has ammunition about inner family practices .secrets that if revealed to the public would prove even more harmfull.
    Than defending an admitted CHILD KILLER.

    So what ever it is its HUGE,,,,So they paid to keep him away from the Parents Papa Zimm agreed to pay his rent an utilites no doubt.
    Anything to keep him at Bay .
    Probably forgot to pay foggagges electric utillity bill once an he got cut off.

    In a rage he went round an cut Mamma Zimms electric of to mirror what had happened to him.

    He likes to mirror his behaviour an greivances on others.Because its always other peoples faults.
    Anyway whatever the SECRET Is just like jodi airas trial all evidence will come out in the wash.

    Right about now foggagge will be unbearable to live with an I susspect Shellie quit a while ago for the sake of her sanity at the very least.
    And her life at the very worst….Foggagge=TIME BOMB.

    The pressures faceing him are imence an all the while his trial is aproaching at an ever increaseing rate of speed.

    The light at the end of the Tunnel is an on comeing bullet train.

    • It would be interesting to find shellie in a witness protection program….

      Were fogen family or zimbots were to find out she’s gonna turn…..she’s in danger….

    • Two sides to a story says:

      Well, I’m not sure, but I suppose it’s possible the 100-pound weight gain could be due to Shellie leaving, although MOM spoke of them as being together in that era, I think.

  19. Ty Flair says:

    Great post,I never went to college like you guys and don’t understand the legal system.I have learn so much here,but I still get confuse alot. So you telling me his will do not have to get on the stand she is on the witness list and will be under oath. If she can talk doing the bail hearing,she should take the stand. I have one more question in may seem dumb but when a judge say over rule or substain what do that mean. I’m trying to learn as much for this trail don’t want to be lost doing this case.

    • Rachael says:

      When the judge says overruled, it means he/she does not agree with the objection and they can go ahead and answer. When they say sustained, it means the judge does agree with the objection and not to answer.

      Here is something I’ve learned about the legal system. For every law there is an exception and and exception to the exception and perhaps and exception to the exception’s exception. It is crazymaking sometimes. LOL

  20. racerrodig says:

    Not to play “Know it all” but I took a stab in the dark in talking to one of my Federal guys and I’d say they have been apart for several months. I’ve been saying phone records since April of last year as the death blow to at least 3 of them. My guys all grin, laugh, and have body language that indicates she may not be on his side any longer.

    • Trained Observer says:

      @racerrodig — I well remember your comments. Also memorable is her attorney Kelly B. Sims’ remark to the media about the Missus “getting stronger” every day.

      Amid much speculation that she’s flipped, I doubt she (or any spouse, partner, etc.) does so lightly.

      But if not Sims, surely someone in authority has pointed out to her the financial liabilities of remaining wed to a guy in line for a Murder2 conviction,

      On her perjury charge alone, Sims is obligated to advise that a likely felony conviction will jeopardize her future job prospects, her “nursing” career (which I think is a load of marlarky) not withstanding.

      It’s a given that the only two people who know all that goes on within a marriage are the two in that marriage. I do think she’s smart enough to see Fogen let her do the dirty work under oath while he, as Judge Lester noted, played potted palm. Therefore, while only a guess, I think the Fogen marriage is all but over, except for the official divorce filing and finalization.

      Without flipping, she’s doomed.

      So, yes, professor, I think she’ll testify on how she came to tell the court what she did about their lack of assets without revealing existence of Peter Pan money. And I think she’ll go further than that on how her gun ended up being used in a killing.

      QUICK QUESTION: if the Missus were to supply the State with solid evidence to help pin down a Fogen advance plan on bagging himself a fuckin’ coon/punk, is it too late for the State to up the charge to Murder1?

      (I’m thinking the State would NOT do that because it would give MOM good reason to demand a continuance on prepping for a charge charrying a potential death penalty.)

      But in theory is it too late to up the charge?

      • bettykath says:

        irrc, based on previous topics, murder 1 requires a grand jury indictment but this isn’t before any charge so maybe it doesn’t apply. It would require a delay in the trial and for what? execution? The max for m2 is life. For those of us opposed to capital punishment, life is enough.

      • No, it’s not too late to up the charge to M1, but they would have to grand jury the case and reschedule the trial date after the indictment is returned.

        And they would have to jump through all of these hoops to get to the same life sentence that he’s likely to get for M2. That’s why I do not see it happening.

      • colin black says:

        Yes its one thing to stay loyal to an ongoing.Gravytrain with strangers posting more money into your hands.
        Than you have ever received or thought you would see in your life time.
        Short of winning the lottery.

        People ideoligiseing your partner an he is talked of as a some body.
        Not the loser you suspected youd married but a bona fide celeb..

        Its a whole nother encholada when not only has the gravytrain come to a halt.
        But your in debt liveing with not a celed but a despised walking target for retribution from many many paerts.
        THE LAW

        And you your self are now faceing criminal charges because he coached you on a recorded telephone call to lie to the court.

        Whilst he remained silent an now you face imprisonment an a life long felony record.
        For lieing about money thats long since dissapeared into other peoples pockets/

        Yup Shellie has a million an one reosons to want to get shot of this ball an chain around her ankles.

        He is heading for a life in the big house three hots an a cot.
        An any debts liable for his murderous behaviour .Any suiters after his estate will focous in on his imeadiate family.
        An that means you Shellie.
        Do the decent thing an tell the truth Its at least a begining of redeeming yourself.

        Dont suffer anymore for the sinns of the unhinged person an family you married into..

      • JUN says:

        Well if she flipped, she may have to skip out of town due to how crazy the Fogen gang members are

    • cielo62 says:

      FROM THE CLUTTERED DESK OF Cielo62~ I just can’t WAIT for the made-for-TV-movie that this case will surely create! FLIP Shellie, FLIP!

      • vickie s. votaw says:

        It would be cool to get the blog in the story of the trial. I wonder if it could be presented through the posts on the blog, when Iran was haveing their election protests, I made some videos in support of the protesters, I made friends with some of the activists, kind young man is writing a book about the whole trip, but his father is in prison over there , I’m sure still.

    • JUN says:

      Knowing Fogen, he wrote text messages that are damning

    • Two sides to a story says:

      I hope ya’ll are right, and would certainly be happy if you are, but as a flaming co-dependent, as it seemed in the jailhouse calls and possibly a devout Catholic, Shellie just might be doing something entirely different than what you think she is. Her strength just might related to her belief in Fogen’s God’s Plan, I’m sorry to say. And she just might be smart enough to not say boo even though Fogen’s family is nuts.

      • Xena says:

        @Two sides.

        … and possibly a devout Catholic …

        Not ShelLIE. Not even GZ. They were not married in any church by any member of clergy. They were married by a notary public; i.e., Sondra Osterman. Their marriage is not recognized by the Roman Catholic church.

      • Trained Observer says:

        Well, if the loyal Missus is that “smart,” she better resign herself to a life-long felony arrest and conviction on her resume for the money and passport obfuscation, up to a few (four?) years in the pen, and more time on probation.

      • ay2z says:

        Xena, I could never figure out what SO’s role to officiate at their wedding meant. Thanks for explaining that she’s a notary, didn’t know that. But still couldn’t figure how any wedding would be officiated without a priest or pastor. Now I get it– it’s called ‘frugal fogen’.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        I’d forgotten about the civil wedding. But do we know for sure that they didn’t have a religious ceremony at some point too? Some folks have both – do a civil first in a rush and then follow up with a clergyman.

      • pat deadder says:

        Two sides I hope everyone is correct as well.I just can’t figure SZ out obviously she lacks a lot of self confidence.Something I’ve wondered was how she felt about fogen having a tattoo of his cousin’s name on his chest and how did he explain that to her.God now I wonder if she knows about the molestation charges his cousin made.He is such a disgusting person.ooh I mean he is CREEPY..As well how after being charged with assaulting law enforcement was he ever allowed to get cw permit.I have so many questions not really related.And what was the tattoo on his arm.I agree with you not about her being religious but Shelley doing something entirely different than we think.

        • PiranhaMom says:


          If Shellie had an ounce of brains (and I think she has – she’s a survivor) she will get her attorney to get her a plea deal with probation but no jail time AND negotiate a publishing contract for “Surviving Life With George” – with the publisher lining up the ghostwriter NOW – with a $100,000 advance.

          It’s not worth more than that, but it gives her a nest egg to start a new life, get an apartment and an education. If her ghost-writer is good, she might even redeem herself with the public.

          On the other hand, if she was in that truck with Fogen on 2/26 — LET HER FRY!

    • Malisha says:

      He threw her under the bus so fast (April 2012) she couldn’t count the wheels as they ran over her!

  21. Trained Observer says:

    I know for sure what I’d like to think, but I am not sure I should be thinking it. Thank you for insights on this timely facet.

  22. Follow

    Happy 4-20 Ya’ll 🙂

    • Rachael says:

      LOL. I wish. Not today. Got too much work to do. 😦

      • cielo62 says:

        Great day here! BTW, I don’t think Shellie and George are still together. You don’t EVER see them together, not since the bond hearing and all the evidence has started to come out. After GZ is in prison, Shellie MIGHT keep MOM around for a divorce case. Pro Bono, of course.

      • Rachael says:

        Oh, it’s probably a great day here too, now that it’s legal and all. But I have to work all day and all night to get this done so I can spend tomorrow with my family.

    • Malisha says:

      😆 Pat. But now I’m too old. And prior to today I was too young.

  23. bettykath says:

    If I understand correctly, the spousal protection is for when a spouse does not want to testify. S/he can only be compelled to answer those questions that fit in the exceptions. However, can the spouse voluntarily testify on those things that would normally fit within the spousal protection?

    • PYorck says:

      There are two versions of this privilege. One is that an unwilling spouse can’t be compelled to testify. The other is that a defendant can prevent the other spouse from testifying. The exceptions can vary between them and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. As I understand it, in Florida the exceptions above are for both cases. I.e. unless an exception applies, either George or Shellie can prevent testimony.

      • gbrbsb says:

        Good then I think I could be on the right track, as that’s how I read it too, i.e. unless under an exception, either GZ or SZ will be able to silence one another.

    • SearchingMind says:

      IMO, no. I think both spouses must waive privileged concerning “communications made in confidence” (and the privilege does not go beyond “communications”, IMO). In Bolin Bolin v. State, 650 So. 2d 19 (Fla. 1995), the defendant’s ex-wife flipped on him and revealed confidential info to the authorities who based on that charged defendant with first degree murder. The defendant did not consent to her ex-wife shearing the confidential info in question with anyone. During the discovery process, the defendant took a deposition of his wife. The trial Court ruled that in doing so, spousal privilege was sufficiently waived by both spouses. The “confidential” info was consequently admitted into evidence. Defendant was convicted for murder1. This conviction was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court because the trial court erred in finding waiver of spousal privilege based on defendant’s deposition of ex-wife. Defendant was retried and again found guilty of the same charge.

      • PiranhaMom says:

        @Searching, PYorck, et al –

        Is the spousal privilege related only to “communication’?
        Would that only be spoken communication?
        Includes written communication?

        I have not read Osterman’s book, but supposedly Shellie was away from the house at the time Trayvon was killed, and that Osterman “drafted in” behind Shellie through the back gate – presumably after Shellie was called by Jon of “Call my wife. Just tell her I shot someone” fame.

        (Was GZ calling Osterman when the back of his dinged head was photographed by Jon?)

        But maybe the cops have traveling records of Shellie’s cell phone, and it was in the car with GZ when he went out “shopping at Target.” What would happen if Bernie embarked on this:

        Q. Mrs. Zimmerman, on the evening of Sunday, February 26 last year between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. were you at any time in a Honda Ridgeline SUV, license plate # ——— ?

        A. Yes.

        Q. And did you have your cell phone with you (Bernie identifies make/model of phone)?

        A. Yes.

        Q. Were you in the vehicle just described, when it was moving?

        A. Yes.

        Q. Would you tell us, please, were you the driver of the vehicle?

        A. No.

        Q. Then were you a passenger in the moving vehicle?

        A. Yes.

        Q. During that time period, when you were a passenger in the Honda Ridgeline just described, did the vehicle leave your residence?

        A.. Yes.

        Q. During that time period, when you were a passenger in the vehicle just described, did the vehicle exit the condo development property of Retreat at Twin Lakes?

        A. No.

        Q. During that time period, did the vehicle just described stop at the Club House on that property?

        A. Yes.

        Q. During that time period, did the vehicle just described, make any other stops?

        A. Yes

        Q. Could you tell us, please, how many other stops it made while you were in the vehicle?

        A. One.

        Q. Could you tell us please, where that stop was made, and show us on this map.

        A. We stopped at _________ , right here, on the map.

        Q. Now, Mrs. Zimmerman, at any time during your occupancy of that vehicle, during the hours specified on the night of February 26 last year, were there other passengers besides yourself in the vehicle?

        A. No.

        Q. So it was just you and the driver, is that correct?

        A. Yes.

        Q. And during the time you were in the vehicle, the time we’ve been discussing, did you make any telephone calls?

        A. No.

        Q. Did the driver make any telephone calls?

        A. Yes.

        Q.. Do you recall how many?

        A. One.

        Q. Mrs. Zimmerman, where were you seated during that call?

        A. On the right side, up front.

        Q. Were you in a position to hear at least the driver’s portion of the phone call?

        A Yes.

        Q. And at any time during the call you heard, was the vehicle moving?

        A. Yes.

        Q. Did the vehicle ever stop during the call you heard?

        A. Yes.

        Q. During that call, while you were in the vehicle, was it raining?

        A. Yes.

        Q. Did it rain constantly, or was it intermittent?

        A. Intermittent.

        Q. During the period it was raining, or when the rain stopped, could you see outside the vehicle, see through the windows?

        A. Yes, I could see.

        Q. While you were in the vehicle, were there people outside?

        A. Yes.

        Q. Did you see people while the vehicle was moving?

        A. Yes.

        Q. How any?

        A.. Just one.

        Q. Could you describe the one person you saw?

        A. A tall, thin man.

        Q. Could you tell us what that person was doing?

        A. Walking..

        Q. Did you see the race of the person?

        A. No.

        Q. Did that person ever walk over and approach the vehicle you were in?

        A. No.

        Q. Then would it be correct to say that person did NOT circle the vehicle you were in?

        A. That’s correct.

        Q. Could you describe what you saw, as to what the walking person was wearing?

        A. A dark sweatshirt with the hood up, chino pants.

        Q. While you were in your vehicle, did you see the walking person ever accelerate his speed? Did he ever break into a run?

        A. Yes.

        Q. At the time the person was running, did the vehicle you were in come to a stop?

        A. Yes.

        Q. Did it park?

        A. Yes.

        Q. Could you show us on the map where it stopped, please?

        A. Right about here.

        Q. Within, say, a minute after it stopped, did you exit the vehicle at that location?

        A. No.

        Q. Did anyone else exit the vehicle?

        A.. Yes.

        Q. Was it the driver?

        A. Yes.

        Q. Do you recall if the driver took the phone while exiting?

        A. Yes.

        Q. And was the driver still talking on the phone as the driver exited?

        A. Yes

        Q. Was the driver running when he exited the vehicle?.

        A. Yes

        Q. Mrs. Zimmerman, you said you own a cellphone?

        A. Yes.

        Q. Did you have it with you during the time we’ve discussed?

        A. Yes.

        Q. Did you place any calls before the driver exited?

        A. No.

        Q. Did you place any calls after the driver exited?

        A. Yes.

        Q. How many?

        A. (tells number)

        Q. Whom did you call?

        A. (answers)

        Q. Did the driver later return to the vehicle?

        A. No.

        Q. To the best of your ability, Mrs. Zimmerman, how long did you stay in the vehicle, alone, while it was parked?

        A. You then exited the vehicle yourself?

        Q. Then what did you do?

        A. (Tells the rest of her story …… )

        Now, I know that’s long and tedious, but she is not revealing any spousal communication whatsoever – just what she saw, did, and experienced.

        So can she be required to do that (or take the Fifth)?

        Could she be asked. “Did you know or recognize the driver?” and answer “Yes.” and then be asked,”Would you please tell us who that was?

        Can she say “George Zimmerman.”?

        Can she be asked to point him out in the courtroom as the defendant?

        Awaiting your wisdom(s) ….

        THANK YOU!

        • That is an excellent way to avoid the spousal communication issue.

          Similar to how we get around the hearsay rule:

          Q: Did you have a conversation with X?

          A: Yes.

          Q: What, if anything, did you do after that conversation ended?

          A: I called 911.

          • PiranhaMom says:

            @Professor Fred –

            Thank you for:

            “That is an excellent way to avoid the spousal communication issue.

            “Similar to how we get around the hearsay rule:

            “Q: Did you have a conversation with X?

            “A: Yes.

            “Q: What, if anything, did you do after that conversation ended?

            “A: I called 911.”


            Much appreciated!

  24. bettykath says:

    Although there is a relationship of the charges, they are separate. Fogen isn’t facing charges due to the bail fiasco, Shellie isn’t facing charges related to the murder charge. However, I suspect she heard a lot when fogen was talking to others to make her testimony worthwhile. What if she was in the truck during the surveillance? What if she overheard him on the phone before going on a hunt (this assumes he was tipped off about Trayvon being in the neighborhood)?

    Shellie being on the witness list is bound to have put the defendant’s blood pressure up and made his attorney’s a bit nervous. Can’t help wondering where she is staying these days. If she is not with the defendant, they should be very worried.

    • LeaNder says:

      What if she was in the truck during the surveillance?

      Witness #13, observes GZ on the phone. Could he have answered a call from Smith, that had arrived at the scene and got the info he had to call the informer?

      If we talk about husband/wife privilege here, why did he ask witness #13 to call his wife, could he not have done that himself? How would police and/or later prosecution treat it, had he done it? He must have been aware he was going to be questioned by police and that it may well take some time. No? Was there an agreement between the two that in case something like that happened, Shellie was meant to call Osterman immediately?

      But back to the being in the truck scenario. Then she would have been at the cut-through, based on GZ’s own statements were he parked his car. She wouldn’t have heard the screams at that distance, and not the shot either? Not much traffic and noise at that time, I am assuming. She wouldn’t have gotten out of the car to see what was happening? I find that somehow hard to believe. But yes, one never knows with cosmetologists, with only theoretical knowledge in nursery so far.

      • dianetrotter says:

        It’s interesting that GZ didn’t have to give Witness 13 Shellie’s cell number. How well does he know Witness?

        • LeaNder says:

          Well, I would have tried to ask more questions in that context. What was the exact sequence of events and if he took the photo as he approached him. We only hear about that he seems to be on the phone but he couldn’t overhear what was spoken. Would that be likely in the scene were he took the photo? On the other hand he seems to have said that Fogen walked in his direction. If he heard or watched him being on the phone before being asked to call the wife, wouldn’t it be a legitimate question to ask him: Why don’t you call her yourself? And no, strictly we do not know if Fogen gave him Shellie’s number.

          The best question concerning him, I have read here a while back, don’t remember by whom, was: How did he know he was the good guy, when he approached him? He obviously just heard a shot.

        • PiranhaMom says:

          @Diane –


          “It’s interesting that GZ didn’t have to give Witness 13 Shellie’s cell number. How well does he know Witness 13?”

          I was amazed by that exchange with the investigator, and that the interviewer did not pursue this issue. Let’s hope there has been a re-interview.

          And also that W13’s wife, who looked out FIRST and saw the wrangling, could not be probed for more info.

          Notice how “Jon” is without a care in the world ,going out AFTER HEARING A GUNSHOT.

          Did his wife see who it was, turn to Jon a minute earlier, and say “Oh, it’s only our crazy neighbor George, chasing somebody … ”

          So, knowing it’s “crazy neighbor George” whom he may know from prior gun-talk, he goes out without worrying that the next person shot could be himself?

          Just amazing.

        • Lonnie Starr says:

          My guess is this is a risk he has no other choice but to take. Surely it wasn’t his intention to give away the fact that a potential witness at the scene, knew his wife’s phone number. So, it’s my view that, that useful appearance had to be sacrificed for a “greater good”. What was that “greater good”? Well, the announcement, loud and clear “call my wife”, let’s everyone there at the scene know that “my wife is being called then and there… mark the time fellas!”

          So then, let’s see what could be the utility of having everyone know, when wifey was notified. First it covers her for having been there too early and/or for having knowledge of anything that might have happened too early for her to get there. Since she could now say: “Oh I was told that by the call I received”. It also allows her to say that she raced over, and that she called MO, who also needs to explain his early appearance at the scene.

          Sure, GZ could have called them himself, but that wouldn’t give the same cover that a public announcement would. Since the public announcement would stop people from looking for artifacts in case they happen to be aware that either Shelly or MO was there very soon after that announcement was made. Since the assumption would be they were called. Had Shelly or MO been spotted very soon after GZ made that announcement, they’d probably have said they were at the RVC house and rushed over from there. However, since ten or more minutes had gone by without anyone subsequently stating they had been seen, in the weeks after the event, then MO and Shelly were free to craft a story about being further away.

          I think they were both there, before, during and after. I think MO’s stop at the MI bank was to claim that he was going to lend them money for shopping, but then after Trayvon was shot, they decided against using that story, which is why MO had to take them both home to his house, to ensure that the right story was used.

      • Malisha says:

        dianetrotter, he asked one witness, “Am I bleeding?” and another one took his picture to show the blood, and failed to reveal that picture until weeks later, and then, to ABC News rather than to the police? Hmmmmm…

        Usually people figure out if they’re bleeding by bringing their hands to their faces and then checking their fingers for the presence of blood. That’s what I do, on the few occasions when some thug beats ME up. Or I guess at times I wipe my nose on my sleeve and ruin my jacket — can’t remember (short term memory problems coupled with the fact that I don’t go to gated communities that often).

        Anyway, an event occurred yesterday to me that made me sit and think, at some length, about the 2/26/2012 scene. An interstate public transportation bus I was on was traveling through a large city, and going slowly, stopping for what seemed to be way too long at the corner of streets without stop signs or lights, etc. I was mildly annoyed but a couple on the bus (large guy, smaller woman, obviously together, both loud) seemed to be very exercised about something. I stopped reading and checked them out quickly, but they sprinkled their complaints with laughter so I disengaged (the bus had only about 10 passengers and there seemed to be no hostility involved).

        Then they began to say, “let me off this bus RIGHT NOW!” and interspersed THAT demand with laughter, but they got up and proceeded to the front of the bus and looked very obviously serious about wanting to get OFF. Then the guy explained to someone that “he was hoppin’ from seat to seat, up there, right up there!” as if there was a problem with some third passenger whom I had not noticed. The driver let the couple off the bus and they laughed and shouted exclamations as they jogged down the street away from the bus.

        Then the driver stopped at the regular place for the bus to stop, outside a real terminal, and opened the door, and a young, spry, middle-eastern or South Asian looking guy dressed casually with headgear on (not remarkable and not indicating any religious affiliation) got off and lit a cigarette. Two cops appeared on the scene. Then three, then four, then passengers began to comment on the scene.

        Right then if you had interviewed me, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you anything more than that about the trip or the event.

        Then I began to hear commentary from the remaining half dozen (or so) passengers, with two of them offering much more information than anyone else. I said nothing.

        Then the driver approached a South-Asian-looking young fellow in a baseball cap, and asked him if he had spoken to the man who was being detained by the police outside the bus. I cannot remember if he answered yes or no, but he was asked politely to go speak with the police and he agreed. The plastic bag he carried said “ISTANBUL” on it. He quietly exited the bus and by now there were seven (7) police and a dog outside.

        Someone ON THE BUS alleged that the first passenger rousted had traveled from Saudi Arabia to one American city and was taking the bus to a second US city the same day. I heard the question, “Why not fly directly to the city where he wanted to go?” Another said, “they were talking together in the terminal in their language.” (It turned out that the first guy rousted was speaking Arabic but the second, in the baseball cap, was speaking Hindi and could not speak Arabic.)

        The investigation took about an hour and the baggage went through bomb inspection (who bombs a bus except in Israel?) and so forth. We could not choose to leave the bus because we were what the driver called “on lock-down.” The young Indian man in the baseball cap was allowed back on the bus within a few minutes but the first guy was so totally investigated that it appeared they were going to keep him or arrest him or something, but then he was allowed to return. Here are a few more of the comments that I heard on the bus while this took place:

        “He was taking pictures.”
        “He went up to the police; they didn’t go to him.”
        “Why did he fly in to the wrong city to start with?”
        “Why did they only look at the baggage he CLAIMED was his if they thought he had a bomb; if he had a bomb he would have told them to look at the OTHER bags.”


        Finally, I realized that none of us on the bus actually saw the event from beginning (whatever happened ON the bus to make the two early departures so vociferous about exiting before the full stop) to end (the driver’s return to the road and his itinerary). Whatever piece of the event a passenger DID see was used by that passenger to kind of “fill in the blanks” as to what else had happened.

        I have to sit with this experience for a while and understand it. I was a bit irritated, in the end, not by the fact that it happened (since I don’t know what the impetus was for the police to involve themselves to start with, but they did act respectful and calm throughout and they did not do anything that appeared inappropriate, threatening or violent to either of the men they questioned) but by the fact that the driver then set about to “make up time” by refusing to let anybody exit for a quick break at any of the next three stops. (I was in desperate need of a caffeine infusion!)

        It makes me want to go back to all the witness statements in the Fogen case and put the on index cards and look at them as puzzle pieces. I hope BDLR is really good at that.

        When they let the first guy back on the bus, I complimented him on his calmness and his composure, and the driver came back to explain to him that he did not mean to profile him, but that he thought he had seen him speaking “in your language” to the fellow being questioned. The young Indian fellow was very gracious. He commented to me, “This is the first in my life something like this happens to me, so yes, in beginning I was afraid.”

        When the guy they had actually rousted and searched got back on the bus, I called out, “Welcome back,” and the other passengers echoed, “Welcome back,” and he said, “Thank you.” Then we set out.

        Yesterday was exhausting. But I am glad I went through it (in my very passive role) so I could think about the activity of “witnessing.”

        • cielo62 says:

          Malisha- thank you for being a welcoming voice. At a tinderbox point like that, a single angry voice could have incited a lynch mob. People are stupid and panicky in a mob. Your voice of reason set the tone. Good work!

          Sent from my iPod

        • LeaNder says:

          Malisha, I checked the 2nd discovery, page 48, Joe Manalo, witness. If I read the handwriting correctly. That’s witness #13, I think.

      • LeaNder says:

        Malisha, I have many hmmmms concerning witness 13 and 6. But strictly I think w #13 is the same that was asked, am I bleeding and AND took the photo. He also is recorded on the crime scene contamination log, if I remember correctly, and someone here once posted an interesting media coverage were we see him standing close to a group of officers. Was it from the Orlando Sentinel, at least in that link?

        Very. very interesting story, by the way. Thanks Malisha.

      • pat deadder says:

        GZ’s speaking with Singleton while waiting for another investigator. Singleton asked was his wife worried about why he had not returned home. Fogen says no because he had a witness call her.His wife in turn called Osterman .Next fogen saysShelly called Osterman because he was there..I don’t understand what fogen meant.Did he mean Osterman was at their house waiting for fogen and Shelley to get home.Can someone smarter than me listen to this exchange.God liars can really confuse things.Or was Osterman in the truck and Shelly called him there,

    • Trained Observer says:

      Malisha — What an intriguing experience. When things don’t seem to be what they seem to be, it’s often because they aren’t. Very strange. Especially that couple that sensed trouble was a comin’ and got the hell off.

      Piranha — Your Racism for Profit looks more and more viable than mere low-brow racism that Gladazz apparently touts. Ex-Chief Lee may have known Fogen was a loser … yet, he, too may have had designs on a becoming a security firm honcho, and therefore had a desire to keep tabs on Fogen.

      When former Broward County Sheriff Nick Navarro (now deceased) was voted out of office by his own party in a primary election in 1992, he went on to set up Navarro Security, and the clients came rolling in …

      • PiranhaMom says:

        @ Trained –

        My error in posting that thesis in January – and it was met with plenty of outrage – is that it struck many posters that I was denying Zimmerman’s racism. and saying it was all purely for profit.

        I was astounded by this reaction. I thought it to be universally understood here that Zimmerman is a racist, and I would not have to go into exquisite detail to prove that. After close to a year, that fact was “a given.”

        Alas, I simply stuck to the profit motive to bring a new theory forward that could plausibly tie together GZ, Taaffe (just learned recently he was NW), Osterman, the HOA and those junior officers who showed up – especially Timothy Smith who treated GZ so royally enroute to SPD. GZ seemed to get such conciliatory treatment from his SPD buddies.

        Frankly, GZ is the kind of guy it would not take long for me to dispense with, because he strikes me as such a loser. (I am not a charitable person.) So why would he get such special handling? Cops usually laugh at cop wannabes. But in Zimmerman’s case, he may have had something to offer them in future: the chance of a legitimate part-time job they could step right into.

        Their Visa and MasterCards would be thankful …

      • PiranhaMom says:

        @Trained –

        re: “When former Broward County Sheriff Nick Navarro (now deceased) was voted out of office by his own party in a primary election in 1992, he went on to set up Navarro Security, and the clients came rolling in …”

        Happens all the time. Sometimes it’s because corporate officers love knowing the top LE guys for prestige — or protection. (Who you gonna call when you get that speeding ticket for 97 mph?)

        Sheriffs are usually personable, because they are elected officials and survive in office to extent the campaign contributions roll in. They can easily lean on their corporate friends to host fundraising events @ $1,000 per plate.

        Generally they head up security firms (mostly “executive protection”) because they have the national (and sometimes international) LE contacts and it’s the only business they know. Their corporate friends trusted them while they were IN office, so they continue the relationship by contracting with them when they are out of office.

        Who wants to have a total stranger protecting their butt?

  25. Rachael says:

    @ SearchingMind

    In previous post you state: “I do not think that Shellie has flipped on GZ since both are still living under the same roof (as husband and wife and shearing the fruits of that union together)”

    But do we know that they are still living under the same roof? I know there has been some question about that for some time. I guess what I’m saying is, if she is not under the same roof, her trial has been postponed until after GZ’s, she is on the prosecution witness list, it does make one wonder, though I know it’s total speculation.

    • Rachael says:

      Oh, and also, I thought that husband/wife testifying against each other is a marital *privilege* and does not mean that one cannot testify against the other, just that they can invoke the privilege not to.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        Me too.

      • Nef05 says:

        Consider the privilege goes both ways. If there were any information coming out that Shellie was going testify, I would expect to see O’Mara assert the privilege on fogen’s behalf to prevent it.

    • SearchingMind says:

      Rach, even if GZ and Shellie are no more living under the same roof, the burden of testifying against one’s spouse could be very heavy. It’s a dilemma most people may not know how to deal with. I do not know what it means to be “married” but I think I could not bring myself to help in sending my GF to prison for life. I would hope that the State would successfully do its job without me.

      That said, I think the State can make a good argument and get the court to force Shellie to the stand. If Shellie informs the Court that she intends to take the 5th, that might open the door for prosecutors to move in, make Shellie an offer she may NOT refuse and force her to the Stand. Heck, Shellie is the owner of the murder weapon. At least, she must have something to say about why and how her gun got to be used in committing first degree felony (there is no spousal privilege there), etc.

      • cielo62 says:

        To get off the hook, Shellie would have to report that gun as “stolen” and that would only get GZ into even hotter water (if that is possible) using a stolen gun, without a valid CCW to commit murder.

      • Rachael says:

        I understand, SM, but it seems GZ had no difficulty throwing Shellie under the bus to save himself. If they are no longer together, why would she want to stay quiet to save him by possibly going to jail herself? Granted he would spend much more time there than she would and it would be a scary thing because she might never feel safe from him, but still, when looking at a sentence of her own…You just never know what people will do to save themselves from jail/prison.

      • Rachael says:

        All I know is unlike all the other Z’s and MOM, she and her attorney have had the good sense to keep quiet.

      • Lonnie Starr says:

        Also there is a distinct possibility that they discussed some of this material in front of MO and SO, possibly FT and who knows who else. If the SP got hold of enough phone/GPS data to twist somebodies tail, there’s a good chance that they’re causing others to get dragged in.

        • cielo62 says:

          Lonnie~ I’m honestly surprised that GZ hasn’t been the one to roll over on his cohorts. Maybe he thinks there’s still a cavalry out there riding to his rescue?

          • Lonnie Starr says:

            I think he’s beginning to realize he’s about to be flushed down the drain. He doesn’t know what to do about it and he has no one to discuss it with, because everyone’s keeping their distance. They’re beginning to understand that just talking to GZ is dangerous, so they’re beginning to shy away from him.

          • Xena says:

            @Cielo62. Ultimately, GZ pulled the trigger. The involvement of his cohorts was no doubt because of using NW as a cover-up to commit crimes, or to violate the Fair Housing Acts. That is also why I’m pondering the possibility that Osterman is cooperating with the feds.

      • Nef05 says:

        @Xena –

        Ultimately, GZ pulled the trigger. The involvement of his cohorts was no doubt because of using NW as a cover-up to commit crimes

        That would indeed be interesting, since murder an robbery are both predicate felonies under RICO. Is that what you were referring to, by any chance, when you mentioned Osterman working with the feds?

        • Xena says:


          That would indeed be interesting, since murder an robbery are both predicate felonies under RICO. Is that what you were referring to, by any chance, when you mentioned Osterman working with the feds?

          No — not referring to RICO.

      • Malisha says:

        Heck, Shellie being the owner of the gun sure makes her a good co-defendant for the civil suit for wrongful death!

      • aussie says:

        “..To get off the hook, Shellie would have to report that gun as “stolen” ..”

        The owner of a gun is not “on the hook” responsible for what it was used for. Certainly she’s not been charged with it. Where people have been charged, it’s been because they’ve given or sold the gun illegally and/or knowing the other was going to use it to kill someone. Or left it recklessly lying around where a child could get hold of it. GZ DID have a CCW permit (Singleton saw it in his wallet and there’s a photocopy of it in the first evidence dump) so he was entitled to carry a gun. The pure speculation that he may have obtained it fraudulently, and therefore “shouldn’t have had one” does not detract from the fact that he DID have one.

        “..I’m honestly surprised that GZ hasn’t been the one to roll over on his cohorts…”

        a) there’s no evidence anyone else was involved
        b) even if they were, their parts would have been VERY MINOR so mentioning them is not going to get anything off his sentence for the one who did the KILLING — people usually only “roll over” on accomplices when it means a reduced penalty for themselves.

        “..Shellie being the owner of the gun sure makes her a good co-defendant for the civil suit for wrongful death!..”

        You can’t get blood out of a turnip. There will be no such civil suit.

        • cielo62 says:

          aussie~ GZ did not have a valid CCW. If he had, it would have been revoked JUST LIKE SHELLIE’s once she was arrested. No such revocation has occurred, indicating that GZ did not have a valid CCW. Whatever that copy proved, it didn’t prove GZ had a valid, legal CCW in his name at the time of the shooting. All it proves is he had a piece of paper that wasn’t verified as valid in his posession.   A civil case against Shellie might be done, to forestall her making any money from this murder. I hope they DO sue her, just on principal.   And yes, the “cohorts” thing is pure speculation in the line with Lonnie’s theories. I never said there was any evidence, but the speculation is interesting. IF there were any cohorts, I see GZ havng no qualms about snitching on them, in hopes to take others with him. That’s just the kind of guy he is.

          • Lonnie Starr says:

            Exactly cielo62, lest anyone think we’re playing useless games with conspiracy theories, let them know that we, who are entertaining these theories, know that there is no hard evidence of them, just gossamer indications that there could be something found down the road.

            The theories are there and being worked with, updated and kept available, because they provide a frame work within which to understand how a stray piece of evidence might fit if it appears, instead of simply going unnoticed or unused, for lack of a way to understand it.

      • LeaNder says:

        Thanks, Aussie, for the reality check. – Kraut 😉

        I don’t think that Shellie will falter and witness against her husband, neither will Osterman or Taaffe, it feels, but Shellie much less. But yes, were I part of the prosecution I would have a couple of questions for her, that’s for sure. But yes, it could be.

        No idea if I can put it in words, but I may well be very, very averse to alternative scenarios that try to make GZ look even worse than for me he already looks, e.g. NW as disguise for a burglary scheme, or a group of people on the ground cooperating in a murder scheme, for one reason: Indirectly it suggests what GZ did is not bad enough, something else must be added. For me that is simply not the case. It is bad enough as it is.

        The only scenario offered here, not sure by whom, that I find interesting is that GZ started the NW with the intention of testing a later business field. Homeland security was a huge topic in the post 911, security was surely becoming big business at the time to a much larger scale than before. I sure would like to take a closer look at his college performance and classes in this context, but the little I heard so far did not suggest he had a brilliant career ahead based on his associate degree. So yes, he may well have been on a lookout for alternative fields of engagement. Test the field, on a smaller scale. Hoping that in the end it would somehow give him a perfect recommendation to show to future employers.

        • PiranhaMom says:

          @LeaNder –

          In “Profiling for Profit,” submitted to this site in January, I based my theory that GZ hoping to impress the HOA (and other HOAs) with his security expertise and his inexplicably cozy relationship with SPD officers at the lower rank, who were available for off-duty commercial assignments.

          I confirmed the SPD process for approval of those assignments through City Manager Norton N. Bonaparte, Jr. and Sanford Police Department personnel, all of whom were extremely cooperative.

          An excerpt from “Profiling for Profit” follows:

          “I believe he set out that night because he was sub-employed, in debt, with no possibility of becoming a cop, and no career in sight.
          Frankly, I think he set out FOR PROFIT.

          “He hoped this would lead to a future as “an executive.”

          “Sadly – especially for young Trayvon Martin – Zimmerman turned out to be not an executive, but an executioner.

          “I believe he had a scheme – and after a year’s finagling, he had all his connections lined up.

          “If there was a conspiracy among Zimmerman, Taaffe, and Osterman – who may, or may not still have a job as Air Marshal – I believe it was to set up a business venture – a “professional patrol” company for condo HOAs, with Retreat at Twin Lakes as the first, prototype client.

          “They probably had no clue that security work pays little, and did not care, because they could be “The Three Honchos” after a few short months, then hire out the patrol work to others. Preferably, cops – with SPD and Chief Bill Lee’s blessing.

          “Today, Twin Lakes – tomorrow, the world” would be their slogan.

          “Here we have Zimmerman, underemployed (and with an unemployed wife); Taaffe at loose ends and facing foreclosure, and Osterman working less than full time as an Air Marshal due to flight rules.

          “They could wing it at Retreat at Twin Lakes as the workforce until they lined up a few more condo HOAs, then they’d be rolling in the big bucks. Los Honchos would become “the executives.”

          “Cops in Sanford are on the low end of the pay scale nationally and many would be glad to get some easy overtime, even if it was less that “cop rate”. How much do Sanford officers make? $35,720 per year, to a max of $49,445 plus an added bonus for higher education that tops out at $3,060 for BOTH City and State educational credits – even with a Master’s Degree!

          “That’s not a lot of bucks for putting your life on the line and struggling with the family disruption of shift work. If you could get $20 an hour for ten or twelve hours a week cruising condos, it could help meet your credit card payments (just ask George Zimmerman).

          “Sanford PD has a comprehensive policy covering “Off-Duty” and “Extra-Duty” employment, and even has a special Coordinator for it. It appears to be competitive among the officers. Both Off/Extra-Duty work cannot exceed 44 hours per month; “Extra-Duty” employment carries the responsibility of use of full police powers and can utilize departmental equipment.

          “An example of “Off-Duty” would be retail not related to police work (say, yacht sales) while “Extra-Duty” is literally having one of SPD’s uniformed finest as your own – say, crowd & traffic control during motion picture filming “on location.”

          “Employers of “Off-Duty” personnel are only responsible for Workers Compensation (plus wages) and not the wide array of employee benefits provided by the city. You could have a patrol officer work security – but not in Sanford PD uniform – as Off-Duty employment, at a much lower cost. Note: neither “Off-Duty” or “Extra-Duty” employment can be investigative.

          “(Sanford PD graciously provided a copy of Policy P/P 01-46 within hours of my Public Records Act request. The policy was amended April 2 of last year, but has been in force for seven years.)

          “Build a better mousetrap” has always been the way to success in the US – “find a need and fill it.” During the previous year Zimmerman appears to have laid the groundwork by not “finding” a need, but by creating one: he developed a “high crime profile” for his own condo development by calling in multiple complaints about Black suspects (most so wily, they slipped away).

          “The fact that the “suspects” kept on being Black was not, in my opinion, because Zimmerman was a rabid racist, but because he could figure that was his best “sell” in a community like Sanford, FL and with the local law enforcement that served it.

          “Bigotry, yes, but bigotry out of convenience, bigotry for bucks.

          It’s not that Zimmerman hated Blacks, it’s that Zimmerman could simply consider them the most “credible” threat he could gin up to raise the locals’ fears: blame it on the Black “criminal element.”
          This is known as “Profiling for Profit.” Profiling Blacks, that is.

          “During the same year, Zimmerman was busy sucking up to the Chief Bill Lee and other Sanford PD brass – and individual officers.

          “Why were so many cops who were immediately on the scene after Trayvon Martin’s murder already acquainted with Zimmerman? Had any of those patrol officers been approached yet by Zimmerman to become part of some future money-making venture?”

          (end of excerpt)

          I must report, LeaNder. that this thesis was not well-received by many of my fellow students on this site, because it emphasizes Zimmerman’s profit motive over his racism.

          Personally, I feel that making a profit off racism – the compound sin – is even greater than the singular.

          But people of goodwill, searching for Justice for Trayvon, can always agree to disagree – and continue to work together, as we do.

          • LeaNder says:

            Thanks, Piranha, you may have noticed that I am usually hesitant concerning theories, but yours I found interesting and pretty solidly based on what we know about him. In other words it seemed to make sense to me.

            But will keep in mind it was yours from now on. 😉

          • PiranhaMom says:

            @LeaNder –

            Not important that it was my theory. But it explained to me how so many lower-level cops knew GZ. Was he chatting them up in earlier days as being part of his grand enterprise?

            At their rate of pay, they need the added income. (SPD policy actually shows the competition among officers to get these outside assignments.)

            What I see of GZ’s “personality” leads me to expect him the be chummy with Chief Bill Lee. but unless he’s a devotee to cop-worship, there has to be a reason for him to cultivate the lower ranks.

            It’s interesting to see that the HOA had NO CLUE that they could get free police patrol on their private streets, which they moved to get AFTER the murder, urged on by their management company that summer to meet w/SPD.

            Zimmerman kept them in the dark about this.

          • LeaNder says:

            I surely will look into this more closely. But not now, I have to bookmark it and go back and read the article.
            Definitively it is important that it is your theory, as your response shows, You spent quite a bit of reflection and research on it. Besides it’s a very unique way to connect the dots/facts that are out there. That you do not ignore the facts is what makes me like your theory more than others. In other words it connects with some aspects of Fogen I can see too.

            But my next big duty is tax. My deadline is approaching rapidly. 😉

            Take care Piranha, and for me it is now: Good night from Europe. Busy week ahead.

          • Your theory keeps looking better and better.

      • Malisha says:

        Aussie, there have been plenty of turnips sued, in the history of vegetarian civil litigation. I know a few myself. One of the reasons they make good defendants is that deposing them usually spices up the soup.

      • Trained Observer says:


        “IF there were any cohorts, I see GZ havng no qualms about snitching on them, in hopes to take others with him. That’s just the kind of guy he is.” — cielo62

        Well, ain’t that the truth. This is likely why, in part, so many on the defense and state Wit Lists have gone quiet.

        They’ve been forced to lawyer up (costing them a buck or two), and their attorneys have laid out some cold facts about obstruction of justice, how to qualify as a co-conspiritor, and all sorts of doozy charges that could be applicable. Many (the Ostermans, Taaafffiee, beat cops, Wolfie, the Sis for openers) can only hope Fogen stays off the stand … because if he were to testify, once he starts blabbing, there’d be no end to what might fly out of his mouth. It would be God’s Plan.

        • Lonnie Starr says:

          They’ve only had him on the stand once at the bail hearing and he started right off telling threadbare lies. It was a mistake for BDLR to go after him for the faked apology, but at that point in time he couldn’t know that GZ was such a brazen, compulsive and senseless liar, since it’s beyond imagination to believe that anyone would be.

          MOM is now paralyzed with fear and breaks into cold sweats, at the very thought of having to put GZ on the stand. While Bernie sits licking his chops and salivating for the chance. Meanwhile GZ’s friends may have already left the country. Hahaha!

          • They may have all moved to Afroperuvia……Just north of Deadbeatistan……..

            Not being a legal type guy myself……..MOM may have gotten into this not knowing how big a liar & ass fogen really was / is.

            Now a question for the Prof………Could MOM back out of representing fogen as he is doing it pro bono?

            He surely knows he has a case he can not win.

      • lady2soothe says:

        Does anyone know if this is true?

        Legally, as GZ’s wife she could take the 5th.

        However, if she takes that 5th she has to take the 5th for every single question they ask because if she even answers one question, just one, the protection of the 5th is gone. Which means, she would then have to answer every question she took the 5th on previously.

        • Xena says:


          Legally, as GZ’s wife she could take the 5th.

          The professor can get more into this, but IMO, when the defense placed her on their witness list, they made ShelLIE open to be questioned by the State.

  26. Malamiyya says:

    Can Searching Mind’s posts on this be moved into this thread? They would make a good kickoff for the discussion.

  27. kimmi says:

    Awesome post Professor! Thank you.

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