Do you trust Shellie Zimmerman?

August 29, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Good morning:

We have been left dangling by ABC News, which reported yesterday that Christi O’Connor, an investigative journalist in Florida, contacted them and, after disclosing that she had interviewed Shellie Zimmerman

said that during their “stunning” hourlong interview, the acquitted killer’s wife said that her husband has “beaten down her self-esteem,” but she is “looking forward to getting her life back.”

Shellie Zimmerman told O’Connor that she left George after an argument and went to her father’s house on Saturday, the night before the shooting. She said she was not at home on Sunday before the shooting.

If we assume she is telling the truth about that, then we can confirm our suspicion that George lied when he told the police that he and Shellie mentored kids at their house on Sunday afternoon before he started out intending to go to Target to do their weekly shopping. The trip to Target never made any sense anyway, since he only had some change and maxed out credit cards.

Due to excellent work by Tschoupi, Marinade Dave, and LLMPapa we already knew that George lied about spotting Trayvon at Frank Taaffe’s house as he was on his way to Target because Trayvon was sheltering from the rain beneath the roof at the mailboxes and talking to Rachel Jeantel on his cell phone before George even left his house. Either the prosecution never figured this out or they decided not to exploit his lie at trial.

She refused to disclose what they argued about or whether they are still together. When asked if she was disappointed that he did not support her by accompanying her to court for her plea and sentencing, she said, “I always want my husband’s support.”

She said she believed his claim of self-defense and did not believe he profiled and murdered Trayvon because that is “not his way.”

O’Connor knows how to tease:

O’Connor, who is working on a book about the George Zimmerman trial, also hinted that there was evidence that was mishandled, saying that during the sensational trial, “there were so many untruths told.”

“What the jury never heard could have led to a different verdict,” she said.

My take: Since Shellie has not decided whether to move on and get a divorce, I think we need to take most everything she says about George and their relationship with a grain of salt. With the exception of her criticism of his photo-op visit to the KelTec factory, which even O’Mara’s office criticized, her careful choice of words appeared to me to betray a desire to avoid saying anything that might offend him or implicate him in any criminal wrongdoing, including the perjury.

I could not help but feel that I was watching an elaborately scripted performance, from her expensive makeover and bright slash of moistened magenta lipstick to her careful navigation around potentially damaging subject matter.

She remains under his toxic influence and for that reason alone, I cannot accept what she says as true absent independent verification.

What do you all think?

She is an admitted perjurer.

Do you trust Shellie Zimmmerman?

Trayvon Martin: The prosecution is not crumbling

March 26, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Now that W8 (Dee Dee) has apparently admitted during the defense deposition on March 13th that she lied when she told Benjamin Crump during a telephone interview and later confirmed to BDLR that she did not go to Trayvon Martin’s funeral because she was sick and went to a hospital, the inevitable question is:

How might this affect the trial?

First, do not expect to see her charged with perjury because BDLR’s question was ambiguous (i.e., went to a hospital or someplace) and her answer was not material (i.e., important enough to affect the outcome of the trial).

Second, let’s take a look at how this admission might come out at trial.

BDLR would ask her if she attended the wake or the funeral and she would answer, “No.”

BDLR would then ask her why not and she probably would answer that she was too upset and could not handle it.

Assuming for the sake of argument that the prosecution either did not move in limine (i.e., before the trial begins) to prohibit the defense from pursuing this line of inquiry pursuant to Rule 608(b) or if it did, Judge Nelson denied the motion, BDLR would have the option to end that line of inquiry (i.e., permitting the defense to bring it out on cross) or to proceed further and reveal her lie).

Any experienced prosecutor, and BDLR is experienced, would elect to reveal her lie in the least damaging manner possible rather than allow the defense to bring it out on cross in the most damaging manner possible.

This is how it might work:

BDLR: Do you recall Benjamin Crump interviewing you by phone in March of last year regarding your cell phone conversations with Trayvon before the shooting?

DD: Yes.

BDLR: Do you recall him asking you, if you went to Trayvon’s wake and funeral?

DD: Yes.

BDLR: What, if anything did you tell him?

DD: I told him that I did not go to either one.

BDLR: Was that truth?

DD: Yes.

BDLR: Did he ask why you did not go the funeral and the wake?

DD: Yes.

BDLR: What did you tell him?

DD: I told him I was sick and went to the hospital.

BDLR: Was that the truth?

DD: No.

BDLR: What was the truth?

DD: I was too upset and could not handle it.

BDLR: Why didn’t you tell him that?

DD: I did not want to admit to his mother that I was not strong enough to be there for her.

BDLR: Are you referring to Sybrina Fulton?

DD: Yes.

BDLR: Was Trayvon’s mother present when Mr. Crump interviewed you?

DD: Yes, she was in Mr. Crump’s office listening over the speaker phone.

BDLR: How did you know that?

DD: Mr. Crump introduced her and she said, “Hello.”

BDLR: Did there come a later time when I interviewed you in person?

DD: Yes.

BDLR: Do you recall when that was?

DD: I think it was about a month later.

BDLR: Was Trayvon’s mother present when I interviewed you?

DD: Yes, she gave me a ride to the office where you interviewed me and she sat next to me the whole time.

BDLR: Did you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth during the interview?

DD: Yes.

BDLR: Did I ask you if you went to the funeral and the wake?

DD: Yes.

BDLR: What did you say?

DD: I lied and told you that my blood pressure was very high and I went to the hospital instead.

BDLR: Do you suffer from high blood pressure?

DD: Yes.

BDLR: Why did you lie to me?

DD: I did not want to admit to Trayvon’s mother that I could not deal with what happened to Trayvon. I could not handle seeing him dead or in a casket, so I lied to her and to Mr. Crump.

BDLR: Are you sorry that you lied?

DD: Yes.

BDLR: Have you apologized to Trayvon’s mom and dad.

DD: Yes.

BDLR: Did you love Trayvon?

DD: Yes, I still do.

BDLR: Do you miss him?

DD: Yes, very much.

BDLR: Thank you. Your witness, counsel.

Picture this scene taking place before a jury in a crowded courtroom in June with a nation and the world looking on, after the prosecution has introduced all of its damning evidence against the defendant, including the medical examiner’s testimony using graphic color photos taken during the autopsy, as this young woman confesses her love and affection for Trayvon while baring her soul and tearfully confessing to her overwhelming sense of loss, responsibility, confusion, weakness and guilt.

If BDLR conducts the direct examination properly, as I believe he will, the best cross will be no cross. The jury will not take kindly to a defense attorney picking on her and prolonging her agony.

Finally, do not forget that the phone records and the other evidence in the case will independently confirm everything else she says about her conversation with Trayvon.

One understandable simple lie by Dee Dee is relatively unimportant compared to the vast ocean of lies uttered by the defendant in this case.

Is the prosecution crumbling? I don’t think so.

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Defense renews request to depose attorney Benjamin Crump

March 18, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

Greetings to everyone.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have not posted any articles since last Monday. The short story is both of our computers crashed. The electrical plug-in for my Toshiba laptop broke transforming the computer into the most expensive paperweight that I have ever owned. I bought it last November and was delighted with it until this happened. I have since discovered that this problem was caused by a mechanical design flaw common to all Toshiba laptops. The plug-in connects to a little box just inside the chassis. The box is soddered to the motherboard and cannot withstand any stress, such as plugging the electrical cord into the computer on a daily basis. Even an insubstantial bump to the plug-in can jar the little box loose. Customers have to mail their computers to Toshiba for repair. The minimum turn-around time is 3 weeks and Toshiba lately has been blaming their customers for causing the damage, refusing to fix them for free, and holding the computers hostage until they receive payment.

Needless to say, I have been exploring other options.

I have decided to fix it myself by gluing the box into the correct position with expoxy.

Imagine me screaming the most foul curses of which I am capable awakening monster cyber demons from their slumber and you will have a pretty good idea of what I have been doing for the past week.

And, of course, Crane’s computer just had to go on the blink to show solidarity with her sister. Well, we have solved that problem. I am posting this article with her computer and plan to resume daily postings.

I still have to review the comments you all have posted. Hope no wars have erupted.

Now, back to business.

Mark O’Mara filed a motion on Friday asking Judge Nelson to reconsider her order denying the defense motion depose Benjamin Crump. He basically accuses Crump of lying in his affidavit about the circumstances of his telephonic interview of Dee Dee.

He also states that John Guy, the prosecutor assisting BDLR, informed him that there are no medical records confirming Dee Dee’s claim that she in the hospital unable to attend Trayvon’s funeral. He comes very close to accusing Dee Dee of perjury without specifying when she committed the offense or explaining why he believes that what she may have stated is relevant or material to the case.

I doubt that expects to win this motion. I think he is attempting to create a credibility issue where none exists regarding a relatively unimportant witness’s credibility on a collateral matter.

I do not believe Judge Nelson will change her mind and authorize Crump’s deposition, but I would not be surprised if she does. Judges generally tend to be concerned about maintaining an appearance of fairness, so she might reverse herself. I am certain that she wants to avoid Judge Lester’s fate. Therefore, regardless of her decision, I expect she will will attempt to make her decision bullet-proof.

The unstated assumption or premise of the defense motion appears to be a suspicion that Crump told Dee Dee what to say and he did that to create a murder case against the innocent defendant hoping that the jury would convict him thereby setting up the civil suit for wrongful death.

To be taken seriously, I think he is going to need evidence to support his suspicion and a credible argument that the information he seeks is material and relevant.

I do not believe he can get there from here.

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Witness 8 (Dee Dee) did not commit perjury

March 9, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Good morning:

Today, we are going to take a tour of the Florida perjury statutes to clear up any lingering confusion caused by the troll yesterday regarding the law and its possible application to DD.

EDIT: H/T to Fauxmccoy for her excellent discussion of this issue last night in an effort to educate a willfully dumb troll whom I subsequently banned for derailing discussion. As the owner of the blog, I decided that I had an obligation to step in as an authority on the subject to clean-up the mess created by the troll, even though her ladyship did a mighty fine job of that herself.

Keep in mind that I believe the evidence will show that she did not lie about anything, much less commit perjury and I believe the U.S. media has been grossly irresponsible in reporting that she did. Nevertheless, the false accusation has been made and I am going to hopefully refute and bury it forever.


Keep in mind that all federal and state crimes are defined by statutes passed by both houses of a bicameral legislature and signed into law by an executive (president or governor). They are enacted pursuant to the police power granted to the legislative body by the federal or state constitution.

Federal courts have jurisdiction to decide cases involving violations of federal offenses and state courts have jurisdiction to decide cases involving violations of state offenses.

All criminal statutes consist of elements that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to convict a defendant. The elements consist of a particular state of mind (mens rea) and a prohibited act (actus reus).

The Florida perjury statute sets forth two general categories of offenses: perjury and false statements. Perjury is the more serious offense because it consists of the base offense (a false statement) with additional elements (oath and subject matter materiality).

Perjury is subdivided into 3 categories: perjury in official proceedings, perjury not in official proceedings and perjury by contradicting statements.

The false statements category also is subdivided into 3 categories: false reports to law enforcement authorities, false information to law enforcement during an investigation, and false official statements.

Notice that the basis for distinguishing these false-statement offenses from ordinary everyday lying is the element of the offense that specifies to whom the lie is communicated.

That is, mere lying is not a criminal offense.

Now, let us take a look at each of the offenses beginning with the false statements that define the boundary between lies without criminal consequences and lies with criminal consequences.

False Statements

False reports to law enforcement authorities (FL. Stat. 837.05)

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), whoever knowingly gives false information to any law enforcement officer concerning the alleged commission of any crime, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) Whoever knowingly gives false information to a law enforcement officer concerning the alleged commission of a capital felony, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

This offense consists of knowingly providing false information to a law enforcement officer concerning the alleged commission of any crime. This conduct is defined as a first degree misdemeanor, unless the crime in question is a death penalty offense, in which case the offense is a third degree felony. No crime is committed if the false information is provided to someone who is not a law enforcement officer.

Note that even if DD lied to BDLR about going to the “hospital or someplace” and he qualifies as a law enforcement officer, the false statement did not concern the alleged commission of a crime. Therefore, she did not violate this offense.

False information to law enforcement during investigation. (FL. Stat. 837.055)

(1) Whoever knowingly and willfully gives false information to a law enforcement officer who is conducting a missing person investigation or a felony criminal investigation with the intent to mislead the officer or impede the investigation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) Whoever knowingly and willfully gives false information to a law enforcement officer who is conducting a missing person investigation involving a child 16 years of age or younger with the intent to mislead the officer or impede the investigation, and the child who is the subject of the investigation suffers great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

This offense is more specific because it contains additional elements that must be proven. The prosecution not only has to prove that the speaker knew the information was false, it has to prove that the speaker acted willfully. It also has to prove that the law enforcement officer was conducting a missing person investigation or a felony criminal investigation, and the speaker provided the false information with the intent to mislead the officer or impede the investigation.

The distinction between the misdemeanor and the felony version of this offense is that the felony adds two elements; namely, the missing person must be a child 16 years of age or younger and the child suffered great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death.

DD did not violate this statute because it is about a missing person investigation.

False official statements. (FL. Stat. 837.06)

Whoever knowingly makes a false statement in writing with the intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his or her official duty shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

Here we see that the foundational requirement of the false-statements offenses (i.e., to prove that the defendant knowingly communicated false information to a law enforcement officer) requires additional proof that the communication is in writing with the intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his or her official duty.

DD did not provide a written statement so she did not violate this statute.

Now, let us move on to the perjury offenses.


Perjury in official proceedings. (FL Stat. 837.02)

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), whoever makes a false statement, which he or she does not believe to be true, under oath in an official proceeding in regard to any material matter, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(2) Whoever makes a false statement, which he or she does not believe to be true, under oath in an official proceeding that relates to the prosecution of a capital felony, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3) Knowledge of the materiality of the statement is not an element of the crime of perjury under subsection (1) or subsection (2), and the defendant’s mistaken belief that the statement was not material is not a defense.

This statute requires the prosecution to prove that the defendant made a false statement under oath in an official proceeding regarding a material matter while believing that the statement was not true.

Note that while the false statement must be about a material matter, the prosecution does not have to prove that the defendant knew that the statement was about a material matter. Put another way, lack of knowledge that the statement was about a material matter or a mistaken belief that it was not about about a material matter is not a defense. This is where yesterday’s troll got lost in the woods, never to be seen or heard from again.

A material matter is defined as “any subject, regardless of its admissibility under the rules of evidence, which could affect the course or outcome of the proceeding. Whether a matter is material in a given factual situation is a question of law.” 837.011(3) This means that the subject matter of the false statement can be material even if it is not admissible. Put another way, materiality does not depend on admissibility.

As I said in my post about DD’s statement under oath to BDLR, even if we assume that she lied about going to “the hospital or someplace,” the subject matter of her statement was not material because whether she went to the hospital “could not affect the course or outcome of the trial.” As such, it is a collateral matter.

An Official proceeding is defined as “a proceeding heard, or which may be or is required to be heard, before any legislative, judicial, administrative, or other governmental agency or official authorized to take evidence under oath, including any referee, general or special magistrate, administrative law judge, hearing officer, hearing examiner, commissioner, notary, or other person taking testimony or a deposition in connection with any such proceeding.” 837.011(1)

BDLR’s interview of DD also did not qualify as an “official proceeding.” Therefore, DD did not violate this statute, even if she lied under oath about going to “the hospital or someplace.”

Perjury when not in an official proceeding. (FL Stat. 837.012)

(1) Whoever makes a false statement, which he or she does not believe to be true, under oath, not in an official proceeding, in regard to any material matter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) Knowledge of the materiality of the statement is not an element of this crime, and the defendant’s mistaken belief that his or her statement was not material is not a defense.

Proof of this offense eliminates the official-proceeding element while retaining the materiality element.

Therefore, DD did not violate this statute either.

Perjury by contradictory statements. (FL Stat. 837.021)

Note: This is not applicable. I provided it FYI, so you can skip down to the conclusion or read it according to your wishes.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), whoever, in one or more official proceedings, willfully makes two or more material statements under oath which contradict each other, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(2) Whoever, in one or more official proceedings that relate to the prosecution of a capital felony, willfully makes two or more material statements under oath which contradict each other, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3) In any prosecution for perjury under this section:

(a) The prosecution may proceed in a single count by setting forth the willful making of contradictory statements under oath and alleging in the alternative that one or more of them are false.

(b) The question of whether a statement was material is a question of law to be determined by the court.

(c) It is not necessary to prove which, if any, of the contradictory statements is not true.

(d) It is a defense that the accused believed each statement to be true at the time the statement was made.

(4) A person may not be prosecuted under this section for making contradictory statements in separate proceedings if the contradictory statement made in the most recent proceeding was made under a grant of immunity under s. 914.04; but such person may be prosecuted under s. 837.02 for any false statement made in that most recent proceeding, and the contradictory statements may be received against him or her upon any criminal investigation or proceeding for such perjury.

I included this section about multiple contradictory statements FYI, although it is not relevant at this time.


DD did not violate any of these statutes, even if she lied to BDLR about going to “the hospital or someplace,” instead of going to the funeral or wake.

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Witness 8’s (Dee Dee) alleged lies do not matter

March 7, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I write today to remind everyone that DD is not a critical prosecution witness because they can win this case without her testimony and her alleged lies about her age and whether she went to a hospital, instead of the funeral, probably are not admissible.

She is not a critical prosecution witness because the physical evidence, forensics, location of Trayvon’s body and the spent shell casing, and the defendant’s conflicting and inconsistent statements bury him beneath a mountain of evidence.

Although we will not know until trial, I am anticipating that the defendant’s interlocking phone calls with others before and after he killed Trayvon will eliminate any lingering doubt that anyone might have about his guilt. Even if it does not, I do not believe the prosecution’s case will be in any jeopardy.

BDLR will likely wait to call DD until late in his case after he has put in all of the evidence that he believes he needs to introduce in order to convict the defendant. With everything else in place, her testimony will merely confirm what everyone on the jury already knows. The jury likely will believe her because her testimony will be self-authenticating. That is, even though she had never been to the RTL, everything that she says Trayvon told her will be confirmed by the interlocking phone records of the calls she had with Trayvon, the physical layout of the place and the weather.

Because most of Trayvon’s statements to her are inadmissible hearsay, unless he was relating a present sense impression or excited utterance, which are two exceptions to the hearsay rule, I expect her testimony will be limited to he told her that,

(1) he was afraid of the creepy guy following him in the car;

(2) he ran to get away from him; the creepy guy suddenly showed up on foot; and

(3) he asked someone why he was following him;

Then she heard an older male voice respond, “What are you doing here?”

Then she heard what sounded like physical contact followed by Trayvon shouting, “Get off me,” and the phone went dead. She attempted to call him, but he did not answer.

That’s it. She does not know anything else.

The defendant’s supporters with considerable support from the lame-stream U.S. media and various lawyer-pundits who should know better have been saying things like, “The prosecution’s case is crumbling,” because Witness 8 (DD) lied or committed perjury,

(1) about her age; and

(2) when she claimed that she did not attend Trayvon’s wake or funeral because she was not feeling well and went to a hospital.

The prosecution’s case is not crumbling.

First, even assuming she lied, and I do not believe that she did, she most certainly did not commit perjury because neither of her statements are about matters that are material or important to the outcome of this case. Since materiality is an element that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to convict someone of perjury, there is no basis to charge her with that offense.

Second, the two alleged lies do not make it more or less likely that she is an untruthful person since a truthful person may lie about their age or when providing an excuse for not attending a funeral.

The rules of evidence permit Judge Nelson to exercise her discretion in deciding whether to permit the defense to cross examine DD about these two alleged lies.

The relevant rules of evidence are 608(b) and 403.

Evidence Rule 608(b) prohibits evidence of specific instances of the misconduct of a witness for the purpose of attacking her credibility, unless those specific instances of misconduct concern her character for truthfulness or untruthfulness.

(Emphasis supplied)

Evidence Rule 403 provides that even relevant evidence may be excluded if the judge finds that its probative value “is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury.”

(Emphasis supplied)

I can see Judge Nelson deciding that the slight probative value of the two alleged lies that she is an untruthful person is overwhelmed by their potential prejudice, since the alleged lies have nothing to do with any issues in the case, and her testimony is self-authenticating.

The admissibility of evidence about these two alleged lies probably will be the subject of a motion in limine by the prosecution for an order to prohibit the defense from mentioning them in front of the jury or cross examining her about them.

Even if Judge Nelson denies that motion, the prosecution can minimize the potential damage of that evidence by bringing it out on direct and asking her to tell the jury why she did not tell the truth about those two matters.

The defense would have to be careful cross examining her because the jury might not like it, if they do not treat her in a respectful manner.

When all is said and done by the witnesses and the lawyers, and the jury retires to deliberate on a verdict, I doubt that DD’s credibility will be a matter of any concern or discussion regarding whether the defendant killed Trayvon in self-defense.

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Dee Dee did not lie or commit perjury in Zimmerman case

March 5, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Before the beginning of today’s hearing in the Zimmerman case, the prosecution informed the defense that Dee Dee (the name given to Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend to protect her anonymity) did not go to a hospital instead of attending Trayvon’s funeral.

Judge Nelson dismissed the defense motion for Dee Dee’s medical records as moot.

The defense now claims that Dee Dee lied.

As the following partial transcript of her interview under oath by prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda conclusively demonstrates, she not lie or commit perjury.

BDLR:_ OK._ I’m not saying that they did._ I’m just making sure the records’ clear on that….Um…you obviously found out about what happened to Trayvon, right?_ And at some point you ended up knowing that he was killed, right?

Dee Dee:_ Yeah.

BDLR:_ Were you able to go to the funeral or to the wake?

Dee Dee:__I was goin’ to go, but…

BDLR:_ OK, what happened?

Dee Dee:__I didn’ feel good.

BDLR:_ OK, did you end up going to the hospital or somewhere?

Dee Dee:_ Mmmm…Yeah, I had high blood pressure.”

(Emphasis supplied)

The question is unclear because he asked if she went to a hospital or somewhere.

Therefore, her answer was not a lie and if it was not a lie, it certainly was not perjury.

Nevertheless, let us assume for the sake of argument that she did lie.

As I said in response to a comment by Unabogie,

I think you are being way too literal.

Lying is lying, by definition, but there is an unlimited number of reasons why people lie.

Intentionally lying to conceal the existence of more than a $100,000 in cash from the court during a bail hearing is, by any standard one might choose to apply, a far more serious matter than lying because you did not want to admit that you were too upset to attend a funeral.

I do not believe the prosecution is the least bit worried about this turn of events.

Proof of perjury requires proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant unambiguously lied under oath about a material matter.

BDLR’s question was ambiguous and DD’s response was not about a material matter, as is the case regarding Shellie Zimmerman’s denial under oath during a bail hearing that she did not know about the money she had transferred into her account.

Therefore, even if we assume for the sake of argument that Dee Dee lied, she did not commit and will not be charged with perjury.

Anyone who says she lied and committed perjury is mistaken and anyone who claims that Dee Dee is as guilty of perjury as Shellie Zimmerman is wrong and guilty of asserting false equivalencies.

As I said in an earlier comment this morning before I saw the transcript, I do not believe this development today changes anything.

I predict DD will be one of the last witnesses called by the State after all of the evidence about the shooting and the events that led up to it have been admitted into evidence.

She will simply be confirming what the evidence has already proven. BDLR will ask her about the false statement and she will probably break down and cry as she admits that she lied about that because she was too embarrassed to admit that she was too upset to attend the funeral.

I think the jury and everyone in the courtroom, except the defendant, will understand that and forgive her for lying.

I believe Sybrina will be the last witness because she is Trayvon’s mom and the emotional impact of her testimony will be extremely powerful.

After all is said and done, I do not think anyone will remember, much less care, that DD lied. It’s just not very important.

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Shellie Zimmerman Has No Defense to the Perjury Charge II

February 21, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Greetings everyone.

Searching Mind inspired me to write this post when he mentioned Nogues v. State, 762 So.2d 967 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000) in a comment and asked what effect it might have on the State’s perjury case against Shellie Zimmerman.

This is my answer to his comment.

Great catch coming up with the Nogues case where the Court reversed the defendant police officer’s conviction for perjury because the prosecution based its case on the testimony of only one witness. The Court said,

This testimony was not legally sufficient to establish the crime of perjury. It is a well-established principle of law that “a verdict of conviction in a perjury case must have for its support something more than the testimony of one witness.” Yarbrough v. State, 79 Fla. 256, 83 So. 873, 874 (1920). “To convict of the crime of perjury, the offense must be proved by the oaths of two witnesses, or by the oath of one witness, and by other independent and corroborating circumstances, which is deemed of equal weight with another witness.” Id. (citations omitted). See also Rader v. State, 52 So.2d 105, 108 (Fla. 1951) (“The falsity of the material matter sworn to must be proved by the oaths of two witnesses, or by the oath of one witness and other independent and corroborating circumstances which are of equal weight with the testimony of another witness.”); Wells v. State, 270 So.2d 399 (Fla. 3d DCA 1972) (same), cert. denied, 277 So.2d 533 (Fla.), cert. denied, 414 U.S. 1024, 94 S.Ct. 449, 38 L.Ed.2d 316 (1973).

Nogues was a former Miami police officer who was charged with making a false statement under oath “during a formal investigation of an extortion scheme directed at other officers and related to the “Miami River Cops” scandal. In that statement, Nogues denied that he was present at a meeting between George Fonte, Charles Orrett, Armando Garcia, and Dagoberto Garcia at the defendant’s house, held to discuss extorting money from one of them. Nogues asserted that such a meeting had “never occurred,” and that he was “never present in any of that stuff.”

The only witness who testified against him was Charles Orrett, “a Metro-Dade police officer who had agreed to cooperate with State and federal authorities. Orrett testified at trial that Nogues had indeed met with other police officers at his house to plan an extortion scheme.”

I believe Shellie Zimmerman’s case is covered by the other-independent-and-corroborating-evidence exception mentioned in Nogues because the State will be relying on Paypal records and the defendant’s and her own bank statements to corroborate what she said regarding their scheme to hide the Paypal donations from the Court by transferring the money into her account and his sister’s account structuring the transfer into a series of multiple transactions in amounts less than $10,000. I expect the evidence will show that she transferred $67,000 into her account and that money was in her account when she testified at the bond hearing.

Shellie Zimmerman Has No Defense to the Perjury Charge

February 21, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kelly Simms, the attorney who represents Shellie Zimmerman, predicted yesterday that a jury will find her not guilty of perjury. He said,

If you study carefully the questions she was asked, he said, she answered truthfully.

“It’s all about specificity,” he said.

I agree that the issue is all about specificity, but I do not agree with his prediction.

Keeping in mind that a witness is only required to truthfully answer the question asked and that any ambiguities or uncertainties in the question must be resolved in favor of the witness answering it, let us take a look at the exchange.

Here is Mark O’Mara questioning Shellie Zimmerman after she was duly sworn:

O’MARA: Another condition or another concern the court would have is a bond amount. I would ask you then realizing that one option is for the court to grant a monetary bond, if you could advise the court of your financial circumstances so I’ll ask you a couple of questions.

Are you working presently?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, I’m not.

O’MARA: And how do you — what do you do with your time?

S. ZIMMERMAN: I am a nursing student.

O’MARA: OK. Is that a full-time endeavor presently? S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, it is.

O’MARA: OK. How long have you been doing that?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Well, I am four weeks away from my graduation.

O’MARA: OK. So you’re not earning any income presently?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Correct.

O’MARA: Do you own the home that you live or lived in?

S. ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

O’MARA: Other major assets that you have which you can liquidate reasonably to assist in coming up with money for a bond?

S. ZIMMERMAN: None that I know of.

O’MARA: I discussed with you the pending motion to have your husband, George, declared indigent for cost, have I not?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, you have.

O’MARA: Are you of any financial means where you could assist in those costs?

S. ZIMMERMAN: Not that I’m aware of.

Shellie Zimmerman transferred money from Paypal into the defendant’s account and then from his account into her account where she parked it for awhile until he bonded out and moved it back into his account. I believe she had $67 K in her account when she answered O’Mara’s question.

She cannot credibly deny that she knew she had $67 K in her account because she deposited it into her account.

I presume Sims will argue that she regarded that money to be the defendant’s property even though it was in her account. Therefore, she believed that she did not have any assets when she answered the question.

Good luck with that, Mr. Simms.

Shellie is not a vegetable. Absent some compelling testimony from a clinical psychologist supported by test results that her intellectual functioning is so impaired that she did not understand the questions and she compensated by pretending that she did in order to avoid humiliating herself by admitting that she did not know what he meant, I do not believe that a jury would acquit her.

Indeed, O’Mara asked straightforward questions and she did not exhibit any sign of confusion or ask him to clarify any question. She also stated that she was a full-time student in a nursing program and only four weeks away from graduating. No sign of impaired intellectual functioning or lack of comprehension is evident in her responses.

Moreover, she communicated with her husband in code and carried out a deceptive scheme involving multiple transfers of money over a short period of time in amounts less than $10,000. In other words, her conduct exhibits that she knows that she is playing a shell game with his money to help him conceal $67 K from creditors and the court by concealing it in her account.

I do not think a jury will be sympathetic, given her unapologetic and willing participation in that scheme.

Simms said, she is “getting stronger every day.” I hope that means she is becoming more assertive and her husband’s control is weakening. I believe it would be in her best interests to cut and run from him. She needs to get as far away as possible and resolve her perjury case without going to trial. He used her and she owes him nothing. She will be a helluva lot more sympathetic to prosecutors and the judge, if she acknowledges that he used her, expresses a willingness to cooperate and tell all, and asks for help.

I think that’s the only way she can avoid going to prison.

Zimmerman: Representing Him and the Inevitable Question: My God, What Have I Become?

October 22, 2012

Brown posted this comment Sunday night at 8:31 pm:

“Correct, but what I was trying to convey was that DeeDee might not understand that he would of been justified. Let’s just say that yes TM told DeeDee that he might have to turn around and face this dude and fight him because he felt threaten. DeeDee as a young teen who doesn’t know anything about SYG, might not understand that TM would of been in the right. If you look through her eyes, she only sees TM a kid who doesn’t fight had to fight against a grown white man. Do you see how it might put her in a position of thinking that if she were to say something like that, her thought process might be, OH boy if I say that TM would be in the wrong. She doesn’t understand that the law was on his side as soon as GZ followed him.”

Although Brown’s comment is about Dee Dee, her comment also is applicable to what clients say to their attorneys. For example, I have previously stated that the Fifth Commandment mandates that lawyers should not assume that their clients tell them the truth.

Brown’s comment pinpoints one of the reasons why clients will lie to their lawyers. For example, because the client might not realize that he has a valid self-defense claim in a murder case where there were no eyewitnesses (or he fears that no one will believe him if he tells the truth), the client might tell the lawyer that he was at a family BBQ when the death occurred. This is a false alibi defense that he also might have provided to the police.

Now let us assume that you are the lawyer and your reliable investigator, Paul Drake, has interviewed everyone who was present at the family BBQ and no one recalls your client being there until a couple of hours after the victim was killed. In other words, your client had plenty of time to kill the victim and get to the BBQ before the witnesses saw him.

You decide to confront your client. Lawyers often refer to these confrontations as a “come-to-Jesus moment.”

After telling your client that his alibi defense is not going to work, he tells you what really happened. You realize that he is describing a situation that constitutes self-defense under the SYG law in your jurisdiction.

Let us say this happens mid-trial after the prosecution rests its case and now it’s time for the defense to go forward.

Now what do you do?

In Nix v. Whiteside, 475 U.S. 157 (1986), the SCOTUS considered a similar fact situation. The Court held that the Sixth Amendment right of a criminal defendant to assistance of counsel is not violated when an attorney refuses to cooperate with the defendant in presenting perjured testimony at his trial.

In a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Berger, the SCOTUS said:

Page 475 U. S. 160


Whiteside was convicted of second-degree murder by a jury verdict which was affirmed by the Iowa courts. The killing took place on February 8, 1977, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Whiteside and two others went to one Calvin Love’s apartment late that night, seeking marihuana. Love was in bed when Whiteside and his companions arrived; an argument between Whiteside and Love over the marihuana ensued. At one point, Love directed his girlfriend to get his “piece,” and at another point got up, then returned to his bed. According to Whiteside’s testimony, Love then started to reach under his pillow and moved toward Whiteside. Whiteside stabbed Love in the chest, inflicting a fatal wound.

Whiteside was charged with murder, and when counsel was appointed, he objected to the lawyer initially appointed, claiming that he felt uncomfortable with a lawyer who had formerly been a prosecutor. Gary L. Robinson was then appointed, and immediately began an investigation. Whiteside gave him a statement that he had stabbed Love as the latter “was pulling a pistol from underneath the pillow on the bed.” Upon questioning by Robinson, however, Whiteside indicated that he had not actually seen a gun, but that he was convinced that Love had a gun. No pistol was found on the premises; shortly after the police search following the stabbing, which had revealed no weapon, the victim’s family had removed all of the victim’s possessions from the apartment. Robinson interviewed Whiteside’s companions who were present during the stabbing, and none had seen a gun during the incident. Robinson advised Whiteside that the existence of a gun was not necessary to establish the claim of self-defense, and that only a reasonable belief that the victim had a gun nearby was necessary, even though no gun was actually present.
Until shortly before trial, Whiteside consistently stated to Robinson that he had not actually seen a gun, but that he was

Page 475 U. S. 161

convinced that Love had a gun in his hand. About a week before trial, during preparation for direct examination, Whiteside for the first time told Robinson and his associate Donna Paulsen that he had seen something “metallic” in Love’s hand. When asked about this, Whiteside responded:

“[I]n Howard Cook’s case, there was a gun. If I don’t say I saw a gun, I’m dead.”

Robinson told Whiteside that such testimony would be perjury, and repeated that it was not necessary to prove that a gun was available, but only that Whiteside reasonably believed that he was in danger. On Whiteside’s insisting that he would testify that he saw “something metallic,” Robinson told him, according to Robinson’s testimony:

“[W]e could not allow him to [testify falsely], because that would be perjury, and, as officers of the court, we would be suborning perjury if we allowed him to do it; . . . I advised him that, if he did do that, it would be my duty to advise the Court of what he was doing, and that I felt he was committing perjury; also, that I probably would be allowed to attempt to impeach that particular testimony.”
App. to Pet. for Cert. A-85. Robinson also indicated he would seek to withdraw from the representation if Whiteside insisted on committing perjury. [Footnote 2]

Whiteside testified in his own defense at trial, and stated that he “knew” that Love had a gun, and that he believed Love was reaching for a gun, and he had acted swiftly in self-defense. On cross-examination, he admitted that he had not

Page 475 U. S. 162

actually seen a gun in Love’s hand. Robinson presented evidence that Love had been seen with a sawed-off shotgun on other occasions, that the police search of the apartment may have been careless, and that the victim’s family had removed everything from the apartment shortly after the crime. Robinson presented this evidence to show a basis for Whiteside’s asserted fear that Love had a gun.

The jury returned a verdict of second-degree murder, and Whiteside moved for a new trial, claiming that he had been deprived of a fair trial by Robinson’s admonitions not to state that he saw a gun or “something metallic.” The trial court held a hearing, heard testimony by Whiteside and Robinson, and denied the motion. The trial court made specific findings that the facts were as related by Robinson.
The Supreme Court of Iowa affirmed respondent’s conviction. State v. Whiteside, 272 N.W.2d 468 (1978). That court held that the right to have counsel present all appropriate defenses does not extend to using perjury, and that an attorney’s duty to a client does not extend to assisting a client in committing perjury. Relying on DR 7-102(A)(4) of the Iowa Code of Professional Responsibility for Lawyers, which expressly prohibits an attorney from using perjured testimony, and Iowa Code § 721.2 (now Iowa Code § 720.3 (1985)), which criminalizes subornation of perjury, the Iowa court concluded that not only were Robinson’s actions permissible, but were required. The court commended “both Mr. Robinson and Ms. Paulsen for the high ethical manner in which this matter was handled.”


Whiteside then petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. In that petition, Whiteside alleged that he had been denied effective assistance of counsel and of his right to present a defense by Robinson’s refusal to allow him to testify as he had proposed. The District Court denied the writ. Accepting the state trial court’s factual finding that

Page 475 U. S. 163

Whiteside’s intended testimony would have been perjurious, it concluded that there could be no grounds for habeas relief, since there is no constitutional right to present a perjured defense.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed and directed that the writ of habeas corpus be granted. Whiteside v. Scurr, 744 F.2d 1323 (1984). The Court of Appeals accepted the findings of the trial judge, affirmed by the Iowa Supreme Court, that trial counsel believed with good cause that Whiteside would testify falsely, and acknowledged that, under Harris v. New York, 401 U. S. 222 (1971), a criminal defendant’s privilege to testify in his own behalf does not include a right to commit perjury. Nevertheless, the court reasoned that an intent to commit perjury, communicated to counsel, does not alter a defendant’s right to effective assistance of counsel, and that Robinson’s admonition to Whiteside that he would inform the court of Whiteside’s perjury constituted a threat to violate the attorney’s duty to preserve client confidences. [Footnote 3] According to the Court of Appeals, this threatened violation of client confidences breached the standards of effective representation set down in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U. S. 668 (1984). The court also concluded that Strickland’s prejudice requirement was satisfied by an implication of prejudice from the conflict between Robinson’s duty of loyalty to his client and his ethical duties. A petition for rehearing en banc was denied, with Judges Gibson, Ross, Fagg, and Bowman dissenting. Whiteside v. Scurr, 750 F.2d 713 (1984). We granted certiorari, 471 U.S. 1014 (1985), and we reverse.

I believe The SCOTUS decision in Nix v. Whiteside can be distinguished from the facts in my hypothetical because of the lack of certainty that the client intended to commit perjury.

This distinction is important as it helps to define the boundary between a lawyer’s duty to provide effective assistance of counsel to his client and his ethical and legal obligation not to assist the client to commit perjury to beat the charge.

Criminal defense attorneys routinely navigate close, but not too close, to the land of perjury.

Many times they do not want to know the truth and you should take that into account when you hear Mark O’Mara or any other criminal defense attorney speak about a case.

This is why I say that a criminal defense attorney should never judge his client. That responsibility is assigned to judges and juries.

But sometimes, you cannot help it and therein lies the rub as well as the doubt and the inevitable question:.

My God, what have I become?

Should Mark O’Mara Withdraw as Counsel for George Zimmerman?

July 18, 2012

I believe Mark O’Mara should withdraw as counsel for George Zimmerman because he is not acting in his client’s best interests. Instead, he appears to be acting in what he perceives to be his own best interests by constantly talking to the press, making himself available for interviews by mainstream media TV, and making questionable pitches for dollars on his website to fund his effort to represent his client.

There also is the disturbing matter of whether he knew his client had raised a substantial sum of money from contributions by donors at his client’s original funding website (

On April 12th, Mark O’Mara filed Defendant’s Motion for Reasonable Bail asserting that his client was indigent.

On April 14th, during a recorded jailhouse conversation (Call 30) with someone identified as Scott.

George Zimmerman said.

GZ: Mark O’Mara is going to try and get me declared indigent. I told him that I didn’t think that was a possibility because you know there was the one possible transfer I tried to make and it got stopped, you know the $37. [37 is code for $37,000]

He said ‘well that doesn’t matter. Right now you are not working, not providing an income for your family, you are probably never going to be employable for the rest of your life. So basically they will declare you indigent.

Male: ah ah

GZ: So he knows about that. um But he …

Male: Does he know about the volume

GZ: No

Male: Ok

GZ: And uh …

Male: I’d like to keep that with us

GZ: Ok I think so too.

At the bond hearing on April 20th, Mark O’Mara did not disclose the $37,000. Instead, he represented to the court that his client had no money.

As we subsequently discovered, during the period between the phone call and the hearing, Shellie Zimmerman transferred $155,000 from the internet account into George Zimmerman’s personal account at a credit union and then she transferred that money into her personal account and his sister’s account, all pursuant to George Zimmerman’s explicit instructions. Therefore, on the date of the bail hearing, there was very little money in the internet account and George Zimmerman’s personal account. The money was transferred back into his personal account after he got out of jail. He then proceeded to spend $36,000 paying off some bills and purchasing two $300 smart phones with a two-year prepaid Verizon account and a two year internet access account, among other things.

Shellie Zimmerman testified by telephone at the bail hearing claiming she and her husband were indigent. She denied any knowledge of how much money, if any, had been donated to the internet account.

She has since been charged with perjury.

Judge Lester revoked George Zimmerman’s bond for misrepresenting his assets at the bond hearing.

In my opinion, any reasonably experienced and competent lawyer at this point would have backed off on the full court press to promote a false image of his client as a young and somewhat naive person “who was fearful and experienced a moment of weakness and who may also have acted out of a sense of betrayal by the system.” See Judge Lester’s Order Setting Bail below.

Nevertheless, at the second bail hearing on June 29th, Mark O’Mara attempted to excuse his client’s misconduct by saying he was exactly that.

Judge Lester did not buy it. Although he set bail in the amount of $1,000,000 based on Florida law that left him no other alternative (thereby brushing aside O’Mara’s presentation of character evidence as irrelevant) in his order setting bail, at page 2, he said:

Under any definition, the Defendant has flaunted the system. Counsel has attempted to portray the Defendant as being a confused young man who was fearful and experienced a moment of weakness and who may also have acted out of a sense of betrayal by the system. Based on all of the evidence presented, this Court finds the opposite. The Defendant has tried to manipulate the system when he has been presented the opportunity to do so. He is an adult by every legal definition; Trayvon Martin is the only male whose youth is relevant to this case. The Defendant has taken courses in criminal justice with the intention of becoming a police officer, an attorney, a judge, or a magistrate like his father. He has been arrested before, having entered and successfully completed a pretrial intervention program. He has also obtained an injunction and had an injunction obtained against him. The injunction against him has obviously been dissolved at some point for him to have validly obtained a permit to carry the firearm used to shoot Trayvon Martin. He also had the wherewithal to set up a website to collect donations to help defray the costs of his defense. Thus, before this tragic incident, the defendant had a very sophisticated knowledge of the criminal justice system over and above that of the average, law abiding citizen.

One would think, he would have breathed a sigh of relief that his client bailed out and reconsidered the wisdom of placing his client’s character in evidence before the court of public opinion.

Nope. He doubled down and while doing so, he forgot to appeal and seek a stay from Judge Lester’s order directing the prosecution to release incredibly damaging evidence to the public; specifically, W9’s claim that George Zimmerman (her cousin) had sexually molested her multiple times over a period of 10 years when she was 6-16 years old. Zimmerman was two-years older.

That evidence exploded on the public two days ago and now he’s going to appear with George Zimmerman on the Sean Hannity Show to discuss the case and no doubt trash W9.

Meanwhile, he made the following pitch on his website:

For those who have given in the past, for those who have thought about giving, for those who feel Mr. Zimmerman was justified in his actions, for those who feel they would do the same if they were in Mr. Zimmerman’s shoes, for those that think Mr. Zimmerman has been treated unfairly by the media, for those who feel Mr. Zimmerman has been falsely accused as a racist, for those who feel this case is an affront to their constitutional rights — now is the time to show your support.

He also filed Defendant’s Verified Motion to Disqualify Trial Judge alleging that Zimmerman fears getting a fair SYG hearing before Judge Lester because the judge said bad things about him and is obviously prejudiced against him.

As the prosecution noted at page 8 in its Response to the Defendant’s Verified Motion to Disqualify Trial Judge,

On June 1st, he told Anderson Cooper of CNN News:

There is no question that they knew about the money, actually in a previous correspondence to the judge, we had acknowledged that. The question of whether or not they had presented it properly, I think it was somewhat misleading to the court. I’ve gone over that with George.

On June 3rd, the Orlando Sentinel reported:

O’Mara acknowledged the problem his client faces in securing a new bond. “There is a credibility question that needs to be explained away,” he said. O’Mara added that “Zimmerman’s credibility has been tarnished and he will have to rehabilitate it.”

On June 4th, he posted the following statement on his website (

While Mr. Zimmerman acknowledges that he allowed his financial situation to be misstated in court . . . The audio recordings of Mr. Zimmerman’s phone conversations while in jail make it clear that Mr. Zimmerman knew that a significant sum had been raised by his original funding website.”

On June 29th, ABC Action News reported:

This prosecutor has made a very specific showing that his case is strong,” O’Mara said. “It was important for us to counter that.”

Since he makes no valid legal argument in support of the relief he requests, I expect Judge Lester will deny the motion.

Filing a frivolous motion did not help his client.

The Rules of Professional Conduct mandate that a lawyer shall represent the best interests of the client to the best of his ability.

I see a lawyer who has placed self-interest in surfing media attention to fame and fortune above the best interests of his client. He acts like a moth driven to the flame and I see nothing good coming out of this for himself and his client. I therefore think he needs to withdraw.

George Zimmerman appears to be the quintessential difficult client who probably wants and may even be directing O’Mara to do these things. But public revulsion and disgust are not in his best interest.

He needs to shut up and so does his lawyer.

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