Unfinished forensics in Trayvon Martin case

August 2, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

Good morning to all of our friends:

I write this morning regarding unfinished forensics with Trayvon’s case and to urge Benjamin Crump to consult with someone who is knowledgeable about forensics before he decides whether to sue George Zimmerman for wrongful death.

Piranha Mom’s comment at 12:09 am inspired me to write this post.

If a civil claim is filed against Zimmerman by Trayvon’s family, Professor Fred and all of us must put together the DEFINITIVE narrative, citing each movement with justification and evidence, and supply it to Trayvon’s family and attorneys.

We know what happened.

We have had the forensic evidence at our fingertips — and we know it all by heart. We were open in our analysis.

We DIDN’T expect we had to provide this to the prosecution.

But they were so full of hubris and the big award Bernie was to receive, and paid little attention to evidence. Bernie even thinks Trayvon took part in the battle, not that he was struggling to get away. If the prosecutor has no faith in the victim, or in the chief witness for the prosecution, what could we expect to get?

The verdict we got.

Won’t make THAT mistake again!

Yes, Piranha Mom is right and here are three glaring examples.

Amy Siewart, the crime lab firearms analyst who examined Trayvon’s sweatshirts, apparently never read the autopsy report or conferred with Dr. Bao regarding whether the bullet holes in the sweatshirts aligned with the entry wound in Trayvon’s chest. Evidently, no one at FDLE or any member of the prosecution team thought about that possibility either.

Yet, that was the first thought that occurred to me when I read that first document dump and LLMPapa was all over that issue too. I wrote about it and he made several videos about it. Both of us discussed the implications.

We even argued with the self-described crime scene expert from Jacksonville, Michael Knox, about the proper conclusions to draw from that evidence.

Massive and inexcusable failure of LE and the prosecutor’s office not to see and comprehend the significance of that evidence.

Massive and inexcusable failure by BDLR not to use the State’s DNA expert, Anthony Gorgone, to clear-up the confusion created by the defense regarding whether rain can wash away DNA and whether packaging Trayvon’s sweatshirt in a plastic biohazard bag would degrade all DNA present, such that it could not be detected with STR/PCR.

Siewart also should have been questioned regarding (1) the unusually strong kickback of a KelTec 9 semiautomatic handgun when fired with one hand, and (2) whether the distance between the two spires on the rear gunsight match the distance between the two pinholes on the tip of Zimmerman’s nose that bled so copiously.

I believe those distances match and Siewart could testify that the gun could have caused the injuries to Zimmerman’s nose, if he fired the fatal shot within a few feet of his face while holding the gun with one hand as Zimmerman described.

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Fred and Crane-Station


Defendant faces Hobson’s Choice

July 4, 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day to everyone!

I write today to allay concerns regarding the sufficiency of the State’s case.

First, we know they are going to call the Dr. Bao, the Assistant Medical Examiner who did the autopsy. I think we can reasonably expect that he will tie up any remaining loose ends regarding Trayvon’s death. Expect graphic and gruesome photographs that will firmly ground this case in the reality of a death that did not need to happen.

Second, the prosecution always ends its case-in-chief with what we call a wind-up or summary witness who ties everything together with the aid of charts, graphs and timelines that bring the evidence into focus. I am anticipating that FDLE Detective Gilbreath will be the witness and Bernie de la Rionda will ask the questions that steers him through the maze and haze.

Third, I am expecting the State will call Sybrina Fulton and she will identify her son as the person who uttered the terrified death shriek.

I believe the State will use most of tomorrow to finish up its case.

After the State rests, the defense will move to dismiss the murder charge and enter a judgment of acquittal on the ground that the State failed to present a prima facie case.

The test sJudge Nelson will apply in deciding that motion requires her to assume for the purpose of deciding the motion that all of the evidence introduced during the State’s case-in-chief and all reasonable assumptions that can be drawn from that evidence are true. Given those assumptions, she must decide if a rational trier of fact (i.e., a juror) could find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of murder in the second degree.

Expect Judge Nelson to deny the defense motion.

After she denies that motion, the defense will have to decide whether to present any evidence. I believe sufficient evidence of self-defense has come in through the defendant’s statements to support instructing the jury on self-defense. Therefore, the defendant will not have to testify to get that instruction and the defense could rest without calling any witnesses.

Will the defendant testify?

As I commented last night,

The combination of the SPD photographs that show no significant injuries to the defendant’s face and head and the absence of any of the defendant’s blood and DNA on Trayvon Martin’s fingernails and his hoodie sweatshirt, particularly the sleeves and cuffs, put the lie to the defendant’s story.

Trayvon Martin did not hit the defendant repeatedly or slam his head against a cement sidewalk because, if he had done so, he would have been covered with the defendant’s blood and DNA.

Therefore, the defendant was never reasonably in fear of death or serious bodily injury.

Trayvon Martin’s fingernails and sleeves would have been drenched in blood, if the defendant’s story were true. The argument that the rain washed away the defendant’s DNA, and/or the packaging of the damp hoodie in a plastic biohazard bag degraded all of the defendant’s DNA is specious because Trayvon’s blood and DNA were detected.

There is no question that the defendant followed Trayvon Martin first in his vehicle and then on foot with the intent of preventing this “asshole from getting away.”

There is no question that Trayvon Martin attempted to run away from the defendant.

There is no question that the defendant had two opportunities to identify himself but decided not to do so.

There is no question that the defendant ignored the dispatcher’s warning to cease from following Trayvon Martin when he told the dispatcher to have the officer en route call him for a location and he subsequently pursued Trayvon Martin into the grassy area behind the townhomes south of the T intersection.

Given his unambiguously expressed intent to prevent Trayvon Martin from getting away, there is no doubt that he confronted him when he found him.

The defendant’s hostile pursuit makes him the aggressor and he cannot legitimately claim that he acted in self-defense, unless Trayvon Martin resisted his effort to detain him with deadly force and he could not withdraw from the encounter.

The defense claim that Trayvon Martin was “armed” with a cement sidewalk is controverted by Dr. Rao’s testimony and the DNA evidence.

I think the jury will likely find the defendant guilty, if he does not testify.

Yet, I cannot imagine how he can talk himself out of the mess he has created.

He has the right to decide whether to testify.

We will have to wait and see what he decides to do.

I am not expecting the defense to present any other evidence, with the possible exception of calling a family member(s) to identify the defendant as the person who uttered the terrified death shriek.

I suspect the jury will not believe them since the defendant was never in any danger and the shriek abruptly ends with the gunshot that silenced Trayvon Martin forever.

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Prosecution hammers defense with DNA evidence in eighth day of trial in Zimmerman case

July 3, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Good afternoon:

The State hammered the defense with DNA evidence today. FDLE laboratory analyst Anthony Gorgone testified that the defendant’s DNA was not found on Trayvon Martin’s fingernail cuttings or anywhere on Trayvon Martin’s sweatshirt, including the area from the elbows to the cuffs.

Gorgone also testified that Trayvon Martin could not be excluded as a contributor to a bloodstain on the lower portion of right cuff of the defendant’s jacket.

These results are a devastating blow to the defense because they refute the defendant’s story. Given the scenario that the defendant described, his blood and DNA should be all over Trayvon Martin’s fingernails and sleeves.

Judge Nelson recessed the trial until Friday morning at 8:30 am EDT.

The State will be resting its case sometime Friday, possibly before noon.

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HLN reenactment falsely portrays shooting

June 4, 2013

June 4, 2013

Good afternnoon:

Vinnie Politano and his “expert” death investigator, Joseph Scott Morgan, stumbled badly out of the HLN starting gate with a false reenactment of the shooting that is inexcusable hall-of-shame material. Here’s the video of the reenactment:

Come on, son.

Reenactments are supposed to exactly reproduce the event being reenacted. They are misleading and worthless, if they do not.

This reenactment did not come close to reproducing the defendant’s description of the shooting because he told the police that, after Trayvon sucker-punched him in the nose to prevent him from calling the police and he fell down on his back, Trayvon mounted him in a seated position straddling his body and began raining down blows to his nose and face MMA style before switching to grab the sides of the defendant’s head and repeatedly slam the back of the defendant’s head against the concrete sidewalk. Then, as the defendant began crying out for help, Trayvon attempted to silence and smother the defendant by placing one hand over the defendant’s mouth and the other over the nose. That is when the defendant claims that he felt Trayvon’s hand on his chest sliding toward the gun that the defendant had concealed from view in a holster inside his pants against the back of his right hip. The defendant said he pinned Trayvon’s hand against his chest with the upper part of his right arm and then grabbed the gun with his right hand and fired the fatal shot taking care not to shoot his left hand.

According to the defendant, Trayvon was never standing over him leaning forward in the position taken by Politano. Indeed none of the hitting, slamming and smothering events described by the defendant would have been possible, if Trayvon were in a standing position.

So much for the defendant’s claim that he reasonably believed he was in imminent danger of death or serious injury such that he had to use deadly force to survive the encounter. Call me psychic, but somehow I do not think that is what Politano intended to demonstrate.

According to the defendant, they were in this position with Trayvon on top.

Here’s LLMPapa’s video:

Of course, it would not have been possible for Trayvon to have seen much less reached the gun from this position.

Therefore, we know the defendant was lying.

Since he and his expert ignored the defendant’s statement, what were they attempting to demonstrate?

I believe they were attempting to account for a straight-on shot front to back where the muzzle of the gun was in contact with the hoodie and shirt underneath it, but the fabric was 2 to 12 inches from the entry wound.

May I have a drum roll, please. Time to pull out ye olde trusty sledgehammer and pound a square peg into a round hole.

Yup, Trayvon must have been leaning forward and the fabric was hanging straight down.

Nice try, but no cigar.

The crime lab analyst who examined the sweatshirt and shirt beneath it found that the cloth was stretched at the time the fatal shot was fired and we have independently verified that the holes in the fabric do not align with the entry wound. They are displaced from the vertical in a diagonal direction toward Trayvon’s right hip.

Mere gravity does not account for this displacement.

I will tell you what does, however. The defendant had a grip on the sweatshirt and shirt with his left hand restraining Trayvon from getting away as he took careful aim and fired.

Not coincidentally, this also explains why the defendant said he “aimed” before he squeezed off the fatal shot in order to avoid shooting his left hand.

Politano’s clueless expert reenacted the shooting by holding his fake red gun with both hands, which is contrary to the defendant’s narrative.

Finally, we know the defendant was on top because W18 witnessed the shooting and said he was on top.

Clean heels with wet grass and mud on the toes of the defendant’s boots are not consistent with the defendant’s claim that he shimmied in an atttempt to get out from under Trayvon.

The back of the defendant’s jacket was wet because it was raining, not because he was lying on his back in the grass. A photograph of the back of his jacket taken at the police station did not show any mud or grass present.

Two conclusions can be reached from the evidence. The defendant lied and he was not in imminent danger of death or serious injury when he fired the fatal shot. In fact, he was in control of Trayvon when he killed him.

That is not self-defense.

It is second degree murder.

(H/T to LLMPapa for the video and Ay2Z for the inspiration to write this post)


Featuring: Part III of LLMPapa’s Cardboard and Bullshit

March 3, 2013

LLMPapa follows his gripping Part II yesterday with Part III of Cardboard and Bullshit regarding the kill shot.

Cain’t hardly wait for Part IV.


Featuring: LLMPapa’s important new video regarding the alignment of the kill shot

March 2, 2013

LLMPapa produces a new video regarding the alignment of the bullet hole in Trayvon Martin’s chest and the aligned holes in the two sweatshirts that he was wearing.

Take a look . . .


Trayvon Martin’s Killer Trolls for More Dollars by Offering to Sell his Signed Autograph

November 29, 2012

I thought I had lost my capacity to be shocked when the man accused of shooting to death Trayvon Martin appeared on the Sean Hannity Show and told the nation that the shooting was “part of God’s plan” and he had “no regrets.” I could not and still cannot understand such a disdainful, casual and dismissive remark about killing any human being, no matter the justification. I have never killed anyone and I hope that I never do, but if I were to do so to save my life or the life of another person, I have no doubt that I would be emotionally devastated and sick with regret. I would expect to suffer post-traumatic stress in the form of flashbacks and nightmares for the rest of my life. I do not believe that my probable emotional and psychological reaction would be unlike yours and most everyone else on the planet, even if there were no doubt that we did what we had to do to survive or save another.

For all of my adult life, I have known that there are some people among us who can kill another human being as casually as we smack a mosquito that landed on our skin or a cockroach crawling across a counter top. They simply do not care and that does not change, even if it turns out that they killed an innocent person by mistake.

They do not care if a law or principle prohibits killing another person. At some point during their lives, if they conclude that they will benefit from killing another person, assuming they can get away with it, there is nothing to prevent them from killing except fear of failure or suffering an injury. I have known and represented people like that. I do not know why they are like that and they have told me that they do not know either. Fortunately, most people are not like that.

I believe it is important to know that these people, whom we call sociopaths, are not confined to any economic class, race, intellect, gender or religion. In fact, I believe they are more likely to be found among the predatory rich who regard the rest of us as a resource to be exploited for fun and profit. Suffice to warn that one must endeavor to identify them and I have found that the best way to do that is to know them by their deeds and their lies. They invariably leave a signature trail of using and exploiting others for personal gain without guilt or remorse.

You will know them by what they say and do.

In retrospect, I should not have been as surprised as I was by what he said on the Sean Hannity Show because all of his vital signs, including pulse and blood pressure, were normal and he exhibited no symptoms of shock or emotional distress when he was examined by an EMT within 15 minutes after the shooting. And this was not just any killing, assuming there is such a thing. This killing was not necessary and the person whom he murdered was an unarmed innocent.

I believe the evidence will convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that he profiled, stalked and killed Trayvon Martin. He was the self-annointed Neighborhood Watch Captain searching for an opportunity to commit an heroic act that would draw attention and establish his bonafides as a reliable and effective protector of neighborhood residents and their property from Black law breakers. His opportunity to accomplish that objective and prove to the police that they should hire him appeared in the form of Trayvon Martin, a Black male teenager wearing a hoodie in his neighborhood whom he did not recognize.

That was all of the information he needed to take action. Without a shred of evidence or making any effort to identify himself and engage Trayvon in polite conversation to find out who he was and if he needed any assistance, he concluded that he was a criminal “up to no good.” Acting as judge, jury and executioner, he menaced and stalked Trayvon first in his vehicle and then on foot after Trayvon attempted to elude him by running into a grassy and unlit area between two buildings composed of town houses. Despite being warned and agreeing not to follow Trayvon by a police dispatcher who had already dispatched an officer to the scene, he pursued Trayvon into the dark area with a loaded gun and shot him to death mere seconds before the police arrived.

Although he admitted that he got out of his vehicle and went in the same direction as Trayvon, he denied following him. He said he was merely complying with the dispatcher’s request to provide an address where the suspect was so that he could relay it to the officer en route. There are several problems with this explanation.

First, he admitted to the dispatcher that he got out of his vehicle and followed Trayvon until the dispatcher warned him not to do that.

Second, he specifically agreed not to follow Trayvon after the dispatcher warned him not to do that.

Third, the dispatcher did not ask him to provide an address where Trayvon was.

Fourth, he told the police that he went to a location where Trayvon wasn’t to find an address to give the dispatcher.

Fifth, he never provided an address to the dispatcher.

Sixth, even though Trayvon’s body was discovered more than 40 feet away in the unlit area that he vehemently denied entering, he told the police that Trayvon emerged from the unlit area between the two buildings and knocked him to the ground as he was walking back to his vehicle. Therefore, Trayvon’s body was not where it should have been, if he had been telling the truth.

Seventh, he did not tell the dispatcher where his vehicle was parked or describe it so that the officer en route would know what vehicle to look for and where to find it.

Eighth, he terminated the call with the dispatcher after asking him to tell the officer to call his cell phone when he arrived in the neighborhood.

By now, it should be apparent to everyone that he followed Trayvon into the unlit area where he shot him to death and he intentionally lied when he denied following him because he wanted to conceal that he was the aggressor by conjuring up a lie in which Trayvon followed and attacked him. The 40 foot difference between where he says Trayvon attacked him and where he shot Trayvon to death is an enormously inconvenient fact that exposes him for the liar and murderer that he is.

You shall know them by their lies and by their acts.

But there is more.

He would have us believe that Trayvon inexplicably emerged from the unlit area, jumped him and attempted to beat him to death with his bare hands as he was returning to his vehicle after abandoning the chase. He told the police that he killed Trayvon in self-defense as he was on the verge of losing consciousness from having been decked by a punch to the nose, straddled and pummeled about the face repeatedly and gripped by the side of the head and the back of his head slammed against a concrete sidewalk multiple times until he thought his head would explode. Yet, Trayvon had no reason to attack him since he had no weapon of any kind and he had successfully eluded him. The menacing stranger also outweighed him by more than 40 pounds and had never identified himself.

In addition, he sustained only two minor capillary-type cuts to the back of his head and, despite a claimed broken nose, he declined multiple offers to be transported to a hospital for a more complete medical evaluation.

He appeared cool, calm and collected throughout the interview at the police station with no sign of emotional or psychological stress. High resolution photographs of his claimed injuries show only two minor cuts to the upper back part of his head that did not require any stitches or even a bandage. This is inconsistent with his claim that the back of his head was repeatedly slammed into the concrete sidewalk until he thought his head would explode. His nose, which he claims was broken, shows only minor discoloration and barely detectable swelling. This evidence also is inconsistent with his story.

No blood or his DNA was detected on the cuffs and lower sleeves of the two sweatshirts that Trayvon was wearing or on his fingernail clippings which is inconsistent with his story.

Apparently, he was not dismayed or the least bit troubled to find out later that Trayvon was a peaceful and innocent Black teenager walking home in the rain on an early Sunday evening around 7 pm and talking to his girlfriend on his cellular phone while armed with only a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles.

We know this because he told Sean Hannity that he had no regrets and would not do anything different because everything happened according to God’s plan.

You shall know them by their acts and their lies.

And now this unrepentant human being without a conscience has announced that he will be selling his autographed signature.

Words fail.


What Does Zimmerman’s Blood Tell Us?

September 23, 2012

We need to focus today on the information available to us regarding the fatal shot in order to determine as best we can the respective positions of Zimmerman and Martin when Zimmerman fired the fatal shot.

As we do so, we have to keep in mind that there are two bloodstains on Martin’s shirt, which he was wearing under the hooded sweatshirt. DNA analyst Anthony Gorgogne has identified Zimmerman as the source of Stain A. He also concluded that Stain D is a mixed sample of Zimmerman and Martin.

In yesterday’s article on the DNA results, I mentioned that those are the only bloodstains on Martin’s clothing that contain Zimmerman’s DNA. Depending on their location, I concluded that the bloodstains may be the result of dripped blood from Zimmerman’s head as he leaned forward over Martin’s body while he was dead or alive, or transferred blood from his hands as he touched Martin’s shirt.

Note that if we assume the fingers and palms of Zimmerman’s hands were bloody with his own blood, we would expect to see his blood on Martin’s hooded sweatshirt, if he grabbed Martin’s two sweatshirts together with his left hand and pulled them down and slightly to his left as he fired the fatal shot.

Gorgogne did not find Zimmerman’s blood or DNA on the hooded sweatshirt. That probably means he did not have any blood on the underside of his left hand and fingers when he gripped the shirt and sweatshirt or, if he did, he did not transfer it to the sweatshirt.

It also may mean that he did not grip the sweatshirts, although I still believe he did.

Recall that Gorgogne did not detect any of Zimmerman’s blood on Martin’s sweatshirt. Witnesses Mary Cutcher and her friend Selma saw him straddling Martin’s back and leaning forward touching his back and neck with his hands after the shot. Therefore, I do not believe he had any blood on his hands.

No blood is visible on his hands in the photographs taken by police at the station house after the shooting.

That does not mean that blood was not on his hands earlier, however, because the police incredibly permitted Zimmerman to wash up in the washroom at the station house before the photographs were taken. That is inexcusable. It is what it is, however, and we cannot change it.

We do know that Gorgogne identified Zimmerman’s blood on the grip of his Kel Tec 9 semiautomatic handgun. Could that bloodstain have been already present before the incident that resulted in Martin’s death?

For example, DNA preserves indefinitely in a dried bloodstain, so Zimmerman might have deposited his blood via transfer to the grip sometime before the incident with Martin on February 26th. He might not have known it was there. I do not recall seeing any blood on the grip of his gun in the photographs that were recently released. Given PCR’s exquisite sensitivity, not much blood would have to have been present to yield a complete DNA profile.

Now let us take a look at Amy Siewert’s lab report. She is a firearms expert and her report was in the first document dump. She described the locations of the two holes in the sweatshirts and I compared what she wrote to Dr. Bao’s description in the autopsy report regarding the location of the entry wound.

Siewert said the holes in the sweatshirts aligned with each other and were 7 inches below the shoulder/neck seam.

Dr. Bao said the entry wound was 1 inch to the left of the midline and 1/2 inch below the nipple.

I am 1-inch taller and the same weight as Trayvon. I placed a mark on my chest corresponding to the location of the entry wound and then I took one of my white tee-shirts and placed a mark 7 inches below the shoulder/neck seam. I put on the tee-shirt and, using the marl on my chest, I marked the location of the entry wound on the tee-shirt.

I took off the tee-shirt and measured the distance between the two marks.

The two marks are a little over 3 and 1/2 inches apart. The mark representing the hole in the sweatshirts is above and slightly displaced toward the left shoulder.

To perform this comparison with precision, one would need to place the sweatshirts on Trayvon’s body and precisely measure the distance between the holes and the entry wound and determine the angle of their displacement from the vertical.

I could not do that, so I approximated the distance at 3 inches with a displacement toward the left shoulder.

Could my conclusion have been mistaken? I do not think so, but I have to admit that it is certainly possible. Fabrics stretch and there was only so much that I could do to reproduce the state of the State’s evidence.

I hope someone on the prosecution team followed up with Siewert and Dr. Bao to nail down this point as well as the apparent discrepancy between her characterization of the hole as having been caused by the muzzle of the gun in contact with the fabric and his characterization of the shot having been fired from an intermediate range (i.e., 0.5 centimeters to 1 meter).

I note for the record that Dr. Bao described the entry wound as 3/8 inch in diameter with a 2 X 2 area of stippling around the wound.

Stippling is caused by unburned gun powder that enbeds in the wound and its periphery. The farther away the muzzle of the gun, the larger the area of stippling. With handguns there is no stippling apparent when the muzzle of the gun exceeds 1 meter from the entry wound at the time the shot is fired..

Contact wounds characteristically cause the skin to tear. This condition is called starring and it’s caused by the expanding gasses released by the burning gunpowder.

Siewert observed torn fabric that spread out from the holes caused by the shot. She prepared some cutouts using fabric from the two sweatshirts (actually the interior one has been redesignated as a shirt by the DNA analyst) and test fired Zimmerman’s gun using the same ammo from several different distances, including a contact shot. The tearing in the result from the experimental contact shot matched the tearing in the hole in the sweatshirt and that is why she concluded that it was a contact shot.

Dr. Bao did not note any tearing or starring around the entry wound.

D. Vincent di Maio, a respected forensic pathologist and the former Medical Examiner for Bexar County, Texas (San Antonio) reviewed Dr. Bao’s autopsy Report and estimated the muzzle of the gun was 2 to 4 inches from the entry wound when Zimmerman fired the fatal shot.

Dr. Bao characterized the fatal shot as “Directly, front to back.”

That is all the evidence we have.

Consider these questions:

(1) Did Zimmerman grip Martin’s sweatshirt and shirt with his left hand?

(2) If he did not (or even if he did) how did he immobilize Martin so that he could aim and squeeze off the perfect shot to the heart, or was it just a lucky shot?

(3) How and when did Zimmerman sustain the injuries to his nose and the back of his head?

(4) Do you believe the injury to his nose was caused by the recoil of his gun when he fired the fatal shot?

(5) What do you believe explains the presence of Zimmerman’s blood on Martin’s shirt?

(6) What do you believe explains the presence of Zimmerman’s blood on the grip of his gun?

As I said, I hope the prosecution has figured out the significance of the evidence as it is important to the outcome of the case.

I still believe that the agonizing shriek that abruptly ended with the shot and the interrogation and begging that preceded it establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman was not in imminent danger of being killed or suffering serious bodily injury when he shot and killed an unarmed Martin “evincing a depraved indifference to human life.”


Zimmerman: DNA Conclusions

September 22, 2012

The DNA results do not support Zimmerman’s claim that Martin assaulted him.

Zimmerman claimed that Martin punched him in the nose stunning and knocking him to the ground. Martin mounted him as he lay flat on his back, and started hitting him repeatedly in the face with his fists. Then he grabbed both sides of Zimmerman’s head and began slamming the back of his head into repeatedly into the cement.

When Zimmerman started screaming for help, Martin attempted to smother him by placing his hands over Zimmerman’s mouth and nose.

If this story were true, one would expect to see injuries on Zimmerman’s face and the back of his head, but there are no injuries, with the exception of a scab on the right side of the bridge of his nose and two little cuts or lacerations to the back of his head. These two superficial cuts bled copiously as scalp wounds tend to do.

The blood flow from those wounds is consistent with Zimmerman’s head in an upright position leaning forward and inconsistent with his claim that he was lying on his back.

One also would expect injuries to Martin’s hands, but there is only one small abrasion on the ring finger of his left hand where a ring normally would be worn. (Martin did not wear a ring)

Martin’s only bleeding wound was from the gunshot to his heart.

Now let’s take a look at the DNA evidence.

Left and Right Lower sleeves and Cuffs of Martin’s Shirt and Sweatshirt

No blood detected on any of them.

Martin’s DNA was detected on all of them. There were no DNA results foreign to Martin, with the exception of the left cuff and lower sleeve of the shirt, but the data was insufficient to include anyone due to its limited nature.

Martin’s Fingernail Cuttings

No DNA results foreign to Martin were found.

Note: The absence of Zimmerman’s DNA on the fingernail cuttings and the absence of injuries to Martin’s hands consistent with the beating Zimmerman described, as well as the absence of blood and Zimmerman’s DNA on the lower sleeves and cuffs of Martin’s shirt and sweatshirt leads me to conclude that Zimmerman’s story about Martin almost beating him to death is a lie.

In fact, other than Zimmerman’s story, I do not see any evidence that Martin hit Zimmerman.

He was certainly injured, but there are other possible causes for those injuries.

Martin’s Shirt (ME-8)

Bloodstain A: matches Zimmerman

Bloodstain B: matches Martin

Stain C no blood and no DNA

Bloodstain D: mixed DNA profile likely containing both Martin and Zimmerman

Bloodstain E: matches Martin

Martin’s Hooded Sweatshirt (ME-12)

Blood matches Martin.

Zimmerman’s DNA not present

Conclusion

The only place where Zimmerman’s blood and DNA are present is Martin’s shirt, which he was wearing underneath the hooded sweatshirt.

Bloodstain A is all Zimmerman

Bloodstain D is a mixed DNA sample containing Martin and Zimmerman’s DNA.

Pending review of color photographs of the two bloodstains on Martin’s shirt containing Zimmerman’s blood, I am inclined to believe that they are the result of any of the following:

(1) dripped blood from Zimmerman’s wounds as he leaned forward above Martin’s body either before or after the shot, or

(2) transferred blood from Zimmerman’s hands as he handled Martin’s body.


Zimmerman: The Power of Circumstantial Evidence

August 14, 2012

Because there are no eyewitnesses to the shooting except George Zimmerman, who claims he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense, the prosecution will have to rely on circumstantial evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman did not kill Trayvon Martin in self-defense.

Unfortunately, Florida does not define circumstantial evidence other than to call it “indirect” evidence. See Wadman v. State, 750 So.2nd 655 (FL 1999).

Washington State, where I practiced law for many years, defines direct and circumstantial evidence as follows:

Evidence may be either direct or circumstantial (WPIC 5.01).

Direct evidence is that given by a witness who testifies concerning facts which he or she has directly observed or perceived through the senses.

Circumstantial evidence consists of proof of facts or circumstances which, according to common experience permit a reasonable inference that other facts existed or did not exist.

The law makes no distinction between the weight to be given to either direct or circumstantial evidence. One is not necessarily more or less valuable than the other.

Wikipedia has a good discussion of circumstantial evidence:

A popular misconception is that circumstantial evidence is less valid or less important than direct evidence. This is only partly true: direct evidence is popularly, but mistakenly, considered more powerful. Many successful criminal prosecutions rely largely or entirely on circumstantial evidence, and civil charges are frequently based on circumstantial or indirect evidence. Much of the evidence against convicted American bomber Timothy McVeigh was circumstantial, for example. Speaking about McVeigh’s trial, University of Michigan law professor Robert Precht said, “Circumstantial evidence can be, and often is much more powerful than direct evidence”. The 2004 murder trial of Scott Peterson was another high-profile conviction based heavily on circumstantial evidence.

Indeed, the common metaphor for the strongest possible evidence in any case—the “smoking gun”—is an example of proof based on circumstantial evidence. Similarly, fingerprint evidence, videotapes, sound recordings, photographs, and many other examples of physical evidence that support the drawing of an inference, i.e., circumstantial evidence, are considered very strong possible evidence.

In practice, circumstantial evidence can have an advantage over direct evidence in that it can come from multiple sources that check and reinforce each other. Eyewitness testimony can be inaccurate at times, and many persons have been convicted on the basis of perjured or otherwise mistaken testimony. Thus strong circumstantial evidence can be a more reliable basis on which to determine a verdict.

In response to a Zimmerman supporter who posted recently here that circumstantial evidence can support conflicting conclusions, I said,

Anything is theoretically possible and the nature of circumstantial evidence is such that each individual circumstance in a chain of circumstances might indicate more than one possibility. However, when examined as a totality of circumstances, they add up to only one possibility.

Put another way, the more splainin’ that Zimmerman has to do by resorting to ridiculous extremes like, I was walking in the same direction as Martin but not following him because I was looking for a street name and an address to give the dispatcher, the more unlikely his story becomes. Especially when he has lived in the neighborhood for three years, patrolled it as the neighborhood watchman on a regular basis for months, and he walked right past townhouses on TTL with the addresses on them in plain view, ignored them, and never provided the dispatcher with an address. It doesn’t take any intelligence to figure out that he was never looking for an address.

Step by inexorable step he lies and lies and lies.

What is he concealing?

He wasn’t out there exercising in the rain.

He was hunting.

The answer is obvious to anyone with a functioning brain cell.

The burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, not beyond all theoretical doubt.

I am not going to detail every lie that we have revealed and discussed at length because I want to go macro on y’all and look at the big picture.

However, if you want to review the evidence to date, I recommend you watch this video prepared by our very own Whonoze.

Is there a discernible pattern to his lies that reveals his intent or are his lies mere random occurrences that happen due to chance?

Consider, for example, his stubborn insistence that Trayvon Martin suddenly came out of the bushes next to a townhouse or materialized out of the gloom on the N/S sidewalk a few feet south of the intersection and confronted him as he was on the sidewalk cut-through between TTL and RVC supposedly minding his own business returning to his vehicle parked on TTL.

Some who post here and at other internet sites contend that we must take GZ at his word and cannot look at other evidence (i.e., the circumstantial evidence) to determine if he is telling the truth and, if not, discern his intent.

Sorry, but that is not how trials work.

GZ claims that TM sucker punched him knocking him to the ground and then he jumped on him and started beating his head into the sidewalk and punching him repeatedly in the face.

Aside from the lack of physical injuries that would be consistent with such a claim, the location of the fight is inconsistent with the location of TM’s body. That is, if GZ is telling the truth, the body and the location of the fight should be in the same place, but they are not and he has no explanation for that other than he kind of sort of stumbled after TM hit him. Yet, that explanation only gets him a little less than halfway to the location of the body and various items found within a few feet of it, such as his phone, the earbuds, the can of iced tea, the Skittles, and the spent casing.

We have to ask ourselves what does the circumstantial evidence tell us regarding the fight that ended with TM’s death? That is, what can we reasonably infer from the evidence at the scene.

The initial conclusion is GZ lied about the nature and extent of Martin’s attack because his injuries do not support his story and his conflicting claim regarding where and how Martin confronted him tells us he changed his story during the walk-through video the next day when he realized there were no bushes at the scene behind which Martin could have been hiding.

What do these lies suggest?

They suggest GZ went looking for Martin in the area between the two rows of townhouses and found him where the shooting occurred.

If that is what happened, why would he lie about it?

The obvious conclusion is that he did not want to admit that he went hunting for Martin and found him.

Why is that a problem?

Maybe it has something to do with his statement, “These assholes, they always get away, fuckin’ coons.”

Hmmnn. That sounds like GZ was determined to make sure this “asshole” did not get away.

Why would GZ lie about Martin jumping him?

Could it be because he knew an aggressor cannot claim self-defense?

A pattern is apparent in these lies. They all appear to be motivated by a desire to cover up that he was the aggressor who hunted down TM and attempted to detain him, but TM did not submit to his authority willingly. A struggle ensued in which GZ sustained some minor injuries and he shot and killed TM without legal justification.

This is the incredible power of circumstantial evidence because, ultimately, the explanations GZ offers for each item of evidence become increasingly strained until they degenerate into irrelevant and irritating whining.

As I have said before, he is his own worst enemy and his conviction of the crime of Murder in the Second Degree will materialize out of his own lyin’ mouth and the abundant circumstantial evidence.


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