June 4, 2013
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)