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Curtis Reeves- Stand Your Ground Hearing

Hat tip to Yahtzeebutterfly for keeping up with this case.

Florida’s controversial stand your ground law came upfront when 17-year old, unarmed Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012.   The law allows people to use deadly force when they fear death or great bodily harm.  Stand your ground, if granted, gives the defendant immunity from being placed on trial for the results of using deadly force.   If the person who used deadly force was the initiator, they might not qualify for immunity under stand your ground.

That is part of the controversy with stand your ground law.  It depends on perception, and when the person is dead, they cannot testify of their perception.

You might have heard of the “popcorn murder.”  It is the Reeves’ case.  In January 2014, 71-year old Curtis Reeves shot Chad Oulson (43) to death in a movie theater over texting.  Reeves also wounded Oulson’s wife. Reeves is charged with second degree murder and he claims self-defense, alleging that Chad hit him with something so hard that it knocked his glasses off his face. Read the rest of this entry

Motion for Judgment of Acquittal Denied

“There are two people involved here.  One of them is dead and one of them is a liar.”

 

On July 5, 2013, the defense for admitted killer and accused murderer George Zimmerman, filed a Motion for Judgment of Acquittal.

State prosecutor Richard Mantei argued for the State and brought out some of Zimmerman’s lies.  The Honorable Judge Debra Nelson denied the defense’s motion.

This video is a summary of State Prosecutor’s Richard Mantei’s points on some of Zimmerman’s lies.

Deflection and Misdirection – the Strategy of the Defense Team

The latest hearing in the State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman was quite the circus to say the least. In my opinion the hearing was not just for O’Mara’s ludicrous sanction motion against the state for getting rip to shreds in Bernie de la Rionda’s response, but to put on a show for the dwindling support group for the Zimmermans.

I say Zimmermans to include the family as well. Their actions speak for themselves.

The hearing was yet another attempt to get at Mr. Crump, Ms. Sabrina Fulton and Witness 8, aka Deedee. This is the misdirection.

Misdirection is a form of deception in which the attention of an audience is focused on one thing in order to distract its attention from another.

Counsel for the defendant keeps failing to realize this is a murder trial with witnesses, forensic evidence, the defendant’s multiple statements, the defendant’s Hannity interview, bullet casing location, GPS data, phone records, text messages and DNA evidence.

Mr. Crump has done everything he can and will do legally in helping his clients Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, for the senseless shooting death of their son Trayvon Martin. Anything garnered by Mr. Crump’s efforts are protected by work product/attorney privilege.

What part of that statement/ruling made by the judge in the black robe do they not understand?

Don West starts off with his ongoing complaint of attorney Crump’s interview of Deedee. If the Sanford Police Department would have done their due diligence in finding her,  they could have questioned her themselves. Law enforcement commonly obtains permission from the parents and or through a warrant to access data on phones. This case has been fouled from the very beginning. Many things were done wrongly and some rightly. More often than not the Sanford Police Department is responsible for a lot of the wrongs.
West continues to go on and on about the non-hospital visit of Deedee.  It is a non-issue. Big deal! So what! What does that have to do with a man with a record of domestic violence, and anger issues, menacing Trayvon first by car, then on foot, chasing him in the dark, and ultimately killing him with a gun that is registered to his wife, Shellie.

What does Deedee making an excuse, (not a lie of not attending the funeral of a person she was in love with),  have to do with the murder case filed by the State of Florida?  Most human beings do not like facing the death of a loved one, let alone one that was murdered.

The other thing I noticed from the hearing was both attorneys, Mr. Mark O’Mara and Mr. Don West, used the hearing, not only to attack the State for their hurt feelings from the response by Mr. Bernie de la Rionda, but to also discuss, at length, depositions taken of Ms. Sybrina Fulton and Deedee.

Depositions are never a part of the case record. Not being a part of the case record means there is no requirement to seal or unseal. The court never sees depositions. Depositions are solely for discovery and not intended to address the facts of a case neither legal conclusions. They are maintained by the attorneys. Some depositions are never reduced to transcripts – that is, written out, because attorneys do not find any information in them that has merit in the case.  When that happens, if opposing counsel wants a transcript of the deposition, they have to pay for them to be transcribed.

In essence, we the public, do not get to see transcripts of depositions because they are not a part of the case record.

The attorneys for the defendant found a way to talk about the depositions without getting in trouble with the court. For example, would we have known that the letter that was presented from Deedee to Ms. Fulton was not written in her own hand but was dictated by her and written by a friend named Francine? It doesn’t make the letter any less authentic because she did not pen it herself; they were her thoughts written by her friend. She signed the letter. By signing the letter she made it hers. The content of the letter could have not come from her friend, because she was not on the phone with Trayvon. Deedee herself was describing as best she could for Ms. Sybrina Fulton what happened that night. The audacity of the defendant’s attorneys to actually make this woman take a personal letter out of her Bible to prove she had the original goes beyond the limit of human decency.

It goes to show us the only strategy O’Mara and West are using is to keep attacking witness 8, aka Deedee, and Ms. Sybrina Fulton. This will not work. We have viewed the available evidence and data to date and all of it points to the absolute guilt of George Zimmerman.

Quite a few bloggers have painstakingly taken apart evidence, timelines, DNA data, police timelines, videos etc. that can put any experts that O’Mara employs to shame.

By the way we never have known the friend’s name if it weren’t for Mr. West’s big mouth either. This is why the identity of witness 8 is taken with the utmost care by the State. The lengths that some blogs (they know who they are) and the attorneys themselves have gone through to get information about her are enough to scare any person.

Bernie de la Rionda cross-examination of West was outstanding! He got Mr. West to answer when the existence of the letter to Ms. Fulton was discovered.  There was no withholding of discovery.  Bernie de la Rionda also revealed how long the defense team deposed Ms. Fulton – 7 hours; really, they actually asked her about her employment, and how much money she made in previous years. How relevant is this? The amount of time spent on witness eight and Ms. Fulton borders on witness intimidation.

I also noticed that Bernie didn’t fall for their crap either; he didn’t do a tic for tat by revealing any of the juicy details from his interviews.

The lawyers for the defense were trying, very badly I might add, to deflect from the real issue of the immunity hearing. O’Mara wanted nothing more than to crawl back under the rock he slithered from, than to have that taken right off the table. He had to eat those words previously said at interviews and in court that his client welcomes an immunity hearing. O’Mara said “His client wants to take the stand and plead his case”.  When did Mark O’Mara know that he would not proceed with a pre-trial immunity hearing?  Please see the video below.

Weren’t those the days, Counselor? (LOL)

As previously stated by Judge Lester, the case against George Zimmerman is strong.

There aren’t many days left till June 10th. We are already in the first week of May.  As my good friend Lonnie says, Tick, Tock George, Tick Tock.

 

 

Significance of the Dooley Decision

TP_328910_OROU_WifeIn September 2010, then 69-year-old Trevor Dooley shot and killed 41-year-old David James.  Dooley claimed that he shot James in self-defense. Two days later, Dooley was arrested and charged with manslaughter with a weapon, improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon or firearm, and open carrying of a weapon.

Dooley petitioned the court for immunity under Florida’s Stand Your Ground statute.  On May 11, 2012, Judge Ashley Moody denied Dooley’s petition for immunity.  The case proceeded to trial.

The situation started when Dooley, who resided across from a basketball and tennis court, saw a teen with a skateboard on the basketball court and yelled at him not to skateboard.  David James, who was on the court with his 8-year-old daughter shooting hoops, yelled back to Dooley asking where was the sign saying no skateboarding.  Dooley was washing his car and walked out of his driveway over to the basketball court.   Testifying that he saw no good by arguing,  Dooley turned to walk away when James grabbed him by the shoulders pulling him around.  The altercation then went to the ground and ended with Dooley shooting James in the heart.

Dooley, who is 5 feet 7 and weighs 160 pounds, told jurors he had to struggle with a man 28 years younger who was 6 feet one inch and 240 pounds.  Dooley testified that he had no choice other than to pull out his gun after James grabbed him by the throat.  Dooley testified that he felt that he was going to black out, and that James went for his gun and he believed James would have shot him.

At trial, James’ daughter was a witness for the defense.  She testified that Dooley did turn his back and was walking away when her dad rushed him.  Furthermore, she said she did not see Dooley’s gun until he took it out during the altercation; that her father was “on top” of Dooley and was trying to keep him down to answer his question, which was, where is the sign that says “No Skateboarding”?

The Dooley case decision is very significant in understanding the legislative intent of stand your ground law.  It is common to read  George Zimmerman’s supporters argue that stand your ground immunity applies when the person tries removing themselves and/or does not throw the first punch.    If that interpretation of the law is correct,  then James would be the aggressor and Dooley granted immunity from prosecution.

According to the court’s ruling in the immunity hearing, “…the evidence showed that Mr. James had not been threatening or aggressive in any way toward Defendant, although he did appear to be shocked, defensive, loud, upset and agitated.  It was not until Defendant reached for and pulled out his weapon – indicating an intent to escalate from an argument to violence – that Mr. James exerted and used physical force against Defendant.”

In other words, the court found that the victim had the right to use physical force because the defendant took a physical action that the victim perceived as a threat.   At trial, State prosecutors proved the same to the jury.

Dooley testified that he never showed his gun.   Witnesses said otherwise.  They testified that Dooley raised his shirt, revealing his gun, and then turned to walk away.   That action is why Dooley was charged with improper exhibition of a firearm and open carrying of a weapon.  It is also why the jury decided that James, once seeing the gun, had the right to try to disarm Dooley.

Furthermore, and most importantly, the jury decided that Dooley was the aggressor and it was a senseless killing; if not but for the fact that Dooley left his garage with a loaded gun and walked over to James, the altercation would not have happened and James would not have been killed.  Dooley was found guilty on all counts.

Dooley said that he is remorseful.  Each time he takes a shower and hears the drain, it reminds him of James’ death gurgle. On January 17, 2013, the judge hearing Dooley’s remorse, sentenced Trevor Dooley, now 71 years old,  to 8 years in prison and 10 years probation.  His sentencing for all counts run concurrent, with 3 days of jail credit.Dooley

WHY IS THE DECISION IN THE TREVOR DOOLEY CASE SIGNIFICANT IN THE CASE OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN?

After the jury found Dooley guilty, he gave a statement to the media, blaming racism for his prosecution. “Do you really think that if it was the other way around and the skin color would be different we would be here today?” he asked reporters.

 The jury in Dooley’s case consisted of multiracial men and women. Dooley’s focus was on losing the fight giving him the right to use deadly force, rather than his initiation of events leading up to the fight and the firing of his gun.

Although at trial it was established that James initiated the physical altercation, there would have been no physical altercation and no killing had Dooley not left his garage with a loaded gun. The jury decided by applying the facts and evidence to the law.  Let’s see if Judge Nelson, in deciding George Zimmerman’s petition for immunity, and the jury at his trial, will decide likewise.

Similarities and Comparisons

Trevor Dooley George Zimmerman
City, State Valrico, FL Sanford, FL
Community Twin Lakes Retreat at Twin Lakes
Age of Defendant at time of incident 69  28
Age of Victim at time of incident 41(interestingly, there is a 28 yr difference between James and Dooley, and Zimmerman was 28 yrs old when he killed Trayvon Martin 17
Race of Defendant Black White Latino
Race of Victim White Black
Defense Was assaulted by a younger, stronger man and was in fear for his life. Was assaulted by a teen and was in fear for his life.
Victim armed/unarmed Unarmed Unarmed
Cause of Death Gunshot to the heart Gunshot to the heart
Allegations: Victim attacked first (supported by witnesses) Victim attacked first (No witnesses)
Was being choked, could not breathe Was being smothered, could not breathe
Victim saw and went for gun Victim saw and went for gun
Fear that victim would get gun and shoot. Fear that victim would get gun and shoot.
Admitted Left garage and approached victim Left vehicle and followed victim
Tried to walk away (supported by witnesses) Shot victim while having victim’s wrist and arm restrained to prevent getting gun. (No witnesses)
Shot victim while victim was on top. (Supported by witness testimony) Witnesses vary as to who was on top.
Victim rushed him. Victim ran.
Similarities Was washing his car when he saw the skateboarder and yelled not to skateboard Was on his way to grocery shop when seeing Trayvon Martin.
Left his garage with a loaded gun to approach victim. Left his vehicle with a loaded gun to follow victim.

sources:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/trevor-dooley-faces-sentencing-for-manslaughter/1270967

http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/criminal/stand-your-ground-claim-by-trevor-dooley-in-fatal-park-shooting-rejected/1230020

http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_hillsborough/stand-your-ground-defense-denied-for-trevor-dooley-in-2010-death-of-david-james-in-valrico

http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/criminal/article1262347.ece

http://screen.yahoo.com/testimony-gunshot-residue-all-over-trevor-dooley-31132516.html

http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_hillsborough/stand-your-ground-defense-denied-for-trevor-dooley-in-2010-death-of-david-james-in-valrico#ixzz2IjOZEkc8

Did Trayvon Martin Call 911?

George Zimmerman

On March 27, 2012, ABC News affiliates reported that 17 yr. old Trayvon Martin called 911 seconds before he was shot to death by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida.  The news report stated that the 911 recording captured George Zimmerman’s voice in the background, and that the FBI is enhancing the audio of the 911 call to determine what Zimmerman is saying to Trayvon. Later, that published report was removed from the internet – but not before someone saved it.

People have wondered if it’s true that Trayvon called 911 while he struggled to get away from George Zimmerman’s grip seconds before Zimmerman fired a hollow point bullet into Trayvon’s heart.

Later, the ABC affiliate said that the reporter misspoke, and that the 911 audio he was alluding to was a 911 call made by an ear-witness in the gated community where Trayvon was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, (GZ).  Hence, we now know that the 911 call where GZ is heard speaking to Trayvon in the background is a call made by a resident/witness.   Those are witnesses number 11 and Jeremy, witness 20.

Emphasis:  There was an effort to identify the voice of the person screaming for help.   THIS ENHANCEMENT IS NOT TO DETERMINE THAT VOICE.  It’s to determine the words spoken by George Zimmerman to Trayvon Martin.

Listening to the audio of that call is like listening to a 4-piece band all playing different songs.  There is the 911 operator; the woman on the phone with the 911 operator; the husband telling his wife to tell 911 to hurry up; and the screams of pain and help in the background.  Each voice is playing a different song.  After figuring out what song each instrument is playing and listening to the audio again, you find that there is a 5th instrument.

No wonder the public did not notice this previously!  Other than GZ’s non-emergency call reporting a suspicious person, the public had not heard his voice.  GZ has since made sure that the public knows his voice – from his first bond hearing; to his jailhouse phone recordings; to his interview with Sean Hannity; to his website; his has made his voice known.

In the background of the 911 call of Witness 11, the instrument is now identified as that of George Zimmerman.  He is not screaming.  He is talking.  His words are difficult to make-out with the exception of one word that he almost shouts.  That word is “fuck.”  Could this be what Mark Osterman was actually referring to in his Fox interview when saying that the FBI confirmed, “by a 90 to 95% match,” that the voice captured on a 911 call during the altercation is Zimmerman’s?

Just as GZ has appropriated Trayvon’s cries for help to himself, he appropriated his words to Trayvon, making it reasonable to believe that it was GZ who cupped his hands over Trayvon’s mouth while saying, “Shut the fuck up.”  That in fact, GZ does a Freudian slip during his re-enactment when stating, regarding Trayvon, “… he put his hand on his nose, no on my nose …” (At 9 minutes 20 seconds of the 12 minute, 27 second re-enactment video.)

George Zimmerman’s voice is captured in the background of the 911 call at 7:16:48-49.  Also keep in mind that the audio released to the public redacts the caller’s personal information as the agonizing screams for help are heard in the background.  George Zimmerman’s voice might also be heard during those redacted moments.

The State Prosecutors know the evidence they have to convict GZ.   Make no mistake about it.  Let the immunity hearing begin!

The 911 call of witness number 11:

All audio recordings of witness statements are on manybuddies’ Youtube Channel.

http://www.youtube.com/user/manybuddies?feature=results_main

Sources for ABC News report:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6oxXu5vCRc&feature=relmfu

http://sandrarose.com/2012/03/did-trayvon-martin-call-911-before-he-was-shot/

Blackbutterly7

MAKE ALL THIS END

Robert Zimmerman Sr.

On March 19, 2012, Robert Zimmerman Sr. met with Investigator Jim Merck of the State’s Attorney Office, and Dale Crosby of the Florida Department of Law enforcement (FDLE).  Robert Zimmerman Sr. is George Zimmerman’s father.   Papa Zim’s statements reveal that by solely relying on his belief that it was George’s screams heard on the 911 tape, and that George had a broken nose, that the investigation should be closed.

When asked by the Investigator and FDLE officer if there was anything else Robert Zimmerman Sr. wanted to tell them or if there were any questions he had for them that they could answer, Robert Zimmerman Sr. replied,

            “Not unless you can make all this end.”

As he continued to talk, Robert Zimmerman Sr. conveyed to the investigators what their decision should be, and how it should be presented to the public.  Effectively, he suggested to them that someone, from some office should stand up and say what the investigation reveals rather than only saying that no charges are being brought.  His suggestion was that by revealing the results of the investigation, it would prevent complaints that the Sanford Police Department and State of Florida cannot be trusted.

On March 19, 2012 when Robert Zimmerman Sr. spoke those words, he was well aware, and informed by the investigators at that meeting, that the investigation was on-going and had not concluded.  Papa Zim’s suggestion effectively told the investigators to make-up findings (or rely solely on him saying GZ is innocent), so that no charges would be brought against GZ.

Zimmerman’s Use of Restraint Prevents His Self-Defense Claim

Florida’s justifiable Use of Force Statute

776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or

(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; …”

Today, Mark O’Mara announced that he will not use a Stand Your Ground (SYG) defense for George Zimmerman (GZ).  Rather, he will use self-defense to request the court to find Zimmerman immune from prosecution.  O’Mara’s position appears to be that Zimmerman had no opportunity to escape danger.

All along, I’ve been saying that if not but for the fact that Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and followed Trayvon Martin, that the two would not have come into physical contact with each other. I still stand on that position.  But now, O’Mara appears to take a position that GZ was the aggressor, but had no opportunity to escape.

Of course, this is based on GZ’s version of how Travyon straddled him and essentially had four hands — two punching, one over his nose, and another feeling him up to reach the holstered gun.

But here are problems in this portion of GZ’s story.  The first is that GZ said each time he tried to get up, Trayvon would push his head on the concrete sidewalk.  This conveys that GZ might have been using his elbows for leverage to get up.  Was there debris on the sleeves of his jacket?  No.

The second problem is that, according to GZ, he was able to “shimmy” onto the grass.  That conveys the ability to physically move the body from one location to another while being straddled.  While he was doing the shimmy, his head was not being bashed against the sidewalk.  Was there blood from GZ’s head on the grass?  Don’t know.

Problem three: GZ  said that while doing the shimmy, his jacket rose up revealing his holstered gun.  In the dark, Trayvon saw the holstered gun inside of GZ’s waistband.  This logically means that GZ’s upper body was no longer being straddled and was free.  GZ’s body was observable, and feel-able, at least from his waist up.

Problem four:  GZ said that he restrained Trayvon’s arm and locked his wrist to prevent him from reaching the gun — and he did this all with his right arm while also using his right-hand to get his gun out of its holster that was inside his waistband.

Problem five:  In one version of GZ’s story, he said that Trayvon still had a hand over his nose and was pressing down on it, smothering him.  But what did GZ do with his other hand?  He made sure it was out-of-the-way while he aimed his gun at Trayvon.   Why would GZ’s left hand be in the way of his target?

So here we have another reasonable question.  With the person’s left-arm restrained and left-wrist locked, and the other hand on your face, and having ability and time to aim the gun, and knowing the police were on their way, why did you have to pull the trigger?  Logically, GZ was in no danger.  In his versions, not once does he say that Trayvon was doing any harm to him when he managed to remove a holstered gun from inside his waistband.    In GZ’s version, Trayvon had a right-hand that he could have used to get out of GZ’s grip, but was more interested in covering GZ’s nose with it.

And here is where O’Mara is going to have a difficult time proving any version of GZ’s story.  The lab report provides that no DNA or blood foreign to Trayvon Martin was found on Martin’s hands.

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