Evaluating George Zimmerman’s Defense Team

The trail of George Zimmerman is set for the 10th day of June, which is a little over 2 months from today, we are going to do an evaluation of the Defense Team.  I will start from the day Mark O’Mara was hired to the last Motions that have been filed.  My criteria will be:

  • On Motions- successful, failure, any attached decision
  • Hearings-Pleadings successful
  • Preparation
  • Effectiveness
  • Public Relations

As you can see these categories are not necessarily objective, I will attempt to be as objective as possible.  Now IANAL so, some ratings will be the consensus of others who are lawyers mixed with mine own opinions and understandings.

Disclosure, I am unabashedly supporting GZ, but I will attempt to tamper any preferences that I may have to present as clear a picture as I can. I have no special access to any insider information, all will be derived from information readily available on the net, and any files that I have save for reference, all publicly accessible information.

On Sunday, the 26th day of February, 28-year-old George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.  Zimmerman who was on his way to Target for some shopping observed Martin, who was walking in the rain in the dark and appeared suspicious to Zimmerman.  Zimmerman called the non-emergency number for the Sanford, Fl Police Department to report Mr. Martin.  The events that followed are in dispute and it is not the purpose of the post, I will skip them, until after the shooting.

Zimmerman was detained taken to the SPD and questioned for several hours, he maintained that he was acting in self-defense as Mr. Martin had attacked Zimmerman forcing him to shoot in self-defense, only one shoot was fired but it pierced Mr. Martin hearts causing his death. After questioning based on his statement and those of the witness, Zimmerman was released.  The police determined that there was not enough evidence to warrant charges.  Zimmerman was released as the investigation continued.

Filed Motions

Most motions, filed on behalf of the Defense are common, routine,  procedural motions  so I am not going to consider those in this evaluation.  I will focus instead on those motions that I feel, are most likely to affect the case and/or George Zimmerman.  For instance, Motion to set Bond is a routine Motion but it affects the client, directly and immediately.  I will list the Motion and then describe it briefly and its outcome.

v  DEFENDANT’S  VERIFIED MOTION TO DISQUALIFY JUDGE

  • This was the Defense’s first major motion to disqualify the first Judge assigned to the case Judge Recksiedler due to her marriage to Attorney Mark Nejame  who GZ used to find his attorney

The Judge agreed to recuse herself,  and Judge Kenneth Lester was appointed as a replacement.

v  MOTION TO SET REASONABLE BOND

  • A Hearing was schedule for April 20th
    • In the Hearing the Defense got the Prosecution to admit to not having any evidence that contradicted Zimmerman’s statement to the police
    • The Lead Investigator for the Prosecution also admitted to being unable to determine who was the initial aggressor
    • Judge allowed Zimmerman to make a statement from the stand and not be subject to intense cross-examination
    • Robert Zimmerman Sr.  testified briefly, that the screams were those of his son
    • Shellie Zimmerman, Zimmerman’s wife testified about the couples finances
      • This testimony resulted in charges of perjury for Shellie, revocation of bond, stricter rules and new bond set for $1,000,000,000

Judge granted bond in the amount of $150,000 for Zimmerman and allowed him to leave the county due to threats against him

MOTION TO BLOCK RELEASE OF PHONE CALLS, WITNESS 9 INFORMATION

  • This was one of several Motions that were part on the June 29th hearing
    • Several news outlets argued  against the Defense, arguing for a release of the information
    • The State’s position was ambivalent on the Motions just arguing, the discovery possible relevancy
    • The Defense try to block at least the calls not transcribe yet by the State, arguing the privacy issue of other parties involves and the irrelevancy of some of the calls
    • Regarding Witness 9 the Defense argued that  any information gather  from her was far out-weighed by the prejudicial content of her testimony
    • He also argued that they information was irrelevant, just incendiary

The Defense lost the Motion, as a result, allegations that GZ and a cousin had play “doctor” when they were 8 and 6, were released.  Roughly 150+ jailhouse calls were released to the public, they portrayed Zimmerman as caring, loving, very much in love with his wife young man. There were calls were GZ and his wife are discussing money received in his PayPal account and using a rudimentary code were directing the movement of the money. This combined with prior testimony resulted in Shellie Zimmerman get charge with perjury.

SECOND MOTION TO GRANT BAIL

  • The original bond revoked due to the total dollar amount of donations, in his PayPal account and the attempt  to hide the totals of the donations by moving them to between several accounts.
    • The Defense presented evidence from a forensic account that tracked the funds from the PayPal donations. Charted and tracked how much was spent of the funds.
    • One of the EMT’s came and testified about what he saw and the condition of Zimmerman, his injuries and the amount of blood.
    • The Defense provided evidence to refute the Judge earlier claim that the prosecution’s case was strong.

The Judge granted bail in the amount of $1 million dollars, he also changed the terms.  Imposing harsh conditions and verbally accusing Zimmerman of flouting the law and abusing the system.  The Judge declared Zimmerman a flight risk and imposed a 6 pm to 6 am curfew, and that GZ could not approach the Orlando airport.

v MOTION TO RECONSIDER THE ORDER RELEASING JAIL CALLS AND W 9                           INFORMATION

  • The defense tried again to block the release of the all the jailhouse calls and the incendiary testimony of Witness 9, as irrelevant and prejudicial

The Judge was not convinced and ordered their release

 

I will continue dissecting the Defense’s Job as soon as the site for the 18th district is up and running,  it is offline.

part II coming soon,

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