George Zimmerman Trial - Day 4

by Paul Siciliano

Now that the Supreme Court is out of session, I can more faithfully watch the Zimmerman trial and provide observations. 

9:40 AM - Don West really should end this cross examination.  I always learn you should keep such things short and sweet.  He is probably dragging it out to piss off Jeantel (heck he even commented on her change of demeanor).  He is not getting much else out of her.  Also, I would not have read the letter she wrote to Treyvon's mother.   The basics of her story are still solid.

9:48 AM  - The judge is realizing that this cross examination is going no where.  Don West also is getting frustrated.  He probably is stalling for 2 hours because that is how much time he said he needed.  I get the point.  West wants to suggest that the Martin family drove the investigation and ignoring the police - but this does not negate Jeantel's story which has not changed.

9:56 AM - The fact that Martin referred to Zimmerman as a "creepy ass cracker" is not relevant to this case, but West is just using it over and over to turn the tables on the racial element.  Could be risky, but it could work too.

10:08 AM  - West has made the point and needs to move on.  This is becoming excruciatingly annoying.

10:25 AM  - Despite it all, Jeantel is strong on the core story.

10:41 AM  - West has still been unable to break Jeantel on the important story in this case, and he knows it which is why he is keeping her on the stand.  Does she have some credibility issues?  Yes, but almost all witnesses will have that.  It still comes down to the fact that her story has not changed while on the stand.

I like her, but then again, I am a Gen Xer!

I like her, but then again, I am a Gen Xer!

11:11 AM  - The cross of Jeantel continues.  West is trying to break her.

11:35 AM  - Don West is being too cute here.  Play the complete section of the interview - which is what is done in court - completeness!  As for what she says on the tape - be careful on that.  She is of Haitian dissent and there is a cultural use of verbs that many people will not get.  That is why hearing the clarification is important.

11:52 AM -  She cleared up her answered, West needs to move on.  I am not liking this line of questioning.  He better have a point here.

11:58 AM - Here is the confusion about hearing the grass, and where Jeantel's lack of sophistication is apparent.  By wet grass, she heard something on the wet grass, and in Florida, with it's type of grass, it has a particular sound.  

12:06 PM  - Here is Don West's strategy - he is twisting her words, knowing that she will become exasperated and just answer "Yes, sir".  It is frustrating to watch.  Maybe it is effective.  The judge gets it and is giving West leeway, but she is not liking it (or I would assume).

12:21 PM  - Don West needs to end cross now!  Jeantel is not cracking and West made his point and won't get anymore.

1:23 PM  - Still waiting for the trial to resume.  I still believe that Jeantel is helping the Prosecution because the defense has been unable to crack her or to get her to change her story on key elements of the case.  Also, and this is why West needs to sit down - she made an excellent point as to why she believed Martin was not the aggressor.  Martin did not say to her I am going to attack this creepy ass cracker (Martin also referred to Zimmerman as the n-word, so the obsession with the use of cracker is nothing more than inflaming white animus).  Martin would have gotten off the phone if he was about to engage Zimmerman.   There are other reasons why I believe Zimmerman started the physical altercation (namely the location of the scuffle compared to where Zimmerman claimed he was standing), but that is powerful circumstantial evidence (and circumstantial evidence is evidence) that Zimmerman started the fight.

1:58 PM  - I get West's point of wanting the "you want that to" response into evidence - to suggest she was being helpful.  But, she didn't give him what he want.  Yay!  Cross Examination is over!

Who let her in?  :) 

Who let her in?  :) 

2:25 PM - Next up, Raymond MacDonald - a senior manager at T-Mobile.  Okay, this is just going to be foundation evidence on the times of the calls.  Why not just get NSA?  Heck, they probably have a copy of the call.


Not a creepy ass cracker, but the last part is right.

Not a creepy ass cracker, but the last part is right.

 2:48 PM  - That was fun, next witness is Jenna Lauer.  She was living in the complex at the time of the death of Martin.


 3:07 PM  - Lauer prescribes to the "no snitching" philosophy which is why she went upstairs to make the 911 call - but then came down later.  At the time she called, she testified that she heard yelping.

3:11 PM  - Key evidence of who was crying for help is that the cries of help stop right after the gunshot.  

3:13 PM - The yelling for help continued when John Goode asked "What you are doing?" to the scuffling outside.

3:15 PM  - Here comes the 9-1-1 call.

3:18 PM   - Witness never heard "You're going to die motherfucker" or "Call the police".  That conflicts with Zimmerman's statement.

3:26 PM   - Prosecution getting Lauer, since she seems credible, to testify that it is easy to see her address from the sidewalk.

3:41 PM    - The defense is making a bad point here.  She heard John Good but she did not hear what George Zimmerman claimed he and Trayvon said between the cries for help.  I would not have pushed that.

3:44 PM   - The defense strategy of trying to confuse defense witnesses is weird and unnecessary.  Just ask them do you know who is the aggressor, do you know who was on top of who  . . . and call it a day.

3:53 PM   - This is a better focus for cross examination asking about GZ's reputation.  It is much better than trying to confuse these witnesses about the facts.

4:09 PM   - Maybe I was wrong, I guess the Prosecution is trying to ask the witness about GZ's prior arrests which involved violence.  Hmmm . . .  O'Mara messed up!  And I messed up forgetting about the prior arrests.

4:18  PM   -  Ahhh, Frank Taaffe's name comes up.  That should be interesting if he has any role in the case.

4:19 PM   - Another break, and then a witness speaking in Spanish.


Next witness, a little top heavy (sorry for the sexism)

Next witness, a little top heavy (sorry for the sexism)

4:41 PM   - Next witness is Selma Mora, who will be testifying in Spanish.  She also lived at the complex at the time of the death of Martin.

4:46 PM   - Mora actually mimics the crying sound she heard.

4:52 PM   -  Mora does understand English very well, and even answers the questions when hearing them in English.  Still, best to testify in the language you are most comfortable with.  

 4:56 PM   -  Mora testifies that the person on top (after the shot was fired) was wearing a red and black patterned jacket which is consistent with Zimmerman.  It does not conflict with Zimmerman since he said he got on top of Martin after he shot him to spread his arms.

5:06 PM   - Regardless of anything else, Mora testified that the man on top is the one who fired the shot (Zimmerman).  Even though Zimmerman has an explanation, he will need to testify to that - no evidence of trial that.

5:16 PM   -  O'Mara is trying to get that other people were yelling or saying something that didn't make it onto the 9-1-1 call made by Lauer.  Mora makes a good explanation - actually giving more information than necessary.  I am sure O'Mara would have preferred a short answer.

The judge is not amused by this

The judge is not amused by this

5:23 PM   - O'Mara asks Mora to see how long it took for her to get from hearing the shot until she went outside to see what she saw.  The judge does not look amused.  I guess this is to test the time - this is to see how quickly it too Zimmerman to get on top of Martin.  It doesn't seem like that much time - maybe a risk on O'Mara's part.

5:33 PM   - Mora testified that Zimmerman acted in a concerned manner afterward which cuts both ways.  The word I heard her use was "preocupado" which has differing meanings in English.  No sense harping on this.  Along with the description of his hand on the head and hip - it could mean he was worried or confused. 

5:40 PM   - We are done!  I think it was a good day for the prosecution in that it pretty much guarantees that Zimmerman will have to testify.  Yes, some of the witness statements may mesh with Zimerman's statements, but that is not evidence in this case.