George Zimmerman Trial - Day 5

by Paul Siciliano


8:43 AM  - Getting read for the trial to begin.  I realize I only consider this day 5 even though the trial is technically on day 14. I just didn't include jury selection.  

9:08 AM  - Next witness, Greg McKinney.  He is probably just here to authenticate video. I do love his tie, a little too short.

End of the tie should touch the belt.

End of the tie should touch the belt.

9:10 AM -  The video cameras at the front gate were down but the cameras at the clubhouse were functioning.  

9:15 AM -  Looks like technical difficulties. 

9:17 AM  - Awesome surveillance system - the time stamp is 18 minutes too slow.  The focus is on the camera at the clubhouse.

9:24 AM  - So, from the video clips we see there appears to be someone with a flashlight around the mailbox area at 7:10PM and maybe a light outside of the clubhouse at 7:08PM. 

9:27 AM  - Next up, John Good.  He is allegedly the one who told police about Trayvon being on top of Zimmerman, hitting him "MMA" style.  This should be good.  

 

Oh gee, he works in finance.

Oh gee, he works in finance.

9:44 AM  - Even though Good would seem to be a witness for the defense, since he describes what he saw that looked like Martin on top of Zimmerman, the prosecution calls him probably to take the sting out of his testimony.  Also, there is a partial impeachment going on.  There may be some aspects of his story conflicting with Zimmerman.

9:51 AM  - Of course I lose video feed during this good testimony.  I did find a couple of things that were interesting.  He has them going from the grass to the sidewalk.  I don't get how he can tell what the jackets were when they were vertical (that would be better seen when they are horizontal).  Also, it is strange that he did not hear screams when he went back in because of adrenaline.

9:56 AM  - Good never saw any person's head being slammed to the ground and did not hear the cries for help that was picked up on the 9-1-1 call.  Without directly impeaching Good, the Prosecution is pretty much intimating that Good's description of who is on top is suspect because he didn't know other details (or it contradicts Zimmerman).  I am not sure how successful that it.  Still, you want this out now and now on defense.  If the defense put him up, it would appear that the Prosecution is hiding something.

10:03 AM  - Good testifies he heard the shot as he is waiting for 9-1-1 to pick up.  He called as soon as he entered but was not focusing on cries for help.  

10:05 AM  - Getting ready for cross examination.

10:17 AM  - It was fun watching O'Mara straddle the ground.  Great demonstrations. For some reason, Good also seems antagonistic to the defense.  There's more here.  Now we are getting into the ground and pound, but Good also claims he only saw 8-10 seconds of it.  

10:23 AM  - I don't know how good of a witness Good is for the defense, because this really is a defense witness called by the prosecution.  Strange that Good could see but not hear things.

10:30 AM  - O'Mara is suggesting other things were said that were not picked up by the tape.  

10:36 AM  - I don't think O'Mara should continue to elicit such details from Good.  Good is being hesitant.  

10:41 AM  - O'Mara is implying that the State pressured Good to change/clarify his story.    But, this serves as a double edge sword.  Was Good lying initially or afterward?  That is for the jury to decide. (Assuming a clarification is a lie.)

 10:58 AM  - Dedirect.  How well did the Prosecution minimize this witness's testimony will be interesting.  Personally, I think O'Mara asked too many questions.

11:01 AM  - Here is where the case gets interesting.  The investigation in the beginning was working off the assumption that Zimmerman's story is correct so there is some sloppiness.  It took political pressure to get the case to be investigated with less bias.  Prosecution has to tow this line between impeaching the investigation it needs to depend on.

11:12 AM  - Prosecution makes sure that jury gets a look of the picture of Martin taken after he was shot but before the police arrived.

11:20 AM  - Defense keeps hammering on this theory that people keep adding to their stories as more and more statements/interviews are given.  That seems natural in the progress of an investigation.  

11:26 AM - Good is dismissed, but defense counsel wants to speak to him.  Recess to one because lunch will not be arriving until noon.  Lucky folks  :)

11:44 AM  - While we are on break, I want to make a few things clear.  There is this assumption that whoever is on top at the end must be the aggressor.  That is not necessarily so.  Also, just because you are losing a fight, it does not give you the right to pull out a gun and shoot someone.  That is not how self-defense works.  You have to reasonable fear death and great bodily harm.  Zimmerman knows this which is why he claimed his head was being bashed on the pavement, that Martin tried to smother him and that Martin reached for his gun.  There is no evidence of any of that yet.  It could mean only one thing, Zimmerman is going to have to testify.  

12:52 PM  - As we wait for Court to resume, I just wanted to note a few interesting things about Good's testimony.  I find it strange that he only heard three screams for help and that was early on.  The screaming for help was pretty continuous so I don't know how you can be watching the fight and not hear it.  Also the moving of the individuals is interesting to me.  For the 8-10 seconds that he saw it, how the individuals went from being on the grass perpendicular to the sidewalk and then parallel to the sidewalk on it - that is a 90 degree movement as well as movement toward the sidewalk.  Then when he turns in and hears the shot soon thereafter Martin is back on the grass, almost perpendicular to the sidewalk.  The straddling is also interesting.  If Martin is straddling Zimmerman just before the gun shot, how did Zimmerman get to his gun, and how did the bullet enter in a straight line.  The only way that could happen is if Martin is parallel to Zimmerman (or Zimmerman angled his gun appropriately which seems unlikely) but if that is so, it would be near impossible to pummel him.  If I am on top of you beating you, I should be at least 45 degrees from you.  Let's see.  So many questions.

JohnMananano.jpg

1:06 PM  - Next up, Johnathan Manalo.  His wife had testified previously.  Manalo did not see the incident and only went outside after hearing the gunshot.  He went through the garage.   

1:10 PM  - Manalo took photos of Martin, Zimmerman and a flashlight.  Among other things, this witness will be used to bring in the image of Martin after he was shot but before police arrived.

1:16 PM  - The image of Martin will be used to impeach Zimmerman's previous statement that he spread Martin's arms after he shot him to check him for weapons and to restrain him.  The defense will use the images of Zimmerman's injuries to demonstrate self defense.

1:22 PM  - Zimmerman must have put his gun back into his holster after the shooting.  

1:24 PM  - Zimmerman just wanted to tell his wife that he just shot someone in a short, curt manner.  Manalo thinks Zimmerman's demeanor was he was bothered that Manalo took too long to relay the message to the wife.

1:25 PM  -  Manalo got to Zimmerman in around 10-20 seconds from when he heard the gunshot.  

1:26 PM  - Manalo testified that Zimmerman did not appear to be in shock and was like any person.  Zimmerman appeared calm and never looked back to the body.

1:28 PM  - Cross examination.  It should be short, but it never is with the defense.  The defense draws these things out because they hope to get enough evidence so they don't have to get Zimmerman to the stand.  That can be the only reason I can think of that makes sense.

1:31 PM  - West suggesting that it could not have taken 10-20 seconds to get to the back.

1:35 PM  - Manalo said Zimmerman told him, "This guy was beating me up, I defended myself so I shot him."  Interesting, Zimmerman only said beating me up - not that this guy was trying to kill me.

1:46 PM  - West's focus on the darkness, I don't think is a smart move.  If it was so dark, how could Good actually see the colors of what the individuals were wearing.  

1:52 PM   - Back on re-direct.  O'Mara is much more likable than West

1:55 PM  - Moving quick here.  Next up, Officer Ricardo Ayala.  He took the reports and he is one big dude.

 

Fat men can be patrol cops

Fat men can be patrol cops

2:00 PM  - Cool, use of laser pointer.  

2:01 PM  - Why does George Zimmerman keep getting up before he is being identified in the court?  That is just weird.

2:02  PM - Ayala found Martin's hand under the body and asked to see his hands, to which Martin did not respond.  Ayala was the first officer to Martin.  Short and quick.

2:06 PM  - O'Mara on cross.  Here is the weird thing about the cross.  If the appropriate thing to do for the officers is to take out their guns, it could suggest Zimmerman did the same.  I mean, Zimmerman has some police training.   The darkness stuff is strange - it pretty much undermines almost all eyewitness testimony, which includes Good.  

2:12 PM  - Next up, Stacy Livingstone.  This is time to set up for the forensic evidence.

 

StaceyLivingstone.jpg

 2:20 PM - So the prosecution is going to end the week with details of Martin's death, after putting up their worst witnesses.  Best strategy under the circumstances.

2:23 PM  - Zimmerman had highest response score you can get.  The cuts had stopped bleeding.

2:25 PM  - After examining Zimmerman, the EMTs determined to leave Zimmerman in the care of the State.  Time for cross.

2:35 PM  - O'Mara really gets nothing out of cross.  Maybe a little damaging, we'll see in re-direct, because Zimmerman could have gone to the hospital for x-rays if so wanted to.  I don't know if I want her to be a responder if I am injured - she seems a little slow.  She probably is just not good at testifying. 

TimSmith.jpg

2:40 PM - Next up, Tim Smith, the first police officer on the scene.  

2:51 PM  - Smith is preparing chain of command on the gun, probably to show that Zimmerman had a round ready when he went out that night.

3:00 PM  - There will be a short break before we see the surveillance video.  The Prosecution is going to concede that at some point Zimmerman was on his back, which is not inconsistent with a tussle or wrestling.  Of course, you are going to have more moisture on the back because if you are rolling around with someone the front will not get wet.  The fact that Zimmerman was losing the fight, if he was, does not go to whether he initiated the fight or if the use of deadly force is justifiable.  

3:23 PM  - Zimmerman was stuck in the witness room for 30-40 minutes waiting.  Damn, that sucks.  He should have gone to the hospital, at least it is more lively.

3:25 PM  - Time for cross.  Basically, the best evidence that the Prosecution got out of Zimmerman is that Zimmerman's injury were not major and that Martin's hands were under his body.  I think the obsession with darkness helps.

3:32 PM  - O'Mara is trying to show that the gun can easily be exposed by Zimmerman bending to the side, but also needed his hands up.  This goes to Zimmerman's story that his gun became exposed and Martin went for it.  

3:34 PM  - O'Mara going over the elements of 2nd Degree Murder.  Interesting play.

3:40 PM  - O'Mara gets the good points from Smith - about the wetness on his back and that Zimmerman said he was calling for help but no one would help him.  

3:44 PM  - Zimmerman wouldn't go to the hospital because he would have to pay for it?

3:48 PM  - Photo of Zimmerman at midnight - doesn't look that bad.  Next witness - Lindzee Folgate.

lcolgate.jpg

 3:52 PM - This witness is a physician's assistant.  She will testify to the non-seriousness of Zimmerman's injuries, or that is what the Prosecution will hope.

4:03 PM  - Sidebar debate over medical records.

4:20 PM  - They are totally figuring out what needs to be redacted.  This could take a while.

4:27 PM  - Lindzee is back so whatever issue was resolved.  I think.  

4:34 PM - Records to demonstrate that George was taking MMA for medical purposes.  

4:38 PM  - Folgate treated Zimmerman the following day at 11.  

4:48 PM  - The focus of this line of questioning is to suggest that Zimmerman did not sustain the injuries for the reasons he claimed.  Namely, Zimmerman did not have his head bashed multiple times into the pavement - it would have been worse injuries.

5:20 PM  - As a bald man who knows many bald men, a lot of that swelling can be the shape of the skull.  This is a good thing that Zimmerman has a full set of hair now.  So, was Zimmerman's head smashed onto the concrete on the back, the sides and the top. Nah, that does not make sense.  Still, need evidence that Martin smashed his head on the concrete.

5:27 PM  - I am sure the defense did not want to bring up that he was already seeking psychological help.  I wonder for what reason.  Also, the issue of the prohibitive costs of treatment don't seem like a great excuse.

5:44 PM  - We are done for the weekend.  I think this witness, again, as the others, makes it imperative for Zimmerman to testify which really is what the Prosecution needs to win.