I heard a lot today about how Good's testimony was good for the defense - and I don't disagree with that if you believe Good's testimony. The Prosecution had to call him though because if they did not and the defense did, then the jury would think the Prosecution was up to something by not doing so. At the same, since the Prosecution did call him, they could not impeach him - particularly with the fact that Good gave money to Zimmerman's defense fund. If the defense calls Good in their case-in-chief, then the Prosecution can impeach him. I don't, however, see any reason for the defense to do so.
Here are my issues with Good's testimony:
- Good testified that he only heard about two or three screams and the screams he he heard were not audibly the same than that on Lauer's 9-1-1 call. His response was that he was so focused on the fight that he could not hear the scream and assumed the screams was from the person on the bottom - because that is reasonable.
- Good testified a great deal of making reasonable assumptions based on what he thought would happen in a fight, and that is why I think he initially assumed Martin was on the top and Zimmerman was on the bottom. It was very dark. I don't know how he could see the person in the dark top versus the red or white one (red or white is weird in of itself, I could see confusing white or yellow, but red or white). He also said he saw the colors when they bodies were vertical to him, but the feet would be close to him, and no one was up at that point.
- The testimony I believe the least from Good is the position of the individuals fighting. When he steps out, they are fighting on the grass in his backyard perpendicular and close to the sidewalk. The two somehow manage to shift there bodies 90 degrees and onto the sidewalk without even changing positions. At this point he turns around to call 9-1-1. But, from what we know of crime scene, Martin's body is back on the grass more perpendicular to the sidewalk. So, again they managed to shift 90 degrees and five feet without changing position. Zimmerman never claims the two of them were fighting on the sidewalk. By the way, it is on the sidewalk where Good claims that he saw Martin doing arm movements toward Zimmerman while he was straddling him. Something is not right there.
Personally, and this is my gut, Good got trapped into his first statement to the police because everyone assumed it was self defense and he fit the narrative to it. That is why he has hedged ever since without fully admitting he lied.
This may be moot if all the jury focuses on is who was on top which is what the media focus obsessively about. But, in a trial, you need to balance all the evidence and determine what does and does not make sense. Maybe he made out colors, I am not sure, but I do not believe they managed to shift onto the sidewalk and then back again on the grass, without Good even hearing the screaming.
Here is the pic of Martin as taken by the neighbor on his cell phone:
Just look at the light, or the lack there of around Martin's body and you can even see the lack of illumination coming from Good's back porch. It was pretty close to pitch black - I doubt you could make out the difference between red or gray, or even skin tone as Good claimed he did. Imagine what that picture would look like without the flashlight on the body.
Good never saw the colors of jackets and he never saw the bodies move onto the pavement - as I said Zimmerman never even claimed that.
Did he lie on purpose? Does it matter. Good is the type of individual who is given a set of circumstances and then assumes those circumstances to be true to provide detail to what happened. He assumed the person yelling was on the bottom because the person on the bottom would yell and there was no echo. On his 9-1-1 call, he assumed the person yelling for help was shot because that is the more likely scenario. And, in this matter, since he believed it to be self-defense, he assumed Martin was on top of Zimmerman straddling him. (BTW, if Martin was straddling, how did Zimmerman's jacket move up and he get access to his gun - but save that for another post.)