Zimmerman Trial - Day 6

by Paul Siciliano

Okay, so I had a meeting today so I missed the morning session.  I will summarize that later. 

Some may wonder why the prosecution can being in Zimmerman's previous statements, and the defense cannot.  Hearsay is an out of court statement presented in evidence to demonstrate the truth of the matter.  The prosecution is not bringing in Zimmerman's previous statements as evidence that they are true, quite the contrary.  The defense, on the other hand, would bring them in as the truth - which makes it hearsay.  Now, I don't know if the defense could use this evidence in closing as truth.  I would suspect that they cannot because then it makes it hearsay. 



1:34 pm - The direct of Officer Singleton continues.  I am guessing here, but I think Singleton never bought Zimmerman's statement from the start since the evidence does not corroborate it.  

1:38 pm  - Now we are watching the collection of Zimmerman's DNA - this is chain of custody stuff and all.  

1:44 pm - Interesting, Zimmerman told Singleton he was surprised to find out Martin was dead.   Now, Zimmerman was taken from the scene quickly so he would not have known from remaining on the scene and with the EMT work.  At the same time, it is strange with Zimmerman's Catholic comment about it is always wrong to kill in Catholicism.  

1:47 pm  - Cross begins.  Nothing interesting should could come from this.  She really is just the set up for bringing in Zimmerman's statements.  Defense is just getting into the fact that Zimmerman was cooperative.   

1:49 pm  - Here is the issue I have with Zimmerman's cooperation.  The police did not treat Zimmerman as a suspect.  They pretty much accepted his version of the story until the evidence started showing contradictions.  At the same time, there is a double edge sword here.  Zimmerman has been so cooperative with the police and all then he should testify.  

1:57 pm  - The defense is being tricky here.  The defense is trying to get into Good's statement about the head bashing on the concrete but that was not testified at trial.

2:03 pm  - Here is the interesting thing is that Singleton refers to Martin as the victim, but in his statement refers to his as the suspect.

2:05 pm  - O'Mara goes over the elements of the 2nd Degree Murder charge to get Singleton to say Zimmerman did not exhibit such signs.  Of course, the issue was at the time of the shooting, not afterward.

2:08 pm - The defense is trying to suggest that Zimmerman has stuck with his story.  He is laying the foundation that Zimmerman has been consistent.  The prosecution cares less that Zimmerman is consistent in his stories, but that it is different that other evidence.  The defense is smudging the issue, also for the possible testimony of Zimmerman.  These matters get cleared up in summation.

2:13 pm  - O'Mara is doing good - but I think he pressed his luck a little about the address, when Singleton said it is expected that the neighborhood watch should know the names of the streets.  

2:17 pm  - All of this is weird to me.  O'Mara gets Singleton to admit it is pitch black outside.  We are setting the scene that all witnesses are not the most reliable - so what is the jury to do?  See what makes sense based on common sense.  

2:20 pm   - Re-direct.  

2:22 pm  - Good point by the prosecution here.  Now, we see why the prosecution wanted to illicit that Zimmerman was surprised to learn that Martin was dead - why holster your gun.

2:24 pm  - Another good point about the use of the term "suspect".  And another score on the elements of the 2nd Degree Murder.  Keeps the focus on what Zimmerman was thinking at the time of the shooting, not afterward.

2:27 pm  - I think the re-direct was very good.  



2:32 pm  - Next up, Chris Serino, the lead detective.  This should be interesting testimony.  I have heard talk of the tension between the prosecution and Singleton.  It must be remembered that there was some bungling of the evidence by the police (such as not arresting Zimmerman that night), and the prosecution needs to fight against it.

2:36 pm  - I know there is a lot of commentary saying how the defense is doing better here.  I still don't see it only because I believe the Prosecution is being methodic here and is building up to a story.  What will matter is closing argument and Zimmerman (who I think will take the stand).

2:39 pm  - Interesting, Zimmerman said the flashlight went dead but Serino got it to work with a few bangs.  But, Zimmerman was banging on the flashlight during the non-emergency call.

2:41 pm  - Martin was still talking after he got on Zimmerman????  

2:45 pm - Serino thought Zimmerman's injuries were minor.  The officer testimony should be interesting since officers were inclined, in the beginning, to believe Zimmerman's story and since the State Attorney did not want an arrest that night, they worked on that assumption.  It is common if you enter a case with a bias, you will question your investigation to fit that bias (look at scholarly work).  It is difficult for anyone to go in without a theory and then just look at the evidence and then make a determination.  But, we are asking the jury to do that here.

 2:49 pm  - Time for the video re-enactment.  I wonder what was deemed irrelevant.  

2:54 pm  -  I love the part of the tape where the officer waves to the people on the street.

3:06 pm  - Okay, the re-enactment was really not redacted that much.  Again, the prosecution is not looking for inconsistencies in Zimmerman's statements.  What they are going to demonstrate is that Zimmerman's story is not consistent with the evidence - and that is more important.

3:08 pm  - Next up, is the interview of Zimmerman again by Serino, where Serino goes into the inconsistencies with the evidence they have gathered.  This interview is done on the 29th - 3 days after the shooting and after more information is known by the police.  

3:13 pm  - This interview is hard to understand.  

 3:19 pm  - Zimmerman is detailing a previous incident at Taaffe's place.  Interesting that he stayed in his car for that one, even when he gave the wrong address.

3:30 pm  - Zimmerman telling police he has a bad memory, testifying against himself.

3:34 pm  - Interesting, that in the previous incident, Zimmerman believed the man was bluffing that he had a gun.  Zimmerman in the non-emergency 911 call mentioned Martin put his hand in his waistband.

3:40 pm  - Now Zimmerman doesn't know if he circled the entire car.  Sounds like he is hedging when the questioning becomes tougher.

4:03 pm - Zimmerman is being confronted with the 911 tape where he responds about that scream, "That doesn't even sound like me"  Now, of course, there is two interpretation of that - but Zimmerman needs to explain what he meant.  Also, the smothering part is brought up.  How can you scream if you are being smothered?  If Zimmerman does not take the stand, he kind of has been cross-examined.

 4:06 pm  - If you are screaming for help and someone is yelling for you to shut the fuck up, that should be loud if not louder.

4:07 pm  - Prosecution picked a perfect time to ask for a recess.

4:28 pm  - Back from the recess.  Juror question - they are going to have the recordings when they deliberate.  They are going to watch those, and they should, they are hard to pick up.

4:36 pm  - One of the purposes to show Zimmerman the picture of Martin is to show how skinny Martin was.   Now comes the cross.  I don't how long this should be.  Could be good.

4:39 pm  - It looks like Serino will be coming back for the defense's case-in-chief when they go through the investigation.

4:48 pm  - So Zimmerman was locked into his statement, which is why he did not change it much from there.   His inconsistencies among statements is not the issue - it is the inconsistencies with his statement and other evidence.  That is what both sides are going to focus on.

4:57 pm  - O'Mara is getting Serino to suggest that they believed Zimmerman at the time of his first statement.  That does change.

5:07 pm  - The cross is losing me.  O'Mara is trying to elicit information probably so as not to have to call Serino on it's case in chief, but they may have to to get into the investigation.

5:15 pm  - I think O'Mara is harming Zimmerman here.  Zimmerman's statement really doesn't change much and for Serino that is a problem.  I am not getting this cross - it also bolsters other witnesses.

5:28 pm  - I bet this jury wants to keep on, keeping on.

5:32 pm  - No surprise that no witness saw the initiation of the confrontation.

5:50 pm  - This cross examination is going no where.  This whole challenge interview thing opens alot up for redirect.  Also, Serino is treating Zimmerman at this last interview as both a victim and suspect. 

5:57 pm  - And we are done for the day.  Good point for the defense getting Serino to say that he believed Zimmerman was telling the truth when he said he wish the event was taped.  

What I am not getting with Serino is that there was no evidence contradicting Zimmerman's account.  There are contradictions between what Zimmerman told 911 and what he told investigators what happened.  Is this shotty police work?