Zimmerman Trial - Day 7

by Paul Siciliano


8:56 am - Court should soon be in session with the continued cross of Detective (now Patrolman) Serino

9:02 am  - We start the day with an evidentiary motion.  I enjoy this but others will find it boring.  I get why the prosecution is bringing this issue up.  Witnesses are not allowed to testify to the veracity of individuals - that is a jury determination.  

 9:13 am  - The judge is going down the right path hear.  Regardless of whether it helps the defendant, a witness cannot testify to the veracity of another witness - plain and simple.

9:17 am  - Looks like the prosecution will get its curative instruction.  

9:24 am  - Now, a hearing on a witness who could testify to Zimmerman's course work - I assume he was an on-line professor of Zimmerman's.  Smart move by the judge to table it to the afternoon.  Serino, a stereotypical Northeastern cop moving to Florida, returns to the stand.

 

 He's back

He's back

9:32 am  - There were more than minor changes.  The prosecution needs to drive this home.  

9:36 am  - What I do like about the defense here is that they are using the shoddy police work to their advantage.  They are suggesting that work is not shoddy but that the police just believed Zimmerman.  It will be interesting to see how the jury takes the way the investigation was conducted.  I believe this is why the Prosecution brought in all the interviews with Zimmerman.  The Prosecution cannot say outright that the investigation was botched but hope the jury leads itself to that conclusion.

9:41 am  - You knew this was coming.  The Prosecution kept its questions pointed with Serino, so there was much O'Mara wanted to cross Serino on but could not.  He needs to call him back - which he will.

9:42 am  - Back to redirect.  

9:43 am  - Yah!  Cursing!  

9:45 am  - Good on the prosecution getting Serino to say that calling someone a fucking punk demonstrates ill-will and spite.  Prosecution also raised his voice to get this out of Serino.  

9:55 am  - I love how the attorneys always apologize before repeating a curse.

 9:59 am  - Prosecution gets Serino to nod that Zimmerman knew he was bluffing when he said the event may have been taped.  The objection was sustained, but you could see Serino's nod. 

10:04 am  - Prosecutions trying to drive home that Zimmerman's address story is bullshit.  (I am going to curse now too.) 

10:05 am  - By the way, a leading question is one phrased in such a way that you are just getting the witness to say yes.  If a question starts with "Isn't it true. . ." and then you add details, it is likely it is a leading question.

10:09 am  - This is an interesting re-direct.  There are elements of impeachment here.  

10:10 am  - Prosecution focusing on the fact that Serino thought Zimmerman was exaggerating.  

10:11 am  - Prosecution focusing on the fact that Serino did not have a lot of evidence when he was questioning Zimmerman.  Forensics evidence will be coming soon.

 10:13 am  - Re-direct ends with Serino saying he was hoping for a real challenger interview.  Now, re-cross.  

10:15 am  - I love how we are getting into how one uses the term "asshole".  I have never used the term as a slang and never in a positive.  

10:18 am  - So I guess Zimmerman was considering Martin as his buddy when he called him an asshole.  

10:24 am  - This is boring, but I think O'Mara is trying to get enough out of Serino so as not to have to call him in his case-in-chief.

10:30 am  - Like me, Serino doesn't believe the fight occurred at the intersection of the T, but did not want to say so directly.  

10:33 am  - O'Mara did not get the answer he wanted with respect to whether he would find Martin suspicious under similar circumstances.  It is a risk worth taking though.

 10:50 am  - Some good points on the defense with respect to the gun shot - that there was a gap between the shirt and the chest, suggesting Martin was hovering over Zimmerman.

 10:54 am  - Darn phone call made me miss the end up of re-cross and re-re-direct.  

10:59 am  - Prosecution brings up a great point that I have wondered.  Why doesn't Zimmerman have any defensive wounds. Where was his hands when he was being pummeled and having his head slammed on the concrete.

11:01 am  - Too many re-re's here.  So this is re-re-cross.

11:03 am  - Recess time.  I need a snack.  :)

11:23 am  - We are back.  Next up - Mark Osterman - Zimmerman's best friend.  Interesting.  

MarkOsterman.jpg

11:26 am  - Osterman is going to recount what Zimmerman told him.  

11:28 am  - So many times using the word suspicious.  I am wondering why you would call Zimmerman's friend.  There must be something here.

11:36 am  - If Zimmerman stumbled backwards after the punch then the fight did not take place where Zimmerman claims.  If Martin's knees are by Zimmerman's armpits pummeling him.   This is where the prosecution is going with this testimony.  

11:43 am  - Oh, I get this Osterman wrote that Zimmerman claimed that Martin grabbed the gun to Osterman,  But, that goes against Zimmerman's own account.

11:51 am  - Okay, this is kind of boring.  O'Mara is probably going to call Osterman anyway.  

11:57 am  - Is it time for lunch?

12:08 pm  - O'Mara knows the mounting position is a problem.  Osterman gets that the mounting is trying to helping the Prosecution.

12:13 pm  - Osterman is sweating here.  I would be nervous too.  It could appear that he knows the pieces of the story are not making sense, so he is hedging.  

12:20 pm  - When Zimmerman re-holster's his gun after the shooting is a big issue.  Osterman realizes there are inconsistencies but is trying to help his friend, which is understandable.

12:21 pm  - Lunch time!

1:26 pm  - Speculation is that Sabrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother, will testify soon.  I wouldn't cross her.  The jury will know she is the mother of the victim and will give her weight with respect to the screams on the 911 call.

1:33 pm  - Back in session with motion practice.  Okay, that was quick.  The jury is back.

1:35 pm  - Ugh, now Zimmerman's interview with Sean Hannity comes in.  I really can't stand Hannity.  

1:36 pm  - I wonder if there is going to be any inconsistent statement here.

1:38 pm  - I think alot of this interview may go to Zimmerman's state of mind.  If Zimmerman carried his gun at all times, how could he not remember he had it.  

1:41 pm  - In this interview, Zimmerman claims the murder was God's plan, but I wonder if that is allowed in.  

1:43 pm  - I never saw this interview before with Hannity, because it is Hannity.  I am surprised O'Mara allowed it.  

1:44 pm  - Zimmerman is suggesting that he is going to stay on the circle for the cops.  That never happens.

1:46 pm  - I think alot of focus will be on Zimmerman reaching for his phone.  Here is Zimmerman's problems, every time there is a crucial point in his story he cannot remember.  It is odd for one person to remember so many details but seem to forget the crucial ones.  

1:51 pm  - He felt Martin's hand go down his chest for the gun???

 1:54 pm  - The God's plan line came in.

1:56 pm  - I think it is odd that Zimmerman did not know Martin was dead, all those other people saw that he was dead.  Zimmerman never looked back, that is odd too.  

1:59 pm  - There wasn't a way to know what the number was.  Okay, here is the big problem for Zimmerman here.  If he was going to the circle to get an exact address, he was there and had one.  But, he decided not to give that to the police and went back to his car instead.

 2:00 pm - Great, no more Hannity.  

2:01 pm - Next witness, Dr. Valerie Rao - the medical examiner.  Finally, we begin with some forensics.

ValerieRao.jpg

2:04 pm  - I love how she talks of living patients.  She has expertise in blunt force.  I wonder if she will discuss whether Zimmerman's injuries are consistent with blunt force.  

2:07 pm - Shout out to Jackson Miami Hospital in Miami where I was born.  Rao also has expertise in rape, police brutality and abuse.  

2:08 pm  - Rao is an expert in pathology and forensic pathology.  

2:10 pm  - Rao is going to testify about Zimmerman's injuries.

2:10 pm  - Rao determined that Zimmerman's injuries were insignificant.  

2:13 pm  - One of the big issues in this case will be whether the injuries Zimmerman suffered are consistent with what he claimed.  

2:17 pm - Injuries consistent with head hitting the concrete once, but not frequently, but not with great force.

2:18 pm  - Now discussing injuries to the front.  None of which are life threatening.   Contusions to the face are small.

2:19 pm  - The injuries to the face come from a single blow.  The injury to the face is consistent with a single blow to the face.  This evidence goes to both whether deadly force was justified and whether Zimmerman's account is correct.

2:21 pm  - I think the abrasions on the side comes from rolling on the concrete - Rao keeps saying single impact

2:22 pm  - Wow, that was a quick examination.  Cross-examination begins with questioning the witness's bias.

2:31 pm  - Expert testimony is always fun - but defense is doing job here demonstrating that the injuries could be consistent with any number of scenarios.

2:33 pm  - I think Rao threw off O'Mara by saying that a person would likely cough up the blood, instead of swallow it.  Suggests it would be a good idea to swallow it.  

2:40 pm  - As with all medical expert testimony, you score some points and lose some points.  The fun of experts.  I think O'Mara should be quick and short on the questions.

2:46 pm - It is the shape of Zimmerman's skull, which is why he grew his hair out.  Smart move by the defense to have him do that, but you can see his skull is asymetrical.

2:54 pm - O'Mara may have scored some early points with Rao but this is going nowhere at the moment.  

2:57 pm  - This is better questioning from O'Mara.  

3:07 pm  - Next witness.  Well, maybe a break because we got to find a witness.  Recess time.

3:25 pm  - Recess is over.  Evidentiary hearing with respect to Zimmerman's course work and wanted to be a police officer.  

3:29 pm  - O'Mara is losing me hear on his argument.  

3:35 pm  - I am an evidence nerd, so I am liking this discussion.  I would allow in records regarding criminal class work and his course work.  It goes to a theory that he is a wanna-be-cop, knew procedure, and even knew the law of self-defense/stand your ground, which is relevant to much of the language he used in a statement that was just too perfect.  

3:44 pm  - Recess for some evidentiary research - I don't think the defense is going to find any.  But, another break.

4:17 pm  - Recess over.  So we will pass on this issue until tomorrow.  We are awaiting the next witness. Looks like another forensics person since Guy is doing the questioning.

4:23 pm  - Kristen Benson, a latent print examiner.  This will probably go to whether Martin's prints were on the gun.

 

KristenBensen.jpg

4:24 pm  - A latent print is the unintentional print being transferred onto a surface.

4:29 pm  - Okay, we get it, there are no latent prints on Zimmerman's gun.  

4:32 pm - Could we be done early.  

4:36 pm - Yup, we are done.  There will be additional business though - maybe a proffer? Or just housecleaning.

4:38 pm  - No, I want to hear this.  

4:45 pm  - And, we are done!