George Zimmerman

Prosecutors attack Zimmerman story several ways

Judge Debra Nelson June 18, 2013 Photo / AP - Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank PoolSANFORD, Fla. (AP) – A judge tossed out a Florida police detective’s statement that he found George Zimmerman credible in his description of fighting with Trayvon Martin, a decision that could benefit prosecutors who are trying to discredit the defendant’s self-defense claims.

Other efforts by prosecutors to attack Zimmerman’s version of events on Tuesday included the cross examination of a friend he called after shooting Martin and the testimony of a doctor who found the defendant’s injuries to be insignificant. They also sought to introduce school records that indicate the neighborhood watch volunteer had studied the state’s self-defense law, in another swipe at his truthfulness.

Prosecutors took the unusual step of trying to pick apart the statements of a Sanford, Fla., police investigator they’d called as a prosecution witness because some of what he said appeared to help the defense. Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asked the judge to strike Detective Chris Serino’s statement that he thought Zimmerman was credible when he described how he got into a fight with Martin. Serino was the lead investigator on the case.

The initial lack of an arrest by the Sanford police following the death of Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in February 2012 led to protests across the nation and spurred a debate about race and the laws of self-defense. Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is from Peru. Sanford’s police chief was fired months later, and a Florida special prosecutor charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder.

De la Rionda argued Serino’s statement was improper because one witness isn’t allowed to evaluate another witness’s credibility. Defense attorney Mark O’Mara argued that it’s Serino’s job to decide whether Zimmerman was telling the truth.

Judge Debra Nelson told jurors to disregard the statement.

“This is an improper comment,” the judge said.

Zimmerman has said he fatally shot Martin, 17, in self-defense because he was banging his head into a concrete sidewalk. Zimmerman, 29, could get life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

To earn a conviction on the charge, prosecutors must prove there was ill will, spite or a depraved mind by the defendant.

The prosecutor also questioned Serino about his opinion that Zimmerman didn’t display those negative emotions toward Martin.

De la Rionda played back Zimmerman’s call to police to report the teen walking through his gated community. Zimmerman uses an expletive, refers to “punks” and then says, “These a——-. They always get away.”

The detective conceded that Zimmerman’s choice of words could be interpreted as being spiteful.

The state has argued that Zimmerman profiled Martin from his truck and called a police dispatch number before he and the teenager got into a fight. Zimmerman has denied the confrontation had anything to do with race, as Martin’s family and their supporters have claimed.

Several moves by prosecutors Tuesday were aimed at showing inconsistencies in Zimmerman’s statements.

Prosecutors asked the judge to allow them to introduce school records showing Zimmerman took a class that addressed Florida’s self-defense law. They say it will show he had knowledge of the law, even though he claimed he didn’t during an interview with Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity. The interview was played for jurors.

O’Mara objected, saying the school records were irrelevant. He referred to the prosecution’s efforts to introduce them as “a witch hunt.”

The judge said she would rule later in the week.

O’Mara told CNN on Tuesday night that if prosecutors start bringing up Zimmerman’s past, “then it really brings in what Trayvon Martin brings to the table, all of his violent acts that we know about and some of the fighting that he was involved in.”

Late Tuesday morning, the prosecution questioned Mark Osterman, a Zimmerman friend who spoke with him after the shooting and later wrote a book about the case.

Under questioning by de la Rionda, Osterman said that Zimmerman told him Martin had grabbed his gun during their struggle, but that Zimmerman was able to pull it away.

That account is different from what Zimmerman told investigators in multiple interviews. In those interviews, he only said it appeared Martin was reaching for his gun prior to the shooting. He never told police the teen grabbed it.

“I thought he had said he grabbed the gun,” Osterman said. “I believe he said he grabbed the gun.”

A Sanford Police Department fingerprint examiner testified that none of Martin’s prints were found on the gun.

Prosecutors also called a medical examiner who had reviewed evidence for them to the witness stand. Dr. Valerie Rao testified that Zimmerman’s injuries were insignificant, bolstering the prosecution’s claims that Zimmerman’s life wasn’t in jeopardy during his fight with Martin. Rao was not the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Martin.

“They were so minor that the individual who treated and examined Mr. Zimmerman decided stitches weren’t required,” Rao said.

O’Mara told CNN that he believed prosecutors may finish presenting their case Wednesday or Friday, and that defense attorneys will be calling witnesses most of next week.

“We’re going to put on a case,” he said.


Source: AP

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Takahiro says:

Okay, but I’ve severe time cosntraints so it won’t be until at least the weekend.Although, the correspondence that was important is in my post, there’s not much more than that, and Pauline is a ruthless housekeeper, so as she thought her first email to GMI informing them of reasons for soon transferring was ‘routine’ she deleted that after sending …

emeraldeyes says:

Definitely! Trayvon was profiled, stalked like an animal, cornered, assaulted and murdered with malice aforethought by this hateful, paranoid, wannabe cop. The prosecution’s case unequivocally proves it – step by step, witness by witness and Rachel is Treyvon’s living testimony and thank goodness for that – as unsophisticated as she was , she spoke for Treyvon and I believe she will .

tony montana says:

WHAT A Crock of Bull
Trayvon Martin – A typical American teenager, Trayvon Martin was a tall, skinny kid whose friends called him “Slimm.” He was a good student who loved his math classes and aspired to attend college to become an engineer — he wanted to work on airplanes. His teachers remember a sweet, respectful kid; his family remembers a boy who loved football, sports, video games, R&B, reggae, rap and gospel music and who was looking forward to taking his girlfriend to the junior prom.

Was expelled backpack contained women’s jewelry and burglar tools wannabe thug

emeraldeyes says:

Trayvon was also the only person that didn’t criticize and make fun of Rachel, the friend that was the last person ever to speak to Trayvon except his murderer, George Zimmerman. I feel that he was a typical teen, and with a generous and good heart!

Walid says:

C est plus facile quand e7a monte, mais le reunetcmert musculaire n est pas le meame que sur le plat (e0 ve9lo de route identique) et encore plus diffe9rent avec un TT.Cependant, lorsque tu tiens 350w sur plusieurs col, e7a fait fait une excellente re9serve Il faut juste bien transfe9rer parce qu un 280W de NP avec cf4te est plus facile e0 tenir qu un 280W NP en chrono donc proche d un 280Wmoy qui est une autre histoire

Lenny says:

I wonder what Pistorius does when he is waved tuhgroh public transportation? I guess his way of paying it forward is to us the largest platform available to demonstrate to the world that disabled is only in the eyes of the beholder.

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Jordan says:

Sarah, you did an incredible job with Jamie and Aaron’s wdinedg! You were able to capture just the right moments! Thanks for letting us be a part of your magic! haha

tony montana says:

State has nothing. Can’t win case by submitting an empty bag of skittles and a picture of trayvon when he was 12 into evidence

emeraldeyes says:

You obviously haven’t been watching the trial because you don’t have a clue about evidence and testimony! The prosecution has built a beautiful case with witness testimony that is consistent with each other and consistent with a cold blooded murder that by far surpasses the level required for a conviction. Watch the trial and stop reading the media.

Dion says:

Such a sad story. To have overcome and acieevhd so much, only to blow it. His story has too many holes in it. Unfortunately, I think they had a fight and he shot her.

Patricia Nelson says:


Patricia Nelson says:


tony montana says:

bottom line he won’t

LoveBunny says:

Maybe the truth is that BOTH of these guys had attitudes, and they felt their lives were being threatened at various times during their time of contact . . . The truth is often gray!

LoveBunny says:

The judge does seem biased towards the prosecution. However, the jury has heard the testimony, and even though part of the comments were “stricken”, the jury still knows what they heard. . . They cannot “un-hear” it!

David Callaway says:

This judge is a prosecutor in judge robes. The bias is alarming and one can see the glaring opinion of the mainstream media in her decisions thus far.

emeraldeyes says:

The school records are very germain, relevant and important. It speaks to his credibility. As it stands now it doesn’t count for much. The preponderance of the evidence is stacked AGAINST him and the defense had better have some good facts and witnesses otherwise Georgie boy is going down for a LONG time!

Samantha says:

My four year fix is over so as far as sporting lengeds go, really haven’t got any apart from maybe Daley Thompson who I will always remember for being the Worlds best Decathlete and I saw him winning Gold in two Olympics. He was made many offers that would have kept him in the limelight but really took the decision to concentrate on his sporting business interests, occasionally popping up. He was a cheeky chappy, but never really in anyone else’s face other than his continual sporting fights over records with Germany’s Jurgen Hingsmen and so if I was going to name one Legendary Icon it would be him, a guy who let his skill do the talking.Even with my great love affair with the TDF there are many who call many from that arena Legends and Icons, me I just admire them all knowing that next year and the year after newcomers are going to take their place and I will remember guys from the past but support the new guys ..

MeMe says:

There are times it seemed that the only one fighting for his life that night was Zimmerman. I am still waiting to here (other than what the detective said during his questioning of GZ) how Martin reaction to that “creepy *** ****) was that this man wanted to do him harm. I believe TM felt his life was being threaten for this man to come up on hom so close like that. I have a 22 yrs old son and I worry about him being out late at night, though he says he is not scared, however, he has admitted to me if he was in that situation he would have thought this creepy guy wanted to harm, i.e., rob him, rape him, kill him. I’m still waiting. GZ looked for scared during his question about that very fact.

emeraldeyes says:

Trayvon obviously thought that he was safe too simply walking, minding his business and going to a store to buy candy! Thank goodness there aren’t too many paranoid, psychopathic killers like George Zimmerman out there, otherwise we’d never be able to let young people go out after dark!


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