Lead investigator in Trayvon Martin killing hires Casey Anthony’s attorney Jose Baez
Jose Baez, the criminal defense attorney famous for his representation of Casey Anthony, will reportedly represent the lead investigator in the George Zimmerman case, according to Baez’ spokesman Michael Wright.
Officer Chris Serino, a former major crimes investigator for the Sanford police, led the investigation into the February 26 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman, a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, said he shot the young unarmed African American teen in self-defense after he attacked him. Zimmerman was not arrested for several weeks after the shooting, with officers citing Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.
Serino has said he originally gathered evidence for a manslaughter charge against Zimmerman. His paperwork indicated a probable cause determination and he later recommended that manslaughter charges be brought against Zimmerman. Seminole County State’s Attorney Norm Wolfinger did not pursue the charges, citing a lack of evidence. However, in April, special prosecutor Angela Corey charged Zimmerman with second degree murder.
In an unusual trial strategy, defense attorney Mark O’Mara has included Serino and several other law enforcement officers on the defense’s witness list. Usually police officers testify for the prosecution. This decision tends to indicate O’Mara believes Serino’s testimony may help his client.
If the court does not grant Zimmerman immunity under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, his second degree murder trial is set for June 10.
Baez gained national notoriety after defending Casey Anthony in 2008 on charges that she killed her two-year-old daughter Caylee Maree. Anthony was acquitted of murder and all other serious charges.
Ryan Kerns, Esq., Wild About Trial
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.