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Day One Of The George Zimmerman Murder Trial: The Unraveling Of Zimmerman’s Defense Has Began With A Major Procedural Error By His Counsel

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The murder trial of George Zimmerman who is acussed of murdering 16-year-old Trayvon Martin February 26, 2012, has began with much fanfare as many following the tragic story has expected. The state came right out of the gate with both barrels blazing quoting obscenities Zimmerman made during his call to police that night. “These fucking punks” and “These assholes always get away” is what the state prosecutors began their opening remarks with, and they were repeated and repeated again. The presiding judge appears to be stern and well vested on the law so far as procedures for cases of this magnitude goes, while tolerating the profanity state lawyers made. Judge Debra Nelson began today by conducting a hearing on sequester rules for this capitol crime. The Defense raised issue that the court had seemingly created “an unbalanced and unfair” climate for the trial by prohibiting George Zimmerman’s parents from viewing the trial in the confines of the courtroom. Attorney O’Mara argued that Trayvon Martin’s parents Sabrina Fulton and Tracey Martin were being allowed to be present during the trial. “All I am asking is for the parents for both sides to be present your honor,” he said. Nelson dismissed the Defense’ request and cited Supreme Court rulings that allows for the next of kin to be present during the trial so far as long as the relatives are not on the witness list. Unfortunately for Zimmerman, in the wake of the Bail Hearing debacle when he lied about the amount of money he and his wife had in the bank, his parents were brought into the mix of things and will be a part of the trial as potential witnesses. O’mara strongly objected, but was shot down by the Supreme Court ruling. O’Mara went even further and tried to have Tracey Martin dismissed from the courtroom. The exchange between O’Mara and Judge Nelson became extremely heated at one point when O’mara tried to over talk her. Judge Nelson told the Defense Counsel, “don’t say alright okay to me like that either.” She would eventually allow O’Mara to proceed in his attempts to get Tracey Martin Barred from the courtroom, while stopping him mid-argument and asking if he had anything to present that would prejudice or prohibit Mr. Zimmerman from obtaining a fair trial. The defense presented a witness (a family) friend who claims that Tracey Martin had called him a “mother fucker” in passing during one of the trials rest breaks. During close examination of this witness under cross by the state, it was determined that the incident had actually occurred 2 weeks ago prior to today’s hearing. At that moment you could hear subtle dialogue from the courtroom spectators. Judge Nelson would ultimately rule that the court had no issue with the conduct of any family members doing the course of proceedings so far, and noted that she had monitoring the activities of relatives during the witness selection process of the case. However, she made it clear that she reserved the right to admonish and depose and one who conducts themselves inappropriately during the trial. Why is the defense trying to have Tracey Martin removed from the courtroom? I am sure those unknown reasons will eventually reveal itself later on during the course of the trial. The state called several key witness on day one, including the 7-eleven clerk who was working the night Trayvon went there to buy Ice Tea and Skittles. As the tape recorded surveillance evidence from the store was played in court, Martin, a tall, slinky, and even seemingly nerdy teen was seen making a purchase in what would be the last moments of the kid’s young life. Under cross examination of the clerk by the Defense, Counsel O’Mara tried to get the witness to say Trayvon was suspicious looking and that he was following him around the store. That obvious attempt to cast Trayvon in a negative light in front of the jury failed. The state also called Sean Naffe (911 dispatcher) who took Zimmerman’s call to police the night he shot Trayvon Martin. Some Fox Network followers strangely believe that the defense did major damage to the prosecution’s case while cross examining this witness, but the more logical thinking, unbiased, and perhaps coherent followers of the case observed what I did. Naffe testifies that 911 dispatchers are trained not to give callers direct orders out of fear that their directives could become a liability if something bad should occur as a result of their directives. This clearly creates a credibility issue for Zimmerman because during his initial police interview, he told cops e had exited his vehicle to get an address at the dispatcher’s request. Naffe also testified that he never gave Zimmerman any directives or made any request whatsoever. Under cross of Naffe by the defense, the argument was raised that his request, “which direction is he running” could have been easily interpreted by Zimmerman to get out of the car and look for Trayvon. Naffe did agree that he has no control over how callers interpret what dispatchers say to them, but Naffe’s testimony was otherwise concise and gave the Defense nothing they could use to bolster their case. In fact the veteran dispatcher seemingly purposely dismissed questions from the Defense Counsel that would cause him to speculate. The trial was also full of exhibits and other evidence such as aerial views of the Retreat at Twin Lakes town-homes and the recorded 911 tape from that fateful night. Judge Nelson interrupted the trial on several occasions to settle procedural disputes between both sides, but the most interesting, crucial and highlight of the first day of trial came when the Defense made a huge procedural error culminating in a disastrous first day of their efforts to free their client. During the state’ examination of the town of Sanford’s Custodian of Records, Ms. Ramona Rumph, the state requested to introduce audio recording evidence, and Mr. O’Mara agreed to allow the evidence into court without objection. I am uncertain if the defense was preoccupied with preparing their cross examination of the witness, but something went terribly bad for them. Judge Nelson granted the state permission to play the tape, and the jurors would hear another unrelated 911 call in which Zimmerman was reporting another suspicious black male to police. In the recording Zimmerman is overheard saying, and I quote “I have just observed a person who broke into a home in the neighborhood a few weeks ago.” The 911 dispatcher ask Zimmer for a description of the man and he gives it, citing that the man was wearing black socks and brown sandals. How suspicious can you be if your walking around with sandals on? The dispatcher is then heard asking Zimmerman if the man lived in the neighborhood, and Zimmer says “I don’t know I have never seen him around here before”. Attorney O’Mara immediately jumped to his feet and strongly objected to the evidence, and Judge Nelson reminded him that she had ask beforehand if the Defense had objections to the introduction of the evidence, and the counsel had replied no. Obviously that tape is a huge blow to the credibility of their client. The judge dismissed the jury once again and held a hearing on the issue, both sides argued their interpretation of case law, but Nelson didn’t budge and asked the Attorneys to produce any available case law they had to support their arguments. It was very clear that Judge Nelson nor either Attorneys were prepared to argue on the merits of the issue that had now arose. Moreover, there has to be strong procedural precedent for court cases when evidence has been introduced after both parties having already agreed to it’s permittance before a sitting jury. Zimmerman’s Defense Counsel have made it’s first misstep in the efforts to free their client. It was a colossal F*&^kup that they may not be able to overcome. Judge Nelson recessed the trial for the day until 8:30 tomorrow allow the attorneys to present case law supporting their arguments. On this issue it’s just another upheaval Zimmerman’s lawyers will have to overcome as a direct result of their failure to focus on the evidence being presented in this case. I can’t see the judge directing this jury to dismiss this damaging evidence to Zimmerman’s defense, and even if she does the seed has already been planted that George Zimmerman is a liar.

 

 

The People’s Champion

I’m David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. Recognized journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.
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