Charges filed in Trayvon Martin case

I had some things I wanted to say about this today, but I’ve run out of time — I’m on my way to a meeting that will last the rest of the afternoon.

So I thought I’d put up a post where y’all can start a discussion, and I’ll join you later in progress. Here’s the latest news:

SANFORD, Fla. — George Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer arrested on murder charges in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Zimmerman, 28, was charged by a special prosecutor on Wednesday evening with second-degree murder. He is likely to appear with a new lawyer, Mark M. O’Mara, a well-known criminal lawyer, but it is not clear if a judge will set bail, or if Mr. Zimmerman will formally enter a plea.

Mr. O’Mara said in a brief interview on Wednesday night that when the time comes his client would plead not guilty…

34 thoughts on “Charges filed in Trayvon Martin case

  1. Karen McLeod

    I still want to know why Mr. Zimmerman can claim the “Stand you ground” law when he’s the one who followed Treyvon, then got out of the car (against an admonition from the dispatcher not to) and accosted and accosted him. It seems to me that if Treyvon fought back, it was he who was standing his ground. Does this mean that if a stranger comes up and tries to stop you or grabs you, and you fight back, he can shoot you? That doesn’t sound right. Mr. Zimmerman may have been part of a neighborhood watch, but he had no official i.d. To Treyvon, he was a stranger.

  2. Dave C

    I certainly don’t know if Zimmerman is a gun-toting vigilante who was out looking for trouble or just an innocent neighborhood watch volunteer who acted in self-defense protecting his turf. All I think I know is that Trayvon Martin is dead and all he was carrying a pack of Skittles and a can of ice tea in a backpack. And I think the police may have been quick to accept the self-defense story in light of a poorly thought out state law which seemed to bar them from arresting Zimmerman under any circumstance.

    I, for one, am glad to see that the case may be presented to a jury and let THEM decide Zimmerman’s culpability for Martin’s death. There is no question he killed Martin. The only question is whether it was justified. And I DON’T think I know the answer to that question at this point.

  3. Steven Davis II

    The media has already convicted Zimmerman. They’ve manipulated video to blur injuries to Zimmerman and they’ve edited audio to present Zimmerman as someone who’s malicious and a cold blooded killer. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out, I’m not going to be surprised if the judge dismisses the case for lack of evidence in a 2nd degree murder trial.

    What everyone knows but are not willing to say is if the prosecutor would not have charged Zimmerman there would have been riots in the street across the country last night. If a judge dismisses the case there will be riots that day, if Zimmerman is not convicted or if there is a hung jury there will be riots the likes of Rodney King. That’s how it works in “the hood”. As long as they burn their own neighborhoods down I’m fine with that.

  4. Steven Davis II

    I can’t help but notice that the media is still using two photos to show Martin and Zimmerman. Martin as a 12 year old and Zimmerman wearing an orange jail jumpsuit. Coinsidence?

    What will come out will be the fact that Trayvon isn’t the little angel shoved in our face. There is more to why he was suspended from school. In his tweets he brags about punching a bus driver in the face… a “female” bus driver, I’m sure there’s more that will come out when this is all done.

    Prediction: Hung Jury or Not Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder

  5. Steven Davis II

    Karen, do you know something the rest of us don’t? The last I heard Zimmerman got out of his car when he lost sight of Martin and was attacked/confronted when returning to his vehicle.

    Explain the broken nose, explain the cuts on the back of his head, explain the grass stains on Zimmerman’s jacket. Not the injuries of a man who stood over a child and shot him in the chest.

  6. bud

    The important part of this story is what roll the stand your ground law play in the initial tragedy and lack of a quick arrest afterward. Seems like a good test case for SYG. Hopefully we won’t see these laws passed in other states any time soon.

  7. Steven Davis II

    Mark – Assume you were Zimmerman. Sorry, Sorry but I haven’t punched a woman bus driver in the face, gotten suspended from school for anything much less drugs, or been known to use a Twitter account known as something resembling “no_limit_nigga”… like Martin had.

    Kathryn – Maybe not “manipulated” but once the video was enhanced and less fuzzy it clearly showed a gash on the back of his head. A gash that before the video was cleaned up the “I am Trayvon” crowd was screaming that there were no injuries. Not to mention that this video was taken 4 hours after the shooting and after Zimmerman had been attended to by EMS.

    Actually Kathryn, I’d think you’d be the one who thought the evil NASA program wasted money on a moon landing instead of using the money to hand out to the “voluntarily less fortunate”.

  8. Steven Davis II

    I’ve been reading some comments on other sites and the consensus is that the several lawyers don’t believe that this will ever make it to trial. The prosecutors are going to have their hands full trying to just get past the “stand your ground” law in place, with just the information being reported. The prosecution must present proof that there was more than self defense at the time of the shooting. With witnesses who called 911 stating that Zimmerman was the one of the ground (proven by grass stains on his back) and the injuries to the back of his head from getting his head beat into a sidewalk. We’ll see, but prepare yourself if you’re in an urban area when the case gets dismissed.

  9. Silence

    @Kathryn – I sort of do believe that the moon landing might have been faked. I mean, I KNOW it wasn’t because it would be too hard to keep secret, but I find it unbelieveable that NASA was actually able to put people on the moon and bring them home safely.

  10. Silence

    Also, I don’t know if Zimmerman is guilty or not, I haven’t been reading the articles that closely, but I do agree that he wouldn’t have been charged if a stink hadn’t been raised.

  11. Steven Davis II

    Question – If Martin was trying to flee Zimmerman, wouldn’t it be reasonable to think that a 17 year old football player could outrun a 28 year old heavyset man? The struggle happened out in the open on a public sidewalk. I’m willing to bet if there was a foot race that Martin would leave Zimmerman in his dust.

  12. Mark Stewart

    My point, Steven, is that there are people on both sides of this issue who start wih a deeply held personal opinion and then go looking for “facts” to support their dogma. That’s true in every aspect of life. But other ways of looking at the world are available.

    We don’t know what transpired that night, but we do know Zimmerman was out looking for trouble, that that night was part of a pattern of behavior, and that he exited his vehicle with a firearm and gave chase to someone he perceived to be guilty. It’s clear both suffered from self esteem issues. It is also clear a life was senselessly extinguised.

    Nothing else is settled yet – most likely never will be – except that that moment of choice will forever haunt and define Zimmerman’s life. We can all empathize with that, no?

  13. Steven Davis II

    @Burl – “Are you going to testify at the trial? Please do.”

    Sorry that you’re going to find out things about Trayvon that you don’t want to believe.

  14. Steven Davis II

    @Burl – “And what broken nose, what grass stains, what head injuries? NO EVIDENCE WAS COLLECTED BY THE POLICE.”

    Are you going to testify at the trial? Please do.

  15. Greg

    The one thing I do know is that if the astronauts had carried Zimmerman’s gun to the moon and left it there, none of this would have happened.

  16. Silence

    @ Greg – Why would NASA have left Zimmerman’s gun on an Area 51 sound stage? It would make more sense for the Lawyer-Political-Complex to use it to frame Zimmerman….

  17. Steven Davis II

    @Mark – “but we do know Zimmerman was out looking for trouble”

    Is that a fact or your opinion?

    “that that night was part of a pattern of behavior”

    Go on…

    “and that he exited his vehicle with a firearm and gave chase to someone he perceived to be guilty”

    So why have the trial, according to your statement he’s already guilty and the court system should just move on to sentencing.

    “It’s clear both suffered from self esteem issues.”

    Did you hear this from Dr. Phil or is this your professional medical opinion?

    “It is also clear a life was senselessly extinguised. ”

    I’ll let you know, if I’m ever put in a situation where I’m having my head bashed into a sidewalk.

  18. Steven Davis II

    Interesting, my legitimate question of whether a 17 year old athlete can outrun an overweight 28 year old goes unanswered.

    Maybe Zimmerman did run down Martin and captured him, slipping and falling on a sidewalk breaking his own nose and splitting his head open in the process. If you believe that I’m going to speculate that Martin grabbed Zimmerman’s gun and committed suicide.

  19. Silence

    @SDII – Is this whole thing being investigated by the national park police? Vincent Foster approves of your theory.

  20. Steven Davis II

    Interesting comment on another forum I read last night. I don’t know if the numbers are accurate, but that is not that important to the statement.

    There have been more than 500 black men shot and killed across the country since the Trayvon Martin shooting. When do they get their pictures on NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CNN, etc…? When are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton going to speak for them and their families?

  21. Steven Davis II

    @Silence – It might be, and they might have a prosecutor who’s as giddy as Angela Corey was in her press conference. I wonder if this was a one time nervous thing or if she was this excited and happy when she announced that she was trying a 12 year old as an adult.

    Cristian Fernandez case

    In 2011 Corey’s office oversaw a case in which 12-year-old Cristian Fernandez was accused of killing his two-year-old brother. Corey sought and received a grand jury indictment Fernandez on charges of homicide and aggravated child abuse, and decided to try him as an adult.[13] This move, which made Fernandez the youngest person ever to face a murder charge in Jacksonville’s history, drew criticism and protests to send the case to juvenile court instead,[14] but Corey held that the juvenile system was inadequate to handle a crime of this magnitude.[15] However, Corey stated she did not intend for Fernandez to stand trial or serve a life sentence, but would rather accept a plea deal.[16] As of February 1, 2012 the defense and prosecution had not agreed to a plea deal, but were still in discussion. A trial was scheduled for February 27, 2012, but was postponed.[17]

  22. Steven Davis II

    Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz told MSNBC that the Zimmerman affidavit was irresponsible and unethical.
    “It’s so thin it won’t make it pass the judge on a second degree murder charge… It’s not only thin, it’s irresponsible.”

    Mediaite reported:

    Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball where fill-in host Michel Smerconish asked him his opinions of the arrest warrant issued and carried out for alleged Trayvon Martin murderer, George Zimmerman. Dershowitz called the affidavit justifying Zimmerman’s arrest “not only thin, it’s irresponsible.” He went on to criticize the decision to charge Zimmerman for second degree murder by special prosecutor Angela Corey as being politically motivated.

    “You’ve seen the affidavit of probable cause. What do you make of it,” Smerconish asked. “It won’t suffice,” Dershowitz replied without hesitation.

    “Most affidavits of probable cause are very thin. This is so thin that it won’t make it past a judge on a second degree murder charge,” Dershowitz said. “There’s simply nothing in there that would justify second degree murder.”

    Dershowitz said that the elements that would constitute that crime are non-existent in the affidavit. “It’s not only thin, it’s irresponsible,” said Dershowitz.

    Dershowitz went on to strongly criticize Corey’s decision to move forward with the case against Zimmerman. “I think what you have here is an elected public official who made a campaign speech last night for reelection when she gave her presentation and overcharged. This case will not – if the evidence is no stronger than what appears in the probable cause affidavit – this case will result in an acquittal.”

  23. martin

    To me, the most important fact is that if Zimmerman had stayed in his vehicle as law enforcement told him to do, this would not have happened. The act of getting out of the car, after he had been instructed to stay in it, made Zimmerman the aggressor and placed Martin in the position of standing his ground…without a gun.

    In other words, I totally agree with Karen McLeod.

    I have never seen such a groundswell of support for someone for disregarding instructions/orders from a law enforcement official.

  24. Steven Davis II

    “I have never seen such a groundswell of support for someone for disregarding instructions/orders from a law enforcement official.”

    Since when are 911 operators “law enforcement officials”?

  25. Dave C

    I don’t see anyone taking issue with my assessment (#3 above). Is anyone willing to take issue with the appropriateness of the ‘facts’ being presented to a jury and let THEM evaluate Zimmerman’s culpability???

  26. kc

    I have never seen such a groundswell of support for someone for disregarding instructions/orders from a law enforcement official.

    Yeah, and it’s coming from the same kind of people who usually cheer the unprovoked tasing of unarmed citizens by rageaholic traffic cops.


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