Tag Archive: Don West


On Friday, July 5th, after 9 days of testimony, the State of Florida rest it’s case against George Zimmerman, accused of 2nd degree murder in the senseless shooting of 17-year old Trayvon Benjamin Martin.  As expected in most murder trials, Mark O’Mara and co-counsel Don West asked Judge Debra Nelson for an acquittal which she denied. With that the defense began.  Attorney Mark O’Mara calls his first witness, George Zimmerman’s mother. Gladys Zimmerman who swore under oath that the voice she heard on the 911 call was the voice of her son.

When O’Mara asked, “Why do you think it’s George?” Gladys simply replied, ” Because he’s MY son”  Bingo!  Although she hasn’t heard him like that before, she’s certain it was her son George.  Very good Gladys. Now you can go for ice cream with Donny and Molly.

Just as quickly as George’s mother’s testimony came to a close, up to the stand was Jorge Mesa, George Zimmerman’s uncle.

Jorge Mesa, who happens to have ties with Orange County, Florida has been a courthouse deputy since 2007.  I should add, George’s father, Robert Zimmerman Sr. is a retired Supreme Court Magistrate judge from Virginia. And I wonder why George Zimmerman’s case wasn’t brought to a Grand Jury.

Jorge Mesa testified that he hadn’t heard the 911 call with screams for help in the background until he heard it over television while his wife was watching the news.  He admitted that he knew his nephew was involved in a shooting but was trying not to get involved.  Ashamed, perhaps?  I can’t help but wonder if Uncle Jorge is the father of the niece George Zimmerman is accused of molesting years ago. The girl was at one point on the State witness list but for reasons unknown, Bernie de la Rionda chose not to call her to the stand.

Mr. Mesa went on to say that he knew the screams he heard belonged to George because he heard him sound like that when he was laughing.  Does laughing ever sound like screaming?  Or is this what George sounded like when he was kicking his ass for touching his daughter?   I really don’t know who the poor child belonged to. One can only speculate…the child was George’s cousin.

Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda’s cross examination was short and methodical.  He basically emphasized that he was in fact “George’s uncle” and with that bit of “consider the source”, Jorge Mesa was dismissed.

Considering the defense’s opening witnesses,  I can only presume that their case hinges heavily on the 911 screams.  As I recall, in the same 911 call in which the screams can be heard, the female caller did say, “They” are screaming for help” meaning more than one person.  I’m hoping that the jury will listen very closely to the tapes.  If they do, in the midst of the screams, they will hear, “I’m beggin you!”.  George Zimmerman certainly didn’t scream that.  He had the gun.

~~~

Court will continue today at 9:00am.

TheJBMission~

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After almost 2 days on the stand, Rachel Jeantel was finally dismissed or at least for now. Rachel Jeantel, aka Witness 8 aka DeeDee is the childhood friend of shooting victim 17 year-old Trayvon Martin.

Rachel Jeantel 2Documents show she was on her cell phone with Trayvon Martin during the crucial time when Martin was shot down. On February 26, 2012 at about 7:15pm his body lay motionless in the middle walkway of Retreat View Circle Condos thanks to the inane actions of an overzealous Law-Enforcement-Flunkie who had the audacity to think he looked suspicious. This person 29yo George Zimmerman is now on trial facing 25 years to life for 2nd degree murder or if he’s lucky perhaps 5 years for manslaughter.

For the last year and half there’s been much talk about Witness 8. The reason being, Witness 8 later known as “Dee Dee” was not found out by law enforcement during the initial investigation.  Law enforcement, as 19 year-old W8 Rachel Jeantel so wisely pointed out didn’t follow normal procedure. Unlike the television show “The First 48 Hours” they didn’t check the victim’s cell phone records to find out who he spoke with in the last minutes of his life. This is Detective 101, something I pointed out early on.

 Why didn’t Sanford Police Dept. or the FDLE do this simple task?

Why were they in a rush to set George Zimmerman free without a full investigation?

I shiver to think, “racism” but maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t George Zimmerman who is the racist, maybe it’s Sanford PD and Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement, after all Seminole County population is 94% white and maybe it’s expected. I don’t know because I don’t live there but if I did, I’d want to know why.

At trial today, defense attorney Don West picked up where he left off.  The now-infamous Rachel Jeantel took the stand. You could tell she didn’t want to be there. She didn’t want to be badgered for another 4 hours like yesterday. It’s really pitiful to watch.

Here we have this 60 year old, well-educated, well-practiced attorney cross examining a reluctant young woman whose only crime was to happen to be on the phone with Trayvon Martin moments before he was brutally shot in the chest. And for that she had to come out of the closet, show her face and take the abuse of Don West who was hired to try to save the better years of George Zimmerman’s life.
Yesterday when Rachel Jeantel was introduced to the world, liked everyone else, I tried to size her up, figure her out. What I saw was a young black female who was well groomed, beautiful skin, beautiful green eyes and enough stature to hold her own on any block in Miami. True, she spoke in low tones and in the dialect of many young women of her culture which made us all listen very closely.

She retold the events of evening of February 26th as Trayvon Martin related to her. She said Trayvon Martin referred to the man who was stalking him as Creepy White Cracker. The courtroom gasped but nonetheless it was a good thing.  This let the jury know who she was and how Trayvon Martin perceived George Zimmerman. Amazingly, Rachel Jeantel verbalized all of that with one phrase.

~~~

Not having ever lived in Miami, Florida, I don’t know much about the African American youth of their city but I am familiar with the African American youth of New Orleans. I’ve learned this mostly through my son whose best friends are African American whom I’ve played mother to on several occasions.  As I spoke with them I learned a common thread among these young men, they do not trust law enforcement.
I’m tempted to think this is same for Rachel Jeantel and one of the reasons why she tried so hard to lay low. I’ve learned her mother lives in Haiti. I’ve learned she is 19 years old still in high school and sadly we learned today that she cannot read cursive. I’m not surprised by her admission.

I’m surprised that others are surprised. This isn’t new to me. Here in New Orleans area public schools, cursive writing is a thing of the past. No longer do teachers spend time teaching children cursive writing and good penmanship like they did in parochial schools where I was taught. According to educators this is because in our new age of technology, computers have taken the place of penmanship. I find it appalling. I hope these educators will take note of this trial, proof that all forms of writing are important.

In all, Rachel Jeantel did a stellar job on the stand. Regardless of misquoting phrases in her depositions, her story never faltered. Witness 8 was the most brave and honest witness as yet to testify.

Thank you Rachel Jeantel for coming forward.

Those of us who wish justice for Trayvon Martin will never forget you.

TheJBMission~

“To See, To Speak”

We are finally here, Day One of the George Zimmerman trial.  The defense team, Mark O’Mara and Don West along with Asst. State Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda have the enormous task of finding 6 unbiased, unaware swamp dwelling people who live in Seminole county Florida who have not heard of this case or more realistically have not formed an opinion of this case.  The State and the defense team will then decide, if they have formed an opinion, do they still have the ability to be fair?

On February 26, 2012, the defendant George Zimmerman called non-emergency 911 to report a suspicious person.  Listen to non-emergercy call below.

Initally Sanford Police Department did not arrest George Zimmerman.  The case was later handed over to Florida State Attorney Angela Corey who subsequentally indicted Zimmerman charging him with 2nd degree murder.

In America, most of our trials begin with jury selection or vior dire.

voir dire

(vwahr [with a near-silent “r”] deer) n. from French “to see to speak,” the questioning of prospective jurors by a judge and attorneys in court. Voir dire is used to determine if any juror is biased and/or cannot deal with the issues fairly, or if there is cause not to allow a juror to serve (knowledge of the facts; acquaintanceship with parties, witnesses or attorneys; occupation which might lead to bias; prejudice against the death penalty; or previous experiences such as having been sued in a similar case). Actually one of the unspoken purposes of the voir dire is for the attorneys to get a feel for the personalities and likely views of the people on the jury panel. In some courts the judge asks most of the questions, while in others the lawyers are given substantial latitude and time to ask questions. Some jurors may be dismissed for cause by the judge, and the attorneys may excuse others in “peremptory” challenges without stating any reason. 2) questions asked to determine the competence of an alleged expert witness. 3) any hearing outside the presence of the jury held during trial.

After filling out a questionnaire, the 500 selected potential jurors have been broken up into 3 groups.  Today the State and defense will question the first group, tomorrow the second group and Wednesday the third group.  The questionnaire has not been made public.

Before today there was still a question regarding audio experts. I’m relieved to learn that on Saturday Judge Debra Nelson, that the expert opinions regarding the “death sheik” will be admissible.  I’m not surprised to add, defense attorney Mark O’Mara once again asked for a continuance which was denied and O’Mara says he has a witness he’d like to had to the list.

Let justice prevail!

~~~

*FYI, the trial’s being streamed at Click Orlando and the Huffington Post. 

Links below

TheJBMission~

Sources:

http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=2229

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/10/18880979-potential-trayvon-martin-case-jurors-get-look-at-defendant-george-zimmerman?lite

http://frederickleatherman.com/2013/06/09/expert-opinions-about-the-death-shriek-are-admissible-at-trial/

Live Streams

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/10/george-zimmerman-trial-jury-selection_n_3414435.html

Streaming Live:

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/watchchat-live-jury-selection-begins-in-zimmerman-trial/-/1637132/20483208/-/33hay6/-/index.html?showAds=0

“Denied, Denied, Denied” were the harmonious words heard over and over again”

After filing mutiple motions in a last ditch effort to build a reasonable defense for George Zimmerman, defense attorneys Mark O’Mara and Don West walked gloomily out of the courtroom today. Without much help from Judge Nelson, their day was a wash.

Circuit Judge Debra Nelson ruled that defense attorneys will not be able to mention Trayvon Martin’s school suspension, alleged participation in fights or his past use of marijuana.

Trayvon Martin

As any first-year law student would know, Mark O’Mara’s strategy to post online photos and text messages from Trayvon’s cellphone was not only a way to victimize Zimmerman’s victim again but a blatant sleazy attempt to tarnish the jury pool. As expected, O’Mara’s request to have such garbage entered into evidence was quickly denied.

In other rulings, the judge refused to allow jurors to travel to the crime scene predicting that the excursion would be “a logistical nightmare” and she also refused the defense request to have jurors sequestered.  As for the defense’s request to delay the start of the trial, that was denied too. As Judge Debra Nelson previously ruled, the trial will begin June 10, 2013.

As the 2 hour hearing continued, the prosecution won another victory. Judge Nelson granted their request to withhold information as to why it took so long for Zimmerman to be charged with second-degree murder. She ruled that no dialogue or information will be allow from officers of Sanford Police Dept. or State attorneys as to why they originally decided not to arrest George Zimmerman.
GZ hearing 5 28
However, she granted the defense team’s request to hold a hearing as to whether the prosecution failed to turn over evidence.  A former attorney in the State’s office has charged the prosecution with withholding Trayvon’s cellphone photographs and text messages.  From my understanding this issue will be handled sometime after the trial.

Judge Nelson announced she will hold a Frye hearing on June 6th to hear arguments about whether to admit testimony from state audio expert, Alan Reich.  In this report sent to prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda, Mr. Reich says the audio of a 911 call has the voice of Trayvon Martin in a screaming trembling voice, “I’m begging you.”

After the Hearing

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Trayvon’s family, said his family was pleased with the judge’s rulings. “Trayvon Martin is not on trial,” Mr. Crump said.

After the hearing, Robert Zimmerman, George’s brother, called on the state to drop the second-degree murder charges.  He added “In this country. You don’t charge someone with any crime solely to assuage the concerns of misinformed masses,” he said, according to CNN.

News Conferences

Watch Trayvon Martin’s Family

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epQlFxvzXT4

Watch Robert Zimmerman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QG-zQuAASQ

Watch Mark O’Mara

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frBaA86SsQM

Sources:

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2013/5/6/154755/7371/crimenews/George-Zimmerman-Requests-Frye-Hearing-on-911-Call-Screams

Next hearing scheduled June 6

TheJBMission~

After being ill for so long and away from the Trayvon Martin murder case,  it was good to return just in time to watch the George Zimmerman April 30th hearing.  For the most part,  I think now, “I’m all caught up!”

Wow! Thank you Trent!  He’s my hero, without Trent, owner of TheStateoftheinternet.com I would be lost.  After following murder trials for most of my life, I can honestly say — “I’ve never seen anything like this one”.   A prosecutor questions the defense attorney on the stand!  What can I say?

For those who missed it, I’ll lead you to YouTube.

Here are the first few videos of the 13 Trent posted.  Be ready to grit your teeth.  Mark O’Mara and Don West’s pitiful desperation is so thick you can cut it with a knife.  The fact is, “George Zimmerman has NO defense.”

George Zimmerman-4/30 Pt. 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udFiabueFmo

George Zimmerman-4/30 Pt. 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-FEWyxr368

George Zimmerman-4/30 Pt. 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpb2mE5ZtGY

Trent is so funny. “Twinkies in the car”

~~~

 See YouTube, StateoftheInternet for the all 13 videos.

TheJBMission~

March 5, 2013, in the courtroom of Judge Debra Nelson, Zimmerman’s  hearing is scheduled for 8:30am CST.   According to GZLegal.com, George Zimmerman is not expected to attend.   Attorneys Mark O’Mara and Don West are prepared to argue the following Motions.

  • Defendant’s Motion for Specific Discovery from Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • Defendant’s Motion for Specific Discovery.  (3 videos)
  • Defendant’s Motion for Supoena Duces Tecum to State Witness, Civilian Witness 8

Entry of the Following Orders:

  • Order Granting Issuance of Supoena Duces Tecum  (audio recordings0
  • Order Granting Issuance of Supoena Duces Tecum  (Trayvon Martin’s Twitter and Facebook)
  • Order Granting Issuance of Supoena Duces Tecum  (Civilian Witness 8’s Twitter and Facebook)

Zim - handsBut I wonder…
Will today’s hearing determine if George Zimmerman’s “Stand Your Ground” hearing actually will happen April 22nd?
At the “Stand Your Ground” hearing, Zimmerman’s attorneys will have to convince the judge of three things:

•Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity.
•Zimmerman was being attacked in a place he had a right to be.
•Zimmerman had the reasonable belief that his life and his safety were in danger as a result of an overt act or perceived threat committed by Martin.

As we all know, if George Zimmerman’s attorneys are successful at the “Stand Yout Ground” hearing, George Zimmerman goes home a free man.

~~~~~~

If not, he’ll have to convince 6 jurors that the shooting was in self-defense

He’ll have to explain to all 6 jurors, why he chose to follow Trayvon Martin.
He’ll have to explain why he called non-emergency 911.
He’ll have to explain each and every action he took to “keep an eye” Trayvon.
He’ll have to explain his reason for leaving the safety of his vehicle, on a dark and rainy night to pursue what he perceived “a suspicious man”.
He’ll have to give all 6 jurors a reason for not following the implied instruction given by the NEN dispatcher to NOT follow this young man.
He’ll have to explain exactly what happened after he ended the NEN call.
He’ll have to explain HOW – did he and the victim, finally meet face to face.
He’ll have to explain WHY, since he was a trained Neighborhood Watch Captain that he didn’t know proper protocol as to how to handle suspicious persons.
He’ll have to explain HOW he could be so dumb NOT to realize that HE George Zimmerman, “Neighborhood Watch Captain” had become THE SUSPICIOUS PERSON.

As a matter of fact, the person that Trayvon Martin was trying to figure out wasn’t just some creep, “just standing there looking at all of the houses.”

The creep Trayvon Martin was looking at was a 28-year old male, in a blue truck, driving very slowly down the street in the rain with his headlights off, watching his every move.

The person Trayvon Martin was watching suddenly appeared on foot, following and getting closer to him without saying a word.

He’ll have to explain the reason WHY, as a common courtesy, he didn’t say to this young man, “Hi there..Can I talk to you..I’m the Neighborhood Watch Captain”

Yes George, please EXPLAIN.

~~~

TheJBMission~

Sources:
http://gzlegalcase.com/

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