Tag Archive: Greyston Garcia


Isn’t it odd that Angela Corey has indicted George Zimmerman with 2nd Degree murder?

So for all of the protesting and publicity, for the hiring of lawyers, for the multiple televised appearances from civil rights leaders, etc. etc, the State Attorney Angela Corey hands down an indictment, Murder in the 2nd Degree and the crowd roars! But is it all smoke and mirrors?  Is someone pulling our chain?

Overview of Florida Voluntary Manslaughter Laws

Florida state laws establish the criminal offense of manslaughter when a homicide, the killing of a human being, does not meet the legal definition of murder. Manslaughter, unlike murder, does not require evidence of the defendant’s premeditation or “depraved mind” with disregard for human life; instead, the state requires proof of either voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter.
Voluntary manslaughter describes a homicide intentionally committed while in the midst of a provocation. The prosecutor must show a sudden, unexpected event or circumstance serving as a provocation. As a result of the provocation, the defendant must have felt a temporary anger, heat of passion, or emotion that immediately resulted in an intent to kill or an intent to commit the act that resulted in the victim’s death.

Overview of Florida Involuntary Manslaughter Laws

When a homicide, the killing of a human being, does not meet the legal definition of murder, Florida state laws allow a prosecutor to consider a manslaughter charge. The state establishes two types of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary. While voluntary manslaughter describes an intentional act performed during a provocation or heat of passion, involuntary manslaughter does not require an intent to kill or even an intent to perform that act resulting in the victim’s death.
To establish involuntary manslaughter, the prosecutor must show that the defendant acted with “culpable negligence.” Florida statutes define culpable negligence as a disregard for human life while engaging in wanton or reckless behavior. The state may be able to prove involuntary manslaughter by showing the defendant’s recklessness or lack of care when handling a dangerous instrument or weapon, or while engaging in a range of other activities that could lead to death if performed recklessly.
Example: If the defendant handles a loaded gun without any knowledge of whether the gun is loaded, and he later discharges the gun into a group of people, the defendant’s actions likely meet the recklessness requirement for a charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Florida state laws also establish involuntary manslaughter if the prosecutor shows that the defendant used excessive force during self-defense or the defense of another person. The prosecution and defense can look at the facts and circumstances of the killing to determine whether the defendant reasonably believed that self-defense was necessary; if not necessary, the state might proceed with an involuntary manslaughter charge.

Instead of choosing either of these, Angela Corey chose to charge George Zimmerman with Second degree murder.

Overview of Florida Second Degree Murder Laws

In Florida, state laws establish several types of homicide, the unlawful killing of a human being. The state prosecutes homicides as murders and manslaughters — it may be helpful to know the multiple types of murders established by state law and understand the differences among them. In particular, second degree murder lacks the premeditation often required for the prosecution of a first degree murder.
To prove second degree murder, a prosecutor must show that the defendant acted according to a “depraved mind” without regard for human life. Florida state laws permit the prosecution of second degree murder when the killing lacked premeditation or planning, but the defendant acted with enmity toward the victim or the two had an ongoing interaction or relationship. Unlike first degree murder, second degree murder does not necessarily require proof of the defendant’s intent to kill.
State law specifically requires a charge of second degree murder if the victim dies during the commission of one of the felony crimes specified by statute. These felonies include burglary, home-invasion robbery, kidnapping, sexual battery, and a number of other offenses. To establish second degree murder, the prosecutor must show that the victim died as a result of an act committed by a non-participant in the felony. If the defendant or another criminal participant in the felony caused the unlawful killing, state law requires a charge of first degree murder rather than second degree murder. Florida uses this law to deter and punish unintended deaths as a result of felonious activities.

Defenses to Second Degree Murder Charges
• Justifiable use of deadly force to defend against a felony committed against a person or property
• Excusable homicide committed by accident
• Spontaneous or negligent killing that might qualify as manslaughter instead of murder

Above are defense Attorney Mark Omara’s possible defense strategies.  Compare the statutes of Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter with the Second Degree Murder Overview and choice is obvious.  Angela Corey made a poor decision.

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When I think about the reason for this over-indictment it reminds me of the age old adage, “there’s always a little truth in every lie” especially in judicial process. Just as in the Anthony case when the masses were screaming for her blood, the State of Florida handed down an indictment, first-degree murder with possible death penalty. Total overkill.
In order to get a guilty verdict, the jurors must agree 100%. Had Casey Anthony been charged with manslaughter, it would only take 6 out of 12 jurors in order to get a guilty verdict.

Maybe Corey is thinking Zimmerman is just a little bit guilty?  Yes, that’s the ticket. She can hand down the over-indictment to please the masses but she’ll prove involuntary or voluntary manslaughter and hope for the best.  At least she’ll look as if she tried.

~~~

After observing the Florida judicial process over the last 3 years, I question the State, their laws and their judicial process.
When I ask myself how can Marissa Alexander, who shot a bullet in the air to scare off her abusive husband be convicted of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and the same court system allow Greyston Garcia, who chased down a man who stole radios out of his truck and stabbed him to death, walk free on Stand Your Ground Law, I came to this conclusion. The husband wasn’t in commission of a crime unlike Greyston Garcia’s victim who was.

If I’m right, George Zimmerman will be found guilty, jailed and fined because 17 year-old Trayvon Martin wasn’t in commission of a crime when Zimmerman met up with him.
Garcia claimed that his victim swung the bag of loot at him, so therefore he was scared for his life. The “bag of loot” was considered a weapon.

On the other hand, if it’s true, Martin approached and circled his truck while he was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, had he shot Martin then, Stand Your Ground Law would have protected him in a heartbeat, but he didn’t.

~~~

But anything could happen, it’s FLORIDA!

~~~

TheJBMission~

Sources:
http://law.findlaw.com/state-laws/voluntary-manslaughter/florida/

http://law.findlaw.com/state-laws/second-degree-murder/florida/

http://reason.com/archives/2012/05/02/20-years-for-standing-her-ground

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/miami-judge-rules-in-stan_n_1385219.html

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Joe Horn – Stand Your Ground Case

Pasadena, Texas
Listen to 8:28 minute call to Emergency 911

Both cases start with 911 calls. George Zimmerman’s call is to “Non-Emergency 911” to report a “suspicious person” compared to Joe Horn, who called into “Emergency 911” to report a burglary in progress.

The November 14, 2007 call ended with the sound of Horn racking a shell into his 12-gauge shotgun followed by three gunshots that killed illegal Columbian imigrants Diego Ortiz, 30 and Hernando Riascos Torres, 38.

Seven months later Joe Horn was cleared by Harris county grand jury. The panel issued no-bill after two weeks of testimony. Joe Horn was relieved that his ordeal was finally over.

After the grand jury hearing, Harris County District Attorney Ken Magidson simply said, “In Texas, a person has a right to use deadly force in certain circumstances to protect property and that’s basically what the grand jurors had to deal with.”

As his lawyer Tom Lambright stated in news reports, Joe Horn “was trying to help police catch criminals” The criminals who Horn shot were the men he witnessed carrying property out of the home of his next-door neighbor.

Compared to George Zimmerman, whose intention was to report a suspicious person because of recent break-ins in his gated townhouse community, the difference is obvious. The suspicious person he reported was not carrying burglary tools or breaking the law. His “suspicious person” was carrying a bag of Skittles candy and a can of Arizona Iced Tea.

Paralleling Joe Horn’s case to George Zimmerman’s case, Zimmerman was released from Sanford police department without further detainment. Joe Horn was called to the grand jury and had to testify on his own behalf. He had to retain an attorney and spend two weeks out of his life to convince grand jurors he was not a vigilante.

Both George Zimmerman and Joe Horn were armed. Joe Horn shot and killed two burglars. George Zimmerman shot and killed one suspicious teenager. Both of these cases were the cause of rancorous public debate. Initially both shootings were deemed racially motivated George Zimmerman was called out by Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the new black panthers. There were protest nationwide demanding his arrest.

In Joe Horn’s case and subsequent to the grand jury announcement, Frank Ortiz, a member of the local League of United Latin American Citizens chapter, on the behalf of Ortiz and Torres, said he hoped federal authorities would investigate Joe Horn’s case further.

Although there are some similarities, there are a few differences as well. Joe Horn shot two men in his front yard. George Zimmerman was simply driving by when he spotted what he determined to be a suspicious person walking through his gated townhouse community, the suspicious man lay dead near a paved walk through, no where near the home of George Zimmerman.

Like Zimmerman’s case, the sound of gun fire can be heard in 911 calls. In Horn’s 911 call, you can hear the sound of him loading a shotgun — he verbally warns the dispatcher of what he intends to do and then fires.

In Zimmerman’s 911 call, he doesn’t mention that he’s carrying a Kel-Tec 9mm handgun to the dispatcher so he cannot be warned to not shoot. The only sounds of gunfire heard in a 911 call are from another 911 call made by a neighbor who was calling to report a disturbance from the sound of scuffling and someone screaming for help.

At this time, George Zimmerman’s statements have not been released to the public but it is rumored that he claims he was attacked by the suspicious person and shot him in self-defense. Zimmerman suffered a broken nose and scrapes to the back of his head, said to be from being bashed on the pavement during the scuffle. Zimmerman refused medical treatment at the hospital the night of the shooting.

Comparing Zimmerman to Garcia

In March of 2012, the State of Florida tossed out a second-degree murder charge in the case of Greyston Garcia after he chased a suspected burglar and stabbed him to death. Pedro Roteta, 26 was trying to steal a radio from Garcia’s truck when a roommate alerted him. He then grabbed a knife and chased Roteta for over a block.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Beth Bloom decided the stabbing was justified because the burglar had swung a bag of stolen car radios at Garcia, an object that medical examiner at a hearing testified could cause “serious harm or death”. The judge found Garcia was well within his rights to pursue the victim and demand the return of his property. The Huffington Post concluded in their article, Garcia went home instead of calling 911 after the confrontation in January and later hid the knife and sold two of the radios.

In comparison to the Garcia shooting being thrown out under Florida Stand Your Ground Law, Pedro Roteta was in the act of committing a crime against Garcia whereas Trayvon Martin was not in commission of a crime when he caught the attention of George Zimmerman.  It’s what happened minutes after the call that is debatable.

Can the state of Florida refute beyond a reasonable doubt that the “suspicious person” attacked George Zimmerman first or will it matter? Perhaps the state of Florida intends to prove it was Trayvon Martin, the suspicious person who was standing his ground considering he was not in any way breaking the law. He had reason to be inside the gates of Retreat View Circle community when he was aggressively being followed by a stranger.

Although usually juvenile records remain sealed in court proceeding. If left up to the Martin family, they may agree that in the case of the death of their son, they may welcome full disclosure and may perhaps want the jury/judge to know that their son had a violence-free arrest record.

The outcome of this tragedy will depend on competency of state prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda and the lawyerly wiles of defense attorney Mark O’Mara in order for George Zimmerman to share the same fate of Greyston Garcia and Joe Horn.

George Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder. He is now in Seminole county jail awaiting a new bond hearing set for June 29th. The trial is set to take place in mid-2013 in the courtroom of Judge Kenneth Lester Jr.

~~~

TheJBMission~

Sources:
http://flaglerlive.com/39359/beyond-george-zimmerman-five-stand-your-ground-cases-you-should-know-about/

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/326700-full-transcript-zimmerman.html

Transcript of George Zimmerman’s 911 Call

http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/pasadena-news/article/Joe-Horn-cleared-by-grand-jury-in-Pasadena-1587004.php

Case of Greyston Garcia
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/miami-judge-rules-in-stan_n_1385219.html

http://www.inquisitr.com/209207/floridas-stand-your-ground-law-claims-another-victim/

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