Saturday, June 29, 2013

Zimmerman Trial - Day 5


A witness in the murder trial of neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman testified on Friday that he saw Trayvon Martin on top of Zimmerman during a struggle that led to the unarmed black teenager's shooting death in a central Florida gated community last year.

But Jonathan Good, a former resident at the townhouse complex, told the jury in Seminole County criminal court that he never saw Martin slam Zimmerman's head into the concrete sidewalk, undermining a key element in Zimmerman's defense.

Good initially told police the person on top was pummeling the other in mixed martial arts style, but backed off that account, later saying the person on top was straddling the other man, but his arms might have been holding the other down rather than punching.

Asked by state prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda if he saw the "person on top" grabbing the head of the lighter skinned man and slamming it into the concrete, Good replied "No."

Lindzee Folgate, a physician assistant who treated Zimmerman the day after the shooting, said his nose was "likely broken" but could not say definitively because no X-rays were taken. She said cuts he suffered on his head did not require any stitches.


  1. The bits of Good's testimony that I saw still greatly supported the defense and will be hard for the prosecution to deal with. Yes, they started trying to minimize the damage by emphasizing that he did not see any punches connecting and did not see any slamming of Zimmerman's head onto the concrete.

    However, from what I saw, he said this because Trayvon's back was to him, blocking his view of Zimmerman's face and what was or wasn't being done to it.

    The impression I got was that this guy was a conscientious witness who was being as completely and exactly precise as possible--not something you see very often. It actually, in retrospect, reminds me of some of the Star Trek legal dramas where Data would be extremely precise, not allowing or making any inferences to the aggravation of his shipmates.

    Here, we had a witness who says he saw Trayvon on top, Zimmerman on his back, and Trayvon's arms moving downward repeatedly, with Trayvon's body and the darkness obstructing his clearly seeing exactly what the nature of that downward movement was. In the past, he described it as a beat down. Now, under oath, and separated by time to reflect, he is being as precise as he can be, saying it looked like Trayvon was beating Zimmerman, but admitting that there's a chance that he was fighting with him, trying to pin him down.

    This behavior makes me tend to put stock in what he says since he seems to be trying to be as exact as possible and not flesh things out too much as in Jeantel's comment about, "That's when Trayvon got hit."

    I haven't seen much of the other testimony, so I can't speak to the relative credibility of other witnesses, only to Good's apparent credibility.

    As for the medical records, I didn't see the testimony, but the fact is there were lacerations, so there was some traumatic contact with either the sidewalk or the ground. Yes, the lacerations weren't that bad, but it's not the cuts that kill you, it's the blunt force.

    As for the nose, it's cartilage--you reset it and that's about all you can do. It was pretty obviously smashed in in the picture the cops took, and the doc said it was probably broken. X-raying it is probably not going to tell you much since the cartilage doesn't show up as well as bone, and since it's not like you're going to cast it to keep it lined up, just reset and go on while it heals.

  2. "But Jonathan Good, a former resident at the townhouse complex, told the jury in Seminole County criminal court that he never saw Martin slam Zimmerman's head into the concrete sidewalk, undermining a key element in Zimmerman's defense."

    So far, the witnesses are doing what most do, telling different versions of a story as they saw it after processing it in their minds. Mr. Good has stated he saw Martin straddling Zimmerman, which tends to back up the defendant's own story. In spite of what the witnesses say, the physical evidence of Zimmerman's injuries cant be ignored.

  3. I have started seeing something interesting. One of the Martin family's attorneys is now saying the Zimmerman didn't racially profile Martin. Which seems to contradict what the prosecution seems to be trying for. An instance of too many lawyers in one spot?

    "An attorney for Martin’s family declared on Thursday that the high-profile case was not about race.

    “It’s not about racial profiling,” Daryl Parks told reporters. “He was profiled (criminally). George Zimmerman profiled him.”

    Parks made the comments after prosecutors spent several days arguing that Zimmerman profiled the 17-year-old specifically because he was black. Asked why he changed his take on the matter, Parks replied: “We never claimed this was about race.”

  4. A teenage friend of Trayvon Martin was forced to admit today in the George Zimmerman murder trial that she did not write a letter that was sent to Martin's mother describing what she allegedly heard on a phone call with Martin moments before he was shot.
    In a painfully embarassing moment, Rachel Jeantel was asked to read the letter out loud in court.

    "Are you able to read that at all?" defense attorney Don West asked.

    Jeantel, head bowed, eyes averted whispered into the court microphone, "Some but not all. I don't read cursive."

    It sent a hush through the packed courtroom.

    Jeantel, 19, was unable to read any of the letter save for her name.

    You missed this lovely cross examination.....