Day 13 continued with no rebuttal case from the prosecution.  The judge ruled that third degree felony murder was not allowed as a lesser included because according to case law analysis, it did not apply in any possible scenario to the facts of this case.

Bernie de la Rionda finished his closing argument today (the prosecution reserved time for after the defense’s argument for rebuttal).  Below is a paraphrased version of some of the highlights of his closing argument.  Throughout a PowerPoint and several different audio and video clips are used, not all are marked throughout the paraphrasing.

Remember:  What attorneys say is not evidence or instruction on the law; it is merely intended to aid the jury in understanding the evidence.  Basically, it is a persuasive speech on their position.

A teenager is dead through no fault of his own because of a man who made assumptions.  And acted on those assumptions.  Unfortunately, because those assumptions were wrong, Trayvon Martin no longer walks on this Earth.  George Zimmerman claimed he didn’t know Trayvon Martin was dead.  What did he do?  Did he do what the heroic officers did, when they broke protocol and didn’t use a mask?  What did Mr. Manolo say happened?  The defendant interrupted him because he was taking too long and told him, matter of factly to tell his wife, just tell her I killed him.  Those actions speak volumes.  What led up to the shot was not what happened that night.  Even though Trayvon Martin wasn’t there, what happened months earlier caused that night.  When Detective Singleton asked him what happened, what’s the first thing he said?  (Played clip)  Crimes happened in his neighborhood.  People all across the United States, all the time form neighborhood watches or organizations because unfortunately, they are plagued with crime.  There is nothing wrong with that and that isn’t ill will.  But, the defendant took it to a different level.  He assumed Martin was up to no good and that’s what happened. 

Trayvon Martin was there legally.  What was his crime?  He bought some skittles and tea.  He had $40.15 in his pocket.  He was talking to a girl in Miami and had a photo button.  The defendant decided that the victim was up to no good.  What had Martin planned that evening?  He was going to watch a basketball game with his friend, future stepbrother.  He was just doing an everyday normal thing.  He went to the store and was going back home.  He was walking in the rain, wearing a hoodie.  Last I looked, that isn’t illegal.  The defendant tracked him; he was tired of criminals in his neighborhood.  Again, that’s not a bad thing, it is good for citizens to be involved, but he crossed the line.  He wanted to make sure that the criminal didn’t get away.

He didn’t wait for police.  Remember all his calls?  6 of them.  What happened?  Every one of them got away, except for one.  They always get away.  They run off.  He did what he always dreamed of doing that night; he acted like a police officer.  What did Detective Serino say when he was asked what he would do if he saw someone looking in a house’s window?  He would think they lived there.  That’s isn’t the first thing the defendant thought.  He had a certain state of mind.  The defendant argues self-defense.  This isn’t a vacuum; it isn’t all about what happened at the moment of the gunshot.  It wasn’t like Trayvon Martin came out of nowhere and just beat him up.  When you honestly look at the case, who was more scared?  The young guy being followed by a stranger in a truck.  The defendant was going to Target.  He called 911 when he saw something.  Again, nothing wrong with that, that’s great.  But, then he followed him.  The defendant was armed.  There is nothing wrong with that.  He had a permit.  That’s a right in this great country.  Trayvon Martin didn’t have a weapon.  Unless iced tea is a weapon.  The defense will argue the concrete, but I submit that the injuries could have been caused differently.  The defendant made assumptions.  He assumed Martin was an a**hole and a f***ing punk, who wasn’t going to get away this time.  He was sick and tired of crime.  You can’t take the law into your own hands.  What would you say?  I got the wrong guy.  Would you tell that to his mother?  I’m sorry; I thought he was a criminal.  The law calls for responsibility and accountability of actions.  If the assumptions weren’t made we wouldn’t be here.  George Zimmerman would have gone to Target; Trayvon Martin would have watched the game.  The police aren’t even allowed to take the law into their own hands.  That isn’t how it works.  They can ask what someone is doing there, but the defendant didn’t do that. 

Why would Mr. Zimmerman get out of his car if he were afraid Trayvon Martin had a weapon in his hands?  He was circling his car.  Because he had the great equalizer.  He had a gun.  It was his neighborhood and this wasn’t going to happen anymore.  The police take too long.  He profiled Trayvon Martin as a criminal. 

The defendant knew that if he admitted he was following Trayvon Martin that showed ill will.  That’s why it took him so long to say it.  It shows his guilt.  His actions led to the death of Trayvon Martin.  There are only two people who knew what happened that night.  He made sure the other person couldn’t come here and tell the jury what happened.  He silenced him.  Martin’s body speaks to you in death.  It proves he is lying about what happened.  This isn’t a first-degree murder case.  The defendant didn’t go out that day and premeditate what happened, but he assumed.  Why did the defendant exaggerate?  He exaggerated to convince the police.  It got worse as he explained.  The threat level increased, the fear level increased.  The defendant knew because he studied the law.  He had all the bullet points in his head.  Again, studying the law, there is nothing wrong with that.  The defendant assumed Trayvon Martin didn’t belong, that he was about to commit a crime.  Let’s say he legitimately seemed suspicious.  He didn’t take any action to give him the benefit of the doubt.  He didn’t identify himself as a neighborhood watchman.  He didn’t ask if he needed any help, who he was, if he needed a ride.  He didn’t tell him he called the police and just to wait so they can work the whole thing out. 

Why do we have courtrooms or juries?  Why don’t people just handle things outside?  You can’t take the law into your own hands.  If you’re wrong, oh well?  This case is important to us all, the state, the defendant, and the jury.  This country is great; we don’t have professional juries like some countries.  We don’t have lawyers and judges who have their beliefs locked in.  We ask citizens to come and use their common sense, follow the law, and find the truth.  When you rely on the evidence, the law, and common sense, I submit, you don’t need a law degree to come back with a verdict that speaks the truth, a verdict that is just.

Do you believe that’s an innocent man sitting over there?  Do you believe this just got out of hand?  Maybe, but who was armed?  Who was minding their own business?  Who was being followed?  (Played clip) These a**holes always get away, why is he uttering that?  That’s how he feels.  You decide.  I would submit it’s more than a little angry, that’s hatred.  That’s frustration.  (Play clip) Why would he say f***ing punks, if he hadn’t already decided that Trayvon Martin was a criminal?  There were only 3 streets in that neighborhood.  The street he comes in and out everyday is the street he doesn’t know the name of?  In the walk-through, he inadvertently tells the police the name of the street, Twin Trees Lane.  He lets it out.  He references it.  Before and after, he tells the police he doesn’t know the name.  He was even in the neighborhood watch.  He lived there for 4 years.  He must have thought the police were fools.  He pointed to the back of the houses when there was a house number right there.  He diverted their attention. 

To believe the defendant, you have to believe that poor George Zimmerman was just walking back to his car after trying to figure out an address and was just attacked by the victim, why?  I don’t know.  You have to believe that he did nothing and just took it from Martin, then miraculously just at the right moment pulled his gun and shot him.  I would submit there was a fight, a struggle between them both.  Of the two, one had 18 months of some type of MMA training.  Oh, but he’s just that fat, pudgy guy with no progress.  Who suffered the most serious injury of all?  The defense will parade the injury pictures, but do I have to show the most important photo?  The M.E. photo? 

What did Mr. Good see?  He didn’t see the defendant’s hands.  Was Trayvon Martin defending himself, did the defendant already have his gun out?  The defendant told his friend, Mr. Osterman, that night that the victim grabbed the gun.  Trayvon Martin lived at the end of that T; did the defendant cut him off on his way home?  Ms. Bahadour saw a left to right movement.  There was a fight, there was a struggle, I would submit that based upon the evidence, both Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman were on top at one point or another, but why did it all occur?  If you believe he is innocent, then you believe the victim just attacked him, no reason.  He was just walking back to his car and he was truthful when he was trying to find that address.  If there was a fight, how does that factor in, how did it start?  Who had the right to self-defense?  Does the victim who is being chased? 

It was dark and raining.  The crime scene photos show no blood on the sidewalk.  If he was having his head bashed in, why is his jacket pristine?  Is he exaggerating what happened?  Why was he carrying a broken flashlight?  Maybe he used it to track down Trayvon Martin and maybe it stopped working and he just held it in his hands, continued to carry it.  There is no blood on the victim’s hands.  The defense will argue incompetence, but pictures at the scene show no blood.  The victim’s drawstring was pulled all the way to one side.  Why is that?  Was he trying to back out?  George Zimmerman lived in this neighborhood for 4 years; he walked his dog there all the time.  He didn’t know the address?  He had to walk all the way down that sidewalk to find one? 

The victim’s hands were under his body, that’s inconsistent.  You decide.  The defendant used police jargon, that’s what the police do.  They take, even a dead person’s arms, and move them out from their body.  They even handcuff them, just for security reasons.  They check for a weapon.  I submit, how can you scream if your mouth and nose are being held?  Or he is lying about that too?  You have to decide, is George Zimmerman yelling for help, Trayvon Martin, both?  Trayvon Martin was right handed, but the injuries are to his left hand.  How did this beating happen?  There are no bruises on his knuckles, I submit, that’s true about George Zimmerman too.  Two people were there, one was shot to death, and the other one has lied repeatedly about it, why, do you wonder?  He brought a gun to a fight he started by following someone.  He wants you to let him off because he killed the only eyewitness.  The bluff technique shows he’s innocent?  He knew Trayvon Martin didn’t record it, he knew the neighborhood didn’t either.  He wasn’t being forthcoming for that reason.  Was he innocent and taking a gamble?  Or was he not a truthful person with another agenda?  He gave the number of the security guy because he knew the neighborhood had no new cameras there. 

I ask, he is in such dire straits and fear that he gets out of the car?  Why does he get out of the car?  Or did he just say Trayvon Martin was circling the car as an excuse?  A setup.  He wanted the police to believe Martin was about to commit a crime.  He tried to convince the police he didn’t do anything wrong.  The level of violence always escalated in his story.  When the police challenged him he changed it.  The amazing thing is Trayvon Martin must have had ten arms.  He can do all of this while the defendant isn’t doing anything, does that make sense?

Look at the size of this gun.  (Shows gun and holster to jury).  How did Trayvon Martin see that hidden, concealed, a black gun in the dark?  He even shows officers in the walk-through that it wasn’t by his hip it was further back.  He’s always got this police jargon going.  That’s what the police do, they check and then they holster.  He’s one of them.  He even talks about strategic positioning with Detective Singleton.  He didn’t intend to shoot him, he was just trying to scare him, didn’t realize he hit him.

They always come around at night.  You heard him say that.  Those f***ing punks.  He had skittles he didn’t even steal.  He didn’t commit any crime.  This man right here somehow, became suspicious of this teenager in a hoodie.  He speculates as to why Trayvon Martin attacked him.  He was angry that he called the police.  Of course, it wasn’t his assumptions, isn’t that what all criminals do?  They don’t want to get caught, what do they do?  He’s got to explain how this kid got the upper hand.  He tells the officers he was going for his phone, not paying attention.  Or was he going for his gun?  This 28-year-old man with two flashlights and a gun and this kid with nothing, but fear because this man is following him.  He’s trying to cover, make up one lie after another.  He rolled up his windows, he tells the 911 operator, because he was scared.  He’s a criminal.  He’s got that legal training, he knows what to say, what he’s got to say.  You must rely on what the evidence says.  I submit the evidence shows George Zimmerman slipped up.  He states when I walked back toward him then changes mid-sentence to when he came at me.  That was the truth he approached Martin. 

He tries to impress the police he uses their language.  He’s a suspect; he shot him in the torso.  In the walkthrough, he has to excuse what he did.  He must establish he didn’t follow him.  He says the street name only a moment before, but actually directs the investigators’ attention to the back of the houses with a house right there.  He must think they’re fools.  Just by coincidence, he just happens to be tracking where this criminal is going?

In the Hannity interview, he gets softballs.  He gets easy questions and he doesn’t even get them right.  Why does he say he skipped away instead of run?  Because he knows that makes it look like he pursued him.  He wasn’t running because he was scared, he skipped away.  He wasn’t following him, just going in his direction. 

He told his friend Mark Osterman that Trayvon Martin was under his armpits, his knees were under his armpits (demonstrates on mannequin).  How does he get the gun out?  There is no victim DNA on the gun, he told him Trayvon Martin grabbed the gun.  Did that wash off too?  Or is it just another lie he tells? 

If he didn’t do anything wrong, why does he lie about it, exaggerate it?  Common sense.  How is this defendant alive?  25 slams to the concrete, 25 punches to the head, and 50 screams for help.  I would submit to you the evidence shows the guilt of this defendant.  Is it a coincidence that the yells stop right after the gunshot?  The injuries to George Zimmerman are from the struggle, the rolling around and the scraping.  Maybe the sprinkler box?  I ask you to return a verdict that speaks the truth.

Court recessed until tomorrow 8:30 a.m. EST.

  1. zachary says:

    You really know your stuff. Keep up the good work!


  2. Lon Spector says:

    It is the media that is going to decide for us what trials deserve coverage. Right now, two important trials are occurring that are receiving scant coverage from the media. One, is the trial of the madman named Hassan, the army psychiatrist who gunned down 13 soldiers in the army base. (The government calls it “a case of work place violence.) And the other is the 19 year-old Boston marathon bomber. Until the farcical Zimmerman trial is over expect to hear nothing about those two trials, and rest assured that the left and right wing media is going to play to their followers.


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