There were technical issues on the courts end where the audio was unavailable. As someone who has dabbled in audio/video production and with such an important case I find this type of incompetence infinitely frustrating. Always set up early and establish a good audio and video connection, good grief.
Regardless, I believe the first motion discussed was the Demand for Specific Discovery regarding George and Shellie. The motion on that is technically non specific. It just asks for “any and all data in the State’s possession or the State has received regarding any downloads from any phone or phone number connected to George Zimmerman or his wife Shellie Zimmerman or any information that the law enforcement has retrieved, received or investigated concerning George Zimmerman’s phone, phone’s and/or phone numbers.”
O’Mara spoke first in what I imagine is him and the judge settling on what should be heard first and it was West to argue this first motion from about the 3:00 mark to about the 5:00 mark then John Guy of the State spoke for all of 30 seconds then West for a couple of seconds. Just watching the video it seems there was something there the State plans on giving the defense. So this one appears to be granted in the sense that the Defense got something it was looking for in regards to that motion.
The next motion was the Demand for Specific Discovery regarding Trayvon’s phone and the audio kicks in around 6:00. The background of this I will spare you as it is rather a long drama those of us paying attention to the case have not only lived with but heard ad nauseum from the defense over the months past. But I will say this. The energy that has been put into gaining the information from this phone reflects the absolute absurdity in this case. I blame both the State and the Defense. This is being heard on April 30, 2013 and “they” have had possession of the phone since Feb 26, 2012. And somehow all these people are still trying to get all the information and data from this phone? Seriously?
The language in the motion is much the same as it was for the first one in that it is technically devoid again only asking for any and all information. However West is allowed to elaborate and after some back-story and at 9:40 of the video we here the defense received in late Feb a disk containing the .bin files of Trayvon’s phone. At 10:39 we get actual new information, something rare these days thanks to O’Mara, in that W8 was shown her text messages to Trayvon. She stated she believes there are messages missing e.g. missing data from phone. This is not the first time we’ve heard of missing information. We learned some time ago there was GPS data for Trayvon’s phone but for some reason the GPS data for the 26th appeared to be missing. We of course don’t know if there’s been any resolve to this, again thanks to O’Mara.
Regardless, West says something I find most absurd. At 12:40 he says that having the .bin files is not of value to counsel. Bernie picks up on that and shoves it back in West’s face. Have your expert look at it. Bernie’s right. Bernie also mentions that it was the Defense who managed to get from those “useless” .bin files the texts that were the ones shown to W8, so clearly they are getting data from these “useless” .bin files. They got the raw data from the phone and all they have to do is have an expert interpret that technical data and put it in readable form for us laymen i.e. the defense. However, given the games the State has played with discovery one gets the feeling that West is also trying to lock the State into a definitive statement on if it has received any information from anyone regarding the phone since Brenton’s last deposition ultimately to which the State answers no and that if it does it will give it to the Defense which essentially puts an end to that motion which is technically denied because there’s nothing to get.
In the end what this all comes off looking like is the defense again trying to have the State do their work for them. Would it be nice if the State provide the readable form of the data to the defense? Sure. Does it have to? No. And you would think of someone who complains of having no time would discontinue wasting it with crap like this.
At 17:30 we move onto the Demand for Specific Discovery regarding the supposed “enhanced” or “cleaned up” version of W11′s 911 call with the yells on it. The Demand itself is very brief asking the State for any and all cleaned up, edited or enhanced versions of any and all recorded 911 calls listened to by Tracy Martin as referenced by Crump. However West is allowed to elaborate.
Here is some of the back story. The story and as we see in the police report as many of you know is that Tracy told police that it was not Trayvon’s voice yelling for help. What’s not exactly clear is how the events went down on March 16 and 17 2012. So here’s some of the story on that:
On Friday March 16 Crump, Sybrina and Tracy did a CNN interview and the yells came up by way of a video clip of Mary Cutcher to which Crump responds:
CRUMP: I was just going to simply say, they are trying to espouse this claim of self-defense. Trayvon Martin had a bag of Skittles. He was walking home. These witnesses say the kid was the one crying for help. And that seemed like he was trying to get home. And it was Zimmerman who was pursuing him.
Tracy just sat there like a potted palm and did not correct Crump that it was George yelling for help.
Later in the day the mayor et al. played the call, along with the other calls, for them in a private meeting before the calls were released to the public that same day. After which Crump stated:
Tracy Martin, the teenager’s father, broke down crying as he listened to the audio on Friday, the family lawyers said. “My son was crying for help, and he still shot him,” Tracy Martin, the teenager’s father said, according to Benjamin Crump, another family attorney.
Apparently then the Orlando Sentinel inquired the SPD about it.
For the first time Friday, police told the Sentinel some of the details of their investigation.
Zimmerman told police he got out of his SUV to follow Trayvon on foot, and the 17-year-old came toward him. The two got into a fight, and Zimmerman wound up on the ground, he told police. Trayvon hit him in the face, and Zimmerman yelled for help.
Serino said Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, listened to all of the 911 calls in the case before the entire family convened at City Hall to listen Friday night. When asked if the voice on one, a male calling for help was his son, told Serino no.
The Sentinel has a nasty practice of editing their articles in nefarious ways. This was the earlier rendition of the same article which apparently the part about Tracy and the yells was a direct quote from Serino:
Trayvon Martin shooting: Police to release 911 calls in Trayvon Martin shooting
Zimmerman told police he got out of his SUV to follow Trayvon on foot, and the 17-year-old came toward him.
The two got into a fight, and Zimmerman wound up on the ground, he told police. Trayvon hit him in the face, and Zimmerman yelled for help.
Several witnesses heard the fight, including a 13-year-old boy out walking his dog, but there have been different accounts of who was crying for help.
It was Zimmerman, Serino said. He said he is certain of that because he played a recording of that voice for Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, and the Miami man said the voice was not his son’s.
You can even see comments on the Sentinel article itself to that same effect:
cosmokazi at 7:33 AM March 21, 2012
This comment was made but Trayvon’s father and reported in the March 16th Sentinel:
“Several witnesses heard the fight, including a 13-year-old boy out walking his dog, but there have been different accounts of who was crying for help.
It was Zimmerman, Serino said. He said he is certain of that because he played a recording of that voice for Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, and the Miami man said the voice was not his son’s.”
Now his father is saying it IS Trayvon’s voice. What gives?
Regardless, from the phrasing of this next quote in that same article, which was edited on the 17th, from Crump, it appears the Sentinel then went to Crump the next day and asked about Tracy telling them it was not Trayvon:
Police lied Friday, Crump said, when they said Tracy Martin said the voice crying for help was not his son. What Tracy Martin told police, Crump said, was that “he couldn’t tell, that it was too distorted.”
The audio has since been cleaned up, and now Tracy Martin has no doubt but that the voice is his son, Crump said.
From another article:
Benjamin Crump, another attorney for the family, says police lied about what the victim’s father, Tracy Martin, said regarding his son’s voice on the tape. Police said Tracy did not hear his son’s cries on the tape, but Crump says the father simply said he could not be sure because the sound was initially “too distorted” to tell. Now that the audio has been cleaned up, Crump says Tracy Martin has no doubt the voice is his son.
Of course as we know police did not lie. And of course as we know it is a lie when Crump states ”Now that the audio has been cleaned up, Crump says Tracy Martin has no doubt the voice is his son.” because it was the same version Tracy listened to at the police station when he said it was not Trayvon. Crump, a member of the Florida Bar, specifically set out and lied to the public that there was a cleaned up version of the call which caused Tracy to change his mind. He specifically lies that the version Serino played Tracy was too distorted because it’s the same version he heard later. It’s the same version released to the public. It’s the same version we all listened to. Crump lied three times in just that one remark.
Back to the trial.
West wants to know if the State has in possession any “cleaned up” versions. This, though I’m sure the defense knows, is really an absurd request because there is no cleaned up version. However the defense does have a duty to ask for evidence that is claimed to exist and it has the duty to assure the State has done its duty in doing the same so that in part is what’s happening here. Not so shocking, Bernie comes to the aid of Crump claiming that West is confused and that what Crump was talking about was that Tracy heard the call on better equipment, I guess Bernie is not aware of Crump’s three lies.
Strangely, well not really as it’s quite common now, the judge apparently doesn’t comprehend what the defense is asking for. All they want is for the State to do its duty to enquire about evidence that has been claimed to exist. She turns it into the Crump deposition Saga saying that she ruled on that issue and will wait for the 5th DCA decision. HUH? What does that have to do with this? You have an officer of the court telling you that someone is claiming evidence exists, that the state is not doing its duty in seeking out that evidence and your response is to say you ruled against the defense in the deposition of Crump? So that was the end of that issue.
But let’s look at this from the other side’s perspective for a moment. Imagine West claimed in the news a friend of George’s, which happens to be a shady ambulance chasing lawyer, claims he has a tape of George confessing that he really sought out to murder some random black guy. You think the judge would tell Bernie that she’s not going to ask the defense about that? You think the judge would protect that witness from being questioned by the State? Hell no.
At 27:00 we move into 1h. Witness List Saga, specifically at this point this motion
Essentially all the defense wants is to add the five witnesses to the list which the judge allows so this one is granted. We also get hint that there’s new evidence. O’Mara states D (GZWJJJ) and E (GZW60) had contact with W8 early on. Bernie does not know who A (GZW GGG) and B (GZW HHH) are as he only has their names. They take a little break and O’Mara explains to Bernie who they are. Bernie says he’s concerned what new evidence GZWGGG will provide, wants the opportunity to depose that witness and what O’Mara got from that witness and the opportunity to also add more witnesses if the need arises. The judge grants it all and all is well.
At 31:15 1g. The Stand Your Ground/Immunity/Self Defense CHAPTER 776 JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE statues Hearing to Merge or Not to Merge Saga
Though the issue is significant much too much was made about the actual inquiry itself. All the judge was going to ask were very simple question that put on record that George understands what is happening and that he agrees to it. She tried to tell the defense and even had a session with them telling them what she was going to ask but still the O’Mara was concerned that she was going to ask the reasons for why there was not going to be a pre trial immunity hearing. Regardless of reminding O’Mara that she’s not asking any of that he persists in his worry so she just reminds him he can simply object to any of the questions, finally O’Mara relents and she asks George simple questions of the nature that he understands and agrees and that is that. The state was satisfied and didn’t press any other issue about it.
56:00 1d. Personal Information Release
Fairly simple and quick and granted although Bernie added at the end he would like for O’Mara to remove that version from his website and put the redacted version up instead.
58:00 1a. The Crump Settlement Filing Saga
The judge offers the solution below to which O’Mara, Bernie and Crump agree.
Unredeacted copy to remain sealed
Redacted copy unsealed
unredacted copy provided to defense and state
for trial to be determined later
Reply to State’s Response to Defendant’s Motion for Sanctions State Attorney’s Office for Discovery Violations
What I find so absurd here is that O’Mara is worried that because of Bernies response there will be some public loss of respect for the judicial system when they one day look through the case and read that. This entire case is a farce and O’Mara is worried about Bernies little motion. What’s not so surprising is O’Mara’s request to try to control the conversation by now asking for motions to be stricken from the record entirely. Remember, if O’Mara had it his way everything would be completely hidden from public view until all is said and done so keeping evidence out of the public and asking for motions to be removed from the court record is consistent with that and some dictatorships as well, lol.
Regardless, they settle on O’Mara sending which segments he would like out of the motion, give that to Bernie and the court then Bernie respond if he likes then the judge will decide what should be redacted.
They now move into the sanctions aspect or Richardson Hearing.
Reply to State’s Response to Defendant’s Motion for Sanctions State Attorney’s Office for Discovery Violations
West is sworn in and testifies.
Rather boring and nothing new until 1:43:50 we learn W8 wrote the “letter” with the assistance of a friend. West says something strange that makes me think he misspoke. He states that W8 was escorted to the Aug 2 interview Bernie by a friend 1:44:55 “…she didn’t know the friends name but she told us her first name…” How does she not know her own friends name? Did West mean to say she didn’t know her friends last name, only her first name? If that is the case how could she not know her own friends last name? Especially one that helped her write her “letter”? We also learn that there was a similar letter written by her with a different iteration. What that is remains to be seen, if ever.
Bernie gets his turn at West and does a bunch of “well you did this and that so should I ask for sanctions”. Some of it gets a little heated and nice to watch West tell Bernie he’s full of crap. They all keep their cool for the most part though and we really didn’t get the head popping Bernie we were hoping for.
At 2:43:45 we here about the cell tower map again which O’Mara says indicates Trayvon was not simply traveling between the RTL and 711. Later in the presser after the hearing O’Mara says it indicates that Trayvon was North and West “quite a ways” from the 711, at what time this was is not known to us at this time and the defense didn’t elaborate on it. Keep in mind that it was Jan 9 2013 when the defense got that information and part of the reason why they are having this Richardson hearing to begin with.
Along with that map they also found at the FDLE the Sanford Police Department file on the case which West described as containing around 150 pages which contained criminal activity by Trayvon that was never disclosed to the defense. Bernie attempts to excuse the reason why he never gave that to the Defense by saying “This alleged criminal activity turned out to be for naught is that correct sir? Because we just deposed those witnesses in Miami and isn’t it true that the school board members said it was not a crime. This allegation about a weapon was not a weapon under their criteria isn’t that true?” West begins to explain “The report that Mr. O’Mara is referring to was a 7 or 8 page police report from the Miami Dade…” BOOM Judge interrupts and essentially ends the hearing right then and there, saying it’s going way beyond that which alleged. It was? Then why not end the questioning on the map? That is the same, it’s something they didn’t get from the State. This report was something they didn’t get and the State is trying to excuse the fact of why they never gave the defense this report is because of some technical aspects regarding the report itself. West tries to elaborate on that but is denied the chance.
Isn’t it convenient they set up the system where they can skate a line to save black folks from being considered criminals so Bernie can ultimately end up saying “This alleged criminal activity…” for the simple fact that Trayvon was black, for no matter what he did would have been considered something that should be worked out to avoid it being labeled criminal regardless of how criminal it may have been. Frankly I say let it happen. Let it happen to the extreme and the very people who espouse this ideology are raped, robbed and murdered out of their pathetic existence by those very same people they protect.
Regardless, argument then continues and the Judge attempts to establish if the Defense is has reached the requirements for sanction regarding the case law and for that I of course leave to the lawyers to figure out. Throughout this past year we have seen little lists come before the court the Defense provide it feels are violations and the judge fumbled through a list she wrote down during the hearing. I wish the defense would list everything but they say they had to choose one main thing which was the one where Bernie kept to himself the fact that W8 lied about going to the hospital.
O’Mara reminded the judge this is not merely a Richardson Hearing and that it’s a sanctions hearing and that she has the power to correct the state on its future handling regarding discovery.
O’Mara makes a most excellent point after Bernie tries to make excuse for not telling O’Mara about W8 lying saying that it was just something that W8 mentioned in passing but mainly that he forgot. O’Mara’s brilliant response was to remind the court of the simple fact that the request for the hospital records was made numerous times and apparently despite those reminders Bernie can’t remember until the night before the hearing for the motion on those records. What a liar and deceiver Bernie is and I find myself reminded of that motion that O’Mara wants stricken from the court record and his worry that people would lose faith in the judicial system. Really, please, when “officers of the court” can just straight up lie like that to the judge in open court how could there be any respect in the first place.
The court found there was no discovery violations and some other legal crap I don’t understand. She postponed until after trial whether or not there would be sanctions.
b) Sanctions Saga (W8 Depo)
The judge felt uncomfortable ruling on this regardless of its simplicity so she delayed that until after trial as well, anything to protect her little officer of the court who she tried to make excuse for by taking some of the heat by explaining that it was her not responding to their call saying it was her assistant’s fault for not explaining that they couldn’t start the depo without her hearing them. O’Mara quickly responded with the fact that he offered a solution at that time for that but she didn’t care and insisted it would be heard after trial.
One last little interesting thing occurred at 3:07:30. O’Mara tells us that something will be filed soon that will take an extended amount of hearing time. That it will be an extended evidentiary hearing. O’Mara seemed like he wanted to explain what it was but the interrupting idiot, well, kept interrupting. It’s unclear to me if this will be a separate hearing from the scheduled May 28th hearing. I think it may turn out to be if O’Mara asks for a separate day.
They all went out to lunch to tell each other how cool they all are while George went back to his little prison.
[UPDATE: Regarding the extended evidentiary hearing it has to do with W11's 911 call and who was yelling for help which was George of course but you wouldn't know that from O'Mara, no, he just thought it was but I guess he's just not so sure.