Ben Kruidbos – The State and Discovery in the George Zimmerman Case

You can read the article and watch the hearings below for the pertinent information.

IMHO this issue is going nowhere. It’s clear the State has always played games with discovery but those games appear to me to always be in the grey area. I imagine them sitting around discussing what they can hold back as long as possible without actually breaking the rules. The State had their victim from the beginning therefore they never really were interested in investigating Trayvon Martin. Needless to say this truly shows the strength of the State’s case against George. If they had the goods there would be no problem in just handing O’Mara everything they have.

But O’Mara is as much to blame. He also did nothing except just wait for the State to give him information which they didn’t have in a lot of cases. So the fact of the matter is they are both to blame. Could O’Mara not have a year ago now get Trayvon’s phone to Cellebrite? I would think so. He had the time, he had the money, he didn’t do it. He just let it sit there for months and played games with the state regarding it and the info on it that continues right up to the trial. What kind of defense attorney does that? But really it’s no surprise to me, O’Mara has slow rolled with discovery and with investigating Trayvon himself and he has produced virtually nothing on his own accord that hasn’t already technically been in evidence. No need for me to spew about O’Mara again here but if you like you can familiarize yourself with it on my post here:

On the specific issue just go ahead and watch the hearings regarding it and see for yourself how convoluted the matter is. I’ve listened to the first one a few times now and I can’t figure out just where exactly the defense thinks Bernie lied or hid info or what. Then the way O’Mara frames the issue in the last hearing just convoluted the matter even more.

It’s going to come down to the same argument. The state gave O’Mara the .bin file, therefore they had the photos, texts, etc. the entire time, they just didn’t pay to get it all extracted.

Notice as well what the judge says in the last hearing about discovery violations right before they get to the issue. She essentially is of the mindset that Bernie and O’Mara are the same and as we know she clearly favors the prosecutor so just that alone should tell you this issue is going nowhere.

I think all of this is as I’ve always thought in that O’Mara’s strategy is to document everything he feels as discovery violations in anticipation of a guilty verdict to use for appeal. This in itself in the legal world is not unusual from what I understand but from my perspective that is O’Mara’s entire game. He, like me, expects George to be convicted, not on the evidence mind you but by a poisoned jury pool thanks to the fraud committed by Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton and the rest of the Scheme Team. So O’Mara, like me, was convinced long ago George will be convicted and hopes what he has documented along with the facts of the case will get his conviction overturned in the court of appeal.

April 30 2013 Hearing
@6:19 (Video at bottom of post)

May 28 2013 Hearing


40 thoughts on “Ben Kruidbos – The State and Discovery in the George Zimmerman Case

  1. I’m having trouble following this. White is the lawyer that testified, right? And he is kruidbos lawyer? And he testified about what kruidbos said to him and he was cut short with a sustained hearsay objection so that kruidbos is now going to have to testify? So is white a whistleblower or is kruidbos? Did kruidbos want this info to get to the defense and used white as the vehicle or was kruidbos helping to hide evidence and white told on him? The articles I have read so far on this don’t seem to have enough info or I just missed something somewhere. I follow all of this on my phone and videos tend to cause it to freeze

    • “White is the lawyer that testified, right?” Right

      “And he is kruidbos lawyer?” Right

      “And he testified about what kruidbos said to him and he was cut short with a sustained hearsay objection so that kruidbos is now going to have to testify?” Right

      “So is white a whistleblower or is kruidbos?” Both really but Kruidbos is technically the one as he was doing the actual work for the State. I’m sure we’ll get the whole story June 6/7.

      “Did kruidbos want this info to get to the defense and used white as the vehicle or was kruidbos helping to hide evidence and white told on him?” White brought it to the defenses attention 5 weeks ago.

      “The articles I have read so far on this don’t seem to have enough info or I just missed something somewhere. I follow all of this on my phone and videos tend to cause it to freeze.”

      It’s best to watch the hearings when you can to get more info.

      • So why would he be suspended from his job? Don’t whistleblowers get some type of protection? And was white already his lawyer or did he decide to go to white cause he used to work with Corey? Or is this not known yet?

        • “So why would he be suspended from his job?” It’s Angela Corey, lol. This guy isn’t the only one that she’s put to shame, lol.

          “Don’t whistleblowers get some type of protection?” I’m not a lawyer I don’t know.

          “And was white already his lawyer or did he decide to go to white cause he used to work with Corey? Or is this not known yet?”

          Not known yet specifically. I’m thinking since White left back in December Kruidbos felt he would be a good person to go to. Maybe they built up some camaraderie in their distaste for Corey’s actions along the way and it finally reached its peak in this case.

          Hey now if only Wolfinger would come forward ay? lol.

          • I’m hoping they aren’t able to make white look like a disgruntled employee. If kruidbos tracked him down it would look better from that standpoint.
            I got this, which isn’t very helpful.
            In Florida, the Florida Whistleblower Act protects both private and public employees against retaliation for reporting certain types of illegal activity. The protection provided to employees under this law is different for employees of private companies as opposed to employees of state or local governments. The public sectors provisions are very technical and the time limits for asserting a claim are relatively short in comparison to the protection provided to private sector employees.

            There hasn’t been any specific info about why he was suspended right? Just that he talked to the state 2 times and was suspended.

            • I think Kruidbos is screwed, at least under Fla.’s whistleblower law. He’ll be fired for a security violation and his whistleblower protection is faulty because he did not go through the statutory channels. He may be prosecuted too. I also agree with D-man as far as Nelson’s ruling will go. “No harm, no foul, you have the data.”

  2. I honestly believe that O’Mara came into this not understanding completely what he was up against. I believe that he expected his interactions with the prosecution to follow pretty much the same pattern as he would be used to in dealing with Norm Wolfinger or the other local state attorneys that he deals with regularly. I dont think he was prepared for Bernie’s antics, but I do believe he has caught on and understands the game that’s afoot now. I also continue to believe it’s possible that BDLR and Nelson could be in cohoots to secure a conviction that any appeals court will have to overturn due to their obvious bias and misbehavior.

    In debate club, sometimes you are given a topic to support that goes against everything you believe in. For Bernie, George Zimmerman may be his debate club assignment.

    It’s obvious that part of O’Mara’s goal all along has been to tamp down the racial tensions, but of course we know that has all been for naught, because Crump et al are just going to pick right back up where they left off last year, so I don’t think it accomplished anything for MOM to play nicely all this time. I do believe he thinks George to be innocent, and I vehemently disagree with the concept that he just wants to escort George through the process to conviction.

    • Just to be clear I think O’Mara thinks George is innocent as well and I’m not saying he WANTS to “escort George through the process to conviction” as you put it rather he has RESIGNED himself to that reality as I expressed in the blog. O’Mara expressed that reality himself to some extent he just didn’t go as far as I and publically state that George will be convicted.

      And in the end I am always willing to be wrong. 😉

      • I think OMara is preparing for all possibilities including a conviction. I hope you are wrong about Kruidbos’ testimony and Nelson treatment of the violation. Sad but true, I have a desire to see Corey and BDLR suffer.

      • Sorry, D-Man, I wasn’t trying to imply that you thought that about O’Mara. There are some who do, as you well know, and I disagree on that issue. I think your issues with O’Mara aren’t quite as serious as some others.

  3. That “no harm, no foul” seems to work well whenever the prosecutor continuously forgets, but in this case there is a witness to the fact it was obviously intentional and that prosecutor lied to the judge.

    Next is determining the “who and when” about the texts being deleted.

    Who is left looking like the fool; the judge or the lying prosecutor?

    I had noticed Frenchpug hitting on the theory that protecting the privacy of a minor excused what happened. The problem there is that only a small portion of what was withheld related to the “minor” in question.

      • Where exactly am I being inflammatory or off topic? Or are you unclear as to what trollish means? All of my questions and comments were about the hearing and specifically white and kruidbos. After trying to look up more info online I got nothing so I decided to ask dman. I have not said anything that should rile up any GZ supporter.

    • I don’t think it excused what they did. I’m saying THEY may claim that it excuses what they did. I’m trying to anticipate a possible excuse they can give for the bullshit they are doing. I assumed they weren’t just going to say, ” we hid evidence because we didn’t want you to know about it. Deal with it.”
      I’m trying to figure out what exactly happened here from what little info has been put out and diwatamans blog has the best info, IMO.
      The links are just background into who white is, if you’re not interested then don’t click. If diwataman thinks I am being too much of a blog comments hog he can obviously delete whatever he wants. I had questions, so I asked. Feel free to ignore it

  4. “He had the time, he had the money, he didn’t do it. He just let it sit there for months and played games with the state regarding it and the info on it that continues right up to the trial. What kind of defense attorney does that? But really it’s no surprise to me, O’Mara has slow rolled with discovery and with investigating Trayvon himself and he has produced virtually nothing on his own accord that hasn’t already technically been in evidence. ”

    I think it was CNN’s Anderson who asked O’Mara’s to comment on whether he thought George was really innocent and was telling the truth about what happened, in his encounter Feb 26th. This is when O’Mara first took over the case. His answer was that he would not comment till he had gone through all the discovery.

    O’Mara was asked if he would participate in getting the discovery. That’s when he smiled (smugly, I thought) and said no, he would let the State use their time and money to get the discovery, and he would simply wait for them to turn it over to him. Yeah, in an ideal world it would happen like that, I thought. But, O’Mara told us from the beginning that’s what he was going to do. He kept his word!

    I didn’t understand then, how a defense attorney could not involve himself in the discovery process at all. Wouldn’t he want to check and verify everything all along? Or at the least, pace up and down near the delivery room? But, no one else was complaining then, and I thought maybe everyone knew something I didn’t. Maybe, the State discovery processes might be governed by some third party, and no sleight of hand would happen, as I imagined.

    But, here we are!

    • Don’t be so quick to disparage O’Mara.

      The hearing yesterday showed us a lot of surprises, and O’Mara gets most of the credit for bringing them out.

      My guess is that he has a lot more aces up his sleeve in the form of specific knowledge of TM’s past misdeeds, and witnesses who can testify to them. If I had limited funding, I too would choose to spend the money I had on finding new things, which may not have to be disclosed under discovery, rather than fighting for the stuff which the prosecution has to give me or face reversal on appeal.

      Wait until the jury has spoken before criticizing…

      • Really? Don’t be so quick? I’ve been watching the guy for over a year and as a matter of fact reserved a lot of that judgement until I saw more in how he handled things. I’m sure as hell not going to wait until a jury makes a verdict before speaking. Limited funding? The guy has had something like $400,000 + time volunteered + over a year! lol. If you can’t get a phone to cellebrite with that then you better just pack it in. There is no ace up a sleeve, there will be no Perry Mason moment, this isn’t a movie, it just is what it is.

        • D-man –
          You raise some troubling and serious points. I am inclined to agree with you, at least in part, based on how you have framed this issue.

          The internal dynamics of a high profile case like this can get quite complicated. We don’t know what the decision making process is inside the MOM/West team, nor how the defense strategy evolved.

          Everything that I have observed of MOM/West in their pleadings, their arguments in court, and in the pressers seems to be up to snuff, and clashes with this latter point which you have concisely described.

          Color me confused on this issue.

  5. It’s a political lynching. The question is how far is the state willing to take it? GZ get’s off completely good chance the Black community will riot and there will be incedents of violence. If GZ is completely railroaded what will happen? How long will the publics memory last, will it matter? Is anyone prepared to march? It is doubtful.
    The state has nothing, the worse evidence, liars and bad science. A special prosecuter, for what? Does the average victim of Black violence get a special prosecuter? How many people were killed in Chicago this weekend will any of those crimes get a special prosecuter not on your life.
    I hope George gets off something tells me they will pull ot every trick in the book to give him Manslaughter or something as an apeasement to the community. Holder is in trouble there won’t be a Civil Rights Violation charge and a the Civil case will be of interest.

    • I think that maybe the GZ supporters should counter the threat of riots from the black community and threaten that they will riot if he is convicted.

  6. I think the state handing over the .bin file and telling MOM to do his own homework is not going to give them a pass this time. (But with Nelson on the bench, who knows). I think the defense is in the right here because of the motion for specific discovery in April. That motion included the request for any downloads and/or reports, to which BDLR claimed he didn’t have from Cellbrite or anyone else. I think Mom knew reports existed and set the state up by filing the demand for specific discovery.

    • If the defense was a public defender, does the state have to pay twice to have experts extract reports from the BIN file? Once for the prosecution, and once for the defense? If a person keeps their work in a proprietary and obscure format (but not encrypted, per se), does turning over the material in a proprietary and obscure format satisfy the discovery obligation?

      I believe Nelson is going to rule against O’Mara’s motion, making the same findings she did in the last Richardson hearing. There has been no violation, and there is no procedural prejudice. O’Mara has the data, it came from the state, the defense was able to extract texts and photos, etc. from the BIN file, and the defense has not made a particular showing of how it would be procedurally prejudiced. Further, the motion does not request a remedy other than what the court would find proper, and as discussed last week, there will be no continuance (she knew the details of this issue when she made the no continuance ruling).

      She’ll find something along the lines of Bernardo’s remark that he’s turned over everything the state has is technically correct, because everything the state has is derived from that BIN file.

      O’Mara did know the state had extracted photos and texts. He learned that five weeks ago, and a Demand for Specific Discovery was filed on April 25, less than five weeks ago. You could call it a “set up” or a “heads up,” depending on the state reacts to the demand. The state could have responded by turning over the reports and other extractions.

      • I feel that Kruidbos can provide information that proves BDLR lied to the court. I still don’t think MOM has gotten everything from the state and Kruidbos can prove it. To say that the defense got the bin file remedied the discovery violation is only part of the discovery. They made a specific request for downloads/reports. They are not just seeking Brady material, but also evidence that can be used to impeach a state witness. I think if it were a public defender the state would be on the hook for paying twice. The state may have only generated reports on certain aspects of the phone evidence that they think will help them, while ignoring other data. The defense would still have the right to see what else that data might hold. For instance, in the Arias case the state felt that most of the texts were illelevant (and only turned over what they were planning on using), but the defense knowing she was claiming self defense(and wanted all of the texts so they could decide for themselves) thought there was evidence of abuse w/i the texts.

        • Material that goes to impeach a state witness is in the category of Brady material, FWIW.

          And, FWIW, I think Bernardo lied to the court. But Nelson has her own view of the state’s obligations to justice, and she’s spun more than one yarn in order to reach the outcome she thought proper.

      • I’m confused about BIN files. Did the prosecution receive this evidence already in a BIN file, and then extracted it themselves, or did they take the evidence and put it in a BIN file and then give it to the defense. Does anyone know if its common for prosecutors to hand over discovery in the form of a BIN file. Is there a good reason for them to use BIN files? If the prosecution handed over all of the evidence in Norwegian and told the defense too bad, you’ll just have to get it translated would they get away with it or would they get in trouble? Or how about if they sent over audio evidence that was on an 8track?

        • The native form on the phone is a BIN file of some sort. I’m guessing a database file. Even JPG and GIF files are, in a sense, BIN files. There is a more precise definition used by people who work and dabble in these matters, but to a layman, the raw contents of the files are indecipherable. Generically, none of them is human-readable.

          The defense asked for the raw data, and it also asked for any reports that had been compiled from the raw data. Using the photos as an example, they received photocopies of printed JPG files; and asked to receive the JPG (“BIN”) files. The two different forms contain different information. The JPG file may contain information about the camera, date of photo, time of photo, and would be the information to have if you were trying to find out if the image was “photoshopped.” The printed image, or image viewed on a screen, would show what pictures and photographs show.

          As for your foreign language example, the answer is “it depends.” If the original is in a foreign language, then yes, that should be turned over – so should any translation that the state used in its investigation and trial preparation. The defense can decide if it trusts the translation, or if it wants an independent translation.

          • So shouldn’t the prosecution have turned over the info they extracted then. We’re they just being difficult assholes by not turning over the reports? Because that’s what it seems like to me. A screw you. Or a new twist on burying the defense with paper, burying them in technology.
            And thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I really appreciate the patience you show with me and other commenters who are unsure about legal issues. I alway make sure to read any comments you submit here and on other blogs.

            • Yes, the state should have turned over what it extracted – at minimum a description of what was extracted. The BIN file was useless to the state, too, until it processed the data and retrieved human readable results. There is no “work product” or opinion or strategy in the human readable form. Whatever the state discovers, it is obliged to turn over. If the state had not extraced reports or photos from the BIN file, then it would be on firm ground. Both the state and the defense would have the same non-human-decipherable file and one or the other would be the first to decipher it. The state deciphering it triggers a turnover obligation.

              My pleasure to help. I suppose it’s obvious, but caveat emptor, I am not always correct. I do try to support my conclusions with citations to law with brief argument, and I am always open to being corrected. I dig into these cases with a very open mind, and let the evidence (and law) take me where it leads. Thank you very much for the generous compliment.

  7. It may be no harm no foul, but fairness requires that the court at least grant the continuance the defense asked for. Otherwise, she looks like a real prick.

    • Welcome my little Trayvonite troll. I have checked myself bitch and I be kickin’ ass. The “parents” of the assailant were getting justice from the second Smith had George at gunpoint onward. Everything the “parents” did afterword justifies the use of the term Scheme Team. But you already knew all this, you wouldn’t be a good little Trayvonite troll if you didn’t.

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