George Zimmerman’s Legal Team in Court at 9:00 am EST today.
Today’s hearing is expected to go all day. If the defense team is successful in getting a Frye hearing the Judge has set court time aside on June 6th and June 7th.
I have no expectations from the Judge and whatever happens, we’ll deal with it. I won’t be able to watch the hearing today but will peek in throughout the day. If anyone gets this recorded and posted it would be extremely appreciated.
Obstacles the defense is up against:
- The State of Florida brought 2nd degree murder charges with these facts
- The State of Florida is playing games with discovery
- The Judge sent a message she won’t stop these games
- A Judge who is sympathetic to the State of Florida
- An uncooperative family lawyer
- What is still unknown
- Political Influence
- Lack of time
- Lack of money
Possible Links to Live Streams (Thanks Carole):
Local WFT~ http://www.wftv.com/s/watchlive/
I will not be able to watch today’s hearing due to work demands. I will peek in throughout the day. I wish the legal team all the best of luck in forcing the Judge to give this man a fair hearing.
Diwataman has done a great job in a thread on his blog to prepare for the May 28th hearing. You can find all the resources there on what motions will be taken up with the court and he has links to live streaming. As always thanks for your work and effort Diwataman. http://diwataman.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/george-zimmerman-hearing-may-28-2013/
Judge Nelson has been known to start early if everyone is there so I recommend you be ready early too.
For newcomers, please know that racist remarks will be trashed. If you are presenting yourself as a George Zimmerman supporter, please keep in mind this man is in a fight for his life. Conduct yourself in a way that won’t bring heartache and/or embarrassment to the Zimmerman family.
If you’d like to share something privately, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For those who are able, please make a donation to the defense fund. Thank you for helping.
Minute-by-minute updates from the hearing
This has been copied from local Channel 13 news. Let me know for those who watched the hearing if anything is inaccurate. I will post a correction.
Court is in session. George Zimmerman is not present.
Judge Debra Nelson grants the state’s motion regarding opinion as to appropriate penalty or disregard of law. The defense may not mention to the jury what possible punishment Zimmerman may face if he is found guilty.
The defense also may not imply that a jury has the power to pardon a defendant.
Motion GRANTED: The defense cannot imply that the state failed to call a witness because their testimony would be unfavorable to the prosecution. Cboldt added: The defense can remark that the state didn’t call the witness, if the defense calls the witness. O’Mara made that point, that point is clear in case law, and Nelson agreed.
Motion GRANTED: The defense cannot mention George Zimmerman’s lack of previous felony convictions during opening statements.
Motion GRANTED: “Self-serving” hearsay statements George Zimmerman may have made to witnesses is not allowed in opening statements. Other possible hearsay will be ruled upon as they come up during testimony.
Judge now hearing the various items on the state’s motion regarding Trayvon Martin separately.
GRANTED: Talk of whether Trayvon Martin was ever suspended from school is not allowed during opening statements, but could be allowed as evidence during testimony.
GRANTED: No talk of whether Trayvon Martin previously used marijuana is allowed at trial.
GRANTED: No talk of whether Trayvon Martin had ever allegedly been in a fight before the night of the shooting is allowed in opening statements.
GRANTED: Trayvon Martin’s social media accounts cannot be mentioned during opening statements, but may be admissible later if found to be relevant to witnesses’ testimony.
GRANTED: No talk of whether Trayvon Martin ever possessed or wore a set of false gold teeth is allowed.
GRANTED: Trayvon Martin’s school records or performance cannot be mentioned during opening statements, but may be admissible later if found to be relevant to testimony.
GRANTED: No talk of any text messages Trayvon Martin sent or received before or on the day he was shot is allowed until the court rules the information relevant.
GRANTED: No talk is allowed in opening statements that Trayvon Martin tested positive for marijuana at the time of his death.
The judge is now hearing the defense’s arguments for an anonymous jury, a move attorney Mark O’Mara says is to protect jurors, especially if George Zimmerman is acquitted.
Prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda argues he thinks both sides are entitled to find out who the jurors are.
Media attorney Scott Ponce argues jury selection is an open process and should not be closed to the media.
Judge Debra Nelson rules the jury will not be sequestered, but says the jurors may only be identified by their numbers, not their names, during the trial. The judge adds the media may not photograph the jurors during the trial.
O’Mara says because this is an “extraordinarily” high-profile case, he believes the entire jury should be sequestered. He mentioned the media’s interest in the jurors who convicted Jodi Arias earlier in May of murdering her ex-boyfriend in Arizona.
Motion DENIED: Jurors will not be brought to the scene of the shooting at the Retreat at Twin Lakes. Judge Nelson called the notion of taking a jury to the crime scene “a logistical nightmare.”
Motion GRANTED: The defense’s additional witnesses have been approved, but must be made available for deposition.
Judge Nelson hears arguments on a state audio expert’s fee of more than $3,000. The defense says it’s too much, but the judge says, “It’s very hard for the court to tell somebody how to earn a living.” Nelson rules she will not establish the expert’s fee for him.
Judge Nelson schedules another hearing this Friday, May 31, at 1:30 p.m. regarding whether the media can photograph jurors outside of the courtroom. This hearing could set precedence for all Florida court cases.
Regarding the defense’s motion for sanctions against the state Attorney’s Office, the defense calls Wesley White, a Nassau County attorney, to testify. White worked for state attorney Angela Corey, but resigned last year.
Mark O’Mara asks White about photos on Trayvon Martin’s cell phone of a gun, Trayvon with an underage female, and what White identified as “drugs.” White said he contacted the defense to tell them that the state had not turned over those photos.
Judge Nelson triest to delay hearing that motion until May 31, but because prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda says he cannot be there that day.
The sets aside two more hearing dates for June 6–7, the final weekdays before jury selection is scheduled to begin. The media’s motion on photographing jurors remains scheduled for May 31.
The judge moves on to the state’s third motion for a gag order. De La Rionda claims Mark O’Mara’s public comments on the case are tainting the jury pool.
Regarding the state’s gag order, Mark O’Mara acknowledges that defense attorney Don West made a mistake when he talked about a meeting in the judge’s chambers with attorneys on both sides.
Motion DENIED: No gag order on the defense, though Judge Nelson did express her anger that the defense talked publicly about information that was not supposed to leave her chambers, including that she was considering sequestering the jury.
The judge now begins hearing the defense’s motion to delay the trial. O’Mara says he needs more time to review recently released discovery, claiming the state hasn’t been turning over evidence promptly.
Motion DENIED: Judge Nelson will not delay the George Zimmerman trial, saying both sides have previously indicated that they will have sufficient time to prepare for a June 10 trial. Nelson adds she has just scheduled two more hearings before jury selection begins.
Judge Nelson wraps up the hearing. Next hearing is scheduled for Friday, May 31, regarding the media’s question as to whether jurors can be photographed outside of court.
Thank you to Coreshift for getting the hearing recorded.