Breaking: Zimmerman to be charged in shooting

Scant details yet.

Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey will announce that she is charging George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, citing a law enforcement official close to the investigation.

It is unclear what charges he will face.

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27 Responses to Breaking: Zimmerman to be charged in shooting

  1. Al Gebhard says:

    What else could she do. Just pass it along and save her little career.

  2. R.D. Walker says:

    If he is innocent, let it be decided by a jury of his peers. If not, let him face the consequences.

  3. slinger says:

    Charges probably should have been filed in the first place. That said, I do wonder what the outcome of the case will achieve. Lord help us if he is found innocent in a court of law … that would be more than enough fuel to fire massive riots.

  4. aRevolutionNow says:

    Poor NBPP…. what are they going to do now? If they were truthful they would admit they’ve never wanted charges to be filed. Goes against their agenda.

  5. R.D. Walker says:

    Thoughts…

    His 911 call pretty much rules out murder one to my way of thinking. Clearly he wasn’t planning to kill.

    It is hard to see what crime he was in the commission of when Martin was killed. I am guessing that rules out murder in the second degree. (Discharge of a firearm inside the city limits? God, I hope not.)

    Manslaughter or negligent homicide remain. If a jury determines that he wasn’t reasonable in determining that his life was in danger, he could get convicted of manslaughter.

    Also, if a jury determines that he instigated the altercation and then used lethal force when he lost control of it, he could get the same charge.

    Of course he could be acquitted if Martin, without provocation, attacked him, if Martin went for his gun or if Zimmerman was legitimately in fear of his life. How in the hell would the prosecution undermine any of those claims? It’s not like Martin will dispute Zimmerman’s testimony.

    I wish Thebronze was here to inform us with the authority of the Word of God exactly what happened.

  6. aRevolutionNow says:

    Trayvon’s girlfriend was on the phone with Trayvon all the way up to 7:16 p.m., police arrived approximately at 7:17 p.m., She was on the phone talking to Trayvon and claims Trayvon mentioned a guy following him and she told him to run…. he said he would walk fast… she claims while talking to Trayvon she heard a thud… possibly from the phone or blue tooth (w/e it was) hitting the ground…. With this testimony, it can be argued that Zimmerman possibly came from behind and possibly grabbed Trayvon to apprehend him or stop him from getting away…Remember the “these guys always get away” comment that Zimmerman made on the call to 911? then the scuffle began….

    That testimony could be used to prove manslaughter which I feel to be the “fair” charge against Zimmerman.

  7. aRevolutionNow says:

    They have gotten hold of the phone records, so the times are or should be Fact….

  8. cornbread says:

    I have said all along, this is not a clear cut case and should have gone to a grand jury where all the facts should have been presented. Just the few “facts” that we have indicate to me that Zimmerman should be charged with manslaughter but then I am not a lawyer. Oh crap, I sounded just like the media right up to the point that I admitted I was not a lawyer thereby admitting that I have no expertise in this matter.

    I will stick to my original thoughts on this matter and say that the judicial system should be allowed to work. What comes out in the end should be right and usually is. Yes, there are exceptions but for now, I still trust the outcome will be fair.

  9. aRevolutionNow says:

    I just seen on CNN…. the girlfriend said she heard Trayvon ask “why are you following me” and Zimmerman asking “what are you doing around here” before she heard the thud which she says was a Headset (blue tooth i suppose)…. CNN just reported what i posted but i didn’t know about the girlfriend hearing the questions asked to one another… but it’s weird how she heard no more… she might be withholding some comments…

  10. messup says:

    This one has Holders fingerprints all over it.

    See, Ohio, West Virginia and Florida are Obama’s battleground states.

    His “Obama Money” for 47 million Americans dependent, on government welfare programs, were his base in 2008 and his base was slipping away, towards the Republican votes per recent election (straw poll) results.

    Enter Zimmerman, Trayvon, Sharpton, Jackson, NAACP, Cong. Black Caucus, New Black Panthers (and a Bounty)…to gin up this important voting constituency.

    As the Courts in NJ dismissed Obama’s need for proof of eligibility (no birth certificate) to be placed on NJ ballot, so too will Mr. Zimmerman be charged and serve time…its written in the wind.

    “Rule of Law” a la Obama style. God Bless America. The United-Socialist-States-of-America.Amen.

  11. BrunDawg says:

    It’s a win/win for 0bama. Guilty is a victory for thug-law and innocent will be a boon to the broken-window economy.

  12. Van-a-gram says:

    2nd degree murder is the charge.

  13. R.D. Walker says:

    I guess they think Zimmerman really pushed the confrontation.

  14. R.D. Walker says:

    Here is Florida’s definition of second-degree murder:

    The unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, is murder in the second degree and constitutes a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

  15. R.D. Walker says:

    They must be hoping for a plea down to manslaughter.

  16. Rich says:

    Just to set the record straight, all the facts are not presented to a grand jury, nor are they obligated to be so. In a grand jury the facts presented are those chosen by the prosecutor to best support the charges that he seeks to have brought. In some states (I can speak for NJ) the prosecutor has an affirmative obligation to present evidence that is clearly exculpatory to a grand jury. I do not know if such is the case in FL. However, even in such case, the combination of facts the prosecutor wants in, plus clearly exculpatory facts, may not be all the facts of the case,

  17. MadBrad says:

    Kids in the neighborhood (13-19 years approx) are wearing their Hoodies up now. The adults here know the deal and we are communicating among ourselves effectively. There won’t be any BS in Jacksonville, Florida other than what is standard and THAT is unacceptable.

  18. Trent says:

    @ Rich, I may be misunderstanding what you wrote, but the special prosecutor in this case did not use a grand jury. It was her choice to prosecute or not. I don’t personally know much about her, but the post by MadBrad and other articles I read seems to say she is tough but fair. If you were just pointing out that a grand jury wouldn’t have made a difference, then I understand your point.

    I was honestly surprised that she went with 2nd degree murder. From the evidence I have read (and I have made a little hobby of keeping up with this case), it is going to be extremely tough to prove all the elements of the law that R.D. posted above. There could be some damning piece in the evidence we don’t have available (such as ballistics and burn patterns/bullet trajectory), but from the public information available I would say she is reaching extremely far.

  19. Rich says:

    Trent: Yep, I was speaking as to the role of a grand jury.

    I too noted that the special prosecutor in this case opted to avoid a grand jury, which it appears you can do under FL law.

    I agree with others here that based on what we know so far that a conviction on a second degree murder charge will be tough.

    I do not know if FL law allows for lesser included charges under a 2nd degree murder charge – such as some varient of manslaughter. If so, then that may provide an out for the jury.

    All that said, I wonder, given the bredth, depth and longevity of the media attention in this case, virtually all against Zimmerman, and some from the upper echelons of government, how on earth Zimmerman can expect to get a fair trial.

    Lastly I have to wonder how a jury might decide in this case. Will enough members be so disgusted with the aggravated rush to judgment as to forestall any chance of conviction. Or, will the jury be so cognizant of the threat of racial violence that there will be no option other than a conviction.

    I clerked for a year in the NJ criminal courts and came to have a deep respect for the integrity and competance of juries and the jury system. I pray that Mr. Zimmerman will have a jury that has the courage and integrity to decide on the evidence – wherever it leads them.

  20. R.D. Walker says:

    “I do not know if FL law allows for lesser included charges under a 2nd degree murder charge – such as some varient of manslaughter.”

    I seem to recall that Casey Anthony walked in FL because the prosecutor went for murder-one and the jury couldn’t get there. Didn’t some of the jurors later say they would have been willing to convict her on a lesser charge but weren’t given the option?

  21. Trent says:

    I got you Rich, and you bring up a good point. On a similar note, a few years ago I was having a discussion with a Con. Law professor who talked about the problem that the court system is facing with jury pools. She said with the spread of traditional media, social media, and internet sources, it is getting harder and harder to select unbiased juries, especially in big cases like this one. Did you see a problem with that when you clerked in NJ or was my professor over blowing the problem?

  22. Rich says:

    RD:

    I think that your recollection re Casey Anthony is correct. I also have a vague recollection that the prosecutors were criticized for presenting charges such as to exclude lesser included offenses.

    The charges in most cases I saw in NJ were crafted to explicitly include lesser offenses. Some statutes were drafted to automatically include lesser included offenses. In my limited experience, wherever the state was stuck in a position where lesser includeds were not available to them, it was a result of either poor drafting of charges, and/or perhaps a Judge refusing to permit lesser includeds.

    In the Zimmerman case I do not know if 2nd degree murder automatically includes lesser crimes such as manslaughter. But I find it odd that lesser crimes were not also charged.

    Avoiding the grand jury is, I think, also odd. Perhaps the special prosecutor actually did not see support for a 1st degree murder charge and opted to avoid the grand jury out of convenience. Perhaps such is common in FL.

    On the other hand, perhaps the grand jury was avoided for the same reasons I noted in regard to what a jury might do. Perhaps, despite the best efforts of racial racists and the leftie media, the special prosecutor was aware that a grand jury might very well return a no bill – opt not to bring the charges sought – because of the intense and widely publicized rush to judgment in much of the the media. I have to suspect that this is just the case, otherwise why not go to a grand jury?

    Obviously this musing becomes circular quickly because of lack of real information. Oh the joys of speculation.

  23. R.D. Walker says:

    I am guessing she didn’t use a grand jury because this is yet another media carnival trial-of-the-century in the making and she wants the career enhancing mojo of making the call herself. Just a guess.

    Here is another guess. Zimmerman said something stupid as hell either to the police or to the state attorney when he unadvisedly called her. They have that in their hip pocket and that is the basis of the 2nd degree murder charge. Again, just a guess.

    If you ever find yourself standing over a dead man with a smoking gun in your hand, DO NOT TALK TO ANYONE EXCEPT A LAWYER. Don’t talk to the police. No matter how right you were in your action, just don’t do it. Don’t even ask for a glass of water. Just say, “I am sorry, I feel like I should talk to my attorney in a matter like this.”

  24. Rich says:

    Trent:

    You are doubtless aware of the line of cases studied in law school re the right to a fair trial and corrupted jury pools. The upshot to those cases was that it is extremenly rare to successfully have the venue (trial location) moved on a claim of a corrupted jury pool – usually claimed to be so by over exposure of the case in the media.

    In my experience I never dealt with a case that drew any more media exposure than local or within the state of NJ. Frankly I am grateful for that, as trials are difficult enough without that wrinkle.

    Nonetheless, with the rise of the internet and access to the same via cell phones, etc., clearly the age old admonition to juries not to read the newspapers or watch television coverage of the case is ludicrous and inadequate. All in all, other than requiring jurors to surrender their cell phones, how can you possibly hope to minimize media influence on juries. And the above doesn’t even contemplate cases with high amounts of media coverage before a jury is even seated.

    In short, I suspect that your Con Law Prof is correct – although I did not personally see such during my clerkship.

    However, what I did see repeatedly in NJ (the Patterson NJ area) was a great difficulty in seating a jury because of the amount of crime in the area.

    In NJ the Judges, as well as lawyers, question prospective jurors. One question that was always asked is, “Have you, or anyone in your immediate family, or any close friend or co-worker, ever been the victim of a crime? If so raise your hand.”

    In a courtroom where the prospective jurors were brought, seating some 70 people, generally 70-90% of people raised their hands.

    The Judge then was left to question each of these people individually as to their victim experience. Virtually all such people were excused from that jury because of their experiences.

    On a good day, you might seat a jury with only two courtrooms of prospective jurors. This, however, rarely happened.

    I saw one case where it took 5 courtrooms of prospective jurors to seat a jury – and it took 3 days.

    My experience re getting juries with my Judge was in no way unique. All the criminal courtrooms in Patterson went through the same thing.

    To me all the above was a real eye opener.I was stunned then, and remain so today, as to the pervasive amount of crime in some communities.

  25. Rich says:

    FYI

    Yesterday Mark Levin, a noted Constitutional Attorney and scholar, reviewd the FL law on 2nd degree murder and examined the special prosecutor’s probable cause affidavit underlying the bringing of the 2nd degree murder charge (needed because a determination of probable cause was not rendered by a grand jury).

    http://www.marklevinshow.com/sectional.asp?id=32930

    Click on the entry for 4/12 and then go to about 74 minutes into the program.

    Levin finds the affidavit weak as compared to the elements of the crime. I agree.

    Perhaps if this is really the meat of the prosecution’s case, its weakness may explain why the special prosecutor bypassed the grand jury.

  26. R.D. Walker says:

    I was certainly surprised by the 2nd degree murder charge. I expected negligent homicide. As in this: Zimmerman negligently created a situation that resulted in a death. I could believe that.

  27. Rich says:

    Alan Dershowitz also agrees that the special prosecutors probable cause affidavit does not support the charge of 2nd degree murder.

    http://tinyurl.com/cfkc3n5

    When Mark Levin, a brilliant conservative originalist constitutional attorney, and Alan Dershowitz,a brilliant leftist constitutional attorney, are on the same wavelength, then methinks something is rotten in FL.

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