Below are a list of what I believe to be factual misstatements in de la Rionda's closing argument, up to the break.
CNN TranscriptsPart 1 Part 2Part 3
First I want to mention three things that aren't strictly factual misstatements, but that I think will hurt the state's credibility with the jurors.
[TM] is dead through no fault of his own.
The state didn't come close to proving this, in the face of considerable contrary evidence. It's one of the first things Bernie said.
Recall one of the questions that was asked of Investigator Serino by the defense. "Sir, if you were driving by and somebody was in the front yard and looking through a window, wouldn't you stop your car and kind of investigate that"? His first -- my recollection is that his comment was, his answer was, "I would think maybe he lives there."
As I recall that's an accurate description of Serino's testimony. But GZ said more than once that he knew who lived at 1460 RVC.
If the police had gotten called out there . . . under the law, they're allowed to ask somebody that's walking the streets. The person can ignore them or not.
That's funny. Try it sometime, Bernie. Try ignoring a cop who thought you were suspicious and asked you a question. You'll be in his patrol car on the way to the station so fast you're head will spin.
Of course he's correct to make the lawyer's point that you haven't committed a crime. But they can hold you overnight for being 'suspicious', I think longer in some jurisdictions. That's not easy to ignore.
Now, as to facts.
And then apparently Mr. Manalo was taking too long or something and he said, "Just tell her I killed him," just kind of matter of fact.
He calls 911 non-emergency.
Bernie has been using this meme throughout the trial. I meant to comment on it the first time he said it, but I didn't get around to it. The non-emergency number does't have '911' in it. There is no such thing as '911 non-emergency'.
What's ironic in this case and what I want to spend some time talking with you about is the defendant's statements because you might think, well, hold on, you're the state, what are you putting on his self- serving statements when he's denying committing a crime, when he's saying it's self-defense? We wanted to tell you all the evidence.
The state actually withheld one of GZ's statements, the preliminary interview before the CVSA test.
But what does she say before the actual recording, before she called the police, she heard something going on out there. Because, see, this wasn't like the defendant claims that out of the blue the victim just kind of attacked him and knocked him to the ground and he just started beating him. No, this started, I would submit, further down, but it didn't start right at the "T" where the defendant claims it occurred.
GZ reported three sentences passing between him and TM, consistent with Lauer's statement. Lauer put the starting location north of her house and west of the T, also consistent with GZ's statements.
Btw, we haven't heard any more about Lauer's twitter.
[Y]ou've got to assume that then the victim just hit him and knocked him to the ground and just started beating him and -- and poor defendant, poor George Zimmerman, he just kind of took it, boom, boom, just getting whacked over and over.
He never did anything.
GZ said that he tried to push TM away, between the first punch and the struggle going to ground. Then he yelled for help and tried to sit up. He struggled to get his head off the concrete. When he was being suffocated, he tried to push TM's hands away. That is GZ's story, not that he 'never did anything'.
Ironically, of the two, one of the individuals is the one that's had, what, 18 months MMA fighting?
My recollection of the testimony is that GZ got elementary training in at least two 'martial arts', boxing and 'grappling'. (I don't know how the latter differs from wrestling, if at all.) Adam Pollock testified that he was never allowed into the ring for boxing, much less for an actual MMA fight, in which techniques from a wide variety of martial arts are permitted.
The defendant claims at the very end, right before, unfortunately, he had to shoot the victim, that the victim grabbed the gun.
Claims? Present tense? GZ didn't testify to that. Even taking Mark Osterman's recollection at face value, it was over a year ago that GZ may have said that to him.
What the defendant told Mr. Osterman not, like, a month later, that same evening meaning the morning after when he picked him up at the police station and drove him to his house. That he -- the victim had grabbed the gun. Not the holster, grabbed the gun.
My recollection is that Osterman testified that he couldn't remember if it was the gun or the holster.
[R]ecall even the defendant from the defendant's own mouth, they always got away from this exit over here, this other exit.
I don't think it is in evidence that GZ said that.
Defendant claims that Trayvon Martin is the strongest guy in the world because he grabbed him, picked him up, then transported him, what, 20 yards?
GZ didn't say TM picked him up or 'transported' him.
The '20 yards' is complicated. First, I think the distance between the T and TM's body was between 40 and 50 feet, not close to 60. But GZ didn't say the struggle went even that far before going to ground. In the reenactment,
GZ indicated a point maybe halfway or maybe a little more that halfway from the T to the shooting site (8:14).
I haven't wrestled since high school gym class. I recall often being surprised to find myself at the edge of the ring. I think GZ never realized that the struggle migrated across the ground.
In any case, I think Bernie's '20 yards' is wrong twice, both as an estimate of the distance from T to body, and egregiously so as representing GZ's statement.