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State v. George Zimmerman (Pre-Trial) => Zimmerman: Police Investigation => Topic started by: Redbrow on November 19, 2012, 09:46:31 PM

Title: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: Redbrow on November 19, 2012, 09:46:31 PM
Just when you thought this case could not get more bizarre and surreal, Serino hires Baez. It is pretty odd for a lead investigator to hire a lawyer, let alone such a controversial and notorious lawyer like Baez.

Quote
He wants his own counsel hes intimidated, said Baez spokesman Michael Wright. It may not be a friendly deposition.

Intimidated by the defense, prosecution or both?

Quote
An FBI report released this summer showed Serino told agents that he was pressured by African-American officers to file charges.

Is he intimidated by fellow members of SPD as well?

Quote
Days after the interviews were made public, Serino, a 15-year department veteran, was transferred to patrol duty on the overnight shift.

Did he actually request the transfer or not?

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/19/3105467/detective-in-george-zimmerman.html
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on November 19, 2012, 11:06:53 PM
It is pretty odd for a lead investigator to hire a lawyer, let alone such a controversial and notorious lawyer like Baez.

Baez tried a high-profile case with an unpopular client, and he won. Seems like a good choice to me.

Is he 'notorious' for some other reason?
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: Meni on November 20, 2012, 12:17:34 AM
I think Serino would be 'intimidated' by both the Defense and the Prosecution. The Prosecution: the FBI statement that he felt pressured by other African American officers to pursue an arrest, and by the Defense: other investigators indicating there was no cause for arrest.

I also wonder if this has anything to do with signs from O'Mara that he is not focused just on exonerating Zimmerman, but also holding others accountable for any role in a wrongful prosecution.

Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: Redbrow on November 20, 2012, 12:36:00 AM
Baez tried a high-profile case with an unpopular client, and he won. Seems like a good choice to me.

Is he 'notorious' for some other reason?

Always the contrarian. What other reason does he need? Of course the lawyer for one of the most notorious defendants in one of the most notorious cases of the decade, is notorious. Whether deserved or not, it's not my judgement, it is firmly established in popular culture. It was one of the most discussed trials of the social media age and spawned many dedicated forums and blogs, not unlike this case. O'Mara has already achieved a level of notoriety on several Trayvon Martin fan sites and blogs.

And as you recall, he was just mentioned in the most recent hearing and his response to the court is now part of the record. He acted properly in correcting BdlR's misstatements. However, many of the Zimmerman haters sharply criticized him for it, because of his notoriety and also because he now made a fool of their beloved prosecutor.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: Redbrow on November 20, 2012, 12:51:34 AM
And of course Baez is a criminal defense lawyer. I was not aware that Serino had been charged with a crime.

Usually people seek a criminal defense lawyer when they have been charged with a crime, or believe they may soon be.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on November 20, 2012, 01:53:20 AM
He acted properly in correcting BdlR's misstatements. However, many of the Zimmerman haters sharply criticized him for it

I didn't know that. Do you have any links?
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on November 20, 2012, 02:43:30 AM
And of course Baez is a criminal defense lawyer.

He seems to be branching out. (http://www.nbc11news.com/home/headlines/Casey-Anthony-lawyer-retained-in-theater-shootings-166789176.html)

Quote
Publicist Michael Wright said Monday Jose Baez is investigating a possible civil lawsuit over responsibility for the shootings, including security measures at the theater where the shootings occurred. Baez is representing Shirley Wygal, mother of Rebecca Wingo, who died in the shootings.

Baez has also represented at least one LEO, Carlos Alves. (http://www.garsonwrightpublicrelations.com/josebaez.html) It was a criminal matter, but in Serino's place I might consider that experience a plus.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: DebFrmHell on November 20, 2012, 08:35:52 AM
Leatherman is discredited in my eyes.  Jeralyn worked with him way back when, IIRC.  Let me look....

1998-

Quote
The new members of NACDL's Board of Directors are Hal Arenstein, Cincinnati, OH; Stephen Glassroth, Montgomery, AL; Carmen Hernandez, Washington, D.C.; and John Zwerling, Alexandria, VA. The re-elected Directors are Frank Jackson, Dallas, TX; Helen Leiner, Fairfax, VA; Jeralyn Merritt, Denver; Marvin Miller, Alexandria, VA; Daniel Monnat, Wichita, KS; Dennis Roberts, Oakland, CA; David S. Rudolph, Chapel Hill, NC; and Martin Weinberg, Boston, MA. Affiliate organization representatives at the meeting elected Frederick D. Leatherman, Jr., Seattle, WA, and William P. Bryson, Anchorage, AK, Affiliate Board Members.

Link to NACDL (http://www.nacdl.org/NewsReleases.aspx?id=17692&terms=jeralyn+merritt)

If I get in big trouble, please call her...immediately!  LOL!

Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: RickyJim on November 20, 2012, 11:54:12 AM
From today's Orlando Sentinel (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/trayvon-martin/os-george-zimmerman-jose-baez-officer-20121120,0,5195388.story):

Quote
Bill Lee, the police chief who lost his job following the investigation, told the Sentinel police never believed they had enough evidence to charge Zimmerman, but had Serino fill out the probable cause affidavit because without the document, the State Attorney's Office would not take over the investigation.

This is the first time I have read that Serino's Capias was written at Lee's instigation.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: IgnatiusJDonnelly on November 20, 2012, 12:26:41 PM
http://abcnews.go.com/US/jose-baez-represent-chris-serino-george-zimmerman-trial/story?id=17767789 (http://abcnews.go.com/US/jose-baez-represent-chris-serino-george-zimmerman-trial/story?id=17767789)

This article plays fast and loose with the truth
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: DebFrmHell on November 20, 2012, 02:19:51 PM
From today's Orlando Sentinel (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/trayvon-martin/os-george-zimmerman-jose-baez-officer-20121120,0,5195388.story):

This is the first time I have read that Serino's Capias was written at Lee's instigation.

That struck me, too.  I remember the Sentinel having a sit down with Serino and Lee, both were iscussing the lack of evidence to file charges, but I don't remember Cheif Lee saying anything like that.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on November 20, 2012, 03:08:20 PM
From today's Orlando Sentinel (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/trayvon-martin/os-george-zimmerman-jose-baez-officer-20121120,0,5195388.story):

Quote
Bill Lee, the police chief who lost his job following the investigation, told the Sentinel police never believed they had enough evidence to charge Zimmerman, but had Serino fill out the probable cause affidavit because without the document, the State Attorney's Office would not take over the investigation.

This is the first time I have read that Serino's Capias was written at Lee's instigation.

I've seen the claim before, but this is the first time I've seen it sourced directly to Lee.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on November 20, 2012, 04:00:05 PM
The theory of Serino's capias request makes no sense. I've always suspected it was a CYA at the direction of his superiors.

Also from the Sentinel. (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/trayvon-martin/os-george-zimmerman-jose-baez-officer-20121120,0,5195388.story)
Quote
Serino has said he was gathering evidence for a manslaughter charge when the police department turned the case over to the State Attorney's Office.

Confirming that the SPD turned the case over, rather than it being taken from them as O'Mara claimed.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: Redbrow on November 20, 2012, 04:52:12 PM
The theory of Serino's capias request makes no sense. I've always suspected it was a CYA at the direction of his superiors.

Also from the Sentinel. (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/trayvon-martin/os-george-zimmerman-jose-baez-officer-20121120,0,5195388.story)
Confirming that the SPD turned the case over, rather than it being taken from them as O'Mara claimed.

It confirms the case was turned over before SPD finished their investigation. It does not confirm who ordered the case to be turned over to the State Attorney's Office.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: DebFrmHell on November 20, 2012, 05:27:08 PM
not to be nitpicky...but Norm Wolfinger is the State Attorney Office rep in Seminole County.  It was taken from him and given to Corey after that.  Jacksonville is in Duval County.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on November 20, 2012, 05:53:32 PM
It does not confirm who ordered the case to be turned over to the State Attorney's Office.

Who did O'Mara say ordered it?

He didn't. He used the passive voice.

2:05:44-6:09 (http://diwataman.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/george-zimmerman-hearing-oct-26-2012/)
Quote
And I do think that there are a lot of pressures placed upon all the witnesses, and all the parties in this case. Certainly, all of the Sanford Police Department witnesses, who have gone from being reviled, as racists, to having their, you know, their, their, their chief fired, not fired, fired again, case taken from them, Serino.

Maybe O'Mara meant that certain of the 'Sanford Police Department witnesses', including Serino, had the case taken from them by their SPD superiors.

That would be consistent with the quote attributed to Bill Lee.
Quote
Bill Lee, the police chief who lost his job following the investigation, told the Sentinel police never believed they had enough evidence to charge Zimmerman, but had Serino fill out the probable cause affidavit because without the document, the State Attorney's Office would not take over the investigation.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: Redbrow on November 20, 2012, 06:01:27 PM
It would be nice if the Sentinel quoted Lee's exact words and mentioned when that statement was made. Did Lee make that statement to the Sentinel today or during a previous exclusive interview, like back in March? I'm surprised Lee does not have an attorney telling him to not make statements to the media.

Quote
Two weeks ago, during an exclusive interview with the Sentinel, Lee disclosed certain details of the investigation and during that session, attended by Serino and others, Serino said his investigation turned up no reliable evidence that cast doubt on Zimmerman's account that he had acted in self-defense.

"The best evidence we have is the testimony of George Zimmerman, and he says the decedent was the primary aggressor in the whole event," Serino told the Sentinel March 16. "Everything I have is adding up to what he says."

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-04-02/news/os-trayvon-martin-federal-review-justice-letter-20120402_1_chief-bill-lee-federal-review-federal-agency
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on November 20, 2012, 06:28:32 PM
Did Lee make that statement to the Sentinel today or during a previous exclusive interview, like back in March?

I would think he made it recently. If the Sentinel had it earlier I think they would have published it.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on November 20, 2012, 06:36:19 PM
not to be nitpicky...but Norm Wolfinger is the State Attorney Office rep in Seminole County.  It was taken from him and given to Corey after that.  Jacksonville is in Duval County.

That's a good point. We usually use SAO to mean Corey's office. It's a good idea to specify when we are talking about Wolfinger.

When the governor appointed Corey as special prosecutor, it was Wolfinger's office that lost the case, not the SPD. I think there has been some confusion on that point.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: DebFrmHell on November 20, 2012, 06:49:46 PM
It would be nice if the Sentinel quoted Lee's exact words and mentioned when that statement was made. Did Lee make that statement to the Sentinel today or during a previous exclusive interview, like back in March? I'm surprised Lee does not have an attorney telling him to not make statements to the media.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-04-02/news/os-trayvon-martin-federal-review-justice-letter-20120402_1_chief-bill-lee-federal-review-federal-agency

I tweeted the question to Rene Stutzman.  Time will tell if she answers.  I have been curious since I read that this morning...
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on November 20, 2012, 08:46:11 PM
I don't know if TalkLeft want's links to Leatherman's site

There are some links to that site at the blog.

I once copied one of those links here. It was deleted, with objections to its specific content rather than Leatherman's blog.

It would be convenient to have a posted list of forbidden sites.

Quote
I'll just cut and paste a few.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on November 21, 2012, 02:25:54 AM
Leatherman is discredited in my eyes

In my opinion, Leatherman's blog is only useful for observing how low an anti-Zimmerman fanatic will sink.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: DebFrmHell on November 21, 2012, 03:41:41 AM
Jose Baez of Casey Anthony Fame to Represent Lead Investigator in George Zimmerman's Murder Trial (http://abcnews.go.com/US/jose-baez-represent-chris-serino-george-zimmerman-trial/story?id=17767789#.UKytDmf4JpQ)

From ABC:

Quote
Chris Serino, a former Sanford, Fla., police major crimes investigator, ignited controversy when he filed an arrest affidavit weeks after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, despite insufficient evidence to make a case.

As noted in another, extremely conservative forum by kathyca, this sentence really does say it all.



Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: RickyJim on November 21, 2012, 07:32:48 AM
Anybody here know whether Serino's Capias makes him liable for criminal or civil action for malicious prosecution?  I would guess that admitting there is no case but filing one anyway can get you into trouble.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: FromBelow on November 21, 2012, 11:48:24 AM
Serino can't prosecute anyone but he can recommend/request. It's up to the prosecutor to decided if the request has merit. If Serino made the request in "bad faith" I think the most that would happen is he would be disciplined internally. The prosecutor is the one ultimately responsible for reviewing the evidence and making the decision. IMO and IANAL.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: DebFrmHell on November 21, 2012, 12:15:53 PM
Serino can't prosecute anyone but he can recommend/request. It's up to the prosecutor to decided if the request has merit. If Serino made the request in "bad faith" I think the most that would happen is he would be disciplined internally. The prosecutor is the one ultimately responsible for reviewing the evidence and making the decision. IMO and IANAL.

Methinks he has been disciplined, working as a graveyard patrol officer, even though he didn't lose his pay grade, it is still a demotion.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: RickyJim on November 21, 2012, 02:33:52 PM
Serino can't prosecute anyone but he can recommend/request. It's up to the prosecutor to decided if the request has merit. If Serino made the request in "bad faith" I think the most that would happen is he would be disciplined internally. The prosecutor is the one ultimately responsible for reviewing the evidence and making the decision. IMO and IANAL.

So is he wasting money hiring Baez?  Or maybe Baez is doing it pro bono.  What else could Serino have done to make him engage the services of a lawyer besides filing the Capias?
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: DebFrmHell on November 21, 2012, 02:45:09 PM
So is he wasting money hiring Baez?  Or maybe Baez is doing it pro bono.  What else could Serino have done to make him engage the services of a lawyer besides filing the Capias?

I tried Robles for an answer to the Pro Bono question.  She couldn't answer since neither would comment publicly or respond to emails. 

I tried Stutzman to find out exactly when Chief Lee made that statement but never received an answer.  I didn't really expect one.

Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: FromBelow on November 21, 2012, 02:50:04 PM
So is he wasting money hiring Baez?  Or maybe Baez is doing it pro bono.  What else could Serino have done to make him engage the services of a lawyer besides filing the Capias?

Maybe I'm misremembering or not understanding, but didn't Serino request that the prosecutor issue a capias (arrest order)? He didn't actually file one himself AFAIK.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: unitron on November 22, 2012, 05:48:18 AM
Leatherman is discredited in my eyes.  Jeralyn worked with him way back when, IIRC.  Let me look....

1998-

Link to NACDL (http://www.nacdl.org/NewsReleases.aspx?id=17692&terms=jeralyn+merritt)

If I get in big trouble, please call her...immediately!  LOL!

I'm not sure what Leatherman is doing in this thead about Serino and Baez, but how does an association with Jeralyn discredit him?
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: unitron on November 22, 2012, 05:54:21 AM
There are some links to that site at the blog.

I once copied one of those links here. It was deleted, with objections to its specific content rather than Leatherman's blog.

It would be convenient to have a posted list of forbidden sites.

Thank you.

That post of Redbrow's referencing Leatherman seems to have gotten shoved down the memory hole.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: unitron on November 22, 2012, 05:56:05 AM
It confirms the case was turned over before SPD finished their investigation. It does not confirm who ordered the case to be turned over to the State Attorney's Office.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that it was the governor in a blind panic when he heard that Wolfinger was going to turn the case over to the grand jury.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on November 22, 2012, 06:29:22 AM
I'm not sure what Leatherman is doing in this thead about Serino and Baez

We were discussing what was said about Serino and Baez on Leatherman's blog.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on November 22, 2012, 06:33:48 AM
It confirms the case was turned over before SPD finished their investigation. It does not confirm who ordered the case to be turned over to the State Attorney's Office.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that it was the governor in a blind panic when he heard that Wolfinger was going to turn the case over to the grand jury.

We were talking about why the case went from SPD to Wolfinger, not why it went from Wolfinger to Corey.

As has been said, it can be confusing because 'State Attorney' can mean Wolfinger or Corey.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: FromBelow on November 22, 2012, 06:49:33 AM
I'm not sure what Leatherman is doing in this thead about Serino and Baez, but how does an association with Jeralyn discredit him?

Leatherman discredits himself.

Leatherman, in his blog, does all of the things Jeralyn is very strict about disallowing in her forums. He lies about evidence and attacks the character of GZ, among many other things. I suspect any interaction Jeralyn may have had with Leatherman in the past was peripheral and/or not long lasting.
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: Redbrow on November 30, 2012, 11:18:48 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that it was the governor in a blind panic when he heard that Wolfinger was going to turn the case over to the grand jury.

It was the governor, according to Corey. I was reviewing the transcript of her press conference to see if she ever directly stated DeeDee was a minor and came upon a statement confirming it was the governor's decision to take over the investigation from SPD.

Quote
COREY: We work together with our law enforcement officers here.

As you see, I have my sheriff and our undersheriff here. We work with all of our law enforcement agencies where to try to work these cases together. Remember prosecutors are law enforcement as well. And we work these cases with our investigating agencies and we try to come to as many mutual decisions as we can.

This case was in that process when the governor stepped in and appointed us to take it over. We have continued to work with the Sanford Police Department. We got full cooperation in all of those significant documents and records from Mr. Wolfinger and then Bernie and John and their team took this over and did a lot more work, and we came to our conclusion based on the facts and Florida's law.
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1204/11/jkusa.01.html
Title: Re: Serino hired Baez to represent him
Post by: nomatter_nevermind on December 01, 2012, 01:36:39 AM
It was the governor, according to Corey. I was reviewing the transcript of her press conference to see if she ever directly stated DeeDee was a minor and came upon a statement confirming it was the governor's decision to take over the investigation from SPD.

That was referring to the case being taken from Wolfinger's office.
Title: More on Serino & Baez
Post by: SuzieTampa on December 01, 2012, 10:32:32 AM
The Orlando Sentinel had a story yesterday that the prosecutors might throw the Sanford cops under the bus. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-11-30/news/os-george-zimmerman-jose-baez-serino-20121130_1_sanford-cops-special-prosecutor-angela-corey-george-zimmerman (http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-11-30/news/os-george-zimmerman-jose-baez-serino-20121130_1_sanford-cops-special-prosecutor-angela-corey-george-zimmerman)