As I said in my previous post the lost of the prosecutions “expert” witnesses is a game changer and boy was that obvious today. The prosecution star witnesses is Sean Noffke the 911 dispatcher, who took the non-emergency call from George Zimmerman. We know that because Prosecutor John Guy opened up with a comment Zimmerman made to Sean Noffke during that conversation. Without their dubious voice “experts”, Noffke is the only witness who could testify that Zimmerman was acting with a depraved mind on that night, which is the necessary element to prove murder in the second degree in Florida.
Any decent lawyer knows you keep opening statements dry and full of facts because the jury isn’t going to remember what you said but the judge is. John Guy ignored who opened for the prosecution ignored that rule. His opening was truly dreadful. He summed up the case as Two Worlds Colliding. So my bet is he was listening to INXS or Paloma Faith on the way to court this morning?
Once you strip away the ham acting and finger pointing, all we were left with was an admission that none of the witnesses actually saw the incident from beginning to end, or saw Zimmerman firing the shot, a contact wound to the chest (which suggests a struggle) and Martin on top of Zimmerman. He talked about the bone chilling 911 call, where the jury would hear Martin being shot and implied that the voice screaming was Martins by way of the faulty logic that if the screaming stopped after the shit it must have been Martin, which the defence easily refuted by pointing out that Zimmerman had no reason to scream after the shot was fired and also pointed out that both sides agreed that it was a prolonged scream from someone in fear of their life. Guy main argument was centred around Zimmerman’s “hate filled words”.
Don West’s opening defence statement started off badly — a knock, knock joke — it went down like a led balloon and although he got a laugh when he said “come on that was funny”, he was tumbling around with his evidence but once he got started he destroyed the prosecution on every point. It was an opening statement to the judge as much as the jury.
But the real fun began with the witnesses. First up, Chad Joseph, Martin’s father’s girlfriend’s 15 year old son, who was allegedly playing computer games with Martin the day he was shot and who Martin allegedly bought a packet of skittles for. Joseph could add no information to the prosecution case but they called him to humanise Martin. Big Mistake! He testified that Martin didn’t take any phone calls when he was with him and he couldn’t remember how long they played video games. We know martin received phone calls , which undermines his account of being with Martin. He also testified the path from his house was within throwing distance from where Martin was.
Next up, Andrew Gaugh, the 7-11 shop assistant, another witness the prosecution really didn’t need to call. O’Mara used him very effectively to point out that Martin was acting suspiciously. Watching the videos, Martin looks incredibly suspicious and appears to steal something from the 7-11. But Gaugh is clearly watching him and following him around the store. O’Mara points that out to Gaugh, who can’t remember anything. Had the prosecution not have called him, O’Mara wouldn’t have been able to ask him those questions if he was a defence witness. You can’t ask leading questions of your own witnesses.
Lastly, Sean Noffke, the 911 dispatcher and the State’s star witness — or at least until he was cross examined — he couldn’t have been more neutral or honest, which is exactly what the defence wanted. He testified that he could hear no hostility in Zimmerman’s voice and was not in the least concerned about anything he said, and further admitted that the instructions he gave Zimmerman could be interpreted as a request to follow Martin. Noffke also testified he saw nothing wrong or racist in Zimmerman’s description of Martin. Hence the prosecution’s star witness testified that Martin didn’t have a depraved mind and didn’t profile Martin, which makes it difficult if not impossible to meet the criteria for murder in the second degree.