Curiouser and Curiouser



Sanford cops a problem for prosecutors in Zimmerman case, experts say

It was a strange development in a case that has seen more than its share: Chris Serino, the lead Sanford police investigator in the Trayvon Martin shooting, hired famed Casey Anthony defense attorney Jose Baez to represent him at his upcoming deposition in the case.

It’s unclear what prompted Serino to hire a private attorney — eschewing available representation by the city of Sanford, his employer. But one issue likely to come up is his double-talk on whether there was enough evidence to support George Zimmerman’s arrest as controversy surrounding the case spiraled out of control last spring.

Serino wrote in a sworn affidavit that there was probable cause to arrest Zimmerman. But he later told the Federal Bureau of Investigation he was pressured to author that document and didn’t believe the evidence was sufficient for the manslaughter charge he recommended.

“Nobody put a gun to his head,” says Michael Grieco, a Miami defense lawyer and former prosecutor. “When you sign an affidavit, you swear under oath.”

And Serino isn’t the only Sanford officer whose testimony could prove troublesome for prosecutors in the second-degree murder case against Zimmerman: High-ranking fellow officers largely agreed in March that there was not sufficient evidence to arrest Zimmerman.

Zimmerman’s legal team has since listed several of them, including former Sanford police Chief Bill Lee Jr. and Serino’s supervisors, as witnesses the defense plans to call at trial.

Baez was not available to comment for this story. But in a recent interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Baez said that Serino hired him because “it’s a very politically charged case, and he just wants to make sure that everything is done by the book.” Special Prosecutor Angela Corey’s office — which Gov. Rick Scott appointed to handle the case — also did not respond to requests for comment.

Eugene O’Donnell, a former police officer and prosecutor who teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said Serino’s decision to hire his own lawyer “is very wise.”

Holy shit!

This kind of thing is virtually unheard of. The only case I can recall where a cop hired his own attorney during a murder case was when Mark Fuhrman got caught committing perjury on the stand during the OJ Simpson trial.

Baez was Casey Anthony’s attorney. If you are a cop you don’t go out and hire a big name attorney like that unless you know your ass is in trouble. And it ain’t civil liability he’s worried about.

The feces have definitely made contact with the air circulation device.

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72 Responses to Curiouser and Curiouser

  1. DandyTiger says:

    What a clusterf%*k.

  2. 49erDweet says:

    If you are a cop you don’t go out and hire a big name attorney like that unless you know your ass is in trouble

    Or if you no longer trust your employer’s counsel. To my thinking that’s quite likely. The city is looking for a scapegoat. Anthony may be wise to take steps to make certain it ain’t him.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Scapegoat for what?

      Why would a cop with civil service protection hire a defense attorney when there hasn’t even been a lawsuit filed? I don’t know about Florida but in California cops are protected from personal civil liability.

      But they are not protected from criminal liability.

      • 49erDweet says:

        In addition to criminal charges, also protection from his department’s disciplinary process – which can easily trash his career and retirement security in the blink of an eye.

        This case is not about justice. It’s about perceptions, IMO. The department probably handled it correctly the first 12-18 hours, but when race politics entered all that went out the window. Now someone must pay. Besides the defendant, of course.

        There’s more…..

  3. DailyPUMA says:

    The moment Zimmerman pursued Trayvon Martin with a gun and without probable cause, he became an instigator even if Martin ended up being the aggressor when they were on ground fighting.

    A pursuit with a gun and probable cause, or pursuit without a gun and without probable cause, then Zimmerman is probably not charged, but combine a gun without probable cause, and it’s a recipe for what ultimately happened.

    • 49erDweet says:

      The evidence doesn’t support “pursuit”. It supports “surveillance”, which is not the same. The evidence supports at the time of the shooting the surveillance was terminated and Z was returning to his car to meet with officers, and unaware of M’s location. The evidence supports M came up from behind Z and surprised him. The evidence supports Z acted in self defense. Totally agree it was stupid for Z to be carrying while on neighborhood patrol, but there’s also evidence this was not a planned activity that night but a sudden response to exigent circumstances.

      Btw, probable cause usually refers to arrests and Z probably had no intent to arrest M. But based on recent criminal activities in the neighborhood he likely had reasonable cause to watch the stranger (to him), and report him to police – which he did.

      • angienc says:

        “Probable cause” also only applies to government agents (i.e., police officers or other members of law enforcement) not private citizens.

        Zimmerman didn’t need probable cause to follow Martin, stop him or anything else because he’s not a police man.

        That pathetic moron DailyPUMA doesn’t know what the fuck s/he’s talking about.

        • DailyPUMA says:

          Zimmerman had a gun, meaning to the person he confronts, Zimmerman can be viewed exactly as a criminal coming upon their prey. Surveillance is not the same as pursuit. He pursued Martin.

          Ideally, if the entire situation had been better thought out, Zimmerman would have been able to hand off the “surveillance” by simply calling a person in the direction that Martin was headed. That person in turn views from their window and calls the next person along the route if the behavior appears to be suspicious.

          • myiq2xu says:

            Pursuit is not the same as follow. You can legally follow someone in a public place. Legally possessing a concealed firearm does not mean you can be attacked with impunity.

          • angienc says:

            Having a gun means he is the person that confronts the other? OMFG — you are even dumber than you look (and I didn’t think that was possible).

        • DailyPUMA says:

          At one point, Zimmerman was chasing Martin even though he apparently had no evidence that Martin had actually done anything wrong, just a suspicion.

          And yet, if you are or I were walking down the street, and someone was running up to catch us who we didn’t know, according to what is being said, we have no right to “defend” ourselves.

          It just seems like people want it both ways. Pursue others who they find suspicious, but also detain or defend against those who they feel are a threat.

        • DailyPUMA says:

          Who cares if Zimmerman “finished chasing” Martin and was now returning to his car. Finally, an admittance that Zimmerman actually pursued Martin before returning to his car.

          If somebody pursues me for no reason, then finally turns around and leaves, I don’t know how I would react, do you know how you would react?

          I read a story once about a hunter who was chased up a tree by a bear. The hunter used his boots and an arrow and beat the bear’s nose and face until the bear retreated.

          Once the bear had left the tree, the hunter, in a final rush of adrenaline, yelled at the bear at the top of his lungs. The bear came back and went up the tree and it took the remaining vestiges of the broken arrow to the bears face before the bear retreated for a second time.

          The hunter decided to keep quiet after the second attack.

          The point is this, once a Zimmerman caused Martin’s adrenaline to rise for what might have been no compelling reason, I don’t think it’s fair to judge that Zimmerman did nothing wrong, he instigated a situation based on his own paranoia and even if Martin became the instigator at the end of the confrontation, he didn’t start it.

          • myiq2xu says:

            Did you eat paint chips as a kid?

            I put quote marks around “chasing” to indicate I was using your choice of words. It is obvious I wasn’t agreeing with you.

          • angienc says:

            Oh for the love of fuck!
            We’ve settled this — you’re a moron, don’t know what you are talking about & are too stupid to learn but instead deliberately choose to wallow in your ignorance, throwing around words like “pursue” and “instigator” when you clearly have no idea what they mean. We’re talking basic definitions of words being beyond you — which means you aren’t worth conversing with on this topic.
            Worse, you’re not even entertaining.

    • angienc says:

      You’re a fucking idiot who doesn’t know the first thing about criminal law. It’s morons like you that allow this kind of crap to spiral out of control & insures that there is no justice in this — or any other — case that gets the media’s attention.

      And I’m not “defending” Zimmerman by saying that: I’m stating a FACT.

  4. DailyPUMA says:

    The moment Zimmerman pursued Trayvon Martin with a gun and without probable cause, he became an instigator even if Martin ended up being the aggressor when they were on the ground fighting.

    A pursuit with a gun and probable cause, or a pursuit without a gun and without probable cause, and Zimmerman is probably not charged.

    But when one combines a gun and pursuit without probable cause, then its a recipe for what ultimately happened.

    I still am sketchy on the details, but i have read that Zimmerman pursued Trayvon Martin simply because Zimmerman was “suspicious” of Martin, that’s not enough if one has a gun, otherwise any thief could use that same argument, “I thought the person was acting suspiciously, and when I pursued them, they acted in a confrontational way, so I shot the person.

    • myiq2xu says:

      I still am sketchy on the details

      Yes you are.

    • DandyTiger says:

      Carrying a gun doesn’t mean what you think it does.

    • Somebody says:

      I am a Floridian and let me assure you that you are sketchy on the details and you CLEARLY have no concept of handgun laws in this state. Zimmerman had a conceal carry permit so he could carry his weapon with him just about anywhere.

      Obviously you have only listened to the edited 911 tape, my first suggestion for you would be to start with listening to the entire 911 tape. Then familiarize yourself with Florida handgun laws, then with self-defense and stand your ground laws and then perhaps with neighborhood watch programs.

      As far as Angela Corey, I’m disappointed in how she has politicized this case. She’s actually from my area and has a reputation as a tough cookie and a straight shooter. I know someone that dated her for a little bit years ago, so I’ve been around her a few times and I had a very high opinion of her. Of course that was years ago and people change.

      • DailyPUMA says:

        If he is PURSUING HIM, he’s not standing his ground. The only way Zimmerman is totally innocent is if he stood near his vehicle, or in one spot, observed Martin going by, and made a call to someone else about Martin possibly behaving suspiciously.

        Once he follows Martin he is acting no differently than a robber stalking his victim. Or, the next time someone starts following you, you will understand it is their right to do so, and do it with a gun?

        • myiq2xu says:

          What law school did you attend?

        • yttik says:

          From the reports I read, Zimmerman wasn’t standing his ground, he was laying on the ground getting punched in the head.

          And yes indeed, you do have to right to pursue somebody you think is about to commit a crime. We recently had an incident where a homeowner pursued a guy six blocks who had been in his yard acting suspiciously. They had a confrontation and the homeowner stabbed the suspect. No charges against the homeowner are being filed because he has a right to defend himself and his property.

        • DailyPUMA says:

          yes, if you define the entire encounter by what happened over the final 30 seconds, you are right. However, you are leaving out the parts that apparently agitated Martin.

          If it is ok to agitate strangers, then one has no right to do much in response, is that your position?

          • myiq2xu says:

            The legal question isn’t whether Martin was agitated. What Martin thought is irrelevant. The legal question is whether Zimmerman reasonably believed he was acting in self defense.

    • angienc says:

      Oh, please allow me to repeat myself (since you’ve repeated yourself):

      You’re a fucking idiot who doesn’t know the first thing about criminal law. It’s morons like you that allow this kind of crap to spiral out of control & insures that there is no justice in this — or any other — case that gets the media’s attention.

      And I’m not “defending” Zimmerman by saying that: I’m stating a FACT.

  5. carol haka says:

    Another reason the racist asswipe Obama should be impeached! Sad no one has the balls to do it! 👿

  6. swanspirit says:

    Not being a lawyer, the reason a police officer would hire an attorney are probably beyond me . But if the officer was forced or pressured to swear to something that he felt was not true , would that be a good reason?

    • insanelysane says:

      Unless he had a gun to his head, the final decision was his.

      No wonder he got some big guns attorney. (pun intended)

      • lorac says:

        In the article it mentions he was pressured. What I read awhile back suggests it was part of the huge race play this turned into – 2 black superiors and one white married to a black were reportedly the ones who pressured him to have Zimmerman arrested.

        Another thing possibly factoring into his decision to get private representation is that I believe he was demoted from detective to street officer, and on the overnight shift, after he signed that charging document. Maybe he was grumbling too much about being made to do it, and they messed with him some more…?

  7. Somebody says:

    I’m still waiting for the NBP members that loudly and publicly put a bounty on Zimmerman’s head to be arrested…….still waiting, what’s that I hear…….crickets.

    • angienc says:

      Or how about that director Spike Lee — tweeting out what he thought was Zimmerman’s address (but turned out to be an elderly couple who had the same last name but no connection to the defendant).

      • Somebody says:

        Oh I know, thank goodness no physical harm came to that couple.

      • carol haka says:

        Hit his ass with a trillion $ lawsuit also! Fuck these racist asswipes! I’m fed up past full. I want a fucking White Caucas in Congress. No blacks allowed! And ill take a white Ms. America. I’m not a racist I’m just sick of the shit out of the mouths of people that should know better. 👿

  8. tommy says:

    O/T BHO is doing the same old thing. Hes still in campaign mode, possibly the only thing hes good at. And zero governance. Its pissing me off. Dude, get back to DC and hammer out a deal with the republicans. Even Boehner says that negotiations are at stalemate. Show some freakin’ leadership. This is no time for campaigning. Hardly a month to go before all americans get screwed. Gotta reach a deal, enact the legislation and get it passed through both the House and Senate. And with Christmas, coming up, there is no more damn TIME. Jeez, what a dud of a Preezy. Lazy and lackadaisical.

    • Somebody says:

      Gosh Tommy you have more confidence in Obama than I do. I’ve never seen a whiff of leadership from him………did I miss something? Have you seen some kind of leadership out of him, please share.

  9. insanelysane says:

    ~~~~ “O/T BHO is doing the same old thing. Hes still in campaign mode, possibly the only thing hes good at. And zero governance.”
    Yep, tommy, I agree.

    I hope that sounds really r@cist cause it’s getting harder and harder to make that dog whistle sound.
    Maybe instead of pony, substitute ASS.

    This whole Presidential farce we play every 4 makes me sick.
    I am going to go back to just being insanely insane. Everyone else is.

  10. tommy says:

    Yeah, I’m just hoping against hope that BHO does the right thing. Too many people would be hurt if he doesn’t. When you got loons like Murray (who is basically salivating at going over the fiscal cliff so that the repubs get the blame) and Schumar who ‘senses’ (spidey tingles?) that the repubs are going to cave and magically accept all the prog demands, a breakthrough is close to impossible. These clowns are playing politics and taking risks. But what they don’t get is that millions of americans could get financially hurt. We’re scraping the barrel as it is. No more pain please. Yeah, that why I hope BHO shows an ounce of leadership.

    • angienc says:

      Honey, the man authorized a campaign ad (with Samuel Jackson) that not only used the F word – but had the little girl actor in it saying “Wake the fuck up.”

      And that’s not even mentioning the ads done by his associates (Romney killed my wife & the old people threatening to “burn this motherfucker down”).

      Did you really think he would do the “right” thing — hell, the people who voted for him wouldn’t even know what the right thingis if it slapped him in the face — so who’s going to hold him accountable?

      • Somebody says:

        That Samuel L. Jackson ad was an official Obama ad?

        • angienc says:

          Hmm, I just Googled it — it was a Jewish Council one (the same outfit that did those gross Sarah Silverman offering “lesbian sex” to Sheldon Adelson if he didn’t donate to GOP — classy bunch) not an “official” OFA ad — but so what — I remember it as an “Obama ad” and so will most people. Obama certainly didn’t disassociate himself with that crap. It is 100% how he “won.”
          That idiot “first time” ad was an official OFA one — all the same sludge.

  11. Lulu says:

    The press appear to be doing a walk back on this whole mess or attempting to do so. Also a motion was filed by the defense today that is most interesting. Mr Crump who is the counsel for the Martin family won’t turn over the audio evidence and a list of witnesses while it was recorded. Why? This is a murder case after all.

  12. carol haka says:

    My fondest wish is he gets to slap a multi-trillion $ lawsuit on Obama somehow for slandering and buying a hit on Zimmerman! 👿

  13. Just got back from the hospital- we have a healthy baby girl, 7 lbs, 4 oz. Please welcome Violet Faith Brielle.
    Not too bad for a first child- water broke yesterday afternoon around 3:30 and baby was born at 5:40 am. Only about 3 hours of hard labor (with an epidural- so not too bad!)
    Is it too early to put a shot of brandy in my coffee?

  14. Somebody says:

    PMM I’m late to the party, but congrats!! Don’t you just wish you could bottle the euphoria that comes with a new baby? If you could how rich could you be? Nothing like it in this world.

    I trust mom and baby are both doing fine?

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