In a recent hearing, Mark O’Mara, lead defense attorney to George Zimmerman, told the court that due to time constraints, he would not ask for a separate immunity hearing prior to the June 10 trial date.  The Guardian reports: 

The real focus is going to be on getting ready for a jury trial,’ O’Mara said at a hearing on Tuesday…

‘As you know I’ve been counting. We’re only at 96 days [from trial] right now. So that only gives us time to really get ready for one hearing. And that’s going to be a jury trial where he gets acquitted. George wants to have a jury of his peers decide the case.

However, the matter may not be so cut and dried:

De La Rionda [assistant special prosecutor] said he was ‘bewildered’ by Tuesday’s change of defense tactics. The hearing ended with O’Mara announcing he reserved the right to still seek a new stand-your-ground hearing despite telling Nelson she could clear her calendar for the two weeks beginning 29 April that had been set aside for the legal argument.

O’Mara is obviously keeping his options open, I suspect, because he has more than sufficient reason to believe that the prosecution is not going to play fair–as it has not thus far–and he does not want to give them any advance notice of his ultimate strategy.  An immunity hearing, which would essentially be a mini-trial before the judge, not a jury, would give the prosecution just that, and if the judge did not grant immunity and thereby dismiss the state’s case, O’Mara would arguably be in a worse position.  While there are indications that the political potency of the case has somewhat diminished, O’Mara certainly can’t afford to dismiss potential political calculations in the judge’s decision making.  Keeping the prosecution guessing–particularly this prosecution team–is a sound tactic.

As I noted in Update 15 (the applicable statutes and analysis are there), an immunity hearing or a defense explicitly based on the “stand your ground” portion of the Florida statutes (776.013 (3)) is not necessary to invoke immunity from criminal prosecution and civil suits (776.032).  In other words, if Zimmerman is acquitted at trial on the basis of self-defense, he is still immune from civil suits, and the criminal case is over, once and for all.

For those interested in the finer points of potential defense strategy, I recommend a visit to Talk Left, where Denver defense attorney Jeralyn Merritt has been following the case and has the ins and outs from a defense perspective.  Merritt also pronounces on the next issue, which is the primary topic of this article: the incredible exploding DeeDee.

The Orlando Sentinel Reports: 

Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend, the state’s most important witness in the George Zimmerman murder case, was caught in a lie, it was revealed Tuesday.

It was not the first piece of misinformation tied to her, but it was the most damaging to date and left prosecutors in a very awkward position.

They had to publicly acknowledge that their star witness had lied under oath and had to answer questions about what they intend to do about it.

Reporters asked: Will you charge the 19-year-old Miami woman with perjury?

The state’s lead prosecutor, Bernie de la Rionda, gave an ambiguous answer: ‘You can all read the law and make your own decision.’

The woman had told prosecutors she was in the hospital on the day of Trayvon’s funeral.

‘In fact, she lied,’ defense attorney Don West said.

The Sentinel, which has been sympathetic to the Martin narrative propounded by the Scheme Team, also noted:

Despite’s Tuesday’s revelation, there is no indication the woman lied about what she heard on the phone the evening Trayvon was shot. But she appears to have given Crump another piece of bad information: her age.

He told reporters in March, when he played excerpts from the recorded interview, that she was 16 years old. In fact, she was 18 at the time. Crump has said he did not knowingly misrepresent her age.

There are, in fact, compelling reasons to believe DeeDee was not truthful about what she heard on the phone, but this is not the only bad news for the prosecution.  As I reported in Update 18, a report written by Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent Kenneth Wayne Moore reveals that Scheme Team attorneys Benjamin Crump, Daryl Parks and Natalie Jackson were almost certainly present at the interviews of not only Dee Dee, but Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton.  This obviously raises the possibility, perhaps even the probability, that DeeDee was extensively coached prior to her recorded interview.  My analysis of that interview in Update 11 also suggests that very real possibility (and the probability of deception).  The fact that de la Rionda, in the opening of that interview, suggested that others were present, but breached protocol and did not identify them–he identified only himself and Investigator T.C. O’Steen–does nothing to assuage such concerns.

It has also been reported that Crump has lawyered up, and has told the court he did not misrepresent DeeDee’s age, which, of necessity, means she must have lied about that too, unless Crump simply made an assumption, which does not reflect well on his professional competence.  O’Mara has arranged to depose DeeDee within the next few weeks.  Should DeeDee admit that the Scheme Team and/or de la Rionda coached her, even encouraged her to lie, the contention by some–and me–that Corey and de la Rionda could find themselves following the footsteps of disgraced Durham prosecutor Mike Nifong could very well materialize.  Obviously, any such development would be even more destructive to the state’s case–probably fatally so–and to anyone involved in it.  That the prosecutor has coordinated with the Scheme Team seems obvious.  To what degree the Florida Bar might consider that unethical, illegal, or be willing to do anything about it, remains unclear.

I have often opined that Special Prosecutor Angela Corey would have to be a complete idiot to use DeeDee in court.  This recent development only reinforces that belief, but considering Bernie de la Rionda’s interview of DeeDee, it is no surprise.

In choosing witnesses, prosecutors must consider a variety of factors.  Among them: is their testimony relevant and are they credible?  Of these two, credibility is, in many ways, most important.  Juries are the ultimate deciders of fact and of the credibility of witnesses.  If a jury decides a witness isn’t credible for any reason, they can disregard every bit of their testimony.  The danger here is that if any of the prosecution’s witnesses can’t be believed, a jury might decide that none of them–including the prosecution–are credible.  DeeDee is a textbook case of a non-credible witness.

HOW CAN I BLOW UP IN YOUR FACE?  LET ME COUNT THE WAYS…

A primary consideration in the use of any witness is what that witness can contribute to the Prosecution’s case.  Can they help to fulfill any essential element of the offenses charged?  Can they help to establish motive?  Opportunity?  Can they place the defendant at the scene of the crime?  As I noted in Update 2, the statute under which Zimmerman is charged has three essential elements:

(1) A human being must have been unlawfully killed, and;

(2) by means of an act imminently dangerous to another, and;

(3) that act must reveal evidence of a depraved mind regardless of human life (but without premeditation to cause the death of any particular person).

Notice that each element is linked to the others by “and,” not “or.”  This is significant in that each and every element of the offense must be proved.  The prosecution utterly failed to do this in its charging affidavit.  They could not provide probable cause that the crime had been committed, yet the case was allowed to proceed.  But don’t take my word for that.  Visit Update 2 where you’ll find that former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, and former Justice Department attorney Mark Levin, among others, share the same opinion.  I’ll return to this issue later, but let’s examine why DeeDee would be a disastrous witness for the Prosecution.

DeeDee speaks poorly and may present herself poorly in court.  Rightly or wrongly, people who are not well spoken are accorded less credibility, not only in court, but in life in general.  DeeDee, who is black, speaks in a heavy “black” dialect.  In Update 11, I noted:

In reading this transcript, you’ll notice that Dee Dee speaks in patterns common to some black people (and those of other races as well, including some of the white bread persuasion), particularly dropping portions—or all—of suffixes and prefixes.  She also entirely drops some prepositions, some verbs, and like a great many teenagers, speaks with lazy diction and often mumbles.  Many of her sentences are fragmentary, and she will often apparently change thoughts in the middle of a sentence.  All of this—and more—made preparing this transcript unusually difficult.  As a teacher of high school English, I am perhaps better prepared than most to understand this kind of ‘relaxed’ speech, but I was often forced to listen to a given sentence many times before I understood—mostly–what Dee Dee was saying.

DeeDee often dramatically drops the volume at the end of sentences and even phrases.  I don’t mean to be unkind, but DeeDee, to at least some people, might not sound very intelligent.  These kinds of problems of intellect, enunciation and diction do not establish or support credibility.

As I noted in Update 11, all race cards are expired at this Internet ATM.  I make these observations not based on race, but on long years of experience, and as a teacher of English, speech and debate.  While race may be, for some people, a part of determining the credibility of a witness–it is not and never has been for me–issues such as the facts and circumstances of the case, apparent intelligence, general appearance, body language, strength of character or apparent lack thereof, and similar observations are of greater importance to most people.  By all means, take the Update 11 link and listen to her statement.  Judge for your self.

DeeDee claims to have known Martin well, and for a very long time.  There is no way for the prosecution to avoid establishing this.  This background information provides the foundation for her conversation with Martin that night and for her interpretations of what she claims to have heard– whatever it might have been– filtered through her knowledge of Martin.  However, laying this foundation opens a very wide and unwelcome door for the defense, a door the prosecution would surely wish to remain closed.

Teenagers constantly talk about themselves, their friends and their interests.  They are all about social media and Internet use–a topic de la Rionda was careful to almost entirely avoid in his taped interview with DeeDee.  Why would he avoid that?  DeeDee told him she knew Martin since kindergarten, some 11-12 years, and intimated that they were close. What teenager with that kind of long standing relationship would not know all about the behavior, habits, boasts, activities, even the crimes, of their close friends?  DeeDee certainly knows all about Martin’s social media presence, about his thuggish, misogynistic persona, about his frequent boasting about drug use (and actual drug use), and likely, about his multiple school suspensions and potentially, any crimes he had been involved in.  By putting DeeDee on the stand, by laying the necessary foundation for her testimony, the prosecution will almost certainly open the door to her testimony about all of these matters.  If she hesitates or it seems to the jury that she is trying to conceal information about Martin, she will not only destroy her own credibility, but quite possibly the careers of the prosecutors, for any attorney–any officer of the court–is ethically bound never to knowingly allow any witness to provide false testimony.

Cell phone records may not support her testimony.  DeeDee told de la Rionda that her conversation with Martin was marked by frequent cell phone troubles.  She suggested that she often could not hear what was being said or happening and they had to call each other back repeatedly.  De la Rionda did not try to clarify these matters at all–an amazing omission–and instead changed the subject.

The last information I had on this topic indicates that cell phone records–including times and GPS data–may be incomplete, and/or that the prosecution was trying to avoid making them available to the defense, which seems to have been their standard operating procedure with evidence in this case.  When and if accurate cell phone records are made available, DeeDee and the prosecution may be in even greater trouble than has been previously imagined.  At the very least, DeeDee’s own testimony will call into question whether anything she claims to have heard is accurate, relevant, or revealing of anything believable.

DEEDEE’S TESTIMONY:

DeeDee’s statement is generally far less revealing than one might imagine.  It is nothing at all like the narrative has characterized it.  It is frequently confusing and contradictory, a situation not helped by de la Rionda’s utterly inept interviewing technique.  Consider this exchange from early in the interview:

BDLR: OK, how long have you lived there?

Dee Dee:  [Redacted]

BDLR: Your whole life?

Dee Dee:  Hmmm…[mumbling]

BDLR:  OK, where did you live before that?

Dee Dee:  [Redacted]

BDLR: OK, the reason I am asking you is because I am from Jacksonville, so I want to make sure the record’s clear…that we’re here in uh [redacted] Umm…

Dee Dee: A year or two…or eleven…[mumbling]

BDLR: What?

Dee Dee: Ten years…or 11.

BDLR: I’m sorry, what?

Dee Dee: Eleven…or 10 years

BDLR: OK, where do you go to school?

Dee Dee:  [Redacted]

BDLR:  And how did you know Trayvon?

Dee Dee:  I know him for a long time…we just…we started talking.

BDLR: How did you meet up with him…from school?  Or friends? Or…

Dee Dee:  By coming by my house…

BDLR: OK…

Dee Dee:  …with his best friend.

BDLR: Who was his best friend?

Dee Dee:  [Redacted] Yeah.

BDLR: OK, so you’ve known him for how long about? Approximately…

Dee Dee:  Kindergarten…?

BDLR: Kindergarten…wow, that long. So he was a good friend of yours…right?

Dee Dee:  Yeah, he was alright…

BDLR: OK, and he was a good guy, wasn’t he?

Dee Dee:  Yeah…sumpin’…

We’re left wondering if Martin actually was a good guy.  De la Rionda stumbled along:

BDLR: OK, and at…some later…later on…like in the last year or so, did you become closer friends?

Dee Dee:  Yes.

BDLR: OK…did you guys ever start dating at all?

Dee Dee:  Hmm mmm [unintelligible].

BDLR: But would you guys talk on the phone all the time?

Dee Dee:  Yeah.

DeeDee eventually said, in response to whether she was Martin’s girlfriend: “Yeah, we were getting there.”  She told de la Rionda that on the day of the shooting, she was talking with Martin by phone “all day, it seem…”  DeeDee said she was speaking with Martin on the way to the store, at the store, and after he left the store.

About Zimmerman watching Martin:

Dee Dee:  A couple minutes later he come and tell me this man is watchin’ him.

BDLR:  OK…did he describe the man who was watching him?

Dee Dee:  Yeah, he said white.

BDLR:  OK, did he say whether the man was standing, sitting…

Dee Dee:  In a car.

BDLR:  In a car?

Dee Dee:  Yeah.

BDLR:  What did he say about the man who was watching him…

Dee Dee:  He was on the phone.

BDLR:  He was on the phone?

Dee Dee:  Yeah.

BDLR:  OK, and what did Trayvon say after that?

Dee Dee:  He was telling me like…like he a man watching him, so he like started walking.

BDLR:  He, Trayvon, started walking?

Dee Dee:  He goin’ start walking.

BDLR:  OK.

Dee Dee:  And then…the phone hung up. And I call him back again.  And then, I say ‘What you doin’?’ and he say he walkin’ and he said this man still following him, behind the car.  And I’m like…or like, he told me…he tell me..he put his hoodie on, so I like…

BDLR:  He, Trayvon, put his hoodie on.

Dee Dee: Yeah.

BDLR:  OK…

Dee Dee:  Cause, he said it was startin’ a little bit dripping water….

BDLR: Uh huh.

Dee Dee: So he put his hoodie on. So I said, ‘What’s going on?’  He said this man is still watching him. Like in a car…so he about to run from the back. So then I told him, go to his dad house. Run to his Dad house.

BDLR: Go to what?

Dee Dee: Run to his dad house.

BDLR:  To his dad’s house?

Dee Dee: Yeah.

BDLR:  OK.

Dee Dee: So he say he about to run for the back cause its mo’ easier, he said.  So, next thing I hear, he gettin’ run. And I can hear that the wind blowin’…

BDLR:  So you could tell he was running at that time…

Dee Dee:  Yeah.

So the “man” was “standing” “sitting” in a car, and following Martin too.  Notice that de la Rionda does nothing to clarify these obviously contradictory assertions.

If you have not read Update 11, or have not read it for some time, I recommend taking the time to review it.  It provides a far clearer picture than these excerpts can provide.  Thus far, DeeDee’s statement does nothing but support Zimmerman’s versions of events, including Martin’s running from Zimmerman.  This next brief excerpt can do nothing but badly hurt the prosecution:

BDLR:  OK, and then what happened?

Dee Dee:  And then…he say he lost him.

BDLR:  He lost..like…the man?

Dee Dee:  Yeah.

Again, DeeDee has supported Zimmerman’s account.  If Martin lost Zimmerman, why didn’t he simply do what he told DeeDee he was intending to do–run to his father’s home?  If he did this, he would have been inside and out of sight long before Zimmerman could have had any idea where he went.  The following excerpt provides a bit of insight into the generally confused nature–and the blatantly leading questioning–of the entire interview:

BDLR:  So, was Trayvon at that time…you could tell he was like, out of breath, like excited…

Dee Dee:  Yeah. . .

BDLR:  …like, like…

Dee Dee:  Yeah.

BDLR:  OK.

Dee Dee: Then…

In this excerpt, notice how de la Rionda tries to put words in DeeDee’s mouth:

Dee Dee: He lost him; he was breathin’ hard.  An…by the sound his voice…voice kinda change…

BDLR:  Who?  Trayvon?

Dee Dee: Yeah.

BDLR:  OK, what do you mean by that, his voice changed?

Dee Dee:  [unintelligible] I know he was scare.

BDLR:  I’m sorry?

Dee Dee: I know he was scare. He…

BDLR:  How..how…could …tell…and I know what you’re trying to tell me, but if you could, describe to me how you could tell he was scared.

Dee Dee:  Voice was getting kind of low…[unintelligible]…breathin’ har’…

BDLR:  So, you could tell he was emotional like somebody who was like in fear?

Dee Dee:  Yeah…he say he lost him…

BDLR: OK…he was breathing hard?

Dee Dee: He say he lost him…breathin’ har’, you know. And I like, he goin’…so he say he lost him.  And then a couple…and then he say he right by his ass…he ru’, he go’ keep ru’ ’til hi’ dad house.

BDLR:  OK, let me make sure I understand that he’s saying that he’s “right by his ass”…meaning the guy is right by Trayvon?

Dee Dee: No, he say he lost the guy…

BDLR: OK.

Dee Dee: And then he ran from the back…

BDLR:  Right.

Dee Dee: He say he lost him.

BDLR:  OK.

Notice that DeeDee is sticking by her statement that Martin told her he was going to run to his father’s house and that he lost Zimmerman.  This too supports Zimmerman’s statement that he lost Martin and had no idea where he was, which he told the police dispatcher.  Notice again that de la Rionda doesn’t seem the least interested in clarifying any of this.  What, for example, does “And then he ran from the back” mean?  The back of what?  No doubt de la Rionda knows that the substance of this has already been testified to–repeatedly and without alteration–by Zimmerman.  DeeDee can’t add anything that isn’t already known, undisputed and on the record.  The other possibility is that de la Rionda is afraid that DeeDee will add things even less favorable to Martin and the narrative and is desperately trying to avoid that.

Let’s fast forward to what would potentially be the most important part of her testimony:

Dee Dee:  And then he told me like the guy was getting close..like..and he told me the guy was getting real close to him.  The next I hear, “What are you following me for?”

BDLR:  OK, so let me make sure I understand this…so, Trayvon tells you the guy’s getting closer to him…

Dee Dee: Yeah.

BDLR:  …and then you hear Trayvon saying something…

Dee Dee:  Yeah.

BDLR:  And what do you hear Trayvon saying?

Dee Dee:  “Why you followin’ me for?”

BDLR:  “Why you following me for?”

Dee Dee: Yeah.

BDLR:  And then what happened?

Dee Dee: I hear this, ya know, man… it wa’ like a ol’ man…

BDLR:  OK.

Dee Dee:  …say, ‘Wha’ you doin’ aroun’ here?’ [mimicking a man's voice—lowering the pitch of her voice]

BDLR:  OK, so you could definitely tell another voice that was not Trayvon’s.

Dee Dee: Yeah, yeah…

BDLR:  And you heard this other voice say what?

Dee Dee: Yeah: “What are you doin’ aroun’ here?”

BDLR:  “What are you doing around here?”  OK.

Dee Dee:  And I call Trayvon…’Trayvon, wha’s goin’ on, whas goin’ on?’

BDLR:  This is you saying that…

Dee Dee: Yeah.

BDLR: OK.

Dee Dee: Then..I callin’ him…he didn’t answer.

BDLR:  No answer from Trayvon.

Dee Dee:   Yeah..and I hear, I hear a sound like “bump.”  You cou’ hear that Trayvon bump…somebody bumped Trayvon, ’cause I could hear the grass.

BDLR:  OK, so you could hear that there was something going on…

Dee Dee: Yeah.

BDLR:  Like something hitting something?

Dee Dee:  Yeah.

BDLR:  OK.

Dee Dee: You could hear..I could hear the grass thing.

BDLR:  Out of the…

Dee Dee:  Yeah…

BDLR:  …I guess out of the speaker…out of the…

Dee Dee: Yeah.

BDLR:  OK, and then what happened?

Dee Dee:  And then…I was still screaming, I was saying, ‘Trayvon, ‘ ‘Trayvon’…

BDLR:  And there was no response?

Dee Dee: Yeah, and next thing I hear…and next thing, the phone just shut off.

BDLR: The phone shut off?

Dee Dee: It just shut off.

BDLR:  OK, did you hear any kind of screamings like ‘Help me’ or anything like that?

Dee Dee: No.

BDLR:  OK. Did you hear any kind of shot?

Dee Dee: No.

BDLR:  OK. When the phone shut off, did you try calling back?

Dee Dee:  I try calling back like 3 or 2 times.

BDLR:  OK, did you ever get any response?

Dee Dee:  No, and text [unintelligible]…

None of this is helpful to Martin, nor does it contradict Zimmerman’s account.  We know that Zimmerman did not venture down the sidewalk toward Martin’s father’s home any appreciable distance.  He remained at or near the “T” intersection of the sidewalks.  DeeDee has inadvertently put Martin near that intersection.  How else could Zimmerman be anywhere near him?

Further, DeeDee has Martin verbally beginning the confrontation.  Notice too that after hearing a ‘bump” and “the grass thing,” DeeDee heard nothing else and had no further contact with Martin (bizarrely, she later claimed to have heard someone saying something like “get off” through a dead phone!).  Again, I recommend you review the transcript and my analysis in Update 11.  I have little doubt the unbiased reader will come to the same conclusion I did: DeeDee is an absolutely deadly witness for the prosecution’s case.

Shortly after this excerpt, DeeDee began to embellish her testimony.  It appears she was adding things that may have been earlier discussed, but de la Rionda, apparently understanding the ethical swamp into which he was being drug (drug himself?), tried to shut her off without appearing to shut her off.

For one final bit of insight into why her testimony is so potentially damaging to the prosecution, consider this exchange, which took place late in the interview before de la Rionda probably fled in terror:

BDLR:  Alright, listen, I know this has been very hard for you. But I do appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today, and obviously you know we record all this, because we’ve had a recorder right in front of you.  But I do thank you from the bottom of my heart that you’ve come forward, and you’ve agreed to give this statement today. OK?  I know this is very hard I can tell by looking at you, that you’re very emotional about this.  It’s very understandable…

Dee Dee:  [Makes a kind of "uh-uh" sound].

BDLR: …because you cared about him. But all we’re trying to do right now is seek the truth here.  That’s why I’m taking this statement.

Dee Dee: I got guilt.

BDLR:  Huh? [Obviously surprised]

Dee Dee:  I got guilt.

BDLR:  You’ve got guilt?

Dee Dee: Mmm-hmm [Yes].

BDLR:  Why do you feel guilt?

Dee Dee:  Real guilty.

BDLR:  Huh?

Dee Dee:  Real guilty.

BDLR:  Why do you feel real guilty?

Dee Dee: Real guilty.

BDLR:  Because you were talking onto the phone and you couldn’t do anything about it?

Dee Dee: I ain’t know about it.

BDLR:  Huh?

Dee Dee:  I ain’t know about it.

BDLR:  You didn’t know what had happened to him?

Dee Dee:  Nuh…

BDLR: You’re saying, right?  In terms of you were on the phone…

Dee Dee:  ‘Cuz I know him.

BDLR:  OK. Alright.

Dee Dee: [Unintelligible]

BDLR: OK…

As I noted in Update 11, I almost felt sorry for de la Rionda by this point.  Here’s the section where the prosecution has admitted DeeDee lied:

BDLR:  OK.  I’m not saying that they did.  I’m just making sure the records’ clear on that….Um…you obviously found out about what happened to Trayvon, right?  And at some point you ended up knowing that he was killed, right?

Dee Dee:  Yeah.

BDLR:  Were you able to go to the funeral or to the wake?

Dee Dee:  I was goin’ to go, but…

BDLR:  OK, what happened?

Dee Dee:  I didn’ feel good.

BDLR:  OK, did you end up going to the hospital or somewhere?

Dee Dee:  Mmmm…Yeah, I had high blood pressure.

Any competent defense attorney, and O’Mara appears to be that, would absolutely shred DeeDee using nothing more than her own words.  She will not inspire sympathy in jurors.  The prosecution should fear what O’Mara will learn from DeeDee on the stand.  Any explanation of the bizarre, disjointed statements she made will only serve to make her even less credible, and will make de la Rionda look utterly incompetent, perhaps even criminally culpable.  Imagine DeeDee telling the court of the presence and participation of Crump, Parks and Jackson.  Imagine her explaining the source of her guilt.  Pity too de la Rionda if the judge allows the defense to question him under oath, as she very well could, since de la Rionda foolishly made himself a witness by questioning DeeDee himself.

THE ELEMENTS:

Once again, the elements of the crime, each of which must be proved:

(1) A human being must have been unlawfully killed, and;

(2) by means of an act imminently dangerous to another, and;

(3) that act must reveal evidence of a depraved mind regardless of human life (but without premeditation to cause the death of any particular person).

DeeDee has no information at all that would tend to support or prove a single element.  Martin was indeed killed, but the trial will decide whether that killing was unlawful and she can add nothing to help make that determination.  If Zimmerman’s self defense claim holds–and there is no currently known evidence to contradict it as the prosecution’s investigator has testified–all else is moot.  DeeDee, who wasn’t there and who may have heard only a ‘bump,” and something about grass, and who wasn’t meaningfully asked to explain even that, certainly can’t testify to any act imminently dangerous to another.  And if DeeDee can be believed, the only thing she heard someone–she can’t testify who it was–saying was “what are you doin’ ‘round here?” and that in response to Martin’s initiating the conversation.  This is hardly evidence of a depraved mind regardless of human life.

DeeDee can’t even place Zimmerman there.  She cannot establish a motive, nor can she establish opportunity or means.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

DeeDee’s credibility is utterly shot.  She can do nothing but harm the prosecution, and the prosecution has only itself to blame.  Corey and de la Rionda seem to have been coordinating this prosecution with the Scheme Team–who lobbied for Zimmerman’s arrest–from the beginning of its involvement with the case.  Such coordination was not only unethical, it could do nothing but prejudice the case by inflaming the court of public opinion, which was clearly the Scheme Team’s goal.  Professional, ethical prosecutors take pains to avoid entanglement with lawyers who might have designs on civil suits, and particularly those who seek to rouse public sentiment about a case.  Such involvement raises all manner of ethical issues and the very real potential for undue influence, makes jury selection horrendously difficult if not impossible, and risks the obstruction of justice.

It is clear that the Scheme Team was involved in de la Rionda’s interviews of Martin’s parents and DeeDee, and it’s entirely likely they were present for those interviews.  It is also possible they discussed matters with these people before, during, and after the tape stopped rolling.  Anyone recording a witness must ensure that the tape never stops rolling and that everything said is faithfully recorded.  Crump has had to submit documents to the court explaining multiple interruptions in his interview with DeeDee.

What may have happened is Corey and de la Rionda allowed their egos and their political ambitions to take possession of their legal judgment.  Involved deeply with the Scheme Team from the start, they were willing to uncritically follow their lead, which took them to DeeDee and de la Rionda’s disastrous interview with her, an interview that should have been done by investigators, never a prosecutor.

I suspect the prosecution knows it is in real trouble in many ways.  I also suspect that Corey’s ego will not allow her to back down, and like the Duke LaCrosse case, this will end very badly for Corey, de la Rionda and others connected with this case.  Confident, ethical prosecutors do not force the defense to go to court for every little bit of discovery.  They are delighted to freely provide it because they know it will convince the defense of the strength of their case.

During my police service, working with prosecutors, I often delivered and summarized updates to my cases to defense attorneys.  They were glad to have the information, but less than happy about the additional evidence damning their clients.

In cases like this, ethical prosecutors would not only have quickly informed the defense that DeeDee was caught in lies, they would likely have dismissed the case.  In very real ways, unless they are concealing additional, highly relevant evidence, evidence due the defense–that’s always a real possibility with this prosecutor–DD was their star witness, the only witness who could shed any light even slightly favorable to the prosecution on what happened.  Without DeeDee, they have only Zimmerman’s account, an account they’ve admitted they can’t contradict, and the several eye and ear witnesses whose testimony also supports Zimmerman’s account.  Even the FBI’s investigation has apparently absolutely contradicted the racialist narrative.

It would be wise to keep in mind one additional thought, a thought I’m sure Mark O’Mara cannot possibly fail to have had: DeeDee has already committed perjury. The prosecution has been forced to admit it in court.  This puts them in a severe ethical bind.  Their star witness is a perjurer.  There is no denying it, no covering it up.  Ethical, professional prosecutors would be bound to prosecute her, yet doing so would absolutely and finally destroy any shred of credibility she might yet retain.  Ms. Corey and her staff have not yet show any shred of ethical probity.

When this case is over, DeeDee’s perjury won’t be forgotten, the special prosecutor won’t be around to protect her from prosecution, and she did it not as a juvenile–another lie propounded either by her or by Crump–she did it at the age of 18, as an adult.  She might well be persuaded to tell the entire truth about things, as a means of avoiding future prosecution or at the least, mitigating punishment.   That truth has the potential to be very damaging for those behind the narrative and the prosecution.  I’ve little doubt this is much on the minds of Ms. Corey and Mr. de la Rionda.

And as you’ve seen in this article and Update 11, the prosecution had nothing with DeeDee to begin with.  It was Crump who claimed that DeeDee’s “evidence” was prima facie proof of Zimmerman’s guilt–and it was this supposed “evidence” that almost entirely backed the prosecution’s decision to charge Zimmerman–but when she went on the record with de la Rionda after Zimmerman’s arrest, that “evidence” evaporated.  One way or another, DeeDee is going to blow up in the prosecution’s collective faces yet again.  For the defense, she really is the gift that keeps on giving.

About these ads