Trayvon's killer said to make self-incriminating statements

ORLANDO, Florida Thu May 24, 2012 8:49pm EDT

George Zimmerman, with lawyer Mark O'Mara testifies (R) from the stand before Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. at the Seminole County Courthouse in Sanford, Florida, April 20, 2012 for a bond hearing on second degree murder charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. REUTERS/Gary W. Green/POOL

George Zimmerman, with lawyer Mark O'Mara testifies (R) from the stand before Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. at the Seminole County Courthouse in Sanford, Florida, April 20, 2012 for a bond hearing on second degree murder charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Credit: Reuters/Gary W. Green/POOL

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ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman made statements to police that help establish his guilt in the second-degree murder case against him for killing unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, prosecutors said in a court filing on Thursday.

The claim came in a motion by prosecutors to keep some of Zimmerman's statements under seal pending his trial in a case that triggered civil rights protests across the United States, while sparking widespread debate over guns, self-defense laws and U.S. race relations.

"Defendant (Zimmerman) has provided law enforcement with numerous statements, some of which are contradictory, and are inconsistent with the physical evidence and statements of witnesses," the prosecutors said in their court filing.

They said the statements by Zimmerman were admissible in court and "in conjunction with other statements and evidence help to establish defendant's guilt in this case."

The court filing offered no details about the statements Zimmerman made to police or other law enforcement officials. It said Florida's public records law had no provision requiring "the disclosure of a confession" of a defendant.

"The state asserts that this provision includes an admission of a defendant that could be used against him at trial," the filing said.

Zimmerman, 28 is charged with shooting and killing the 17-year-old Martin as he walked through a gated residential community in Sanford, Florida, near Orlando, on February 26.

Police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman, citing Florida's "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law, but a special prosecutor who was subsequently appointed charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty.

In a separate court filing on Thursday, Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara joined in the motion to keep his client's statements out of the public eye for the time being.

"There is the possibility that these statements may be subject to motions to suppress, if there is a potentially involuntary statement elicited from Mr. Zimmerman," O'Mara said.

"The release of that information would be highly prejudicial to Mr. Zimmerman's case, and again, would adversely affect the proper administration of justice," he said.

O'Mara also asked the judge to withhold what he said were thousands of emails received by the Sanford police about the case, some of which are racially charged, and Zimmerman's own text messages, emails and journal entries obtained by prosecutors as part of their evidence gathering.

Seminole County Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester set a June 1 hearing to consider the motions for a protective order.

(Writing by Tom Brown and Philip Barbara)

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Comments (9)
TimBerton wrote:
I’d ask for specifics if I was the judge. The special prosecutor could and should have included evidence of 2nd degree murder in the affidavit.

Legal experts said the affidavit didn’t come close to establishing a 2nd degree murder case.

It’s not hard to guess that the special prosecutor will claim Zimmerman’s account is contradicted by the ear-witness account of Martin’s girlfriend. She has huge credibility problems though, especially because she is biased in favor of Martin, and she refused to contact police even after she learned her boyfriend had been shot to death moments after she spoke to him.

A few inconsistencies among the 5 statements Zimmerman gave to law enforcement are also to be expected.

May 24, 2012 10:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NoBullNoMore wrote:
I’m comfortable with her keeping this stuff hiden before the trial.

Regarding the girlfriend, she didn’t really know he was killed until days after. And she is only 16 and not capable of making adult like decisons.

May 25, 2012 1:47am EDT  --  Report as abuse
tij123 wrote:
Regarding the girlfriend or a friend who is a girl, she is too young to know and get involved. I know boys who block girls on their cellphones so the girl could not contact the boy any longer. The girl does not call the police to find out what is going on with the boy. In real life, if the girl could no longer contact a boy on her cell phone, she will just go on but really take no action like call the parents of the boy or call the police. If there was a known problem, she will probably keep it from her parents. It would be the parents that will probably inquire as to why the girl is not talking or seeing the boy anymore.

This is exactly what happened to a boy I knew. He longer hanged out with his friends at school. He never told the parents what happened. The parents noticed after a few months why he had a different set of friends. It turned out that one of the boys he hanged out with got expelled from school. So he just completely removed himself from that group. But he told no one until the parents tried to grill the story out of him months later.

May 25, 2012 3:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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