Report: Zimmerman Passed Lie Detector Test After Martin Killing

A new report shows that the day after killing Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman passed a police lie detector test. He registered truthful in stating that he was afraid for his life before shooting the teen. The report does not materially affect the trial since such tests are not admissible but may explain the the resistance of local officials to bring the case. It also further supports the view, again, that Angela Corey overcharged the case. She was no doubt aware of the test which, while not admissible as evidence because their reliability is questioned, can be considered by the prosecutors in determining the appropriate charge. UPDATE: A police report shows a critical view of Zimmerman’s account and says that he missed two opportunities to defuse the situation.

Zimmerman willingly submitted to a computer voice stress analyzer (CVSA) “truth verification” on February 27 and the test “was classified as No Deception Indicated (NDI).” This included the question of “Did you confront the guy you shot?’ He answered, “No.” He was rated as telling the truth in both saying that he did not confront Martin and that he was in fear of his life.
Also released recently are further details from Zimmerman to the police. Zimmerman insisted that the teen knocked him down and began to pound his head in the sidewalk while telling him “You’re going to die.” Zimmerman claims Trayvon reached for the gun and that he grabbed it to protect himself.

Both the question of fear and the party responsible for the confrontation could be distorted by Zimmerman’s perspective and not accepted objectively by third parties. Of the two questions, however, the confrontation question is the most interesting. It is rare for targeted suspects to agree to lie detectors, though I have agreed to such tests in past cases.

Once again, this evidence does not rule out the basis for a criminal charge, but in my view strongly militates against a charge greater than manslaughter. In fairness to the local officials, the evidence also offers support for their view that no charge was appropriate. One can disagree with that conclusion, but they may have had solid reasons for opposing a charge. That does not excuse sloppy police work and there was still a basis to detain Zimmerman at the scene. However, the case has become more muddled with such new evidence. As a criminal defense attorney, I have always viewed this case as one with strong defense arguments for trial. While the odds always favor the prosecution, the factual record has a number of elements that could create reasonable doubt. Obviously, the trial itself can present facts in different light and the prosecution has yet to be fully heard in the case.

Source: NY Daily News

383 thoughts on “Report: Zimmerman Passed Lie Detector Test After Martin Killing”

  1. All four (different) stories about the “problem — punch — mounting — headslamming — wiggling — shooting” scene are physically impossible. We have:

    1. He jumped me as I was going back to my vehicle and slammed my head and tried to kill me so I had to shoot him;

    2. He appeared and asked me my problem and gave me a chance to say I had no problem and THEN punched me, knocked me down, mounted me, slam-headed me and punch-nosed me more, leaned on my mouth and nose, slid his hand down my side saying he’d kill me, and then got shot and said “you got me” and kinda fell back or something and I leaped on him and spread his hands out and then someone came.

    3. He came out of the bushes and asked my problem and let me say no problem and I reached for my cell phone and he punched me, knocked me down, tried to silence my screams because he knew the police were coming, and slammed my head so much I was disoriented, but then he told me he was gonna kill me and I remembered I had a gun so I shot it, and he seemed to give up because he heard the shot, and he kinda fell back but still struggled, and I said stop stop, and asked someone to help me restrain him, and at some point perhaps he died.

    4. He came out of nowhere while I was returning to my vehicle and he demanded what was my problem and I said I didn’t have a problem and I tried to call 911 when he punched me in the nose and broke my nose and I fell or he pushed me and he jumped on me and mounted me and he punched me over and over while I was screaming for help about 50 times and he was slamming my head on the concrete so I tried to wriggle away so that my head would hit the grass instead of the concrete so it wouldn’t hurt so much and I was afraid to lose consciousness and he kept telling me to shut the f*ck up because he didn’t want the police to hear me screaming help help because he knew by that time that I had already called the police and while I wriggled to protect my head he was leaning his whole weight against my nose and it was excruciating because my nose was already broken and as I wriggled my jacket came up and he must have seen my gun and then it “clicked” to me that I had my gun on me and meanwhile he took one hand — I don’t know which one — off my mouth and he reached down my chest to grab my gun and he said “You’re gonna die tonight m-f*cker” and I reached for my gun at the same time he reached for it and I shot one shot while I was being careful not to shoot my other hand with the gun I was holding in one hand and then he said “You got me” or “you got it” or something like that and he kind of sat up or maybe I pushed him to get up from under him and he fell back face forward [huh?] and I thought he had been hitting me with something so I spread out his hands to make sure he couldn’t keep hitting me with something and then somebody came and I asked if I could call my wife and the police said no so I asked the bystander to call my wife and I don’t know who all was out there although I know everybody in the neighborhood…

    Got that?

    Every one of these scenarios is physically impossible. Also, every one of them presumes that George Zimmerman has NO HANDS until he reaches for his gun, when suddenly, he has TWO. (One shoots, the other tries to stay out of the way so as to not get shot.)

  2. There’s something about Osterman.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/99926375/99916379-Documents-Given-to-the-Defendant-R-1
    includes the report of an interview of Osterman on April 26th by FDLE and FBI

    Zimmerman & wife were taken by Osterman to his home immediately Z was released on February 27th. They stayed with him for “4 to 6 weeks”.
    Osterman appears to have been mentoring Zimmerman for some time before the event.
    That mentoring would obviously have continued over those weeks. The events would have been gone through over and over. A story would have been built up.
    Osterman would appear to have been accepted by Sanford PD as at least a quasi ‘one of their own’

    Some points from that interview:
    He recounts Zimmerman’s description of events

    “While on the phone with the SPD dispatcher, Zimmerman made eye contact with Martin and at one point Martin came within one arms-length of Zimmerman’s car. Zimmerman lost visual contact with Martin and Zimmerman got out of his car and attempted to locate Martin. When Zimmerman could not find Martin, he ended his phone call with the SPD dispatcher, placed his cellphone in his pocket and was returning to his vehicle when Martin confronted Zimmerman”

    “eye contact” and “came within one arms-length” appears to the high-point of that phase. It would correspond to the point in hte call recording where Zimmerman appears to panic momentarily. It falls far short of “circling”.

    The story has Zimmerman starting back for his truck immediately on finishing the call.
    This again,confirms the damming question of the 2 minutes 30 seconds between the end of that call and the first 911 call.
    It’s a 20 second walk to the point where he says he was confronted.
    So… it can only be that he was searching for Martin for nearly 2 minutes after the call ended.

    If it came to a trial, Zimmerman could try to account for the 2 minutes by saying that he had forgotten up to now that he just stood at Retreat View circle for about 2 minutes waiting for the patrol car to ring him, and then grew tired of it.
    His problem there is that he’s consistently claimed that he started right back.

    Osterman’s account of the struggle for the gun introduces more detail that one might expect from someone who felt that they were just about to lose conciousness.
    Martin’s butt is on Zimmerman’s stomach, with his knees beside Zimmerman’s ribs.
    It is credible that Martin might have become aware of something hard on Zimmerman’s hip. It might be a stretch for him to immediately assume that this was a gun. It might as well have been a wallet or a cell-phone.
    And yet, the story has Martin reaching for this hard thng that could be anything and saying “You’re gonna die now Mother F***er”.
    How was Martin going to kill him? What if the hard thing was just a wallet or a cell phone? He had no way of knowing that it was a little girlie gun. It’s a small weapon. It’s not a dirty great Magnum or whatever. Was he going to batter Zimmerman with a wallet? Why bother reaching down for that when he had a perfectly good drinks can?

    It also seems a stretch that either would be able to reach between Martin’s thighs and Zimmerman’s ribs for the gun, with Zimmerman simply “slapping” Martin’s hand away.

  3. Their procedure was to do whatever seemed right in order to exonerate Zimmerman. That was their approach and their methods were consistent with it. Had they treated this like a crime and investigated it like a crime, the picture would have been much different.

  4. Lack of gunshot residue: emt’s cleaned him up and he washed up in the police station before interrogation which seems to have preceded the taking of pictures and other evidence.

    reading officer interviews: GZ left alone sitting in car with the door open. A gun on the front seat. Is this procedure?

  5. About the VSA (voice stress analysis, being incorrectly called a “lie detector test”): the administrator of same (I’ll call him Q) says:

    I understand you want a VSA.

    (GZ affirms)

    I’m going to grant your wish.

    ———————-
    TIME OUT: Now Goerge has done his “re-enactment with Mark Osterman’s help and now he’s asked for the VSA, presumably with Mark Osterman’s advice. Probably Mark Osterman or Chief Lee chose Q to administer it, too.
    ———————

    George narrates: saw the guy walking slow; looking into houses; arose his suspicion; not hard-core athlete; not running in the rain; drove past; lost visual contact; police asked him to get street name; he didn’t know it; police said “we need to know what house you’re at”; TM walked around GZ’s car; windows were up; TM disappeared; operator asked “we need to know what exact address you’re at”; “we need to know what address you’re at”; in the heat of the moment GZ gave his home address; got out of his car; saw him walk through and make a right; “I knew if I walked through I could get the exact house number and street”; walked through; “he’s not here any more”; “I had gone to Retreat View Circle”; told officer meet him at the car; “halfway through he appeared out of nowhere”; told them to meet him at his car, hung up, put phone away; heard “you got a problem?”; turned, saw him, so went for his phone to call 911; didn’t have it in his pocket; got punched in nose and fell backwards, TM got on top; punched face; screaming for help; “shut the f*ck up”; kept yelling, tried to sit up, took my head, concrete, many times, afraid I’d lose consciousness; screaming for help; covered nose with one hand and mouth with the other; didn’t want him to keep screaming; squirming; felt like his head was on concrete; shifted; jacket came up; exposed my fire-arm; sat up, looked, “You’re gonna die tonight m-f’er; pinched arm, got gun, fired one shot; sat back, “You got me,” thought he was saying that he heard the shot and was giving up and I ended up on top of him, face down, thought he still had a weapon, I said stop, stop, don’t move; he said aaah, aaah, cursing; somebody came, maybe a cop; still had the gun in my hand, “are you a cop?” No. I’ll call 911, “I don’t need you to call 911 I need you to help me restrain him”; got up off him; he stopped; I holstered my weapon; flashlight; “are you the police?” “Who shot him?” “I did,”; “I did”; raised jacket, my gun’s right there, hands over head, don’t move; cuffed me, brought hands down, gun’s right there, handcuffs; then he took my gun; checked on him first; peroxide; felt nose; nose broken; need one, maybe two stitches on back of head; take him for questioning; there first or CFR first? Question him first; got in back of car; there was a guy; blood in my eyes; saw someone looking out of sliding glass door; possible bystander there; I was not communicating with the police at that time.

    Q: Disappeared — you hung up?

    GZ: Shortly after.

    Q: you walked through where he had disappeared? you went for your phone?

    GZ: Yes. I don’t have a problem. Punched nose. Every time he punched me in the nose…Bystander; gun still in holster;

    Q: You did not take out the gun earlier?
    NO

    Q: You don’t know this guy?
    NO

    Q: WHy’d you try to maintain [visual contact]?

    GZ: Tell the police where…

    Q: You did not feel yourself endangered?
    NO

    Q: You got where he was at…

    GZ: These guys are known to just run, they know the neighborhood. I told the non-emergency — he’s gone.

    * * *

    GZ: On the ground; he saw the gun, my right side, his hand slid down my chest; you’re gonna die M-F’r;

    [at 41:43 of the tape]

    GZ: His hands; he took one off [didn’t know which one]; “you’re gonna die m-f’er”; I felt his hand going down the side of my chest and–

    TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, THE WHOLE TIME —

    [Q interrupts and asks something — ]

    GZ: resumes speaking: “To be honest with you, the whole time, I forgot that I had the gun. WHen he said that I was gonna die and then I felt him brushing, it automatically clicked that he was going for —

    [Q interrupts again]

    GZ: One hand was going for the gun, he took his hand off my mouth, I grabbed my gun, I got to it first; just fired it; I made sure it wasn’t — my hand — in the way — his other hand was still on my face; all his weight, on my face; creating a crevice with his body; slid; to go for my gun;

    Q: left or right hand?

    GZ: I don’t recall which one it was —

    GZ: That’s when it clicked that I HAD MY GUN –; went past my other hand; he’s on me, not a distance —

    Q: You don’t have hardly any play before the gun was on his chest–

    GZ: You got me, you got it, whatever. Just that quickly too; felt like eternity; I thought the police; forever;

    then they have an intermission.

    ———————————–

    Q asks GZ “what do you call him?” “The guy?” OK.

    Then Q calls Trayvon Martin “the guy” during the VSA test.

    ================================================

    What comes out of this whole interview, IMO, are three things:

    1. George wanted the VSA because he thought it would help him sell his story.

    2. The VSA administrator was very gentle and friendly with George and wanted the test to come out as George would like.

    3. George sold this guy a bill of goods, including the idiotic idea that he only remembered he had his gun with him (it “clicked”) when Trayvon Martin’s hand reached for the gun and George heard, “You’re gonna die tonight m-f’r.”

    ==============================================

    It ain’t pretty; it ain’t smart, but hey, what is?

    Q: Why’d you try to maintain visual

  6. Trying to say with the thread title, here’s a sort of lie-detector test.

    The position of Zimmerman’s truck, when he left it, has always been a mystery. It still is.

    In the Walk-through, Zimmerman indicates that he drove into Twin Trees on the hells of Martin, and therefore parked on the North side facing East – towards the path.
    But:
    (1) Up to then, the only indication was Taaffe asserting that Zimmerman told him that he had been parked facing the Clubhouse (West).
    (2) Analysis of the Clubhouse CCTV indicates that a car drove into Twin Trees, made a U-turn and parked facing the Clubhouse – right at the time that Zimmerman made his call.

    I had wondered if the police had a record of all vehicles in the vicinity.
    Just a while back, I found in
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/99926375/99916379-Documents-Given-to-the-Defendant-R-1

    “State Attorney’s Office investigator Dale Gilbreath memo on interview Officer Mike Bernosky April 2nd

    He arrived after everything was stabilized. He assisted with crime scene tape. He ran two car tags to attempt to identify the victim as he had no id. The tags came back to two people in the complex.
    He went back to his assignment.
    He did not prepare a supplemental report.”

    Presumably only two cars were parked on street as opposed to on driveways.
    If he checked Twin Trees, then one would be Zimmerman’s
    Might he remember where it was parked – and much more importantly from the point of view of credibility – which way it was facing.
    It might help his memory by noting that if it was facing East – as Zimmerman indicated in the Walk-through – it might have been apparent to a traffic cop that it was parked on the ‘wrong’ side of the road.
    He may have been paying attention only to registrations, but I wonder if anyone thought to ask him once/if the conflict was noted.
    .

    I have a suspicion that there is/was a Ford pickup truck parked routinely just beyond the start of the path (at the top of the South-running section of Twin trees). It appears in a number of area photos and in the Walk-through video. I think it is also the one that features in the Google Maps/Earth satellite images.
    This might possible be the second tag – which would be a downer for anyone wishing the second car was Taaffe’s 🙂

  7. I just ran across something that had piqued my interest several times in the history of this case: O’Mara’s explanation to the press (and the court) about why his client lied to Judge Lester about the money at the first bail hearing. O’Mara described George as being young, confused, and distrustful.

    Well, wasn’t Trayvon Martin “young, confused and distrustful” on the night when a creepy guy was following him first in the car, then on foot, and it was dark, and he didn’t know the guy? He was certainly younger than George Zimmerman that night; obviously he was confused because he stayed on the cell phone chatting rather than calling 911 about the situation; and he had to be distrustful because he was being approached by a stranger in the dark.

    Hmmmmm. AND at the time that George is described as “young, confused and distrustful,” he had counsel, able counsel. But at the time that Trayvon Martin was “young, confused and distrustful,” he was all alone in a place far from home.

  8. I also think it quite possible that George had his gun out early on and was trying to get Martin to “come quietly” –
    ————————
    Right. He didn’t carry enough authority to do it without his gun.

  9. Oh I definitely think it would be very high on the list of things Trayvon Martin was thinking about when the creepy guy persisted in following him and got out of his car. I also think it quite possible that George had his gun out early on and was trying to get Martin to “come quietly” —

  10. Malisha, Thanks for the correction. And you’ve done a good job of making sure we all know of it. But it’s still valid that TM may have considered that GZ did something like this even if he did not.

  11. The report seemed strange, coming out when it did, but at first reading I assumed the SanfordDailyNews website was the publication of the local newspaper. Now I have re-read this thing a few times because it seemed so strange that it had no repercussions in the larger media outlets, and I have come to the conclusion that it is a fake and a fraud, and that there is no such data “stumbled upon” by the FBI or anybody else.

    It’s somebody capitalizing on the fact that people often google the name “George Zimmerman” so they are able to get people to click on them a lot.

    It does seem, however, that this particular form of Internet fraud should be actionable. Who knows? If it is actionable, I hope it ends up getting punished. Not for George’s sake (really, what he did getting him false bad press as well as true bad press doesn’t make me weep big tears for the guy) but for the sake of at least trying to prevent fraud.

    Of course, I also think the purveyors of the Trayvon Martin targets should have been punished using the law, or even using “the law” — but they probably got a free card on their hideous and immoral behavior.

  12. OK, this is kinda weird. A website called “SanfordDailyNews” printed a story Saturday (July 28, 2012) saying that “on Saturday” there was this big revelation from the FBI about Zimmerman. It included the following languagge:

    ————————————————-

    “As the FBI closes in on commencing the initial phase of what is foreseen as a long and grueling investigation into the fatal shooting of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, investigators have begun to scour the residence of George Zimmerman, 27, in search of key details and evidence that may shed light on the circumstances surrounding the February 26 shooting that claimed the life of Martin, 17. “It’s a process that must be respected and given time to unravel itself,” stated lead FBI investigator, Marques Graves Saturday afternoon. However dismaying, Florida state prosecutor Angela Corey could soon face an ultimatum once Zimmerman’s Aspiron laptop is admitted into evidence at the trial’s opening arguments.

    “What chief FBI investigator Hallen Jameson stumbled upon Saturday afternoon generated a rift in the initial search of Zimmerman’s property. Among facebook messenger, eBay biddings, and Bank of America online banking, also dwelt a Firefox Mozilla browser history containing URLs to several pornographic websites aimed toward gay Black men. The sites visited were Taggaz.com, CocoDorm.com, and Thugboy.com, to name a few, with the latter being visited four times just hours prior to the shooting.”

    ————————————-

    This doesn’t get confirmed and it doesn’t get denied. It just hangs out there in some kind of ethernet limbo.

    Does anybody know:

    1. What exactly IS the “SanfordDailyNews.com” website and whose is it?

    2. What is this about?

    3. Why aren’t there a bunch of denials and attacks or — in the alternative — a bunch of confirmations and further reports?

    4. Is this a way to advertise these gay porn websites?

    and all like that…

  13. Re: Trying to understand the kind of person George Zimmerman is.

    His cousin, Witness #9, said that he basically bullied her throughout her childhood from 6 until 16 and that after that, she never saw him again. The really interesting part of this story is that she finally told her parents, who confronted George. George said “I’m sorry” and left the restaurant they had met in, totally avoiding the situation, not offering any genuine apology, never trying to find out what effect he had had on his cousin’s life, not taking the opportunity to ask for help to stop doing things to others that could be harmful. His own family reached out to him to help him stop being a problem in other people’s lives and he rejected it because he would have to face unwelcome thoughts about HIMSELF.

    But here’s the real kicker: HIS OWN PARENTS.

    The cousin said:
    =======================
    “I tried so hard to forget it all and to make it go away that I even forgot the good stuff in life,” she said.

    Mr. Zimmerman’s parents were also told about what had happened, she said. After she and her parents confronted Mr. Zimmerman, they did not see him again.
    =======================

    So. Robert and Gladys were told that over a period of ten years, their son had done something to his own cousin that was having a negative effect on the cousin’s life. Did they work with their relatives to come to some real conscientious resolution of the problem? Did they deal with it?

    My guess is that they chose not to have anything more to do with these family members and they chose to sweep it all under the rug. The Zimmerman’s house has big rugs. I hope some of them are repossessed in the financial fall-out from their son’s violent crime.

  14. Yeah, Sling, you are right, I do misunderstand the man.

    No matter how hard I try, I cannot understand how a man who did something he did, and who was initially given a “get out of jail free” ticket for doing it, and who later was arrested after a national scandal arose, and who was caught in one lie after another, and who got his own wife in trouble and his own parents into financial ruin, and who killed an unarmed kid and then blamed it on the victim, can still stand up there and decide to go on National Television playing the victim and boo-hooing about his being talked about unkindly, how he can fail to be humiliated and embarrassed about his cowardice and dishonesty, and how he can shamelessly play the “god card” with a straight face.

    Sorry, I have to plead guilty: I DO MISUNDERSTAND THE MAN.

  15. “I mean, if you want to actually get into sexual activity with lots of “thug-like” gay Black men, where would you expect to go for opportunities to do that? ”

    Funny/serious.

    You fail to understand the man.
    He’s a bully. The last thing he wants is to be bullied.
    — well, maybe just a little bit, once in a while for a thrill, but at heart he wants to be on top.

  16. “pay per view – he didn’t get there by accident.”

    Zimmerman was only paying in the same direction.
    It’s all perfectly innocent.
    It wasn’t illegal.

  17. I was just thinking about questions that a proper polygraph operator might have asked him on 2/26/2012 or 2/27/2012 to really try to figure out if he was telling the truth — and of course, he could always offer to take a polygraph test NOW to show that he is still being honest with the American Public:

    Question: Do you watch any gay pornography?
    Answer: Nossir.

    Question: Ever fantasize about having sex with a young gay Black man?
    Answer: Nossir.

    Question: When you saw the victim earlier this evening [or “last evening”] did you think he looked hot?
    Answer: Nossir.

    Question: Did you ever get criticized by your mother for not being man enough?
    Answer: Nossir.

    Question: Was your father cold and distant?
    Answer: Nossir.

    Question: Did you ever inappropriately touch any of the kids you mentored or tutored for sexual pleasure?
    Answer: Nossir.

    Question: Did you get out of your car earlier this evening [or “last evening”] in order to confront the victim and restrain him and bring him into the police like you were some kind of hero?
    Answer: Nossir.

    Question: Were you ever ordered by the court to pay a $10,000 fine for not showing up for your deposition?
    Answer: Nossir:

    Question: Did you ever disobey a court order and thereby do something that would amount to unjust enrichment?
    Answer: Nossir.

    Question: Did you shoot and kill the victim because he was challenging your authority to restrain him?
    Answer: Nossir.

    Question: Have any gay porn sites on your credit card bills?
    Answer: Nossir.

    Question: Did you watch any gay porn today [or “yesterday”]?
    Answer: Nossir.

    Question: Ever had some doubts about your sexuality or manhood?
    Answer: Nossir.

    ————————————-

    At least we can put to bed that nagging question about whether George is a racist or not. He’s NOT. When he fantasizes having sex with young men, he wants them to be either white or Black, it doesn’t matter.

    This also makes me wonder about the actual relationship between him and Joe Oliver — was it intimate?

    ————————————

    This does, however, give a different look to George’s possible acceptance of a prison sentence to get a plea bargain, doesn’t it? I mean, if you want to actually get into sexual activity with lots of “thug-like” gay Black men, where would you expect to go for opportunities to do that?

    “Oh please, Judge, don’t throw me into the Briar Patch!”

Comments are closed.