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. Sad news: Vincent Taaffe, the son of Frank Taaffe who came out with the information that Taaffe (father) was violent, racist and had violated the law many times, was killed in a car crash.

    The funeral for his brother had to be held separately for paternal and maternal family, because of the protective orders both mother and daughter (and then, son) had out against Frank Taaffe as a result of prior violence. I don’t know if there will be one funeral for Vincent (who publicly disowned his father) or two. Really sad story.

  2. Something interesting popped up on another blog. The so-called “illegal house parties” where George worked security (2001-2005, after which apparently he had a kind of melt-down and got into trouble with his girlfriend and the ATF agents) were probably parties at which all sorts of unusual activities were taking place.

    Sanford, Florida has been referred to on-line as the “pill mill” capital of the South. A commenter on another blog asks pointedly: “Who doesn’t know this?” Well, I, for one, didn’t have any idea about that. If it is true, however, then one might think those “illegal house parties” were places where some drugs were “on the menu.” There may be much more information available about George’s past than what has surfaced in the evidence dumps, of course. The information might be making BOTH the prosecution and the defense proceed with some measure of secretiveness; who — among the higher-ups — has been involved?

  3. Malisha, considering the way videos can be taken by anyone with a cell phone, I would expect that such a video exists. The question would be the quality of it. I expected one to surface before now.

  4. Hey, can anybody confirm or invalidate the rumor that came out of Duval County saying there was an existing sample of Trayvon Martin’s tape recorded voice?

  5. Zimmerman already had “no balls” by the time he killed Trayvon Martin. So perhaps one already had…

  6. I guess we can hope that one of them goes off by accident and removes someones jewels. Then let the news spread.

  7. Hollow-point (or dum-dum as originally named back in the day) are horrific.

    Brevik took them ( or had planned to) a step further.

    Their only saving grace is that when some idiot pulls a gun in a cinema to save everyone from a gunman, each of their panicked shots will at most only kill one innocent person (horribly) rather than passing through a number of innocent people.

    Apparently hollow-point is quite common.
    Even worse. Zimmerman had his gun in 7+1 mode.
    7 rounds fills the magazine.
    Rack the gun to get a round in the chamber
    Remove magazine and top up with another round.
    That gun has no safety. The gun is cheap in addition to being inexpensive.
    If a 5 point pressure gets applied to the trigger somehow, the thing will fire off a hollow-point.

    That sort of insanity is going around in waistbands by the 100s of 1000’s

  8. I was looking for some information about Zimmerman today and ran across an article about a fire chief in Miami, Brian Beckmann, who posted on facebook calling Trayvon Martin’s parents “sh*tbag pathetic welfare-dependent failed [blah blah blah]” bad parents. When I zeroed in on the story I saw many comments from people who didn’t think a good firefighter should be demoted for personal beliefs or first-amendment-protected comments. But he also said the parents’ allowing Trayvon to wear a hoodie had caused Zimmerman to fear “being jacked by a thug” and so forth, so he was expressing not only provably wrong comments (both parents are gainfully and respectably employed and neither has a criminal or child protection record) but also insane attitudes about ordinary citizen conduct.

    What this really means to me is that a guy in high public office (police, fire chief, etc., public safety stuff) can be so out of touch with reality as to allow his private psychotic fears and beliefs to play a distinct role in his public expressions. THUS how do we trust Beckmann (or those like him, many of whom obviously were cops in Sanford) to do his job properly when, for instance, people with hoodies may need rescue from fires, or African American parents may need protection and assistance?

    DO YOU THINK that someone expressing these views publicly without shame is going to serve the public without discrimination, without fear of “being jacked by a thug” and without his enormous mental distortions affecting his job performance?

    If you’re a Black kid in a fire, do you think HE’s your best bet to save you? I don’t want to depend on his sorry a55 for anything — unless maybe he can wash my car (but even then, I’d have to watch him closely). You could do that with a hose and water, after all.

  9. BettyKath, the various things he claims he said, and Trayvon said, and witnesses said, PRE-SHOOTING, were various and changed even within one narration. I should make a chart of all of them and line them up. Maybe I’ll do that; maybe, though, I’ll just remember them in bits and pieces as I go along.

    One thing I feel confident about is that he doesn’t want to be cross-examined on any of it and will say he has ADD and a bad memory if he is.

  10. No conversation reported by witnesses until after the shot.
    Zimmerman’s own account of pre-shot is confused.

  11. Malisha,

    4. He could SPEAK to witnesses while being beaten — claiming to have said, “No don’t call 911 I already called them, help me with this guy” or words to that effect –

    I know that Zimmerman says he said this after the shot, but does he contend he said it during the altercation? Is there a witness who heard him say it either time?

  12. You know, come to think of it, if you can go scott-free after using a loaded gun to kill an unarmed person who has nothing to do with you after YOU decide to go after him and then there is a confrontation of some sort between the two of you and you end up scared enough to kill, then George Zimmerman will never be able to walk around safely again, ever in life. Obviously, at any point in the future, someone who was carrying a gun could think George was suspicious, could get (any kind of way) into a confrontation between himself and George, and could kill George as soon as he (the shooter) get scared enough to kill.

    Plenty of people might get scared enough to kill George Zimmerman, you know; he has shown already that he has a propensity to kill first, pray later.

  13. Of course the cases are way different. There were no witnesses other than George to his situation, thus the reasonableness of his fear. George, however, won’t be a suitable witness because he can’t stand up to cross-examination. So what will be the “evidence” of his “reasonable fear” is the key to his claim of self-defense. Very very thin, nowhere near 50%.


    1. He admits NO FEAR when exiting the car.
    2. He cuts into his own credibility by having given three different reasons for his exit from the car.
    3. He knew the police were expected any minute.
    4. He could SPEAK to witnesses while being beaten — claiming to have said, “No don’t call 911 I already called them, help me with this guy” or words to that effect —
    5. His injuries were “not coincident with” the beating he describes.

  14. It seems a very different type of case

    The circumstances seem very different

    Court does not fully credit Defendant’s and Mr. Ribas’ claim as to the severity of the attack or that Mr. Ribas was utterly unable to defend himself.
    Regardless of the extent of attack on Mr. Ribas, the testimony of the people who saw the “strangulation” established that Defendant thwarted the continued attack on Mr. Ribas and pulled him from the danger. It was subsequent to removing Mr. Ribas from imminent danger that Defendant continued his altercation with Mr. Smith, ultimately cutting Mr. Smith with his officer’s knife. Neither Mr. Smith nor any of his companions had weapons: only Defendant was brandishing a knife.”

    Once the forcible felony was terminated, for immunity to attach, Defendant’s use of deadly force must have been based on a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm to himself or Mr. Ribas. The Court finds that Defendant has not proved by a preponderance of the evidence that his fear of great bodily harm was reasonable.

    A major difference is that were witnesses.

    There is no witness evidence for the start of the Zimmerman/Martin fight.
    All we seem to have is witness evidence of Martin being on top for part of it towards the end.

    Zimmerman’s defence will rely solely on his assertion that he was in reasonable fear of his life or great bodily harm.
    All that led up to the fight must be discounted as not relevant. The semantics about “following, skipping” etc. are all to do with that insurance.

    Witness 6 must be the bete noir for the defence. His original story was wonderful. His current story is merely helpful.
    I pity Witness 6 – caught between two deposing forces! He’s going to be torn asunder.
    ( “deposing” – Geddit? *sigh* – Nevermind.)

    Zimmerman’s level of injuries are disappointing for defence.
    A few cuts to the head – that are readily explainable by simply wrestling on the ground. They have his fear based on imagination rather than the reality that emerges after the event.
    That’s the problem with that stupid law. Anyone can claim they were in fear.

    Lack of defensive injuries on Zimmerman , and lack of offensive injuries on Martin are also a big problem.

    A plausible case for the nose being whacked by recoil action would be a real bummer.

    A have an image of Zimmerman and O’Mara sitting in a room.
    O’Mara: “Hey. Broken-Nose – play the piano”
    Zimmerman: “I don’t have a broken nose.”

  15. On Friday August 10, the Appeals Court in Florida affirmed a judge refusing to drop charges after claimed self-defense in State v. Maderos. In that case, the court did not insist that the defendant was not AFRAID, but only that his fear was not reasonable: “The Court finds that Defendant has not proved by a preponderance of the evidence that his fear of great bodily harm was reasonable.”

    Read it and weep, George. If you really were afraid you were going to be killed by “the suspect” that night, you were being unreasonable.

  16. George ‘Pinochio’ Zimmerman.

    It grows bigger from exactly the same reasons as in the classic tale….

  17. OK I was wrong, you can have a hearing on self-defense too, if you make a motion to dismiss the charges. Fat chance.

    But then I began to think about why O’Mara is now saying he will rely on self-defense rather than SYG. He is not willing to expose that ridiculous argument that George was looking around for a street number or street name to scrutiny. He doesn’t want to talk about how the struggle began; he wants to rely ONLY on George’s fear because his nose was hurting.

    So if we just forget that Trayvon didn’t really attack George, if we just forget that George was trying to “bring in his suspect,” if we just forget that George assaulted Trayvon Martin, and we rely ONLY on the idea that once George was hurt he was scared to death, THEN we can get him off on “fear alone.” Because he was afraid he had a right to kill.

    Watch: Slowly O’Mara will stop talking about anything else except George’s sore nose. We’re going to have to concentrate on that nose now, while it grows and grows and grows — George Zimmochio and his BIG SORE NOSE.

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