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Experts weigh in on the case against George Zimmerman

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Updated: 7/10/2013 11:24 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Right now the evidence is mounting against George Zimmerman and Action News isn't taking it all at face value.

You've heard the 911 calls and you've seen the new video of Zimmerman taken into custody hours after the shooting. Some folks have already made up their mind about what happened.

But we're going to the experts to get your questions answered. They're explaining how this evidence could play out in a courtroom. They tell us, not everything we've heard, will be what a jury hears inside a courtroom. Right now, Zimmerman hasn't been charged in Trayvon's death.

Action News went to two different defense lawyers asking the tough questions about the evidence we've seen against neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. So how will it all play out in court?

"All you see is evidence, which is shaping public opinion. But what I care about is what's admissible. Take Zimmerman's previous arrests. That's never going to be given to a jury," said attorney Randy Reep.

Reep also pointed to the reports that Trayvon was suspended from school for having drug residue in his bag. "That's the kind of character evidence of a victim that's largely not admissible," said Reep.

While the new surveillance has people questioning whether Zimmerman was ever injured in the attack, Reep says not so fast. "The quality isn't real high. I can't tell whether he has a broken nose or not," said Reep.

Former FBI agent and attorney Dale Carson says State Attorney Angela Corey also has another problem. "The difficulty is, other people are saying I saw it. I don't know whether to trust that because a lot of information has been passed out. By not arresting him at the time, they let critical evidence disappear. In order to prove the case, you have to resurrect evidence that may not exist," said Carson.

Both lawyers do agree on one thing. "The standard is beyond a reasonable doubt," said Carson. "You have to convince 12 jurors of what it means," said Reep.

Thursday, the State Attorney's office sent us a letter, talking about the evidence that's been released in this case. They are not commenting any further about the investigation and said the evidence shouldn't even be out there. The letter said, "For the sake of all involved, please allow us to do our job within the bounds of Florida law."

Action News has learned a grand jury is set to decide whether charges should be brought against Zimmerman on April 10th. 
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Gunny48 - 3/30/2012 12:12 PM
0 Votes
Why is this so called ActionNews anchor reading the noon news on this as "gunned him down"??!! This is inflammatory and totally unjustified for a news report!! REPORT FACTS not opinion.

nativejax - 3/30/2012 10:48 AM
1 Vote
NO NO NO.. Get it right dwainwr123,,,He was told by the 911 operator to stop following him. Zimmerman had every right to follow him if he CHOSE. But personally I would have backed off as soon as I called 911.IF NOT this mother has every right to sue anyone she feels is responsible for her sons death. There was also 4 HOURS between the time of the shooting and the videos of the arrest, all bleeding and blood could have easily been stopped/cleaned, if Zimmerman was indeed attacked as he stated. At first I too thought he should not have followed, BUT AS A WATCHMAN, that is what your suppose to do, OBSERVE and watch and call the police. He did what he was suppose to do in that order...what happened next is the gray area..the voice recording analysis should prove WHO was attacking who.

fred65 - 3/30/2012 9:03 AM
2 Votes
Personally I'd like president Obama to attack freedom of the press. specifically absents of malice then the media would not report anything but the facts. Not just make up what they and report what they don't know and can't verify then correct themselves when the facts are revealed .

fred65 - 3/30/2012 8:51 AM
1 Vote
REMEMBER WHEN. In the 90's a sandalwood student was shot and killed in cobblestone subdivision by a black navy chief petty officer after the student and some of his friend threw a bottle through the window sometime around midnight. The man jumped up did not call 911, instead he got his pistol hopped in his car and shot and killed one of the young men. Then went home and called 911. He was arrested and let out on bail. Tried and found not guilty. Reverse the roles white man black student. Found not guilty . Al Sharpton, national news and all the other circus media happening around the USA with Zimmerman and Martin. Face it the media and people like Al Sharpton and the NAACP love to play the race card and stir up old prejudices. It sells.

dwainwr123 - 3/30/2012 12:54 AM
1 Vote
jacksonville21, I am quite knowledgeable about civil rights law, and the key facts of this case are clear. Zimmerman followed Martin against the advice of the police, which is legal but shows that Zimmerman is probably the aggressor. Zimmerman shoots Martin, who is unarmed. While this may be legal under certain circumstances per Florida law, it is not legal under federal level if Zimmerman is operating under color of law. Since Zimmerman is a neighborhood watch captain, and has received training from the Sanford police, he is operating under color of law.

jacksonville21 - 3/30/2012 12:19 AM
2 Votes
Someones been using Google (dwainwr123). Nice try, but your argument is weak. For one, all the facts in the case are not known yet. Until then, I need you to read the first 8 chapters of Red Families vs. Blue Families for me, then give me a 500 word report on why people with no law background try to sound smart by quoting sections of the U.S. Code on news sites comment sections. Thank you, sir. Or Ma'am.

Papakilo - 3/29/2012 11:26 PM
1 Vote
Why is the picture of Trayvon not a current picture showing him as a 6 foot 2 in 220 lb 17 year old, or show his pictures from his fB/web page? And the media does not compare the short, overweight Zimmerman. If I saw an unfafiliar hooded figure with the imposing statue of Trayvon at night, aparently wandering the neighborhood, I certainly would not assume he was just passing through, and not casing the homes. If there was a need for a neighborhood watch, there must have been a number of problems in the past. I don't know of anyone who can read the mind and intentions of a hooded figure wandering the streets at night. I believe Zimmerman had good intentions on keeping his neighborhood safe. I also assume he may or might have asked Trayvon what he was doing, and I also assume Trayvon, based on his problems with authority in Miami, got smart or aggressive with Zimmerman. But, my assumptions are just that. It is up to the police, their report, and the witness at the scene to determine possible cause. If the police did not charge Zimmerman at the scene, they must have had good reason to do what they did. jackson and the rest of the mindless 'pot sturers' need to be put in their place. The media pays too much attention to 'nuts' and little to actual facts. News is news, not encouraging vigilante action like they did to the Duke LaCross team not so long ago. Lives were ruined because of the "Jackson group" and the media. I did not see or hear where they paid a penalty to those boys for the harm caused. What kind of Nation have we turned into?

dwainwr123 - 3/29/2012 11:16 PM
0 Votes
George Zimmerman should be arresed by the FBI for civil rights violations. Specifically, he violated Title 18, Section 242 of the US Code, which prohibits 'deprivation of rights under color of law.' This term refers to any incident where a police officer, government official, security guard, or other authority figure use their authority to take away someone's rights. The crime warrants up to life imprisonment when a death occurs, and Florida's 'stand your ground' laws have no bearing on a federal civil rights prosecution. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/federal-statutes#section242
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