Today in the State of Florida VS. George Zimmerman case (Trayvon Martin shooting) the defense counsel Mark O’Mara has provided the court with a motion to Sanction the Prosecutorial Team [The State of Florida]. pdf available here
Specifically O’Mara is outlining to the court how Witness #8, “DeeDee”, Trayvon’s reported girlfriend, had lied in her sworn statements and how the State of Florida, Bernie De La Rionda, had known about her lies since August 2nd 2012, and yet never divulged that factual knowledge to the court or defense team in discovery.
O’Mara is asking for punitive sanctions, fines and legal reimbursement, against the State of Florida for their complicit and intentional hiding of pertinent discovery.
The motion cites the specific examples of how the lies were created, why the lies were told, and how the State of Florida was told about the lying by the witness herself.
Specifically that Witness #8 has shared under deposition by the defense, she felt pressured to lie because the mother of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton was present during her intitial interview by Benjamin Crump, on March 19th 2012, with ABC news and again on April 2nd during her sworn affidavit with the State of Florida because Sybrina Fulton was seated next to her when interviewed by prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda.
Witness #8 “Dee Dee” lied about being in the hospital during the viewing and funeral of Trayvon Martin – then told the State of Florida on August 2nd that she lied.
Witness #8 “Dee Dee” also lied on March 19th about her age, a claim that was continued by Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump who proclaimed she was 16-years-old, and by the State of Florida who affirmed she was a minor – yet both Crump and the State of Florida discovered early on she was 18 years old, and is now 19.
However, the reasoning for the lies surrounding her age are not disclosed in the motion.
The Orlando Sentinel Writes : George Zimmerman‘s attorneys on Monday formally accused prosecutors of being unethical, saying that for seven months, they hid a pair of lies by their most important witness, and that they should be punished for it.
The allegations, spelled out in a new court pleading, mark a new low in the case.
Defense attorneys Mark O’Mara and Don West have complained for months about Assistant State Attorneys Bernie de la Rionda and John Guy, saying they have refused repeated requests to turn over key pieces of evidence. This time, they’ve asked Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson to fine and admonish them.
Prosecutors are required to release in a timely fashion information to a suspect if it might help prove his innocence. In this case, according to paperwork filed by O’Mara, de la Rionda and Guy have flouted that rule.
For seven months, they knew that the state’s most important witness, a young Miami woman who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin just moments before he was shot, had lied about going to a hospital a few days later, according to the new paperwork.
De la Rionda learned the truth during an August 2 interview with her, O’Mara wrote, but although defense attorneys had asked de la Rionda and Guy’s office for months about that fact and for records to support her claim, they did not disclose it until March 4.
They also hid for six months that she had lied when she claimed to be 16, something she told Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Trayvon’s family, in a recorded interview March 19, 2012.
She was 18 at the time and is 19 now.
Zimmerman, 29, is the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer charged with second-degree murder for shooting Trayvon, an unarmed black 17-year-old, Feb. 26 in Sanford.
The defendant says he acted in self-defense.
In the new paperwork, defense attorneys also complained that de la Rionda and Guy mislead the judge and them at an Oct. 26 hearing when they claimed they had turned over all reports generated by the FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Two weeks later, they surrendered 45 more, according to the pleading.
Those things were That was unethical and cost defense attorneys an enormous amount of time, as they tried to track down the truth, O’Mara wrote.
He asked the judge to order prosecutors to pay for all the hours defense attorneys have spent trying to prove what they should have disclosed. O’Mara did not offer that dollar figure but said he’d have it ready for an April 2 hearing.
De la Rionda’s and Guy’s office did not have an immediate response Monday evening.
They work for Angela Corey, the elected state attorney in Jacksonville and the special prosecutor appointed by Gov. Rick Scott.
The paperwork also reveals that the young Miami woman was sitting next to Trayvon Martin’s mother when she was interviewed by Crump March 19 and by de la Rionda April 2.
That’s the reason she lied about going to the hospital and missing Trayvon’s wake and funeral, according to the pleading.
The fact that Trayvon’s mother was sitting next to her, possibly influencing her during that sworn statement April 2 with de la Rionda “places the legitimacy and veracity of the entire statement at issue,” O’Mara wrote. (read more)
It should be noted by interested followers that the last several motions written to the court have been penned and filed by Mark O’Mara specifically – and NOT co-counsel Don West. People may want to look for the date surrounding the last time Don West made any influential visible filings, commentary, or presentations in the case – and what the circumstances were surrounding that timeframe.