This expose’ goes deep in the woods on the Zimmerman case back- story of malicious prosecution.
However, in order to understand what’s going on, as well as what’s at stake, here is a not-so-brief summary and then full outline.
In essence Trayvon Martin’s cell phone contained information which was not given to the defense team, a clear Brady violation surrounding the rules of open trial discovery. Some of the data on the phone was very damaging to the false presentation of Trayvon Martin’s background.
The data included text conversations between Trayvon and his Dad, Tracy (aka “Fruit”), about buying guns. Some data included pictures of Trayvon Martin smoking marijuana and posing with handguns.
There were many pictures on the phone which the State of Florida did not want the defense team to know, and, more importantly for their claims, they did not want to public to witness. All of the data was in opposition to the narrative of the State and the Martin family, around Trayvon; and much of it was viewed by them as a risk. Consequently the State of Florida wanted the information hidden from the defense.
However, a man named Ben Kruidbos (pronounced “cried-boss”) was in charge of Information Technology within the State Attorney’s office. He became aware of the State attorney, Angela Corey, and her prosecutors (pictured below), intentionally keeping the information from the defense team during pre-trial discovery. Fearful for his own position if he did nothing Kruidbos retained outside advice and representation from a former legal colleague, Wes White.
Eventually, through a series of tenuous 3rd party contacts with the defense team, the issue of the State intentionally hiding information came to the court and trial Judge, Debra Nelson.
However, Nelson did not want to deal with the Brady violation and possible judicial sanctions for the behavior before the trial. Nelson wanted the trial to begin quickly.
So Nelson delayed any sanctions hearing until after trial. That post-trial hearing has still not taken place.
As a result of Ben Kruidbos revealing the information the FL State 4th District Attorney, Angela Corey, fired him on the last day of trial – just before closing arguments. Subsequently Kruidbos filed a lawsuit for wrongful termination. That lawsuit is soon to be heard in court. Below is the amended complaint, filed by Kruidbos against Angela Corey, and her latest response.
*It is worth noting in the Corey response she is claiming the information on the Trayvon Martin cell phone was not, according to her, discovery evidence she was required to turn over.
Corey is claiming the pictures and cell phone data were attorney “work product“, and therefore she was under no obligation to divulge it – consequently she is claiming the data is not Brady material. Even a first year law student would admit this “claim” will not pass muster in a sanctions hearing. The state cannot selectively hide information pre-trial just because parts of it would negatively impact their position, the defendant has every right to see all of the evidence in the case – especially evidence which *might* be used in his defense.
First, here is the updated complaint by Kruidbos:
Now here is the full backstory:
Another intended victim to cover the fraud in the backstory of the Zimmerman Trial.
Jacksonville FL 2012 – State Attorney Angela Corey fired her office’s information technology director Friday after he testified last month about being concerned prosecutors did not turn over information to George Zimmerman’s defense team in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
On the same day attorneys finished their closing arguments in that nationally watched trial, a state attorney investigator went to Ben Kruidbos’ home about 7:30 a.m. to hand-deliver a letter stating Kruidbos “can never again be trusted to step foot in this office.”
The letter contended Kruibos did a poor job overseeing the information technology department, violated public records law for retaining documents, and noted he was questioned in March when the office was trying to determine who had leaked personnel information obtained through a computer breach.
In an interview Friday, Kruidbos denied the allegations in the letter, which was written by Cheryl Peek, the managing director of the State Attorney’s Office.
He said he had acted in good faith about “genuine concerns.” He said he had been proud to work at the State Attorney’s Office and feared the letter would cripple his chances at finding another job to support his family, including a 4-month-old son.
“I don’t have any regrets,” he said, “but I am terrified about the future and what that will end up being.”
His attorney Wesley White — who resigned from the State Attorney’s Office in December and is a critic of Corey — said the firing was aimed at sending a message to office employees “that if they feel like there is wrongdoing,” they should not disclose it or seek legal guidance from a private attorney.
“If they do speak to an attorney, then they are dead,” he said. “The State Attorney’s Office will do whatever is necessary to not only terminate them, but destroy their reputations in the process.”
State Attorney spokeswoman Jackelyn Barnard did not return phone calls or emails for comment.
Kruidbos, 42, had been on paid administrative leave since May 28 from his $80,892 job.
In January, he used computer software technology to extract photographs and text messages from the source file in Martin’s cellphone. Kruidbos was able to recover more information than the Florida Department of Law Enforcement obtained previously.
GETTING LEGAL ADVICE
Kruidbos said he became concerned that lead prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda might not have turned over Kruidbos’ report to defense attorneys. Kruidbos asked White in April for legal advice and described some contents of his report such as a photo of an African-American hand holding a gun, a photo of a plant resembling marijuana, and a text message referring to a gun transaction.
White then contacted one of Zimmerman’s attorneys and learned the defense had not received the report generated by Kruidbos. The defense did receive the source file from the cellphone and used its own experts to extract data.
Last month, Zimmerman’s attorneys subpoenaed both White and Kruidbos during a pretrial hearing on their motion seeking sanctions against prosecutors. Circuit Judge Debra Nelson deferred a ruling until after the trial.
Before Kruidbos’ name surfaced in the Martin trial proceedings, he received a pay raise for “meritorious performance,” according to a document dated May 16, 2012 in his personnel file.
But the dismissal letter written by Peek contends he did his job poorly as information technology director and said he should have asked someone in the office about his concerns regarding the Martin case.
“Your egregious lack of regard for the sensitive nature of the information handled by this office is completely abhorrent,” Peek wrote. “You have proven to be completely untrustworthy. Because of your deliberate, wilful and unscrupulous actions, you can never again be trusted to step foot in this office.”
The letter said Kruidbos “apparently questioned the ethics” of de la Rionda, who has been an assistant state attorney since 1983. “His record as an honorable and respected attorney is unblemished and beyond reproach,” Peek wrote.
Kruidbos said the question of de la Rionda’s ethics “is not really my place to decide.”
He said he asked White for legal advice because he was concerned he could face “legal exposure” if the cellphone report wasn’t turned over to the defense before the trial started.
He said he did not feel comfortable posing that question to anyone within the office because the State Attorney’s Office had just conducted an in-house probe of whether someone was leaking personnel information. (read more)
Here is Corey’s response to the complaint. (*note it is within this complaint response where Corey first claims the evidence information is “work product”.)
So – How did The Kruidbos Aspect play out in the Zimmerman Trial ?
This was the subject of the late night testy exchange during a proffer hearing on 7/9/13 between Don West and State Prosecutors / Judge Nelson.
If you listen closely to the Defense Expert Witness, Richard Conner, testimony you realize what he has found.
The phone deletions were made in specific sequence, containing specific content. That content circled around all of the attributes which would have affected trial considerations in this case about the character and reputation of Trayvon Martin.
All was deleted except for some porn pictures.
The reason the porn pictures were not found and removed by the person deleting was because how they were stored/hidden in the phone. The person deleting would not have seen them as images, and would have needed an application (“app”) to understand the “bit” file which was also password protected.
Data Forensics Expert Richard Conner is outlining a very specific educated thesis highlighted by the fact the phone was scrubbed of damning evidence after death.
Meaning somehow a person intentionally removed, “deleted”, the data – from the hardware, the phone itself.
Obviously, prosecuting attorney Mantai objects when Conner is going there with his explanations – but the implication is crystal clear.
If the state of Florida retained custody of that phone – then someone from FDLE, or in association with the chain of evidence, deleted the phone data.
Deleted data is never technically deleted, it just goes to a different internal file on the phone that allows overwriting, a “bin file”. Deleted data can be, and was, retrieved.
It was THAT specifically and SEQUENTIALLY DELETED data that was missing in the State’s discovery to the defense until June 4th 2013. And even after that time, the essential summary of the data, which was included in a written report, was devoid of mention to this specific data file of sequentially deleted evidence.
What does this mean?
It lends to only one Occam’s Razor explanation: The STATE prosecutorial team intentionally deleted the data, or they were fully aware someone had deleted the data, then the state intentionally delivered a partial file to the defense without the sequentially deleted data included.
Later, when they were cold-busted, and at the last-minute before trial (June 4th), they delivered the full data set, but even then they still omitted the deleted data from the written report summarizing the entire “bin” file.
(Note #1 – the defense team retrieved the data themselves when the size of the bin file conflicted with the actual data contained in discovery.)
(Note #2 – if the prosecution is claiming now the withheld data is “work product”, they are admitting to intentional omission. They can’t claim it was accidental or unintentional pre-trial, and simultaneously claim it was “work product” as their post-trial reasoning.)
Essentially, the State hid the evidence – and Don West, along with Ben Kruidbos, have a specific understanding of how and who has falsely presented the manipulated information.
The State prosecutor Bernie de La Rionda also falsely testified, pre-trial, in court, to the data delivery (they now claim as “work product”) and the process under which it was done.
Back in April 2013 – That’s what Whistle Blower, Ben Kruidbos, was trying to tell the defense team, the court and Judge Nelson…
….[watch hearing video]…
….but unfortunately Kruidbos was handcuffed in court trying to explain facts, because the Defense team had yet to receive the manipulated data in the form he, as a Whistle Blower, was describing it.
This issue, combined with a seriously uncomfortable hanging judge in Debra Nelson who realized if she allowed this pre-trial investigation to go forward there would be huge delays, and, worst case – an entire mistrial before the case even reached court. This would have been politically EXPLOSIVE in the extreme.
The full phone data was not delivered to the defense until 6/4/13. A full year after they first became aware of it and mere days before juror selection began.
The trial Judge, Debra Nelson, was fully anticipated to take up a post-trial hearing for sanctions against the state for discovery violations around this issue – the date for the hearing is yet undetermined. A recent court action revealed the decision of “when” is actually up to George Zimmerman himself. While odd, perhaps Zimmerman is waiting on the outcome from the Kruidbos case against Corey.
Unfortunately, according to data forensics expert Conner, the date of the actual deletion itself cannot be clearly identified. However, from the type of data deleted it will be possible to determine an approximate time based on *what* was deleted and where the simultaneous deletions fall in relationship to other deleted content.
Conner can show that all of the damaging data was deleted sequentially and simultaneously by the way it aligns, and by the fact the data set is in the last item position at the end of the bin file of deleted data.
But Trayvon Martin was dead.
From the moment of his death *supposedly* only law enforcement held custody of the phone itself. Remember Trayvon’s father refused to give the Sanford Police Dept the PIN CODE to open the phone content itself, and the phone was picked up at the scene as evidence during the shooting investigation.
The evidence (phone itself) will have a chain of custody.
That Chain of Custody may narrow their search for the specific person responsible for the deletions. However, “May” being the key word; depending on whether all lawful processes for checking and touching evidence were followed and logs kept accurately.
However, the actual download of the “bin” file probably does not have chain of custody – so while it may be possible to prove the construct of the deception, the actual person who did it may never be identified. That would be the subject for an internal special investigation by a State appointee from the Governors office.
Regardless, when the data was retrieved, there is enough factual evidence to outline a serious and intentional attempt to hide evidence in the Zimmerman case surrounding the phone data of Trayvon Martin.
The retaliation, the firing of Ben Kruidbos, for his concern about being part of intentional deception, is now going to reach sunlight as a consequence of this lawsuit brought by him against Angela Corey.
The Brady violations in State discovery are a big deal not only for George Zimmerman, but also for Ben Kruidbos, who has been fired from his job for speaking up about the hiding of, and manipulation of, evidence in the case.
If George Zimmerman is going to approach a malicious prosecution claim against Angela Corey, and subsequently the State of Florida, Ben Kruidbos is going to play a key role. Additionally, the possible sanctions against Bernie De La Rionda and the entire prosecution team – will weigh heavily toward pressure upon Corey to be disciplined, or even fired by her boss, Governor Rick Scott.
If the Brady violations are proven to the court, which in my opinion is not difficult, then the sanctions and discipline against the state could also benefit Ben Kruidbos in any civil action of his own. So both George Zimmerman and Ben Kruidbos stand to benefit from winning the post trial hearing.
Also, just to give you a taste of the level of deception around this prosecution, we also shared a Smaller issue which also surfaced during that same late-night proffer hearing. Again, just more evidence of how deceptive all the parties aligned against George Zimmerman had become:
At the :15 second mark of this video, in response to the state now taking the position the phone data cannot be authenticated (which was absurd on its face) Conner reveals that Trayvon Martin’s phone was actually a part of Sybrina Fulton’s family account plan.
Sybrina Fulton was the account holder.:
Meaning it was not, as previously stated by the Scheme Team way back on 3/20/12, Tracy Martin accessing his own phone records on 3/17/12 which could have revealed “Dee Dee” or Witness #8, later identified as Rachel Jeantel.
Another BIG manipulative lie.
Which begs the question: When Benjamin Crump passed out partial phone records to the media on 3/20/12, they included the name of the account owner as Tracy Martin. How is this possible on the printed detail if the phone was actually under the account of Sybrina Fulton?
Why is this important ?….
……because it leads into my Final Thoughts: From following the entire case closely, reading every interview by every participant, researching the documents and evidence, and filling in blanks from trial testimony, it is possible to see another scenario about the deleted content.
When Sanford City Manager, the Mayor and Chief of Police played the 911 phone calls for the Martin family and their attorneys, Chief Bill Lee testified he and the mayor were asked to leave the room. The Martin family and their attorneys were alone in the mayor’s office for approximately 40 minutes, at their request, after they listened to the 911 calls.
Did someone, possibly City Manager Norton Bonaparte, bring the Trayvon cell phone to the meeting and provide an opportunity for phone deletion to take place ?
Someone deleted that phone data (pictures and text messages) post-mortem. Who? For whom was it a risk? Who stood to benefit?