Court Employee Withholds Key Evidence from Trayvon Martin in Zimmerman Murder Trial (+video)

Photo Credit: AP

Lawyer: Zimmerman prosecutor withheld evidence

By Kyle Hightower. A court employee who retrieved photos and deleted text messages from Trayvon Martin’s cellphone has been placed on administrative leave after an attorney testified that prosecutors didn’t properly turn over the evidence to the defense, an attorney said Wednesday.

Former prosecutor Wesley White said he was ethically obligated to reveal that Fourth Judicial Circuit Information Technology Director Ben Kruidbos retrieved the data that weren’t turned over.

Kruidbos was placed on leave shortly after White testified during a hearing in George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder case on Tuesday. White said Kruidbos was interviewed by state attorney investigators twice before the action was taken.

White said he wasn’t surprised of possible evidence violations by Zimmerman prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda.

“I was saddened by it, but I’m not surprised,” he said. Read more from this story HERE.


Heavy protection for jurors in Zimmerman case… as judge REJECTS request to allow Trayvon Martin’s text messages to be included as evidence

By AP and Daily Mail Reporter. Attorneys won’t be able to mention Trayvon Martin’s drug use, suspension from school and past fighting during opening statements in the trial for the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot the teen, a judge ruled today.

Circuit Judge Debra Nelson also refused to allow jurors to travel to the shooting scene during trial, and rejected a defense request to delay the trial set to begin June 10…

The judge also ruled that some of the Martin’s texts and other social media statements won’t be allowed in opening statements, though some of the teen’s personal history could be allowed later with a ruling from the judge depending on how the case progresses.

Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, had argued that text messages sent by the 17-year-old – in which he describes being ‘angry’ following a fight with another teen on the night he was fatally shot by Zimmerman – should be heard by a potential jury because it’s ‘relevant to [Martin’s] emotional state,’ and would strengthen the defense’s claim that Martin was the aggressor in the struggle that ultimately took his life.

‘He got mo hits cause in da 1st round,’ Martin says in a November 2011 text message, apparently in reference to a fight he’d been in prior to his run-in with Zimmerman. Read more from this story HERE.


Zimmerman attorneys: Texts show Trayvon Martin ‘hostile’ day of shooting

By Steve Almasy. Text messages sent from Trayvon Martin’s cell phone the day he was killed show he had been arguing with someone on the phone and was “hostile,” attorneys for George Zimmerman wrote in a recent court filing.

Zimmerman’s lawyers argue the texts are relevant to the case, in which the unarmed teenager was fatally shot by the neighborhood watch volunteer during a confrontation in a Sanford, Florida, neighborhood in February 2012.

The texts speak to Martin’s demeanor and emotional state, the Thursday filing said, and “may assist the jury in understanding why Trayvon Martin chose to hide then confront George Zimmerman rather than simply going home.”

The filing said the texts were mostly with “Witness 8,” and the messages showed Martin and the friend were “hostile and angry with each other at various points throughout the day.”

Martin, 17, was talking on the phone with Witness 8 when he and Zimmerman met as Martin walked to the house of his father’s fiancee after a trip to a nearby convenience store. Read more from this story HERE.