Articles Posted in Murder

As a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer I have watched closely as the George Zimmerman case has progressed. Zimmerman, who is out on bail, did not attend or appear at his recent arraignment. Instead his attorney filed a plea of not guilty and waived his right to a speedy trial.

Zimmerman’s next court appearance will be August 8th for his pretrial.

This case continues to make national headlines as the “stand your ground” law continues to be in controversy.

Jacksonville Criminal Defense AttorneyGeorge Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, and Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law have been the subject of national media attention since the fatal February shooting in a Sanford, Florida neighborhood. Nationally acclaimed experts have weighed in the “Stand Your Ground” law and have picked apart whether Zimmerman will be able to use it as a defense to his shooting of Martin.

During the media blitz, however, the case of Marissa Alexander has been overlooked. Now that people are paying attention to it, Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law may have more problems than were initially expected. Alexander is facing 20 years in prison if she is convicted of aggravated assault. Her case has ignited a new “Stand Your Ground” debate.

Alexander and her husband Rico Grey were involved in a domestic dispute. According to Alexander, Grey beat her and she ran to the garage of her house. The garage door would not open. She then retrieved her gun, which she was licensed to carry. At that point, Alexander says that her husband noticed that she was carrying a gun and threatened her life. She fired one shot into the air, through the roof of her house. Her husband took the children and left immediately. A short time after that, Alexander was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

Ponte Vedra Beach AttorneyAfter a lengthy hearing, Judge Lester has decided to bond at $150,000, ankle monitoring, location kept secret (possibly located out of state?), no contact with victim or family, no possession of firearms, no consumption of alcohol, curfew, and must tell sheriff’s office location every 3 days. This Bond Hearing was conducted in a manner both professionally and in a manner for the safety of Zimmerman’s family. Due to safety concerns brought by Zimmerman’s attorney, O’Mara, his family testified at the hearing telephonically.

The State, attempted to show George Zimmerman was a violent person. The State questioned the family on a prior incident regarding a confrontation with a law enforcement officer in 2005 and an injunction with a prior woman. The State also attempted to show a lack of ability for Zimmerman’s family to satisfy any bond that may be set by the Judge. One point the State really harped upon was the website set up by Zimmerman or a representative and the continued investigation into how much money had been donated into the account that was set up.

In contrast, O’Mara showed the families ability to pay any bond set by demonstrating the family’s wiliness to mortgage the house and to use limited monetary funds they may have access to. Furthermore, O’Mara rebutted any inference the State may have inferred regarding Zimmerman’s tendency for violence.

Orange Park Criminal Defense LawyerToday Circuit Court Judge Recksiedler has recused herself from the Zimmerman case. This action follows Zimmerman’s Attorney, O’Mara, request that the Judge recuse herself due to possible conflict. A new Circuit Court Judge to preside over the case has not been named.

The potential conflict arises from her husbands connection with the Defense Attorney. Judge Recksiedler’s husband works with Mark NeJame, an attorney Zimmerman’s family turned to for representation. NeJame declined representation and referred then to O’Mara, his current attorney. NeJame has since been hired by CNN to report on the case.

As an Orange Park Criminal Defense Lawyer, I know the importance to have a judge that has no conflict with the Case. Florida law allows a Judge to recuse themselves if there is the slightest possibility of a conflict. In this case, a weak connection between the Judge and the current attorney was all that was required for the Judge to decide to recuse herself.

ZimmermanBy now, you’ve heard of the tragic death of Travon Martin. You probably have also heard that his killer, George Zimmerman, has been charged for the killing. The purpose of this post is to clear up some confusion over what, exactly, the state charged Mr. Zimmerman with and what sort of facts each party will have to prove.

The State of Florida has charged Mr. Zimmerman with Murder in the Second Degree. Many people think the “second” means it is Mr. Zimmerman’s second charge; this is not the case. The varying degrees in criminal charges usually provide the burden of proof placed on the State in order to secure a conviction. In Mr. Zimmerman’s case, the state will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman (1) killed Travon Martin (2) with ill-will towards him (3) while acting in disregard for human life.

The second element in that list will likely be the most difficult to prove, and it is part of the reason the State will likely have a difficult time securing a conviction. Of course, most of the speculation surrounding this case is whether or not Mr. Zimmerman was justified in killing Travon Martin. The legal analysis, however, has nothing to do with whether or not Mr. Zimmerman was really “justified.”

Zimmerman1Zimmerman’s Attorney called for a Status Hearing today. This is a last minute hearing, requested just one day after Zimmerman had his brief First Appearance in Sanford Court. There the Judge set Formal Arraignment for 29th of April. At Arraignment, issues Zimmerman will have to resolve include: entering a plea, setting a bond, determination on whether the court record will be sealed, etc.

As a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer, this case is of particular interest to me. Florida’s Stand Your Ground law has come into question and ultimately, the outcome of this case could negatively affect my future clients. These clients that had to use deadly force to protect themselves from death or serious bodily injury. However, as of today Zimmerman’s Attorney has not told the State that they will be relying on this affirmative defense.

As this case progresses many details about that February night will come to light and ultimately justice will prevail. Additionally, as a Criminal Defense Lawyer, I know the impact media can make on a pending criminal case. Zimmerman’s Attorney has a huge hurdle to clear and make sure the case is tried in the courtroom and not through the media.

Neptune Beach Criminal Defense LawyerAs the Nation watched at 1:30 PM today George Zimmerman appeared in Seminole County for his First Appearance before a Judge. Broadcasted live, the nation saw Zimmerman for the first time since he was previously released. Zimmerman’s First appearance was before Honorable Judge Mark Herr. The judge kept the hearing short and set Formal Arraignment for May 29 before Circuit Court Judge Jessica Recksiedler.

As a Neptune Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer, I am following this case closely. Although the full factual information relating to the incident has not been made public, the legal implications of this proceeding could be widespread. Angela Corey, Special Prosecutor, spoke last night regarding what many have called into question; Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. Angela Corey stated if the Defense utilizes the affirmative defense under Stand Your Ground, she and the prosecutors would fight it. As a Defense Attorney, this affirmative defense is vital for the protection of one’s self and the defense of others.

Under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, you are not required to retreat when presented with a threat and/or violence. In addition, one is permitted to use deadly force if believed necessary to protect one’s self from immediate death or severe bodily injury. However, the State will make known that Trayvon was unarmed and posed no risk to Zimmerman. In contrast, the Defense will utilize Zimmerman’s statements that he acted in a reasonable manner for the protection of himself after Trayvon had already attack him.

St. Augustine Criminal Defense LawyerThe Trayvon Martin Case takes another unexpected turn. This time, the attorneys for George Zimmerman (Hal Uhrig and Craig Sonner) have dropped him as a client following three days of no communication between the two parties. They also state Zimmerman is under a lot of stress and they have lost control of his actions.

At the announcement of their withdrawal, the attorneys stated Zimmerman had contacted the Special Prosecutor’s Office directly, had an off-the-record conservation with FoxNews, and created a personal website for legal representation. All these actions were done without the consent and guidance of his attorneys. As a St. Augustine Criminal Defense Lawyer, these actions by Zimmerman are shocking. They go against all procedural aspects as a criminal defendant. I advise my clients not to talk to the police, State Attorneys, or any body regarding their case unless I am present and can control the situation.

These actions taken by Zimmerman may display his unease with the situation or the effect of isolation on both his mental and physical condition. However, taking on his case without legal representation would be a big mistake. This case has caught the eye of the Nation and is highly criticized on both sides. He need Attorney’s fighting for his rights and making sure the proper steps are being taken to protect him.

Ponte Vedra Beach Criminal Defense LawyerThe complexity of the Trayvon Martin shooting continues. This time an empty Sanford Police car parked outside the apartment complex where Trayvon Martin was shot was found Tuesday morning riddled with bullets. According to local Police, no one was inside the vehicle at the time of the shooting, however, at least one window was shattered as a result. Witnesses testify they heard at least 6 shots fired. No arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing.

This case made National headlines after Zimmerman’s action came into question. He claims self-defense under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, but others are not so sure. People have protested all over the state, the President has made a speech about Trayvon, and the Governor has appointed Jacksonville’s State Attorney -Angela Corey- as special prosecutor in this case. As a Ponte Vedra Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer, I keep informed about this case because of the potential impact it will have on my clients in the future. This case will define Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law and could limit the scope in the future.

As this case progresses more and more facts will be revealed and the true understanding of the incident will come to light. If you should find yourself facing potential Ponte Vedra Beach Criminal Offense and believe you acted in self-defense, contact a Ponte Vedra Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer today. I can review your case, make the proper determinations, and provide you with the best defense possible.

Ponte Vedra Criminal Defense LawyerJacksonville’s State Attorney, Angela Corey, has made the determination not to ask a grand jury to decide on potential charges against George Zimmerman. Corey, Special Prosecutor, appointed by Governor Rick Scott canceled the already scheduled Grand Jury. The previous prosecutor empaneled this Grand Jury, but Corey has decided to take a different approach. Corey has stated this does not affect her decision on whether or not charges are forthcoming.

This investigation stems from the February 26 shooting of Travyon Martin. According to Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman, Martin was shot in self-defense after attacking Zimmerman. Since the shooting, this highly publicized case has made national headlines, presidential speeches, the rise of a new Black Panther Party, and numerous allegations as to guilt of Zimmerman.

As a Ponte Vedra Criminal Defense Attorney and Attorneys everywhere this case has caught my attention and the impact it may have on future cases. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law has been placed into question and the outcome of this case has the potential to limit its impact. Under the law a person does not have a duty to retreat when faced with violence. Furthermore, the victim can use deadly force if necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury.

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