George Zimmerman goes on trial this week for the killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman was the security watch captain for the Retreat at Twin Lakes Homeowners Association when he reported that Martin was taking a late night walk through his gated neighborhood in February 2012. A police dispatcher told Zimmerman not to get involved, but a few moments later Zimmerman fired a handgun and killed Martin, who he said had attacked him. Zimmerman had multiple abrasions on his face which appeared to back up his story of being attacked by Trayvon Martin.
The judge in the case has ordered that the defense may not introduce photos from Martin’s cell phone that show him smoking dope and flashing a handgun a few days before he was killed. The judge has also disallowed testimony that Martin had been involved in previous fights. Some of those facts may still find their way in front of the jury. Finally, Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law supports those who use deadly force when they’re afraid of death or serious bodily harm.
A few observations from this longtime investigative reporter: I’ll be roundly criticized for this, but I predict Zimmerman will not be convicted. The jury will either be hung or it will find Zimmerman not guilty. Yes, the Retreat at Twin Lakes Homeowners Association recently forked up a million dollars in a settlement with Martin’s family, but that was just a routine and legal extortion scheme which essentially ensures that all the lawyers get paid. Trayvon Martin’s family won’t see much, if any, of that settlement money.
If I’m wrong about any of these predictions, I’ll go off and sulk in a corner of my bedroom. And I won’t even complain about the chastisement that will surely follow. But folks, if you really want to analyze how the average HOA court case resolves itself these days, just look at the craziest of all possible outcomes. It’s a sad fact of life, but more times than not, in our current legal system, that’s what you’ll inevitably see.
George Zimmerman: Not guilty.
And homeowners in the Retreat at Twin Lakes HOA have yet to see the massive special assessments they’ll be hit with to pay for this debacle.
Wanna buy a home in the Retreat at Twin Lakes HOA?
There goes the neighborhood.