I have been a criminal lawyer in Jacksonville fighting for people arrested and charged with crimes in Florida for several years. I worked as a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney at the Duval County Public Defender’s Office and handled almost every type of Florida criminal charge that I can think of. As a private Jacksonville criminal lawyer, I have represented clients in Florida criminal courts in Duval, Clay, Putnam, and St. Johns County, so I have dealt with Florida self-defense case spanning from St. Augustine to Fleming Island to Jacksonville Beach. I believe that most Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers will tell you that witnesses to a crime change their stories or tell different stories. This is one of the reasons that I am surprised by people’s reactions that witnesses have changed there stories in a murder and Florida self-defense with a firearm case.
I have read the latest news on the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman Florida Stand Your Ground case. For everyone that has not watched the news in two months, George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder of Trayon Martin in Sanford County, Florida. Jacksonville criminal lawyer and Florida prosecutor, Angela Corey, filed charges in April. George Zimmerman has claimed that he acted in self-defense under the Florida Stand Your Ground law when he shot Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman had a gun, and Martin did not. It has been reported that Zimmerman suffered injuries from an attack by Martin. With Zimmerman stating that he fired his gun and shot Martin in self-defense in Florida, we continue to hear more evidence about this Florida Stand Your Ground case.
This Florida self-defense with a firearm case has been on the front page of papers and on just about every news channel. Until all of the evidence is presented in George Zimmerman’s jury trial, we will not be able to make a decision as to (1) whether he was defending himself in Florida when shooting Trayvon Martin and is covered by the Florida Stand Your Ground law or (2) whether he committed second-degree Florida murder, or a lesser offense, such as Florida manslaughter.
The most recent pieced of evidence that we are hearing in this Florida self-defense and murder case is that four witnesses have changed their stories. According to Jacksonville news reporting on this issue, “Three changed their stories in ways that may damage Zimmerman. A fourth abandoned her initial story, that she saw one person chasing another. Now, she says, she saw a single figure running.” One of the witnesses told the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), that “she saw two people on the ground immediately after the shooting and was not sure who was on top, Zimmerman or Martin.” Almost a week later, she told Jacksonville criminal attorney and Duval County assistant state attorney, Bernie de la Rionda, “I know after seeing the TV of what’s happening, comparing their sizes, I think Zimmerman was definitely on top because of his size.”
In Jacksonville self-defense cases, it is not unusual for a witness to change his or her story. This happens often in Jacksonville battery, fighting, or affray cases. It is also not unusual with Jacksonville gun charges, such as Jacksonville aggravated assault with a firearm. Normally, when witnesses to a Jacksonville crime changes their story, it is beneficial to the defense, because the Duval County state attorney has the burden of proving the crime. If the State of Florida’s witnesses keep changing their stories, they may appear that they are not credible or even lying. If the Florida jury does not believe the witnesses, they are going to have a hard time convicting someone of Florida murder. It will be interesting to see what Zimmerman’s Florida self-defense lawyers do in this situation.
If you own a firearm in Duval, Clay, Nassau, or St. Johns County, be sure to keep a Jacksonville Gun Lawyer‘s number on hand for a possible Florida firearm arrest. You never know when you will need to talk to a Jacksonville attorney for gun charges, such as Jacksonville carrying a concealed firearm, Jacksonville discharging a firearm in public, or improper exhibition of a weapon in Florida. You can talk to a lawyer in Jacksonville by calling (904) 564-2525.