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July 11, 2013

Prosecutors Drop One Charge, Add Third Degree Murder Charge, Premised on Underlying Charge of... Felony Child Abuse

What fresh charge is this?

A third degree murder charge can only be had if a homicide occurs in the course of committing another felony.

So what felony was George Zimmerman guilty of committing at the time of the shooting? Is it illegal to have one's head repeatedly battered against the cement?

Nope. He is guilty, per the State's theory, of aggravated child abuse, the child in question being 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

And the "abuse" part of it? Who knows, who knows. The state is dropping an aggravated assault charge so apparently aggravated assault does not constitute the aggravated abuse of a child in this case. So what could it be? Following the kid for five minutes?

Zimmerman's lawyers object forcefully, noting that the state has a "fully formed argument" on this charge but has not given notice to the defense to argue against it. That is, it is unfair surprise to spring a charge on a defendant after the trial has concluded which the defense was never able to argue against because they didn't even know it was being charged.

[D]efense attorney Don West called the proposed instruction "a trick," and he accused the prosecutor of springing it on the defense at the last minute.

"Just when I didn't think this case could get any more bizarre, the state is alleging child abuse?" West said. "This is outrageous. It's outrageous the state would seek to do this at this time."

Judge Debra Nelson says she will rule on the proposal later.

Is this America?



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posted by Ace at 11:17 AM

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