S. Fla. Law Experts Weigh In On Trayvon Martin Case

MIAMI (CBS4) – “I would never have arrested (him) that night. Take your time and do it the right way.”

That’s the cautionary word from career South Florida law enforcement investigator, Wayne Black. He said the national outrage that no arrest was made the night of the Trayvon Martin shooting is misplaced. As CBS4 Chief Investigator Michele Gillen found, he’s not alone.

“I believe there absolutely should not have been an arrest. As you know after many, many years of experience, I have seen things go awry because people were arrested too soon,” says veteran attorney Bill Richey.

After 4 decades of trying cases, two terms as a Miami-Dade prosecutor, including assistant state attorney to Janet Reno, Richey says a hasty arrest is the surest way to jeopardize a conviction

“Calls for arrest, are well intentioned. People’s hearts are in it. They want something done. But by arresting the man now they may make a fundamental mistake that absolutely destroys the case eventually,” added Richey. “If there’s outrage now, you can’t imagine if the wrong charges are filed, he’s acquitted then you will see outrage.”

That’s the concern of former federal prosecutor Ryan Stumphauzer who agrees in-depth evidence gathering and analysis is critical to a case like this. Black also agreed and said that investigators have to figure out exactly what Zimmerman was up to before, and right up to, the gunshot.

“You can’t have it both ways. You can’t jump into the lions den and then justify why you shot the lion,” said Black.

The Trayvon Martin legal team insists there is already enough evidence to file charges.

In a phone interview Gillen asked attorney Natalie Jackson what charges she believes George Zimmerman should be arrested on.

“I believe the minimum that he should be arrested on is aggravated manslaughter of a child. And what makes it aggravated is that Trayvon was under 18 years old. I think there proof enough to show that there was at least a negligent killing of Travyon,” said Jackson.

Richey added, “My thoughts on that charge is we don’t have enough information to decide what charge to bring. What if we want to bring a better stronger charge? Because we find out in the end there are better stronger charges. If in fact this ought to be first degree murder case and you charge him with the lesser and he walks in and pleads guilty, jeopardy is attached. The case is over, you have lost the ability to bring a proper stronger charge Don’t do it. Let’s bring the right charge.”

On calls for federal charges to be filed? Stumphazer said the standard for federal charges is tougher than for state charges.

“The Federal government has to add an extra element, moreover that the crime was committed because of race. They will have to prove what was inside Mr. Zimmeman’s mind when he pulled the trigger,” said Stumphauzer.

A specially chosen state attorney is days are expected to file charges on her own or bring it before a grand jury.

More from Michele Gillen
  • Stacey

    Yes, but the Sanford Police said they didn’t arrest him because it was self defense. They didn’t say they didn’t arrest him because they were continuing the investigation. Totally different things. One says there is more to look at here and the other says they are finished and there is nothing to see here.

  • http://allmiamiinfo.com/s-fla-law-experts-weigh-in-on-trayvon-martin-case/ S. Fla. Law Experts Weigh In On Trayvon Martin Case - Miami Info – News,Events,Sports

    […] S. Fla. Law Experts Weigh In On Trayvon Martin Case […]

  • Le Pool Fool

    The last sentence needs a little work.

  • Infidel

    What makes these “experts” think they’re smarter than Sharpton and Jackson?

    • xoxoxoxoxo

      Are you serious? Sharpton and Jackson are just characters in this story. They have no say or power to seek the outcome they so desperately desire. mY 5 year old is smater than both these boffoons. Only the courts can decide this case if charges are brought forward. The media has turned this shooting into a racial profiling shooting and the black community jumped into the bandwagon. For better or for worse, the police dept. can do nothing else. It’s in the state attorney’s hands now. Because it’s a stand your ground defense, if the PD would have arrested and he walks, he can turn around and sue the PD civil court and win a lot of money….which he will. At the end of the day, Zimmerman will walk because there are no witnesses….just his side of the story….and no one will be able to prove his story wrong. With that said, Zimmerman put himself in this situation. He should have never confronted the boy the way that he did…..it was dumb. Nonetheless, he will walk.

      • Infidel

        Believe me, I was being as sarcastic as I could.

  • MAB

    Z never confronted Trayvon. An aerial view of the key points of interest will bear this out.

    • Nayomi

      What? Fact 1 – Mr. Z was in his car. Fact 2 – Mr. Z called the police where he said he was “following” the victim. Fact 3 – Mr. Z was told “we don’t need you to do that” by the dispatcher. You still want to claim he did not approach or confront the victim?
      This is exactly what is wrong, people on both sides are stupid.

  • welkenstine19

    Just because a person is technically a child, doesn’t mean he can’t kill or severely injure an adult. Wake up, legal eagles!

  • solid citizen

    Most people wouldn’t want to be arrested if they shot someone in self defense

    Did Trayvon actually pay for the Skittles? .. what does the convenience store security camera show? If he actually paid for the merchandise, it would be a good example for the flash mobs that periodically descend upon small businesses
    Quo warranto, B.O.?

  • barney fife


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    […] and enjoyable form of transportation, Miami boasts some of the best bike paths in the state.S. Fla. Law Experts Weigh In On Trayvon Martin CaseSeveral South Florida law experts agree that a rush to judgment in the Trayvon Martin case could be […]

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