Zimmerman's attorneys: Make Ben Crump sit down and answer questions
Feb 13, 2013 (Orlando Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
George Zimmerman's lawyers have asked a judge to require Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Trayvon Martin's family, to answer questions under oath, despite a 15-page affidavit he filed last week, hoping to avoid that face-to-face exchange.
In paperwork made public today, defense attorney Donald West asked Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson to again order Crump to appear for a deposition.
At an Oct. 19 hearing, the judge ordered the same thing, saying Crump should answer a very limited number of questions about a recorded interview he made with the state's most important witness, a young Miami woman who was on the phone with Trayvon moments before he was killed in Sanford Feb. 26.
She directed Crump to list who was present for that interview, which took place March 19 in a Miami-area home, and she told him to provide Zimmerman's lawyers with a clearer copy of the recording.
Crump had been scheduled for deposition Feb. 5, but at a hearing that morning, the judge postponed it indefinitely to give her and attorneys time to read the just-filed affidavit.
In it, Crump gives the names of many of the people who were present when the call was recorded but not all and offers an explanation about why the quality of the recording was so poor.
The young woman was not in the room; she was on the other end of a cell phone call; she was on "speaker phone"; and Crump had a bad connection and kept switching cell phones, according to his affidavit.
Crump attorney Bruce Blackwell said on Feb. 5 that he would not produce Crump for a deposition without a court order.
Yesterday, West filed a motion, asking for that order.
"Mr. Crump's lengthy and often detailed affidavit illustrates that Mr. Crump does have information relevant to the offense charged and is therefore subject to the rule governing depositions of unlisted witnesses," West wrote.
Since her Oct. 19 order, prosecutors have provided Zimmerman's attorneys with a new, more audible version of that recording, although, they complain the words are still hard to make out.
The 18-year-old woman at the center of dispute was interviewed by Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda April 2 in Jacksonville and gave him the same general account as she told Crump.
Trayvon is the unarmed black 17-year-old killed by 29-year-old Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
He is awaiting trial in Sanford on a charge of second-degree murder. He says he acted in self-defense.
A neighborhood called 911 a few seconds before the shooting, and a voice can be heard in the background screaming for help.
Trayvon's mother told authorities that the voice was Trayvon's. Zimmerman says it is him.
In another case development, Zimmerman's attorneys have asked the judge to issue subpoenas to Trayvon's parents, brother and cousin for all recordings they have of Trayvon's voice from 2010, '11 and '12.
They filed a similar request Monday for recordings in the possession of the young Miami woman, identified in court records as "witness 8."
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