George Zimmerman: Will He Or Won T He?

George Zimmerman: Will He Or Won T He?

George Zimmerman: Will he or won’t he?

By Hal BoedekerStaff writer

1:55 p.m. EDT, June 28, 2013

Will George Zimmerman testify
George Zimmerman at his murder trial on Friday. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel / June 28, 2013)

Will George Zimmerman take the stand or not at his murder trial?

WFTV-Channel 9 legal analyst Bill Sheaffer has been adamant that Zimmerman will have to testify. Sheaffer repeated that view after Jonathan Good testified Friday morning. Witness Good didn't give a picture that Zimmerman was justified in using deadly force in shooting Trayvon Martin, Sheaffer said.

Moderator Greg Warmoth wondered about photographs of a bloodied Zimmerman after the fight with Trayvon. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in Trayvon's fatal shooting.

"There is no doubt that George Zimmerman was getting a whooping" from Martin, Sheaffer said. "The question is: Was it a whooping so severe that a reasonable person would have been in fear of death or great bodily harm? You get a broken nose, does that put you in fear of great bodily harm or death?"

Zimmerman would need to take the stand and say he was in fear, Sheaffer argued. Without Zimmerman, the defense would be taking a huge risk, because there is no evidence that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman, Sheaffer said.

Those comments were prompting viewers to bet Sheaffer steak dinners that he was wrong.

Alisia Adamson, a legal analyst for WESH-Channel 2, agreed that Zimmerman would take the stand. "He's going to have to explain what made him get to the position he was in that he felt he needed to shoot and kill Trayvon Martin," Adamson said. It was risky, she added, but the jurors would want to hear from him.

Richard Hornsby, another legal analyst for WESH, predicted that Zimmerman would not make a good witness when prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda questions him.

Jeff Deen, also a WESH analyst, said: "The whole trial will become how he handles his testimony, and his testimony with his lawyer will be easy. That cross-examination, if you think Rachel Jeantel took a long time, we may be here all summer if George Zimmerman takes the stand."

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara doesn't want Zimmerman to testify, Hornsby said. "He would be such a terrible witness," he added. "If Mark O'Mara lets him testify, it'll only be because he 100 percent has to. If there's even a doubt he doesn't have to testify, we don't see George Zimmerman."