Sanford cops a problem for prosecutors in Zimmerman case, experts say
George Zimmerman Jose Baez Serino - OrlandoSentinel.com
Lead Sanford investigator Chris Serino hires famed Casey Anthony attorney Jose Baez to represent him in prosecution of Trayvon Martin shooter.
It was a strange development in a case that has seen more than its share: Chris Serino, the lead Sanford police investigator in the Trayvon Martin shooting, hired famed Casey Anthony defense attorney Jose Baez to represent him at his upcoming deposition in the case.
It’s unclear what prompted Serino to hire a private attorney — eschewing available representation by the city of Sanford, his employer. But one issue likely to come up is his double-talk on whether there was enough evidence to support George Zimmerman’s arrest as controversy surrounding the case spiraled out of control last spring.
Serino wrote in a sworn affidavit that there was probable cause to arrest Zimmerman. But he later told the Federal Bureau of Investigation he was pressured to author that document and didn’t believe the evidence was sufficient for the manslaughter charge he recommended.
“Nobody put a gun to his head,” says Michael Grieco, a Miami defense lawyer and former prosecutor. “When you sign an affidavit, you swear under oath.”
And Serino isn’t the only Sanford officer whose testimony could prove troublesome for prosecutors in the second-degree murder case against Zimmerman: High-ranking fellow officers largely agreed in March that there was not sufficient evidence to arrest Zimmerman.