Zarate trial testimony abruptly ends

Rebuttal witnesses cancelled Monday morning; closing arguments set for Nov. 20

To the surprise of almost everyone in the courtroom, Judge Samuel Feng announced this morning that the district attorney’s rebuttal witness would not be appearing and closed all testimony in the trial of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate.

The witness expected to appear to rebut the defense testimony was former Officer John Evans, who as we reported yesterday is a figure in a civil suit against the city. Documents filed as part of that case cast doubt on Evans’ credibility as a forensic investigator.

Forensic expert Jim Norris was on hand to testify this morning, but the judge said no more witnesses

Jim Norris, who wrote the report critical of Evans, was on hand outside the courtroom, and the defense was going to call him to rebut Evans’ testimony.

But Judge Feng decided that no further witnesses would testify. That avoided the issue of whether to allow Norris to discuss his past criticisms of Evans.

I have no idea whether that new information played a role in the judge’s decision. The standards for rebuttal witnesses are pretty high anyway – the witness would have to bring in new information that directly related to the defense case. It’s not clear what Evans, who was on the stand for some time, could say that he hadn’t already said.

At any rate, the evidence portion of the case is now over. Judge Feng set closing arguments for Monday, November 20. After the lawyers are done and the judge reads the jury instructions, the case will be in the hands of the six men and six women who will decide guilt or innocence.

  • Geek__Girl

    Looks like the prosecution has totally derailed.

    • No_Diggity

      After sitting on a jury for two months I can tell you that it is common.

      • Geek__Girl

        I’ve seen it happen before as well.

    • Tony

      The important thing is that this guy goes free, right?

      • SF Sunset Guy

        He’s not going anywhere. He is up for incarceration, or deportable immediately. He’s not going to be free in the sense anyone here thinks of it.

        • Geek__Girl

          As I have said, I imagine ICE will have agents waiting when the trial is over. If he is acquitted, they will grab him, and Trump will be on TV in moments, gloating. And you, of course, will be there in your MAGA hat cheering wildly. But, no, I don’t see him being convicted.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            I don’t have a MAGA hat or cheer wildly, for or against anything. Nor did I vote for Trump, sorry to disappoint.

          • Geek__Girl

            Somehow, I don’t see you voting for Hillary.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            Imagine that. Hillary, who advised her corporate friends to have a private and a public persona? Who thought Iraq was a good idea? Who didn’t give a second thought to having a private server in the bathroom basement in her home for “official communications”? Who picked a political clone of herself as her running mate? A political wind-sock who spent more time giving paid speeches to her Wall St bakers than explaining policies?

            Yeah, didn’t vote for her either, as being in CA, the presidential ballot isn’t worth the ink used to print it.

          • Geek__Girl

            So, you didn’t vote… Your right, certainly. I voted for Sanders as a protest. I knew he would not win by any stretch, but I was not voting for either of the main candidates. He was registered as a write-in, so my vote was valid, and counted. Both were horrible candidates. have, in the past, voted for Barney Fife for sheriff, when a rather horrible man was unopposed, and Perry Mason for DA in a similar situation.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            I did vote, in fact, exactly the way you did, and for the same reason. Fancy that!

          • Geek__Girl

            Okay….

      • Geek__Girl

        The important thing is that the jury is able to make an appropriate decision, based on facts.

  • MKR

    Maybe deportation would be the best thing for everyone. What would warehousing this man in an American prison for decades accomplish anyway?

    • Geek__Girl

      It would be impossible to warehouse him in a prison if he is found not guilty or there is a hung jury, which seems increasingly likely.