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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:05 am 
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It seems silly to be following a mere perjury case at a Crime Forum.

But.... I Guess it's unavoidable since it arises out of Z's Murder 2 case. :doh

It is certainly NOT part of the George Zimmerman Murder 2 Case... so I guess needs a thread of it's own rather than infest the discussion of Murder 2 charges against GZ.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:33 pm 
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http://www.myfoxorlando.com/video?clipI ... start=true


Does Shellie get a jury trial? Reading the transcript seems to prove that she did not commit perjury, and referred them to someone who could answer the question. I don't trust the judge, but find it hard to believe that a jury could convict,
Mike


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Shellie Zimmerman case back in court

---- VIDEO (0:13) ---- :)

http://www.myfoxorlando.com/video?clipId=8782825&autostart=true


THis has to do with the scheduling issues. I believe that was solved by delaying the trial until after the GZ trial is completed.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:41 am 
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Mimbler wrote:
Does Shellie get a jury trial? Reading the transcript seems to prove that she did not commit perjury, and referred them to someone who could answer the question. I don't trust the judge, but find it hard to believe that a jury could convict,
Mike


I don't know. I think she did lie and there was definitely an intent to deceive. I don't know how the defense intends to get around this, but she was directly asked a question and didn't answer truthfully.

I think Mr. Zimmerman is innocent of the charges and can't understand why they did this at the beginning. I think it will be so long in the past that it won't affect any jury.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:20 am 
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flareon wrote:
I think she did lie and there was definitely an intent to deceive. I don't know how the defense intends to get around this, but she was directly asked a question and didn't answer truthfully.


What specific question was Shellie asked?

What specific answer did Shellie give?

What specific evidence proves that her answer was untruthful?

What specific evidence proves that her answer intended to deceive?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:39 pm 
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As soon as Shellie answered "Not that I know of", alarm bells went off in my head. Somethings up.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:46 pm 
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cherpa1 wrote:
As soon as Shellie answered "Not that I know of", alarm bells went off in my head. Somethings up.


Okay, I'll ask you, too. Recall that perjury statutes are quite specific, and require certain specific things to be proven. From that perspective:

What specific question was Shellie asked?

What specific answer did Shellie give?

What specific evidence proves that her answer was untruthful?

What specific evidence proves that her answer intended to deceive?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:14 pm 
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Hi Chip. :86 Shellie was asked something in the nature of "is there any money anywhere not mentioned"? She answered "Not that I know of", which at least for me was an evasion to the question and set off the bells and whistles. I think it was an attempt to deceive. Although she did tell the Court a few times to call her BIL for the amounts, in retrospect I think she wanted him to take the fall. OOPS! I am an RN, educated in Emergency Nursing, a trained observor but clearly not in the law or english composition, nouns, verbs or sentence structure but probably pretty represntative of the jury that will be called to trial. "Not that I know of" in the real world is a dodge. I love your posts. :84 Brilliant!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:38 pm 
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cherpa1 wrote:
Hi Chip. :86 Shellie was asked something in the nature of "is there any money anywhere not mentioned"?


No, please provide the exact question.

Quote:
She answered "Not that I know of"...


No, please provide the exact response.

Quote:
...which at least for me was an evasion to the question and set off the bells and whistles. I think it was an attempt to deceive. Although she did tell the Court a few times to call her BIL for the amounts, in retrospect I think she wanted him to take the fall. OOPS!


I actually read the transcript entirely differently from your take, and believe your conclusion here about Shellie's alleged perjury is as precarious as the State's allegation of George Zimmerman's commission of a second-degree murder. Further, I believe that the State engaged in malicious prosecution of Shellie Zimmerman, by deliberately misquoting the bond-hearing transcript, in order to imply that she lied under oath.

Quote:
I am an RN, educated in Emergency Nursing, a trained observor but clearly not in the law or english composition, nouns, verbs or sentence structure but probably pretty represntative of the jury that will be called to trial. "Not that I know of" in the real world is a dodge.


"Not that I know of" may or may not be a "dodge"; but what, with absolute certainty, it is not, however, is a commission of perjury under Florida statute.

Remember, here is the Florida statutory definition of perjury:
Quote:
Except as provided in subsection (2), whoever makes a false statement, which he or she does not believe to be true, under oath in an official proceeding in regard to any material matter, commits a felony of the third degree


The required elements of perjury:
1) False statement
2) Believed to be untrue
3) Made under oath
4) In an official proceeding
5) In regard to a material matter

To the first point, here is the actual exchange at the bond hearing:

Shellie Zimmerman at the bond hearing, questioned by the worst interviewer in all of Florida, BDLR wrote:
Q: How much money is in that website right now? How much money as a result of that website was —
A: Currently, I do not know.
Q: Who would know that?
A: That would be my brother-in-law.
Q: And is he — I know he’s not in the same room as you, but is he available so we can speak to him, too, or the Court can inquire through the State or the Defense?
A: I’m sure that we could probably get him on the phone.
Q: Okay. So he’s not there now.
A: No, he is not, sir.
Q: Do you have any estimate as to how much money has already been obtained or collected?
A: I do not.
Q. Okay. You haven’t talked to your brother-in-law in terms of just bare amount of how much money?
A. No. No, I have not
Q. Okay. And how long has that website been in existence, ma’am?
A. I do not know. I have not been with my husband since he’s been in hiding. I do not know.
Q. Okay. So you mentioned your husband was in hiding. I understand he left the state, is that correct?
A. That’s correct.
Q – Okay. And did you continue to have contact with him while he was out?
A. Yes, every day.
Q. And that was every day?
A. Yes.


And here's how the State of Florida channeled their inner NBC in their hack-job quote of that transcript in the probable cause affidavit:

Shellie Zimmerman at the bond hearing, AKA the He Looks Black version wrote:
Q: And you mentioned also, in terms of the ability of your husband to make a bond amount, that you all had no money, is that correct?
A: To my knowledge, that is correct.
Q: Were you aware of the website that Mr. Zimmerman or somebody on his behalf created?
A: I’m aware of that website.
Q: How much money is in that website right now? How much money as a result of that website was—
A: Currently, I do not know.
Q: Do you have any estimate as to how much money has already been obtained or collected?
A: I do not.


(Note that, even mis-quoted to imply that Shellie lied, the above quote contains no perjury.)

Let's step through each question-and-answer pair, and see if we can find any evidence of perjury.

Quote:
Q: How much money is in that website right now? How much money as a result of that website was —
A: Currently, I do not know.


Is this a lie? Does the State know for a fact that Shellie Zimmerman knew the exact amount of money in the PayPal account on 20 April 2012?

Quote:
Q: Who would know that?
A: That would be my brother-in-law.


Sounds like a truthful statement to me.

Quote:
Q: And is he — I know he’s not in the same room as you, but is he available so we can speak to him, too, or the Court can inquire through the State or the Defense?
A: I’m sure that we could probably get him on the phone.


Unless Shellie is channeling Frank Abernathy ("here, look in my wallet") and Bugs Bunny ("no, no; don't throw me into the briar patch!") here, and pulling off some spectacular, reverse-psychology attempt to get BDLR *not* to try to call Robert Zimmerman, I think we can assume that this is a truthful statement.

Quote:
Q: Okay. So he’s not there now.
A: No, he is not, sir.


Ditto.

Quote:
Q: Do you have any estimate as to how much money has already been obtained or collected?
A: I do not.


Does the State have any evidence that Shellie did, in fact, have an "estimate"?

Note also: by asking for an "estimate" here, BDLR pretty much gives up the right to claim that she was committing perjury here, because an "estimate" is a statement of opinion, and not of objective fact, and therefore not subject to perjury.

Quote:
Q. Okay. You haven’t talked to your brother-in-law in terms of just bare amount of how much money?
A. No. No, I have not


Does the State have any evidence that Shellie did, in fact, talk to Robert Zimmerman, Jr. about the amount of money?

Quote:
Q. Okay. And how long has that website been in existence, ma’am?
A. I do not know. I have not been with my husband since he’s been in hiding. I do not know.


Ditto.

Quote:
Q. Okay. So you mentioned your husband was in hiding. I understand he left the state, is that correct?
A. That’s correct.


Undisputed as truthful. Also immaterial.

Quote:
Q – Okay. And did you continue to have contact with him while he was out?
A. Yes, every day.


Immaterial.

Quote:
Q. And that was every day?
A. Yes.


Ditto.

So where does that leave us? What statements are even potentially perjurous? These, I suppose:

Quote:
Q: How much money is in that website right now? How much money as a result of that website was —
A: Currently, I do not know.

Quote:
Q: Do you have any estimate as to how much money has already been obtained or collected?
A: I do not.

Quote:
Q. Okay. You haven’t talked to your brother-in-law in terms of just bare amount of how much money?
A. No. No, I have not


Which one does the State allege constitutes perjury? We don't know, because the Probable Cause Affidavit doesn't specify. The PCA doesn't identify the statement that allegedly constitutes perjury, nor does it provide evidence to prove that the statement was untrue, nor that the accused knew the statement to be untrue at the time it was made, nor that the statement regarded a material fact.

We can eliminate the middle statement; again: asking for an "estimate" statutorily eliminates the possibility that the answer could constitute perjury, because the answer is, by definition, an opinion and not a statement of material fact. Reference Cohen v. State:
Cohen v State wrote:
This Court has held that statements alleged to be perjurious must be of ‘empirical fact’ and not of opinion, belief or perception…. One of the essential elements of perjury in official proceedings is that the person making the statement does not believe it to be true… The questions posed to elicit perjured testimony must be asked with the appropriate specificity necessary to result in an equally specific statement of fact.


Were any of the questions asked with enough specificity to elicit potential perjury?

For either remaining statement, did the State provide evidence to prove that the statement:

1) Was untrue?
2) Was believed to be untrue by Shellie at the time of the statement?

If not, the case should not and will not ever be sent to a jury. (ibid):
Quote:
To present a prima facie case, the prosecution must prove each and every element of an offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt. When the prosecution fails to meet this burden, the case should not be submitted to the jury, and a judgment of acquittal should be granted.


And finally, the defense holds the ultimate trump card: when asked about the amount of money in the PayPal account, Shellie Zimmerman claimed that she did not know the exact amount, but indicated the person who could provide that information. If the materially relevant information in this case is the amount of money in the PayPal account on 20 April 2012, under no legal or logical circumstance could Shellie Zimmerman have an intent to mislead by saying, "I don't know the exact amount. Let's call my brother-in-law, Robert Zimmerman, Jr., because he knows the exact amount."

Remember: the materially relevant information here is the amount of money in the PayPal account, since that information would factor into the bond determination. Shellie Zimmerman's personal knowledge of the amount of money in the PayPal account is simply not material to the matter at hand.

Shellie did not commit perjury, and especially given the mis-quoting of the bond-hearing transcript, the State of Florida is once again engaging in a malicious prosecution.

Further reading:
Mike McDaniel
Legal Insurrection

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:49 pm 
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Chip......

That is an epic post. Thank you for laying it all out.

I have always had a recollection that Shellie did not say anything that amounted to perjury... to me the charges against her were an obvious ploy...... but you actually have the goods there to prove it.

How often does ANYBODY get charged with perjury at a Murder trial.. let alone at a piddling pre-trial hearing for one? And arrested and taken into custody???

Justice requires that somebody is punished for the malicious persecution of Shellie!!

Shellie should be exonerated...but "Justice" requires far more than just that.

However.... I have put Shellie's persecution on the back burner, simply because it is irrelevant now in regards GZ's case.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:33 pm 
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chipbennett wrote:

snipped

Remember, here is the Florida statutory definition of perjury:

[was quoted]
Except as provided in subsection (2), whoever makes a false statement, which he or she
does not believe to be true, under oath in an official proceeding in regard to any material matter,
commits a felony of the third degree


The required elements of perjury:
1) False statement
2) Believed to be untrue
3) Made under oath
4) In an official proceeding
5) In regard to a material matter

snipped

Let's step through each question-and-answer pair, and see if we can find any evidence of perjury.

snipped


You missed one, I believe:
Quote:
Q: And you mentioned also, in terms of the ability of your husband to make a bond amount, that you all had no money, is that correct?
A: To my knowledge, that is correct.


It's possible that she did not know what the money could be spent on, but she did have knowledge that there was some money.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:26 pm 
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kbp wrote:
You missed one, I believe:

It's possible that she did not know what the money could be spent on, but she did have knowledge that there was some money.


Quote:
Q: And you mentioned also, in terms of the ability of your husband to make a bond amount, that you all had no money, is that correct?
A: To my knowledge, that is correct.


Evidence that:

1) The statement is untrue?
2) She believed the statement to be untrue?

Bear in mind also: not only Shellie, but the State, the Judge, the defense - everyone - knew about the PayPal account at that point. It wasn't a secret.

She had no direct knowledge of how much money existed in the PayPal account. Thus, she could not provide a materially factual answer about the status of that account.

But let's go back to the question to which BDLR referred:

Quote:
O'MARA: Are you of any financial means where you could assist in those costs?
S. ZIMMERMAN: Not that I'm aware of.


O'Mara is asking Shellie about her own, personal finances. In context:

Quote:
O'MARA: Another condition or another concern the court would have is a bond amount. I would ask you then realizing that one option is for the court to grant a monetary bond, if you could advise the court of your financial circumstances so I'll ask you a couple of questions.

Are you working presently?
S. ZIMMERMAN: No, I'm not.

O'MARA: And how do you -- what do you do with your time?
S. ZIMMERMAN: I am a nursing student.

O'MARA: OK. Is that a full-time endeavor presently?
S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, it is.

O'MARA: OK. How long have you been doing that?
S. ZIMMERMAN: Well, I am four weeks away from my graduation.

O'MARA: OK. So you're not earning any income presently?
S. ZIMMERMAN: Correct.

O'MARA: Do you own the home that you live or lived in?
S. ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

O'MARA: Other major assets that you have which you can liquidate reasonably to assist in coming up with money for a bond?
S. ZIMMERMAN: None that I know of.

O'MARA: I discussed with you the pending motion to have your husband, George, declared indigent for cost, have I not?
S. ZIMMERMAN: Yes, you have.

O'MARA: Are you of any financial means where you could assist in those costs?
S. ZIMMERMAN: Not that I'm aware of.

O'MARA: I understand that you do have other family members present with you and I'll ask them questions of them but have you had discussions with them of at least trying to pool together some funds to accomplish a bond?
S. ZIMMERMAN: We have discussed that, trying to pull together the numbers of the family to scrape up anything that we possibly can.


Again: the questions were about Shellie's financial means. She had no job/income, no assets to be liquidated, no house to mortgage, and no other financial means to assist in indigent costs. She did not have control of the PayPal account, and thus could not offer it up as a financial resource.

So, back to BDLR's exchange:
Quote:
Q. And you mentioned also, in terms of the ability of your husband to make a
bond amount, that you all had no money, is that correct?
A. To my knowledge, that is correct.


Two points:

1) Immediately following this exchange, BDLR and Shellie discuss the website (as quoted previously). There is clearly no intent to deceive regarding the existence of the website, or the PayPal account. Shellie's knowledge simply does not include the amount of money in that account. She still has said nothing untruthful.
2) BDLR is simply a terrible interviewer. He doesn't limit his compound questions only to Witness 8. He used a doozy right here with Shellie. To wit:
Quote:
And you mentioned... is that correct?


Is BDLR asking if it is correct that she mentioned something, or is his paraphrasing of what she said correct? Or is he asking if what she said previously was correct? What did BDLR imply? What did Shellie infer?

The nature of the question itself is such that it cannot be grounds for perjury.

And again: immediately after this exchange, she tells BDLR to get Robert Zimmerman, Jr. on the phone, since he is the person who knows the current balance of the PayPal account.

There is no perjury here.

I get what you're saying: she was perhaps being coy about the balance of the PayPal account. She may have even had some *idea* about how much it contained. But "coy" != "perjury".

Your background is in nursing. My background is dealing with FDA regulations for pharmaceutical companies. Part of our training is how to handle FDA inspections. FDA inspectors are masters at ferreting out information overtly and covertly. They play on people's innate willingness to proffer information, to elaborate, and to fill a silence void by talking. Thus, we are trained to answer a direct question with a direct answer - to provide a specific response to a specific question, and never to elaborate, or to offer any information not specifically requested.

I envision the courtroom to be eerily similar: witnesses are wise to answer a direct question with a direct answer - to provide a specific response to a specific question, and never to elaborate, or to offer any information not specifically requested. The oath to tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" exists within the scope and context of the specific questions asked.

Bottom line: BDLR didn't ask the correct questions in the correct way, and the State has no evidence to prove that Shellie said anything untruthful, while knowing such statements were untruthful.

"...you all had no money..."?

True. Shellie personally had no money or assets to contribute to the bond or indigent costs.

She then helpfully directed BDLR to the one person who could answer the question of the balance of the PayPal account. Strange, isn't it, that he didn't then attempt to contact Robert Zimmerman, Jr., in order to have that question answered?

If one were especially cynical, one might surmise that he was merely on a fishing expedition to entrap Shellie...

(Sucks for him that he appears to be too incompetent to implement said fishing expedition.)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:44 pm 
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Just FYI: you have the wrong person when you wrote "[y]our background is in nursing."

Quote:
Q. And you mentioned also, in terms of the ability of your husband to make a
bond amount, that you all had no money, is that correct?
A. To my knowledge, that is correct.


Anyway, that answer to that question, in itself, is very questionable.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:49 pm 
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Chip- Excellent post. If every person called to a witness stand, who answered the type of questions posed to Shelly, in the manner they were presented, answered in the same manner Shelly did, were then charged with perjury, our courts would be overwhelmed. This is NOT perjury, rather malicious prosecution. As long as prosecutors are allowed to over charge based not on case law, but on their own power, we are ALL in danger of malicious prosecution.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:54 pm 
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LittleLaughter wrote:
....malicious prosecution....


For the record, I'm in agreement with that, simply pointing out what I believe the state wishes to have SZ prove she is innocent of!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:17 pm 
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So Shellie does not meet the Florida definition of perjury. No reason not to believe that but as soon as she got into "not to my knowledge" and "not that I know of" but she was too "coy" by half and rang my meter. Bernie let her get away with it cause he did not ask clarifying questions. I like to think a female lawyer would have seen through Shellie's responses immediately. Bernie is a terrible interviewer, probably cause he is more interested in what he is saying then the answers from the respondent. "Currently, I do not know" begs for a question like Well, what was it the last time your heard? Ongoing with Bernie's poor questioning techinque, stupid compound questions and suggesting his own answers, I think his poor lawyering abilities will be exposed in open court to boot. He is going to make the Trays crazy. :moo Putting poor Shellie on the back burner.


Last edited by cherpa1 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:24 am 
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kbp wrote:

For the record, I'm in agreement with that, simply pointing out what I believe the state wishes to have SZ prove she is innocent of!



I think we are still in the USA and you have that backwards...the state must prove that SZ is guilty, not SZ proving that she is innocent.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:06 am 
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cherpa1 wrote:
So Shellie does not meet the Florida definition of perjury. No reason not to believe that but as soon as she got into "not to my knowledge" and "not that I know of" but she was too "coy" by half and rang my meter.


There is a vast difference between the colloquial sense of not being fully forthright, and the legal concept of perjury.

Quote:
Bernie let her get away with it cause he did not ask clarifying questions.


That's the whole point: if the State wanted to entrap Shellie in perjurious statements, then BDLR absolutely needed to ask those follow-up questions: specific questions that would elicit specific responses of material fact. Without those, there simply is no legal basis for a perjury charge.

Quote:
I like to think a female lawyer would have seen through Shellie's responses immediately. Bernie is a terrible interviewer, probably cause he is more interested in what he is saying then the answers from the respondent. "Currently, I do not know" begs for a question like Well, what was it the last time your heard?


Again: it sucks for the State that BDLR is apparently incompetent. But thanks to his apparent incompetence, the State absolutely has no case for perjury against Shellie.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:23 am 
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kbp wrote:
For the record, I'm in agreement with that, simply pointing out what I believe the state wishes to have SZ prove she is innocent of!
mooney1el wrote:
I think we are still in the USA and you have that backwards...the state must prove that SZ is guilty, not SZ proving that she is innocent.


I won't argue with you on that, it was the point of why I worded my post that way!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:22 am 
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Chip, I have a similar background in regulation (FAA certification engineer), and I think your analysis is spot on. That is -exactly- how I have perceived it since she was first charged. No perjury, and the charging document does not contain the elements of a crime,
Mike


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