Angela Corey, the special prosecutor appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) to investigate the death of Trayvon Martin, and who charged George Zimmerman (now acquitted) with second-degree murder, fired a whistleblower Friday who revealed that prosecutors had not turned over exculpatory evidence to the defense, the Florida Times-Union reported.
Ben Kruidbos, the information technology director in Corey’s office, had testified in a pre-trial hearing about a report he had created regarding text messages and images retrieved from Martin’s cellphone. Defense lawyers never received the report from the prosecution, as is required by law.
A hand-delivered letter informing him of his dismissal indicated that he “can never again be trusted to step foot in this office,” and cited a variety of reasons for his firing, unrelated to the trial.
Corey’s conduct had been questioned from the start, when she made the dramatic announcement that her office would be charging Zimmerman with murder. The affidavit that she filed with the court had omitted exculpatory evidence of Zimmerman’s injuries, prompting Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz to accuse her of a “grave ethical violation,” adding that her conduct was “not only immoral, but stupid.”
Subsequently, Dershowitz said, Corey had threatened to sue Harvard for Dershowitz’s remarks.
Corey was also criticized, particularly as the weakness of the prosecution’s became apparent, for seeking a conviction on second-degree murder, rather than a lesser charge such as manslaughter.
She dismissed that criticism, according to the New York Times, after the verdict was delivered on Saturday evening: “We charged what we had based on the facts of the case….We truly believe the mind-set of George Zimmerman and the reason he was doing what he did fit the bill for second-degree murder.”
Corey had also attended the Zimmerman trial in the company of Trayvon Martin’s relatives.