Let's break down where the Probable Cause Affidavit goes wrong. First, the affidavit makes assertions without providing a basis for the assertions. For instance, the Affidavit states: "Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued." However, the affidavit doesn't explain the basis for the conclusion that "Zimmerman confronted Martin." Did a witness say they saw Zimmerman confront Martin? Did Zimmerman admit to confronting Martin? On what basis does the investigating officer swear under oath that he has reason to believe that Zimmerman confronted Martin?
Secondly, the affidavit does not even pretend to state a fact establishing that the shooting was committed with "ill will, hatred, spite, or evil intent." At most, the affidavit claims that Zimmerman said the words "these f------ punks" at some point prior to the shooting. Is the prosecution basing its murder charge on the phrase "f------ punks?"
Without even a single sentence of the affidavit claiming that Zimmerman pulled the trigger with "ill will, hatred, spite, or evil intent," it is hard to imagine how the prosecution, in good faith, can file charges for Second Degree Murder.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the affidavit omits material evidence, as well as misstates a known fact. For instance, the affidavit claims that a police dispatcher "instructed" Zimmerman not to follow Martin. However, in the recorded phone conversation, the police dispatcher merely tells Zimmerman: "we don't need you to do that." While this may seem like a minor discrepancy, it is clearly inaccurate to state that the dispatcher "instructed" Zimmerman not to follow Martin. At a minimum, this misstatement of fact evinces a disregard for accuracy. What's worse, the affidavit never makes mention of the 911 caller, who claimed that (1) Zimmerman yelled for help; and (2) that Martin as on top of Zimmerman, "beating up" on Zimmerman. While the affidavit claims that Zimmerman "admitted [to] shooting Martin," the affidavit omits that Zimmerman claimed to have shot Martin in self-defense.
These omissions potentially render the Probable Cause Affidavit legally insufficient, and entitle Zimmerman to an evidentiary hearing on the sufficiency of probable cause. As the Florida Supreme Court held in Johnson v. State, 660 So. 2d 648 (Fla. 1995), if omitted material is added to an affidavit and thus defeats probable cause; and if the omission resulted from intentional or reckless police conduct with the intent to deceive, then a defendant is entitled to an evidentiary hearing.
The woefully inadequate Probable Cause Affidavit indicates that the prosecution is skating on thin ice. Manslaughter charges would be far more appropriate.