• In his termination letter Ben Kruidbos  was accused of violating state attorney office policies and  procedures
  • He had informed the defense team that  they hadn’t received all the images and text messages retrieved from Trayvon  Martin’s cell phone
  • The missing content included images of  Martin blowing smoke, holding a gun and images of marijuana
  • The defense team had asked for a delay in  the case as a result, but were denied

By  Daily Mail Reporter and Associated Press

PUBLISHED: 16:51 EST, 13  July 2013 |  UPDATED: 16:51 EST, 13 July 2013

A state attorney’s office employee has been  fired after testifying about concerns that prosecutors didn’t turn over photos  and text messages from Trayvon Martin’s cellphone to the defense in George  Zimmerman’s murder case.

Ben Kruidbos received a termination letter  Thursday accusing him of misconduct and ‘violating numerous state attorney’s  office policies and procedures.’

It accused him of disclosure of confidential  information, sabotage of property or equipment, and misuse of state attorney  equipment.

Sacked: Ben Kruidbos, an IT worker from the state attorney's office, testified during a hearing in the George Zimmerman trial on June 6 

Sacked: Ben Kruidbos, an IT worker from the state  attorney’s office, testified during a hearing in the George Zimmerman trial on  June 6


Photos: New photos, including above, from Trayvon Martin's cell phone shows the slain Florida teenager blowing smoke rings, a gun and what appears to be a marijuana plant 

Photos from Trayvon Martin’s cell phone showed the slain  Florida teenager blowing smoke rings, a gun and what appears to be a marijuana  plant

Kruidbos retrieved photos and deleted text  messages from Martin’s cellphone.

He testified during a hearing on June 6 that  Martin’s cell phone contained images of the 17-year-old blowing smoke, images of  marijuana and deleted text messages regarding a transaction for a firearm and  that those images had not been given to Zimmerman’s defense team.


He received the termination letter, dated  July 11, on Friday, the same day jurors began deliberating Zimmerman’s case.

The letter states: ‘It has come to our  attention that you violated numerous State Attorney’s Office (SAO) policies and  procedures and have engaged in deliberate misconduct that is especially  egregious in light of your position.’

George Zimmerman with his defense team, Mark O'Mara, left, and Don West, while waiting for jury arrival in the courtroom on Saturday morning 

George Zimmerman with his defense team, Mark O’Mara,  left, and Don West, while waiting for jury arrival in the courtroom on Saturday  morning


Attorney Wesley White said Kruidbos wasn’t  surprised by the firing.

He had been on paid administrative leave  since May 28 from his job as director of information technology for the State  Attorney’s Office.

Kruidbos said that, when he printed a  900-page Florida Department of Law Enforcement report from Martin’s cell phone  in late 2012 or early 2013, he noticed information was missing.

Concerned that attorneys did not have all the  information they needed to prepare the case, he said, he reported his concerns  to a State Attorney’s Office investigator and later to prosecutor Bernie de la  Rionda.

Kruidbos said he generated a report that was  more than three times the size of the one that had been handed  over.

For example, Kruidbos said that 2,958 photos  were in the report given to the defense but that his report contained 4,275  photos.

Gun: A photo of a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun were among those released 

Gun: A photo of a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun  was retrieved from Martin’s cell phone

Building a defense: The data was released on Thursday by George Zimmerman's attorneys 

The images on Martin’s phone included this photo of what  appears to be a marijuana plant

Through his attorney, Wesley White, Kruidbos  informed Zimmerman’s defense team that the information existed.

In court, Kruidbos testified that he was  concerned that he could be held liable if all information wasn’t shared.

‘All the information is important in the  process to ensure it’s a fair trial,’ he said.

In a six-page dismissal letter, the State  Attorney’s Office, Fourth Judicial Circuit, blasted Kruidbos’ assertions and  motivations.

Managing Director Cheryl Peek accused  Kruidbos of having erased data from a laptop in violation of the Public Records  Law and derided his concern about being held liable as ‘feigned and spurious’  and ‘nothing more than shameful manipulation in a shallow, but obvious, attempt  to cloak yourself in the protection of the whistleblower law.’


Included in the batch is a photograph of Trayvon Martin's cell phone which he was using to speak to his girlfriend when he was attacked 

Trayvon Martin’s cell phone which he was using to speak  to Rachel Jeantel when he was attacked

She concluded, ‘Because of your deliberate,  willful and unscrupulous actions, you can never again be trusted to step foot in  this office. Your have left us with no choice but to terminate your  employment.’

Zimmerman’s attorneys were seeking sanctions  against the state for not properly turning over the evidence from Martin’s  phone.

O’Mara and co-counsel Don West argued that  they needed more time to go through the information found on Martin’s phone and  asked for a delay, which was denied.

Judge Debra Nelson said she would revisit the  possibility of sanctions at the trial’s end.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2362755/Zimmerman-whistle-blower-claimed-prosecutors-didnt-defense-team-evidence-Trayvon-Martins-cell-phone-fired.html#ixzz2Z2YksYnY Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook