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Please be advised that the friends and family of Martin Zale previously sponsered a website called MartinZaleDefenseFund.com. After the expiration of that domain name, another party has illegally taken out that URL and is currently posting a website with derogatory and misleading statements against Martin Zale. That website is not authorized by Martin Zale and Mr. Zale reserves the right to prosecute the individual(s) involved with that website.

Martin Zale - Michigan Self Defense Act

Many wrongful convictions are the result of  prosecutorial misconduct, police misconduct, and unreliable witness testimony. This is called Deprivation of Rights under color of law.

Disclaimer:

This website is meant to be educational in nature.  The use of any ‘clips’ or internet links found in this website falls under “Fair Use” 17 USC 107, and are shown for educational purposes.  Any statements or opinions in this website are solely the opinions of the writer and fall under the First Amendment, the right to free speech. The reader should understand that no legal advice is intended or implied from this website. Readers are further advised to seek competent legal advice for any legal questions that they have.

This website is produced by the friends and family of Martin Zale to show why Martin Zale did not get a fair trial in 2015. We believe the prosecutor misled the public with his statements to the press on September 04, 2014 before any evidence was attained. The prosecutor told the press "You can't just shoot somebody because you are not happy with them." The prosecutor said that Martin Zale just rolled down his window and shot Derek Flemming as Derek Flemming casually walked up to Zale's truck. That is NOT what happened! Yet, the news media reported this FALSE NEWS in multiple places.


The prosecutor said that the entire event happened in 5 seconds, and that 5 seconds is not enough time for Derek Flemming to attack or hurt Martin Zale. To begin, we respectfully submit a reference to The Tueller Drill.  The Tueller Drill is a self-defense training exercise originally taught to law enforcement professionals to prepare against a short-range knife attack when armed only with a holstered handgun. Sergeant Dennis Tueller, of the Salt Lake City, Utah Police Department wondered how quickly an attacker with a knife could cover 21 feet (6.4 m), so he timed volunteers as they raced to stab the target. He determined that it could be done in 1.5 seconds. These results were first published as an article in SWAT magazine in 1983 and in a police training video by the same title, "How Close is Too Close?" Today, this knowledge is not only taught to law enforcement professionals, but also to CPL training class students.


Derek Flemming exited his vehicle and angrily approached and punched Martin Zale. Here's proof that one punch can kill a man. Because of the proximity of their vehicles, it is possible that Derek Flemming reached Martin Zale in 1.5 seconds after exiting his vehicle. Then, Derek Flemming reached inside Martin Zale's truck window, trying to open the locked door and pull Martin Zale out to beat him. Derek Flemming had a physical advantage over Martin Zale and had the power to kill , or inflict great bodily harm on Martin Zale. Derek Flemming was 43 years old, aggressive and physical; Martin Zale was 69 years old with a serious heart condition. The moments before Martin Zale was stopped at a traffic light in heavy traffic, Martin Zale was trying to get away from Flemming, and to get out of the predicament that Derek Flemming put him in. Assistant Prosecutor Daniel Rose told the jury multiple times that Martin Zale had a duty to retreat from Derek Flemming even when Derek Flemming was attacking him, and when Flemming was trying to extract Zale from his truck. Mr. Rose told the jury that Martin Zale should have driven away into oncoming traffic after Flemming sucker punched Zale and while Derek Flemming continued the attack on Zale through the window of Zale's truck. The Livingston County Prosecutor's office deliberately misstated the Michigan Self Defense Act to the jury. Martin Zale had a right to defend himself according to the Michigan Self Defense Act as taught in CPL classes statewide, with no duty to retreat.


This website will show facts that the prosecutor does not want you to know. In the case of Martin Zale, Lady Justice was not blind, and the prosecutor had his thumb on the scale. Incidentally, this is not the first website or internet posting that depicts misconduct by a Livingston County court and the prosecutor's office. A judge from the Michigan Appellate Court even said he has put the Livingston County Prosecutor "on his radar," because of the Prosecutor's improper impeachment of witnesses in the Martin Zale case. The American Bar Standards Section 3-1.2c states that "the duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."  We feel that the prosecutor did not want the true facts of this case to be known by the public and in fact, under color of law, he tried to conceal evidence that would implicate Derek Flemming of wrong-doing. Derek Flemming's m.o. was to threaten and assault people on a regular basis.

On Sept 02, 2014, in a case of self-defense, Martin Zale shot Derek Flemming after Derek Flemming ran a red light in pursuit of Martin Zale. Derek Flemming was NOT going home to pick up his kids from school at that point, he drove past his turn home in pursuit of Martin Zale with the intent to cause great bodily harm to Martin Zale. Click here for map that shows Flemming's route home. You can't just chase somebody down and attack them and try to remove them from a vehicle to beat them.  That's against the law in Michigan, and the Michigan Self-Defense Act allows a Michigan resident to protect oneself against an attack like this, with no duty to retreat. At this point in time, Martin Zale was trying to get away from Derek Flemming. Amy Flemming told the first State Trooper on the scene, that her husband was a "hot head," he was yelling, and she tried to keep him inside the vehicle. She testified that she told Derek to go home by turning on Golf Club Road but instead Derek kept going on Grand River to chase Martin Zale down.


After Mr. Zale had to stop at a red light, Flemming had Zale boxed in. Flemming illegally got out of his vehicle on a highway, with fists clenched. A witness saw the anger on Flemming's face and his clenched fists and "knew something bad was going to happen." With a fury, Flemming started pounding on the sides of Zale's truck as he approached it, and when Zale rolled down the window to tell him to stop, Flemming punched Zale. A witness saw what he thought was Flemming strike the window, but at that moment, the window was down, so the witness really saw Flemming sucker punch Zale. The prosecutor told the news media that witnesses saw Zale roll down his window and shoot Flemming, but NO witnesses testified that that is what they saw.


In the next terrifying moment, after punching Zale, Derek Flemming stuck his head and arms inside the truck to open the door and unlawfully pull Zale out onto the street for a beating. The vicious attack by Flemming on Martin Zale caused Mr. Zale to experience an angina attack due to his existing heart condition. Mr. Zale feared for his life, and defended himself against Derek Flemming. Zale reached for his gun, shot Flemming, and Flemming's tooth fell to the floor of the truck. Derek Flemming fell straight back and his feet were still over the left turn lane lines painted on the road. Flemming's toes would be about 18 inches inside of Zale's lane. The location of his body shows that he was at or in Zale's truck at the time of the shooting, not three feet away from the truck as Amy Flemming testified to. Martin Zale had no duty to retreat because the attack against him by Mr. Flemming was "sudden, fierce, and violent," and required immediate action to stop the threat.

The police declined to process Zale's truck for forensic proof that Flemming was in the truck. The prosecutor knew that the police did sloppy work on this case and they say that in the transcripts. None of the prosecutor's witnesses saw all of the events that took place. Although the Prosecutor elicited testimony that many witnesses "did not see" certain things, like Mr. Flemming hitting the truck, punching, or reaching in the truck, this is not the same as testimony that it did not happen. Mrs. Flemming did say these things did not happen, but did admit that she could not see the drivers side window of the Dodge Ram, which is where these actions occurred.


Amy Flemming, Derek's wife, testified that she did not 'see everything that happened at the truck window.' She had contradictory testimony between her appearance at the preliminary hearing and at the trial. All she had to do was tell the truth of what happened but she did not. All she had to do was tell the jury about Derek Flemming's hot temper and anger management issues and she did not. Derek Flemming had a serious issue with people. He was an impetuous, confrontational hot-head, as described by neighbors, people that had 'run-ins' with Derek Flemming, and even by his own family members. Derek Flemming was a 'repeat offender.' Witnesses saw Derek Flemming try to open the door of another road rage victim Flemming aggressively confronted in a previous year on M-59. Flemmings behaviour in that incident was strikingly similar to Flemming's attack on Zale in 2014. 


Martin Zale could not get a fair trial because the media 'tried the case in the news.' Multiple news media sources reported false news that Martin Zale was at that time wanted on an outstanding warrant in Livonia because of a similar road rage incident. At the preliminary hearing, Assistant Prosecutor Daniel Rose told the judge that Martin Zale was wanted on a 2008 warrant from Livonia for another road rage incident. This reporting gave the public and potential jury members a tainted impression of Mr. Zale and made him look like a repeat offender and bad person. In fact, there was NO WARRANT written against Martin Zale. His driving record is also 'clear'. No news media companies bothered to get a copy of the 'so-called' warrant, they just took the prosecutor's word that there was a warrant against Martin Zale. There was a misdemeanor incident in Livonia in 2008 with Martin Zale, and there was a police report. Nowhere in the police report do the words "road rage" appear. Under color of law, Detective King of Livingston County added the words "road rage" in 2014 to a supplemental report he created based on the Livonia incident. It is the opinion of this writer that Detective King intended to mislead the public about Martin Zale by implicating that Martin Zale was a repeat road rage offender. In the same period of time between both incidents, Derek Flemming had multiple run-ins with the law and others, including the road rage incident mentioned above. Derek Flemming was the repeat offender, and that information was suppressed by the Livingston County prosecutor. The Livingston County prosecutor and detectives just wanted a conviction against Martin Zale. They did not care about justice and the truth. 


Martin Zale asserts that there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions as there was no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he was not acting in self defense; that the Prosecutor improperly impeached his witnesses; that he was denied effective assistance of counsel; and that his jury was not properly instructed