State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman Wikipedia

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State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman

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State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman is a criminal court case involving the second-degree murder charges against George Zimmerman, resulting from the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman is currently on trial in Sanford, Florida.[1]
On April 11, 2012, George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. In support of the charges, the State filed an affidavit of probable cause, stating that Zimmerman profiled and confronted Martin and shot him to death while Martin was committing no crimes.[2] Florida State Attorney Angela Corey announced the charges against Zimmerman during a live press conference and reported that Zimmerman was in custody after turning himself in to law enforcement.[3][4] In Florida, a conviction for second degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. If a firearm was used the mandatory minimum is 25 years in state prison.[3]
State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman

SA No. 1712F04573
Court18th Judicial Circuit In and For Seminole County, Florida



Prosecution attorneys[edit]

State AttorneyAngela Corey
On March 22, 2012, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced his appointment of Angela Corey as the Special Prosecutor in the Martin investigation.[5] She is the State Attorney for DuvalClay and Nassau counties.[6] When Corey took the case, she chose Bernie de la Rionda as lead prosecutor. De la Rionda was an Assistant State Attorney in Corey's office and had been a prosecutor for 29 years.[7][8] Prosecutors John Guy and Richard Mantei are assisting, with Guy making the opening statement.
The prosecutor initially responsible for the case was Norm Wolfinger, a State Attorney whose jurisdiction included Seminole County where the shooting occurred on February 26, 2012.[9][10] On March 22, 2012, he requested to be removed from the case to help "tone down the rhetoric" for the public good.[11]

Defense attorneys[edit]

On April 11, 2012, Mark M. O'Mara announced that he was the attorney representing Zimmerman. O'Mara is president of the Seminole County Bar Association, is a legal commentator for WKMG news, and had previously tried cases that involved the Stand-your-ground law.[12] When he took the case, O'Mara said that Zimmerman had no money and that the state may help pay the costs. When reporters asked why he took the case, O'Mara said, "That's what I do."[13]
On May 31, 2012, Orlando attorney Don West left his job as a federal public defender to join the defense team led by O'Mara. West specialized in murder cases and had been a board certified criminal trial specialist for 25 years. He and O'Mara had been friends for a long time.[14]


Judge Debra S. Nelson of the 18th Circuit Court of Florida is the third judge to preside over the case. Nelson has been a judge for thirteen years, much of it handling criminal matters. Before becoming a judge she worked in civil litigation.[15] Nelson succeeded Judge Kenneth Lester on August 30, 2012, after a Florida appeals court ruled that remarks he made about Zimmerman could make a reasonable person believe he was biased against him.[16] Lester had taken over the case in April, 2012, after Judge Jessica Recksiedler recused herself due to a potential conflict of interest.[17]

Removal of Judge Lester[edit]

In July, 2012, Zimmerman's lawyer filed a motion to disqualify Judge Kenneth R. Lester. O'Mara said Judge Lester had made disparaging and gratuitous remarks about his client in a July, 2012 bond order. The defense said the judge's statement that he believed Zimmerman had misled the court at his first hearing "indicates bias against the party", and would impact Zimmerman's ability to get a fair trial.[18][19] The state criticized the motion for citing "facts that are inaccurate, misleading and/or incomplete".[20]
On August 1, Judge Lester ruled that he would not recuse himself, stating that the defendant's motion was denied for being legally insufficient.[21] Zimmerman's attorney filed an appeal in August, 2012, with a Florida appeals court to reconsider a ruling by Judge Lester refusing to step down from the case.[22] On August 29, 2012, the Fifth District Court of Appeals granted the petition for a new judge for Zimmerman. This was the second judge to be removed from Zimmerman's case. Judge Jessica Recksiedler removed herself from the case in April because of a conflict of interest.[16] On August 30, 2012, Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson, who has been on the bench for 13 years, was assigned the Zimmerman case.


A hearing was held, in which Judge Mark Herr ruled that the affidavit was legally sufficient to establish probable cause. Court documents, including witness statements and other information, were sealed.[23][24] Zimmerman's arraignment was scheduled for May 29.[25] Judge Jessica Recksiedler recused herself as the primary trial judge, due to a potential conflict of interest and Judge Kenneth Lester, Jr., was appointed by the chief judge to take over the Zimmerman case.[17][26][27]
Initially, Zimmerman was released on a $150,000 bond and was fitted with an electronic monitoring device that revealed his whereabouts in real-time.[28][29] At the hearing, Zimmerman took the witness stand and told the parents of Martin he was "sorry for the loss of your son".[30][31] Zimmerman's attorney, waived Zimmerman's right to appear at an arraignment and entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.[28] The defense team announced that it would seek a "stand your ground" hearing because case evidence shows "clear support for a strong claim of self-defense."[32][33][34]
Judge Lester ordered that the defense have access to Trayvon Martin's personal records including records from middle and high school, his cell phone, and access to posts he made on Facebook andTwitter as well as tweets from a girl Martin was on the phone with the night he was killed.[35][36] On October 19, Judge Nelson granted the request for the defense to have access to Martin's school records and social media posts, In her ruling, the judge stated that Zimmerman's attorneys need to know whether Martin's school records and social media postings reveal any evidence that he had violent tendencies.[37][38] Martin's parents and their attorneys said the defense's request for school records and social media was a "fishing expedition" aimed at attacking their son and an attempt to assassinate his character.[39] Judge Nelson also ruled that Zimmerman's medical records should be provided to prosecutors. Nelson will review the medical records and decide whether anything should be withheld.[39]
The defense also requested from ABC News and reporter Matt Gutman all their recordings, notes and correspondence related to Witness Number 8, Trayvon Martin's friend. She says she was on the phone with Martin just before he was shot. O'Mara's motion stated the call lasted more than 26 minutes and the recording they received from the authorities was only 12 minutes, 44 seconds long.[40][41]

Zimmerman's bond revocation[edit]

In June 2012, Judge Lester granted a motion to revoke Zimmerman's bond. The prosecution alleged that Zimmerman and his wife had misled the court by failing to reveal a large amount of money they had received through donations[42] and that they had used a "rudimentary 'code' to discuss the money in recorded jailhouse phone calls—referring to $100,000, for example, as '$100.'"[42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49]
On July 5, 2012, Judge Lester set Zimmerman's bond at $1 million with several conditions - that he be electronically monitored, reside in Seminole County, have no bank accounts or passport and observe a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. Lester said he granted bond "because Zimmerman posed no threat to the community."[50] Zimmerman was released on July 6.[51]

Discovery evidence[edit]

In May 2012, the defense received the first round of discovery evidence; 67 compact discs, a list of witnesses that included 50 possible law enforcement officers, 28 officers from the Sanford Police Department, 28 civilian witnesses, members of Martin's family, two of Zimmerman's friends and his father, Robert Zimmerman. Also listed as potential prosecution witnesses were technicians in biological and DNA evidence, trace evidence, gunshot residue, fingerprints and firearms, two FBI agents, and two audio technicians who analyzed the emergency calls made during the confrontation to determine who was heard screaming in the background.[52][53][54][55][Note 1] Additional evidence released were audio and video recordings, photos, witness statements, forensic findings, Martin's autopsy report, evidence taken from Zimmerman after the shooting; his weapon, bullets, clothes, a DNA sample, medical records and his cell phone data.[52][53]
In June, 2012, the prosecution released recordings of two 911 calls placed by Martin's father the morning after the shooting. In the calls, Mr. Martin expressed worry that his son had not returned home, and inquired about filing a missing person report.[57] Additional discovery released was a report containing the results of Zimmerman's voice stress test,[58] and Zimmerman's account of the events and written statements.[59] The defense also released audio and video recordings of Zimmerman's police interviews and re-enactment following the shooting.[60]
In July, 2012, evidence released was; FBI interviews with people involved in the case, including Sanford police officers, family, friends and associates of Zimmerman. Also released were photos of Martin's bloodied sweatshirt and hoodie with a single bullet hole and several phone calls made by Zimmerman to Sanford police to report suspicious activity in the six months leading up to his encounter with Martin.[61]
In August, 2012, the State's 6th Supplemental Discovery, included 76 pages containing the audio statement from witness 31, three photos taken by witness 13 at the scene showing the back of Zimmerman's head, a flashlight on the ground, the FDLE report with analyst's notes, emails from the Sanford Police Department, copies of Tracy Martin's 911 call reporting his son missing and Zimmerman's Seminole County Sheriff's Office Academy application.[62]
In September, 2012, the DNA report on the gun used in the shooting was released with only Zimmerman's DNA being found on the gun, no trace of Martin's.[63][64][Note 2]
On December 3, 2012, defense attorney Mark O'Mara stated that he was "frustrated" that in the original discovery, a grainy black and white photo of Zimmerman had been substituted for the original color photo of Zimmerman's bloody nose. Criminal attorney David Wohl said the submission of the copy "borders on prosecutorial misconduct".[65]

May 28th, pre-trial motions and decisions[edit]

Judge Nelson ruled on May 28, 2013 on several motions from the prosecution and defense. She denied the defense motion to delay the trial for six weeks.[66][67]
The judge declined to implement a gag order against the lawyers for the case that was requested by the prosecution.


On June 20, 2013 jury selection was completed. Six jurors and four alternates were selected. All six of the jurors are female, two of the alternate jurors are male and two female. Five of the jurors are white, one is black or Hispanic. All of the alternates are white (one male alternate has been described as possibly Hispanic).[68] The jury was sworn in, and all remaining potential jurors were dismissed.

Jury selection[edit]

On June 10, jury selection began with 100 prospective jurors filling out questionnaires. 500 people received summonses, and the process for picking a jury was expected to take two weeks.[1] At the request of the defense, the judge agreed to establish an anonymous jury, where the identity of the jury would be revealed to the prosecution and defense, but not released to the public or media.[69] In the motion for the request, the defense said that "[jurors] may be subject to rebuke and possible retribution, should the verdict not comport with certain factions' desires in this matter.[70]
In Florida, juries consist of six people, 12 jurors are required only for criminal trials involving capital cases, where the death penalty is applicable. Zimmerman's jury will consist of six members and four alternatives.[71] [72] The population of Seminole County is 10 percent African American, a percentage which may differ from the statistics of the 500-member pool of potential jurors.[73][74]
During the fourth day of jury selection, Judge Nelson announced that the jury would be sequestered during the trial, though she had previously ruled that the jury would not be sequestered.[75][76]
On June 18, 2013, forty potential jurors made it past the initial screening process. 16 were men, and 24 were women.[77][78]
The defense struck one potential juror, a female African American, as a "stealth juror" for failing to disclose that her pastor had advocated strongly on behalf of Trayvon Martin. The state attempted to strike one woman whose husband owns guns, and who said she may have difficulty sending someone to prison. They also attempted to strike a woman who asked why Martin was out at night. The judge denied the strikes and both women are part of the six person jury.[79]

Admissibility of evidence[edit]

Judge Nelson ruled that Martin's school records, history of marijuana use, fights, and photos and text from the teen's phone should not be mentioned during the trial. The judge did say she may change her mind during the trial if the subjects become relevant.[80]
Zimmerman's attorneys had requested a Frye hearing regarding the admissibility of the testimony of the audio analysts, to determine if the methods used by them are generally accepted by the scientific community.[81][82] At the time of the hearing, Florida used the Frye standard, but during the course of the case, Florida switched to the Daubert standard, effective July 1, 2013.[83] The Daubert standard is generally considered more stringent, and requires more scrutiny before admission of expert testimony.[84]
On June 22, Judge Nelson ruled that the audio experts won't be allowed to testify at Zimmerman's trial. The prosecution wanted to use voice experts that had been hired by lawyers and news organizations to analyze the 9-1-1 calls recorded during the confrontation to determine whether it was Martin or Zimmerman yelling for help. The experts arrived at mixed conclusions. The judge said in her ruling that, "There is no evidence to establish that their scientific techniques have been tested and found reliable." Her ruling didn't prevent the 9-1-1 calls from being played at trial.[85][86]
On July 8, Judge Nelson ruled that the defense could tell the jury that Martin had a small amount of marijuana in his system at the time of his death. Assistant State Attorney John Guy argued that it was a backdoor attack on Martin's character, while defense attorney Don West argued that an expert will tell the jury that the amount was enough to create "some level of impairment".[87]

Opening statements[edit]

The prosecution made a thirty-minute opening statement. Prosecutor John Guy began by quoting remarks made by Zimmerman during the non-emergency call: "Fucking punks, these assholes always get away." The prosecution's statement focused on the lack of evidence of bodily harm to both Zimmerman and Martin, and portrayed Zimmerman as a liar who would be contradicted by witnesses and evidence. Guy also compared Zimmerman's and Martin's physical size, and commented on how small Martin was.[88] The prosecution said Zimmerman was a "wannabe cop" who had trained in martial arts, that he was looking for "people who didn't belong," and that he profiled Martin as "someone about to commit a crime in his neighborhood."[89]
Don West made a lengthy opening statement for the defense, beginning with a knock-knock joke about jury selection. West stated that "there are no monsters" in the case, but that Zimmerman shot Martin "after being viciously attacked." West stated that Zimmerman was "sucker punched in the face, and had his head hammered against the ground." West played Zimmerman's non-emergency phone call twice, and used several visual aids to show jurors the location of various events in the case and to outline a timeline of the phone calls and events. West asserted that Martin had plenty of time to go home during the phone calls, but decided to confront Zimmerman. West attempted to reconstruct the shooting, using witness statements, crime scene photographs, and a discussion of Zimmerman's injuries that used photos. West then described Zimmerman's actions after the incident, and summarized witness and police statements and observations about Zimmerman's appearance and behavior. After the recess, West continued, pointing out that the gunshot was at contact range for Martin's sweatshirt, but several inches away from Martin's body, and said this proved that Martin was on top at the moment of the shot, with his shirt hanging down.

Prosecution's case[edit]

Prosecution's witnesses' testimony[edit]

Chad Joseph, Martin's father's girlfriend's fifteen year old son, was called by the state. He testified that he asked Martin to buy him Skittles. He did not go with Martin, because he was playing a PS3game.
Andrew Gaugh was the 7-11 clerk that sold Martin snacks. He said that Martin paid with cash, and that he did not have any concerns or take any interest in Martin's actions. The state showed the surveillance video of the purchase. Under cross-examination, Gaugh testified that he did not really remember the night, and was basing his testimony on the surveillance video.
Ramona Rumph, from the Sheriff's communications office, testified regarding how time stamps are applied in 911 calls. Rumph testified that 911 calls are initially coded as "routine" but can be upgraded, and that multiple calls can be linked together. Rumph testified as to the times of the various witness 911 calls. She testified about details of Zimmerman's prior 911 and non-emergency calls. The state then played several of his previous 911 and non-emergency calls for the jury. After the calls were played on cross-examination O'Mara asked Rumph about the results of these calls, and she testified that some had resulted in contacts with suspects. She could not comment on if the number of calls Zimmerman made was unusual.
Donald O'Brien, the HOA president, testified that Zimmerman and the neighborhood watch were not affiliated with the HOA. O'Brien said he felt that Zimmerman was the coordinator of the program because Zimmerman had taken the initiative to get the program started, and that the watch program had instructed participants not to follow suspects but call 911. He said he did not feel that the neighborhood needed a watch program. On cross-examination, he testified that the police did not do regular patrols of the area due to the lack of a written agreement between the HOA and the police department. O'Brian testified that construction workers in the neighborhood had followed a burglary suspect in the past, resulting in an arrest, and that he had sent out a congratulatory email. During several rounds of redirects he said "do not follow", as well as "follow at a safe distance".[90][91][92]
Raymond MacDonald, executive from T-Mobile, testified as to how cell phone records for calls and text-messages are collected and stored. MacDonald testified that billing records round the length of call up to the next highest minute, but that other records break calls to the second. MacDonald testified that on Martin's phone records, after a disconnected call at 7:26, all future incoming calls listed on the page went to voicemail. The records that break to the second are only available for six months, so some records for the trial will be rounded up to the minute.
Greg MicKinny, who works for the company that runs the Retreat's security cameras, testified as to why the cameras near the front gate were not working at the time of the incident, and that security camera clocks are off by as much as 18 minutes.

Police and investigator testimony[edit]

Sean Noffke, the dispatcher who was on the phone during Zimmerman's non-emergency call, testified regarding his own statements at that time. Noffke said that when he told Zimmerman "We don't need you to do that," he was making a suggestion, not giving an order. He said that dispatchers do not give orders because of liability issues. During cross-examination, Noffke testified that Zimmerman did not seem angry during the call, and that he wanted the police to come to his location. Noffke also testified that he asked Zimmerman which way Martin was going, and that his question could be interpreted as a request to go and see which way he was going. He clarified his statement that dispatchers do not give orders, but suggestions for the safety of the caller. He testified that Zimmerman's swearing and comments about Martin did not raise any particular concern, but under redirect said that Zimmerman's language could be interpreted as "hostile." The defense then asked if Noffke actually heard hostility, and he said no. The defense asked about the statements regarding Martin's race and appearance, and Noffke testified that all of the discussion was for the purpose of identification of the suspect, and did not seem unusual.[93]
Wendy Dorival was the Sanford police neighborhood watch coordinator that helped to form the "Retreat at Twin Lakes" neighborhood watch program. Dorival testified as to various roles and duties that volunteers have within the neighborhood watch program, and that watch participants are instructed not to follow or confront suspects, but only to call the police to report suspicious activity. She said that Zimmerman called to organize a watch program, and about 25 residents attended the meeting. Because Zimmerman told her he was selected as the coordinator by the HOA, she gave Zimmerman the watch coordinator handbook, which instructed watch participants not to confront suspects and that the watch is "not the vigilante police". On cross-examination, she testified that the community was worried about recent burglaries, and that the community was not walled-in, so non-residents could enter and exit other than at the gates. Dorival testified that she attempted to recruit Zimmerman as a "Citizen on Patrol", but that he refused. She testified that she did not give any instructions about watch participants not being allowed to carry a gun as watch members. She testified that people should err on the side of caution and make calls to police if they think something might be suspicious, and categorized "walking in the rain without a purpose" as something that could be suspicious.[91][94][95]
Anthony Raimondo, a Sergeant with the Sanford police, was a responding officer to Zimmerman's non-emergency call and the shooting of Martin. He testified that it was raining at the time, and the lighting at the scene was very poor, and that when he arrived other officers were already on the scene. He saw Martin face down with his hands underneath him. He was unable to find a pulse, attempted CPR, but Martin was declared dead. He then placed a plastic sheet over Martin's body out of respect, and to preserve evidence from the rain. On cross examination he testified as to the route he would use to travel from the 7-11 to the scene of the incident, as well as reiterating the how dark the scene was. He estimated that Martin's body was uncovered in the rain for approximately 15 minutes before being covered, but that the rain was just a drizzle at that time.
Diana Smith, the crime scene technician for the shooting (and wife of Tim Smith, the first officer on the scene) testified regarding the scene. Using photos and computer reconstructions of the scene, she pointed out locations of all the objects in the scene, as well as described photographs of Martin's body. She further testified to the process she used to gather DNA evidence, and photographs she took of Zimmerman at the station. On cross-examination, West asked her the methods she used to look for blood on the scene, and the timing of the collection of evidence. She testified that items are swabbed for touch DNA, but that the item itself is not directly tested. She said that someone could touch an item, but not leave sufficient cells for analysis, or those cells could be removed by later people touches. West then asked Smith to identify injuries to Zimmerman she saw the night of the shooting, visible in the photographs she had taken several hours after the incident. On redirect, Guy clarified she had assistance looking for blood at the scene, and that she did not see any blood at the scene, and was not notified of blood by any of those that assisted her.[96]
Sanford Police Department Officer Ricardo Ayala was dispatched to the scene on a suspicious persons call, that was later upgraded to "shots fired". Ayala testified that it was very dark and raining when he arrived, and Officer Smith (husband of Diana Smith who was the crime scene technician) was holding Zimmerman at gunpoint at that time. Ayala then approached Martin, and he believes he was the first officer to do so. Ayala did not know if Martin was alive or not, and as Martin's hands were beneath his face-down body, he told him to "show me your hands". Ayala did not see any sounds, words, or motions from Martin. Ayala and Officer Raimando attempted to perform CPR on Martin, and moved his body in doing so. In cross-examination Ayala testified that holding Zimmerman was standard procedure in a "shots fired" call, and was not an indication of any risk from Zimmerman at that time. Ayala testified that Zimmerman was not confrontational, and complied with all officer requests.
Stacy Livingston is an EMT and firefighter from the Sanford Fire Department, who attempted to resuscitate Martin. When Livingston arrived with other EMTs, they took over attempts to assist Martin from the officers on the scene. Livingston removed the Arizona can from Martin's clothing, and lifted up his shirt, seeing the gunshot wound. After applying a cardiac monitor, Martin was pronounced dead at the scene. Livingston performed a Glasgow test on Zimmerman, which is used to evaluate head injuries and he scored 15 out of 15, indicating full consciousness. Livingston notices some injuries to Zimmerman, and treated him for approximately 5 minutes. He did not appear to have difficulty standing up. Livingston confirmed that Zimmerman's appearance and injuries as she saw it, matched the depictions of him in photographs from the night. On cross-examination she testified that she saw Zimmerman's nose was "very swollen", on both sides and bleeding,and that he had a laceration on the nose, as well as swelling other places on his face. She testified that these injuries were consistent with, and could be from fist strikes. Livingston testified that if a person with a bloody nose was lying down, the blood would flow back into the sinuses and mouth, and if they were able to swallow, they would swallow their blood. Livingston said that Zimmerman said that he felt dizzy at the time. Livingston testified that someone who had this type of injuries could possibly be reasonably worried about their medical safety.
Sanford Police Department Officer Timothy Smith, husband of crime scene technician Diana Smith was the first officer on the scene. Smith testified that "it was dark" and "it was raining", and that he used his flashlight as he entered the yard between the town-homes. When he arrived, two men were standing, and one person was on the ground. Smith shined his flashlight on the person on the ground and saw him to be face down, but could not see his hands. Smith disarmed and handcuffed Zimmerman, and took him to his patrol car, while other officers attended Martin. Smith ultimately turned over the gun and other evidence to his wife, who was the crime scene technician for the case. Smith observed several injuries on Zimmerman including contusions, lacerations, and a bloody nose, and Zimmerman complained about being light-headed, but ultimately declined to go to the hospital. Smith testified that the back of Zimmerman's clothes appeared to be more wet than the front, and that his jacket was covered in grass. The jury was then shown security footage of Zimmerman at the police station after the incident.
Sanford Police Department Officer Doris Singleton, assisted with the investigation of the incident and conducted interviews with Zimmerman at the police department on the night of the incident. Singleton recorded her interview with Zimmerman, after reading Zimmerman his Miranda rights. Singleton testified that Zimmerman did not ask for medical treatment, and did not indicate that he wanted to go to the hospital. Singleton said that he had crusted blood on his nose, and the back of his head was actively bleeding. A recording of the interview was played for the jury. Zimmerman was not asked questions, but was allowed to speak freely. On the recording, Zimmerman said "there have been a lot of crimes", and that he decided to start a neighborhood watch. Zimmerman said he saw a man walking "casually in the rain". Zimmerman said he saw someone near a house that had previously been robbed and reported a suspicious person. In the interview, Zimmerman said that the person "circled my car". Singleton asked if the person walked "completely around the car", and Zimmerman said yes. The person then went away, and Zimmerman went near the dog walk to see where the person had gone, and that the dispatcher told him "he didn't need to do that", and he was returning to his car when the person jumped out from behind a bush. They exchanged some words, and the person punched him. Zimmerman said they fought, and they fell to the ground, and that Zimmerman's head was being pounded against the ground. During the fight, Zimmerman said Martin was on top of him and that his jacket rode up exposing his firearm. Zimmerman said the person was reaching for the gun, and Zimmerman drew and fired. Zimmerman said that after the shot, he got out from under the person, and then got on top of him, to hold him down until police arrived. Singleton later had Zimmerman walk through the incident again, using a Google map printout that he marked locations on. Singleton also read Zimmerman's written statement from the night of the incident. On cross-examination, Singleton said that she now knows that there were recorded 911 calls, eye and ear witnesses to the event, but she did not know that at the time of the interview with Zimmerman, and to her knowledge Zimmerman was not aware of those witnesses or recordings, except for John Good, and that in particular Zimmerman reported screaming for help, before he was aware that there were recordings of screams. Singleton testified that Zimmerman did not appear to know that Martin was dead during the interview, and that he "hung and shook his head" when told, and that she did not see any evidence of "hatred" or "ill will" towards Martin from Zimmerman. Singleton said there were minor differences between versions of Zimmerman's story from that night, but they were not significant, and not unusual to have that type of difference in interviews.
Sanford Police Department Christopher Serino was the lead investigator for the incident. Recordings of Serino's interviews with Zimmerman were played for the Jury as well as the re-enactment that Zimmerman performed with Serino.

Expert witness testimony[edit]

Hirotaka Nakasone, a voice analysis expert was called by the state, after previously being called by the defense during the Frye hearing. Nakasone testified that the recordings of the screams on the 911 calls were of poor quality due to the distance from the phone, and compression introduced by the cell phone. He found 45 seconds of recording between the start of the screaming, until the gunshot. Of this approximately 19 seconds was actual screaming, of which 3.5 seconds were able to be isolated for analysis. He testified that it was not possible to do voice analysis on this data as it "is not fit for the purpose of voice comparison", which generally requires 30 seconds for analysis. He further testified that doing age estimation by listening or pitch analysis has a high margin of error. Nakasone testified that someone who is familiar with voices can recognize those voices and identify them more easily than someone who is unfamiliar with the voices. Nakasone testified that for these samples, someone who has heard a person in a variety of situations speaking, uttering, and screaming in a similar situation could be better able to recognize the speaker. On cross-examination, Nakasone testified that there can be significant listener bias which can impact the reliability of "familiar voice recognition", introduced by having multiple people attempting to identify a voice together. Nakasone testified that the same word repeated is generally unsuitable for analysis, because there is not a sufficient number of the phonemes which can be used to identify the voice. Nakasone said that the the screams were made under "extreme duress" and in a "life-threatening situation", and that due to physiological changes during life-threatening screams, any analysis using such screaming is not possible. Nakasone also testified that using screams like this for age estimation would be "very very challenging" and that it would generally not be attempted.

Neighbors' testimony[edit]

Selene Bahadoor was a resident of the Retreat at Twin Lakes, who works in IT for a hospital. She was at home with relatives and friends on the night of the shooting. She testified that she heard noises outside, moving from the south (left) towards the north (right) towards the top of the T (where two sidewalks met), and went to her window and did not see anything, but moved to her sliding glass door and saw "figures and arms flailing" and that two people appeared to be standing, but it was too dark to identify them or their clothes. She said she heard something that sounded like "No" and then went back to her kitchen to turn off the stove, heard a shot, and then returned to the sliding door. At that time she saw someone lying in the grass face down. She saw several neighbors also looking at the scene, and then the police, but did not go outside. Bahadoor testified that she had previously known Zimmerman as a neighborhood watch person. On cross-examination by O'Mara, Bahadoor testified that she discussed her testimony with the police and did not recall if she had said the noise moved from south to north during her initial interview with Chris Serino or FDLE. When presented with her transcripts from those interviews, the transcripts said only "running" but not the direction. She testified that she had mentioned the left to right (south to north) motion to her sister. She "liked" the Justice4Trayvon Facebook page and signed the petition, but said she has sympathy for both families. She reiterated that it was too dark to see which participant was which, or what positions they were in. On redirect, she said she had not been asked about the direction of movement previously, and had not come forward earlier because she did not want to be in the public eye. On re-cross, she said that she had done an interview for national television, but that it did not air.[91][97][98][99][100]
Jayne Surdyka was a neighbor in the Retreat, who was in her upstairs bedroom at the time of the incident, and went to close her window due to the "pouring down rain", when she heard a loud "dominant" voice. She re-opened the window to see into the courtyard, and heard a voice that sounded "angry, very agitated" but that she could not hear words. She shut off her lights to reduce glare and see better, and saw two men on the ground one on top of the other. She heard a cry for help, that she thinks was made by "the boy", and then heard "pop, pop, pop". She saw one of the men get up, and hold his head while the other stayed on the ground face down. Surdyka's 911 call was then played.
On cross-examination, the defense asked about the cries for help that she heard, and she confirmed she heard only two cries one for help, and then a "yelp" just before the gunshot. West asked her if she had heard the other 911 calls and cries for help previously. West asked her if "the loud voice could have been someone on a cell phone in the wind", and she replied "I guess". She clarified that there was five to ten minutes between the initial "loud voice" and the later argument and fight; she assumed they were the same voice. She said that during the argument, the "loud" voice initiated, and a "meek" voice replying. She commented that when the porch lights are off, it is "pitch black" in the yard, but that she could see well enough to see that the person on top was wearing a dark or black shirt or jacket. West asked her to reconcile Martin's chest wound, with her testimony that Zimmerman stood up from on top, with Martin underneath him, face down. West pressed her to admit that she assumed which voice was which, but she replied that she felt the aggressive voice was "a man's", and that the other voice was higher pitched and she felt that it was "a boy's".[101][102][103][104][105]
Jeannee Manalo was with her family watching TV in the living room at the time of the incident, at her home in the Retreat. Manalo said she heard a "howling" sound, and looked out the sliding door, but was unable to see anything due to the darkness. Later, she heard a yelling that she thought was "help". She looked out and could not see anything, but heard struggling. She then looked out again and saw two people on the grass, with a neighbor outside with them who was asking if he should call 911. Manalo testified that she did not notice the size at the time, but after seeing the news, she believes Zimmerman was on top. Manalo could not tell which person was screaming for help. After she heard the shot, she looked out again. Her husband went outside, and then returned to get a plastic Walmartbag to be used for CPR. On cross-examination, she said that noises seemed to move closer over the incident, moving from the top of the "T" slightly further south. After hearing "help", she returned to watching TV, and then only looked out again after hearing the gunshot. West questioned Manalo about differences between her current recollections, and the statements she made during investigator interviews at the time. In her earlier statements, Manalo did not describe the sizes of the individuals, or compare them. West asked about seeing Zimmerman after the incident, and referred to a photo of his injuries, but Manalo replied that she did not get a good look at his face that night. West asked what photos she used to develop her understanding of the relative sizes of Martin and Zimmerman. She testified that she had seen full body photos of Zimmerman from the police station, and the "hoodie", "hollister", and "football" shots of Martin. She had not seen photos of Martin from the 7-11 surveillance video. She stated she did not look at photos of Zimmerman's injuries, including one taken by her husband, until later. Manolo testified that she may be wrong on the size comparison, and that "I don't know who's bigger now". She later testified that her opinion of the relative sizes of Martin and Zimmerman the night of the incident, was based on old photographs of Martin. After several rounds of questioning, she said her opinion of the sizes was based on the photographs, but that the person who was on top got up.[106]
Jennifer Lauer works in real estate, and was living in the Retreat at Twin lakes at the time of the incident. Lauer testified that she was in her living room watching Celebrity Apprentice on the television with the volume up "pretty high". Lauer testified that she did not see anything, due to her blinds being closed, and that her statements were based on what she heard. She heard voices in her backyard, but was unable to make out any words or tell how many people were talking, but she assumed it was two people due to the pattern. She said the sounds were coming from the left (north) outside her window. Lauer testified that both voices were about the same volume, and "flustered" instead of "confrontational". Lauer then muted the TV, and then immediately began to hear scuffling ("like playing basketball on pavement"), and the sound of shoes on pavement and grass. Lauer said she then heard "grunting", and "wrestling", or rolling in the grass, that was getting closer. Lauer said the grunting gradually turned into "yelping". Lauer and her husband called 911 about thirty seconds after she initially muted the TV. Lauer moved away from the window so that her call could not be heard outside, and while on the call, Lauer testified that she heard cries for help, and a gunshot. Lauer testified that there was only one voice yelling for help, but that she could not identify who it was, and that the cries for help stopped at the gunshot. Lauer and her husband (then fiance) then went upstairs for safety, and did not look out the window. Lauer testified that she heard her neighbor, John Good, outside saying something like "what is going on" while the yelling continued. She testified that she did not hear anyone say "You are going to die motherfucker" or anything similar.
Lauer's call to 911 was played for the jury.
After her call, she heard talking outside, and someone saying "Take my gun". Lauer testified that while walking in front of her house, the address numbers on her house are visible from the sidewalk, but may be blocked depending on where you were standing on the walk. She also said that there are only 3 streets within the community. Lauer testified that she knew of Zimmerman from her role on the HOA board, but that she never formally met him. She was slightly aware of the neighborhood watch and that Zimmerman was involved, but did not know details. Lauer testified she could not identify the yells as Zimmerman's because she had not heard him yell in the meetings. On cross-examination, O'Mara clarified that the first thing that captured her attention was loud talking near the T, that was a back and forth discussion, but she could not make out words. Specifically she said she did not hear anyone say "what are you following me for", or "what are you doing here". Lauer testified that the cries for help or yelping had started before her 911 call began. She said that her ability to hear the yells in person was better than the ability to hear them on the 911 recordings. Lauer said the person yelling for help "was in danger", and "needed help"[107]
Jonathan (John) Good, a neighbor at the retreat, testified that he heard a faint noise outside and he could not tell the direction. As the noises grew louder, he looked outside through his blinds. He opened his door and looked out and saw "some sort of tussle" where the participants were on the ground. He called out "what's going on" and "stop it" as he started to step outside. Good said the participant wearing "dark or black" was on top, and the person wearing "red or white" was on the bottom, and the person on the bottom had lighter skin. He described the person on top had their legs straddling the person on the bottom, who was face up.
He could not hear any pounding or hitting, but did see "downward arm motion, multiple times" that "looked like punches" from the person on top. He heard a "help" from the person on the bottom, and Good said "cut it out", and that he was going to call 9-1-1. He went back inside to call 9-1-1, but he heard a gunshot before the call was completed. The jury was played Good's 911 call.
Good testified that his statement in earlier interviews of "MMA-style" was in reference to the person on top straddling the person on the bottom, and striking them. He testified he did not see the person on top slamming the person on bottom's body or head into the concrete. He said the recorded calls for help from the other's 9-1-1 calls did not sound the same as the cries for help he heard. On cross-examination he stated that he could not be sure that additional hitting or head pounding was not happening, he just did not see well enough to say that it did happen. Using photographs of Zimmerman and Martin from that night, he identified Martin as the person on top, and Zimmerman as the person on the bottom. Defense attorney West had Good go over a sketch of the scene and positions of the participants that he had made shortly after the incident. Between the time Good was initially outside, and when his 9-1-1 call began, he went upstairs and down a hallway to get his phone, at which time he looked out a window and saw Martin's body on the ground. Good stated that in his opinion it was Zimmerman's voice screaming for help.[108][109][110][111][112][113]
Johnathan Manalo, husband of Jeannee Manalo also was called to testify. He said he did not look or go outside until after the gunshot, but heard some noises and the gunshot. Manalo went outside with a flashlight. When he went outside, he saw Zimmerman, who walked towards him. At that time Manalo said that Zimmerman was holding his cell phone to his ear, and blood was running from his nose and head. Manalo took several cell phone photos of Zimmerman, and Martin, and some pieces of evidence. Manalo said that Zimmerman looked like he had been in a fight, and that he did not see a gun. Later when police arrived, Manalo said that the officer handcuffed Zimmerman for safety, and Zimmerman asked Manalo to call his wife. Zimmerman gave Manalo his wife's phone number so he could call. The officer asked Zimmerman if he was armed, and Zimmerman indicated his gun was in an Inside Waist Band holster (IWB). Manalo did not see any motion or words from Martin. Manalo then got a Walmart bag from his wife for the officer to use in CPR. Manalo described Zimmerman as "calm" and "coherent" In cross-examination, West clarified that Manalo took the photographs on his own initiative. Manalo also testified that after the incident, Zimmerman said "He was beating me up, and I defended myself, and shot him". Manalo said that Zimmerman complied and cooperated with the officers requests after the incident. On redirect, Manalo testified again that Zimmerman was coherent, compliant, and calm, and that he did not have any direct knowledge of if the incident was self-defense or not.

Rachel Jeantel[edit]

Rachel Jeantel, Witness #8, was a friend of Martin's in elementary school, and then again in high school. Jeantel testified that she was on the phone with Martin during the incident and that they were on the phone together while Martin was at the 7-11, but got disconnected and Martin later called her back. Jeantel testified that during the second call, Martin said a man was watching him, but that she did not think it was a "big idea". Jeantel said that Martin described the person watching him as "a creepy ass cracker", and Jeantel told Martin that the man might be a rapist. Jeantel said that Martin told her he was going to try and "lose him" by leaving the mail area and going home, but the man followed him. While Martin was walking, Martin and Jeantel discussed the All-Star game, and Martin said "now the nigger is following me." Jeantel said she advised him to run, but that Martin said he was almost home. She testified that Martin then said, "nigger is behind me" and "what you following me for?" She testified that she heard a voice say "what you doing around here" and then heard a thump, and rolling in the grass. She testified that she also heard Martin say "get off." Jeantel testified that she did not have any further contact with Martin and found out two days later that Martin was dead, from friends and news reports. Jeantel testified that she did not attend the funeral because she did not want to see the body. Jeantel admitted that she lied about her reasons for not attending the wake, because she felt guilty that she was the last person to talk to him. Jeantel also testified that she thinks the voice crying for help on the 911 call was Martin's.
During cross-examination by the defense, West asked Jeantel about the timing of events. Martin was in the 7-11 at 6:23, and Zimmerman's phone call was at 7:09. Defense attorney West asked Jeantel if Martin had discussed what he was doing during the trip from the store to the mail area, or why it took him 42 minutes to travel approximately one mile. Jeantel testified that she did not know. Jeantel testified that she thought the incident that night was "just a fight", and that she did not know how it had broken out. Jeantel testified that she thought she was the last person to be in contact with Martin and did not contact police because "they got the guy", and the authorities would contact her if needed. Jeantel testified that she thought they would call her because that is what happens on the TV showThe First 48. Jeantel testified that Martin's father called her and said that based on Martin's phone records, she was the last person to talk to him. Jeantel said that Martin's father asked her to speak to his attorney, but did not ask her to speak to the police. Martin's mother later sent her a text also asking her to meet with an attorney. Jeantel later testified that she heard a "thump" just before the phone disconnected, and she could not rule out the possibility that Martin had hit Zimmerman. During her testimony, there was debate about what she had said in a previous testimony. West said she said "she couldn't hear Trayvon" during the fight, but Jaentel said she had said "she could hear Trayvon". A recording of the interview was played for the jury for them to make up their minds as to what she said. Jeantel then testified that she was not sure what the "thump" or "rustling" sound was, it could have been wind or clothes, and she did not have context of what "get off" meant as she was not there to see.
Jeantel also testified that she had lied to Martin's mother and the Martin's attorney, Benjamin Crump, when she told them her age was 16. Jeantel said she had lied so she would have an excuse for delaying an interview with Crump. Jeantel's mother later agreed to the meeting, but Jeantel did not really want to meet. Jeantel met with Martin's mother and gave her a letter summarizing a "cleaned up" description of the events that night she was on the phone with Martin. Jeantel was then supposed to have a face-to-face interview with Crump, but instead had a telephone interview at the request of Crump and Martin's mother. She stated that she did not know that the interview would be broadcast or that ABC was present, but was aware that Crump was recording the interview.[106]
During the cross examination of Jeantel, defense attorney West questioned her about some of her answers in previous interviews and depositions. Jeantel had said that Martin turned around and asked "what you following me for," and that she heard either "what you talking about" or "what are you doing here". Also in previous interviews, she had not mentioned that Martin described the person as a "creepy-ass cracker". West further questioned her about why she did not speak to the police, and Jeantel admitted that she knew the police were looking for her, but couldn't contact her because they didn't know her real name. She testified that on April 2, she had her first interview with authorities, or her first interview under oath. She stated that the interview had taken place in the Fulton's home, with Martin's mother, prosecutor de la Rionda, and attorney Natalie Jackson present. She testified that Crump and Fulton had come to Jeantel's friend's apartment to pick her up. She testified that she changed some of her answers during that interview in order to avoid hurting Fulton's feelings, including lying under oath about her reasons for not attending the wake. She also testified that she did not mention Martin saying "get off" during prior interviews, because she was not specifically asked about it. While West was asking about her deposition with de la Rionda, the prosecutor had asked her "If the guy had ever gotten out of the car, " and the transcript had a reply from Jeantel of "You want that too?" Jeantel denied saying that, and after being presented with transcriptions, continued to deny saying it. With the jury not present, she was played a recording of the incident, proving that she had said it. When the jury was brought back, Jeantel admitted to the jury that she indeed had said it.
On redirect, de la Rionda discussed her background, including her difficulties reading and writing, especially in cursive. Jeantel had previously been asked on the stand to read the letter she had written to Fulton, to which Jeantel replied that she did not read cursive. Jeantel stated that she was born and raised in Miami, and learned English, Creole, and Spanish simultaneously, but that she understands English very well. She also stated that people in her community refer to white people as "cracker," and use the word "nigger," and that this is normal behavior, that she personally did not find it offensive. Additionally, she stated that she didn't consider "cracker" to be a racist term. She stated that she did not know if Martin used those words regularly.
Zimmerman’s defense attorney asked her if Martin had perhaps lied to her because he didn’t want her to know if he decided to assault Zimmerman that night. Jeantel testified, "that's real retarded, sir. That’s real retarded to do that, sir. Why on earth– Trayvon did not know."[114]

Motion to Acquit[edit]

After the prosecution rested its case, the defense made a motion to acquit, arguing that the prosecution had not provided sufficient evidence to prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt. After hearing arguments from both sides, the motion was denied by the judge.[115]

Defense's case[edit]

Defense's witnesses' testimony[edit]

On Friday, July 5, the defense began presenting their case to the jury.[116][117]The first defense witness to take the stand was Zimmerman's mother, Gladys Zimmerman. After listening to the 911 call, O'Mara asked her whose voice was in the background, She testified "That's my son, George." She also stated, "That way he is screaming, it describes to me anguish, fear. I would say terror." On cross examination, Bernie de la Rionda asked Zimmerman's mother if she had ever heard her son screaming before. She testified "Not for help" but was "sure that is George's voice."[118][117]
Sondra Osterman, wife of Zimmerman’s friend Mark Osterman, testified that the voice screaming for help on the 911 tape was “definitely” that of Zimmerman. She stated, “Yes, definitely, it’s Georgie, I hear it, I hear him screaming.”[119]Osterman also said that she had known Zimmerman since 2006, when they worked together at a mortgage company. When questioned about her husband's book that he wrote about the shooting, she stated that it had not affected her testimony in the case. She testified that “I wouldn’t lie for him or for anybody.” She also testified she did not think Zimmerman's use of an expletive on the 911 call indicated any ill-will or hatred on his behalf. She stated, "I don't think he was angry."[119]
Mark Osterman, a friend of Zimmerman and federal air marshal, testified that he heard Zimmerman screaming in the background of the 911 call. He stated, “It sounded like George.” He also testified that he had discussed gun safety with Zimmerman and took him to a gun range. Osterman said that Zimmerman was “very safe all the time” with his handgun. When questioned about the gun Zimmerman owned,[Note 3] Osterman stated, “It’s a reliable firearm,” and also said that he had recommended to Zimmerman that he keep a round chambered in the weapon. During cross-examination by Bernie de la Rionda, Osterman said he was unsure how many copies his book has sold and stated that all proceeds would go for Zimmerman.[119][121]
Geri Russo, a friend of Zimmermans who had previously worked with him, testified that it was Zimmerman screaming for help on the 911 tape. She testified, “I recognize his voice, I’ve heard him speak many times, I have no doubt in my mind that’s his voice.”[119]
Friends of Zimmerman, Leanne Benjamin and John Donnelly, who are husband and wife, testifed separately that it was Zimmerman screaming for help on the 911 tape. Benjamin testifed that she had formerly worked with him and stated, “I know his voice, I know what his voice sounds like when he gets excited or loud.” Donnelly testifed that he had found it "distressing" to listen to the 911 tape and said “There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that is George Zimmerman and I wish to God I didn’t have the ability to understand that.”[119]Donnelly also testified that he contributed money to Zimmermna's defense fund and purchased some suits for Zimmerman to wear at his trial.[119][121]
Zimmerman's uncle, Jorge Meza, employed by the Orange County Sheriff's Office, testfied that he's known Zimmerman since "Oct. 5, 1983. The day he was born." Meza said he had been working on his computer last year when he heard Zimmerman's voice being broadcast on a news report that his wife was watching on television. Meza testified he instantly recognized the voice, and said he hadn't been watching the television news report with his wife, and that she had not told him it was about his nephew. Meza testified about the voice he had heard, saying that; "It is the unique way you recognize your family member when they laugh, when they cry, this was the moment I recognized it was George screaming for help. That voice just came and hit me." He also testified that "It hit me the way I heard that, but more than heard that, I felt it inside of my heart. I said, That's George."[122]
Adam Pollock, owner of a kickboxing gym where Zimmerman had previously trained, testified that Zimmerman was "grossly obese," and not atheltic at all. Pollock also testified that "He was an overweight, large man when he came to us, a very pleasant, very nice man, but physically soft and predominantly fat, not a lot of muscle, not a lot of strength." He also testified that Zimmerman came to the gym to lose weight and get in shape.[119]Pollock was asked to demonstrate for the jury what the mixed-martial arts fighting method known as "ground and pound" was, and showed the jury by straddling O'Mara on the floor of the courtroom.[123]
Olivia Bertalan, a former neighbor of Zimmerman's from The Retreat at Twin Lakes, testifed that she was the victim of a home invasion in the gated community. Bertalan said that she hid in her son's bedroom as two teenagers broke into her home.[124][125]After the robbery, she said that Zimmerman had came over to her house and offered her a lock for her sliding glass door. Bertalan also testified that Zimmerman told her that she could go spend time with his wife if she felt too scared to be home alone during the day. She estimated that she had discussed the robbery with Zimmerman about 20 times after it happened.[125]

Testimony about 911 call played for Martin's father and family members[edit]

Chris Serino testified that Martin's father, Tracy Martin, indicated to him the voice heard screaming in the 911 call did not sound like his son's. Serino testified that he played the 911call for Tracy Martin in the Sanford Police Department a few days after February 26, 2012. Serino said that after Martin listened to the call, he became "emotional." Serino also testified that he asked Martin whether or not the voice screaming on the 911 call sounded like his son's. He said Martin's response was more of a "verbal and a non-verbal," and that "He looked away and under his breath, as I interpreted it, said no." During cross examination, Bernie de la Rionda suggested to Serino that Tracy Martin may have been in denial about his son's death and that's why he uttered "no." Serino responded, "It could be perceived as denial."[123]
Doris Singleton, who was a witness to the meeting at the police station between Serino and Tracy Martin testified, "I don't know his exact words, but Tracy Martin was telling Chris it was not his son's voice. He was very upset, he was very sad, he hung his head, he cried." Singleton also testified that she became "choked up" while watching Martin listen to the tape.[123]
Tracy Martin testified that during his meeting with Serino to listen to the 911 call, he never told him he didn't recognize his son's voice. Martin testified that he was unsure and said "I can't tell." Martin said that after he had listened to the 911 call at least 20 times at the Sanford mayor's office, he was sure it was his son's voice.[126]
Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte, testified about inviting the family of Trayvon Martin to listen to the 911 call prior to the call being released to the public and media. Bonaparte said the mayor was also present for the meeting at city hall and law enforcement officials were requested not to attend. Bonaparte also testified he played the 911 tapes as a courtesy for the Martin family before they were released publicly. Bonaparte said that during the playing of the tape that none of the family members' reactions were recorded.[127][128]
Bill Lee, former Sanford police chief, testified that he recommended the tape of the 911 call be played for Martin's family individually, rather than in a group, to avoid any improper influences. Lee said that he had offered to be in the room when the 911 tape was played, but the city manager declined to have him or other police officials present. Lee stated that it was rare for the mayor and city manager to become involved in police investigations. The former police chief also tesitfied "the evidence in testimony gave us an indication who was screaming on the tape."[126][129]

Expert witness testimony[edit]

Dr. Vincent Di Maio, a forensic pathologist and gunshot wound expert, testified that Martin's gunshot wound was consistent with Zimmerman's story that Martin was on top of him and leaning over him when he was shot.[130][131] The gunshot evidence indicated that Martin's clothing was from two to four inches from his body when he was shot, Di Maio said, "If you lean over someone, you notice the clothing tends to fall away from the chest, if instead you're lying on your back and someone shoots you, the clothing is going to be against your chest."[130]Di Maio said he had examined photographs and the autopsy and toxicology reports and concluded that the evidence was consistent with Zimmerman's statements to police.[131] Di Maio testified the path of the bullet ran from Martin's left side through part of his heart and into a portion of the right lung. Di Maio stated, "The medical consistent with his [Zimmerman's] statement." [131] Di Maio also testified that Zimmerman had at least six injuries from the struggle: two head lacerations, two wounds to his temples and wounds on his nose and forehead. Di Maio said those injuries were consistent with Zimmerman having his head banged into a sidewalk, and that such injuries can be dangerous. Di Maio stated it's possible to receive trauma without visible wounds, testifying that, "You can get severe trauma to the head without external injuries, actually." Di Maio said Zimmerman's nose may have been fractured, which was consistent with Zimmerman being punched in the nose.[130][132]
The pathologist testified that Martin lived no more than three minutes after the shooting and probably was conscious for at least 10 to 15 seconds. Di Maio said that someone may be able to move their arms after receiving a similar gunshot.[130][132]
Di Maio also testified that if clothes taken into evidence are wet and packaged in plastic bags, and not paper bags, it can ruin the samples since "bacteria multiplies and you get mold and it stinks to high heaven."[130][132]
Dennis Root, a former police officer with training in firearms and self-defense and an use-of-force expert, testified the fight between Zimmerman and Martin went on for some 40 seconds and was marked by a high level of fear and anxiety. Root said "That's a very long time to be involved in any type of physical altercation.," Root further stated that "If you have not successfully completed the fight, if you have not won the fight in 30 seconds, change tactics, because the tactics you are using are not working." [133]

Defense rests its case[edit]

Zimmerman's defense offered their last witness, Zimmerman's father, Robert Zimmerman, who testified that he believes it was his son who was screaming on the 911 tape. George Zimmerman was then questioned by the judge about testifying in his own defense and he stated "After consulting with counsel, not to testify, your honor." The defense rested its case on Wednesday, July 10.[133]

Second Motion to Acquit[edit]

After the defense rested, a second motion for acquittal was made, with the defense asking the state to provide their narrative of the event, which precluded a self defense situation. The judge ruled that there was sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to the jury.


  1. ^ Audio technicians Tom Owen and Edward Primeau concluded that the screams were not Zimmerman's.[52] James Ryan and Alan Reich, independent experts retained by The Washington Post, varied in their interpretations of the audio on the phone recordings.[56]
  2. ^ See Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Laboratory Report, March 26, 2012.
  3. ^ At the time of the incident, Zimmerman owned a black Kel-Tec PF-9, 9mm semi-automatic pistol.[120]


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  3. a b "Zimmerman charged with second-degree murder". CNN. April 11, 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2012.
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  10. ^ "Wolfinger 'outraged' over allegations in letter from Trayvon Martin's parents". Retrieved April 21, 2012.
  11. ^ Lee, Trymaine (March 22, 2012). "Trayvon Martin Case: State Attorney Quits Investigation As State Studies 'Stand Your Ground' Law"Huffington Post. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  12. ^ Dimond, Diane (12 Apr 2012). "Mark O'Mara: George Zimmerman's New Lawyer"The Daily Beast. The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC. Retrieved 2012-07-29.
  13. ^ "Affidavit says Zimmerman 'profiled' Martin, p. 4". CNN. April 12, 2012.
  14. ^ Stutzman, Rene; Jeff Weiner (31 May 2012). "George Zimmerman's legal team adds murder specialist Don West".Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Interactive, Inc). Retrieved 2012-10-19.
  15. ^ Weiner, Jeff, Stutzman, Rene (August 29, 2012). "Appeal court: Lester is out"Orlando Sentinel.
  16. a b "Appeals court grants George Zimmerman new judge". WFTV Channel 9 Orlando. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
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External links[edit]