George Zimmerman defense releases bloody face photo in Trayvon Martin’s killing case

March 20, 2012

Government/Politics, Laws

Updated: December 3, 2012

George Zimmerman defense releases bloody face photo

Photo from night of Trayvon Martin shooting shows Zimmerman’s face bloodied.

By Jeff Weiner, Orlando Sentinel George Zimmerman’s defense team on Monday released a higher-quality, color version of a bloody photo of Zimmerman’s face taken the night he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The photo isn’t new — a grainy, black-and-white copy was released months ago — but it’s a higher quality version of the image than has previously been available.

It shows Zimmerman’s face bloodied and his nose swollen. In the photo, he is sitting in the back of a Sanford police cruiser.

The image, which was among the latest batch of evidence turned over to the defense by prosecutors, was posted to the Zimmerman legal team’s blog.

The defense says it intends to publish the rest of the new evidence “as soon as we are sure it has been properly redacted.” Meanwhile, the defense also posted a new motion asking for Circuit Judge Debra Nelson’s permission to re-depose a police witness, Investigator William Erwin.

The defense wasn’t told before deposing Erwin the first time that he had been present when police played a 911 recording of the shooting for Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, according to the new motion.

The 911 call was made by a neighbor who heard the struggle which proceeded the shooting. Tracy Martin, according to Sanford police, said that the voice heard crying in the audio was not that of his son.

However, the elder Martin has disputed the police account of his remarks, and he and the teenager’s mother say they believe the cries for help were in fact Trayvon’s.

Zimmerman faces a second-degree murder charge in the Miami Gardens teen’s Feb. 26 shooting in Sanford. Prosecutors say he profiled and pursued Trayvon.

Zimmerman says he fired in self-defense, after Trayvon attacked and beat him. The case drew international outrage after police declined to arrest Zimmerman, citing his self-defense claim.

He was later charged by Special Prosecutor Angela Corey, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott amid growing outcry.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/trayvon-martin/os-george-zimmerman-new-photo-bloody-20121203,0,5139117.story

George Zimmerman 1

George Zimmerman

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Audio: George Zimmerman 911 call reporting Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin’s Girlfriend Speaks

ABC News

President Obama’s official statement

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Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who signed the self-defense law, says ‘stand your ground’ invalid in Trayvon Martin case

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday that the “stand your ground” self-defense law he signed while in office should not apply to the case of a teenager who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in his home state.

“This law does not apply to this particular circumstance,” Bush said after an education panel discussion at the University of Texas at Arlington. “Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn’t mean chase after somebody who’s turned their back.”

He was referring to last month’s incident in which 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was pursued by the volunteer and fatally shot in a scuffle.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/arlington/headlines/20120323-in-arlington-jeb-bush-says-stand-your-ground-invalid-in-trayvon-martin-case.ece

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Lead homicide detective wanted Zimmerman charged the night he shot unarmed youth Trayvon Martin
SANFORD, Fla., March 27 (UPI) -Florida prosecutors overruled a police detective’s recommendation to charge George Zimmerman with manslaughter in the death Trayvon Martin, ABC News reported.

Chris Serino, the lead homicide detective on the case, recommended charging Zimmerman the night the neighborhood watch volunteer shot and killed Martin, an unarmed teenager, in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., ABC reported Tuesday, citing sources it did not name. The network said Serino was instructed not to charge Zimmerman after the office of Brevard and Seminole county prosecutor Norman Wolfinger concluded there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the case.

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UPDATE:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Zimmerman’s attorneys announced they have “lost contact” with Zimmerman and are withdrawing as counsel

By KYLE HIGHTOWER
The Associated Press

SANFORD, Fla. — Two attorneys for the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin said Tuesday that they have withdrawn as his counsel because they haven’t heard from him in days and he is taking actions related to the case without consulting them.

Attorney Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig said at a news conference they haven’t heard from George Zimmerman since Sunday. They said that against their advice, Zimmerman contacted the special prosecutor who will decide if he should face charges. A spokeswoman for Angela Corey’s office didn’t immediately respond to an email and two phone calls.
Ben Crump, an attorney for Martin’s family, said they’re concerned that Zimmerman could be a flight risk if he is charged with a crime since his now-former attorneys don’t know how to contact him.

“At this point, we’re just concerned that nobody knows where he is at. Nobody knows how to get to him,” Crump said.

Zimmerman set up a website therealgeorgezimmerman.com to collect money from his supporters, but the attorneys didn’t know about it until they started getting questions from the media, Sonner said.

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Zimmerman’s attorneys withdraw from representing him (Press Conference)

Updated April 11, 2011: George Zimmerman has been taken into custody and will be charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin

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Update: May 22, 2012

Several George Zimmerman witnesses change their accounts

By Rene Stutzman and Jeff Weiner
Orlando Sentinel

Evidence released last week in the second-degree-murder case against George Zimmerman shows four key witnesses made major changes in what they say they saw and heard the night he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford.

Three changed their stories in ways that may damage Zimmerman. A fourth abandoned her initial story, that she saw one person chasing another. Now, she says, she saw a single figure running.

They were reinterviewed in mid-March, after Sanford police handed the case off to State Attorney Norm Wolfinger. The case changed hands again when Gov. Rick Scott passed it on to a special prosecutor. Zimmerman was arrested April 11 on a charge of second-degree murder.

Here are the key ways in which their stories changed.

Witness 2

A young woman who lives in the Retreat at Twin Lakes community, where Trayvon was shot, was interviewed twice by Sanford police and once by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

She told authorities that she had taken out her contact lenses just before the incident. In her first recorded interview with Sanford police four days after the shooting, she told lead Investigator Chris Serino, “I saw two guys running. Couldn’t tell you who was in front, who was behind.”

She stepped away from her window, and when she looked again, she “saw a fistfight. Just fists. I don’t know who was hitting who.”

A week later, she added a detail when talking again to Serino: During the chase, the two figures had been 10 feet apart.

That all changed when she was reinterviewed March 20 by an FDLE agent. That time, she recalled catching a glimpse of just one running figure, she told FDLE Investigator John Batchelor, and she heard the person more than saw him.

“I couldn’t tell you if it was a man, a woman, a kid, black or white. I couldn’t tell you because it was dark and because I didn’t have my contacts on or glasses. … I just know I saw a person out there.”

Witness 12

A young mother who is also a neighbor in the town-home community never gave a recorded interview to Sanford police, according to prosecution records released last week. She first sat down for an audio-recorded interview with an FDLE agent March 20, more than three weeks after the shooting.

During that session, she said she saw two people on the ground immediately after the shooting and was not sure who was on top, Zimmerman or Trayvon.

“I don’t know which one. … All I saw when they were on the ground was dark colors,” she said.

Six days later, however, she was sure: It was Zimmerman on top, she told trial prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda during a 21/2-minute recorded session.

“I know after seeing the TV of what’s happening, comparing their sizes, I think Zimmerman was definitely on top because of his size,” she said.

Witness 6

This witness lived a few feet from where Trayvon and Zimmerman had their fight. On the night of the shooting, he told Serino he saw a black man on top of a lighter-skinned man “just throwing down blows on the guy, MMA-style,” a reference to mixed martial arts.

He also said the one calling for help was “the one being beat up,” a reference to Zimmerman.

But three weeks later, when he was interviewed by an FDLE agent, the man said he was no longer sure which one called for help.

“I truly can’t tell who, after thinking about it, was yelling for help just because it was so dark out on that sidewalk,” he said.

He also said he was no longer sure Trayvon was throwing punches. The teenager may have simply been keeping Zimmerman pinned to the ground, he said.

He did not equivocate, though, about who was on top.

“The black guy was on top,” he said.

Witness 13

He is important because he talked with Zimmerman and watched the way he behaved immediately after the shooting, before police arrived.

After this neighbor heard gunfire, he went outside and spotted Zimmerman standing there with”blood on the back of his head,” he told Sanford police the night of the shooting.

Zimmerman told him that Trayvon “was beating up on me, so I had to shoot him,” the witness told Serino. The Neighborhood Watch captain then asked the witness to call his wife, Shellie Zimmerman, and tell her what happened.

In two subsequent interviews about a month later — one with an FDLE investigator and one with de la Rionda — the witness described Zimmerman’s demeanor in greater detail, adding that he spoke as if the shooting were no big deal.

Zimmerman’s tone, the witness said, was “not like ‘I can’t believe I just shot someone!’ — it was more like, ‘Just tell my wife I shot somebody …,’ like it was nothing.”

Those witnesses are likely to be interviewed at least once more before Zimmerman’s trial. Defense attorneys in Florida routinely question witnesses under oath as they prepare for trial.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-05-22/news/os-george-zimmerman-key-witnesses-20120522_1_witnesses-change-shooting-fdle-agent

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Update: June 1, 2012
Zimmerman must surrender; bond revoked
By Kyle Hightower
Associated Press
SANFORD, Fla. — A judge on Friday revoked the bond of the neighborhood watch volunteer charged with murdering Trayvon Martin and ordered him returned to jail within 48 hours, saying George Zimmerman and his wife misled the court about how much money they had available when his bond was set at $150,000.
Prosecutors claim Zimmerman had $135,000 available that had been raised by a website he set up. Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie, testified at the bond hearing in April that they had limited funds available since she was a nursing student and Zimmerman wasn’t working.
“He can’t sit back and obtain the benefit of a lower bond based upon those material falsehoods,” said Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester when he made his ruling.
Defense attorney Mark O’Mara said the fact that Zimmerman and his wife never used the money for anything indicated “there was no deceit.” Since his release in late April, Zimmerman has been staying at an undisclosed location for his safety.
Prosecutor Bernie De la Rionda described the Zimmermans’ testimony as “misleading.”
“This court was led to believe they didn’t have a single penny,” said De la Rionda. “It was misleading and I don’t know what words to use other than it was a blatant lie.”
The judge said he would schedule a hearing after Zimmerman is back in custody so the neighborhood watch leader could explain himself.
Zimmerman is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder and claims self-defense. Zimmerman shot Martin in February during a confrontation at a gated community of townhouses in Sanford, Fla., where Zimmerman lived and where the 17-year-old Martin was visiting his father’s fiancee.
Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Trayvon Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, said his clients have always said Zimmerman should remain in jail until trial, which O’Mara said he believed wouldn’t be until next year.
Crump was asked if he thought that if Zimmerman would be willing to lie about his finances that he would be willing to lie about what happen the night Martin was killed.
“We fully expect that the special prosecutor will make George Zimmerman’s credibility be front and center in this entire case,” Crump said. “And whatever dishonesty that comes forth by George Zimmerman that they can prove, you can best believe it will be the issue of this case and rightfully so.”
Prosecutors also said Zimmerman had failed to surrender a second passport, but Lester dismissed that concern as the equivalent of someone who has lost a driver’s license, applies for a new one and then finds the old driver’s license.
The delay in an arrest for 44 days prompted protests nationwide and led to Sanford’s police chief stepping aside so emotions could cool down.
At Friday’s court hearing, De la Rionda and O’Mara also asked a judge to stop the public release of witness names and statements made by Zimmerman to police officers. Those documents normally are part of the public record under Florida law, and the judge agreed.
Lester said he would order the release of the documents once he has reviewed them and redacted items that aren’t subject to disclosure under the state’s public records law.
The prosecutor had argued that the case would be tried in the public arena rather than the courtroom if the documents were made public.
“We are in a new age with Twitter, Facebook, and all these things I’ve never heard of before in my career,” De la Rionda said. “Everybody gets to find out intimate details about witnesses that never occurred before. Witnesses are going to be reluctant to get involved.”
A consortium of more than a dozen media groups, including The Associated Press, asked the judge to ignore the request, saying such records are presumed to be publicly available under Florida law.
Rachel Fugate, an attorney for the Orlando Sentinel, cited the Casey Anthony trial as an example of a highly publicized case in which a jury was able to be seated despite intense media coverage. The Florida mother was acquitted last year of killing her 2-year-old daughter.
“Discovery in Florida has traditionally been open … and Florida hasn’t encountered problems seating juries and giving defendants fair trials,” Fugate said.
O’Mara said Friday on a website that he doesn’t expect the case to be ready for trial until next year.
O’Mara said he expects to call on 50 witnesses who need to be deposed before he decides whether to file a “stand your ground” motion which would ask for a hearing before a judge without a jury. At the hearing, Zimmerman would argue self-defense under the Florida law which gives wide latitude to use deadly force rather than retreat in a fight if people believe they are in danger of being killed or seriously injured.
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George Zimmerman (R) arrives at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility after his bond was revoked by a Florida judge in Sanford, Florida June 3, 2012. Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder in the February 26 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. REUTERS/Brian Blanco

George Zimmerman booked after bail revoked in Trayvon Martin case

Associated Press

MIAMI  — George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer charged with murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin, surrendered to police Sunday and was booked into jail after having his bail revoked two days earlier.

Zimmerman’s legal team said in a tweet that he was in police custody. Zimmerman’s bail was revoked because the judge said he and his wife lied to the court about their finances so he could obtain a lower bond.

On Sunday afternoon, about 40 minutes before the 2:30 p.m. deadline to surrender, Zimmerman was listed as an inmate on the jail website. He was listed as being held without bail and having $500 in his jail account.

Prosecutors had said Zimmerman and his wife told the judge at a bond hearing in April that they had limited money, even though he had raised about $135,000 through a website. Defense attorneys said the matter was a misunderstanding.

Attorney Mark O’Mara announced earlier Sunday on his website that Zimmerman had arrived in Florida late Saturday evening ahead of his surrender. Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of the 17-year-old Martin, was ordered by a judge Friday to return to jail.

During a bond hearing in April, the couple had indicated they had limited funds. But prosecutors say Zimmerman had raised thousands through a website he had set up for his legal defense.

Zimmerman’s legal team said Sunday that they will ask for a new bond hearing to address those concerns, and that they hope Zimmerman’s voluntary surrender will show he is not a flight risk. Furthermore, the money Zimmerman has raised is in an independent trust and cannot be directly accessed by Zimmerman or his attorneys, according to the press release.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder charge. He maintains he shot Martin in self-defense under Florida’s so-called “stand your ground” law because the teen, who was unarmed, was beating him up after confronting Zimmerman about following him in a gated community outside Orlando.

Zimmerman’s credibility could become an issue at trial, legal experts said, noting the case hinges on jurors believing Zimmerman’s account of what happened the night in February that Martin was killed.

Zimmerman wasn’t charged in the case until more than a month after the shooting. Protests were held across the nation, and the case spurred debate about whether race was a factor in Zimmerman’s actions and in the initial police handling of the case. Martin was black; Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is from Peru.

Police in Sanford did not immediately arrest Zimmerman, citing the Florida law that gives wide latitude to use deadly force rather than retreat in a fight if people believe they are in danger of being killed or seriously injured.

Zimmerman was arrested 44 days after the killing.

Prosecutors pointed out in their motion that Zimmerman had $135,000 available when the bond hearing was held in April. It had been raised from donations through a website he had set up. They suggested more has been collected since and deposited in a bank account.

Shellie Zimmerman was asked about the website at the hearing, but she said she didn’t know how much money had been raised. Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester set bail at $150,000. The 28-year-old was freed a few days later after posting $15,000 in cash — which is typical.

Prosecutor Bernie De la Rionda complained Friday, “This court was led to believe they didn’t have a single penny. It was misleading and I don’t know what words to use other than it was a blatant lie.” The judge agreed and ordered Zimmerman returned to jail by Sunday afternoon.

The defense countered that Zimmerman and his wife never used the money for anything, which indicated “there was no deceit.”

The judge said he would schedule a hearing after Zimmerman is back in custody so he could explain himself.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Trayvon Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, said his clients have always said Zimmerman should remain in jail until trial.

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Update: June 12, 2012

George Zimmerman’s wife arrested on perjury charge

By MATT GUTMAN and SENI TIENABESO | ABC News

The wife of George Zimmerman, the Florida man charged with second-degree murder for the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was arrested today and charged with perjury.

Seminole County sheriffs picked up Shellie Zimmerman at the home where she was in hiding on one count of perjury, the latest fallout from a series of taped conversations that landed her husband back behind bars a week and a half ago.

It took a little more than an hour for Mrs. Zimmerman, 25, to pay the $1,000 bond after prosecutors filed a warrant contending that she “knowingly made a false statement” during her husband’s initial bond hearing on April 20.

On April 9, George Zimmerman had launched the website therealgeorgezimmerman.com and within weeks received more than $200,000 in donations to help with his legal expenses. But during the bond hearing on April 20, Zimmerman’s wife testified that the couple was financially indigent.

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Update June 21, 2012

Video 1: George Zimmerman Reenacts Shooting of Treyvon Martin for Police at Crime Scene

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Video 2:

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Video : George Zimmerman’s Sanford Police interview (February 27, 2012)

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

George Zimmerman gave multiple interviews to police in the days after the shooting

By Frances Robles and Marc Caputo
The Miami Herald

Three days after George Zimmerman killed an unarmed teenager and went home free, he had a predicament: The lead detectives investigating the shooting seemed to no longer believe his story.
Sanford Police Det. Chris Serino told Zimmerman in a series of interviews that day that he was a “good guy,” but that there were holes in his story, including minor injuries that did not match the beating he said he received at the hands of a “child” who carried candy.
Zimmerman repeatedly told police that Trayvon Martin sucker-punched him, tried to suffocate him and bashed his head into the concrete to the point it felt his “head was going to explode.” He said Trayvon tried to take his gun from him before saying: “You’re going to die tonight, motherf—–.”
But Serino wondered why Zimmerman’s skull wasn’t fractured, why he didn’t know the street names of a tiny neighborhood where he’d lived for three years and why he had no defensive wounds on his hands. Serino got him to acknowledge what Trayvon’s parents and lawyers have said all along: that Zimmerman got out of his car that night not so much to check for an address to give police, but to find out where the teen went.
“That was a kid with a future, a kid with folks that care. Not a goon,” Serino said. “In his mind’s eye, he perceived you as a threat. He has every right to defend himself.”
Tapes released Thursday of questioning between Zimmerman and Sanford police underscore a sharp contrast between the public statements made by the Sanford Police Department the weeks following Trayvon’s killing and the conversations that went on internally. They offer the first glimpse of a man who told detectives that he takes medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and who at one point became the most controversial man in America. The interrogations also reveal that detectives were troubled by a man with a history of inserting himself into law enforcement matters who did not have the training to determine what a “suspicious” person should look like.
Zimmerman detailed a harrowing night when he said a stranger accosted him for no reason and allegedly threatened to kill him. At least twice witnesses failed to come to his aid. One of the first things Zimmerman said to Det. Doris Singleton: The bad guys always get away.
Hinting that Zimmerman had left something out of his account, Serino asked over and over why Trayvon would have been so enraged as to deck a perfect stranger. Zimmerman, he suggested, had chased him.
“You wanted to catch him. You wanted to catch the bad guy, the f—–g punk who can’t get away,” Serino said, referring to words Zimmerman used on his call to police.
At one point, Zimmerman answered: “I wasn’t following him; I was just going in the same direction he was.”
Serino retorted: “That’s following.”
Zimmerman is facing a second-degree murder charge for the killing. The arrest came six weeks after the shooting and a short time after a widely criticized investigation was handed over to other agencies. Despite Serino’s misgivings — and the detective’s recommendation that Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter — Sanford Police publicly stated that there was no probable cause to make an arrest, so the politically charged case was handed over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

See full article:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/21/2860569/zimmerman-told-police-trayvon.html

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Update: September 19, 2012

George Zimmerman’s DNA, not Trayvon Martin’s, found on gun

By Michael Muskal The Los Angeles Times

Only DNA from George Zimmerman was found on the grip of the gun that was used in the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, according to DNA test results released Wednesday. The test results were in the latest batch of discovery material released by officials in the notorious murder case, which has become a national flashpoint in race relations and gun laws. Zimmerman, 28, is free on bail awaiting trial on charges of second-degree murder in the killing of Martin, an African American teenager, who was shot to death in a confrontation at a gated community in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26.

The tests on the gun and the holster were performed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. They found Zimmerman’s DNA on the gun but could not find any of Martin’s. No determination could be made as to whether Martin’s DNA was on the holster.

Zimmerman has acknowledged shooting Martin, but insists he acted in self-defense in the wake of a confrontation that left him injured.

The DNA findings could play a role in the trial, allowing the prosecution to argue against self-defense since it now seems that Martin never touched the weapon. The defense could counter that Zimmerman shot before Martin could get to the gun.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-zimmerman-prosecution-dna-evidence-20120919,0,120380.story

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One Comment on “George Zimmerman defense releases bloody face photo in Trayvon Martin’s killing case”

  1. Coker Says:

    I am a mother and memebr of a club I would never ever sign up for, My daughter was murdered 12 years ago, and I must say this breaks my heart. I also new a young girl who was murdered for this same so called resason * being black and acting a certain way based on their lack of understanding an acceptance that you have bad people no matter what race* in Los Angeles CA approx, 20 years ago. No matter how much the government attempt to cover up the injustice against different races in our own country yet racing to other countries to fix their problems it is a BIG PROBLEM. My heart goes out to his parents and Not just Stanford, FL but the USA needs to realize that this is a epidemic and it will not stop until we treat the fears of people who have been victimized by any race. What happened to Judicial Process, Mr. Zimmerman must be held accountable for his dishearted actions and acting on RAW Emotions of the pass experiences in his neighborhood.. Real Live 2012 Racisim !!!!!!!

    Reply

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