- Category: News
25 Jun 2013
- Written by Amanda Sloane and Graham Winch/HLNTV.com
(CNN) – Prosecutors in the George Zimmerman trial walked jurors through several pieces of evidence on Tuesday, including photos of Trayvon Martin's dead body.
Martin's father, Tracy, left the courtroom as the photos were displayed. Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, remained seated but avoided looking at the images. She eventually left the courtroom as well. Zimmerman looked down as a close-up of Martin's face flashed on screen.
Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, is charged with second-degree murder for shooting 17-year-old Martin on February 26, 2012. He told police he was pursuing the teenager because there had been a rash of crime in the area. A conflict ensued, and Zimmerman said he was forced to kill Martin in self-defense.
Prosecutor John Guy had a crime-scene technician show jurors the gun Zimmerman used to shoot Martin. The technician, Diana Smith, also showed them the soft drink and Skittles candy that Martin bought that night at a convenience store, along with photos of Zimmerman's head, hands and clothing taken after he arrived at the police station.
The defense used the photos as an opportunity to walk jurors through each of Zimmerman's injuries.
"You see the lumping? You see the lumps around the abrasions and in general on the back of his head?" asked defense attorney Don West.
He pointed out lumps all over Zimmerman's head, cuts on the back of the head and blood behind one of Zimmerman's ears. West said in opening statements that Martin used the concrete sidewalk as a "deadly weapon" against Zimmerman.
Anthony Raimondo, a police patrol sergeant who was one of the first to arrive on the scene, said he broke standard operating procedures by giving Martin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation without a protective mask. He said he considered the situation to be an "extraordinary circumstance."
Raimondo also described how he lifted Martin's body to find the exit wound on the teen's back. He said he asked bystanders for a plastic bag to help seal the wound. When more responders arrived later, they pronounced Martin dead. Raimondo said he was the one to cover Martin's body with a blanket.
Selene Bahadoor, a resident of Zimmerman's gated community, testified that she looked out her kitchen window that night after hearing noise.
"It was not clearly distinguishable but it sounded like, 'No' or 'Uhhh'," said Bahadoor. She also heard "something hitting the concrete, it sounded like running."
She said the view from the kitchen window was blocked, so she moved to the sliding glass doors at the back of her house.
"I saw what looked as figures and arms flailing," said Bahadoor. She added that it was too dark for her to identify the individuals or to clearly see what position they were in.
Bahadoor said a neighbor offered to call police and she went back inside to turn off her stove. That's when she heard the gunshot.
Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asked her what she saw upon her return to the glass doors.
"It was just a body in the grass," said Bahadoor. "I remember it being face down."
Wendy Dorival, who was a volunteer program manager for the Sanford, Florida, police department in 2012, coordinated and helped start the neighborhood watch programs in Zimmerman's community.
Dorival said she worked closely with Zimmerman, because he helped organize the program for his neighborhood. She told him a neighborhood watch volunteer should act as the "eyes and ears" of the police – but not like a vigilante.
"If you see a car driving around in circles, and you don't recognize the car in your community, that might be suspicious." said Dorival. "If people are walking around in areas that not typically walked on, that could be suspicious."
Earlier in the morning, Judge Debra Nelson heard arguments on whether the jury should hear about other times when Zimmerman reported suspicious people in his neighborhood, the Retreat at Twin Lakes.
Prosecutor Rich Mantei said Zimmerman's prior phone calls reporting suspicious people in the neighborhood is relevant to the case, because it helps prove motive by showing his "building level of frustration."
Zimmerman's defense disagreed. "They are going to be asking this jury to make a quantum leap from good responsible citizen behavior to seething anger," said defense attorney Mark O'Mara.
The judge has yet to make a ruling on the matter.
Testimony in the trial will resume at 9 a.m. ET on Wednesday.