Amid Evidence Cache in Martin Case, Questions Nag - SLIDE SHOW

By: CNN, CBS News; Mike Vasilinda Email
By: CNN, CBS News; Mike Vasilinda Email

Amid Evidence Cache in Martin Case, Questions Nag
by Allen G. Breed, Kyle Hightower, and Tamara Lush

Orlando, FL (AP) - May 18, 2012 --

Prosecutors in the Trayvon Martin case dumped a mountain of evidence on the public this week. In many criminal cases, that would bring clarity, start answering the basic questions.

But no one - not pundits, attorneys or the public - can safely say we're even close to knowing exactly how and why neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed the 17-year-old in the black hoodie.

So many aspects of the Feb. 26 altercation and shooting in Sanford remain muddy. Who threw the first punch? Why did Zimmerman leave his car?

This cache of recordings, photos and statements is far from all the evidence. But it suggests there are answers we may never truly get.

"I can't comment on, you know, what George saw or what George was thinking," the suspect's father, Robert, told investigators in a March 19 interview included in Thursday's release. "Or what anybody saw or what they were thinking."

In some states, "discovery" like this isn't released prior to trial - unless it's by a defense team hoping to score points in the court of public opinion. That is what happened during the infamous 2006 Duke University lacrosse rape case, in which North Carolina officials ultimately determined that the local prosecutor rushed to judgment in charging three students with raping a stripper.

In Florida, evidence is generally considered a public record once the prosecution turns it over to the defense. Among the things prosecutors are prohibited from releasing pretrial: Confessions.

Zimmerman gave several interviews to police, including re-enacting at the scene what he says happened that night. But there is no statement from the 28-year-old shooter among the materials made public this week.

His only public comment so far came during his detention hearing last month, when he apologized to Martin's parents - but stopped short of admitting any crime.

Tamara Lave, a University of Miami law professor, says all this release does is to remind us how malleable "facts" can be.

"I think we always want evidence to be like we're Moses climbing the temple mountain: You read it and get all the questions answered," says Lave, who worked a decade as a public defender before entering academia. "I think people are really getting to find out how gray evidence really is."

Perhaps the biggest revelation was the release of photographs showing Zimmerman with two black eyes, a swollen nose and multiple lacerations on the back of his close-cropped head.

Zimmerman's lawyers have maintained their client was simply doing his duty when he noticed a stranger in the neighborhood and began following him. They say Martin was the aggressor, knocking Zimmerman to the ground, then pummeling him with his fists.

When Zimmerman pulled his 9 mm pistol and fired directly into the boy's chest, the defense says, he was within his rights under Florida's "stand your ground law." Under that law, people are given wide latitude to use deadly force rather than retreat in a fight if they believe they are in danger of being killed or seriously injured, if they weren't committing a crime themselves and if they are in a place they have the legal right to be.

Randy McClean, an Orlando-area defense attorney, has sifted through most of the evidence released thus far. He says it corroborates Zimmerman's story of a struggle that was "at least moderate in nature."

"But we still have the issue out there: Who was the initial aggressor?" McClean said. "The fact that there was a physical altercation, and it appears Martin was getting the better of Zimmerman in the altercation, it does not necessarily excuse Zimmerman's act. Because if he was the initial aggressor, he can't avail himself to the stand your ground law."

To Martin's family, none of that matters. Zimmerman shouldn't have been following their son in the first place, especially after a dispatcher told him to stand down.

But, as Lave notes, "You don't lose the right to self-defense because you act idiotic."

Some of the interviews released illustrate just how difficult it may be to reach the truth.

On one of the 911 calls, someone can be heard screaming for help just before the gunshot. When Martin's mother heard that audio, she declared definitively that it was his voice; the boy's father told an investigator it wasn't Trayvon.

Robert Zimmerman was adamant that the voice on the recording was HIS son's.

The FBI says it performed voice recognition analysis on the recording. Because of the poor audio quality, it was deemed inconclusive.

According to documents released this week, Martin's blood showed traces of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. We knew from earlier reports that he'd been disciplined for smoking pot, and the amounts found in his blood sample suggest he hadn't indulged in the days leading up to the incident, experts told The Associated Press.

Despite all this new evidence, some aren't sure the case will ever go to trial.

Before that can happen, a judge must first schedule a hearing on whether the stand your ground law applies. Zimmerman's attorneys will have to prove his case by a "preponderance of the evidence" - a fairly low bar, jurisprudence-wise. It just means that more likely than not, Zimmerman acted within the law.

"If he prevails, the prosecutor is barred from proceeding criminally," says Lave, "and the Martin family from pursuing him civilly."

She thinks this case will go to trial. Then, she believes, like many, that the testimony of Martin's girlfriend will be pivotal.

The girl, whose name was redacted from the released audio files, spoke with assistant state attorney Bernie De la Rionda on April 2. During the 22-minute interview, she said in a shaking voice that she had been talking with Martin since before he entered a 7-Eleven store to purchase his now famous iced tea and Skittles.

The cell connection was bad, and the couple were repeatedly disconnected. But at one point, Martin told her he noticed a white man sitting in a car, watching him.

"He was telling me, like, that man watching him, he going to start walking and then the phone hung up and I called him back again," the girl said. "And I said, `What you doing? And he said he walking and he said this man still following him."

It was drizzling, and the girl said Martin told her he was putting up his hood.

"I told him go to his dad's house," she said.

Martin told her that he was going to run. She could hear the wind blowing in the phone's speaker.

"He was breathing hard," she said. "(his) voice kinda changed. I know he was scared. (his) voice was getting kinda low."

Suddenly, she heard Martin say, "Why you following me for?"

The girl said she could hear another voice, one she described as deep and belonging to an "old man."

"The old man say, `What you doing around here?'"

She asked Martin repeatedly what was going on, but he didn't respond. She said she heard someone say, "Get off," though she thought it was her boyfriend.

She heard rustling, then nothing. No screaming, no gunshot.

The evidence dump included another interview with the girl, but the audio quality is so poor as to make it almost unintelligible. One thing that did come through: A detective mentioned that the girlfriend called Martin at 7:12 p.m.

When police arrived at the scene at 7:17 p.m., Martin was already shot and on the ground.

"She's the only person, for sure, that is a witness who knows what he (Martin) felt and sounded like in those moments," Lave says of the girlfriend. "All those things can play a role in the outcome of the case."

But there are gaps in the file no one can fill.

Martin can't describe his feelings that evening - whether he was angry, afraid, both.

Zimmerman - who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and is in hiding - could testify to his own state of mind. But would people believe anything he says?

Martin's parents say Zimmerman racially profiled the boy. Some of those who've spoken to police believe it.

"I don't know what happened," one distraught woman, who is not identified, says in one the recordings released this week. "I don't at all know who this kid was or anything else, but I know George. And I know that he does not like black people. He would start something just to start something. He's very confrontational. It's in his blood, we'll just say that."

Zimmerman's supporters say there's not a racist bone in his body.

"I know that George Zimmerman, if several Asians had broken in places there, and he saw an Asian walking around, he'd probably say, `Wait a minute. I recognize most of the people that live here, and I don't recognize that person,'" his father told police in the March 19 interview.

If he consents, police could subject the watchman to a polygraph test. But, even if it was admitted as evidence, you can't depose someone's heart.

For his part, Robert Zimmerman said he felt as if the case and the public storm surrounding it were "an avalanche, and I'm standing at the bottom of it ..."

With luck, the truth in this challenging case won't be buried there, too.

---

Associated Press writer Kelli Kennedy in Miami contributed to this report.

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Documents Shed New Light on Trayvon Martin Killing
by Mike Schneider and Kyle Hightower

Orlando, FL (AP) - May 17, 2012 --

Trayvon Martin was shot through the heart at close range. George Zimmerman had a broken nose, bruises and bloody cuts on the back of his head.

The lead investigator in the case wanted to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter in the weeks after the shooting but was overruled.

These are among the details revealed in nearly 200 pages of documents, photos and audio recordings that were released Thursday in a case that has riveted the nation. Yet it's still unclear what exactly happened and whether it was racially motivated.

The evidence supports Zimmerman's contention that he was being beat up when he fired the fatal shot. At the same time, it bolsters the argument of Martin's parents that Zimmerman was profiling Martin and that the whole confrontation could have been avoided if not for Zimmerman's actions.

Many of the pertinent questions remain unclear: What was in Zimmerman's mind when he began to follow Martin in the gated community where he lived? How did the confrontation between the two begin? Whose screams for help were captured on 911 calls? And why did Zimmerman feel that deadly force was warranted?

Another opportunity for answers isn't likely to come until a hearing later this year in which Zimmerman is expected to claim the shooting was justified under Florida's "stand your ground" law. Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, didn't return a phone call seeking comment Thursday.

The evidence supporting Zimmerman's defense includes a photo showing the neighborhood watch volunteer with a bloody nose on the night of the fight. A paramedic report says Zimmerman had a 1-inch laceration on his head and forehead abrasion.

"Bleeding tenderness to his nose, and a small laceration to the back of his head. All injuries have minor bleeding," paramedic Michael Brandy wrote about Zimmerman's injuries in the report.

Whether Zimmerman was injured in the Feb. 26 altercation with Martin has been a key question. The 28-year-old has claimed self-defense and said he only fired because the unarmed teenager attacked him.

Zimmerman was not arrested for weeks because he invoked Florida's "stand your ground" law, which does not require a person to retreat in the face of a serious threat. He was released on bail and is in hiding while he awaits trial on a second-degree murder charge. He has pleaded not guilty.

Other evidence supports the contention of Martin's parents that Zimmerman was the aggressor.

The investigator who called for Zimmerman's arrest, Christopher Serino, told prosecutors that the fight could have been avoided if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement. He said Zimmerman, after leaving his vehicle, could have identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and talked to him instead of confronting him. The report was written on March 13, nearly a month before Zimmerman's eventual arrest.

He said there is no evidence Martin was involved in any criminal activity as he walked from a convenience store to the home of his father's fiancee in the same gated community where Zimmerman lived.

The lawyer for Martin's parents seized on the investigator's recommendation.

"The police concluded that none of this would have happened if George Zimmerman hadn't gotten out of his car," said attorney Ben Crump. "If George Zimmerman hadn't gotten out of his car, they say it was completely avoidable. That is the headline."

The release of evidence did little to clear up whose voice is screaming for help in the background of several 911 calls made during the fight.

Since first hearing the calls in early March, Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, has been unequivocal in saying that it was her son's voice on the tapes.

But Serino wrote in a report that he played a 911 call for Martin's father, Tracy, in which the screams are heard multiple times.

"I asked Mr. Martin if the voice calling for help was that of his son," the officer wrote. "Mr. Martin, clearly emotionally impacted by the recording, quietly responded `no.'"

Zimmerman's father also told investigators that it was his son yelling for help on March 19.

"That is absolutely positively George Zimmerman," Robert Zimmerman said. "He was not just yelling, he sounded like he was screaming for his life."

Investigators sent all the recordings to the FBI for analysis. They were asked to determine who was screaming, and also if Zimmerman might have used an expletive in describing Martin. Prosecutors said in their charging documents that Zimmerman said "(expletive) punks" in describing Martin as he walked in the neighborhood.

But the analyst who examined the recordings determined the sound quality is too poor to decipher what Zimmerman uttered. In regards to the screams during the altercation, there also wasn't enough clarity to determine who it is "due to extreme stress and unsuitable audio quality."

The trajectory of the bullet - straight through Martin's body - doesn't shed light on whether Zimmerman and Martin were standing or on the ground, said Larry Kobilinsky, a professor of forensic science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

Kobilinsky added he thought the evidence diminished prosecutors' case for second-degree murder.

The case has become a national racial flashpoint because the Martin family and supporters contend Zimmerman singled Martin out because he was black. Zimmerman has a Peruvian mother and a white father.

Two acquaintances painted an unflattering picture of Zimmerman in police interviews.

A distraught woman told an investigator that she stays away from Zimmerman because he's racist and because of things he's done to her in the past, but she didn't elaborate on what happened between them.

"I don't at all know who this kid was or anything else. But I know George, and I know that he does not like black people. He would start something. He's very confrontational. It's in his blood. We'll just say that," the unidentified woman says in an audio recording.

A man whose name was deleted from the audio told investigators said he worked with Zimmerman in 2008 for a few months. It wasn't clear which company it was.

The man, who described his heritage as "Middle Eastern," said that when he first started, many employees didn't like him. Zimmerman seized on this, the employee said, and bullied him.

Zimmerman wanted to "get in" with the clique at work so he exaggerated a Middle Eastern accent when talking about the employee, the man said. The employee told investigators that Zimmerman made reference to terrorists and bombings when talking about him.

"It was so immature," said the employee, who ended up writing a letter to management about Zimmerman.

Zimmerman's parents say he wasn't racist. They say he had mentored black students and had a black relative.

The autopsy says medical examiners found THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, when they tested Martin's blood and urine. The amount described in the autopsy report is such a low level that it would have played no role in Martin's behavior, Kobilinksy said.

"This kind of level can be seen days after somebody smokes," Kobilinsky said. "If it comes up in the case, I would be surprised. It wouldn't benefit the defense, it wouldn't benefit the prosecution, and if the defense tried to bring it up, the judge would keep it out."

A police report shows the 17-year-old had been shot once in the chest and had been pronounced dead at the scene. The autopsy says the fatal shot was fired from no more than 18 inches away.

In a police interview, Zimmerman's father, Robert, described the toll the case had taken on family members who also are in hiding because of safety concerns.

"It just seems like it's an avalanche and I'm standing at the bottom of it," Robert Zimmerman said.

----------------------

Orlando, FL (AP) --

Prosecutors have released evidence in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin and one photograph shows George Zimmerman with a bloody marks on his head.

Click n the photo icon above to see the pictures of George Ziimmerman.

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Autopsy: Evidence of Marijuana in Martin's Blood

Orlando, FL (AP) - Medical examiners found evidence of marijuana in Trayvon Martin's system after he was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer, according to an autopsy released Thursday in a massive package of evidence.

Also included in the release was an investigator's recommendation to prosecutors that suspect George Zimmerman be arrested on manslaughter charges. The investigator, who was on the scene after the shooting, wrote on March 13 that the confrontation should have been avoided. That report came nearly a month before Zimmerman was arrested.

The documents, photos and video were turned over by prosecutors to defense attorneys earlier this week before they were released to the media. Among the many witness interviews were accounts by an acquaintance of Zimmerman's who said he's racist and a co-worker who said Zimmerman bullied him and mocked him with an exaggerated Middle Eastern accent.

The autopsy says medical examiners found THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, when they tested Martin's blood and urine. A police report shows Martin had been shot once in the chest and had been pronounced dead at the scene.

Also in the package is a photo showing Zimmerman with a bloody nose on the night of the fight. A paramedic report says Zimmerman had a 1-inch laceration on his head and forehead abrasion.

"Bleeding tenderness to his nose, and a small laceration to the back of his head. All injuries have minor bleeding," paramedic Michael Brandy wrote about Zimmerman's injuries in the report.

Whether Zimmerman was injured in the Feb. 26 altercation with Martin has been a key question. Zimmerman has claimed self-defense and said he only fired because the unarmed teenager attacked him.

Zimmerman was not arrested for weeks because he invoked Florida's "stand-your-ground" law, which does not require a person to retreat in the face of a serious threat. He was released on bail and is in hiding while he awaits trial on a second-degree murder charge. He has pleaded not guilty.

The investigator who called for Zimmerman's arrest, Christopher Serino, told prosecutors in March that the fight could have been avoided if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement. He said Zimmerman, after leaving his vehicle, could have identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and talked to him instead of confronting him.

He said there is no evidence Martin was involved in any criminal activity.

The lawyer for Martin's parents seized on the investigator's recommendation.

"The police concluded that none of this would have happened if George Zimmerman hadn't gotten out of his car," said attorney Ben Crump. "If George Zimmerman hadn't gotten out of his car, they say it was completely avoidable. That is the headline."

A separate report written by Serino at the crime scene says Martin had $40.15, Skittles candy, a red lighter, headphones and a photo pin in his pocket. A single 9mm shell casing was found near Martin's body.

New witness accounts also emerged Thursday. A witness, whose name is redacted, told investigators he saw "a black male, wearing a dark colored hoodie," on top of a white or Hispanic male who was yelling for help.

The witness, who was looking out the sliding glass door at his home about 30 feet away, said he saw the black male throwing punches "MMA (mixed martial arts) style."

He said he told the fighters he was calling the police. He said that as he was making the call, he heard a shot. He looked outside and saw the person who had been on top laid out on the grass as if he had been shot. He said the other fighter was standing on the sidewalk, talking to another person with a flashlight.

The case has become a national racial flashpoint because the Martin family and supporters contend Zimmerman singled Martin out because he was black.

Another police report says that on four occasions between last August and Feb. 2, Zimmerman called police to report young black males acting suspiciously in his neighborhood. He never called about anyone of another race.

Two acquaintances paint an unflattering picture of Zimmerman in police interviews.

A distraught woman tells an investigator that she stays away from Zimmerman because he's racist and because of things he's done to her in the past, but she didn't elaborate on what happened between them.

"I don't at all know who this kid was or anything else. But I know George, and I know that he does not like black people. He would start something. He's very confrontational. It's in his blood. We'll just say that," the unidentified woman says in an audio recording.

A man whose name was deleted from the audio told investigators said he worked with Zimmerman in 2008 for a few months. It wasn't clear which company it was.

The man, who described his heritage as "Middle Eastern," said that when he first started many employees didn't like him. Zimmerman seized on this, the employee said, and bullied him.

Zimmerman wanted to "get in" with the clique at work so he exaggerated a Middle Eastern accent when talking about the employee, the man said. The employee told investigators that Zimmerman made reference to terrorists and bombings when talking about him.

"It was so immature," said the employee, who ended up writing a letter to management about Zimmerman.

----------------------------

SANFORD, Fla. - by WKMG Staff

The full evidence in the case against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February has been released on Thursday.

The state attorney's office released the evidence, which is 183 pages, including photos and recordings.

Local 6 investigative reporter Tony Pipitone will go through the information and provide updates as we get them. Findings in the report to note thus far are:

* A picture of Zimmerman appearing to have a broken nose, which is detailed in the report.
* Autopsy report: Martin had THC in his system the night of the shooting.
* FBI audio analysis: Addresses whether Zimmerman said a racial slur or not.
* Sanford Police Department's Capias request: Sanford police investigator wrote, "Zimmerman can be heard in the background crying for help." The investigator also writes that "the encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of the law enforcement." The investigator also said Zimmerman could have identified himself to Martin as a "concerned citizen."
* Trayvon Martin's girlfriend, who was on the phone with Martin, said she heard Trayvon Martin say "Get off, get off" and then the phone went dead.

Zimmerman fatally shot Martin last February during a confrontation in a gated community of townhomes in Sanford. Martin was walking home from a 7-Eleven store and Zimmerman called police to report him as suspicious.

Zimmerman has claimed self-defense and has entered a not guilty plea.

The lack of an arrest in Martin's death for 44 days inspired protests nationwide.

Note: Attached is a witness list for the George Zimmerman case

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New Details on Trayvon Martin Shooting
By Mark Straussman

(CBS News) SANFORD, Fla., - The trial of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer charged with murdering Trayvon Martin is still months away, but the investigation continues.

CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann has come up with new information about what happened that February night when Zimmerman shot the unarmed teenager in a gated community in Sanford, Florida.

At the heart of this case is what happened of the course of 90 seconds: from the moment Zimmerman hung up with a non-emergency dispatcher -- to the first 911 call from a neighbor.

Wednesday new details emerged from sources close to the investigation. A responder at the crime scene told CBS News that he and others saw wounds on the knuckles of one of Martin's hands as he lay dead on this lawn, suggesting Martin had thrown a punch.

Zimmerman told police he fired the shot at point blank range while on his back, as the 17-year-old straddled him.

He also told investigators Martin did not die immediately but mumbled either "it's over" or "you got me."

Special prosecutor Angela Corey's team has built a murder case against Zimmerman on evidence not available to the original state attorney or Sanford police - information that includes the autopsy report on Martin.

State crime lab analysis of his clothes, including gun powder residue that could indicate the distance between of the men.

Cell phone records from Zimmerman that include text messages he sent up to one month after the shooting

There are also two surveillance videos, one from the 7-11 where Martin bought Skittles and an ice tea, the other from the clubhouse in the gated subdivision where Zimmerman shot him.

The special prosecutor's case also includes Zimmerman's medical report the day after the shooting. It listed a broken nose, two black eyes and a cut in the back of the head.

A source also told CBS News an unreleased police report noted Zimmerman's sweatshirt had "grass stains, and was wet on the back."

Details from Trayvon Martin's autopsy show the bullet entered the left side of his chest, and shattered the ventrical, one of his heart's two large chambers but the round did not leave his body.

The reports also noted the fatal wound's surrounded by a two-by-two inch pattern called stippling, caused by gunpower burns. It suggests Zimmerman fired inches away from the teenager.

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UPDATE Orlando, FL (AP) -- May 17, 2012 --

Prosecutors have released evidence in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin and one photograph shows George Zimmerman with a bloody nose

The evidence was released Thursday. One photo shows Zimmerman with blood under his nose. A paramedic report says Zimmerman also had a 1-inch laceration on his head and forehead abrasion.

The Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who is awaiting trial on a second-degree murder charge in the shooting of Martin.

Zimmerman is charged with killing the unarmed 17-year-old during a confrontation last February.

He has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense.

CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reported Wednesday of new details in the case from sources close to the investigation.

Zimmerman: Martin's last words were "it's over"

A responder at the crime scene told CBS News that he and others saw wounds on the knuckles of one of Martin's hands as he lay dead on this lawn, suggesting Martin had thrown a punch.

Zimmerman told police he fired the shot at point blank range while on his back, as the 17-year-old straddled him.

He also told investigators Martin did not die immediately but mumbled either "it's over" or "you got me."

The special prosecutor's case also includes Zimmerman's medical report the day after the shooting. It listed a broken nose, two black eyes and a cut in the back of the head.

A source also told CBS News an unreleased police report noted Zimmerman's sweatshirt had "grass stains, and was wet on the back."

---------------------------------

Photo: Zimmerman Bloodied After Martin Shooting
by Mike Schneider and Kyle Hightower, AP

Orlando, FL (AP) - May 17, 2012 --

Prosecutors have released evidence in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin and one photograph shows George Zimmerman with a bloody nose

The evidence was released Thursday. One photo shows Zimmerman with blood under his nose. A paramedic report says Zimmerman also had a 1-inch laceration on his head and forehead abrasion.

The Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who is awaiting trial on a second-degree murder charge in the shooting of Martin.

Zimmerman is charged with killing the unarmed 17-year-old during a confrontation last February.

He has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense.

--------------------------------------------

Court Records Detail George Zimmerman's Medical Injuries

Miami, FL (AP) -- May 15, 2012 --

Court records show George Zimmerman had a pair of black eyes, a nose fracture and two cuts to the back of his head after the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The medical records were part of evidence released Tuesday that prosecutors have in the second-degree murder case against Zimmerman. He has entered a plea of not guilty and claims self-defense in the Feb. 26 shooting. A message left Tuesday evening with Zimmerman's attorney was not immediately returned

Zimmerman was treated Feb. 27 at Altamonte Family Practice. No one answered the phone at the practice Tuesday evening.

ABC News first reported Zimmerman's injuries from the medical records. Some of the injuries were previously reported by The Associated Press based on video of Zimmerman at a jail sally port.

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George Zimmerman Appears Unscathed in Police Surveillance Video

(CBS News) SANFORD, Fla. - March 29, 2012 -

Newly-released video of the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin shows George Zimmerman with no apparent injuries, right after he claims Martin attacked him.

That is raising new questions about Zimmerman's claim of self-defense.

But Zimmerman's father insists the unarmed teenager was the aggressor and Zimmerman had no choice but to do what he did.

The police video, obtained by ABC News, shows Zimmerman, in handcuffs, being led into Sanford police headquarters the night he killed Martin.

Video shows Zimmerman without blood, bruises
Complete coverage: The shooting of Trayvon Martin

Zimmerman shows no obvious head injuries, but at one point, an officer inspects the back of his head. Zimmerman spent five hours telling police he shot Martin in self-defense.

And in an interview with Fox 35 Orlando, Robert Zimmerman, the gunman's father, said his son told him he spotted Martin and called police to report a suspicious person, then followed him. He turned around, says Robert Zimmerman, and there was Martin.

He claims Martin then approached his son, cursing at him. As the younger Zimmerman reached for his cell phone, Martin punched him, breaking his nose and knocking him to the ground, Robert Zimmerman contends.

"Trayvon Martin got on top of him and just started beating him," claims the father.

That, says Robert Zimmerman, is when Martin threatened to kill his son. George Zimmerman pulled out his firearm and shot Martin.

No witness saw how the fight started.

On a 911 tape, someone was yelling for help before the sound of a gunshot - but it is unclear who.

"You think he's yelling help?" the police dispatcher asked.

"Yes," said the caller.

Then the gunshot is heard.

"There's gunshots!" the woman on the phone said.

"Everyone that knows George," asserts Robert Zimmerman, "knows absolutely that that is George screaming. There's no doubt in anyone's mind.

But Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother, heard it differently.

Asked earlier this month if she recognized the voice on the tape, she replied, "That's my baby. That's my son that was yelling."

Two parents. Two sons. Two different takes on the voice on that tape.

The special prosecutor has told us she'll hire a voice recognition expert, hoping to find the truth.

_____________________________

ABCNews.com posted this surveillance video of George Zimmerman arriving at the police station the night he shot and killed 17-year old Trayvon Martin. The video shows the neighborhood watch volunteer getting out of a patrol car in handcuffs.

Zimmerman says he shot martin in self defense. His lawyer has said he believed Zimmerman's nose was broken and that he suffered a cut in the back of his head during the incident. The video appears to show an officer looking at the back of his head.

In another development, Martin's 16-year-old girlfriend spoke with ABC's "World News." She described a phone call she had with Martin moments before the fatal shooting.

She said he told her he was being followed. "He was walking fast. When he say this man behind him again. He come and say this look like he about to do something to him. And then Trayvon come and said the man was still behind him, then I come and say, run!"

Zimmerman's father also spoke on Wednesday. He claims Trayvon Martin attacked his son, "Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of you're going to die now or you're going to die tonight, something to that effect. He continued to beat George. At some point, George pulled his pistol and did what he did."


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  • by Bill Location: Tallahassee on Jun 6, 2012 at 06:51 PM
    Some people will just not accept the truth, no matter what the evidence shows. Zimmerman is the biggest scapegoat since the Civil War.
  • by He was just a boy! on May 29, 2012 at 04:00 PM
    Whats the bus driver story all these racists keep bringing up?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 14, 2012 at 08:21 PM in reply to He was just a boy!
      Try researching "the boy's twitter account information." If Crump has pulled it excerpts are on sources as far away as the UK. In the twitter account a family member mentions the bus driver being swung at. It is the behavior that matters not the ethnic mix. Trayvon was a monster deal with it.
  • by Rob on May 24, 2012 at 01:18 AM
    I would like to comment to Anonymous saying, "Where are you getting the information, "George approached him as he was trying to walk away"?" From the police report. When he was told he did not need to follow Martin, and continued, he initiated contact. Is this too complicated for you? Listen... Going by the timeline of all the calls, etc. Trayvon had enough extra time to run rings around those six townhome complexes (row of 3 on each side with that sidewalk running down the middle, with Trayvon's townhome on the south east close to that back exit gate Trayvon was running toward documented in the non-emergency call)... Question is, Why didn't Trayvon just slip inside his house and be done with it??? You know he had to have retreated to that area... Being very familiar to him... That's where he would have run near, being in this situation. So why is it that he wound up at the north end of the sidewalk then where he eventually lay dead? George Zimmerman didn't CARRY him up there !!! Get real... Trayvon had to have initiated the contact. Sure, Zimmerman was pursuing in the beginning, but after they had lost each other by both sides' accounts... Time ticked off the timeline and Trayvon wound up at that place where he had run by much earlier as he ran to that next street & turned right (South), down toward the back exit gate and his father's girlfriend's townhome. So Trayvon then turned in to the 2nd pursuer and he even CONFRONTED at the end of HIS pursuit. Zimmerman's original pursuit had already been severed. The killing resulted as a product of Trayvon's pursuit & confrontation... and Zimmerman's defense.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 06:47 AM in reply to Rob
      Thanks Rob. I've tried 3 times to respond to that comment, but my post hasn't shown up yet. Maybe my comment was to long? All one has to do is listen to the 911 call, look at the available evidence, and they will come to the same conclusion that Chief Investigator Chris Serino did. Serino testified under oath at the bond hearing, saying his "investigation turned up no reliable evidence that cast doubt on Zimmerman's account – that he had acted in self-defense." "The best evidence we have is the testimony of George Zimmerman, and he says the decedent was the primary aggressor in the whole event. Everything I have is adding up to what he says." This is the same investigator who had originally recommended Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter. Some people will just not accept the truth, no matter what the evidence shows. Zimmerman is the biggest scapegoat since the Civil War.
  • by Rob on May 23, 2012 at 11:16 AM
    Is there anything worse that a one sided race war? According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 & 2011... Out of every 100 black murders, 6 were purpetrated by white people... An unblievably low number. One would say almost undeniable proof that almost no racisim could be involved or the numbers would have to be much higher. On the other hand, there is much silence & concealment about black racist attacks on whites -- for example, the recent attacks on two Virginian-Pilot newspaper reporters set upon and beated by a mob of young blacks. The story wasn't even covered by their own newspaper. Black mobs have roamed the streets of Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles and othere cities, making unprovoked attacks on whites and running off with their belongings. Racist attacks have been against not only whites but also Asians. Currently the racist attacks have been spilling over against the hispanics and so called white hispanics. Racial demagoguery from the president on down is not in our nation's best interests, plus it's dangerous. If there is anything worse than a one-sided race war, it is a two-sides race war, especially when one of the races outnumbers the other several times over. And the blacks could ill afford to take on all the other races together at one time. It's pretty nice when all the other races are being so respectfull to the blacks in the last several years of recent history. It might be a good time for the blacks to make bigger strides in progress by a little bit of reciprocation.
  • by 1stlttightwad Location: Quitman on May 23, 2012 at 01:37 AM
    Now that the evidence is coming out that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman and that Zimmerman shot him in self defense.............Where are you Jesse, Al, Louis and oh yeah...the HONORABLE??? woman Florida representative that said Trayvon was hunted down like a dog?? Looks like the dog was rabid..Huh. Looks like the evidence has made a fool of you. Doesn't it! Now when the trail comes up and Zimmerman is found NOT guilty ya gonna riot and steal some big screen TV's? You don't want justice..you want revenge for some perceived wrong doing.
  • by FYI on May 20, 2012 at 07:39 AM
    Just to everyone knows... its still INNOCENT until proven guilty. It doesnt matter if ZImmermans lawyer cant prove that Zimmerman didnt start the fight. If Martins Lawyer cant prove that he did beyond a shadow of a doubt: Zimmerman goes free. Sooner you all face it the better. #JUSTISEFORZIMMERMAN
    • reply
      by Rob on May 21, 2012 at 02:52 PM in reply to FYI
      Yes, FYI, and in talking about Martin's and Zimmerman's laywers.... The tense grimis on Mr. Crump's face really tells a story. He's so tight & anything that moves... he blames them with racism at a moments notice. No matter what happens... like if somebody went to the doctor, then he jumps to a conclusion that they pummelled themselves or if they do something nice, he objects that they were self serving or something... If blacks are around he talks nice... if it's white people he says it is racist... If a guy is trying to get bail, he changes the subject & says he can't believe the other side is claiming they might be in danger or something like he is trying to get the judge to believe they are liers or something... O'Mara on the other hand is always so nice to people (everybody, really... even the other side)... He talks so softly & calmly, and he is always relaxed & looks open minded at all times... seems to consider everything, even from the other's point of view... And from all angles. He's very polite. He never blames anybody for racism even when it's apparent or clear that is where an anvasary is coming from... a perfect gentlemen. Of course, it may be that that is just Mr. Crump's specialty... He's an expert in that field of bringing law suit actions on parties for racial and racist cases, etc. so it's just probably the perception of it... That is his line of work. It's his job to get others to believe people are racist in their behavior in his field of work.
  • by Bubba on May 19, 2012 at 01:19 PM
    Zimmerman is a murdering gun-toting coward.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 19, 2012 at 02:54 PM in reply to Bubba
      If he had not been "toting" a gun, he would be dead.
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      by Justice for Zimmerman on May 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM in reply to Bubba
      Zimmerman is your protector whether you know it or not. There are sheep, wolves and sheperds. You are the sheep, Thugs are the woves, and Zimmerman is the Sheperd.
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      by Anonymous on May 20, 2012 at 08:52 PM in reply to Bubba
      Trayvon was a violent thug who took a swing at a bus driver and beat up a 28 year old. Trayvon was also suspended 3 times, had jewelry that was not his own, had in his possession an empty pot bag, defaced property and had THC in his system. At some point, people including his parents will have to accept the fact that this youth was on his way to hurting and killing other people. Good for Zimmerman in fighting back to defend himself. Did you ever ask yourself why with all the witnesses in Sanford on Feb. 26th could stand by and watch this altercation take place but not stop it? Apathy is a terrible thing for society to have to own up to.
    • reply
      by If I had to pick on May 29, 2012 at 04:02 PM in reply to Bubba
      "Zimmerman is a murdering gun-toting coward.".... Travon is a dead thug. Pick one.
  • by haha on May 19, 2012 at 11:50 AM
    Theyll have a hard time charging him with manslaughter much less murder. He defended himself.. and if you dont see that then think about how you'd feel if it was you or your child that was being beat and your child was screaming for his life and he shot the person doing it. youd probably be pretty dang happy your child killed someone to protect themselves. Trayvon was not just some innocent 8 year old like in the pictures you see. He was a 17 year old the size of a grown man who was obviously going down the wrong path in life on drugs. Ive been scared of someone before if trayvon was scared... then he would have RAN no confronted george. thank you, goodbye.
    • reply
      by Haha hell on May 19, 2012 at 03:08 PM in reply to haha
      I don't think we are following the same case. George approached him as he was trying to walk away FOOL, What If your 17 year old was suspended from school for whatever reason and he goes to visit his father in a gated community and some racists kill him.....? Hmmm sounds like someone hasn't heard all the information involving this case!
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 19, 2012 at 04:10 PM in reply to Haha hell
        You're right. Someone hasn't heard all the information involving this case. That someone is obviously you.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 19, 2012 at 08:13 PM in reply to Haha hell
        Where are you getting the information, "George approached him as he was trying to walk away"? The prosecution has admitted in the hearing that they had zero evidence that Zimmerman initiated contact with Martin. There is also no evidence that Zimmerman is a racist. In fact, the evidence indicates just the opposite.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on May 20, 2012 at 06:41 AM in reply to
          You could not be more wrong anon @11:13. I guess you missed Zimmerman's deleted Myspace page huh? Plenty of racist evidence there. Also, Zimmerman was told that he should not follow Martin, and yet he did. Thereby he was approaching as Martin walked away. Try to keep up, then post.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on May 20, 2012 at 06:51 AM in reply to
          "Where are you getting the information, "George approached him as he was trying to walk away"?" From the police report. When he was told he did not need to follow Martin, and continued, he initiated contact. Is this too complicated for you?
    • reply
      by truth on May 19, 2012 at 03:22 PM in reply to haha
      zimmerman had drugs in his system too, he followered martin and is a mudering coward who started a fist fight then when he got his but whooped, he shot an unarmaed man!!! A COWARD!!!
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 19, 2012 at 04:17 PM in reply to truth
        Where did you get the information that Zimmerman had drugs in his system? Nowhere in all the mounds of evidence that has been released, is there any indication that Zimmerman had drugs in his system. You're grasping at anything you can because you know that you are drowning in you're own delusional, fantasy scenario. When you have no facts or evidence to back up your predetermined belief, just resort to name calling.
        • reply
          by AD on May 23, 2012 at 01:38 PM in reply to
          It does no good to respond to "truth"... He is quick to call anyone who doesn't share his OPINION.. a racist. He really needs to look in the mirror on that one!
  • by Angela Corey Location: Jacksonville on May 19, 2012 at 07:26 AM
    I was instructed to over file charges in this case to make it impossible to avoid reasonable doubt. The burden of proof for a Second Degree Charge will be impossible to meet. The intent was to satisfy a constituency that was not interested in the truth, and/or far to ignorant to understand it. The facts will create more than enough reasonable doubt to exonerate George Zimmerman. The whole purpose of filing charges was simply eye wash for a sector of our population that had demonstrated the inability to reason logically the overwhelming evidence that pointed to a situation that was clearly covered by the "Stand Your Ground" statute. In judicial circles we jokingly refer to the expense of such cases as the Cost of Freedom.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 19, 2012 at 09:22 AM in reply to Angela Corey
      Huh, funny you can make this judgement without seeing all the evidence. You do realize that the prosecution has yet to release it's most sensitive evidence, don't you? I'm not saying that Zimmerman is guilty, just that everyone on here who claims to "know" the outcome of this case is making a partially educated guess.
  • by Jake on May 19, 2012 at 06:05 AM
    In the 7-11 video, Trayvons body language does seem like an arrogant thug, kinda daring the shopkeeper. Throwing his money on the counter, etc.
    • reply
      by Dee on May 19, 2012 at 07:37 AM in reply to Jake
      and it makes it perfectly clear this was no "child" as some people continued to bleat. He was rather large, and if he put his hands on me, I would use whatever I could to defend myself as well.
    • reply
      by jj on May 19, 2012 at 07:52 AM in reply to Jake
      u must be blind.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 19, 2012 at 09:36 AM in reply to Jake
      What does this have to do with anything? Is there some rule that you have to act a certain way in 7-11?
      • reply
        by Dee on May 19, 2012 at 01:35 PM in reply to
        It's part of the preponderance of evidence. Besides, it's interesting that Trayvon's girlfriend said that he told her he was putting his hood on as he was walking because it was starting to rain..... and he already had it on inside of the 7-11. Little details will kill you every time if you're not telling the truth.
        • reply
          by Rob on May 20, 2012 at 01:55 AM in reply to Dee
          Yeah, like when she said she could hear the "grass".
        • reply
          by Anonymous on May 20, 2012 at 06:46 AM in reply to Dee
          Maybe he put the hood up and took it back down and put it back up again. You have no clue how evidence works in court Dee.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 19, 2012 at 04:24 PM in reply to
        No, nor is there some rule that says you have to act a certain way while performing a neighborhood watch. That hasn't stopped anyone from criticizing Zimmerman for his actions in the hour before the shooting occurred.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on May 20, 2012 at 06:44 AM in reply to
          But if the police tell you that you don't need to continue to follow someone, yet you still do and initiate contact that results in a kids death, that would be some sort of rule of a certain way to act while being a neighborhood watch person that Zimmerman chose to ignore. Big difference.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on May 20, 2012 at 06:53 AM in reply to
          Actually there are a ton of rules about how you have to act as a neighborhood watch program. That is why you have to have several meeting with the police to form one. But, thanks for playing.
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