Martin testimony wraps up

Conflicting accounts highlight trial so far
Associated Press
Jun 30, 2013

The first week of George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial wrapped up with testimony from two neighbors and a police officer that seemed to bolster the defense's argument that he was pinned on his back by Trayvon Martin before shooting the teen.

Neighbor Jonathan Good testified Friday that it appeared the unarmed teen was straddling the neighborhood watch volunteer, while another neighbor, Jonathan Manalo, said Zimmerman seemed credible when he said just after the fight that he shot Martin in self-defense. Officer Tim Smith testified that Zimmerman's back side was covered in grass and wetter than his front side.

All three were called as witnesses for prosecutors who are trying to convict him of second-degree murder.

Good, who had perhaps the best view of any witness, said he did not see anyone's head being slammed into the concrete sidewalk, as Zimmerman claims Martin did to him. Good initially testified that it appeared "there were strikes being thrown, punches being thrown," but during detailed questioning he said he saw only "downward" arm movements being made.

Zimmerman has claimed that he fatally shot 17-year-old Martin in February 2012 in self-defense as the Miami-area teen was banging his head into the concrete sidewalk behind the townhomes in a gated community.

Under prosecution questioning, Good said he never saw anyone being attacked that way. Good said he heard a noise behind his townhome and he saw what looked like a tussle when he stepped out onto his patio. He said he yelled: "What's going on? Stop it."

Good testified he saw a person in black clothing on top of another person with "white or red" clothing. He said he couldn't see faces but it looked like the person on the bottom had lighter skin. Martin was black and was wearing a dark hoodie. Zimmerman identifies as Hispanic and was wearing a red jacket. Good was back inside calling 911 when he heard a gunshot.

"It looked like there were strikes being thrown, punches being thrown," Good said.

Later, under cross-examination, he said that it looked like the person on top was straddling the person on bottom in a mixed-martial arts move known as "ground and pound." When defense attorney Mark O'Mara asked him if the person on top was Martin, Good said, "Correct, that's what it looked like." Good also said the person on the bottom yelled for help.

Zimmerman, 29, could get life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder. Zimmerman followed Martin in his truck and called a police dispatch number before he and the teen got into a fight.

Zimmerman has denied the confrontation had anything to do with race, as Martin's family and their supporters have claimed.

Manalo, whose wife had testified earlier in the week, was the first neighbor to step outside and see what happened with his flashlight after he heard a gunshot. He took cellphone photos of a bloodied Zimmerman and Martin's body, and those photos were shown to jurors on Friday. Manalo also described Martin's hands as being under his body.

Manalo said Zimmerman didn't appear shocked and acted calmly. After police officers arrived and handcuffed Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer asked Manalo to call his wife and tell her what happened.

Manalo started to tell Zimmerman's wife that her husband had been involved in a shooting and was being questioned by police when "he cut me off and said, 'Just tell her I shot someone,'" Manalo said.

Under cross-examination, Manalo said when he asked Zimmerman what happened, the neighborhood watch volunteer told him, "I was defending myself and I shot him."

"From what you could tell at that moment, that seemed completely true?" asked defense attorney Don West.

"Yes," Manalo said.

Smith, the police officer, testified that when he saw Zimmerman after the shooting, the neighborhood watch volunteer's backside was covered in grass and wetter than his front side, bolstering defense attorneys' contention that Martin was on top of Zimmerman.

As he walked to the squad car after he had been handcuffed, Zimmerman told the officer that "he was yelling for help and nobody would come help him," Smith said.

"It was almost a defeated ... a confused look on his face," Smith said.

Smith said Zimmerman described himself as "lightheaded" during the drive to Sanford Police Station but declined an offer to take him to a hospital.

The physician's assistant who treated Zimmerman the next day said that Zimmerman complained of feeling nauseated upon reflecting what had happened. But Lindzee Folgate attributed that to psychological factors rather than any physical condition. She also said it appeared his nose was broken, but it was impossible to say for sure since no X-rays were taken. She recommended he see an ear-and-nose doctor and a psychologist.

When O'Mara asked if abrasions on his head were consistent with someone who had his had slammed into concrete, Folgate said, "it could be consistent, yes."

She also testified that Zimmerman had written on a form reciting his medical history that he was exercising three times a week by doing mixed martial arts, a statement that prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asked her to repeat.

Paramedic Stacy Livingston, who responded to the shooting scene, testified Zimmerman had a swollen, bleeding nose and two cuts on the back of his head an inch long. When O'Mara asked if Zimmerman should have been concerned with his medical well-being because of his injuries, Livingston said, "Possibly."

When photos of Martin's body were shown on a courtroom projector during Livingston's testimony, Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, looked away and blinked back tears.

___

Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KHightower

Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP

 

Comments

deertracker

Crime is in lots of neighborhoods. If he was so worried he should have just let LE handle it. You are correct, it was not a direct order but it was suggested. Dispatchers by law can't tell you NOT to follow someone. They can only advise you to let LE handle it for your own safety. Martin was NOT a "violent troubled teen". Where are you getting that? The Zimmerman you see in court looks like an old man but that is no where even close to how he looked that night!

lmalley77

Exactly deertracker, lots of teens are not "angels", but articles I have read have stated that Martin had absolutely NO record of any kind....just because his Facebook page showed him throwing up middle fingers or smoking, doesn't mean that he was a thug gang banger out to cause trouble!... Many people have skeletons from their teen years, that doesn't mean Trayvon was a bad person, if he were still alive, he could have turned his life into something good!...And NOBODY was there to see WHO assaulted whom first!!...For all ANYBODY knows, Zimmerman could have assaulted Trayvon and Trayvon was then in turn defending HIMSELF!!...Remember people, its a DEAD teens word against a man with gun who is still alive....Trayvon is not here to defend himself and say who the initial aggressor was.....and OF COURSE Zimmerman is NOT going to tell everyone that he approached and assaulted Trayvon first, he will give the story that MAKES him seem like the innocent victim!!!

registerer

It probably doesn't matter that at the time of his death he was suspended from his school for drugs and several fights. Naw, not a problem. He is a model kid.

lmalley77

The article states that ZIMMERMAN stated on his medical forms that HE himself had been working out by doing mixed martial arts!

lmalley77

Amen!

KnuckleDragger

So if Zimmerman was telling someone else that Martin was a coon, it is OK then? I get it, in the liberal world only the black man gets a pass on the racial slur. You are an idiot. The fact remains, Zimmerman will walk, just look at the jury composition.

The Big Dog's back

Is that a Freudian slip or are you saying no way 5 white women and a Hispanic would convict him.

deertracker

I think it was a little more than an argument that got out of hand and if you have really been paying attention, so would you.

Contango

If found not guilty and there are riots and demonstrations; I gotta wonder if the POTUS is gonna ACT like a leader and attempt to quell the anger or will he pull his race-baiting hatred BS again?

'If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon' - Pres. Obama.

http://www.politico.com/politico...

The Big Dog's back

Man crush again with Obama ehh winnie. Don't you think the Repub Gov of Florida can handle it?

44846GWP

Lol! Good one Big Dog!

KnuckleDragger

^^This from the man who has been riding the Presidents tip since the day he was elected.

deertracker

There will be no unrest pooh! I think you want there to be but there will not be. A demonstration is different from unrest. I have three sons and they do look like Trayvon Martin. Young and black. The comments the President made were compassionate, not hate filled or race related. There has been lots of incidents where a black man was killed by police unjustifiably. That sometimes has sparked unrest. Rodney King just happened to live.

stayfit

q

stayfit

The President is a compassionate and warm person. A 17-year-old is dead, I'm glad he acknowledged it. He also didn't say "Zimmerman, life in prison, murderer." He acknowledged a tragedy and a life of what might have been.

I'm sure Aaron Hernandez had a bright future, too, had he not slain 1 or more persons. Had Zimmerman not followed Martin...Had Martin not beat Zimmerman and smashed his head into concrete... Had Zimmerman shot Martin in the leg... Did Zimmerman think Martin had a gun?... There is a lot of what-ifs.

The Rodney King beatings were not what-ifs. He was in a high-speed chase and resisted arrest... okay. He was also beat 53-57 times with a deadly weapon by those paid to protect. He committed a crime, but we have laws that do not warrant cruel and unusual punishment.

Police that abuse their power have beat up people of all color, watch the Robert Leon video below. This is one of the worst cases of police brutality... and its against a white man.

The Trayvon Martin case should be less about race and more about facts. And there is no correlation that can be drawn between Martin and King.
There are years of racial injustice that cannot reversed, but we live in a different age and its time for people to come together and not segregate and create racial barriers that are unwarranted.

deertracker

Aaron Hernandez also had a choice. Yes, lots of what ifs. What if he had just let the cops handle it? Rodney King took a MAJOR beat down for exactly what charges? You will never convince me I did not see what I just saw on that video. The correlation is the injustice itself. Martin has never even been accused or charged with committing ANY crime that night. Why is it everyone's responsibility to tear down something the white man built? He built it. Tear it down. Correct, you can't change the past but it should NEVER be forgotten!!!!!!

stayfit

"What if he would have let the cops handle it." - Stand Your Ground Law (Fla.) He was within in his rights to defend himself. The person on the phone said,"We don't need you to do that." He was within his rights.

Trayvon felt threatened, evaded and jumped him. Beat him badly with concrete and fists (bloody knuckles from blows). Zimmerman fearing for his life, pulled the trigger, also within his rights with Stand Your Ground (Fla.).

Would countless of others made decisions differently than Zimmerman leading up to the death of Martin, probably.

The fact remains, it is being argued in court that he was within his rights and defended himself. The jury will decide.

One thing I know, this is not a race issue and several prominent groups are trying to benefit from Trayvon's death to serve their own self-interests by creating a race issue that isn't there.

I think some people want it to be there, to bring attention to mistakes and injustices of the past that have no correlation or comparison to this case.

deertracker

What groups?

The Brownie Elf

Unless any earth-shattering discoveries are made (such as Zimmerman admitting he shot Martin because he was black, or Martin comes back to life) you are not going to win over the other side. The majority of black people are going to feel Martin was right and did nothing wrong. The majority of white people are going to feel Zimmerman was right. Of course there may be a few exceptions. I see both sides. It's a tragic ending but you also have to take your blinders off and remain objective. Hopefully the jurors will.

Contango

Re: "The majority of black people are going to feel Martin was right and did nothing wrong. The majority of white people are going to feel Zimmerman was right."

Good observation.

Not unlike the consensus in the OJ Simpson trial.

Remember: Although Mr. Zimmerman is Hispanic, for story and profit purposes, the media wants him to be lily "white."

The Big Dog's back

I'm white and feel zim is guilty.

Contango

Re: "I'm white and feel zim is guilty.

Why this prejudice against Hispanics?

lmalley77

Me too big dog!

ladydye_5

I thought they called him "white Hispanic". I am really fed up with all the RACE stuff. White/Hispanic....African/American. Heck....my medical chart the other day said White/NON Hispanic.....I didn't even CHECK THAT BOX....THEY DID IT FOR ME.....WTH????? Until everyone stops with the labels this country will never be settled and unified.

Contango

Re: "I am really fed up with all the RACE stuff."

I agree. But where the media and politicians are concerned:

Follow the money.

deertracker

You are wrong about how black people view O.J. Most have always felt he was guilty. What exactly is a white Hispanic? Is that the same as a white black guy or a white Asian? The one drop rule still applies. Your rules!

Contango

Re: "You are wrong about how black people view O.J. Most have always felt he was guilty."

Not true.

"A Washington Post survey concludes that whereas 71% of African Americans thought he was innocent of the 1994 double-murder rap at the time,"

http://www.newser.com/story/8367...

deertracker

Your stats are complete BS. I do not know a single black person that believed him to be innocent. Do you? Blacks were happy he was acquitted because there was evidence the police lied. You can't be LE and take the fifth! C'mon now!?

The Big Dog's back

It was more of an indictment of the LAPD than anything. And yes I think OJ was guilty, just like I think zim is guilty.

Contango

Re: "Your stats are complete BS"

Take it up with the WP Sport.

"I do not know a single black person that believed him to be innocent."

Anecdotal evidence. So you know EACH and EVERY black person eh? :)

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