Martin's DNA not found on gun

Zimmerman's DNA not discovered under teen's nails
Associated Press
Jul 4, 2013

Trayvon Martin's DNA was not found on the grip of George Zimmerman's gun, and Zimmerman's DNA was not found under the unarmed teen's fingernails, a law enforcement expert said Wednesday in testimony that prosecutors hope will refute the neighborhood watch volunteer's self-defense claim.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and says he shot the 17-year-old in the chest to protect himself as Martin reached for his firearm during a fight.

Judge Debra Nelson dismissed jurors without the prosecution having rested its case as it had hoped to do by day's end. Nelson won't resume testimony until Friday morning, giving jurors the Fourth of July off. They will remain sequestered during the holiday break.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement DNA expert Anthony Gorgone also testified that Zimmerman's DNA was found among blood on a shirt Martin was wearing under his hooded sweatshirt.

While cross-examining Gorgone, defense attorney Don West focused on the packaging of the DNA samples, suggesting it could have led to the samples being degraded. Gorgone told him that Martin's two sweatshirts had been packaged in plastic while wet, instead of a paper bag where they can dry out, and when he opened the samples they smelled of ammonia and mold.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement analyst Amy Siewert also testified that tearing and residue on Martin's clothing showed the gun was directly against him when it fired.

Prosecutors have sought to portray Zimmerman as a vigilante who profiled Martin as the teen walked home on a rainy night.

They called Gorgone on the same day they presented evidence that they say shows Zimmerman had aspirations of becoming a police officer and knew about Florida's "stand-your-ground" law. The law says a person has no duty to retreat and can invoke self-defense in killing someone if it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm.

Zimmerman had maintained in an interview with Fox News last year that he did not know about the law.

Prosecutors say he did have knowledge of it, however, because the subject was covered in a college class on criminal justice Zimmerman attended.

They called as a witness Alexis Francisco Carter, the military attorney who taught the class. Carter described Zimmerman as one of his better students and said the neighborhood watch volunteer got an "A'' in his class.

Under cross-examination, Carter gave two definitions of legal concepts that seemed to bolster the defense's case. He explained that a person can make a self-defense argument if the person has a "reasonable apprehension" of death or great bodily harm.

"It's imminent fear. The fact alone that there isn't an injury doesn't necessarily mean that the person didn't have a reasonable apprehension or fear," Carter said. "The fact that there are injuries might support there was reasonable apprehension and fear."

Carter also explained the concept of "imperfect self-defense," when a person is being threatened but then counters with a force disproportionately greater than the force used against them.

"They would have the right to defend themselves?" said defense attorney Don West.

"Right," Carter said.

Another instructor, Seminole County State College professor Scott Pleasants, testified that Zimmerman had taken his online criminal justice class.

Pleasants' testimony via Skype from Colorado, broadcast live on television, was interrupted when he started getting inundated with Skype calls.

Nelson also ruled Wednesday that prosecutors can show the jury Zimmerman's job application to a police agency in 2009 and his application to ride around with Sanford police in 2010.

Lt. Scott Kearns of the Prince William County Police Department in Virginia testified that Zimmerman wasn't initially hired because of a less-than-stellar credit history.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Martin last year. Martin was black; Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic. The case sparked nationwide protests and touched off a debate about race and self-defense.

Prosecutors said Zimmerman's ability to understand criminal investigations and desire to be a police officer doesn't show wrongdoing, but is relevant to Zimmerman's state of mind on the night Martin was killed.

"He has applied to be a police officer before, he still wants to be one, according to some of his homework assignments. ... This wasn't some sort of passive thing," said prosecutor Richard Mantei, who noted Zimmerman took a course on how to be a good witness and expressed a desire to go on police ride-alongs. "This is simply a fact the jury ought to know."

When he was interviewed by detectives, Zimmerman spoke "in written police jargon" and talks about "justifiable use of force" and says he "'unholstered my firearm,' not 'I pulled my gun,'" Mantei said.

Defense attorneys believe the items are irrelevant and asked the judge not to allow them.

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara said Tuesday that if prosecutors start bringing up Zimmerman's past, the defense will dig into Martin's past, including fights. The judge had ruled previously that Martin's past fights, drug use and school records couldn't be mentioned in opening statements.

"There is no relevance and the suggested relevance will be far more outweighed by the prejudice," O'Mara said of the evidence admitted Wednesday.

 

Comments

The Big Dog's back

Would you be so quick to defend zim if he was an illegal?

stayfit

Yes, illegal immigrants should be given much more rights. Watch Steven Colbert Documentary as a migrant farm worker or 30 days in the life of an illegal migrant worker.

They are people, no different from anyone in this nation.

Outside of native Americans, we are all immigrants.

deertracker

Much more rights than??????? Illegal means you have no rights. Who is taking full advantage of illegal migrant workers?

Erie County Resident

@ BD I have followed this trial and have watched it completely.
From your totally off the wall and stupid statements you obviously have only picked up snipets here and there to make your grossly moronic remarks.

If you had an active brain cell you would see the prosecution has made the case for the defense because NOTHING they have presented supports a conviction.
The judge is even working for the prosecution by not allowing the testimony of the lead investigator to be placed into the evidence files because he said Zimmerman was telling the truth.
Trayvon's "little friend" that spent 2 days on the stand turned into a race issue when she repeatedly said Trayvon called Zimmerman a "crazy ass cracker". (Cracker is a white slur, Zim is latino) She also became very beligerant on the first day.

But dog don't let facts get in your way by any means. If somebody said something was going slow you'd say not it was going fast just to start an argument.

The Big Dog's back

The only thing you've watched is faux news, as usual.

deertracker

Agreed!!!!!!!!!!!

grumpy

I don't think that an illegal could get a concealed carry permit, so your point has no point. It couldn't happen.

EDIT this reply didn't post to the statement I replied to.

The Big Dog's back

Concealed carry permit? So no illegals have guns? Who knew?

grumpy

You were implying that if Zimmerman was an illegal he would have been treated different. That would require EVERYTHING else was also equal. If he had been illegal he would not have been able to get a carry permit. Unlike voting you have to prove you are who you claim to be with a state issued picture ID.

The Big Dog's back

So if zim didn't have a permit he would be guilty? Ok, thanks for clearing that up.

grandmasgirl

I can never figure out why one case is all over the news, and another case of equal importance is not. Why is this case any different than any other murder or self-defense case?

OH-IO

This is all over the news because it's an old-fashioned trial right out of the early 60s. A white man(Zimmerman isnt a Latino name) with a gun kills a black teen and law enforcement tried to look the other way. The residue of racism is still alive and 2013.

stayfit

I believe its reverse racism and if Zimmerman were black it would never hit trial. It took 45 days to arrest him, after it made headlines.

deertracker

The fact that it took 45 days to arrest him is not all that unusual. However, it took 3 days to identify Martin and notify his family. He was killed very close to his father's home. The entire investigation was flawed.

sash

Why all the excitement over the DNA results? Lack of DNA isn't proof of anything. Zimmerman's DNA wasn't found on the slide of his own gun! Does that prove that he didn't chamber a round? Someone else did it? Touch DNA can be helpful, but is also very limited. Not everyone sheds enough cells to always show up in testing and smooth objects. like the gun and holster, are the least likely to contain samples. Their own expert testified to those facts. He also testified that heat and humidity can degrade samples and rain can wash DNA away completely. Really wish they'd report all the salient points of the testimony.

phroggy

Zim is innocent. The black community turned this into a race issue.

princedenny

Rodney King, who had a rap sheet a mile long, was an "innocent victim" as well.

For those of you wanting Zimmerman found guilty, you can't fix STUPID. Please keep writing your comments and proving how ignorant you are...And make sure to have a ton of spelling errors in your comments to further prove my point.

deertracker

Rodney King? You lost me. Perhaps it is your stupidity that is in desperate need of a fix. Your writing skills are not perfect either. It amazes me how some of you attack simply because someone has an opinion. Opinions are just that. Opinions!!!!!!!!!

Erie County Resident

Waiting for the verdict.
Then we'll see the black community start the totally stupid destructive riots and looting.
Yes they have already started on social media groups saying this will happen if there is no conviction. I bet it will happen no matter the outcome. Their just looking for a reason to riot and loot.

beepx22

I don't think it's fair to think the black community as a whole will be guilty of this, each ethnic group has in it certain members that will look to take advantage of situations like this. It's not anymore fair to say the black community will riot than it is too say all the whites are racist.

deertracker

I would like to know what the white community is going to do if he is found guilty! Some seem to know so much about the black community.

beepx22

probably go.. well that doesn't seem right, and move on. just like most of the black community

The Big Dog's back

It might just be the good white community who are tired of white supremacists and people who follow faux news.

JudgeMeNot

Or it might be you are just a low information person and you can't find any real “white supremacist” threats, so you have to invent fake ones. It is true that in America lil dog, you have a right to be stupid. Don’t you see how ridiculous you look?

Maybe lil dog needs to watch Fox News and learn something instead of spending time "learning" from your favorite news outlet of low information MSNBC.

cockynurse

Touch DNA isn't as simple as if you touch something-your DNA is on it. Also, martins hands were in the rain and elements, unprotected for 3 hours. None of the evidence was properly preserved. Nail clippings weren't even obtained. The ME was nothing short of a joke on the stand.

Zimmerman will be found innocent. Watch the trial-pay attention to the facts, testimony, and evidence and not the biased news.

This is a very sad tragedy, indeed. The Zimmerman family are also being victimized by this newsstand dog and pony show.

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