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

zim should be convicted of manslaughter at the minimal.

JudgeMeNot

On what grounds?

deertracker

I agree! It really is starting to sound as if he was trying to play hero cop. He was going to get him one because "they always get away". Speaks volumes. The real cops have a hard enough time so what did this guy really think he was doing? Oops, now I should go to jail.

Contango

Wait for the verdict.

Meanwhile, let the Zimmerman trial crazies & fanatics knock themselves out with their wild media influenced nonsense.

The Big Dog's back

Like zim's friend Frank Taaffe?

Contango

Re: "Like zim's friend Frank Taaffe?"

Don't know one d*mn thing about it Zimmerman trial nutcase. :)

Waitin' for the verdict (and aftermath).

The Big Dog's back

If you don't know "one d*mn thing about it", then how can you make comments like that?

Contango

Re: "...how can you make comments like that?"

'Cause I ain't one of the Zimmerman trial crazies that are treating this like a (bleeping) soap opera.

Waiting for the verdict, DERPY.

The Big Dog's back

"waiting for the verdict". Why? Never stopped you from weighing in before.

deertracker

Why are we crazies or fanatics? How can you say anyone is being influenced by the media? I know it's the 4th but you may want to slow down. It's still early.

Contango

Re: "Why are we crazies or fanatics?"

For those with obvious poor eyesight: WAIT FOR THE VERDICT.

FINI

JudgeMeNot

You and lil dog are clearly influenced by the media.

JERRY from SANDUSKY

Zimmerman is being set up by the prosecutor which is afraid of his job and by the state of Florida and the black community

The Big Dog's back

zim set up?

stayfit

Had the victim been white, I doubt he would have ever been arrested. He was not arrested for 45 days, because it is a self-defense case.

The black community pressured law enforcement and to prevent retaliation and retribution, Zimmerman stands trial.

The Big Dog's back

So that's your take on it? What if Law Enforcement had your son for 3 days and didn't tell you? What if your son or wife or daughter was being stalked by someone they didn't know? Why didn't he just wound him instead of going for the kill shot? If it were a Black man shooting a white man in this situation he would have been strung and hung. So please, think before you repeat a right wing talking point.

stayfit

Doubtful. Trayvon wasn't stalked. Zimmerman's life was in danger and he shot to protect and was within his rights to do so (Stand Your Ground, Fla.).

And if it were a black man shooting a white man, they would be even more cautious in making an arrest because black groups (New Black Panther Party, e.g) are looking for there scapegoat to attack the white race.

On the "right wing talking point" - I guess I just don't buy into the race-card BS, sorry if that offends you.

The Big Dog's back

What about the kkk and white supremacists on here?

arnmcrmn

really....name one with proof......lol....little pup taking offense to everything.

The Big Dog's back

I would but the post would be deleted for breaking SR rules on personal info.

JudgeMeNot

What about them?

The Big Dog's back

When the 2 of you insert yourself into someone else's chat, know what you're talking about before you make yourself look ignorant.

grumpy

If he was "stalked" (stalked has a singular definition in court) the prosicutor would have claimed that, as it is... he didn't, nor can he do so. But don't let that stop you from claiming more things that can't be shown, it only matters what can be proven. That is why it can't be claimed at the trial but can be claimed here, by low information folks. It is called speculation.

The Big Dog's back

Did the 911 operator tell zim not to follow Trayvon? Why yes he did. Did zim continue to follow Trayvon? Why yes he did. What's your definition of stalking?

arnmcrmn

stalking.....following or pursuing....2 totally different meanings and words.

JudgeMeNot

Liberals keep saying Zimmerman was "stalking" Martin.

deertracker

The word is "pursued" grumpy. Different meaning!

grumpy

Followed would be the word I would use as pursued is almost as loaded a word as stalked is. We know he followed him, pursued preposes chasing, I think that would be stretching the truth unless you presume to know what is in the mind of Zimmerman. As far as being told by an operator, it has been ruled or at least stated in court by the police that Zimmerman didn't HAVE to follow that order/suggestion. But that is only what is legal, not what is smart, but then he is on trial for 2nd degree murder, not for doing what some might see as foolish. There is no law that someone has to follow the suggestions of an operator. It could be said that arguing on the internet is foolish, if not downright stupid.

deertracker

I don't have to presume anything. His state of mind was evident on the call he made to 911. You do not have to chase someone to pursue them. Either way, he was advised not to. There is a law against murder. Ever wonder why he did not even try to use the stand your ground law defense? The kid was minding his business and there is no disputing that!

grumpy

He did not call i911. He called a non emergency number to the local police. He was simply following a person who he took to be suspicious, that is what a neighborhood watch does.

He was advised by a non policeman dispatcher not to follow. That was his, on-site decision to make, it was not breaking any law or rule to do so.

I assume he didn't try to use the stand tyour ground defense because he was advised by his lawyer.

Where did I, or anyone, dispute what Martin was doing or not doing?

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