News Column

Testimony Continues in Zimmerman Murder Trial

July 1, 2013

The second week of testimony in the George Zimmerman murder trial begins today, when prosecutors will resume calling witnesses to build their case against Zimmerman in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, which sparked widespread civil rights protests last year.

The attorneys for both sides will be back in court at 8:30 a.m.

Last week, jurors heard from a variety of witnesses in the case, from Sanford police officers, including first responders who tried to save the teenager's life, to a crime scene technician, the physician assistant who treated Zimmerman the next day and several Zimmerman neighbors who described what they saw Feb. 26, 2012, the night of the shooting.

Among those who still haven't testified for the state, but could this week: The lead police investigator in the case, the medical examiner who autopsied Trayvon and the Miami Gardens teen's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton.

Jurors also haven't yet heard any of Zimmerman' statements to law enforcement from after the shooting.

The jury has already heard from the state's star witness, 19-year-old Rachel Jeantel, who gave a dramatic account of Trayvon Martin's last seconds. While on the phone with Trayvon, he told her a man was following him, she said.

She said she later heard the man say, "What are you doing around here?" Jeantel then heard a bump and noises, followed by Trayvon saying "Get off, get off," she said.

Later in the week, the state called John Good, a Zimmerman neighbor who told Sanford police after the shooting he'd seen a black male -- who he identified in court last week as Trayvon -- on top of a lighter-skinned man, "just throwing down blows on the guy," in manner similar to mixed martial arts.

The trial will continue to be closely watched. When Sanford police didn't arrest Zimmerman after the shooting, citing his self-defense claim, the case sparked protests in Sanford and across the globe. Zimmerman was later charged with second-degree murder by a special prosecutor. He faces up to life in prison if convicted as charged.

Source: (c)2013 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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