A new color photograph showing George Zimmerman’s bloody face the night he killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has been released by his defense team.
The image, which had previously only been seen as a grainy, black-and-white version, shows blood streaming from the former neighbourhood watch volunteer’s swollen nose as he sits in a police car.
The severity of his injuries could add strength to Zimmerman’s claim that he was acting in self defense when he fatally shot the unarmed teenager in a Florida gated community in February.
It was among the latest batch of evidence handed over to the defense by prosecutors and was posted to Zimmerman’s legal team’s website, gzlegalcase.com, on Monday.
The rest of the new evidence will also be posted to the blog ‘assoon as we are sure it has been properly redacted’, the team wrote.
In yet another complication for a case that has already taken numerous twists and turns before the trial has even begun, the defense team also posted a new motion asking for the judge’s permission to re-depose a police witness, Investigator William Erwin.
When they first took his statement, the defense had not been told that Erwin had been present when the police played a 911 recording of Trayvon’s father, the new motion said.
The 911 call was made by a neighbor who heard the struggle ahead of the deadly shooting. Police said Tracy Martin claimed the voice heard crying did not belong to his son.
Yet, he has since disputed this, and said that he and Trayvon’s mother,Sybrina Fulton,do believe they were his son’s cries.
Zimmerman, 29, remains in hiding as he awaits trial for fatally shooting the 17-year-old in Sanford, Florida as the youngster visited his father.
The killing came after Zimmerman, who was on duty as a neighbourhood watch volunteer that night, called 911 to report a suspicious man who looked like he was ‘up to no good.’
The teenager was returning to his father’s girlfriend’s house from a nearby store where he purchased Skittles for his little brother and an iced tea for himself.
Acting against the wishes of the 911 operator Zimmerman followed Martin, and they got into a scuffle, with Zimmerman claiming Martin jumped on top of him and slammed his head against the ground.
Recounting the deadly scrap the day after the incident, he added that as Martin smothered his mouth and nose with his hand and arm, he grabbed his gun from a holster before Martin could get it.
He fired one shot into Martin’s chest, killing him.
The killing death sparked nationwide protests for the arrest of Zimmerman – which took 40 days – and inflamed public anger over race relations and gun control.
Mark Osterman, 44, a federal air marshall who sheltered Zimmerman for six weeks after the shooting, told Dr. Phil that his friend would be dead unless he had killed the Florida teenager.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and claims the shooting was self-defense, but prosecutors say he profiled and pursued Trayvon.
His murder trial has been set for June 10.
A new judge was appointed to oversee the case in August. Zimmerman’s defense team had argued the previous judge made remarks putting Zimmerman in reasonable fear of an unfair trial.
Source: The Daily Mail