ORLANDO — Trayvon Martin had marijuana in his system. He was shot through the heart at close range. George Zimmerman had a broken nose, bruises and bloody cuts on the back of his head. The lead investigator wanted to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter in the weeks after the shooting but was overruled. The autopsy says medical examiners found THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, when they tested Martin’s blood and urine. A police report shows the 17-year-old had been shot once in the chest and had been pronounced dead at the scene. The autopsy says the fatal shot was fired from no more than 18 inches away. These are among the details revealed in nearly 200 pages of documents, photos and audio recordings that were released Thursday in a case that has riveted the nation. Yet, it’s still unclear what happened and whether it was racially motivated. The evidence supports Zimmerman’s contention that he was being beaten up when he fired the fatal shot. At the same time, it bolsters the argument of Martin’s parents that Zimmerman was profiling Martin and that the whole confrontation could have been avoided if not for Zimmerman’s actions. Another opportunity for answers isn’t likely to come until a hearing later this year in which Zimmerman is expected to claim the shooting was justified under Florida’s stand-your-ground law. Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment Thursday.
The evidence supporting Zimmerman’s defense includes a photo showing the neighborhood watch volunteer with a bloody nose on the night of the fight. A paramedic report says Zimmerman had a 1-inch laceration on his head and forehead abrasion. “Bleeding tenderness to his nose, and a small laceration to the back of his head. All injuries have minor bleeding,” paramedic Michael Brandy wrote of Zimmerman’s injuries in the report. Whether Zimmerman was injured in the Feb. 26 altercation with Martin has been a key question. The 28-year-old has claimed self-defense and said he fired only because the unarmed teenager attacked him. Zimmerman was not arrested for weeks because he invoked Florida’s stand-your-ground law, which does not require a person to retreat in the face of a serious threat. He was released on bail and is in hiding while he awaits trial on a second-degree murder charge. He has pleaded not guilty. The case has become a national racial flash point because the Martin family and supporters contend Zimmerman singled Martin out because he was black. Zimmerman has a Peruvian mother and a white father. Other evidence supports the contention of Martin’s parents, that Zimmerman was the aggressor. The investigator who called for Zimmerman’s arrest, Christopher Serino, told prosecutors that the fight could have been avoided if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement. He said Zimmerman, after leaving his vehicle, could have identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and talked to him instead of confronting him. The report was written on March 13, nearly a month before Zimmerman’s eventual arrest. He said there is no evidence Martin was involved in any criminal activity.
via : Detroit Free Press
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