Huffpost Black Voices

George Zimmerman Trial Expert Says Evidence Coincides With Neighborhood Watchman's Account

Posted: Updated:

SANFORD, Fla. -- An expert on gunshot wounds hired by the defense testified Tuesday that George Zimmerman's account of how he fatally shot Trayvon Martin is consistent with the forensic evidence.

Dr. Vincent Di Maio said that the trajectory of the bullet and gun powder on Martin's body support Zimmerman's version that Martin was on top of him when Zimmerman fired his gun into Martin's chest. The gun's muzzle was against Martin's clothing and it was anywhere from two to four inches from Martin's skin, he said.

CLICK HERE FOR LIVE UPDATES

"This is consistent with Mr. Zimmerman's account that Mr. Martin was over him, leaning forward at the time he was shot," said Di Maio, the former chief medical examiner in San Antonio.

The pathologist also said it was likely Martin was conscious for 10 to 15 seconds after the shooting as a reserve supply of oxygen ran out of his body, and during that time it was possible for him to have moved his arms. Zimmerman's account that he had placed Martin's arms out to his sides after the shooting contradicts a photo taken after the shooting that shows Martin's arms under his body. Defense attorneys contend Martin moved his arms.

Di Maio also explained that if clothes taken into evidence are wet and packaged in plastic bags, and not paper bags, it can ruin the samples since "bacteria multiplies and you get mold and it stinks to high heaven." Defense attorneys believe DNA evidence found on Martin's hooded sweatshirt and undershirt was degraded since the clothing wasn't packaged properly.

Earlier in the morning, Judge Debra Nelson considered prosecutors' request to bar the defense from showing animation depicting the fight between Martin and Zimmerman. Nelson held an evidence hearing with jurors out of the courtroom, but ultimately postponed her decision and more arguments on the matter until later in the afternoon.

Prosecutors object to the animation, saying it isn't an accurate depiction.

Defense attorneys called the man who created the animation to testify. To recreate the fight, Daniel Schumaker went to the crime scene and had employees in motion-capture suits re-enact what happened based on coroner photographs, police reports, the coroner's report, witness depositions and photos taken by responding police officers, he said.

The fight took place on a dark, rainy night in February 2012 and there were no eyewitnesses who saw the entire fight. Several witnesses saw and heard parts of the struggle that left Martin dead with a bullet in his heart.

Testimony in previous days has focused on a 911 call that captures screams from the struggle between Martin and Zimmerman.

Convincing the jury of who was screaming for help on the tape has become the primary goal of prosecutors and defense attorneys because it would help jurors evaluate Zimmerman's self-defense claim. Relatives of Martin's and Zimmerman's have offered conflicting opinions about who is heard screaming.

Zimmerman's mother and uncle testified last Friday it was Zimmerman screaming, while Martin's mother and brother also took the witness stand last Friday to say the voice belongs to Martin. Martin's father testified Monday that he initially couldn't tell if the screams came from his son, but later decided they did.

Zimmerman himself once said during a police interview that the screams didn't sound like him, though he and his family later said the screams were his.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and says he shot Martin in self-defense during a scuffle in the townhome complex where he lived. Martin was there visiting his father and his father's fiancee.

___

Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at . http://twitter.com/khightower

Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at . http://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP

Also on The Huffington Post

Close
Trayvon Martin Timeline
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Gunshot wound expert testifies in George Zimmerman trial

George Zimmerman murder trial: College professor testimony may undermine ...

George Zimmerman trial: Defense witness Dr. Vincent J. M. Di Maio

George Zimmerman trial enters 3rd week

George Zimmerman trial won't include experts saying Trayvon Martin screamed ...

George Zimmerman Trial: Expert says no Trayvon Martin DNA on gun grip

WATCH LIVE: George Zimmerman Trial - 07/08/13

George Zimmerman murder trial: FBI expert testifies on screams for help during ...

State winding down in George Zimmerman trial

George Zimmerman trial: Audio expert can't ID screams in 911 calls

FBI audio expert testifies in Zimmerman trial - Yahoo! News

George Zimmerman trial: Judge suspends Zimmerman trial; expert ...

George Zimmerman trial: Audio experts not allowed to testify on 911 ...

George Zimmerman trial: Voice expert testifies during second week ...

Judge bars audio experts from George Zimmerman trial who say ...

Ruling on voice ID experts in Zimmerman trial awaited - USA Today

George Zimmerman Trial Audio Expert Denied 911 Calls | Mediaite

Complete coverage of the George Zimmerman Trial | www.wftv.com

George Zimmerman Judge Denies Use of State Audio Experts ...

Jury to decide whose voice on 911 call in Zimmerman case ...