Second degree murder is a death which results from an assault which is likely to cause death. Second degree murder is distinguished from first degree murder, which is a premeditated, intentional killing or results from a vicious crime such as arson, rape or armed robbery. Second degree murder is not murder committed in the "heat of passion".
Once all the evidence has been provided to Zimmerman’s defense team, his lawyer can file a motion for immunity under Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law. A judge must hold an evidentiary hearing and decide by a “preponderance of the evidence” whether Zimmerman was acting in self-defense.
By definition, every accused must have a place where they can be tried. You can bet his new attorneys are gonna look for the most racist white venue in FLA.
Zimmerman deserves a legal presumption of innocencewhich, in this case, is equivalent to saying that Martin deserves to be presumed guilty.
Zimmerman deserves a legal presumption of innocence
I don't think even the most fervent racists would contest the facts as we currently understand them.
And if Zimmerman is found innocent, then the only reason Martin wouldn't be legally guilty is because he's too dead to be charged with attacking Zimmerman.
The same evidence required to prove Martin's guilt should be required to prove Zimmerman's innocence
At the risk of playing both sides of the coin, here: police officers [follow others while carrying guns] ALL THE TIME.
-- confrontation escalates. Trayvon, the stronger, ends up on top of Zimm. Zimm goes for gun. Trayvon sees it, fears for life, whacks Zimm's head on pavement. Zimm fears for life, gets gun shoots.
delmoi: I believe there are two witnesses who say the fight was going on moments before the shot was fired. I'm not sure if there were two fights at different locations.
And it's illegitimate somehow for Zimmerman's lawyers (whoever they may be) to present that as a defense?
That's not illegitimate, but if anyone deserves the presumption of innocence it is Martin, and the onus is on Zimmerman's lawyers to prove otherwise.
What does that mean, in a practical sense? The state of Florida should start with the presumption that Martin did absolutely nothing to initiate a conflict with Zimmerman? That's stacking the deck.
Zimmerman deserves a legal presumption of innocence, period, and it's up to the prosecution to prove that he's guilty of murder.
Only if the court allows defense counsel to mislead the jury as to the nature of that law, which does not allow you to invoke it in a situation that you have escalated.
Oh, please, moorooka. You're throwing away a fundamental basis of fair legal systems since there was such a thing as a fair legal system.
People shouldn't be required to prove their innocence. It's frankly amazing to me that you're still making statements phrased in ways like that. Good night.
The coverage, at least from that network, is totally slanted to get your outraged eyeballs.
I can't be sure of Florida's specific standpoint on Affirmative Defenses, but in general the Burdon of Proof does NOT shift to the defendant pursuing a self defense case. (if you know otherwise, do tell)
Because an affirmative defense requires an assertion of facts beyond those claimed by the plaintiff, generally the party who offers an affirmative defense bears the burden of proof. The standard of proof is typically lower than beyond a reasonable doubt. It can either be proved by clear and convincing evidence or by a preponderance of the evidence. In some cases or jurisdictions, however, the defense must only be asserted, and the prosecution has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defense is not applicable.
Um, no. He is entitled to presumption of innocence of his charge. (to wit: that he committed 2nd degree murder against Martin.)
"Shot and killed" does not always mean "committed 2nd degree murder." Wouldn't you at least agree with that?
I don't think anybody is arguing that there is a dearth of "available data" in this case. Certainly there is plenty to read about. What there is very little of, though, is admissible data. There are no sworn statements. No verified forensic reports. No first-hand statements from the accused.
I don't have a clue what happened on that night. I doubt we will ever be confident that we know what happened. But I am amazed at people's willingness to simply assume that they know how it "must" have happened in the absence of almost any supporting evidence.
but it's just as easy to concoct an air-tight case for acquittal "if we believe these other 5 people."
One or two eyewitnesses point to Martin as the aggressor (either specifically saying he was on top of Zimmerman, or saying that someone "wearing a light shirt" was the agressor)
The police report indicates that Zimmerman sustained injuries and had wet grass on the back of his jacket.
EMT's at the scene treated him for injuries.
The coroner who performed Trayvon Martin's autopsy noted no defensive injuries.
How OK are you with exercising that right, though?
On the other hand, saying essentially that Zimmerman is a piece of shit, etc. etc. is a different conversation altogether. There is just something revolting about whatever it is that leads people to say things like "I hope he rots."
I'm an American, but have lived in Asia for many years and I was wondering if someone could concisely explain why this story has such a high profile in view of the total number of murder cases.
By that, there are plenty scenarios that cover the knowns which allow for Zimmerman to shoot in self defense.
I can see myself giving Zimmerman reasons to fear for his life, if he surprised me in a tight place, and acted like a menace. Imagine Zimmerman pulling a gun on you and ordering you to lay down! Right there is a major threat. So Trayvon freaks out and attacks the gun wielding beast in desperation.
The special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin shooting case has announced that she has filed a charge of second degree murder against George Zimmerman.
So, what did Special Prosecutor Angela Corey have to do legally to get here and what will happen next?
In Session's Beth Karas and Jessica Thrill break down the steps she took in order to file the charges and how the case will proceed from here.
Step 1 – Corey files an “information” with the court
- An “information” is the official document that accuses him of the charge or charges.
Step 2 – Corey presents a judge with a probable cause package supporting the crimes charged in the “information”
- The judge will then decide if there is probable cause based on the information Corey submits.
- The judge will only authorize an arrest if he/she finds probable cause. In Florida, probable cause means that the facts and circumstances would lead a cautious person to believe that there’s a “reasonable ground of suspicion” that a particular person is guilty of a particular crime.
Step 3 – Once Zimmerman is arrested, he will have a “first appearance” before a judge
- The judge will read Zimmerman the charges.
- The judge will address Zimmerman’s right to counsel.
- The judge will set bond. Among the factors the judge will consider in setting a reasonable bond are whether Zimmerman is a flight risk and a danger to the community.
Step 4 – Arraignment
- The arraignment will likely happen within two to three weeks of the arrest and will be in open court.
- Zimmerman will be arraigned and must enter a plea on the charges, most likely “not guilty” (at this stage, defendants almost never plead guilty)
- Often the defendant will waive his appearance at the actual court hearing. The attorney can enter a written plea of not guilty on the defendant’s behalf.
Step 5 – Defense files a motion to dismiss based on Florida's “stand your ground” law
- If Zimmerman is charged, he is entitled to a pre-trial evidentiary hearing on whether he is entitled to the immunity based on the law.
- The burden at that hearing is on the defense to prove by “a preponderance of the evidence” (more likely than not) that Zimmerman was justified in using deadly force.
- In Florida, an individual can use deadly force anywhere (with no duty to retreat) as long as he/she:
1. is not engaged in an unlawful activity;
2. is being attacked in a place he/she has a right to be; And
3. reasonably believes that his/her life and safety is in danger.
- The judge decides whether Zimmerman’s actions were justified, and therefore entitles him to the “stand your ground” immunity.
1. If the judge finds the force was justifiable, then the charges are dismissed and Zimmerman is immune from further criminal prosecution and possibly, civil liability.
2. If the judge finds the force was not justifiable, then the charges against Zimmerman move forward.
- If the judge rules Zimmerman is immune, the prosecution can appeal that decision to a higher court.
Step 6 – Pre-trial
- Both the prosecution and defense could file a slew of pre-trial motions in the case that deal with anything and everything from turning over documents and evidence to keeping certain evidence out at trial. It is just too early to tell.
Step 7 - Trial
Zimmerman is charged with murder in the second degree.
Florida law describes murder in the second degree as an act that is “imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind” if it is an act or series of acts that:
- a person of ordinary judgment would know is reasonably certain to kill or do serious bodily injury to another, and
- is done from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent, and
- is of such a nature that the act itself indicates an indifference to human life.
In Florida, a charge of murder in the second degree carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Florida does not offer the chance for parole. The sentence would however take into account several mitigating and aggregating factors.
For example, Law Professor John Harrison asserts that the word "law" in the Constitution is simply defined as that which is legally binding, rather than being "defined by formal or substantive criteria," and therefore judges do not have discretion to decide that laws fail to satisfy such unwritten and vague criteria. Law Professor Frederick Mark Gedicks disagrees, writing that Cicero, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and the framers of the U.S. Constitution believed that an unjust law was not really a law at all.
On April 22, 2011, Zimmerman called to report a black male about “7-9” years old, four feet tall, with a “skinny build” and short black hair. There is no indication in the police report of the reason for Zimmerman’s suspicion of the boy.
Twin Lakes’ neighborhood watch itself did not exist before [September 2011], according to Wendy Dorival, volunteer coordinator for the Sanford Police Department.
Dorival first met with Twin Lakes residents to give a neighborhood-watch presentation on the evening of Sept. 22. The meeting was initiated by a call from Zimmerman, she said.
“He was the one who contacted me at first to get it started there,” Dorival said.
Dorival recalled that about two dozen residents showed up to hear her speak about the responsibilities of neighborhood-watch volunteers.
“There were about three or four burglaries that had happened that people were upset about, and that’s what initiated me to get out there for them to start a neighborhood watch,” Dorival said.
Part of the instruction Dorival gives new volunteers, she said, includes when to call 911 and when to call non-emergency numbers. Both lines go to the same operator, Dorival told the Daily Beast, but the different numbers allow the operator to triage calls.
“I basically tell them you call non-emergency dispatch if you come home after work and you notice somebody took a bike off your porch,” Dorival said. “A 911 call is when there is a crime in progress. If someone’s life or property is in danger, you call 911.”
At the end of the Dorival’s presentation, she invited residents to choose a neighborhood-watch leader.
“I went through all the roles and responsibilities for neighborhood watch and I said, ‘Now it’s time to choose your community leader,” Dorival said. “And pretty much the people chose George Zimmerman as the coordinator.”
Where is the evidence Zimmerman is racist?
This simply isn't so. The two default legal settings are "We don't know" and "Misunderstanding". In neither of those scenarios is anyone found legally guilty.
It seems to me that in this instance, it's possible both shooter and victim could feel they were threatened and had the right to stand their ground. If Martin knew Zimmerman had a loaded weapon he could have reasonably felt he needed to attack with his fists to preserve his life. Zimmerman, in the midst of Martin beating him to a pulp, could have reasonably feared for his life and used his gun to preserve it. Neither was committing a crime at the initiation of the incident, both had a right to be where they were.
I have no interest in "proving" George is a racist, but there is that whole "Fucking Coons" issue. It'll be interesting to see if he can replicate whatever he claims to have been saying, and have it sound like what he said on the tape.
George Zimmerman, the Hispanic Floridian who killed black teenager Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, had a MySpace account whose username was “datniggytb,” The Daily Caller has learned.
Actually the case goes to trial if he fails to show that he had reasonable fear for his safety. This is a motion before a judge, not the jury. If the judge decides for the prosecution, the case goes to trial.
A terrible law.
Doesn't self defense also not apply to the person who starts a fight? You can;t just go around with a gun stalking and picking fights with people and, as soon as you start losing the fight, kill them. Even in my bloodthirsty state (TX) you can't get away with that.
Incidentally, most of the 'analysis' here about provocation and self-defense is completely wrong. If I approach you and insult you, well then I've provoked you to some extent. You may be somewhat justified in slapping my face or suchlike to express your anger, and it would be on me to either withdraw or limit my defense to about the same level of force.
776.041Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
(1)Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(2)Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
(a)Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(b)In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.
I am putting m money on a manslaughter plea after the evidentiary hearing if the judge does not grant Z immunity from prosecution based on the SYG law. He is looking at the possibility of life in prison, but at least 25you years. Not sure what the max sentence for voluntary manslaughter is in Florida, but something close to max is what I expect. I get the feeling that trayvons parents may be sastisfied with that outcome as well.
Zimmerman would have been a lot better off if the cops had actually arrested him at the time
He wasn't booked. No mugshot.
Delmoi's point was Zimmerman would've been better off -- on top of a lesser charge, there would've been a hell of a lot less attention, which (from all appearances with that police department) would've hugely benefited Zimmerman.
Fortunately, the Supremes have given us a road map for determining just when a person has been "seized" -- or arrested, if you like. It goes something like this: When taking into account all of the circumstances surrounding the encounter, the police conduct would have communicated to a reasonable person that he was not at liberty to ignore the police presence and go about his business. MICHIGAN VS. CHESTNUT, 486 US 567 (1988)
An arrest may occur (1) by the touching or putting hands on the arrestee; (2) by any act that indicates an intention to take the arrestee into custody and that subjects the arrestee to the actual control and will of the person making the arrest; or (3) by the consent of the person to be arrested. There is no arrest where there is no restraint, and the restraint must be under real or pretended legal authority. However, the detention of a person need not be accompanied by formal words of arrest or a station house booking to constitute an arrest.
The test used to determine whether an arrest took place in a particular case is objective, and it turns on whether a reasonable person under these circumstances would believe he or she was restrained or free to go.
Cosby: "I had the gun in my pocket. The reason I had it was to protect my family. But I also knew that anything that went on outside - and it appeared to be something that wasn't on the okay - I went out with my gun. And the thought was - if this person was not right, or if that doesn't move when I say move - I'm going to show that I have a gun."
MARK STRASSMANN: Sanford police have questioned Zimmerman, but not charged him. He had a legal permit to carry his concealed weapon--a nine-millimeter handgun. For now, he`s a free man who maintains he acted in self-defense.
Zimmerman admitted shooting him?
BILL LEE (Sanford, Florida, Police Chief): Correct.
MARK STRASSMANN: He was armed and the victim was not armed?
BILL LEE: That`s correct.
MARK STRASSMANN: But no arrest?
BILL LEE: No arrest.
Most affidavits of probable cause are very thin. This is so thin that it won’t make it past a judge on a second degree murder charge. There’s simply nothing in there that would justify second degree murder. It’s not only thin, it’s irresponsible.”
I think what you have here is an elected public official who made a campaign speech last night for reelection when she gave her presentation and overcharged. This case will not – if the evidence is no stronger than what appears in the probable cause affidavit – this case will result in an acquittal.
This affidavit does not even make it to probable cause. Everything in the affidavit is completely consistent with a defense of self-defense. Everything.
Jorge Rodriguez, Zimmerman's next-door neighbor, told Reuters that Zimmerman “had two big, butterfly bandages on the back of his head, and another big bandage on the bridge of his nose.”
“I saw two bandages on the back of his head, and his nose was all swollen up,” said one witness.
"There are around 90 guns for every 100 Americans yet, despite 85 fatal shootings a day, the mighty US gun lobby is as powerful as ever. In the wake of Trayvon Martin's killing, Gary Younge reports on the country's deadly attachment to firearms".
A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground
776.041Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
(1)Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(2)Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.
"the video was not enough for a jury.
The guards and nurse were charged with aggravated manslaughter for Anderson's death, but a jury found them not guilty on all charges."
"I really have a very hard time understanding how the jury came to the decision that it did, because the jury had a choice, they had a tiered ballot, and they could've chosen second degree manslaughter all the way down to misdemeanor mistreatment of a child," said Dr. Any Opel, an associate professor at Florida State University who spent the last six years creating a documentary about the Martin Lee Anderson killing.
Be clear and concise in your cries for help. This will not in any way add to the chance that you will survive the encounter. Instead, it serves to ensure that bystanders and anyone recording just the audio of the encounter will have a clearer depiction of what is happening. Phrases such as "help me!" are not enough. You must be clear. "Please do not shoot me! I am just a kid!" will alert others to the fact that it is you that is about to be shot, rather than your assailant. "I do NOT have a weapon! Please don't shoot me!" further emphasizes that you are unarmed (for after your death, no one is ever certain).
My son, you will die. You will perish at the hands of those who fear you. Your death will be likened to a hunting accident. The best you can hope for is that it is not your body that dies, only your spirit, as has been the case with me, your father. When you are older, you will know that you were never meant to be a man. Your very existence, your lifespan and quality of life, are indeed not determined by a heavenly Father, but by the complex societal trappings that deem you, somehow, to be faulty, potentially dangerous, and ill-equipped to exist on equal footing.
"[Updated: 4:47 p.m., April 23: Sanford city officials later said that the chief would remain on paid administrative leave while the investigation continued and that Capt. Darren Scott would remain as acting police chief.]"
"A police detective told the father of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin that his son initiated two confrontations with the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot him."
"Trayvon Martin walked up to Zimmerman’s vehicle and asked why he was following him. Zimmerman denied following the youth and rolled up the car window. Minutes after Trayvon walked away, Zimmerman got out of his vehicle."
"Then came the second encounter, according to Tracy Martin’s recollection of the detective’s account. Trayvon Martin appeared from behind a building in Zimmerman’s gated community, approached him and demanded, “What’s your problem, homie?”
When Zimmerman replied that he didn’t have a problem, Martin said, “You do now.” The unarmed teenager hit Zimmerman, knocked him to the ground, pinned him down and told him to “shut the [expletive] up.”
During the beating, Zimmerman pulled his gun and fired one shot at close range into Martin’s chest. “You got me,” the teenager said, falling backward. "
Desjardins -- I don't know the legal rule on priors, but for my personal information, the fact that Zimmerman was fired from a security job for snapping and overreacting is a very relevant point. I was also responding to a comment from someone who said they saw no evidence of prior attempts by Zimmerman to carry out punishment, legal or extralegal. The source wasn't clear but it sounds like he was beating people the house parties where he did security, beyond the call of duty.
This means "Zimmerman loaded the gun, racked the slide to put a round in the chamber (reducing the number of bullets in the magazine by one), removed the magazine, put another round in the magazine, then replaced the magazine in the gun." In simpler terms, Zimmerman went through the trouble of chambering a shell and then reloading the magazine to full so that the gun would be ready to fire immediately, plus have an extra round.
Doesn't the article you linked describe how he got the gun because he and his wife were threatened by a pit bull and a cop told him to get a gun because "mace will take 3 seconds to work and the dog can jump you in quarter of a second"?
The attorney for Trayvon Martin's family says George Zimmerman should be back in jail because he failed to tell a judge he had $204,000 during a recent bond hearing.
"They tried to portray themselves as indigent that they did not have any money," said Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump. "We think the court should revoke his bond immediately, and he should be held accountable for misleading the court."
... The donations Zimmerman received will be discussed Friday at a court hearing in Florida, O'Mara said.
O'Mara told CNN's "AC360" that Zimmerman told him Wednesday of the donations as they were trying to shut down his Internet presence to avoid concerns about possible impersonators and problems with his Twitter and Facebook accounts.
"He asked me what to do with his PayPal accounts, and I asked him what he was talking about," O'Mara told Anderson Cooper. "He said those were the accounts that had the money from the website he had. And there was about ... $204,000 that had come in to date."
O'Mara had said earlier this month that he believed Zimmerman had no money. "I think he's indigent for costs," he said, adding that Zimmerman's relatives had few assets.
... Crump said Zimmerman's failure to reveal that he had the money shows that he is being dishonest.
"If his testimony at the bond hearing is any indication of what is to come, then the lying has already begun," Crump said.
O'Mara said he was prepared to "deal with any fallout," but predicted Lester would not feel misled. "I told him what I knew at the time, which was exactly what I was aware of."
The money has been placed in a secure account since O'Mara learned about it, he said, adding, "Nobody's touching it until we figure out how to handle it."
But criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos said Lester might not react benignly. "I know a lot of judges who would remand the guy back into custody immediately," he said. "If you've got more money stashed in an account and you could just pay the bond and be gone, that gives a lot of judges concern."
Though the account has been closed, O'Mara said he intends to open a legal defense fund for Zimmerman. "I've had dozens, hundreds actually, of people wanting to donate," he said.
The man with the gun was UCF Officer Mario Jenkins, and the man on the ground was Michael Young, who authorities say grabbed Jenkins in a bear hug from behind as the officer tried to control another tailgater after a scuffle.
Jenkins, 29, who grew up in Tarpon Springs and was a Marine Corps veteran, was part of a team investigating underage drinking at the tailgate party before UCF's Sept. 25 game with Marshall. He was wearing a green shirt and a baseball cap.
He got into a scuffle when he was grabbed by Young, Lamar said. He fired shots in the air and shot Young to get him off his back.
Smith, a bicycle patrol officer, had been told shots were fired. He arrived on the scene to see tailgaters fleeing and Jenkins aiming his gun at Young on the ground. Smith drew his gun, and thinking Jenkins was turning to shoot him, shot Jenkins twice, Lamar said.
Before falling, Jenkins, mortally wounded, fired twice back at Smith but narrowly missed as Smith fired a third time.
[Trayvon] Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said Wednesday that prosecutors could use Zimmerman’s MySpace comments against him.
“It’s not just speculation and innuendo. He has a history and a habit of profiling people,” Crump said. “He thinks certain things about certain racial groups.”
A statement posted on a Zimmerman defense site run by O’Mara concedes that the comments “will cast Mr. Zimmerman in a less-than-favorable light” and that they could become evidence in the case. The statement says there will be no comment on the MySpace statements for that reason, but it does confirm that the posts were by Zimmerman.
"Zimmerman’s MySpace page depicts him as someone who had a negative attitude towards Mexicans, and who took pride in his ability to avoid serious legal punishment for his actions.
In 2005 Zimmerman was charged with two felony counts based on allegations that he assaulted a law enforcement officer. Those charges were dropped, and evidently reduced to a misdemeanor charge. On his MySpace page, Zimmerman boasts of his legal victory .... Zimmerman also brags about escaping a domestic assault charge. In that post Zimmerman uses derogatory language towards his ex-girlfriend ..."
George Zimmerman's attorney has launched an all-out social media campaign on behalf of his client, accused of second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin.
That social media effort includes a Facebook page, a website and a Twitter account on behalf of Zimmerman.
"We understand that it is unusual for a legal defense to maintain a social media presence on behalf of a defendant, but we also acknowledge that this is a very unusual case," says Zimmerman attorney Mark O'Mara on the new site, George Zimmerman Legal Case.
The American Bar Association's standards of professional conduct does not deal with social media, a spokesman for the ABA told msnbc.com, but "it's certainly going to be on everyone's radar screen" now.
Stephen A. Saltzburg, a member of the ABA's governing body, the House of Delegates, and former chairman of the ABA's criminal justice section, said "generally speaking, lawyers are not supposed to be making public statements that could compromise a fair trial."
Whether the Zimmerman social media effort will do that would be up to a judge, Saltzburg said.
"Social media is kind of a new thing. I suspect judges in highly publicized cases are going to think about trying to order lawyers and defendants to stay away from social media in order not to taint the jury pool."
Here, according to that source, is the sequence that Zimmerman provided:
Zimmerman spotted Trayvon, called a nonemergency police number and began describing the teenager. While he was doing that, Trayvon came toward his vehicle and began to circle it.
Zimmerman, though, never described that to the dispatcher.
At one point, about halfway through the four-minute call, he told the dispatcher, "Now he's just staring at me. … Now he's coming towards me. He's got his hand in his waistband. … He's coming to check me out."
Trayvon then disappeared, Zimmerman later told authorities, according to the source, and while Zimmerman was still on the phone, he parked his vehicle, got out and began trying to find Trayvon on foot.
Zimmerman can be heard huffing and puffing on the call to police.
"Are you following him?" the dispatcher asks.
"Yeah," Zimmerman said.
"We don't need you to do that," the dispatcher says.
Zimmerman later told investigators he could not find Trayvon, so he turned and was walking back toward his SUV. A short time later, Trayvon approached him from the rear, and the two exchanged words, he told authorities.
Trayvon threw the first punch, he told police. It knocked Zimmerman to the ground, and the teenager then got on top of Zimmerman and began beating his head against a sidewalk, police have said in recounting Zimmerman's version of events.
At an April 20 bond hearing in Sanford, Dale Gilbreath, an investigator for Special Prosecutor Angela Corey, testified that Zimmerman told authorities he was frightened because Trayvon circled him while he sat in his SUV.
Gilbreath described that as one of the inconsistencies in Zimmerman's story — because getting out of the vehicle and looking for the teen is not the act of someone who is afraid.
Gilbreath did not testify that Zimmerman claimed the circling happened while he was on the phone with the dispatcher.
Gilbreath also testified briefly about Zimmerman telling police that Trayvon had his hand over Zimmerman's mouth during the fight.
Several audio experts who have analyzed the 911 tapes for the Sentinel and other news outlets have said they believe it is Trayvon's voice — not Zimmerman's — crying out for help. However, Gilbreath testified that similar identification attempts by law enforcement were fruitless.
Two weeks ago, during an exclusive interview with the Sentinel, Lee disclosed certain details of the investigation and during that session, attended by Serino and others, Serino said his investigation turned up no reliable evidence that cast doubt on Zimmerman's account – that he had acted in self-defense.
"The best evidence we have is the testimony of George Zimmerman, and he says the decedent was the primary aggressor in the whole event," Serino told the Sentinel March 16. "Everything I have is adding up to what he says."
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