Defense attorney Don West argues his points on lesser charges to Judge Debra Nelson during George Zimmerman's trial in Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Florida, Thursday, July 11, 2013. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel/MCT
The arguments Zimmerman jurors are considering
- Article by: MIKE SCHNEIDER
- Associated Press
- July 12, 2013 - 6:47 PM
SANFORD, Fla. — Jurors deciding whether George Zimmerman committed second-degree murder when he fatally shot Trayvon Martin deliberated for three and half hours Friday before adjourning for the night with a plan to continue Saturday morning.
Before starting their deliberations, they listened to the defense give its closing arguments, followed by a prosecution rebuttal.
The jury of six women heard dueling portraits of the neighborhood watch captain: a cop wannabe who took the law into his own hands or a well-meaning volunteer who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense because he feared for his life.
Here are key points that prosecutors and defense attorneys made in closing arguments.
— Zimmerman's under-the-breath utterance of "F------ punks. These a-------. They always get away" to a police dispatcher while following Martin through his neighborhood is evidence that Zimmerman had hatred and ill will toward Martin. To secure a second-degree murder conviction, prosecutors had to convince the jury that Zimmerman acted with a "depraved" state of mind — that is, with ill will, hatred or spite.
— Zimmerman ignored a police dispatcher's advice that he didn't need to follow Martin.
— The prosecution's star witness, Rachel Jeantel, says she was talking to Martin on her phone when she heard her friend ask a man, presumably Zimmerman, why he was following him. She says she then heard Martin shout, "Get off!" before the phone went dead.
— There was none of Zimmerman's blood on Martin's hands even though Zimmerman claims Martin covered his mouth and bloodied nose with his hands.
— Inconsistencies in Zimmerman's story show that he's lying. Prosecutors say he lied about why he got out of the car, about not knowing Florida's self-defense law and about how Martin approached him.
— Zimmerman's account that Martin was straddling him with his knees around his middle would make it physically impossible for the neighborhood watch volunteer to reach for the gun holstered around his waist.
— Zimmerman was in a fight for his life with Martin slamming his head against a concrete sidewalk and straddling him in a mixed-martial arts maneuver known as "ground and pound."
— Martin plotted and initiated the fight with Zimmerman when he instead could have returned to the townhome he was visiting after he believed Zimmerman was following him.
— The testimony of Jeantel was influenced by the fact that she was first interviewed by an attorney for Martin's family, not detectives, and then talked to prosecutors in the home of Martin's mother.
— Lead detective Chris Serino said he didn't find any major inconsistencies in Zimmerman's story.
— Forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent DiMaio said the forensic evidence was consistent with Zimmerman's description of how he shot Martin.
— Martin's father, Tracy, initially said he wasn't sure if it was his son screaming for help on 911 tapes that captured the fight between Martin and Zimmerman.
— Martin didn't have Zimmerman's blood on his hands because it was washed off in the rain due to coroner workers not properly covering his hands.
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