Amidst media speculation and subsequent hate rallies, thankfully Seminole County State Attorney’s office has finally released nearly 200 pages of actual evidence documentation, audio and photographs relating to the homicide of 17-year old Trayvon Martin.
Trayvon Martin, who lived in Miami Gardens, Florida, was visiting his father Tracy Martin who lived at The Retreat in Twin Lake Town Homes, a gated community of Sanford, Florida.
It was about 7:10 pm on the evening of February 26, 2012, as Trayvon was walking home from a nearby convenience store when he was spotted by a citizen, George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who was driving home from a shopping trip.
Because of the recent burglaries, Zimmerman considered Trayvon’s presence suspicious and called into the 911 non-emergency number. This phone call is listed in audio discovery files.
Within minutes after this call, a shot rang out as residents of The Retreat Townhomes listened in fear. Some were already on the telephone with 911 dispatchers to report loud arguing and some to report hearing someone moaning for help in the courtyard.
Trayvon Martin was shot with a Kel-Tec 9 mm gun. George Zimmerman was brought into Sanford Police Department for questioning and several hours later released.
The Kel-Tec 9 mm PF-9 is one of the lightest, thinnest 9 mm guns on the market — a gun so small and light you can carry it in your pocket undetected.
The documents also show that in a March 13th request “capias request” recommended that Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter. The document said that Trayvon Martin’s death was “ultimately avoidable” had George Zimmerman remained in his car after alerting police of a suspicious person.
Nonetheless, George Zimmerman was cleared of all wrong doing according to Seminole County and the Sanford Police Dept.
If not for a phone call from Florida Governor Rick Scott, Jacksonville State Attorney Angela Corey would never have been called in and George Zimmerman would be the same free man who walked out of the Sanford Police Dept in the early morning hours of February 27th.
On Wednesday, April 11, 2012, to a nation-wide television audience, Angela Corey announced the arrest of George Zimmerman to the charge of 2nd degree murder. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r-idmJTK3I George Zimmerman turned himself in. Incidentally, it was State Attorney Angela Corey who moved to try a 12-year-old boy as an adult in a first degree murder case.
On to the bond hearing; George Zimmerman attended his bond hearing on April 20th along with his attorney Mark O’Mara. After several witness testimonies, for and against Mr. Zimmerman, in a risky move, Mark O’Mara put George on the stand. Mr. Zimmerman wanted to address several questions raised by Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother.
Zimmerman had this to say…
Snipped from transcript
O’MARA: We want to make sure that (inaudible). State your name.
ZIMMERMAN: George Michael Zimmerman
O’MARA: You advised me that you wanted to make a short statement, is that correct?
I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. And I did not know if he was armed or not.
O’MARA: Nothing further, your honor. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I’m sorry, sir, you’re not really addressing that to the court. You’re doing it here to the victim’s family, is that correct?
ZIMMERMAN: They are here in the court, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand. But I thought you were going to address your honor, Judge Lester, not — so that’s really addressed to the family and where the media happens to be, correct, Mr. Zimmerman?
ZIMMERMAN: No, to the mother and the father.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. And tell me, after you committed this crime and you spoke to the police, did you ever make that statement to the police, sir? That you were sorry for what you’ve done or their loss?
ZIMMERMAN: No sir.
Since Zimmerman’s arrest and subsequent release under a $150,000 bond, the Federal Justice Department is currently investigating Zimmerman for civil rights violations. The reason is unclear but some media legal analysts are speculating if in fact Zimmerman uttered a racial slur in the following transcript of the initial 911 call.
Zimmerman: No you go in straight through the entrance and then you make a left…uh you go straight in, don’t turn and make a left. Shit he’s running.
Dispatcher: He’s running? Which way is he running?
Zimmerman: Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.
Dispatcher: Which entrance is that that he’s running towards?
Zimmerman: The back entrance…fucking [unintelligible]
Dispatcher: Are you following him?
Dispatcher: Ok, we don’t need you to do that.
The analysis was unsuccessful “due to weak signal level and poor recording quality,” according to the report.
The documents also include at least 11 witnesses to the shooting but not all are eye witnesses. Scattered within these documents are parts of what the Seminole County prosecutors plans to use to prove George Zimmerman is guilty of 2nd degree murder.
According to Florida attorney Richard Hornsby, second degree murder in Florida occurs when a person commits either, murder with a depraved mind or accomplice to felony murder.
Mr. Hornsby explains, the primary distinction between Premeditated First Degree Murder and Second Degree Murder with a Depraved Mind is that First Degree Murder requires a specific and premeditated intent to kill. The penalty under Florida’s 10-20-Life law, a person who uses a Firearm to commit Second Degree Murder must be sentenced to a minimum-mandatory prison sentence of 25 years.
In the picture on the right is the back of George Zimmerman’s head. This is the picture that I believe will beg the question, ”Was George Zimmerman in fear of his life and did he shoot Trayvon Martin in self defense?” Most of the witness reports support that claim and “Is there more to this tragedy than we know?”
Or notably, as in the capias request, Trayvon Martin’s death was “ultimately avoidable” had George Zimmerman remained in his car after alerting police of a suspicious person?
Here are a few issues in the document release that I found interesting.
Page 5 of 183
Why did SPD take buccal swabs from GZ’s cheeks? I assume to add GZ’s DNA to LE data base and to identify blood stains. On this page, GZ’s key and flashlight are described.
Page 6 of 183
Why did Sanford Police Dept. take the first-aid kit into evidence?
Page 8 of 183
GZ’s shirt described as Grey colored “Layer 8 Performance” brand name long sleeved shirt, size large, collected from Zimmerman at the Sanford Police Department.
* GZ’s jeans, jacket, shoes and socks were also taken into evidence
Page 16 or 183
Perhaps explained the reason why SPD wasn’t able to contact relatives of TM sooner.
They said the cell phone found at the scene was either low on battery or wasn’t working properly because it was wet due to the weather conditions, wet and rain.
Documents show that on February 28th, the cell phone was also password protected which caused another investigative problem for Sanford investigators.
Page 17 or 183
March 5 – TM’s father was asked for the pin # for the cell phone. TM’s father stated he would contact his lawyer before releasing the information.
Initially I was angry with SPD for not contacting Trayvon Martin’s family sooner but now I know why.
Includes autopsy report
183 pages PDF file
Angela Corey announces the arrest of George Zimmerman
Zimmerman Capias PDF
Bond Hearing article “The Christian Science Monitor”
CNN transcript of bond hearing
Atty. Richard Hornsby website