SANFORD, Fla. — Two neighbors and a police officer gave accounts in George Zimmerman’s murder trial Friday that seemed to bolster his contention he was on his back and being straddled by Trayvon Martin during their fight.
Neighbor Jonathan Good said it appeared the unarmed teen was straddling Zimmerman, while another neighbor, Jonathan Manalo, said Zimmerman seemed credible when he said immediately after the fight that he had shot Martin in self-defense. Officer Tim Smith testified that Zimmerman’s backside was covered in grass and wetter than his front side. All three were called as witnesses for prosecutors who are trying to convict him of second-degree murder.
Good, who had perhaps the best view of any witness, said he did not see anyone’s head being slammed into the concrete sidewalk, as Zimmerman said Martin did to him. Good initially testified that it appeared ‘‘there were strikes being thrown, punches being thrown,’’ but during detailed questioning he said he saw only ‘‘downward’’ arm movements being made.
Zimmerman has said that he fatally shot 17-year-old Martin last year in self-defense as the Miami-area teen was banging his head into the concrete sidewalk behind the townhomes in a gated community.
Under prosecution questioning, Good said he did not see anyone being attacked that way during the fight.
‘‘I couldn’t see that,’’ Good said moments later while being cross-examined.
Cut(?) from the printed version:
Good said he heard a noise behind his townhome in February 2012, and he saw what looked like a tussle when he stepped out onto his patio to see what was happening.
He said he yelled: "What's going on? Stop it."
Good testified he saw a person in black clothing on top of another person with "white or red" clothing. He said he couldn't see faces but it looked like the person on the bottom had lighter skin. Martin was black and was wearing a dark hoodie. Zimmerman identifies as Hispanic and was wearing a red jacket. Good was back inside calling 911 when he heard a gunshot.
"It looked like there were strikes being thrown, punches being thrown," Good said.
Later, under cross-examination, he said that it looked like the person on top was straddling the person on bottom in a mixed-martial arts move known as "ground and pound." When defense attorney Mark O'Mara asked him if the person on top was Martin, Good said, "Correct, that's what it looked like." Good also said the person on the bottom yelled for help.
Gee, why wouldn't the Globe want you to know that?
"Zimmerman defense pushes hard in cross-examination; Friend of Martin pressed on slight inconsistencies" by MIKE SCHNEIDER and KYLE HIGHTOWER | Associated Press, June 28, 2013
SANFORD, Fla. — George Zimmerman’s defense attorney insisted during several testy exchanges with a important prosecution witness Thursday that Trayvon Martin injected race into a confrontation with the neighborhood watch volunteer and insinuated the woman was not believable because of inconsistencies in her story.
However, Rachel Jeantel, 19, stood firm in her testimony about the night Zimmerman shot the unarmed black 17-year-old after a fight that Jeantel said she overheard while on the phone with Martin.
Zimmerman identifies as Hispanic.
Race has permeated nationwide discussions of the case since the February 2012 shooting, which prompted nationwide protests and claims from critics that police took too long to arrest Zimmerman....
That is why the AmeriKan media is all over this case. Keep us all divided.
Defense attorney Don West also zeroed in on slight differences among three different accounts of what happened before Martin’s killing, in an apparent effort to discredit her. Jeantel has described what she heard over the phone in a deposition; a letter to Martin’s mother; and an interview with the Martin family attorney....
What the Globe leaves out is SHE CAN'T READ CURSIVE WRITING meaning she couldn't have wrote it!
Really, what is with the CENSORSHIP, Globe?
Also see: Sunday Globe Special: Zimmerman Trial Will Make You Want to Scream
"Judge hears Zimmerman’s previous calls to police; Will decide whether jurors should hear them" by Kyle Hightower and Mike Schneider | Associated Press, June 26, 2013
SANFORD, Fla. — Several times in six months, neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman called police to report suspicious characters in the gated townhouse community where he lived. Each time, when asked, he reported that the suspects were black males....
Defense lawyer Mark O’Mara argued that the calls were irrelevant and that nothing matters but the seven or eight minutes before Zimmerman fired the deadly shot into 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s chest.
The prosecution is ‘‘going to ask the jury to make a leap from a good, responsible, citizen behavior to seething behavior,’’ O’Mara said. The judge did not immediately rule on whether to admit the recordings....
Also, prosecutors presented graphic photos of Martin’s body, a police officer described trying to revive Martin as bubbling sounds came from his chest, and a police manager described how she helped Zimmerman set up the neighborhood watch....
Zimmerman, 29, could get life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of Martin....
Zimmerman has asserted self-defense, saying he opened fire after the teenager jumped him and slammed his head against the concrete sidewalk.
Zimmerman, whose father is white and mother is Hispanic, has denied the confrontation with the black teenager had anything to do with race, as Martin’s family and its supporters have charged.
On Tuesday, the second day of testimony, prosecutors called to the stand a former neighbor of Zimmerman, Selene Bahadoor, the first witness to say she saw part of the struggle....
O’Mara later confronted her with a post she made on Facebook in which she ‘‘liked’’ a petition that championed the arrest of Zimmerman following the shooting....
Wendy Dorival, former coordinator of the Sanford Police Department’s neighborhood watch program, testified about how she had worked with Zimmerman to set up a watch in his neighborhood. When asked by prosecutor John Guy if neighborhood watch participants should follow or engage with suspicious people, she said no.
‘‘They are the eyes and ears of law enforcement,’’ Dorival said. ‘‘They’re not supposed to take matters into their own hands.’’ Similarly, Donald O’Brien, president of Zimmerman’s homeowners association, said it was his understanding that neighborhood watch members are supposed to ‘‘stay at a safe distance’’ and ‘‘let the police handle it.’’
But Dorival said she was impressed with Zimmerman’s professionalism and dedication to his community. ‘‘He seemed like he really wanted to make changes in his community, to make it better,’’ she said.
"Friend of Martin describes final phone call before shooting" by Mike Schneider and Kyle Hightower | Associated Press, June 27, 2013
SANFORD, Fla. — A friend who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin moments before he was fatally shot by George Zimmerman testified that she heard the Miami teen shout, ‘‘Get off! Get off!’’ before his telephone went dead.
Rachel Jeantel, 19, is considered one of the prosecution’s most important witnesses, because she was the last person to talk to Martin before his encounter with Zimmerman on Feb. 26, 2012.
She testified that Martin described the man following him with a racial epithet, and that he said he thought he had evaded him....
Called him a cracker.
She said Martin said Zimmerman was behind him, and that she heard Martin ask, ‘‘What are you following me for?’’ She then heard what she said sounded like Martin’s phone earpiece dropping into the grass, followed by Martin yelling, ‘‘Get off! Get off!’’
Then the phone went dead, she said.
Zimmerman, 29, could get life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder for killing Martin. Zimmerman had followed Martin in his truck and called a police dispatch number before he and the teen got into a fight.
Zimmerman has claimed self-defense, saying he shot Martin after the teenager jumped him and began slamming his head against the concrete sidewalk.
Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, has denied that his confrontation with the black teenager had anything to do with race, as Martin’s family and its supporters assert.
Jeantel’s testimony came after two former residents of the neighborhood testified about hearing shouts for help in the moments before the shooting.
Jayne Surdyka told the court that immediately before the shooting, she heard an aggressive voice and a softer voice exchanging words for several minutes in an area behind her townhome at the Retreat at Twin Lakes.
‘‘It was someone being very aggressive and angry at someone,’’ she said.
During the struggle, she said, she saw a person in dark clothes on top of the other person. Martin was wearing a dark sweatshirt and Zimmerman wore red clothing. Surdyka said she saw the person who was on top get off the body after the shot was fired.
During cross-examination, defense lawyer Don West tried to show there was a lapse in what Surdyka saw. Defense lawyers contend Martin was on top of Zimmerman during the struggle, but after the neighborhood watch volunteer fired a shot, Zimmerman got on top of Martin.