2013-07-15 16:09:06 UTC
By SENI TIENABESO and MATT GUTMAN
Only the six female jurors know for certain what testimony or evidence
convinced them to acquit George Zimmerman of murder charges in the
death of Trayvon Martin, but there were key moments in the trial that
appeared to undermine the prosecutions case for conviction. Here are
five of them.
Chris Serino was the lead investigator looking into the shooting of
Martin and initially urged the Sanford, Fla., prosecutor to charge
Zimmerman with manslaughter, a recommendation that was rejected.
Serino was called to the stand by the prosecution and was expected to
be a key witness against Zimmerman. In his just-the-facts style of
answering questions, Serino was repeatedly questioned by the
prosecution and defense about Zimmermans version of what happened
that night. But in a surprise, the investigator was asked by
Zimmermans lawyer whether he believed Zimmerman was telling the
truth, and the cop answered, Yes.
The next day the prosecution asked that the jurors be directed to
disregard Serinos comment and the judge agreed, but the damage may
have been done.
John Good was another prosecution witness whose words may have helped
Zimmerman more than the prosecution. Good lived near where the fatal
shot was fired and appeared to have had the best view of the brief
fight between Zimmerman and Martin.
Good testified that he saw what he believed to be Martin on top of
Zimmerman. The color on top was dark and the color at bottom
was red, Good said referring to the mens clothing. At another point
he told the court that the person on the bottom had lighter skin
Zimmerman is a white Hispanic who was wearing a red and black jacket
that night. Martin, who was black, was wearing a dark sweatshirt.
The person on the bottom, I could hear a Help, Good said.
Under cross examination by Zimmermans lawyer, Good said he believes
he saw Martin on top punching Zimmerman MMA style, a reference to
mixed martial arts.
The person on top was ground and pounding the person on the
bottom?asked Zimmerman attorney Mark OMara.
Correct, said Good
Rachel Jeantel was Trayvon Martins friend who was talking with him on
a cell phone until just moments before Martin was killed. She told the
jury that Martin was scared of a creepy a** cracker who was
following him and just before losing contact with Martin said she
heard him say, Get off. Get off.
But under a grueling cross examination by Zimmermans lawyer Don West
Jeantel conceded that it was difficult to hear what Martin was saying
and that she did not know who threw the first punch when Zimmerman
and Martin came face to face.
The last thing you heard was something hitting somebody? West asked
Trayvon got hit, Jeantel said.
You dont know that, do you? the defense lawyer said.
No sir, she said.
You dont know that he didnt take his fist and drive it into
Zimmermans face do you? the lawyer pressed.
No sir, Jeantel replied.
Renowned forensics expert Vincent Di Maio may have been one of
Zimmermans strongest witnesses. He told the jury that the pattern of
powder burns and other forensic evidence on Martins body indicated
that the teenagers sweatshirt was two to four inches away from his
body at the time he was shot, meaning that Martin was leaning forward
over Zimmerman when he was killed.
The medical evidence is consistent with his [Zimmerman's] statement,
Di Maio told the Florida court.
The words of Trayvon Martins father were also used to undermine the
prosecutions case. A key battle in the trial was over who was heard
screaming for help in the background of a 911 call before the fatal
shot was fired. Martins family insisted the voice was their sons
voice, while Zimmermans parents told the court it was Zimmerman
Serino testified that when Martins father, Tracy Martin, first heard
the tape he said it was not Trayvon. He looked away and under his
breath said, No, Serino told the court.
A second police officer gave a similar description of Tracy Martins
reaction to the tape.
So it looks like there was reasonable doubt and the Jury did the
right thing by the USA standards of Justice.
Now before we waste money on another reality show what evidence to we
have Z committed a civil rights violation.