SANFORD, Fla. ó An expert on gunshot wounds hired by the defense testified Tuesday that George Zimmermanís account of how he fatally shot Trayvon Martin is consistent with the forensic evidence.
Dr. Vincent Di Maio said that the trajectory of the bullet and gun powder on Martinís body support Zimmermanís version that Martin was on top of him when Zimmerman fired his gun into Martinís chest. The gunís muzzle was against Martinís clothing and it was anywhere from two to four inches from Martinís skin, he said.
ďThis is consistent with Mr. Zimmermanís account that Mr. Martin was over him, leaning forward at the time he was shot,Ē said Di Maio, the former chief medical examiner in San Antonio.
The pathologist also said it was likely Martin was conscious for 10 to 15 seconds after the shooting as a reserve supply of oxygen ran out of his body, and during that time it was possible for him to have moved his arms. Zimmermanís account that he had placed Martinís arms out to his sides after the shooting contradicts a photo taken after the shooting that shows Martinís arms under his body. Defense attorneys contend Martin moved his arms.
Di Maio testified that lacerations to the back Zimmermanís head were consistent with his head striking a concrete sidewalk. Later, when looking at photos of Zimmermanís injuries taken the night of the shooting, Di Maio identified six separate impacts to Zimmermanís face and head. He said a nose injury could have come from being punched.
Di Maio also explained that if clothes taken into evidence are wet and packaged in plastic bags, and not paper bags, it can ruin the samples since ďbacteria multiplies and you get mold and it stinks to high heaven.Ē Defense attorneys believe DNA evidence found on Martinís hooded sweatshirt and undershirt was degraded since the clothing wasnít packaged properly.
Earlier in the morning, Judge Debra Nelson considered prosecutorsí request to bar the defense from showing animation depicting the fight between Martin and Zimmerman. Nelson held an evidence hearing with jurors out of the courtroom, but ultimately postponed her decision and more arguments on the matter until later in the afternoon.
Prosecutors object to the animation, saying it isnít an accurate depiction.
Defense attorneys called the man who created the animation to testify. To recreate the fight, Daniel Schumaker went to the crime scene and had employees in motion-capture suits re-enact what happened based on coroner photographs, police reports, the coronerís report, witness depositions and photos taken by responding police officers, he said.
The fight took place on a dark, rainy night in February 2012 and there were no eyewitnesses who saw the entire fight. Several witnesses saw and heard parts of the struggle that left Martin dead with a bullet in his heart.
Testimony in previous days has focused on a 911 call that captures screams from the struggle between Martin and Zimmerman.
Convincing the jury of who was screaming for help on the tape has become the primary goal of prosecutors and defense attorneys because it would help jurors evaluate Zimmermanís self-defense claim. Relatives of Martinís and Zimmermanís have offered conflicting opinions about who is heard screaming.
Zimmermanís mother and uncle testified last Friday it was Zimmerman screaming, while Martinís mother and brother also took the witness stand last Friday to say the voice belongs to Martin. Martinís father testified Monday that he initially couldnít tell if the screams came from his son, but later decided they did.
Zimmerman himself once said during a police interview that the screams didnít sound like him, though he and his family later said the screams were his.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and says he shot Martin in self-defense during a scuffle in the townhome complex where he lived. Martin was there visiting his father and his fatherís fiancee.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.