UPDATE: Monday, June 10, 2013
Today marks the first day of the trial. For updates straight from the courtoom, click here.
In the year leading up to the highly anticipated trial, GlobalGrind brought you the latest developments in Zimmerman’s case, all while making sure to celebrate Trayvon’s life.
And with the June 10 date right around the corner, we’ve decided to compile all that we know about the trial, and things to look out for in the weeks to come. Take a look at this timeline:
Trayvon Martin Is Murdered:
On February 26, Trayvon Martin is walking from his father’s fiancee’s house to the local 7-Eleven store. There, he picks up a bag of Skittles and an iced-tea. It’s about 6:40 pm.
7:10 pm – About 30 minutes later (on his way back), neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, calls 911 and tells the dispatcher that a “suspicious” guy in a dark hoodie is walking around looking at the houses.
“He looks like he’s up to no good or on drugs or something.”
7:11 pm – A minute later, Trayvon’s girlfriend calls his cell phone. She recalls him saying that a man was following him.
7:12 pm – The dispatcher asks Zimmerman if he is following Trayvon. He replies yes. At this point, he says Trayvon is running towards the back of the entrance of the gated community. The dispatcher tells Zimmerman that he doesn’t have to follow Trayvon, but he pursues anyway. Zimmerman asks if police can be dispatched.
7:13 pm to 7:17 pm – Trayvon’s girlfriend, who has stayed on the phone with him, says she heard Trayvon ask Zimmerman “What are you following me for?” Then, the line went dead. What is known is that Zimmerman shot Trayvon. Zimmerman told police later that he had lost sight of Trayvon on his way back to the vehicle when Trayvon attacked him. He says there was a struggle and he was scared for his life. What is unclear is if Zimmerman was on top of Trayvon, or if Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman. Zimmerman later tells police he shot Trayvon in self defense, although he pursued him. The first officer arrives on the scene at about 7:17 pm.
7:30 pm – Trayvon Martin is confirmed dead.
7:52 pm – Zimmerman, who was handcuffed and taken into custody after the shooting, is let free by officers claiming that there was lack of probable cause to hold or charge him.
Zimmerman Is a Free Man – Community Reacts
On February 29, Sanford police say that Zimmerman was “serving the role of neighborhood watch.” Outraged, the community rallies behind his family to call for Zimmerman’s arrest.
On March 8, Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, holds the first press conference to ask that Sanford police arrest Zimmerman. Sanford police chief Bill Lee claims that he did not know Zimmerman had a criminal record. During the rest of the month of March, the family urges for the release of the 911 calls and religious and civil rights leaders gather together to urge the governor and police department to investigate the murder.
It wasn’t until March 16 that police released the 911 phone call and another three days before the FBI and the Justice Department opened an investigation into the shooting of Trayvon.
On March 21, the Sanford City Commission calls for the chief of police to resign. That same day, Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, files paperwork to trademark the “I am Trayvon” and “Justice for Trayvon” phrases.
And 45 days after Trayvon’s death, state attorney Angela Corey announces that Zimmerman will be charged with second-degree murder. He turns himself in and is booked into the Seminole County Jail.
He hires Mark O’Mara as his attorney.
George Zimmerman Gets Some Support
A month after the shooting, Zimmerman and his defense set up an official fundraising site to help him raise funds for the trial. In all, they raised about $300,000.
George Zimmerman’s “Get Out Of Jail Free Card” Revoked
The neighborhood watch captain’s bond was originally set at $150,000, but then a Florida judge ordered Zimmerman to turn himself in within 48 hours. Prosecutors had asked Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. to revoke Zimmerman’s bond because they contend that he was disingenuous at an earlier bond hearing when Zimmerman’s family and attorney claimed that he was cash broke.
Shellie Zimmerman Gets Caught Up
Among those who lied about Zimmerman’s funds was his wife, Shellie Zimmerman. She was arrested after lying under oath and pled not guilty to perjury charges. In truth, the couple had access to about $130,000. Just last week at a hearing, she was denied a request to drop the charges.
Bloody Pictures Of Zimmerman Released
Ten months after the shooting, Zimmerman’s defense released pictures of him the night that he claimed Trayvon attacked him. They show a bruised and bloody Zimmerman and could shine light on what exactly happened that night.
Bail Finally Set
Zimmerman finally got out of jail on a $1 million bond in July 2012.
Zimmerman On 24-Hour Watch
Against his attorney’s wishes, a judge ordered that Zimmerman remain on 24-hour GPS monitoring until the June 2013 trial. The defense argued that they are concerned about his safety if Zimmerman is ordered to stay in the Florida county.
Zimmerman Gains Weight
Zimmerman’s lawyers contend that the neighborhood watch captain gained over 100 pounds because of emotional stress and the stress of not having the trial delayed.
Zimmerman Sues NBC
Zimmerman proves that he’s got more fight in him by suing NBC for taking his comments to a 911 dispatcher out of context in an effort to sensationalize the case. The lawsuit accuses the network of removing nearly a minute of dialogue and dead air between Zimmerman and the dispatcher to bring comments that Martin appeared to be “up to no good” and “he looks black” closer together. No word on how that’s going!
Defense Acquires Trayvon’s School Records
Zimmerman’s defense says that some information in Trayvon Martin’s file could be relevant in the defense of George Zimmerman. It’s not entirely clear what the file may reveal, but it’s unlikely that his school records could defend Zimmerman’s self-defense claim. The two don’t have much to do with each other.
New Forensic Evidence Released
Evidence might reveal that Trayvon was leaning over Zimmerman when he was shot, but it also reveals that Zimmerman’s timeline may be inaccurate. Based on the times and distances Zimmerman said he covered, Zimmerman would have still been on the phone with Sanford police.
Zimmerman Goes Broke
Remember that $300,000 that the defense gathered from supporters? According to defense attorney Mark O’Mara, they’ve blown through it all. He also told the court that because the case is out of money, it’s impossible for them to move forward. Apparently, they’ve used about $30,000 a month with the biggest output being the $95,000 given to bail bondsmen who covered his $1 million bail. As of January, the defense had less than $5,000. But in February, the defense set up another donation fund and garnered more than $28,000 in less than a month.
Request To Delay Trial Denied
Citing money issues, the defense requested that the trial should be delayed to give them more time to prepare. At a hearing in February, the judge denied that request. Later this month, a judge also denied the defense’s request to postpone the “Stand Your Ground” hearing that will take place on April 22.
Defense Raises More Money For George Zimmerman
After blowing through the bulk of funds donated to Zimmerman for the trial and claiming that there was no money left to carry on with the case, the defense revealed in early March that they had raised about $54,000 to continue on. But money was the least of their worries – the defense asked for a delay in trial in May, only to be turned down again.
Prosecutors Will Call George Zimmerman’s Wife, Brother, & Mother To Witness Stand
The Zimmermans, wife Shellie, brother Robert and mother Gladys, are all set to take the witness stand to be questioned by prosecutors during the trial. It’s unclear how the family members’ testimonies will aid in convicting Zimmerman of second-degree murder, but his vocal family has a history of digging themselves into holes…for example…
Robert Zimmerman, Jr. Compares Trayvon To A Baby Killer
In a barrage of ridiculous tweets earlier this year, Zimmerman’s brother Robert thought it would be a smart idea to make a parallel between the two teenage boys from Georgia who were charged with murdering a 13-month-old baby and Trayvon. He later apologized, saying his reasoning was to defend his brother, who is being made out to be a “monster” in the media.
Zimmerman Gives Up His Right To A “Stand Your Ground” Hearing
After some back and forth with defense attorney Mark O’Mara about Zimmerman’s “Stand Your Ground” hearing before the trial (which could have absolved him of criminal wrongdoing for killing Trayvon Martin), a judge demanded that a decision be made. In April, Zimmerman appeared before the judge to let her know that he was waiving his right to the hearing.
Voice Expert Reveals Trayvon Yelled “Stop” Before Gunshot
A state voice expert has concluded that Martin’s voice was heard yelling “stop” just before Zimmerman pulled the trigger. Experts initially believed that Trayvon was yelling “help.” Experts also confirmed that the frequency of the voice is appropriate for a 17-year-old and not an adult male, and concluded “tentatively” that the scream heard before the gunshot came from Martin.
Defense Releases Other Photographic Evidence, Including Pictures of Trayvon’s Clothes & Zimmerman’s Bloody Head
Defense attorneys released scores of new photos that they hope will help them as they prepare for the trial on June 10. Photographs of Trayvon’s hoodie, bullet hole visible, and Zimmerman’s bloodied head after the altercation were released. Five other photos show Trayvon just an hour before he was killed at 7-Eleven, buying Skittles and an iced-tea. Check out the photos here.
Defense Releases Photographic Evidence In Attempt To Smear Trayvon
In an attempt to paint 17-year-old Trayvon Martin as a monster or a thug, the defense released evidence they hoped to use during the trial, including text messages from the teen and incriminating photographs – although Trayvon’s previous behavior has nothing to do with his murder, and Zimmerman knew nothing of Trayvon when he shot him dead. There are photos of a marijuana plant, a gun, and a collage of Trayvon smoking a substance, though it’s unclear what it may be. The defense also pulled messages from the slain teen’s phone, including one where Trayvon wrote to a friend about hiding weed and another where the teen tells another person that he is a “gangsta.”
Judge Rules That Trayvon’s Weed Use, Fighting & Text Messages Will Not Be Used In Trial
Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson ruled that Trayvon Martin’s history of marijuana use, fighting, and his text messages will not be allowed in the trial. She also specified that neither party will mention any fighting in opening statements. In this same hearing, Nelson denied the defense’s request to delay the trial…again.
Defense Asks Public For More Money
Out of money for the third time, Zimmerman’s defense takes to their website to ask the public for money. In a matter of 24 hours, the team raises $12,000. In day three, the defense boasted over $34,000. Click here to see who donated…
Defense Apologizes For Mischaracterizing Trayvon
From George Zimmerman’s website: “During the Tuesday, May 28th hearing, Mr. O’Mara misstated the nature of video from Trayvon Martin’s cell phone which was included in the Defendant’s 3rd Supplemental Discovery. He stated that the video showed “two buddies of his beating up a homeless guy,” when what happened was Trayvon Martin, along with a buddy, was videotaping two homeless guys fighting each other over a bike. Though it was unintentional, it is a particular concern to us because we are and have been committed to disputing misinformation in every aspect of this case, not causing it. For that, Mr. O’Mara apologizes.”
What’s Happening Now?
The prosecution and defense are finishing up the last hearing before the June 10 trial this week. Judge Debra S. Nelson will determine if the 911 calls will be admissible.
Key Players In The Case
Below is a list of important people to watch in the 6-week trial. The following are witnesses, attorneys, and key people that will provide key information that determines Zimmerman’s fate.
- Sybrina Fulton (Trayvon’s mother)
- Tracy Martin (Trayvon’s Father)
- George Zimmerman
- Benjamin Crump (Martin Family Lawyer)
- Mark O’Mara (Defense Attorney)
- Robert Zimmerman Jr. (George’s Brother)
- Jeff Triplett (Mayor of Sanford)
- Bernie de a Rionda (prosecutor)
- Chris Serino (Detective)
- Javaris Fulton (Trayvon’s brother)
- Angela Corey (State Attorney)
- Voice experts – Neighborhood witnesses (some names withheld)
How You Can Stay Updated On The Latest
Make sure you stay informed on the latest trial updates with GlobalGrind. Check us out on Twitter for daily updates straight from the courtroom.
You can also get your trial updates from GlobalGrind’s own EIC, Michael Skolnik, our News & Politics Editor, Christina Coleman, and boss man, Russell Simmons.
Here are some other sources for the most up-to-date information once the trial begins.
And remember…Trayvon isn’t on trial. George Zimmerman is. Let the trial begin.