Witness testimony continues today in the George Zimmerman murder trial, following a dramatic, emotional, and challenging day in court, as jurors and witnesses viewed the body of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin just moments after he was killed.
Yesterday, the state called six witnesses to testify on the stand, including a communications employee from the sheriff’s office, a police sergeant, a Sanford Police Department employee who helped Zimmerman start the Neighborhood Watch program, a NW liaison, and a crime scene technician who said she didn’t find Zimmerman’s blood on the sidewalk although the defense claims Trayvon bashed his head into the concrete.
The most emotional testimony came from Sgt. Anthony Raimondo, who was one of the first to arrive on the scene after the murder. He told the court how he checked Trayvon’s pulse and then proceeded to perform CPR in hopes of saving his life.
Clarity about Zimmerman’s actual role in the NW program came from witness Wendy Dorival, the liaison who told the court that program volunteers are warned not to pursue people they find suspicious or “take matters into their own hands.”
The jurors were also presented with Trayvon’s hoodie and sweatshirt, the bag of Skittles and the ice tea he was carrying, and the gun that shot him to death.
We also learned early this morning that Circuit Judge Debra Nelson will allow jurors to hear Zimmerman’s calls to police reporting other people as suspicious in the months before the shooting. The prosecution says those show his state of mind, while the defense says they’re irrelevant character evidence, and shouldn’t be presented.
Check out the latest updates below:
LATEST UPDATES FROM THE COURTROOM:
3:25 PM EST: Jeantel is being questioned by Don West.
- Jeantel shown list of beginning & end times of calls with. She says there should be more calls.
- West going through times, Jeantel says that he “lost her.” She’s a bit confused about call times.
- West wants to focus on time between when Martin was in 7-11 and when Zimmerman called police. 6:23 to 7:09 pm.
- She told West that she lied about going to the funeral because she didn’t want to see the body. She also lied about her age because she didn’t want to make a big deal about her age. Wanted more privacy
- She told both of them that she went to the hospital instead of going to the wake because she felt guilty.
- Jeantel says she wasn’t told that ABC news would be present for interview by Martin family attorney
- Jeantel says she was at her house at time of recorded interview w/Crump. No prior talk about questions.
3:00 PM EST: Short 15 minute recess before cross examination
2:28 PM EST: Rachel Jeantel, 19, of Miami takes the stand. She is also referred to at times as Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend.
- She met Trayvon while they went to school together.
- Clears up rumor that she and trayvon were dating. Says they were friends.
- BDLR asks what they talked about on the phone on the night of the shooting. Rachel tells the court that Trayvon told her he was going to pick up ice tea and skittles.
- Says during that conversation he told her a man was watching him. She asked him what he looked like.
- She said Trayvon told her Zimmerman looked like a “creepy ass cracker.” She thought he might have been a rapist.
- Trayvon then told Jeantel that he was going to try to “lose the man.” He said that he was going to walk home.
- A short while later, he says to Jeantel “the nigga is still followoing me.”
- Jeantel tells the court what happens after that. She told Trayvon to run and she started hearing wind. He told her he was going to get home “through the back.” The phone then shuts off.
- She calls back and Trayvon answers. He tells Jeantel he is almost home. She can hear that he is out of breath. He tells her that he “lost” the man following him.
- A couple of seconds after Trayvon said he lost the man, he says to Jeantel, “Oh shit, the nigga is behind me.”
- She hears the first exchange between Zimmerman and Trayvon. Trayvon to the man following him: “Why are you following me for.” Jeantel she hears another “hard-breathing man” say “What you doing around here?”
- She hears a bump, and grass sounds, like people are rolling around or the phone dropped on the ground. She asks Trayvon what’s going on and she hears Trayvon saying “get off, get off.” The phone shuts off again.
- She tells court that she didn’t hear from Trayvon again. ”I had thought he was by his daddy’s house so somebody would come help him. ” On Monday there was a rumor that he was killed. She didn’t find out it was absolutely true until a friend texted her an article.
- She told the jury that she didn’t realize she was the last person to speak to Trayvon.
- After being asked why she lied about attending Trayvon’s wake, she said that she “didn’t want to see the body.” She also added that she felt guilty that she was the “last person to speak to their son.” (Referring to Trayvon’s parents)
2:02 PM EST: State calls Ramona Rumph of Seminole Co. communications again. She testified yesterday.
- Jurors are currently listening to those disputed 911 calls of Zimmerman calling police on suspicious persons, usually black. He tells the dispatcher that “they usually run away.”
1:30 PM EST: Court resumes.
- O’Mara continues to question Manalo. She says her husband took bloody picture Zimmerman that came to be associated with case.
- Says she didn’t see the injuries on Zimmerman that night
- O’Mara presents her with pictures of Trayvon. Manalo estimated his age in football photo 11 or 12. Says other pic looks 16.
12:10 PM EST: COURT RECESSES FOR LUNCH
- Manalo to be questioned more after break.
11:00 AM EST: The next witness, Jeannee Manalo, takes the stand. She is a married student & mom who used to work in a restaurant and lived in the neighborhood where Trayvon was shot.
- Manalo says she heard a howling sound and a help sound and seen two people on the ground outside of her window from her living room
- She heard a struggle, “that’s when I saw them on the ground.”
- She says a person on top was “just hitting down” on other person.
- Says she believes she saw the bigger person on top
of the smaller person. Points out that person as Zimmerman. Says she came to that conclusion after watching news.
- Manalo says her husband went outside after shooting, came back in to get plastic bag for officer performing CPR on Trayvon
- During cross examination O’Mara brings up that Manalo said it was dark and couldn’t even tell gender of people outside
- She said the two people were running south. A witness yesterday had them running north.
- Asked how she determined Trayvon’s size. Said she seen picture. O’Mara asking Manalo to describe picture she used to reach conclusion about who’s on top of who and she specifies the hoodie photograph.
- Manalo says she may be wrong on size comparison, “I don’t know who’s bigger now.” She also saw the photograph of Trayvon in a football uniform.
9:30 AM EST: Jane Surdyka’s 911 call is being played in court. Sybrina Fulton wipes away tears as she listens to Surdyka sobbing.
- On the 911 calls you can here Surdyka crying as she describes what she sees. She said she heard the guy who was walking say he shot the man on the ground.
9:10 AM EST: The first witness of the day, Jane Surdyka, takes the stand. She lived in Zimmerman’s neighborhood at of the shooting.
- Surdyka heard voices outside of her house. Said she heard “a very loud, dominant voice,” and she opened the window to listen.
- Said she shut the lights off and looked out the window. Seen two people on the ground.
- Surdyka says the voice she heard yelling for help was “like a boy’s voice…the younger pseron.”
- Hears a “pop, pop, pop,” and then sees a man walking towards her window. (one shot was fired according to evidence)
9:00 AM EST: COURT RESUMES
8:50 AM EST: BREAKING- Judge says juror B-72 has been dismissed for reasons “totally unrelated” to case. He was the arm wrestler who was afraid the media would “brainwash” him.
WHAT YOU MISSED YESTERDAY:
- Six witnesses took the stand to testify. Click here for their testimonies.
- The jury was shown photographic evidence of George Zimmerman’s injuries, as well as Trayvon’s lifeless body. They were also shown the items Trayvon purchased shortly before his death and the hoodie the case has become synonymous with.
- For a full recap of each trial day, see below: