Testimony continues today in the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial, with lead police investigator in the shooting case, Chris Serino, taking the stand once again.
During yesterday’s often conflicting, yet revealing testimony, Serino and another Sanford Police investigator, Doris Singleton, were asked questions about Zimmerman’s first recorded interview and his written statement on what happened that night.
In one of those recorded interviews, Serino points out to Zimmerman the inconsistencies between the reenactment video he shot just a day after murdering Trayvon Martin, the 911 calls and his statement.
When asked during cross-examination, Serino also admitted that he believed Zimmerman’s “minor injuries” weren’t consistent with his story. Zimmerman told Serino he estimates he was hit between 25-30 times by Trayvon.
Singleton also suggested that maybe Trayvon had been afraid of Zimmerman, because Zimmerman was following him.
Zimmerman replied, “I wasn’t following him, I was just going the same direction he was.”
Serino replied, “That’s following.”
For the latest updates from the courtroom today, see below:
LATEST UPDATES FROM THE COURTROOM:
4:30 PM EST: Court recesses for the evening.
4:20 PM EST: Kristin Benson a latent print examiner for Seminole County, takes the stand.
- What is latent? According to Jeff Weiner from the Orlando Sentinel: Latent print happens when “ridge detail” transfered onto surface.”
- Latent print is an intentional print left by someone after handling an item.
- Benson took print form Zimmerman’s gun.
2:25 PM EST: Mark O’Mara cross examines Dr. Rao.
- O’Mara challenges Rao’s position in medical field. Attempts to point out that she is appointed by the state.
2:00 PM EST: Valerie Rao, a medical examiner takes the stand as the next witness.
- Dr. Rao did not perform Trayvon Martin’s autopsy but did do consultation on the shooting case.
- Rao reviewed toxicology and autopsy reports. She also tells the court, after shown Zimmerman’s injuries, that the lacerations were minor or “insignificant.” Also “not life-threatening.”
- When shown photos of Zimmerman’s injuries, Rao confirms that they are consistent with coming in contact from a rough/concrete surface, but only once. Says the “slamming” described by Zimmerman isn’t consistent with his injuries.
- After shown a picture of Zimmerman’s injuries, Rao says she can’t conclude if there are bruises on the side. Says the pictures are poor quality and that they may be the shape of his head, not contusions.
1:30 PM EST: Court resumes. Video of Zimmerman and Sean Hannity interview is being played for the jury.
- Zimmerman tells Hannity that he knew nothing of the Stand Your Ground law before the incident.
- He also says in the interview that he carries his gun around with him at all times, except at work
- Recounting the story of his scuffle with Trayvon, he tells Hannity that he was hit more than a dozen time. Says he thought he was going to lose conciousness.
- Zimmerman says that while Trayvon was on top of him he was cursing and telling him to shut up. Then he took one of his hands from Zimmerman’s mouth and moved down to the gun. That’s when Zimmerman pulled the gun and shot Trayvon. “I didn’t have any time” left.
- I realized it wasn’t my gun, it wasn’t his gun, it was THE gun.” Zimmerman
- Tells Hannity that he also does not regret following Trayvon or having the gun. “I feel like it was God’s plan.”
12:30 PM EST: Court recesses for lunch.
11:24 AM EST: Mark Osterman is the next witness. He is a friend of George Zimmerman and his wife Shellie. The Zimmerman’s stayed with him for a while after the shooting. He calls himself the “best friend to the most hated man in America.” He has also written a book about Zimmerman and the shooting.
- Osterman said Zimmerman was on his way to Super Target when he seen Trayvon Martin walking between the two buildings. He said Zimmerman thought Trayvon seemed suspicious. Called non-emergency.
- Osterman recounting the story that Zimmerman told him. Seems consistent with statement he gave to the police.
- Osterman on Zimmerman’s account: Trayvon had his hand over nose “pinching it” and mouth. Then grabbed for Zimmerman’s gun.
- Osterman reveals that he helped Zimmerman get his gun. He also believes that everyone who is not a convicted felon should be able to carry a firearm.
- After Zimmerman was released, Osterman says he was “detached, wide-eyed,” and tending to wife, Shellie. Shellie then tended to Zimmerman’s wounds.
- Osterman notes that Zimmerman had a swellig on the left side of his head.
- Osterman tells O’Mara that he did not take any notes of Zimmerman’s account. He wrote a book after the shooting, however.
11:05 AM EST: 15 minute reccess.
11:02 AM EST: O’Mara for recross.
- O’Mara makes the argument that Zimmerman’s blood would’ve gone down throat because he was on his back. That’s why there was no blood on Trayvon. Serino agrees.
10:55 AM EST: BDLR back for the redirect.
- When BDLR asks about blood on Trayvon’s hands, Serino confrims that he’s not aware that there was any.
10:15 AM EST: O’Mara back up for cross.
- O’Mara asks Serino if Zimmerman’s use of “assholes” was similar to BDLR’s screeching “assholes.” He replies no.
- Serino also says Zimmerman’s “shit” comment more of urgency than ill will.
- O’Mara points out that a young black man was arrested/accused of burglaries just 2 weeks before shooting. Asks if Serino if Trayvon had been planning to commit a crime that night. Serino says there is no evidence of such.
- O’Mara also pointing out that there was a car buglary tool found near bushes, could that have been a tool someone planned to use?
- Serino confirms that there was no evidence that Trayvon was going to commit a crime, but there was evidence Zimmerman was following Trayvon (which is also not a crime).
- Serino also agrees that the medical examiners report is consistent with Zimmerman’s. It places the teen on top of Zimmerman with his clothes hanging.
9:43 AM EST: Bernie de la Rionda up for redirect.
- BDLR asks if Serino would use Zimmerman’s “assholes” comment on 911 tape to be friendly or invite someone to dinner. Serino replies, “no.”
- Serino is asked if comments show ill will and spite. “No it does not.” But then he changes. “That is ill will and spite.”
- BDLR asks Serino if assuming someone committed a crime is profiling. “It could be construed as such yes?”
- Reenactment video shown again. BDLR points out that Zimmerman says he couldn’t find an address on a house, then points to the numerical address in plain sight.
- He also notes that the position of Trayvon’s hands in death were inconsistent with Zimmerman’s account. Serino agrees that the positioning was off.
- Serino tells BDLR that he feels Zimmerman exxagerated in the manner of which he was hit by Trayvon.
- “Would you call the victim a skinny kid?” Serino replies yes. “Would you classify the defendant as a skinny kid?” Serino replies no.
9:00 AM EST: Court resumes. Mark O’Mara continues cross examination of lead investigator Chris Serino. The jury is told to disregard the question and answer from yesterday: O’Mara – If “pathological liar” off the table, “you think he was telling the truth?” Serino: “Yes.”
- Serino confirms to O’Mara that Zimmerman’s remained consistent in his statements. No major inconsistencies.
- After O’Mara plays the interview between Serino and Zimmerman again (with the 911 call and screams in the background) he asks if Zimmerman’s comment “That doesn’t even sound like me,” changed his investigation. Serino replies, “no.”
- Serino agrees with O’Mara that Zimmerman remained cooperative throughout questioning.
WHAT YOU MISSED YESTERDAY:
- Chris Serino and Doris Singleton, both investigators in the case, testified about the interviews and statements George Zimmerman gave directly after the shooting.
- Chris Serino pointed out glaring inconsistencies during Zimmerman’s third interview and the video reenactment. But during cross, he also admitted that there is evidence to support that Zimmerman was acting in self-defense.
- For a full recap of each trial day, see below: