The defense is expected to rest their case today, which marks the 22nd day since the start of George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial.
Yesterday’s marathon court session left attorneys in the courtroom until about 10 p.m., but today is expected to be shorter as the defense calls the last of their witnesses.
This morning, before testimony continues, Judge Debra Nelson and attorneys on both sides will discuss two potential defense witnesses and hash out other legal issues, including whether or not the defense can admit a computer animated crime scene reconstruction.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Judge Nelson will also be ruling on whether another defense expert, Richard Connor, can testify regarding hidden text messages about fighting he unearthed from the memory of Trayvon Martin’s phone.
We’ll keep you updated on the latest from the courtroom.
LATEST UPDATES FROM THE COURTROOM:
5:40 PM EST: State will begin closing argument tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Defense will start on Friday morning. The case will go to the jury on Friday.
3:36 PM EST: BREAKING – George Zimmerman decides NOT to testify in the case.
3:07 PM EST: Robert Zimmerman, Sr. takes the stand. He is George Zimmerman’s father.
- Zimmerman tells the jury that his the screams on the 911 call are his sons screams.
1:45 PM EST: BREAKING – George Zimmerman tells Judge Nelson that he will need more time to decide if he will testify.
12:15 PM EST: Court recesses for lunch.
9:20 AM EST: Dennis Root, a law enforcement and defense expert, takes the stand. He contacted Zimmerman’s lawyers to offer his expertise after learning of the case on the news.
- Root goes through his background and training. He was a semi-pro kickboxer and is trained in mixed martial arts. He has taught police and individuals how to pepper spray properly, use a baton, do a choke hold, learn to use body pressure points and how to fire a gun as he was trained in NRA classes as a firearm expert.
- On Zimmerman’s athleticism: “by no stretch of the imagination was he an athlete.”
- Root says Trayvon was more fit than Zimmerman. He determined that by the teen’s weight, height, and his stint at playing middle school football.
- When discussing the duration of the fight, Root tells O’Mara that if you aren’t winning a fight afte 30 seconds, change your tactics.
- Root doesn’t believe that the close range of the shot showed ill-will or hatred.
- He also testified that Zimmerman is not a competent fighter, and that in a high-stress situation, “conflicting statements are normal.”
- Root, who is also a firearms expert, says that guns should always be carried with one bullet in the chamber. Says that hollow-point bullets are the best to use in self defense because they are less likely to exit the person they enter.
- During cross examination, John Guy points out that Root failed to asked Zimmerman a handful of questions, including what hand Trayvon punched him with and how the fight moved from one area to another.
- Root also failed to ask Zimmerman what he was doing with his hands and how many times he says his head was struck against concrete
- Guy also points out that Root advertised his involvement in the Zimmerman trial. He gets Root to admit that the trial could be great for his consulting business.
- Root says Trayvon absolutely could have been backing away from Zimmerman when he was shot. Says “backing up” could mean that Trayvon was disengaging.
9:00 AM EST: COURT RESUMES - BREAKING: Judge Nelson rules that the computer animation and anything from Trayvon’s cell phone is not admissible.
- The animation can, however, be used as a demonstrative item by the defense.
WHAT YOU MISSED YESTERDAY:
- For a full recap of yesterday’s courtroom drama, click here.
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