Day 7 of the prosecution’s case began with the last question of yesterday’s testimony to then-Lead Detective Chris Serino.  “Either he was telling the truth or he was a complete pathological liar,” Serino testified.  After that, there was a discussion outside the presence of the jury, about a professor that the prosecution wishes to call as a witness, but who is unavailable to appear in court.  The state had previously recorded their direct examination of him and they wanted to play it for the court.  However, the defense was not able to attend the after trial deposition that was set up, the day before this professor went on his trip hiking in the New Mexico desert.  The prosecution didn’t seem concerned that the defense would not be able to cross-examine the man even though it is an explicit Constitutional right.  The judge deferred the issue until later.

When testimony resumed in front of the jury, the state recalled Chris Serino to finish his testimony.  The defense continued from yesterday.  Serino testified that George Zimmerman was consistent throughout all of his statements.  None of the inconsistencies were significant enough that he could use them to “challenge” his story.  The state then questioned Serino again.  They started with a dig about the defense and the previous stricken testimony.  Bernie de la Rionda stated:  I won’t ask you any questions about guilt or innocence that would be improper, do you understand that?  The defense objected to improper comment and the judge sustained.  The prosecution went on to ask Serino if “these a**holes always get away,” is something you would say to someone you want to invite over for dinner?  Then, they went on to say, “these f***ing punks”, is that something that sounds like it is said with ill will, spite, or hatred?  Serino answered, yes.

Bernie de la Rionda:  “If I think someone is a criminal isn’t that a form of profiling?”

Chris Serino:  “It could be construed as such yes.”

The prosecution tried to downplay George Zimmerman’s response to the implication that Trayvon Martin may have taped the incident by saying that the bluff technique didn’t work on him.  He was there; he knew he didn’t tape anything.  Serino testified, “I would assume so.”  In the reenactment video, when he is pointing to all the houses on the left, right there to the right is there an address right there?  (Referring to Ms. Lauer’s house)  Serino responded in the affirmative.  The defendant claims he didn’t know the name of the street, but that’s the main entrance to the houses, correct?  Serino, again, responded affirmatively.  De la Rionda then asked him, if he recalled that George Zimmerman had stated he moved his arms out.  He responded he remembered that.  He asked if he recalled that a witness had taken photographs of the scene and that he was the first person on the scene?  He again said he remembered that.  The prosecution then asked Serino if he recalled that Trayvon Martin’s arms were under his body?  Serino’s response was, while looking at the photograph, “In that position, yes.”  The prosecution went on to question Serino about whether or not he felt George Zimmerman had exaggerated some aspects of the story.  He testified that he did think so, “among other things” and more specifically the manner in which he was hit.  He was then questioned by the prosecution about all the documents and information he was missing at the time he was questioning George Zimmerman.

The defense then began questioning Serino again.  Mark O’Mara began by pointing out that a**holes can be used as slang.  “Yes,” Serino testified.  You’ve used it haven’t you?  “Yes.”  My client didn’t use the word in the same way the prosecution demonstrates it, did he?  No, Serino testified.

He didn’t sound like he had ill will, spite, or hatred?  No, “it seemed like more of a generalization…”

“You knew that he was frustrated about the burglaries?”  Serino responded that he did know about the burglaries.  He had checked up on Zimmerman’s story about that.  Mark O’Mara went into detail about a burglary that had occurred a few weeks before.  Emmanuel Burgess had committed a burglary and he had a similar build to Trayvon Martin (Burgess was convicted and sentenced to 5 years in prison).  He was tall and skinny too.  Mark O’Mara questioned Serino on the use of “oh, sh*t” by Zimmerman, Serino thought it was just used out of a sense of “urgency”.  The defense asked about why Mr. de la Rionda yelled at him?  Serino testified that he was just making a point; but that it was “different” the way George Zimmerman said it.

Mark O’Mara emphasized that he wasn’t saying that this is connected to the case or Trayvon Martin, but that there was a “slim Jim” found near where Trayvon Martin had been hiding?  Serino answered that yes, when they were combing the scene a few days later they recovered a “slim Jim”, which is used to jimmy locks or windows open.

Mark O’Mara:  Anything wrong with following him to see where he is going?

Chris Serino:  “Legally speaking, no.”

Mark O’Mara went on to question Serino about the non-emergency call.  It was twice that he tells Mr. Zimmerman to tell him what else he does, isn’t it?  Serino answered affirmatively, that the 911 operator wanted him to keep an eye on him.  Serino was then asked to specify for the jury what he thought didn’t match up, what his hunch was over?  Serino testified that “the location where the incident ultimately ended up” shows that George Zimmerman, in his opinion, continued to follow Martin after being told he didn’t have to.  It was Serino’s understanding that Zimmerman was exiting his vehicle when the operator told him he didn’t need him to follow him.  He was asked if he had any evidence of this theory?  He answered that because the altercation happened after the call, he questioned what Zimmerman said.  He was asked if he had any evidence Zimmerman didn’t walk the rest of the way to the end of the sidewalk?  He answered, “Nothing tangible…it’s my interpretation.”  The defense then questioned Serino on when you call 911 and when you call non-emergency and which one Zimmerman called.  He testified that 911 is for a crime in progress and non-emergency is for suspicious activity.  He also testified that George Zimmerman called non-emergency.  Mark O’Mara then gave Chris Serino a scenario.  In your opinion, if you saw someone at night, in the rain, just standing in the grass between two buildings, would it not be appropriate to call non-emergency?  Serino responded, “yes.”  The defense then questioned him on if he was a police officer and saw that would he investigate further, especially in a neighborhood with a recent crime increase.  He responded that he wouldn’t stop, if on patrol, to investigate that.  Mark O’Mara then asked, even just to ask if that’s their house or they live there?  He answered that just for that he wouldn’t, that it would have to be brought to their attention by “a citizen like George Zimmerman.”  Later, Serino stated that he couldn’t be sure what he would do.

He was then questioned a little more on his investigation into recent burglaries.  He couldn’t recall how many, but he acknowledged that there was a home invasion a few weeks before.  He was then asked if George Zimmerman had stated in addition to his comment about being glad Trayvon Martin taped the incident that he hoped HOA would have installed a camera he didn’t know about?  Sernio responded affirmatively.

“He seemed very open to having it videotaped,” Serino testified.  He seemed “elated” by the prospect that Martin had taped the scene.

He was asked about the fact that in the walk-through or reenactment video that no police officer noticed the number on Ms. Lauer’s house either.  He answered no one did.

The Medical Examiner’s report is consistent with Mr. Zimmerman’s story, correct?  “Correct.”

There was a gap between where the bullet entered the clothing and hit Trayvon Martin in the chest? “Yes, sir.”

Does that support the contention that Trayvon Martin was leaning over when he was shot?  “It did.”

It does not support the contention that Mr. Zimmerman pushed the gun into the chest of Mr. Martin, does it? “Not to my knowledge.”

The known evidence completely contradicts that assertion, doesn’t it?  “As I understand it…[that] is not based on anything I read, no.”

The defense then asks Serino about Trayvon Martin’s appearance.  They ask him if he looked taller in the 7/11 video then he was?  Serino testified that he did appear taller in the video.  The defense also questioned him on the height differential, meaning that Trayvon Martin was taller than George Zimmerman and had a larger reach.  Serino testified that indeed was the case.

The prosecution again questioned then-Lead Detective Serino, they asked him if Trayvon Martin had any blood on his hands?  Serino testified he did not.  The prosecution also asked if there had been some evidence, unrelated to the case, recovered from behind another home in the same area?  Serino testified there had been.  This was a counterargument to the “slim jim” testimony.

Judge Nelson then, as is rarely done, limited the rest of the testimony of then-Lead Detective Serino to 5 minutes for each side.  The defense asked Serino if there would be any blood on someone’s hands who was punching a person who was lying on their back?  He answered no, due to gravity it would go back into the person’s sinuses and would not be exposed to the outside.

The next witness was Mark Osterman, a friend of George Zimmerman, who wrote a book about the case.  He testified that he has known Zimmerman for 5 years and he is the “best friend I’ve ever had.”  He explained how he remembered George Zimmerman telling him the story.

Below is the paraphrased testimony of Mark Osterman of what he remembers George Zimmerman telling him (please watch the testimony for complete context):

That Sunday night, he left his home, as usual (“like clockwork”), to go to Super Target to get lunches for the week.  He knew most of the people in his neighborhood, but he noticed someone in a hoodie looking in and around windows and homes.  They were walking through between two sets of homes.  He described him as 6 ft and slender, at the time he became aware that he was a black male.  He thought it looked suspicious because it was dark and raining.  He observed him walking and called the non-emergency number. 

George Zimmerman told him that as he called, Trayvon Martin approached the car, then moved down the sidewalk, but then came back a little.  That’s when George Zimmerman decided to drive on to the clubhouse to wait for police.  Martin did circle his car and then disappear again.  When the dispatcher wanted to know where he was, he got out of his car, but didn’t know the street he was on.  He also wanted to establish visual contact to tell the officer where he Trayvon Martin had gone.  They then told him he didn’t need to follow him, so he put his phone in his pocket.  He then started back toward his car along the dog path.  That’s when Trayvon Martin confronted him and said do you got a problem motherf*****? 

Osterman explained that the publisher removed most of the curse words during editing.  The prosecution continued to try to use the book to refresh his memory.

Zimmerman responded, no I don’t have a problem.  He said, you do now.  He was within one or two arms lengths away.  George had looked down to get his phone and that’s when he punched him.  He lost visual contact for a second when he looked to get his phone and when he looked back up he struck him.  He stumbled and fell backwards in the grass, partially on the cement.  Martin got on top of him.  His knees were besides his chest area.  He started punching George in the face.  George started screaming for help.  That’s when Trayvon started banging his head off the concrete.  He was maybe sticking up on the concrete, 8 inches.

His jacket had stayed where he was when he tried to move off the cement, but his body moved.  He did see at least two people come out.  Trayvon Martin put one hand over his nose and one hand over his mouth to keep him from screaming.  He said that his jacket road up a bit.  Zimmerman then was able to grab Martin’s wrist and move his hand off his mouth.  He continued screaming.  Either Martin felt or saw the firearm.

He let go of George’s nose and went for the gun, “grabbed for it”.  He said, you’re gonna die tonight motherf*****.  That’s when George broke Trayvon’s grip on the gun, where the holster strap goes across.  He shot him.  He heard him say, you got it or something to that effect.  Martin then pivoted 90 degrees and fell.  George then got out from under him and didn’t know he hit him.  He put his gun back in his holster and climbed on top afraid that he would get back up. 

Osterman also testified that the police officers when they came to the neighborhood had instructed the residents to safely observe the person when reporting suspicious activity.

The defense then cross-examined him.  Osterman has been in law enforcement since 1992.  George Zimmerman had asked his advice on whether or not he should get a firearm.  He stated that in his opinion, anyone who isn’t a convicted felon should have a firearm because the “police aren’t always there.”  He described that, that night Shellie Zimmerman and him went to the scene after she got the call from the neighbor.  He didn’t give her much information just that George Zimmerman was involved in a shooting and he was bloody.  Shellie was “indescribably upset” about the whole thing.  They were finally able to see him at 2 or 3 a.m. at the police station.  He seemed “stunned”, Mrs. Zimmerman broke down and he was trying to reassure her.  He was very “wide-eyed” and “detached”.  It seemed like he didn’t realize what had just happened.  It is “hard to describe”, Osterman testified.  He stated that it was “vastly” different from how he usually acts.

“He was in a position where he was not able to process,” Osterman testified.

He could only answer Osterman’s questions with basic answers.  He seemed like he just wanted to get home.  When Shellie was feeling better, he just had this “stare”, according to Osterman.  He testified that he drove the car that night from the police station.  On the drive, George Zimmerman described what had happened.  “I like to analyze everything I hear to see if it makes sense,” Osterman testified, my wife will tell you I have a hard time getting out of “law enforcement mode.”  He never expressed he was angry about anything, Osterman stated to the jury.  The conversation lasted about 15 minutes.  He just related actions; he didn’t say what the operator said to him or anything along those lines.  Osterman clarified some of his testimony in direct.

George Zimmerman saw that the street at the end of the dog path, the one that he lives on, was lit.  He had lost sight of Martin around the T and thought he made a right down between the houses.  George Zimmerman wanted to get a house number on Retreat View to help the officer find him.  He was on his way back when the altercation occurred.  Osterman stated that he only heard George Zimmerman tell his side of the story twice, on the night of the incident and the next morning.  He testified that the situation was “critical”.  George Zimmerman was focused on “losing oxygen”, almost exclusively.  In his law enforcement experience, that is common with someone who experiences trauma.  People will “typically” or naturally focus on one aspect of what happened, become fixated in a way.  Sometimes people get “tunnel vision.”

Osterman clarified that he thought George Zimmerman had said that Trayvon Martin grabbed the gun, but his memory could be wrong, it could have been just Martin’s “intent” to grab the gun.  He also testified that in his experience, it isn’t uncommon for a person to be able to speak up to 16 seconds after being shot.  George Zimmerman never explained why Trayvon Martin’s hands were under his body; in fact Osterman said he “did not know that fact.”  It was 4 months later, that Osterman decided to write his book and he never consulted with George Zimmerman about the events to see if he was right or wrong.  He testified that “without question” he would defer to the forensic evidence over his book.  On redirect, he testified again that he “thought” he heard Zimmerman say that Trayvon Martin grabbed the gun.  On recross, he clarified that he couldn’t be sure when George Zimmerman said he holstered his gun, “I’m not 100% sure.”

After this, the prosecution played excerpted parts of the Sean Hannity interview.  I didn’t hear anyone state that there was a stipulation, so I found it odd that the State was allowed to show evidence without laying any sort of foundation for it or introduce it through a witness.  The interview basically reiterates, once again, the same version of events.

Below George Zimmerman’s responses to most of the questions posed by Hannity are paraphrased:

What were you doing that night?  I was going to Target to do my weekly grocery shopping. 

Why did you start the neighborhood watch?  In August of 2011, there was a home invasion and my wife was home.  She witnessed the burglars run through our backyard.  She was scared because of it.  I promised her that I would do what I could to keep her safe.

Did you always carry your gun?  I carried my gun at all times.  Except for to work.

Why did you feel like Trayvon Martin was suspicious?  I felt he was suspicious because he was cutting between houses.  It was raining and he was just leisurely walking. 

When you said he was reaching in his waistband, what did you mean, did you think he had a weapon?  “I thought he was trying to intimidate me…His demeanor, his body language was confrontational.”  I thought he was saying something to me.

On the call, you state that Trayvon Martin was running was that out of fear?  He wasn’t running out of fear.  He was more moving quickly, not a full run.

Were you following him?  On the call, you sound like you are running.  I was going in the same direction as him to keep an eye on him.  I was not running.  I walked across the sidewalk to my street.  I didn’t continue to follow him after they told me not to.  I thought he had gone right down the path, but I went straight.

Why did you not want to give your address on the call?  I wanted to make sure nobody was lingering and could hear my address.  I didn’t want anyone to come to my home and surprise me.

You told them to call you when they got there, why?  I had given them the clubhouse address.  I hadn’t given them the right address.  I wanted them to call me so that I could give them a more specific address as to where I was.

How long after the call ended did you see Trayvon Martin again?  Maybe 30 seconds, I was only 100 feet from my car.  I turned around and there he was.

What happened?  He asked me what my problem was.  I had put my cell phone in my jacket pocket, but I usually keep it in my jeans, so I went to grab it, but it was there.  It shocked me and when I looked back up, he punched me.  I don’t remember how I got on the ground, but I ended up on the ground.  He started bashing my head into the sidewalk and I was “disoriented”.  I yelled for help.  He continued to punch me, several times, probably more than a dozen. 

When were you afraid for your life?  In hindsight, I would say I didn’t know what would happen.  I was afraid for my life when he was bashing my head into the concrete.  I thought I would lose consciousness.  Every time I would sit up he would take the opportunity to bash my head back down.  Then he would punch me in the face.  When I got off the concrete, my gun became exposed.  He tried to suffocate me.  It was “excruciatingly painful” because my nose was broken.  He saw my firearm and threatened to kill me.

Why were you yelling so loudly?  I thought a police officer was there, but couldn’t find me.  I was hoping that they were in the vicinity and would come help me. 

You said he reached for your gun?  He took his hand off my face and I felt it move across my chest.  I knew I had run out of time.  It happened so quickly.

When did you learn Trayvon Martin had died?  About an hour after arriving at the police station.  I didn’t even know I had hit him.  He sat up and said something like you got it.  I thought he was giving up. 

Are you inclined to think people get away with crimes?  Generally speaking, I am not predisposed to think that people get away with crimes.  In my neighborhood, yes.

Do you think it was a misunderstanding?  That you were afraid of him and he was afraid of you?  My biggest problem throughout this whole thing is the media and conjecture, so I’m not going to assume anything.

A witness described you as not caring after the incident.  I was nervous that I had discharged my weapon.  I was concerned that the police officer didn’t know I was armed, I didn’t want him to get the wrong idea.

What has been your biggest problem?  I don’t like that the media has rushed to judgment.

Did you only call on African American kids when you made your previous calls?  No, I called on Hispanic and White kids too.  I didn’t describe anyone by race unless I was asked to.

The last witness of the day was forensic pathologist Dr. Valerie Rao.  She did not do the autopsy in the case, rather she was asked to consult on the case for prosecutors.  She explained the difference between blunt force and sharp force trauma.  She stated that, as is normal for her, she asked to have all the information that was available so that she could “formulate” her opinion.

She also testified about her thoughts on George Zimmerman’s injuries.  She thought that they were not life threatening and that they were “insignificant”.  She did state that she was not able to look at the wounds after they were cleaned up.  She only examined photographs and documents about everything in the case.  The prosecution went over most of George Zimmerman’s wounds with her.  She said that the punctate abrasions were “consistent with” a rough surface like concrete.  She also stated that in her opinion, the injuries to the back of his head are “consistent with” one hit because the skull is round.  She stated that in her understanding of slam (great force), that Zimmerman’s injuries are “not consistent with” that.  She testified that if he were slammed he should have more injuries and they should require sutures.  She said that the injuries to the front of his face were “very small” and were “consistent with’ one “blow”.  She went on to testify that the side of his head was also “consistent with” one hit.  She stated that she didn’t think his injuries were significant because, not only did he not need sutures, but also he didn’t seek more medial attention and he didn’t lose consciousness.

On cross-examination, the defense questioned Dr. Rao on possible ulterior motives for testifying.  They asked her if the lead prosecutor Angela Corey had appointed her to her position.  Dr. Rao tried to imply that Corey had only recommended her, “she sent a letter to the Governor.  If you want to call that appointed, that’s fine.”  Mark O’Mara then read the letter, which stated that Angela Corey was appointing her pursuant to Florida law.  The defense went on to question her about what happened to her last position.  She said that it was “tabled” because of “administrative problems” she had.  She tried to testify that she is an independent entity, as ME offices are supposed to be, so she could be called and testify for the defense as well.  Mark O’Mara asked her how many of her cases are homicides.  She testified that about 110 out of 1,165 (or 9%).  She also testified that she had worked on behalf of the state in all of her homicides.  She admitted that even though she received Trayvon Martin’s autopsy she was not requested to review it, just George Zimmerman’s injuries.

“Is it your position that there were at least 3 impacts to the head?”  “Yes.”

She admitted to not knowing how George Zimmerman was hit by Trayvon Martin.  Mark O’Mara gave her a scenario where the injuries to the back of the head were caused by two impacts.  She responded that if what he depicted was the way it happened, than the wounds would be “consistent with” two strikes.  She repeatedly said “it could be” or “it’s possible” to most of Mark O’Mara’s questions.  They went over the fact that Trayvon Martin had two marks on his knuckles.  She testified that the two marks were “consistent with” him striking someone.  His skin was rubbed off.  She also stated that you can be hit and not show visible injuries, it depends upon the force.  As Mark O’Mara gave her more scenarios or hypotheticals for George Zimmerman’s different injuries, she responded:  “Anything is possible…looking at the preponderance of the evidence, this could go on…” Referring to how they could go back and forth with different possibilities forever.  She mentioned preponderance of the evidence several times, even though, that is not the standard for criminal investigations.  It is a much lower standard used in financial cases.  No one reminded her that this is about a person’s life.

She testified that in her opinion, the swelling was not severe that is why it receded so quickly.  Mark O’Mara asked her what would happen to blood that went back into your sinuses when you finally got up.  She answered that you would “cough it up”.  She seemed confused by Mark O’Mara’s suggestion that you might swallow it when it was going down your throat, she testified:  “I don’t know if you would swallow it, but that’s a good suggestion.”  Several times she answered that she didn’t know to some questions.

Mark O’Mara:  “You’re not suggesting by a reasonable degree of medical certainty that there was only one hit?

Dr. Rao:  No.

She admitted that she doesn’t know what part of George Zimmerman’s head hit the concrete or when, but that because of their proximity, they were probably related to one strike.

Mark O’Mara:  If only one part of his skull was in contact with the cement then the injuries would be caused separately by two impacts, correct?

Dr. Rao:  It’s possible.

She testified to the jury that the “preponderance of evidence” showed that one blow to the back of the head was more likely than two.  She stated that the pictures she was provided were closer than the pictures being used to show the jury.  When the defense went over them with her, she stated that the one photo was at a “funny angle”, so she couldn’t tell if it was a swollen area.  She also stated that she thought certain parts of his head that looked swollen were just the shape of his head.  She was asked why if the skull is convex is there not one long injury between the two marks if it was one blow?  She answered that the force could be different in different spots.  “It’s a nice thing to be able to say, but I can’t say that,” it was caused by more than one hit.  She was asked in her professional opinion, what could be the maximum number of hits that George Zimmerman sustained.  She answered that she already told him the minimum number is 3 and that she couldn’t give him an answer unless he told her a scenario.  Then, she could tell him consistent or not consistent with.

She also testified that a witness is the best estimate for a number of injuries sustained to a person.  She reiterated that she thought the injuries were “minor.”  She stated she thought it was possible that 4 hits could be consistent with the injuries to his left and ride side of his head (which would total 8 blows).  She testified that it was a flat surface, so the head would “really have to be contorted.”  Mark O’Mara pointed out that it was a sidewalk and there was an edge to it.  Could the edge have caused some of his injuries?  She again answered that it was possible.  He asked her if she was prepared by the state to speak about whether or not his injuries were life threatening?  She answered no.  Mark O’Mara asked her if she understood that life threatening is not an element of the case.  She stated that she did.  Mark O’Mara finished with whether or not George Zimmerman’s next injury, the one he didn’t have to survive, was life threatening?  She stated she didn’t understand the question and the state objected.  It was sustained.

On redirect, the state asked her if the defendant ever said that he was struck on the side of the sidewalk.  She answered no.  She was asked if she was slanting her testimony for Angela Corey?  She denied it.  She was asked who officially appointed her.  She answered the Governor.

Then there was some legal argument about whether or not George Zimmerman’s school records should be admitted as evidence.  The state argued that they needed the school records because it will help them establish his state of mind.  He wanted to catch bad guys.  He had an interest in police.  They also stated that it shows that he did have knowledge of stand your ground and police techniques like interviewing, which George Zimmerman denied in the Hannity interview.  The defense countered that he never finished the degree and that they weren’t allowed to introduce Trayvon Martin’s school records because of their protected status.  They also argued it was irrelevant and a “fishing expedition”. They argued that the state wants to say that because he went to college and wanted to be a police officer that somehow that’s a bad thing.  Mark O’Mara stated that the state is attempting to come up with its theory as they go along and any hard and fast evidence doesn’t support it.  The Judge stated that she didn’t feel it was a fishing expedition and in her opinion, the state just wants to show that George Zimmerman had knowledge through his course review.  She admitted that she didn’t know what was in the course review.  The defense asked where it ends?  The state argued that they just want to show he has criminal justice knowledge through two classes:  criminal investigation and criminal litigation.

The judge ordered the prosecution to redact the rest of the classes off the transcript because once again, the state wants to show something that should be redacted.  It reminds me of when Bernie de la Rionda for no reason at all decided to show the jury and the world George Zimmerman’s driver’s license number and social security number even though there was no information in that part of the police statement that was necessary to go over for the jury.  Identity thieves don’t have to do anything these days, just wait for the government to expose the information.  I’ve seen the media and online blogs do it too.  People need to respect other people’s personal information.  It’s ridiculous.  When you fill out a FOIA request either black it out or the law should require that the court do it for you.  Have some responsibility for other people’s personal information.  Defendants are people and they deserve a certain level of decency and privacy, like anyone else.  If they aren’t found guilty, what then?  Everyone knows his or her information.  You know some fanatical person, like the ones that threaten people, would be very apt to do something stupid and rash like that.

The defense argued that the state couldn’t produce evidence (the Hannity video) and then impeach it themselves.  They can’t create the problem only to remedy it.  O’Mara argued that the state was attempting to open the door and then push through it.  They only introduced the Hannity video to give themselves some relevant footing to introduce the class work.  The state countered that they didn’t introduce the Hannity video just to introduce the class work, which contradicts it.  The Judge stated that she was leaning toward the prosecution’s argument and that she felt like it went toward their theory of the case and that they are allowed to show it to the jury.  She stated that the defense’s cross-examination of some witnesses could infer to the jury that George Zimmerman didn’t understand the law of self-defense.  I personally didn’t really see that.  Judge Nelson felt as though the state was entitled to present it though.

Mark O’Mara answered that they have to connect the dots, the jury isn’t supposed to be guessing.  Then, he brought up the point of whether or not George Zimmerman was even present in class during the demonstration about self-defense.  Shouldn’t they have to show he was present otherwise it is pure supposition?  The State complained that Mark O’Mara always changes his objections or has more than one.  Mr. Mantei argued that it is relevant and that the defense can cross-examine the professor about whether George Zimmerman was there in class for the coursework.  That goes toward “the weight of the evidence”.  They also argued that the defense can’t say it is more prejudicial than probative if they believe it is a good thing not a bad thing that he did this.  The other pieces of evidence the state wants to admit are a 2012 ride along that George Zimmerman went on and a 2009 application to become a police officer in Virginia.  The judge deferred her ruling so that the attorneys could present case law.

The last witness of the day was Kristen Benson, the latent fingerprint examiner.  She has testified 7 times in trials and has been an examiner for 3 years.  On direct, she explained that a latent print is an unintentional print left behind when the oils of the skin transfer the ridge patterns onto a surface.  She stated that a latent print of value refers to any latent print that can be sufficiently analyzed.  She testified that latent prints could be of no value when they are distorted or lack ridge detail.  She stated that touching a surface doesn’t guarantee a latent print it depends upon what’s on your finger and the surface.  She also testified that environment, like rain and humidity, as well as other people handling the object can destroy prints or replace prints.  She was asked to compare a known ink print (a purposeful print taken for records) to the latent print.  She checked for anything that was in agreement between the two and not in agreement using a handheld magnifier.

On cross-examination, she specified that the person who took the latent print noted that it was taken from the slide of a firearm.  She testified she only received one card to review.  She reiterated that environmental factors can “damage” latent prints.  She also testified that there could only be one print transferred even if 3 or 4 people touch an object.

She was unable to identify whom the print belonged to.

  1. justice says:

    As a nurse, GZ injuries were minor. A skull beaten with force on the concrete would be like a shattered egg shell. Defense over played their hand. You don’t have to be for M artin to know this


    • The severity of Zimmerman’s injuries is debatable. A self defense case is an affirmative case, which means that to some extent the defense has to prove what they are showing. But the prosecution still has to show that self defense isn’t true beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution tried to say that the injuries could have been caused by the tree nearby or a branch, but later took that back and accepted the sidewalk was the cause. If the prosecution isn’t sure what they are talking about how can you be? Isn’t that reasonable doubt by itself? Besides, the severity of injuries isn’t important, what is relevant is state of mind.


  2. JanCorey says:

    Getting closer to the acquittal.


  3. Lon Spector says:

    The prosecution is clutching at straws. They want to destroy a man’s life because he might of
    heard of stand your ground as a student. Can’t you gauge the degree of paranoia on the race hustlers’ part? Why did Zimmerman wait until his encounter with Trayvon before he started killing blacks K.K.K. style?


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