Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Public safety

Zimmerman defense trying to get Trayvon Martin texts introduced

SANFORD — Defense attorneys on Tuesday tried to get Trayvon Martin's text messages and cellphone photos dealing with fighting and guns introduced at George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial as they neared the finish of their presentation.

Zimmerman's attorneys called a forensics computer analyst to tell the judge presiding over the trial that text messages on Martin's cellphone showed he was trying to buy or sell a gun. The analyst, Richard Connor, read to the judge text messages he found on Martin's phone that describe Martin recounting a fight he had been in to a friend. Jurors were out of the courtroom. The testimony was given to Judge Debra Nelson to help her decide whether to allow the defense to use them.

Earlier in the day, defense attorney Mark O'Mara told the judge the defense would likely rest today.

An expert on gunshot wounds also testified that the trajectory of the bullet and gunpowder on Trayvon Martin's body support Zimmerman's account that the unarmed black teenager was on top of the neighborhood watch volunteer when the defendant shot and killed Martin. Forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent DiMaio also used photographs of Zimmerman to point out where he appeared to have been struck. Defense attorneys were hoping DiMaio's testimony would help convince jurors of Zimmerman's claims that he shot Martin in self-defense. Zimmerman, 29, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

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