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Zimmerman changes details, makes claims inconsistent with other evidence

Published Jun. 29, 2012

ORLANDO — George Zimmerman talked to Sanford police a half-dozen times, going over what happened the night he killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. In the retelling, parts of his story changed. His account also does not line up with other evidence.

Here are some of the most prominent inconsistencies:

Where the confrontation happened

In his first recorded interview with police the night of the Feb. 26 shooting, Zimmerman said Martin popped out at him from "the bushes."

By the time he re-enacted the shooting less than 24 hours later, Zimmerman was much more precise, and the spot he pointed out had no bushes nearby.

As he walked police through what happened where, he said Martin approached him from his left rear and at a spot near the intersection of two sidewalks.

What Martin said

In that first taped interview with Sanford police Investigator Doris Singleton, Zimmerman said that when he and Martin came face to face on that sidewalk, Martin said, "What the (expletive) (is) your problem, homey?"

During the next 24 hours, Zimmerman's version of what Martin said would change slightly, becoming less offensive with each telling.

In another interview later that night, he told Investigator Chris Serino that Martin said, "You got a problem?"

During the re-enactment the next afternoon, he told police that Martin yelled, "Yo, you got a problem?"

Also, a 16-year-old Miami girl told prosecutors she heard something different. She said she was on the phone with Martin at the time and heard him say, "What are you following me for?"

Dispatcher asked him to find Martin

After first spotting Martin and dialing a nonemergency police number, Zimmerman parked his truck while he talked with the dispatcher, asking that an officer come to the scene.

While still on the line, he drove a short distance down the street before parking again.

Why did he move his truck?

During the re-enactment the day after the shooting, Zimmerman told detectives it was because he had lost sight of the 17-year-old, and the dispatcher asked him to find him.

A review of Zimmerman's recorded call with the dispatcher, though, shows there was no such request.

Did he follow Martin?

In his call to police before the shooting, Zimmerman can be heard huffing and puffing as if he had been running or walking fast.

"Are you following him?" the dispatcher asked.

"Yeah," Zimmerman answered.

"Okay, we don't need you to do that," the dispatcher said.

"Okay," Zimmerman said.

But after the shooting, he offered a different reason for getting out of his truck.

Investigators also pointed out to Zimmerman in a Feb. 29 interrogation several other discrepancies, but he did not clear them up.


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