ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Officials on Thursday released nearly 200 pages of previously undisclosed documents in the Trayvon Martin fatal shooting case in which neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder.
The newly released material is shedding new light on a case that has raised questions about racial profiling and “stand your ground” laws.
The documents, photos and video were turned over by prosecutors to defense attorneys earlier this week before they were released to the media.
Some explanations, key quotes and questions and answers related to the new documents:
_ Trayvon Martin’s autopsy shows he had marijuana in his system the night he was killed by George Zimmerman.
_ A gunshot to Martin’s chest came from close range.
_ At least one investigator wanted to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter but was overruled.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
Q: WHAT DID THE INVESTIGATOR SAY?
A: The investigator, who was on the scene after the shooting, wrote that the Feb. 26 confrontation should have been avoided. Christopher Serino told prosecutors in March that the fight could have been avoided if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement. He said Zimmerman could have identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and talked to him instead of confronting him.
Q: WHAT DID THE AUTOPSY SAY?
A: The autopsy said medical examiners found THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, when they tested Martin’s blood and urine. A police report shows the 17-year-old was shot once in the chest and had been pronounced dead at the scene. The autopsy says the fatal shot was fired from no more than 18 inches away.
Q: DID THE DOCUMENTS REVEAL ANYTHING ABOUT ZIMMERMAN?
A: A photo shows Zimmerman with a bloody nose on the night of the fight. A paramedic report says he had a 1-inch laceration on his head and forehead abrasion.
“Bleeding tenderness to his nose, and a small laceration to the back of his head. All injuries have minor bleeding,” paramedic Michael Brandy wrote about Zimmerman’s injuries.
Q: WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
A: Whether Zimmerman was injured in the altercation with Martin has been a key question because the 28-year-old has claimed self-defense and said he only fired because the unarmed teenager attacked him.
Zimmerman was not arrested for weeks because he invoked Florida’s law that doesn’t require a person to retreat in the face of a serious threat. He was released from bail and is in hiding while he awaits trial. He has pleaded not guilty.
Q: WHAT ELSE WAS RELEASED?
A: Included in the many witness interviews were accounts by an acquaintance of Zimmerman’s who said he’s a racist and a co-worker who said Zimmerman bullied him and mocked him with an exaggerated Middle Eastern accent.
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