Residents of the nearby community describe the events of the night Trayvon Martin was killed.
Sanford police officer Ricardo Ayala describes the fatal chest wound that he observed on Trayvon Martin. (Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images)
The first week of witness testimonies in the State of Florida v. George Zimmerman trial ended today with more of the prosecution’s witnesses taking the stand. These women and men consisted of residents of the gated community Retreat at Twin Lakes, as well as some first responders to the scene of the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.
Jonathon Manalo, who claims to be the first person to have spoken with defendant George Zimmerman after the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon, was a key witnesses. Manalo said that at first glance, Zimmerman appeared as if he had just gotten into an altercation. That night, Zimmerman asked Manalo to call his wife and inform her that he had “just shot someone.” Upon cross examination, Manalo testified that Zimmerman had actually earlier said, “I was defending myself and I shot him” and that it seemed true at the time. With this witness, the prosecution was seemingly hoping to imply that Zimmerman wasn’t remorseful after shooting Trayvon.
Another key witness was Jonathan Good, a former Twin Lakes resident. He stated he heard some “tussling,” and that the person on top was wearing dark clothes, while the person on bottom was wearing white or red clothes and had lighter skin. (This information of the dark-clothed person being on top echoes evidence given on Wednesday by another resident witness.) Good confirmed that Trayvon was straddling the defendant and there were “punches being thrown” in a downward manner, but could not testify to Zimmerman’s claim that Trayvon slammed his head against the cement because he did not see it.
Another witness, Sanford County Police Officer Tim Smith, was one of the first officers on the scene. He was initially responding to a suspicious person call, but while en route the call escalated to shots fired. Upon Smith’s arrival, Zimmerman was apparently standing on the sidewalk. His clothes were wet, his nose bloody and he had lacerations and contusions to his head. Smith handcuffed Zimmerman upon his acknowledgement that he had shot Martin and was still armed. Smith also testified that Zimmerman had no difficulty understanding the questions he was asked. During cross-examination, defense attorney Mark O’Mara asked Smith if the defendant had complained about any of his injuries.
Smith said Zimmerman had complained of a headache but declined going to the hospital and was instead taken to police headquarters.
Another first responder, Stacy Livingston, a Sanford Fire Department EMT, testified that when she arrived at about 7:27pm she found Zimmerman in a police car with the door open and his feet hanging out. He had a “very swollen nose” that was still moist but wasn’t bleeding. Zimmerman also had two lacerations about an inch long that were not actively bleeding upon arrival. Additionally, Livingston stated that Zimmerman said that he was dizzy but had no trouble standing up.
Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, 29, could face up to life in prison if he is found guilty of second degree murder by the six-person all female jury. He contends he shot Martin in self-defense.
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