After an fraught first week for the prosecution—during which witnesses contradicted one another and had their credibility questioned during cross-examinations—the State opened the second week of George Zimmerman's second degree-murder trial with a walkthrough of the events on the evening of Treyvon Martin's death.
For the first time, Zimmerman's testimony was played for judge, jury and audience, via taped police recordings in the hours and days after Martin's death. (It's typical for defense attorneys to not put their client on the stand at all, so this might be the last time the jury hears from Zimmerman.) Calmly and carefully, Zimmerman's official deposition took the police through his account of the evening of Feb. 26, 2012.
Zimmerman had refused a lawyer, and spoke to police while his nose and head were still bleeding. During his routine Neighborhood Watch shift, Zimmerman saw Martin walking home from 7-Eleven in the rain. "These guys always get away," he said on tape. "It was raining out, and he was leisurely walking, taking his time, looking at all the houses. When I drove by he stopped and looked at me.”
According to his testimony, Zimmerman followed Martin, even though the 911 dispatcher he'd called advised him not to. Martin then allegedly punched him in the face once he got out of the car, repeating: "You're going to die tonight." He was trying to escape from the onslaught of beating, Zimmerman said, when he felt Martin reach for his gun. In self-defense, he claimed, he then shot Martin in the chest.
"All right, you got it, you got it," Martin said, according to Zimmerman, before falling off him.
Officer Doris Singleton, who interviewed Zimmerman in the tapes and was the first to speak to him after the shooting, testified on the stand that the defendant seemed "shocked" to learn of Martin's death. Zimmerman himself swore under oath that he hadn't known Martin had died until Singleton told him.
Though audio recordings of Zimmerman and Martin's tussle have been retrieved from 911 calls, voice recognition expert Hirotaka Nakasone testified earlier Monday that the screams heard were too short to be identified as either Martin's or Zimmerman's.