Images of a handgun and marijuana, among other pictures, as well as text
messages sent and received from Trayvon Martin’s phone, will be
introduced as evidence at trial if prosecutors seek to attack George Zimmerman’s
character during Zimmerman’s upcoming murder trial.
As Michael Pearson and David Mattingly report for CNN, this evidence is
said to “paint a different picture,” say defense attorneys,
of the teen who Zimmerman shot and killed in alleged self-defense.
The family attorney for Martin, however, says that the threat of introducing
this evidence is nothing more than a “pathetic” attempt to
prejudice the jury against Martin in favor of Zimmerman.
“Is the defense trying to prove,” the family attorney said,
“[that] Trayvon deserved to be killed by George Zimmerman because
of the way he looked?”
In 2012, Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, began pursuing Martin
on suspicion that Martin was “up to no good.” The pursuit
turned into an altercation in which Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest
at close range. The gunshot wound was fatal.
The case gained national headlines when it took weeks for Zimmerman to
be charged with any crime, even though local authorities initially thought
there was a lack of evidence contradicting Zimmerman’s claim that
he acted in self-defense.
Supporters of Martin claim he was an unarmed teen pursued and attacked
because of racial bias on Zimmerman’s part. Supporters of Zimmerman
claim that he was indeed attacked by Martin and was justifiably forced
to defend himself.