Trayvon Martin Trial Begins Today
Jury selection for the Trayvon Martin trial begins today. George Zimmerman, who has admitted to fatally shooting Martin, is on trial for second-degree murder and is facing at least 25 years, should he be convicted:
A key part of the prosecution’s case will likely be a recording to police dispatchers in which Zimmerman said that he was going to pursue Martin, despite being advised to the contrary. Special prosecutor Angela Corey, who is leading the state’s case, has insisted that if Zimmerman had adhered to the dispatcher’s advice and let police handle the situation, there would have been no conflict.
Prosecutors will also likely use audio recordings from 911 calls placed by neighbors at the time of the incident as a key part of their evidence against Zimmerman, who worked as an insurance underwriter at the time. Muffled screams can be heard on the calls. Prosecutors say the voice is Martin’s; the defense contends that it is Zimmerman’s. Additional statements from neighbors who overhead the confrontation could also be used as evidence.
A likely centerpiece of the defense’s case will be photographs taken of Zimmerman after the conflict showing bruises and cuts that they insist are consistent with his statement that he was attacked, thrown to the ground and punched repeatedly by Martin. Zimmerman has said the fight started when he saw a suspicious-looking stranger walking through the complex. At the time of the confrontation, Martin was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, which later came to symbolize the racial tensions at the heart of this case.