Sanford, FL: Day 2 of the George Zimmerman Court Trial.
Day 2 of the George Zimmerman Court Trial was held Tuesday.
Past police dispatcher calls in which George Zimmerman complained about “suspicious” characters in his neighborhood should be presented to jurors that would show his state of mind and provide context to his fatal encounter with 17 year old Trayvon Martin wasa argued about on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Richard Mantei told the judge the five calls are central to the prosecution’s argument that George Zimmerman committed second-degree murder since it shows his growing ill will at people he viewed as suspicious who were walking through his neighborhood.
In each of the calls, which were played for Judge Debra Nelson with the jurors out of the courtroom, George Zimmerman described the suspicious characters as black males.
The calls made in the 6 months before George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin, reflect the neighborhood watch volunteer’s growing frustration with repeated break-ins at his gated community of townhomes and plays into the prosecution’s theory that his view of Trayvon Trayvon Martin as a suspicious character was “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Mantei said.
Defense Attorney Mark O’Mara argued that the calls were irrelevant and that no previous incidents matter except the seven or eight minutes prior to when George Zimmerman fired the deadly shot into Trayvon Martin’s chest.
“They’re going to ask the jury to make a leap from a good, responsible, citizen behavior to seething behavior,” said Defense Attorney Mark O’Mara as the prosecution’s depiction of George Zimmerman’s actions.
Judge Debra Nelson said she would make a ruling after reviewing prior cases.
Prosecutors called on a Sanford police sergeant who was the second officer to respond to the scene after George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin.
Sergeant Tony Raimondo testified that he tried to seal a bullet wound in Trayvon Martin’s chest with a plastic bag and attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Sergeant Tony Raimondo said bubbling sounds indicated that air was escaping the teen’s chest.
Trayvon Martin was pronounced dead a short time later.
During Sergeant Tony Raimondo’s testimony, prosecutors showed jurors a photo of Trayvon Martin’s dead body face-down in the grass, another of Trayvon Martin’s body face up with his eyes slightly open and a third of the bullet wound.
George Zimmerman could get life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder for gunning down Trayvon Martin as the black teenager, wearing a hoodie on a dark, rainy night, walked from a convenience store through the gated townhouse community where he was staying.
George Zimmerman is pleading not guilty claiming self-defense.
Prosecutors called the former coordinator of the Sanford Police Department’s neighborhood watch program, who testified how she had worked with George Zimmerman to set up a watch program in his neighborhood, The Retreat at Twin Lakes.
When asked by Prosecutor John Guy if neighborhood watch participants should either follow or engage with suspicious people, she answered “no.”
“They are the eyes and ears of law enforcement,” said Wendy Dorival, the Sanford Police manager. “They’re not supposed to take matters into their own hands.”
But Wendy Dorival said she was impressed with George Zimmerman’s professionalism and dedication to his community and asked him to join another program, Citizens on Patrol, which trained residents to patrol their neighborhoods. He declined.
“He seemed like he really wanted to make changes in his community, to make it better,” said Wendy Dorival.
The president of George Zimmerman’s homeowners association testified that George Zimmerman was in charge of the neighborhood watch program started in his townhome complex. He said George Zimmerman was the person who went through a class offered by Sanford police to get it started.
Donald O’Brien said he also attended a neighborhood watch meeting led by George Zimmerman and it was Donald O’Brien’s understanding that participating residents “were supposed to stay away” from suspicious activity and “call the police.”
“Do not get close to anybody,” Donald O’Brien said of what he understood about neighborhood watch. “Stay at a safe distance and call 911. Let the police handle it.”
The George Zimmerman Court Trial continues Wednesday morning at around 8:30am ET.
This trial has attracted international attention and prompted nationwide debates about gun control, race, and equal justice under the law.
** Live streaming news coverage of the George Zimmerman Court Trial is at the following website addresses: **
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– ABC affiliated WFTV Channel 9:
– Central Florida News Channel 13:
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