The Defense’s Opening Statement Fails to Address George Zimmerman’s Contradicting Claims of How the Altercation with Trayvon Martin Started

Today was the start of the George Zimmerman trial, and what I have seen so far of the recaps from the defense’s opening arguments have been painful to watch. Even ignoring Don West’s cringe-inducing “knock knock” joke, the defense appears to have done little more than offer the jury a rambling and incoherent summary of the case. West’s attempts to recount a timeline of events leading up to the shooting was, in particular, a confusing mess. He managed to both overload the jury with a torrent of disconnected facts, but also failed to provide the jury with the specific bits of information that would allow the jury to understand the narrative that the defense is trying to sell to them.

One particular item that stood out to me, however, was the defense’s failure to outline the specifics of Zimmerman’s self-defense claim. In his opening statement, West provided the jury with an aerial view of the infamous “T” junction where Trayvon died, and a timeline of various phone calls made by witnesses, the victim, and the defendant. But in describing where exactly the shooting occurred, West can only vaguely gesture to the general area, circling an approximately 1600 square foot area to indicate the location:

The reason for this vagueness is obvious: the precise location of where the altercation between Zimmerman and Trayvon began is going to be a significant problem for Zimmerman’s defense, as Zimmerman’s statements concerning how the fight began are not reconcilable with the actual crime scene.

I have included full excerpts and links to the relevant transcripts below the jump, but Zimmerman’s initial police statements and interviews are all clear, direct, and consistent with one another. Zimmerman states, in three separate statements given in the days following the shooting, that after Trayvon punched him in the nose he “immediately” “fell backwards.” Those statements were Zimmerman’s 2/26 written statement, (“the suspect punched me in the face. I fell backwards onto my back. The suspect got on top of me”), the 2/26 Singleton interview (“And he punched me in the nose. At that point I fell down.”; “I fell to the ground when he punched me the first time.”; “As soon as he punched me, I fell backwards, um, into the grass”; “He punched me in the face and I fell backwards”), and the 2/27 Serino interview (Zimmerman: “… And then he punched me in the face.” Serino: “Oh, so he said, OK, you have a problem now. OK, he punched and you fell?” Zimmerman: “Yes, sir.”; “He punched me in the face and I fell backwards.”).

On the afternoon of February 27, after the interview that occurred that morning, Zimmerman then performed a walkthrough with police. During that walkthrough, Zimmerman started to describe the altercation with Trayvon in the same way as in his first three statements. Zimmerman describes that he was on the west prong of the “T” junction, walking west towards his car, having hung up with the non-emergency number approximately 1.5 minutes prior. Zimmerman then describes that Trayvon was to the south of him, and walking north along the path towards the junction, towards Zimmerman.

Also of interest is the fact that this description directly contradicts Zimmerman’s prior claims that “[Trayvon] jumped out from the bushes.” There are no bushes Trayvon could have come out from, and Zimmerman never mentions the bushes again. But there is a bigger inconsistency with Zimmerman’s statement: as seen in the walkthrough video, Zimmerman’s claim that he “fell backwards” after Trayvon “sucker punched him” cannot be true.

This is where Zimmerman claims to have been standing when he was punched and fell backwards:

There’s a problem here. Trayvon’s body was found 40 feet south of where Zimmerman is standing in this screenshot – and in front of him, not behind him. Shown below (and please forgive the MS Paint diagramming) are two pictures of the “T” junction, demonstrating how Zimmerman claims he was punched. The blue block is where Zimmerman says Trayvon came from, and the direction he approached in. The red blocks are where Zimmerman says he was standing. In his statements, Zimmerman states that he was facing Trayvon when the punch occurred, and therefore facing south. The red arrows thus indicate the direction that Zimmerman alleges to have “fallen back,” in his prior interviews. Also marked in both photos is the location where Trayvon’s body was found, face down in the grass, several feet away from any concrete:

So in Zimmerman’s walkthrough interview on 2/27, when he started to repeat the same version of events he’d given in his earlier statements, it quickly became apparent to Zimmerman that he could not actually have fallen backwards, as he previously claimed. Zimmerman tries to compensate for this newly apparent discrepancy, and for the first time, Zimmerman changes his story of how Trayvon punched him. No longer does Zimmerman claim to have been punched, and then to have immediately fallen onto his back. Instead, confronted with the actual geographical setting of where Trayvon was killed, Zimmerman tells a new version of events: he was punched, and then he stumbled forward 40 feet, at which point he fell on his back (after having stumbled forward) and Trayvon then got on top of him. Significantly, even with this new version of events, Zimmerman’s walkthrough of the altercation still comes up 20 feet short of where Trayvon was actually shot.

Following the walkthrough interview, Zimmerman stops telling his initial version of events, given in the first three days following the shooting. Zimmerman instead switches to an amended, and much vaguer, story. In the 2/29 interview, the only interview to take place after the walkthrough, Zimmerman describes a version of events that is inconsistent with the version he gave the first three times he told the story. In describing what happened after Trayvon sucker punched him, Zimmerman states the following:

When he first punched me. I don’t know if I immediately fell down, he threw me down. I was stumbling, I ended up on my back.

The reason for the sudden change is obvious: after performing the walkthrough with the police, Zimmerman had realized it was impossible for his first version of events to be correct. He could not have “fallen backwards” after he was punched, so instead he claims that after he was punched, he fell down, was thrown down, or stumbled forward 40 feet. Zimmerman is unable to provide specifics as to how he was transported forty feet from where the first punch occurred — or whether he fell, was thrown, or stumbled to get there — but unlike his prior statements, it is vague enough to not be demonstrably impossible.


Zimmerman’s Police Statements

Zimmerman’s Written Statement, February 26, 2012:

As I headed back to my vehicle the suspect emerged from the darkness and said “you got a problem” I said “no” the suspect said “you do now”. And [illegible] and tried to find my phone to dial 911 the suspect punched me in the face. I fell backwards onto my back. The suspect got on top of me.

Zimmerman’s February 26, 2012 Interview:

Zimmerman: So, I was walking back through to where my car was and he jumped out from the bushes and he said, What the fuck’s your problem, homie? And I got my cell phone out to call 911 this time.
Singleton: Um hum.
Zimmerman: And I said, Hey man, I don’t have a problem. And he goes, No, now you have a problem. And he punched me in the nose. At that point I fell down, ah I tried to defend myself, he just started punching me in the face. And, ah, I started screaming for help, I couldn’t see, I couldn’t breathe. Then he started taking my head..
Singleton: Are you still standing at this point?
Zimmerman: No ma’am.
Singleton: OK.
Zimmerman: I fell to the ground when he punched me the first time.
Singleton: OK.
Zimmerman: It was dark. I didn’t even see him getting ready to punch me. As soon as he punched me, I fell backwards, um, into the grass, and then he grabbed, he was whaling on my head, and I st..then I started yelling help. When I started yelling for help he grabbed my head and he started hitting my head into the, I, I tried to sit up and yell for help. And then he grabbed my head and starting hitting it into the sidewalk. Um, when he started doing that, I slid into the grass to try and get out from under him and so that he would stop hitting my head into the sidewalk and I was still yelling for help. And I could see people looking and some guy yells out, I’m calling 911. And I said, Help me, help me, he’s killing me. And, he puts his hand on my nose and on my mouth and he says, You’re gonna die tonight. And, I don’t remember much after that. I just remem..I couldn’t breathe, and then he still kept trying to hit my head against the pavement, or, I don’t know if there was a sign or what it was…so I just, oh when I slid, my jacket and my shirt came up. And when he said, You’re gonna die tonight, I felt his hand go down on my side, and I thought he was going for my firearm. So I grabbed it immediately, and as he banged my head again, I just pulled out my firearm and shot him.


Singleton: OK. So at what point, and where from what bushes does he jump out?
Zimmerman: It was somewhere around here.
Singleton: Did you know if the…is there bushes along this walkway or…where are the bushes?
Zimmerman: There all…there hedges around the sides and the back of the buildings.
Singleton: OK, so you think it’s up here somewhere where the “T” is, where he jumps out?
Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
Singleton: OK, do you remember, um, you were walking this way, did he jump out in front of you from somewhere? Or did he come up behind you? Or do you remember?
Zimmerman: I don’t recall.
Singleton: OK, but he was…from what you guess, he’s somewhere hiding at this “T” with the bushes?
Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
Singleton: In the bushes when he jumps out. OK. And then where, where, where does, where do you end up when you, when he, when you guys are on the ground and after this has all happened…where, where…do you even know?
Zimmerman: He punched me in the face and I fell backwards, and I don’t even know where…
Singleton: You just know you were somewhere in this area…
Zimmerman: It ended up. Yes ma’am.

Zimmerman’s February 27, 2012 Interview:

Zimmerman: When he came up to me, he said, “You got a problem?” and I said no. And then I went to reach for my phone to find my phone to call 911 instead of non-emergency.
Serino: OK.
Zimmerman: And then is when he punched me. He said, “You have a problem now.” And then he punched me in the face.
Serino: Oh, so he said, OK, you have a problem now. OK, he punched and you fell?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK, and you got injuries…where’d he punch you, in your face or your chest or where?
Zimmerman: In my face.
Serino: OK.
Zimmerman: My head, I mean all over my head.

Zimmerman’s February 29, 2012 Interview:

Serino: … Um, how did he manage to bang your head, and, OK, correct me if I misunderstood what you said here as far as slamming the head into the concrete. Into the cement thing. How’d he do that?
Zimmerman: I was on my back.
Serino: OK.
Zimmerman: When he first punched me. I don’t know if I immediately fell down, he threw me down. I was stumbling, I ended up on my back.
Serino: Um hum.
Zimmerman: And he was on top of me, mounted.
Serino: OK.
Zimmerman: And he kept punching me, and then, when I started yelling for help, that’s when he grabbed my head and started to slam it.
Serino: Grabbed your head by your ears, by…hard to say?
Zimmerman: I don’t remember.
Serino: OK.
Zimmerman: Every time he punched my nose, it just…
Serino: How many times, OK, how many times you get punched in the nose? A couple, few?
Zimmerman: I don’t know, I don’t remember.

43 thoughts on “The Defense’s Opening Statement Fails to Address George Zimmerman’s Contradicting Claims of How the Altercation with Trayvon Martin Started

  1. Well, it only took you a year to get back on topic after getting distracted by trivia like international laws and such.

    : – )

  2. Susan, you’re here! (You don’t know me, btw 😉 )

    I have to tell you that, in reply to someone’s comment many moons ago, you made two observations that I have used repeatedly in “debate” about this case. And I had forgotten whose words they were. I don’t know what prompted me to come here today, but once I clicked on my bookmarked link to your page, I knew it was *you* who gave me so much ammunition. So, thank you!

  3. I don’t find these discrepancies all that surprising or troubling. I’ve encountered worse in trials when the action was considerably less stressful.

    Martin took off running in the direction of his house. Zimmerman lost sight of him. It is possible, and probably likely, that he doubled back to pop Zimmerman. In any event that is sufficient to create reasonable doubt.

      • Susan, why are you so certain it was a lie, rather than confusion about what happened in the dark? With the reasons for getting out of the car, you can have a more convincing case that Zimmerman lied about something. However making self serving statements is not proof that he doesn’t have a valid justifiable homicide defense. I listed the things that have to be shown to be unreasonable for that to happen. By the way Susan, why didn’t Trayvon go home when he had four minutes to do that in pitch darkness?

        • If it was confusion, his story would not have been certain and unwaveringly consistent — up until the very moment when Zimmerman became aware of the hole in it.

          And I have no idea why Trayvon didn’t go home. Perhaps he stayed out in the dog run to talk on the phone in private, so the kid at home wouldn’t overhear his conversation with his friend. Perhaps he got concerned about a large scary man acting suspiciously in the neighborhood, and went to check it out. (Or my guess? Some combination of the two. He was almost home, and saw Zimmerman’s flashlight scouting the area for nearly two minutes.) But the idea that a 17 year old is going to try to kill a stranger on his doorstep, using only his bare hands, is too absurd to warrant credence.

          • “But the idea that a 17 year old is going to try to kill a stranger on his doorstep, using only his bare hands, is too absurd to warrant credence.”

            People don’t sucker punch people every day? I don’t know if he wanted to kill, probably just administer a beat down.

      • If some of Zimmerman’s account is correct, like the sucker punch and head bounced on sidewalk, that could account for short term memory problems where he winds up thinking he’s telling it straight because his memories are not all correct and in proper chronological order.

        • The problem with that is that Zimmerman’s changing memory of events doesn’t resemble the memory of someone who has suffered a concussion, or even just the usual variance in a witnesses’ memory.

          It was word for word the same. Consistent and explanatory. And then when it falls apart, the story instead becomes confused, contradictory, and nonspecific.

          Zimmerman is literally unable to explain how the final altercation began. “A fight started” doesn’t reveal anything about Zimmerman’s own version of events — it’s just filler. Zimmerman, by his own testimony, has no idea how the fight occurred. Why should we trust his word that killing Trayvon was necessary and reasonable, when he is too confused to know how the fight happened in the first place?

          If you were to try and reenact the shooting, as Zimmerman tells it, you’d simply be unable to. How did a punch occur at the “T”, and a body end up 40 feet to the south? Without Zimmerman and Trayvon engaging in any sort of struggle on the way there, and without Zimmerman being able to act defensively in any fashion? How did the progress of the fight go from north to south, when the attack was south to north?

          Try and stumble forward 40 feet. I’m serious. Just try it, and see how absurd it feels. Why in 40 feet was he unable to grab a gun, punch back, or run for his car?

  4. And whether the fight took place in one area or started somewhere and moved a bit doesn’t necessarily help or hurt Zimmerman’s claim of self defense. And it’s consistent with what the other witnesses heard.

    • Well you know what is consistent is they all heard something and no one really seems to know what. The gunshot alone forcing the screams to stop. If Zimmerman was attacked to the degree he claims, I don’t see him trying to subdue anyone, he would have been trying to get away from his attacking. It seems as though he shot and killed and self defense if the only claim to explain his reasoning. Let’s be honest if someone was following you in the dark, I seriously doubt if any of us would know how to respond to it!

  5. I am so happy Susan to here your observations on the evidence and zimmerman’s account of what he says happened on the night he shot and killed Martin. I always knew that his accounts of what happened was twisted and he needed to really explain why he shot and killed this teenager who in means was committing a crime on the night in question. All of Zimmerman’s calls to 911 reporting suspicious individuals that happened to be black was no difference from when he called on the non emergency to report Martin as suspicious. After listening to Frank Taeffi’s comments on the breakins and how he stress the fact that they were committed by all young black males, if you plant corn you get corn, it is what it is, it was the perfect storm, all the ingredients were there, I believe Taeffi was the one who first spotted Martin and called Zimmerman…..Zimmerman did not give a definitive description of Martin until Martin actually gets closer to him when he was parked in his truck….This is my opinion and I will stand on this one. Susan thank you for all that you do!

  6. So, does the state have a more coherent and believable account of exactly what happened? Maybe a skilled prosecutor can rivet the jury with what Susan is doing here. But does it overcome the problem of overcoming the state’s burden of showing beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman did not have a justification for using deadly force? As given, in a more garbled fashion, in the jury instruction Judge Nelson read last Thursday:

    In order to justify the defendant’s use of deadly force, you must find all three below believable:

    1. The relative physical abilities and capabilities of Martin and
    Zimmerman were such that Zimmerman could not overcome or escape from
    Martin, in the situation in this case, without resorting to deadly force.

    2. At the time he used deadly force, Zimmerman believed himself to be in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm that could only be avoided by shooting Martin.

    3. Zimmerman’s belief in the danger he was in, at the time he used deadly force, was sincere and would have been shared by any reasonably prudent and cautious person in the same situation. (It is unnecessary to consider the actual reality of
    the danger.)

    • Zimmerman’s lies do the state’s work for it. Self-defense is an affirmative defense — Zimmerman has to put evidence forward to show the killing was justified.

      But, since police were seconds away, and they were not on the sidewalk when the shots were fired, it won’t be so very hard to show the fear was unreasonable. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means convinced that the prosecution will prevail here, but they don’t have to prove half so much as you seem to think.

      • I have posted the case law before. The defense needs only to give a minimal amount of evidence to get the self defense (justifiable use of deadly force) jury instruction. In fact, the prosecution has conceded that, since they let, without objection. the judge to read such an instruction (obviously previously agreed to by both parties) to the jury last Thursday, before testimony started. The prosecution must show now, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Martin’s killing was not legally justified. So tell us why, Susan, Zimmerman’s statements show at least one of the three requirements, I listed, is unreasonable (or if you prefer, incredible, unbelievable).

        • That… isn’t how it works, so I’m not really sure where to start. Sorry.

          Defendants have been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt under circumstances where there were no eyewitnesses. If a fight starts and you kill the other person, you don’t have some automatic get out of jail free card just because you subjectively claim to have feared for your life. And a defendant that lies about why self-defense was necessary creates a legally sufficient basis to disbelieve that defendant’s testimony beyond a reasonable doubt.

      • Sorry, I didn’t notice you made an attempt. How do you know he felt he could hold out until the police came? It might just take a few seconds to get his head completely bashed. The screams show that somebody thought they might die any second and there is no proof it wasn’t Zimmerman. You are the one who is unreasonable.

      • he doesn’t know when exactly the police are going to come. Maybe when he got to the T his memory of where he was hit and how he fell was refreshed, after looking at the location. Or maybe his memory changed from the time he told his story at the T from the last time he told the story because people aren’t robots and can never remember thing exactly the same and he wasn’t lying, just humanly flawed.. Also, If Zimmerman was shrimping, he could easily cover many yards doing that. Do you know what shrimping is? The problem with you, is you know nothing about fighting. This is obvious from your posts. I, on the other hand, do. I have a 2nd degree black beltin sambo, and I bounced for 2 years. It is pointless and often times impossible to punch someone who is mounted on top of you. Due to gravity punches are usually futile from the bottom position when being mounted. Punching while being mounted does nothing. Watch MMA. It never happens. No one punches up while being mounted. Maybe their is an outlier example somewhere. You don’t understand fighting.

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  8. Susan it is so sad that TRAYVON Martin is dead. I strongly believe that he paid with his life for ever bad experience that nieborhood wit young black males. I believe those was his desperate crys for help because he saw a gun. Susan, for those who believe zimmerman’s slf defense claim that has been my easy for one because there is a self defense law in place and two becaes a lot of young black males made it easy for the world to believe that they are all dangerous. This isn’t about the actual murder of Martin. Unfortunately, it is about him paying with his life for the crime that a lot of people that fit his physical description committed. He committed no crime but he paid as if he did. Based on zimmerman’s account alone just don’t cut it. Beaten to the point of death, scars and swelling will show, rain doesn’t wash away scars. I don’t think he acted alone. I’m sorry!

    • I don’t think self-defense laws, or what “a lot of young black males” did or did not do, has anything to do with it.

      Zimmerman chose to pursue someone in the dark, and to use lethal force during a fight where lethal force was not necessary. If Zimmerman hadn’t left his car, or if he’d gone back to his car, or if he hadn’t fired his weapon, everything would have ended well. But he was playing hero, and he brought a gun. He made a series of bad choices, and a kid died because of it.

      And it took a while, but justice was done here. Too slowly, and not without resistance, but Zimmerman is being tried for the killing. Whether he is convicted or not, the system has done what it’s supposed to.

      • Susan, I have enjoyed reading the articles on various legal matters, mostly international, that you and Michael have written the last year. On subjects I know very little about, I thought I was getting correct information. Now I am reading your comments on something I know a great deal about and I begin to doubt my previous trust. Your refusal to entertain the notion that it is possible that Martin viciously attacked Zimmerman, necessitating a justifiable homicide on the part of the latter, despite plenty of evidence that shows it is reasonable, shows a degree of closed mindedness inconsistent with a good analytical mind.

        • Haha, you think anyone who disagrees with you on this point lacks an analytical mind? Well I’m far from the only one who thinks Zimmerman’s story is full of holes.

          I do refuse to believe, in the absence of all evidence, that a 17 year old kid who was walking back from 7-11, and talking on the phone with a friend, randomly decided to kill a stranger right outside his home. That isn’t something kids — even “thugs” — do. Can you name one other example of a kid that randomly decided to kill an innocent bystander, with only his bare hands, while walking home from a 7-11? While remaining on the phone with his friend, to whom he never even mentions that he just decided to go murder someone? How on earth is that a plausible scenario?

          • What is this strawman Susan? Either you believe that Martin premeditated Zimmerman’s murder or else Zimmerman doesn’t have a justifiable homicide defense? First of all, Martin’s texts and social media shows he was interested in guns and fighting and drawing blood. Second, all you know is Rachel Jentel didn’t confess yet that Martin told her he had murderous plans. Third, premeditated murder is not the only possibility. Maybe Martin just decided to beat the crap out of Zimmerman and an adrenalin rush prevented him from stopping. Please get off this case and return to stuff you know more about.

          • Ah, yes, because teenage boys liking guns and fighting is definitely a sign that they are more likely to commit murder.

            If you’re going to go there: Zimmerman was a bouncer who reacted to situations at work with inappropriate levels of aggression, and also he committed domestic violence. But he didn’t “like” guns on Facebook, so obviously he’s not inclined to violence.

            (1) You’re free to think Jeantel is lying. I found her to be very straightforward about her motivations and her recollections, and that she seemed willing to acknowledge what parts of her testimony she wasn’t certain about, but that she was also very steadfast when she was confident in her testimony. Maybe you thought she came off as a schemer, but if I was a juror, that would not have been my impression.

            (2) “Maybe Martin just decided to beat the crap out of Zimmerman”? Then why was he shouting “get off, get off”? Or, if you think Jeantel is a cunning liar: then name one other case where a kid walking home from the store went into a killing rage and tried to beat a neighbor to death with his fists. That is such an unlikely explanation. Add in the fact that the physical evidence and the witnesses suggest a different type of altercation — scrambling, scuffling, and then approximately 30 seconds of hardly any movement — then the idea that Trayvon was in a “killing rage” goes out the window. The last 30 seconds of fighting, according to all witnesses except for Zimmerman, was not an adrenaline-powered murderfest, but a stalemate ending in Zimmerman drawing a gun.

            Are you at least conceding that the idea that Trayvon committing premeditated murder is ridiculous?

          • The FBI data for the years 2007-2011 show about 800 homicide by hands or feet per year. Obviously we have reached the point that further discussion of this topic among us is useless. I am curious why you care about a garden variety homicide between two lowlifes. The most interesting thing about it is why we are discussing it at all. How somebody like Benjamin Crump can have so much success might be a worthy topic to blog about. There used to be a web page up where he boasted about having over 30 million dollar plus settlements. None of them required a trial.

      • Zimmerman’s mindset had everything to do with why this happened. I’m standing on my views. If there were no bad experiences in that noeghborhood committed by you g black males. Martin would be here. Self defense laws is a good out for someone who it really doesn’t apply. I believe that kid was just going to the store before I believe zimmerman account of a vicious attack for nothing!

      • he followed trayvon for a while, wether he continued after he was advised not to, I don’t know. following is not necessarily pursuing. You don’t know if trayvon hadn’t been shot if Trayvon would have wound up killing Zimmerman or not. You don’t understand fighting.

  9. Susan,

    TM was ticked off that some creepy guy was looking at him and following him. He decided to double back and teach the guy a lesson.

    You think this is an unbelievable scenario?

    • Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought Jeantel testified in court and also on the Crump tape that when Trayvon got to his Daddy’s house, he saw Zimmerman still following him, so Trayvon “ran from the back”. Trayvon would have been at the back entrance between the 2 rows of apartments. So couldn’t Jeantel’s statement mean that Trayvon “ran from the back” instead of entering the house because he didn’t want Zimmerman to see which house he was entering? Seems logical to me, since his parents weren’t home to provide any protection.

      Jeantel also testified that Trayvon thought he’d lost Zimmerman at some point, but then saw Zimmerman again. Seems logical to me that Trayvon was just doubling back to get back to his house after thinking he’d lost Zimmerman. Unfortunately not.

      • I’ve wondered that too, but I don’t think there’s any way to draw any real conclusions from it. Jeantel had no idea what the neighborhood looked like, and Trayvon was making offhand comments to her. “I’m in the mail awning,” “I’m running from the back.” The mail awning part at least confirms that part of Zimmerman’s story, but there’s no way to ever know for sure which direction Trayvon ran after Zimmerman parked.

        If Trayvon was heading north towards the T, then he would have passed the kid walking his dog — it was a big white dog, presumably visible. So Trayvon would have known he wasn’t alone in the run. Maybe he felt more secure because of that. Or maybe he stayed on the phone talking to Jeantel — there’s no reason Trayvon would’ve known Zimmerman left his car and was on foot.

        I also find it interesting Trayvon was on the phone for something like 400 minutes that day, but Chad, the 13 year old at home, never saw Trayvon on the phone. We also know Trayvon had a lot of dropped calls and straight-to-voicemail calls. Perhaps he couldn’t get reception in the house, so stood out on the dog walk to talk.

        • Susan, thanks for outlining Zimmerman’s statements, and especially for pointing out the location of the fight and shooting. 40ft down the path. I noticed this right away too, as I watched the walk-through interview video. Zimmerman places the confrontation location at the ‘T’ or just steps past it toward his vehicle because he realizes that if he places it at the location of the struggle and shooting (40ft. away), then his story about being there in the first place will be subject to doubt. In other words if he turns to head up the ‘dog path,’ and in the direction of where he seen Trayvon go (turn), he cannot continue to claim that he was not pursuing Trayvon at that point. And keep in mind at this point (in the walk-through interview) he is hyper aware of the fact that the police dispatcher informed him that he wasn’t needed to follow. It was only later and with the help of legal counsel that he would have realized that this wasn’t as important to the case as a reasonable person, or one trying to claim self defense might expect. Still, place the initial confrontation 40ft. down the dog path; where by all evidence and testimony is where it all took place, then we have the most plausible scenario where Zimmerman is the aggressor, and Trayvon the one acting out of fear, and in self defense. 40ft. down the path, and Zimmerman is the one who is not heeding the police dispatcher’s advice, and more importantly not heeding his ‘town watch’ training, and policy not to confront a suspect. So, yes his story changed significantly in the walk-through interview, and it is obvious as to why. Also, it’s not difficult for me to imagine that Trayvon threw the first punch, considering when he was face to face with Zimmerman, the first thing Zimmerman claims he did was to reach for his phone in his pants pocket. Although if one watches the walk-through video, they’ll notice that Zimmerman seems to subconsciously begin to reach where his gun was holstered and then adjusts his actions to his pockets. 40ft. down the path.

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  14. I would have never gone home if a stranger was following me. Why would I lead them back to my home? If I called the police and said someone was following me, they’d simply tell me it’s not a crime and there is nothing they can do about it, but the person would know where I live.

    • I understand, and Zimmerman would too, as he didn’t want to give the police dispatcher his address for fear that the teen he suspected to be a criminal would overhear him, and find out where he lived.

  15. Pingback: Minute-by-Minute Timeline of Trayvon Martin’s Death | The View From LL2

  16. Pingback: Zimmerman’s Statements are the Defense’s Own Worst Enemy | The View From LL2

  17. Has anyone considered that he used the butt end of his gun to give those injuries to his head? When I used to fall on the concrete it would leave about a nickle sized wound on the knee or elbow, the butt end of his gun has a raised dimple on the end that would be more consistent with his wound on the head. I think he may have self inflicted his injury.

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