Zimmerman Attorney: Prosecution Failed To Make Its Case
Filed by KOSU News in US News.
July 12, 2013
George Zimmerman’s defense sought on Friday in closing arguments to hammer home its contention that the neighborhood watch volunteer acted in self-defense when he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last February during a scuffle in a gated community in Sanford, Fla.
Mark O’Mara told jurors that the prosecution’s case was built on hypothetical “could’ve beens” and “maybes” that simply did not surmount a test of reasonable doubt about Zimmerman’s actions.
He emphasized to the jury that “reasonable doubt” is enough to acquit Zimmerman and that even if they thought it “highly unlikely that it’s self-defense,” it still wasn’t enough for a conviction.
As we reported earlier, the jury has the option of finding Zimmerman not guilty or of convicting him of either second-degree murder or manslaughter.
“You can’t fill in the gaps. You can’t connect the dots. You’re not allowed to,” O’Mara told the six-person jury.
Jurors also viewed a blow-by-blow computer animation that defense attorneys say accurately represents the confrontation that led to Martin’s death. Earlier, presiding Judge Debra Nelson had ruled the animation inadmissable as evidence, but she allowed it as part of the defense’s closing arguments.
O’Mara played the animation in conjunction with 911 calls re-enacting a version of events that had Zimmerman lying on his back as Martin straddled him, smashing his head on the pavement.
The presentation followed Thursday’s summation by the prosecution. The jury is set to begin deliberations in the case later Friday.
Referring to a 911 call where someone is heard screaming in the background but it’s unclear if it’s Zimmerman or Martin, O’Mara told the jurors: “if you can’t decide” who it is, Zimmerman gets the benefit of the doubt.
On Thursday, prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda told the jury that Trayvon had been killed “through no fault of his own.” [Copyright 2013 NPR]