MIAMI - Prosecutors released another batch of evidence in the George Zimmerman murder trial Tuesday, including a statement from the lead detective that shows the investigator doubted the shooter's story, even though he passed two lie detector tests.
The State Attorney's Office released several videos and audio tapes, most of which had already been made public last week by Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara. One video released Tuesday shows new footage of Zimmerman discussing his injuries with detectives.
Prosecutors released a statement by Sanford Police Det. Chris Serino, in which he detailed the events the night of the shooting of Trayvon Martin and explained why he believed a manslaughter charge was appropriate. The police department announced Tuesday that Serino has been assigned to night patrol, but that the transfer was not a demotion.
A shorter statement had been released last month, with large sections blacked out.
Trayvon died Feb. 26 after a fight with Zimmerman. Zimmerman claims the unarmed teenager attacked him and he had no choice but to shoot, because Trayvon had reached for Zimmerman's weapon.
But the records released Tuesday show Serino said Zimmerman's injuries were only "marginally consistent with a life threatening violent episode described by him, during which neither a deadly weapon nor deadly force was deployed by Trayvon Martin."
Serino said the relative sizes of the two fighters, coupled with the fact that neither had specialized training in hand-to-hand combat, meant Zimmerman was not at any "exceptional disadvantage."
"Zimmerman, by his statements made to the call taker and recorded for review and his statements made to investigators following the shooting death of Martin, make it clear that he had already reached a faulty conclusion as to Martin's purpose for being in the neighborhood."
"His actions are inconsistent with those of a person who has stated he was in fear of another subject," Serino wrote. "Investigative findings show that George Michael Zimmerman had at least two opportunities to speak with Trayvon Benjamin Martin in order to defuse the circumstances surrounding the encounter. On at least two occasions, George Michael Zimmerman failed to identify himself as a concerned resident or a neighborhood watch member to Trayvon Benjamin Martin."
At one point in the new video shot the day after the killing, Sanford Det. Doris Singleton notes that the swelling of injuries to Zimmerman's head had already died down after just a day.
Zimmerman said his nose was broken and he probably needed stitches for his head injuries, but that the wounds had already begun to heal so he did not get sutures. His hands showed no scrapes, although his head had bruising.
"He was just focused on my head," Zimmerman said of Trayvon. Zimmerman said his wife, Shellie, attended to his injuries.
"My wife is an RN student, so she went to work," Zimmerman said. "Good to keep her busy, I guess."
)2012 The Miami Herald
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