Zimmerman's Injuries 'Insignificant,' Medical Examiner Testifies

by
Reuters
Volunteer watchman George Zimmerman suffered "insignificant" injuries from the fight in which he said he shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin out of fear for his life, a Florida medical examiner testified at his murder trial on Tuesday.

Zimmerman's Injuries 'Insignificant,' Medical Examiner Testifies

Volunteer watchman George Zimmerman suffered "insignificant" injuries from the fight in which he said he shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin out of fear for his life, a Florida medical examiner testified at his murder trial on Tuesday.

Medical Examiner Valerie Rao said she reviewed Zimmerman's medical records and the pictures of his injuries taken at the police station after the fight on February 26, 2012 shooting in a gated community in Sanford, Florida.

"They were not life-threatening. They were very insignificant," Rao told the Seminole County Criminal Court jury.

Zimmerman, 29, has claimed that Martin punched him in the face and repeatedly slammed his head into a concrete sidewalk.

Rao said Zimmerman's injuries were consistent with one blow to the face and one impact with the concrete.

Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and could face life in prison if convicted. He says he killed Martin, a black 17-year-old, in self-defense.

The racially charged case captivated much of the United States in 2012. Police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman, believing his story of self-defense, sparking protests around the country. A special prosecutor later brought the murder charge.

Martin was a student at a Miami-area high school and a guest of one of the housing development's homeowners. He was walking back to the home in the rain from a convenience store when Zimmerman spotted him and called police, saying Martin looked suspicious. There was a confrontation between the two in which Zimmerman shot Martin through the heart with a handgun he was licensed to carry.

Prosecutors claim Zimmerman profiled Martin as a criminal, got out of his car and chased after him vigilante-style rather than waiting for police to arrive.