Expert bolsters Zimmerman account of Trayvon Martin shooting

Dr. Vincent DiMaio, a forensic pathologist and gunshot wound expert, describes the injuries of George Zimmerman while testifying for the defense in the trial in Seminole circuit court, in Sanford,
Dr. Vincent DiMaio, a forensic pathologist and gunshot wound expert, describes the injuries of George Zimmerman while testifying for the defense in the trial in Seminole circuit court, in Sanford,

George Zimmerman’s account of his fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin is consistent with the forensic evidence in the highly publicized case, an expert on gunshot wounds said on Tuesday.

Dr. Vincent DiMaio, a forensic pathologist testifying for the defense at Zimmerman’s murder trial, said the trajectory of the bullet that pierced Martin’s chest and gun powder on his body supported Zimmerman’s claim that Martin was on top of him when he fired him 9mm semiautomatic.

“It’s consistent with somebody leaning over the person doing the shooting,” said DiMaio, a former chief medical examiner in Texas.

He also testified that Martin could have been conscious and able to move for five to 10 seconds after he was shot through the heart, based on the typical reserve oxygen in the brain.

The testimony appeared to bolster Zimmerman’s claim that he placed Martin’s arms out to the side after shooting him, despite a photograph taken of Martin after he died that showed his arms under his body.

It was a new blow to the prosecution after Circuit Judge Debra Nelson ruled late on Monday that defense lawyers can introduce evidence that Martin had the active ingredient of marijuana in his system when he was killed.

Nelson was expected to rule later on Tuesday on whether jurors should see a digital reconstruction of Zimmerman’s shooting of Martin, in a gated community in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. The shooting sparked a national debate on race, profiling, gun rights and self defense.

DiMaio testified that Zimmerman, 29, had at least six injuries after his clash with Martin – including two on the back of his head that appeared to indicate impacts with concrete – one on each temple, one on his forehead and one on his nose.

Valerie Rao, a medical examiner testifying for the prosecution last week, said Zimmerman suffered “insignificant” injuries in the incident, as the state attempted to undermine Zimmerman’s claim he feared for his life.

“They were not life-threatening. They were very insignificant,” Rao said.

DiMaio said the injuries could be worse than they appeared.

Two lacerations to the back of Zimmerman’s head suggested the use of “severe force,” he said, lending credence to his claim that Martin slammed Zimmerman’s head into a concrete walkway after knocking him to the ground with a punch that broke his nose.

“You’re going to be at a minimum stunned. And it can be much worse than that,” DiMaio said. “You can get severe trauma to the head without external injury.”

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder and faces up to life in prison if convicted, although either side can request that the jury also consider the lesser offense of manslaughter, with a maximum penalty of 30 years.

PEACEFUL PROTESTS

The case revolves around sometimes murky evidence, including disagreements among witnesses over whose voice – Martin’s or Zimmerman’s – can be heard in the background of a 911 emergency call on the night Zimmerman shot Martin.

Zimmerman remained free for 45 days after the killing, because police initially declined to arrest him, accepting his claim he shot and killed the 17-year-old Martin in self-defense.

A special prosecutor brought the charge of second-degree murder against Zimmerman after protests and cries of injustice in Sanford and several major U.S. cities.

Prosecutors wrapped up their case against Zimmerman on Friday after nine days of witness testimony. Lead defense attorney Mark O’Mara said he hopes to rest by Thursday, meaning the case could go to the jury by this weekend.

Once a verdict is rendered, it seems likely that many Americans will be disappointed however Zimmerman’s fate is decided, because they have already made up their minds about the killing, an event became a virtual national obsession last year.

Highlighting fears of racial tensions in Sanford, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in south Florida, the state’s largest, said on Monday it was working closely with the Sanford Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies to coordinate “a response plan in anticipation of the verdict.”

Sanford’s population of 54,000 is about 30 percent black.

“Freedom of expression is a constitutional right. While raising your voice is encouraged, using your hands is not,” the Broward Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

“We don’t have information about a specific event that might take place at the conclusion of the trial, but we encourage everyone to keep any protests peaceful,” Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said.

(In paragraph two, adds back pathologist’s name, which got deleted in an editing error)

(Writing by Tom Brown; Editing by Dina Kyriakidou)



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Drive charged in fatal hit and run, police…

The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for a fatal hit and run in Manhattan last weekend. Doohee Cho, 33, was hit…

Local

Mayor de Blasio raises minimum wage for some…

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that will raise the minimum wage for workers employed by private companies that receive more…

National

3 myths about the working poor

Linda Tirado works to debunk some common stereotypes about the working poor in her new book, "Hand to Mouth."

Money

Lawsuit funding advances: friend or foe?

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Many plaintiffs awaiting resolution of their lawsuit or legal claim often find themselves in a tricky financial…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

Entertainment

Interview: Metro chats with filmmaker Meir Kalmanson, man…

A New York filmmaker hands out smiles to its residents.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 30: 'Selfie,' 'Utopia'…

'Selfie' This modern day take on the "My Fair Lady" story stars John Cho in the Henry Higgins role. Perhaps instead of "the rain in…

Music

Can't-miss weekend events continue to attract the masses

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Earlier this summer, the Firefly Music Festival drew crowds of tens of thousands of people to Dover, Delaware.…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

MLB

Joe Girardi not confident David Robertson will return…

David Robertson was as seamless as anyone could be replacing Mariano Rivera as he converted 39 saves, with a 3.08 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings.

Style

Products that support breast cancer awareness and research

Asics GT-1000, $100 Asics’ third pink collection in collaboration with Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women includes this pink-accented version of its best-selling GT-1000 3…

Wellbeing

Bees' stingers hold new hope for cancer cure

A promising new lead in the search for a cancer cure has turned up in a place that most people naturally avoid. A team from…

Home

Emily Henderson on small space design

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us how to upgrade our cramped quarters.

Home

Emily Henderson's pet-friendly style tips

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us to live with pets in style.