Sanford Police Initially Wanted To Charge George Zimmerman With 2nd Degree Murder
Members of the court of public opinion weren't the only ones questioning why George Zimerman didn't initially face murder charges for shooting Trayvon Martin, so did Sanford police.
Documents posted online by Zimmerman's attorney, Mike O'Mara, Tuesday (Jan. 8) revealed that cops in the Florida changed their final report up to five times, before recommending that the accused killer be charged with manslaughter instead of second-degree murder.
From the Orlando Sentinel:
The Orlando Sentinel reported those changes Dec. 12 when Special Prosecutor Angela Corey made public a list of evidence that she had just released to O'Mara. It included only a few sentences but made clear there was an initial draft plus four revisions.
O'Mara on Tuesday released each version. Corey's office is expected to release them in the next few days.
They reveal that [Chris] Serino and his supervisors, made several changes but only two major ones.
The first was the change in the charges.
The second was a strongly-worded paragraph condemning Zimmerman's actions, pointing out that there was no need for a confrontation with Trayvon.
On one of the drafts Serino, lead investigator on the case, called the shooting of Martin "avoidable" had Zimmerman not pursued the teen. He later revised the wording to show the Zimmerman believed that he had no choice but to confront Martin. "Zimmerman … made it clear that he had already reached a faulty conclusion as to Martin's purpose for being in the neighborhood," read the edited statement.
Regardless of the police recommendation, Special Prosecutor Angel Corey found enough evidence to bring second-degree murder charges against the 29-year-old, over a month after the death of the high school student. Zimmerman was taken into custody in April, but subsequently released twice, the latest of which occurred after he posted $1 million bond.
Currently under GPS monitoring, his trial is scheduled to start in June.
The next hearing in the case will take place on what would have been Martin's 18th birthday.