George Zimmerman has decided to drop his “stand your ground” defense in the February shooting death of Trayvon Martin. According to his lawyer, Mike O’Mara, further review of the case helped them reach the conclusion that traditional self-defense would be more appropriate. “The facts don’t seem to support a `stand your ground’ defense,” O’Mara said Monday (Aug. 14).
Last week, O’Mara announced that he was seeking a “stand your ground” hearing, the outcome of which would determine whether or not Zimmerman’s second degree murder case would be dropped. “My concern with even calling it a `stand your ground’ hearing is we need to be more realistic,”O’Mara added. “I’ve said from Day 1 we need to wait until all the evidence comes out.
“People look at `stand your ground’ and immediately think somebody’s standing there with deadly force – be it a gun or a weapon – and having the opportunity to back up but not having the need to under the statute,” O’Mara continued. “I think the evidence in this case suggests that my client was reacting to having his nose broken and reacted to that by screaming out for help. He wasn’t in position where I think there was any suggestion where he could retreat, which he is allowed to do under the statute.”
Zimmerman’s trial will begin later this year, or at the beginning of 2013.
Since shooting Martin, Zimmerman has maintained that he acted in self-defense, first citing the state’s “stand your ground” law which allows for citizens to use deadly force if in danger. Photos from the night of the shooting, and documents released by his personal doctor state that he sustained several injuries during his fatal run-in with the high school student, including a broken nose and bruises to his head.
The 28-year-old told authorities that Martin bashed his head on the concrete, and told him he was going to die. However witnesses at the scene of the crime tell conflicting stories, with many unsure as to who was the aggressor in the incident. During a 911 call released soon after the altercation, Zimmerman can be heard telling the dispatcher of a suspicious person in the neighborhood whom he believed to be on drugs. The 911 operator informed the former neighborhood watch captain that he did not need to pursue Martin, to which he did not comply.
Chris Serino, the lead detective in the case, who interviewed Zimmerman, wrote in a statement, that had the accused killer followed directions and stayed in his car and waited for authorities, Martin would likely still be alive today. Serino has since asked for, and was granted reassignment, possibly to due the high-profile nature of the case.
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Photo: Mass News Media