Images of a handgun and marijuana, among other pictures, as well as text messages sent and received from Trayvon Martin’s phone, will be introduced as evidence at trial if prosecutors seek to attack George Zimmerman’s character during Zimmerman’s upcoming murder trial.
As Michael Pearson and David Mattingly report for CNN, this evidence is said to “paint a different picture,” say defense attorneys, of the teen who Zimmerman shot and killed in alleged self-defense.
The family attorney for Martin, however, says that the threat of introducing this evidence is nothing more than a “pathetic” attempt to prejudice the jury against Martin in favor of Zimmerman.
“Is the defense trying to prove,” the family attorney said, “[that] Trayvon deserved to be killed by George Zimmerman because of the way he looked?”
In 2012, Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, began pursuing Martin on suspicion that Martin was “up to no good.” The pursuit turned into an altercation in which Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest at close range. The gunshot wound was fatal.
The case gained national headlines when it took weeks for Zimmerman to be charged with any crime, even though local authorities initially thought there was a lack of evidence contradicting Zimmerman’s claim that he acted in self-defense.
Supporters of Martin claim he was an unarmed teen pursued and attacked because of racial bias on Zimmerman’s part. Supporters of Zimmerman claim that he was indeed attacked by Martin and was justifiably forced to defend himself.