SANFORD -- In the second day of testimony in the George Zimmerman murder trial, jurors twisted uncomfortably in their seats as they viewed blown-up crime scene photos of Trayvon Martin’s body and heard details of the dramatic, futile efforts to save him after a shot to the heart last February.
Sgt. Anthony Raimondo Jr., one of the first responders, described the scene he came upon that drizzly Sunday night 17 months ago: Trayvon, 17, was facedown in the wet grass, his hands tucked under his body. Zimmerman was in handcuffs.
A Sanford Police veteran and SWAT sniper, Raimondo said he immediately went to the unresponsive teen’s body, checked twice for a pulse and performed CPR — Raimondo doing mouth-to-mouth, a second officer handling chest compressions.
“I breathed for Mr. Martin… or I tried to, sir,” he told prosecutor John Guy.
As Raimondo described the events after he arrived on scene, Guy projected enlarged photos of Trayvon’s body, his legs and sneakers peeking out from under a yellow blanket, and a close-up of a small chest wound. The last images of Trayvon’s face and body were too much for his parents, with his father, Tracy Martin, leaving the courtroom in tears and his mother, Sybrina Fulton, averting her eyes from the photos.
Jurors, too, showed visible reactions to the photos, many looking disturbed by the raw images. They remained attentive throughout the day’s testimony, at one point leaning in to get a closer view of Zimmerman’s pistol and a fingerprint lifted from it.
The prosecution is trying to prove Zimmerman profiled, followed and, ultimately, acted with malice in killing Trayvon, of Miami Gardens, on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder and faces up to life in prison if convicted as charged.
The two had a violent confrontation as Trayvon was returning from a convenience store. Zimmerman contends he acted in self-defense, and only shot after he was viciously attacked by the unarmed teen. The 44 days before Zimmerman’s arrest sparked racial protests and marches; the case also led to debate about Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law. A six-person, all-female jury was seated last week to decide Zimmerman’s fate.
On Tuesday, jurors also heard about the science of documenting and preserving a crime scene. Diana Smith, a Sanford police crime scene technician, testified she arrived at the scene about an hour after the shooting and processed the now well-known items Trayvon had carried — a can of Arizona Tea drink and a bag of Skittles — as well as Zimmerman’s 9 mm semiautomatic gun, holster and flashlight.
The first witness to actually see or hear the confrontation between Trayvon and Zimmerman, Selene Bahadoor, a resident in the Sanford complex, said she was in her kitchen when she heard a noise — either someone saying “no” or “uhh” and running “from left to right” outside of her townhouse. She looked out her patio sliding door and saw two “figures. Arms flailing.”
Defense attorney Mark O’Mara noted she had never discussed the direction of movement in previous sworn statements to investigators. But she said when questioned by prosecutors that investigators never asked her about the direction. O’Mara also pointed out that she “liked” a Facebook page supporting Trayvon’s family and signed an online petition seeking Zimmerman’s prosecution.