“George Zimmerman is not guilty if you have a reasonable doubt he acted in self-defense,” O’Mara told jurors.
O’Mara emphasized the important role jurors have in the U.S. justice system, telling them “You guys are it. You guys are living the Constitution,” while repeatedly describing his client’s “absolute innocence.”.
He also sought to pick apart the state’s contention that Zimmerman was a frustrated would-be cop fed up with neighborhood burglaries. Zimmerman did want to be a cop — or a lawyer, O’Mara noted. “He wanted to help,” he said.
“Tell me one witness who said George Zimmerman patrolled that neighborhood,” O’Mara said, adding: “Not one.”
O’Mara also encouraged jurors to consider Zimmerman’s call to a non-emergency police number, saying there was no evidence he followed Trayvon after a dispatcher told him he didn’t need to pursue the teen. O’Mara noted a weather report explains the sound on the phone of Zimmerman seemingly chasing Trayvon.
“The wind was up that night,” O’Mara said.
He also played a vivid computer animation that showed a Trayvon avatar hitting the figure representing Zimmerman, then straddling him on the grass beside a concrete walkway. The 911 tape that captured the cries of the struggle and the fatal gunshot played over the animation.
O’Mara then asked jurors to observe a four-minute silence to show the amount of time the encounter lasted — and suggesting how long Trayvon had to return home had he not engaged Zimmerman.
“That’s how long Trayvon Martin had to run ... about four minutes,” O’Mara said.
The defense attorney, over three hours, stressed that Zimmerman’s state of mind — fearful — was key. He called the photos of Zimmerman’s injuries “icing on the cake.” It was Trayvon who committed the crime, O’Mara suggested.
“Had Trayvon Martin been shot through the hip and survived, what do you think he would have been charged with? Aggravated battery, two counts?” O’Mara asked.
The lawyer finished in dramatic fashion: by carrying a chunk of concrete into court and plopping it on the floor, telling jurors it was “disgusting” for prosecutors to suggest Trayvon Martin was “unarmed.” The defense has said Trayvon bashed Zimmerman’s head into a sidewalk during the struggle.
“That’s a sidewalk,” O’Mara said. “That is not an unarmed teenager with nothing but Skittles, trying to get home.”
Afterward, prosecutor John Guy delivered the final portion of the state’s closing argument, aiming for the heartstrings of the jury. He repeatedly referred to the “hate” in Zimmerman’s heart. And he frequently called Trayvon a “child” — most of the jurors are mothers.
“Was that child not in fear when he was running away from that defendant?” Guy asked.
Guy said Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch coordinator, was not defending himself as he has insisted. “This case not about standing your ground. It’s about staying in your car, as he was taught to do.”
Jurors began deliberating at 2:30 p.m., at one point asking the judge for an inventoried list of the evidence.