Prosecutors also played five calls to police that Zimmerman made in the several months before the shooting, in an attempt to show a pattern of profiling. They also introduced evidence about his membership at a mixed martial arts gym.
Their most important evidence to prove ill-will was Zimmermans call to a Sanford police non-emergency dispatcher when he first spotted Trayvon, saying these a------ always get away and, according to prosecutors, muttering f----- punks under his breath
If there was ever a window into that mans soul, it was that defendants words on that phone call, prosecutor John Guy told the jury Friday in a poignant closing argument that appeared to have at least one juror emotionally strained.
Guys closing argument was typical of a states case that drew heavily on emotion and emphasized the youth of the victim, as well as one of the most important witnesses: Trayvons friend, Rachel Jeantel, 18 at the time of the shooting.
She was speaking to him by phone moments before he died and recounted her recollection that Trayvon told her someone was following him.
Jeantel told jurors that Trayvon told her of a creepy-ass cracker watching him as he walked home from the convenience store, and of hearing the man angrily demand to know what Trayvon was doing in the neighborhood.
Jeantel said she then heard a bump that she assumed was Trayvons cell phone headset hitting the ground, followed by Trayvons voice: Get off! Get off!
Her testimony was not polished or articulate, and she sparred for hours with defense attorneys at one point crying what! when told she had to return for a second day of testimony. But her story remained unchanged.
I thought she was a good witness. I thought the jury would be sympathetic to her because she was an -year-old kid, she was inexperienced at testifying and that made her come across as credible, said Miami defense lawyer Andrew Rier.
In the end, though, her testimony clearly wasnt enough.
Zimmermans prosecution was made tougher under Floridas 2005 Stand Your Ground law, which eliminated a citizens duty to retreat before using lethal force in the face of a deadly threat an instruction given to jurors on Friday.
And the states case was filled with blunders, legal experts say.
Many of the witnesses called by the state seemed to benefit the defense, including one neighbor, John Good, who claimed he saw Trayvon pin Zimmerman to the ground. Another witness, Sanford Police officer Tim Smith, told jurors that Zimmerman, just after the shooting, claimed he was yelling for help to no avail. Both pieces of testimony seemed to bolster the defenses version of the encounter.
Prosecutors also called the lead Sanford police investigators, using them to introduce each of Zimmermans videotaped statements and a walk-through of the crime scene Zimmerman did with police a day after Trayvons death.
During one of the statements, lead Detective Chris Serino seemed skeptical when Zimmerman insisted he never followed Trayvon. While there were some inconsistencies between his accounts of what happened, they seemed fairly small, court observers said. And defense attorneys got Serino to agree during testimony that its normal for stories to vary slightly with each re-telling.