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Jury sees graphic evidence in Trayvon Martin murder trial

5:50 AM, Jun 26, 2013   |    comments
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SANFORD, Fla -- Jurors in the murder trial of George Zimmerman will be getting a full dose of the tragic evidence in the case, from graphic photos of the slain teen to the gun that fired the fatal bullet.

In a moment that brought the courtroom to a solemn still, lawyers displayed photos Tuesday of Trayvon's body moments after he had been shot. Some jurors looked noticeably uncomfortable with the grisly photos, which showed the teen's eyes still open in death.

The jurors also saw the gun Zimmerman used to shoot Trayvon, as well as the hoodie that Trayvon wore on the Feb. 2012 night of his death - a hoodie that some say symbolizes the racial divide at the root of the killing. Zimmerman, a 29-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer, is accused of profiling the black teen and ultimately confronting him in a gated community here.

Zimmerman's defense team will continue to argue in coming days that he acted in self-defense during an attack by Trayvon. The jury was shown photos Tuesday of Zimmerman's cut and bleeding head, presumably suffered during the scuffle with Trayvon.

Several witnesses testified about how the night unfolded and how Zimmerman got involved in neighborhood watch.

"We all want to make a difference," said Sgt. Anthony Raimondo, a Sanford police officer who said he arrived on the scene of the shooting within five minutes and tried to save Trayvon's life.

Throughout the officer's testimony, prosecutors showed several pictures of the teen's body, including a photo of him laying on his chest, a photo of the teen laying on his back, a closeup of the teen's face, and a close up of a blood filled bullet hole in Trayvon's chest.

Trayvon was faced down on the ground with his arms underneath him when Raimondo arrived, the officer recalled.

When Raimondo didn't find a pulse for Trayvon, he turned the teen over and tried to do mouth to mouth CPR. The officer said he didn't wait for a face mask to perform CPR because he knew that time was of the essence.

He went on to describe trying unsuccessfully to find an exit wound for the bullet. Eventually, Raimondo said he watched as emergency responders pronounced Trayvon dead.

Zimmerman faces life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder. Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father, left the courtroom as the graphic photos were shown. Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother, remained during the pictures but looked down and away. Throughout the day, some jurors seemed visibly upset, including when Diana Smith, a Sanford crime scene technician, held up Zimmerman's gun.

Smith also talked about photographing the scene and processing the gun and other items for DNA.

Wendy Dorival, who worked as the volunteer program coordinator for the Sanford Police Department, testified that in 2011, she made a presentation to facilitate a neighborhood watch program for residents of Retreat at Twin Lakes, where Zimmerman lived and Trayvon was visiting a friend of his father's on the night he was killed.

"They're not supposed to take matters into their own hands," Dorival said she told residents, adding that she instructs people to call the police when they spot suspicious people.

Dorival added that a person walking in rain between houses without a particular purpose - a description of Trayvon the night of the shooting - was suspicious.

Donald O'Brien, president of the homeowners association for the community where the shooting happened, stressed that the association had nothing to do with the neighborhood watch program. But he said he did attend a meeting to start it. Residents were told to "stay away" from suspicious people and call police, O'Brien said.

He said, however, that he once text messaged Zimmerman with praises for a group of workers who followed a burglar. Their actions led to the arrest of a man for a series of burglaries in the neighborhood, O'Brien said.

Yamiche Alcindor

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