Zimmerman: Defense Expert Backs Zimmerman Version

Forensic firearms and ballistics expert Vincent Di Maio, who is also a pathologist and medical examiner, testified on direct examination this morning that the trajectory of the bullet and nature of his injuries support George Zimmerman's version of events.

Dr. Vincent Di Maio said that the trajectory of the bullet and gun powder on Martin’s body support Zimmerman’s version that Martin was on top of him when Zimmerman fired his gun into Martin’s chest. The gun’s muzzle was against Martin’s clothing and it was anywhere from two to four inches from Martin’s skin, he said.

“This is consistent with Mr. Zimmerman’s account that Mr. Martin was over him, leaning forward at the time he was shot,” said Di Maio, the former chief medical examiner in San Antonio.

Dr. Di Maio also testified that Trayvon Martin may have been conscious for 10 to 15 seconds after he was shot, during which time he could have moved his arms from the side to underneath his body. [More....]

The pathologist also said it was likely Martin was conscious for 10 to 15 seconds after the shooting as a reserve supply of oxygen ran out of his body, and during that time it was possible for him to have moved his arms.

Di Maio also testified that the procedures used to collect Martin's clothing were faulty, which could have degraded the DNA on his sweatshirts.

Di Maio also explained that if clothes taken into evidence are wet and packaged in plastic bags, and not paper bags, it can ruin the samples since “bacteria multiplies and you get mold and it stinks to high heaven.”

Di Maio testified there were at least six injuries consistent with Zimmerman's head hitting a rough hard surface like a sidewalk, and that his nose was displaced. He said injuries to the head can be quite serious even when they don't show a lot of bruising. The state will cross-examine Dr. DiMaio after lunch.

Our Zimmerman forums were offline this morning, they went back for a half hour and are now down again. We're working on getting them back up, so check back.

Also today, the Judge again reserved ruling on the admission of the defense animation. The state says it doesn't accurately reflect the evidence.

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    He said (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:12:50 PM EST
    Zimmerman's flashlight was not heavy enough to be a dangerous weapon. Of course, several people around here keep saying that because Zimmerman didn't "look injured that badly" that means the cement really didn't hurt him that much.

    I think this is a case of a 17 year old who was mistakenly identified as doing something he may or may not have been doing, and when he thought he was being followed, instead of acting prudently and seeking shelter, he acted out of braggadaccio and a teenage brain, while not thinking about who he may encoutner.  He unwisely started a fight that he couldn't finish.

    It's terribly sad and was all so unnecessary on so many levels.

    Wow. (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by MiddleOTheRoad on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 03:16:08 PM EST
    Why is it that so many people desperately want Zimmerman punished even if he didn't commit murder or manslaughter? Is there no room in your minds for the possibility that Martin attacked Zimmerman because he was a hostile, angry young man who thought he was being profiled by a white guy?

    Yeah, Zimmerman got out of his car and went to see where the suspect ran. So what? If I had called the cops and the guy realized it and ran, I'd go see where he went also. Getting out of his car might have started a chain of events. Or stopping his car and calling the cops might have started it. Or perhaps Martin snuck back to attack Zimmerman and that was the real reason he's dead today.

    "GZ lied about knowing what the self defense law was...interesting."

    Do you think that Zimmerman lied about knowing about SYG because he felt like killing someone but knew he'd have to make it seem like he didn't know the law? That's just crazy. Why call the cops before shooting? Jeez.

    "He just pulled his gun and shot him dead."

    No. According to John, the eye witness, and medical evidence, Zimmerman screamed for help for over half a minute while being beaten and punched and having his head smashed against cement. Personally, I would have used my gun MUCH sooner. Martin was a tall, strong young man who claimed to be an experienced fighter. He could easily have killed Zimmerman.

    With all the potential lies that everyone is worried about: "He MUST have known about SYG, he SHOULD have know the street names and house numbers," etc., have you considered what you'd do if you went to see where a suspect went, then were attacked and had to shoot him to defend yourself, then became the center of nationwide accusations of racism and finally, you were charged with a murder you didn't commit? What would you do?

    Why do you (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by standingup on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 05:20:56 PM EST
    refer to Martin as a "suspect?" And where is there any evidence of Martin being a "hostile, angry young man?"

    Thread cleaned (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:42:20 PM EST
    of insults by commenters to other commenters, comments blatantly misrepresenting the evidence at trial and comments about racism.

    The state's evidence is in. Please don't comment with your own theories of guilt not introduced into evidence. These threads are about the trial and court case.

    Trial, Tuesday Morning (4.67 / 3) (#1)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:23:51 PM EST
    Nelson was exasperated that the Daubert hearing was taking so long while the jury was waiting. She decided to get back to it after the jury was dismissed in the afternoon.

    Two thoughts on Di Maio.

    I won't be surprised if the jury comes back the same day.

    Anyone who contributed to GZ's defense fund, can rest assured the money was well spent.

    Jeralyn, they're continuing the (4.50 / 2) (#2)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:24:01 PM EST
    animation hearing after court.

    On the toxicology - would Dr. Di Maio be the one to testify on that? If so, I assume they dropped it.

    I wonder if that was the testimony Judge Nelson asked GZ about if he agreed to not asking certain questions and if he was threatened, promised anything etc, to get him to agree?

    Are those kinds of things eventually make public in Florida (like the umpteen sidebars)?

    The defense had a state toxicologist (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by cboldt on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:30:50 PM EST
    I don't recall the name, but the defense has referred to a state toxicologist who would proffer testimony about the effects of the concentration of THC and metabolites reported to have been found in Martin's blood, as well as the likely (2 to 4 hour) time between ingestion and the concentration found in the blood.

    Dr. di Maio may have been repetition on those points, so although he is qualified to render an opinion, doing so would just take more time.


    Dr. Bruce Goldberger (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:23:53 PM EST
    This is not a difficult case forensically! (4.50 / 2) (#10)
    by star on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:57:18 PM EST
    i think that statement will overshadow any implication DLR was trying to make about him being a paid witness.

    Norton Bonaparte the Sanford city manager. (4.50 / 2) (#70)
    by ding7777 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:44:26 PM EST
    Played the the tapes for TM's family as a courtesy before releasing to public.   Did Bonaparte extend that same courtesy to GZ's family?

    the whole release of tapes story is one in itself (none / 0) (#90)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:19:55 PM EST
    the tapes were released to avoid a court hearing on Monday. Crump had filed a lawsuit to get them released. The hearing was set for Monday the 19th. The Martin family and Crump had arrived in Sanford by Wednesday and held press conferences and gave media interviews. On Friday night, the city decided to release the tapes. First they played them to the Martins and then released them that night to the public (the 16th). Crump gave a big press conference Friday night after they had listened to the tapes calling the police liars for saying Tracy Martin told Serino it wasn't Trayvon's voice. (and misstating what was on some of the calls. He claimed there were three shots and the state lied when it said 1.)

    I don't think Crump will be testifying at all.... (none / 0) (#95)
    by Cashmere on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:39:16 PM EST
    Did you expect that he might?  I thought perhaps Crump testifying could provide testimony to couter RJ's testimony.  Perhaps the Defense feels they already made their points during their cross of Jeantel, which was effective.

    Did we ever think the defense would (3.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:53:04 PM EST
    call an expert who didn't back Zimmerman's claims?

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:55:46 PM EST
    The state called many witnesses that backed Zimmerman's claims.

    Maybe he's telling the truth?


    His claims about what? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:12:37 PM EST
    Everything he claims could be true, as well as it's true that he got out of his car, pursued, followed Martin, whatever. The evidence, IMO, points to Zimmerman starting this with his own prejudgment of Martin's guilt.

    Nothing unlawful (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by friendofinnocence on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:52:21 PM EST
    The evidence shows Zimmerman did nothing unlawful.  Trayvon Martin had no injuries other than a knuckle abrasion and a bullet wound.  It isn't hard to figure out what happened, given the location of Zimmerman's flashlight and key, as well as his other injuries.  That is why Wolfinger didn't bring any charges.  It was and is a clear-cut case of self-defense until the State took the case and initiated a railroad that would make Mignini proud.

    "self defense" (none / 0) (#102)
    by jondee on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:13:09 PM EST
    nuetralizing a deadly threat, and then Martin got killed for it..

    For standing his ground. Or is it only standing your ground when you're armed?

    If Martin had been a white kung fu master and George "I the Jury" Zimmerman had had his ace beat before he was able to shoot, the threads would've been replete with a lot of "he had it coming"s and "that's what you get for pointing a gun at.."


    I know it's wrong to hit people, too, but if (3.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:22:47 PM EST
    I felt threatened, if I felt I was about to be attacked, there's no way I'm not doing whatever it takes to protect myself.

    One of those things would be to hightail it back to my house and hope I could get there before the stranger following me could catch up.

    But, have you noticed that there are 15 different reasons people give for why it makes sense that George didn't know what street he was on, even though he'd lived in the neighborhood for years, so of course he had to get out of his car, but those same people don't want to entertain the possibility that Martin didn't really know how close or far he was from where he was staying because he'd been walking in the dark, while on the phone, in a neighborhood not his own, where every townhouse looked the same?  That the "circling back" could be the result of being all turned around, and not evidence of intent to attack?

    We aren't ever going to hear from Martin, so there's no way to know for sure - but I just find it so disturbing that the only light in which Martin is ever viewed by a lot of people here is a negative one.

    That's true (5.00 / 0) (#53)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:30:51 PM EST
    But the president of the HOA testified she didn't know all the street names either, so I don't think that is so suspect.  

    No, we won't hear from Martin.  I think (and the evidence seems to indicate) he started a fight with a man whom he didn't know was armed.  Does that mean he was a bad person?  No - he seemed to have lots of friends and a family who loved him.  But is there a reason to gloss over bad judgment and what probably were bad (even criminal) acts by him?  Or are we supposed to sugar coat everything about him?


    You keep misstating facts (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Yman on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 09:31:59 PM EST
    But the president of the HOA testified she didn't know all the street names either, so I don't think that is so suspect.

    ... and only in one direction.  Go figure.

    You keep making this claim.  The President of the HOA did not testify she "didn't know all the street names, either".  She testified that she wasn't sure whether the tiny section of street at the front entrance began as Twin Tree or Retreat View.  Not remotely the same thing Zimmerman's claim that he did not know the name of the street he was on which, in fact, he had identified to the NEN dispatcher.


    One man's "starting a fight" (none / 0) (#103)
    by jondee on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:15:34 PM EST
    is another man's being proactive and standing your ground in the face of a deadly threat.

    a negative light (none / 0) (#93)
    by woodchuck64 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 05:01:03 PM EST
    It's a valid concern.  The degree of vitriol aimed at George seems to me so over the top that  it must be calculated to provoke the worst kind of racist return volley.  The litany of hatred for George in the comments section of Leatherman's blog makes my blood run cold.

    But this whole tragedy remains "friendly fire" in my mind.  Trayvon had parents who cared enough to discipline him harshly and that, more than anything else in my mind, means that troubled youth would have made it safely to responsible adulthood. George, deeply zealous for social justice, meant well protecting his neighborhood but never realized the risk carrying a gun truly entails.  Two people that could have been friends set at odds due to random events.  Friendly fire.  No one really to blame except the fog of war.


    Good post... (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Cashmere on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:51:35 PM EST
    I see much of what you are stating.

    I also think the defense has blown the prosecution out of the water at trial.  It does not seem the least bit close to me.  All I see from the prosecution are attempts to paint Zimmerman in a very sinister light, MUCH speculation and a huge amount of cherry-picking coupled with extreme exaggeration.

    I do, however, wonder if the jury still may deliver a guilty verdict, simply by relating as mothers to how they would feel if their own son or daughter was watched in any way. IMHO, a guilty verdict is wrong.  Zimmerman did nothing illegal.  I certainly hope the jury listens very clearly to the jury instructions.  I cannot fathom that they will accept Rachel's testimony of hearing a little "get off" while she was in the bathroom doing her hair, especially as I believe she had to admit to stating that she initially said she "couldn't hear it was Trayvon", or something to that effect.  The question is, was the jury paying attention.

    One final comment.  I have found this trial simply fascinating.  I have been glued to it when possible.  I cannot imagine all trials are this entertaining to watch and listen to.


    Text messages (3.00 / 2) (#100)
    by Jack203 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:34:00 PM EST
    So the defendant needs to prove beyond any doubt that the text messages on TM's double password security cell phone were written by TM?

    The persecution continues...

    No lies necessary (1.00 / 1) (#78)
    by woodchuck64 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 03:11:03 PM EST
    Tell me why it is that GZ never protected himself, hit back, turned away?

    Witness John Good explains that Zimmerman was being controlled by Martin and saw downward arm motion from Martin that suggests that Zimmerman was completely on the defense until he drew his weapon.

    It is impossible from the evidence to prove who started the PHYSICAL

    It's easy to tell who started it by Zimmerman's injuries, we don't have to listen to his account at all.  It was Martin.  Clearly Martin was upset at being profiled as a suspicious neighborhood intruder, but that did not give him a legal right to attack Zimmerman.  Zimmerman was within his legal rights to keep an eye on Martin.

    and what about the fact that GZ had no idea where he was that night and HAD to get out of his car to figure it out

    GZ has indicated he suffers from ADD, but also explained that he wanted to get a house address as well (which no one is likely to know off hand).  In some accounts, he indicates he also wanted to keep an eye on Martin.  All of these are legal and seem like normal activities for neighborhood watch.

    Biggest question I want answered is why didn't GZ identify himself to TM?

    From GZ's account, he didn't get a chance, he was blind-sided with a punch.  If TM had not launched the attach, GZ might have had a chance to identify himself.  If you are asking about prior to the attack, GZ, as a neighborhood watch, is ideally supposed to watch and report, not interact with suspicious persons.

    He also said (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:31:34 PM EST
    That there could be bruising on the inside of the knuckles of someone who was punching someone / something and no outwardly visible signs.  ME who performed autopsy did not check under skin of knuckles, but he should have.

    I would like to know more (none / 0) (#57)
    by lolaatlarge on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:33:40 PM EST
    about the forensics of that. Bruising is a process that takes a while. What are the details of that process, i.e. how long does it take to fully form, and how would the incident of death affect that process? Mr. Martin died within a max of a couple of minutes of landing blows, assuming blows were landed, so would that slow down or stop the process of bruises appearing, since the blood flow would stop?

    I thought that that was going (none / 0) (#59)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:35:17 PM EST
    to be an opinion of a Defense expert.

    Catenary swag: a suggestion for the defense (none / 0) (#5)
    by Luke Lea on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:45:59 PM EST
    I hope the defense does a demonstration of the way loose clothing hangs away from the torso of a body leaning over.  It hangs much further in the center, a so-called catenary.  A cut-away cross section would be particularly instructive.  But they will need Martin's chest size and the size of the shirts.  You could demonstrate it with a manikin.  Just a thought prompted by looking down my chest while on all fours with loose underwear.  :)

    Don't forget the can of fruit juice (none / 0) (#29)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:50:50 PM EST
    which was further pulling the hoodie down.

    Ooh, snap (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:47:54 PM EST
    Kathi Belich, WFTV @KBelichWFTV
    Di Maio laughed when state tried to show #Zimmermanon9 's flashlight could have caused serious injury. #


    Dr. De Maio's eyebrows and (none / 0) (#8)
    by fishcamp on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:55:36 PM EST
    left cheek have been twitching more and more during this hour of testimony and they weren't doing that at first.  Not sure what this means other than it must be tiring to remember everything like he's doing.  Quite amazing how qualified he is.  I think he and I are about the same age and I've been getting twitchy a lot lately.

    That was the first thing I noticed (none / 0) (#62)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:38:26 PM EST
    about him. He didn't do as much looking toward the jury but did it from the beginning looking at West and BDLR.

    Anybody have TLForums working? (none / 0) (#12)
    by RickyJim on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:07:59 PM EST
    approx 2:08PM EDT

    forums dead (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by TerraNova on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:10:47 PM EST
    No, forums are dead. Powers that be - please fix, they provide the best and most concise summation of the court proceedings around.

    No luck (none / 0) (#17)
    by Redbrow on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:13:11 PM EST
    Funny how it has been working flawlessly for over a year but now as the trial reaches its climax and conclusion it stops working.

    It must be a conspiracy (3.00 / 2) (#19)
    by shoephone on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:16:52 PM EST
    they were fixed and then (none / 0) (#86)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 03:39:34 PM EST
    they started opening too slowly. Colin our webmaster is working on it.

    Context (none / 0) (#58)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:34:40 PM EST
    Di Maio agreed with the question that a big flashlight can be used as a weapon and that he saw one in the picture.

    When BDLR brought it to him it's a medium size, light weight, smaller than the one I use and he chuckled a little and said I thought you meant one of those big (steal he may have said) ones. It was not a big deal.

    Why are they not allowed on either (none / 0) (#60)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:36:52 PM EST
    side to mention the circumstances of the family meeting  with the 911 call? They can't ask who arranged it that way, just kind of hint around about things. What's the big deal about that?

    They mentioned it with the former police chief, with the city manager and I assume the mayor coming up next.

    Not following... (none / 0) (#97)
    by Cashmere on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:55:34 PM EST
    What happened about not being allowed to mention this.  I thought it was covered today with Bonoparte??

    Last witness if this animation (none / 0) (#63)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:39:25 PM EST
    gets in?? Did I hear that right? No John Good again? I'm shocked and they must feel very confident.

    They should feel doubly confident (none / 0) (#87)
    by Redbrow on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 03:43:38 PM EST
    Confident that any reasonable juror will have more than enough reasonable doubt and also confident that  there are many avenues for appeal...

    laughing (none / 0) (#66)
    by ding7777 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:41:17 PM EST
    perhaps Di Maio was scoffing at BLDR's (anticipated) suggestion that GZ used the flashlight to inflict his own injuries

    Eloise Diligard (none / 0) (#69)
    by RickyJim on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:42:40 PM EST
    I hope I have correct spelling.  She will establish that Zimmerman's car was parked where he said it was on the evening of 2/26/13.  No policeman has established that.

    O'Mara Should Show Her a Map (none / 0) (#71)
    by RickyJim on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:47:56 PM EST
    She thinks Lauer house is on RVC.  Ugh.

    And wasn't sure of the street name (5.00 / 0) (#75)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 03:01:43 PM EST
    until later info. I don't blame them for being confused. It's not the way I'd name them.

    Where I live, if you drive straight up to a stop sign (it's condos), turn left at the sign and it's one name and turn right and it's another. A perfectly straight street. Plus the one on the left that I live on circles around and comes to another area and is same name as my street.

    I think condo developers name streets as the finish each phase of building without looking at the final picture when they're through.


    Interesting that remote testimony (none / 0) (#72)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 02:51:29 PM EST
    is accepted.

    That will really make a big difference if this becomes the norm.....Make securing testimony much easier....Out of state testimony possible too.


    What a nice woman (none / 0) (#79)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 03:16:05 PM EST
    She sounded so sick. I felt bad for her.

    I Think it Was Eloise Dilligard (none / 0) (#83)
    by RickyJim on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 03:26:58 PM EST
    She placed Zimmerman's car to the right of the front of the Lauer house which is where the cut through is.  Actually it was maybe 50-80 feet away from the start of the cut through on TTL.  The defense had to get the position of the car in to back their timeline.

    Now I just read they may have (none / 0) (#88)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:12:41 PM EST
    a few more witnesses tomorrow. I guess it depends on this guy for one, no clue on any others. (per wftv)

    How is this guy's stuff ever (none / 0) (#89)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:17:46 PM EST
    admitted (59 for 59) if it has to tie exactly to testimony after the fact? He'd have to sit in court and update it for both sides of the case witness by witness.

    I guess I don't understand the process. Mr. Shaeffer thinks it's an obvious in. I read another lawyer say save it for the closing as an exhibit to the jury. I think I'd do that, but I'm not a lawyer.

    If it is not admitted into evidence (none / 0) (#101)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:42:26 PM EST
    the jury can't take it back into the jury room or review it during deliberations....

    If not admitted as an exhibit, it is just argument for closing....


    I could never do this. (none / 0) (#92)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:44:19 PM EST
    I'd say "sir, if we knew those facts, we wouldn't be having a trial". The questions he's asking are on point in lots of ways and just ridiculous in others.

    Nancy Grace not happy today (none / 0) (#98)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:28:09 PM EST
    Nancy Grace is upset with the prosecution today for having put Bao in the stand with no memory . . . and she says that the state has large problem and the problem is di Maio . . . and then she has a 1 minute segment with another med examiner who says that di Maio has told the truth and that the most reasonable explanation seems to be that TM was leaning over GZ!

    Also . . . (none / 0) (#99)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:33:12 PM EST
    She brings in 2 lawyers and asks them something about what the state has done wrong and how they could do better . . . and the first lawyer says, Their problem is this is a case they should not have brought . . .  and Nancy isn't happy and says lets answer my question . . .