Four witnesses who spoke with police about what they saw on the night that Trayvon Martin was murdered, have changed their stories. According to the Orlando Sentinel, newly released documents show that neighbors interviewed after the shooting initially pinpointed Martin as the aggressor but have now flip-flopped in a way that will be detrimental to accused killer, George Zimmerman’s defense.
Three of the four people interviewed have since placed the blame on Zimmerman, while one other observer switched her recount completely. After initially stating that she saw one person chasing the other, the woman now says she only saw one person running. Another witness in question, a woman who lived in the area, told Sanford police that she saw two men on the ground, but was unsure if Zimmerman or Martin was on top. One week later she told prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda that it was in fact that 28-year-old on top of the teen.
Meanwhile, a man who watched the incident take place, pointed the finger at the unarmed teen, accusing him of “just throwing down blows” on Zimmerman. Three weeks later, the witness admitted to not being sure who the victim was. “I truly can’t tell who, after thinking about it, was yelling for help just because it was so dark out on that sidewalk,” he said. Despite his foggy memory, the man was adamant that “the black guy was on top,” during the fight, but said that it may have been in an attempt at self-defense.
Perhaps the most pivotal witness account came from a man who lives near the crime scene, and spoke to Zimmerman after the shooting. The man stated that Zimmerman was nonchalant about taking the young boy’s life saying “[Martin] was beating up on me, so I had to shoot him.” The former neighborhood watch volunteer also asked the man to call his wife, Shellie, and tell her about the fatal altercation. The witness also noted that Zimmerman’s tone was “not like ‘I can’t believe I just shot someone!’ — it was more like, ‘Just tell my wife I shot somebody …,’ like it was nothing.”
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges, and is expected to go to trial this fall. Currently free on $150,000 bond, the Florida resident maintains that he shot Martin in self-defense, but with mounting evidence to the contrary— and this newly released information— proving his innocence beyond a reasonable doubt will likely be an uphill battle.
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