YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

22 witnesses in Trayvon Martin case: Prosecutors list evidence

May 15, 2012|By Richard Fausset
  • Trayvon Martin's slaying by George Zimmerman, above, has sparked an impassioned national conversation about race and the American justice system.
Trayvon Martin's slaying by George Zimmerman, above, has sparked… (EPA )

Florida prosecutors are giving a glimpse of the evidence they plan to use in their second-degree murder case against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who fatally shot unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

Details of the evidence are contained in a document called a redacted discovery exhibit, which the state attorney's office is required to file under Florida's rules of criminal procedure. Entered into the court record late Monday in Seminole County, it serves as a compendium of the people and documents that the state relied upon in building its case.

Twenty-two unnamed people are listed as witnesses. The named witnesses include Martin's mother and father, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin; and his brother, Jahvarius Fulton.

Also listed are a neighbor of Zimmerman's, Frank Taaffe, who has described Zimmerman as a "model neighbor" on national news; Joe Oliver, an African American friend of Zimmerman's who said he never saw him act in a racist manner; and Robert Zimmerman, the defendant's father.

Martin's slaying has sparked an impassioned national conversation about race and the American justice system and many other topics. The consequences of some of the more piquant -- or, depending on one's perspective, ill-considered -- public observations continued this week in Miami, where a fire rescue captain was demoted to the rung of firefighter after a Facebook post in which he blamed such incidents on "failed" and "ignorant" parents.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez issued a statement Tuesday supporting the demotion of the firefighter, Capt. Brian Beckman.

"The comments made by Capt. Beckman were reprehensible and will not be tolerated," Gimenez said.

The evidence list filed in court also includes audio recordings of numerous witness statements, crime scene photos, cellphone records of both Zimmerman and Martin, and video -- including footage of Martin apparently shot at a 7-Eleven store. Martin had purchased candy and a drink at the store moments before Zimmerman called police and identified Martin as a suspicious person in the neighborhood.

Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney, told the Orlando Sentinel that 67 compact discs' worth of evidence had been turned over to him this week by prosecutors. News media companies are expected to challenge any efforts by either side to seal the evidence.


Snakes on Aisle 3: Man bitten by rattlesnake at Wal-Mart

Thanking active military and families with free U.S. park passes

Two Mississippi drivers shot to death; fake officer may be to blame


Los Angeles Times Articles