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Trayvon Martin case: Details on Zimmerman injuries, but no answers

May 16, 2012|By Richard Fausset | This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom for details.

An autopsy of Trayvon Martin, the black unarmed teenager who was fatally shot by a Florida neighborhood watch volunteer, shows that his body had injuries to the knuckles, while a medical report on the shooter, George Zimmerman, shows that he suffered a broken nose, two black eyes, and cuts on the back of his head, according to a Florida TV news channel and ABC News.

What these details, like many others leaked in recent days, will ultimately mean for Zimmerman's high-profile second-degree murder case is unclear, though they could presumably be used by his defense team to bolster his argument that Martin attacked him and beat him up before he was forced to shoot the teenager in self-defense.

What they do not seem to clarify is how the altercation between the two men started on the night of Feb. 26 at the gated subdivision in Sanford, Fla., where Zimmerman had been watching the teenager and reporting him to police as suspicious.

Zimmerman, according to the Orlando Sentinel, has told police that Martin approached him from behind that night, punched him in the nose, and began beating him up. In a conversation with an attorney for Martin's attorney, and with ABC News listening, Martin's girlfriend recounted her conversation with Martin just before the shooting. She said he told her he was worried about a man following him, and asked the man why he was doing so.

A portion of Martin's autopsy results were reported Tuesday night by Orlando TV station WFTV Channel 9. The medical report on Zimmerman was reportedly drawn up the morning after the shooting by a general physician, who also noted that Zimmerman, who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, had prescriptions for Temazepam and Adderall.

Temazepam is a sedative and sleep aid. According to WebMD, it commonly causes drowsiness and dizziness, and, on rare occasions, can cause temporary memory loss, depression and confusion. Quitting the drug can result in withdrawal reactions, including shaking and seizures.

Adderall, a cocktail of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, is commonly prescribed to help patients suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. WebMD notes that it's "unlikely but serious" side effects include agitation, aggression, mood swings and abnormal thoughts.

[For the Record, 11:15 a.m. May 17: An earlier version of this post stated that ABC News reporters listed to the audio of a phone call between Trayvon Martin and his girlfriend the night of the shooting. ABC listened in on a phone call in which an attorney for Martin's family interviewed the girlfriend, who related her account of her conversation with Martin.]

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richard.fausset@latimes.com

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