orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

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July 12, 2013

George Zimmerman's attorney: case full of gaps

(Continued)

SANFORD, Fla. —

Zimmerman at no point showed ill will, hate or spite during his confrontation with Martin, which is what prosecutors must prove for second-degree murder, O'Mara said.

"That presumption isn't based on any fact whatsoever," O'Mara said.

O'Mara also told jurors to ask themselves what Martin was doing during the four minutes from when he started running at the urging of a friend he was talking to on a cellphone to when he encountered Zimmerman. Martin was planning his attack instead of going back to the townhome where he was staying, O'Mara said. The defense attorney let four minutes of silence pass to emphasize the amount of time.

"The person who decided ... it was going to be a violent event, it was the guy who decided not to go home when he had a chance to," O'Mara said.

The defense attorney bolstered his arguments with a poster-board timeline of events, a power point-presentation showing witnesses who had testified and a computer-animated depiction of the fight based on Zimmerman' account. O'Mara also placed two cardboard cut-outs of Zimmerman and Martin in front of jurors to show Martin was considerably taller than Zimmerman, although Zimmerman was much heavier.

To invoke self-defense, Zimmerman only had to believe he was facing great bodily harm, O'Mara said. He asked jurors not to let their sympathies for Martin's parents interfere with their decision.

"It is a tragedy, truly," O'Mara said. "But you can't allow sympathy."

O'Mara's conversational style contrasted prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda's booming presentation a day earlier.

De la Rionda said in his closing argument that Zimmerman assumed Martin was a criminal who was up to no good when he confronted him in his neighborhood. A scuffle followed, and Zimmerman fired his gun.

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