Jurors in the George Zimmerman murder trial were shown photos today of Trayvon Martin's body lying in the grass shortly after he was killed, spurring his father Tracy Martin to walk out of court, visibly shaken,
Martin's mother, who remained and looked away as the photos were shown, walked out shortly after.
The startling photos were shown on the second day of testimony in Zimmerman's trial. Zimmerman, 29, is accused of second degree murder for shooting Martin, who was 17, on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman claims he shot him in self defense.
The pictures appeared on a large screen as Sgt. Anthony Raimondo of the Sanford, Fla., police department told the court how he tried to save the teenager's life. The sergeant said he tried to revive Martin, but could hear bubbling sounds coming out of Martin's chest as he attempted CPR.
He asked people who emerged from their homes after the shooting for Saran wrap and Vaseline to plug the wound and a man gave him a plastic grocery bag. Raimondo said he moved Martin into a sitting position so he could try to seal the exit wound.
During his testimony, several photos appeared, including one of the teenager lying face-down and another with Martin lying face-up. There were also pictures of his gunshot wounds which clearly rattled the courtroom. In addition, the jury viewed photos of Martin's hooded sweatshirt with a bullet hole in it and Zimmerman's Kel-Tech 9 pistol.
Raimondo was asked by prosecutors about the rain the night of the shooting. "It was drizzling," he responded.
Zimmerman had told a police dispatcher that Martin looked suspicious because he seemed to be loitering in the rain.
Later, the jury also saw photos of injuries Zimmerman had on his head that he claims were caused by Martin.
The police officer's testimony followed a woman who coordinated the neighborhood watch program and trained Zimmerman.
Wendy Dorival says she trained participants to avoid following or confronting suspicious individuals, but to be the "eyes and ears" of the police. In a pamphlet handed out it specified that "neighborhood watch is not the vigilante police."
"He seemed like he really wanted to make changes in the community to make it better," said Dorival.
Earlier Judge Debra Nelson listened to tapes of the former neighborhood watch captain calling police in the months and years prior to shooting Martin in which Zimmerman complains about strangers, often black, in his neighborhood.
The tapes were played without the jury present so the judge could decided whether the jury will be allowed to hear them. Prosecutors want jurors to hear the tapes, but Zimmerman's legal team argued that they are irrelevant to the case.
The judge listened to Zimmerman tell police about black males he deemed suspicious. In one call he told police about a black man he had seen before on trash day.
"He keeps going to this guy's house. I know him. I know the resident. He's Caucasian," said Zimmerman. "He's going up to the house and going up to the side of it and coming to the street and going to the side of it. I don't know what he is doing. I don't want to approach him."
During the calls, Zimmerman referred to the strangers at times as black, another time as African American or "a gentleman."
In dismissing defense objections to the calls, prosecutor Richard Mathias said, "The defendant made the calls, he created these tapes, he created these situations. He shouldn't complain."
Prosecutors believe the calls speak to Zimmerman's mindset the night he encountered Martin, a 17-year-old black teenager.
"We are talking about the bare relevance of his state of mind….motive and intent are classic jury questions. What was the motive for seeking out these individuals?" Mathias asked the judge. "I think the state should be allowed to establish through relevant evidence if he thought [Martin] was suspicious because he was walking out in the rain or were there other things."
Zimmerman's lead defense attorney Mark O'Mara said the calls are irrelevant and would confuse jurors.
"We know now they have little or any evidence to suppose second degree murder," said O'Mara. "They are trying to set up a circumstantial evidence case....They are not acts that show ill will or second degree. They will show he was acting fine."
Judge Nelson said she will listen to the tapes and review case law before issuing the ruling.
The racially charged case has revolved so far around Zimmerman's calls to police.
In the opening day of testimony both sides parsed a call Zimmerman made to a non-emergency police number to report what he said was a suspicious black teenager in his Sanford, Fla., neighborhood.