George Zimmerman's Story 'Marginally Consistent' With Life Threatening Attack: Cop

Zimmerman's investigator reassigned to midnight shift on patrol.

ByABC News
June 26, 2012, 1:45 PM

SANFORD, Fla., June 26, 2012 -- The lead homicide investigator in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin voiced strong skepticism of George Zimmerman's account of the shooting, describing Zimmerman's injuries as "marginally consistent with a life threatening violent encounter," according to documents released today by prosecutors.

The investigator also wrote in his report that Zimmerman's fear of the man he was following was minimal.

The report by lead homicide detective Chris Serino became public the same day that it was revealed the Sanford, Fla., officer has been reassigned to the midnight patrol shift. The change came at his own request, ABC News has learned.

Serino's report is the latest in the see-saw of information released alternately by the state and the defense, with chunks of it seemingly damning for Zimmerman, while other parts appear to support his claim of shooting Martin, 17, in self defense on Feb. 26.

This latest release includes the March 13 police statement of probable cause for arrest by Serino.

After interviewing Zimmerman, 28, and having Zimmerman reenact the shooting, Serino cast doubt on Zimmerman's version of events saying the "actions are inconsistent with those of a person who has stated he was in fear of another subject."

Significantly, in his 13-page report, Serino adds that twice during Zimmerman and Martin's 6-minute-long direct and indirect interaction, Zimmerman could have avoided conflict.

"On a least two occasions George Zimmerman failed to identify himself to Trayvon Benjamin Martin as a concerned citizen or a neighborhood watch member," the detective wrote. That led to Serino's conclusion that Martin's death had been avoidable.

"He states he was attacked by Martin but only after Martin inquires to Zimmerman 'What's your problem?' Zimmerman, instead of attempting to inform Martin of the reason he was following him, stated to Martin 'I don't have a problem.'" Serino said in his report.

Based on the sizes of the two individuals police concluded Zimmerman was not "in an extraordinary or exceptional disadvantage of apparent physical ability or defensive capacity."

Martin was about 6-feet tall. The police report said Zimmerman was 5-foot-7 and 200 pounds.

Nor did the detective seem impressed with Zimmerman's injuries, writing they "are marginally consistent with a life threatening violent episode."

Zimmerman had told officers both at the scene the night of the shooting and afterwards that Martin knocked him down with a punch to his face and then banged his head against the pavement with such force he felt his "head was exploding." He had also stated Martin had punched him up to 25 times, something Serino said was inconsistent with Zimmerman's injuries.

A doctor's report later said Zimmerman had a broken nose and photos of Zimmerman the following day show that he had abrasions on the back of his head.

Serino's request for arrest was authored nearly three weeks after Trayvon Martin's death, as his shooting snowballed into a national story, accompanied by a flurry of misinformation about both the victim and the shooter.

The court also released two telephone calls between Zimmerman and Serino from late March, a time when the case has become an emotional issue and made headline across the country.

"This has become a lot bigger than either one of us," Serino tells Zimmerman.

Zimmerman tells the detective hasn't hired a lawyer, but is willing to talk to prosecutors.

On the second call Zimmerman says he's "doing well," and Serino says the prosecutors want to talk to him and says he will accompany him.

"You been watching the news," Serino asks. When Zimmerman says no, the detective replies, "Probably a good idea."