Nation

Testimony bolsters George Zimmerman story

Seems to confirm he was on back during the fight

During court testimony, Sanford police Officer Timothy Smith held up the gun used to shoot Trayvon Martin.
Joe Burbank/Reuters/Pool
During court testimony, Sanford police Officer Timothy Smith held up the gun used to shoot Trayvon Martin.

SANFORD, Fla. — Two neighbors and a police officer gave accounts in George Zimmerman’s murder trial Friday that seemed to bolster his contention he was on his back and being straddled by Trayvon Martin during their fight.

Neighbor Jonathan Good said it appeared the unarmed teen was straddling Zimmerman, while another neighbor, Jonathan Manalo, said Zimmerman seemed credible when he said immediately after the fight that he had shot Martin in self-defense. Officer Tim Smith testified that Zimmerman’s backside was covered in grass and wetter than his front side. All three were called as witnesses for prosecutors who are trying to convict him of second-degree murder.

Good, who had perhaps the best view of any witness, said he did not see anyone’s head being slammed into the concrete sidewalk, as Zimmerman said Martin did to him. Good initially testified that it appeared ‘‘there were strikes being thrown, punches being thrown,’’ but during detailed questioning he said he saw only ‘‘downward’’ arm movements being made.

Advertisement

Zimmerman has said that he fatally shot 17-year-old Martin last year in self-defense as the Miami-area teen was banging his head into the concrete sidewalk behind the townhomes in a gated community.

Get Ground Game in your inbox:
Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Under prosecution questioning, Good said he did not see anyone being attacked that way during the fight.

‘‘I couldn’t see that,’’ Good said moments later while being cross-examined.

Zimmerman, 29, could get life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder. Zimmerman followed Martin in his truck and called a police dispatch number before he and the teen got into a fight.