Police: Trayvon Martin shooting ‘ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman’
NBC News - Prosecutors on Thursday made public a trove of evidence used to justify murder charges against Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman, including a police report that concluded "the encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman."
The evidence – including 183 pages of documents, witness statements and other material – was released Thursday to news organizations and other requestors by special prosecutor Angela Corey’s office, who has charged the 28-year-old Zimmerman with second-degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. Also included was a document explaining what material was withheld.
An initial review of the evidence, which was provided to Zimmerman’s attorney early this week, uncovers documentation that will be helpful to both prosecutors and the defense. An autopsy by the Volusia County Medical Examiner on Martin's body found that the teenager was killed by a shot to the heart and that traces of THC -- or tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana -- were found in Martin's blood, though below the level that medical studies indicate would have caused "performance impairment."
But the documents give contradictory assessments of how far away Zimmerman was when he shot Martin.
Lab tests by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Orlando operations center concluded that residue tests on Martin's sweatshirt were "consistent with a contact shot" — that is, one in which the muzzle of the weapon is physically touching the victim.
But the autopsy report from the Volusia County (Fla.) Medical Examiner's office reached a different conclusion based on examination of the wound itself, saying, "This wound is consistent with a wound of entrance of intermediate range."
The report doesn't define "intermediate range."
In another report, a police officer responding to the shooting said that after Zimmerman was handcuffed, he saw “that his back appeared to be wet and was covered with grass,” and that he had suffered a bloody nose – consistent with Zimmerman’s account that he was attacked by Martin.
Follow us on Twitter, and get the latest updates on Facebook