If your head was being bashed against the sidewalk by a 6'2" attacker, on top of you, would you shoot to kill?
new photograph obtained exclusively by ABC News showing the bloodied
back of George Zimmerman's head, which was taken three minutes after he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, gives possible credence to his claim that Martin had bashed his head against the concrete as he fought for his life.
The revelation comes as his attorney and prosecutors prepare for
Zimmerman's bail hearing today, which could result in his being released
from jail. Zimmerman, 28, is being held on charges of second-degree
murder for the Feb. 26 shooting of Martin, which could carry a life
sentence if he is convicted.
The exclusive image shows blood trickling down the back of George
Zimmerman's head from two small cuts. It also shows a possible contusion
forming on the crown of his head. The original police report that night
notes that the back of Zimmerman's head was wet, and that he was
bleeding from the nose and head.
Zimmerman told police that night that he shot and killed the teenager in
self-defense after Martin punched him and pounced on him. Zimmerman
told police that Martin then bashed his head into the concrete sidewalk
during the altercation that took place in the tidy middle-class
development of the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Fla.
Zimmerman was treated at the scene by paramedics, then cuffed and driven
in a police cruiser to the Sanford police station. He was questioned
for hours and later released. In police surveillance video obtained last
month by ABC News Zimmerman's wounds are not apparent, and there were
no bandages on his head.
Zimmerman was not admitted to a hospital or given stitches the night of the incident.
The photographer told ABC News exclusively that they did not see the
scuffle that night, but did hear it. The source saw Martin's prostrate
body on the wet grass and claims the gunpowder burns on Martin's gray
hoodie were clearly visible; the gunpowder marks could show that Martin
was shot at very close range.
The photographer says that after the shooting Zimmerman asked to call
his wife. When the photographer asked what to say, Zimmerman allegedly
blurted out "man, just tell her I shot someone."
ABC News has learned that investigators have seen the photo.
"How bad could it have been if they didn't take him to the hospital
[and] didn't stitch him up," Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said
in a statement to ABC News in response to the image. "The special
prosecutor has seen all the evidence and still believes George Zimmerman
murdered Trayvon Martin."
Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara says his client has spent enough time behind bars.
"He needs to get out. He should not be in jail," O'Mara said. "I want
him out because I need him out. He wants to get out. His family wants it
out. It should happen."
If Zimmerman is released, his attorney tells ABC News that he has a
number of potential safe houses prepared. In the meantime O'Mara says
the former altar boy, who has become America's highest profile
defendant, has been reading the Bible while in protective custody.
In a bail hearing in Florida, the burden of proof to deny bail, even in a
second degree murder trial, is higher than necessary to seek a
conviction in a trial.
"They would have to prove that the presumption of guilt is great, and that the proof is evident," said O'Mara.
In the capias -- similar to a warrant -- filed against Zimmerman last
week, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey and her team set bail at "none."
In order to reduce that to bail at a set monetary sum, Corey's team
would have to essentially prove their case -- something experts tell ABC
News is unlikely at this point in the legal process.
O'Mara said he doubts the prosecutor will reveal their case before trial, even before discovery.
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