Lester heard evidence in the case during a bond hearing Friday, only a little under a month after he revoked Zimmerman’s $150,000 bond for misrepresenting his financial standing.
Zimmerman is charged with the second-degree murder for the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26. Zimmerman claims the shooting was in self-defense and his attorney Mark O’Mara used Friday’s bond hearing to try to prove that point.
It what seemed like a mini-trial at times, O’Mara called several witnesses and introduced evidence from the case to show not only was Zimmerman acting in self-defense, but he sustained significant injuries during the incident.
O’Mara initially focused on Zimmerman’s bond, calling Forensic Financial Analyst Adam Magill to testify that money from Zimmerman’s PayPal account and personal accounts were not mismanaged.
Additionally, O’Mara spoke with Probation Officer Adam Vincent, who testified Zimmerman had not violated any terms of his bond. Vincent called Zimmerman a “model subject” stating he was usually “polite and courteous.”
However, as the hearing moved forward O’Mara’s focus seemed to shift as he detailed the events of the Feb. 26, and Zimmerman’s injuries from that night.
First O’Mara introduced the reenactment video – which was only released last week to the public – showing Zimmerman’s injuries to his face and head, particularly a broken nose as well as cuts and bruises on the back and sides of his head.
Sanford EMT Kevin O’Rourke testified to how Zimmerman appeared the evening of the shooting, stating Zimmerman’s head was 45 percent covered in blood when he arrived on the scene. O’Rourke was one of few EMTs who treated Zimmerman on scene for his injuries the evening of Feb. 26.
O’Mara also brought Zimmerman’s father to the stand to listen to a 911 call made the night of the shooting. In the call someone can be heard screaming for help before a gunshot is fired.
Robert Zimmerman testified they were the screams of his son, as he had told investigators in the days following the shooting.
During cross-examination Assistant State Attorney Bernie De La Rionda brought up a statement from Zimmerman where he claimed Martin had his hands over Zimmerman’s nose and mouth. He argued that it might be hard for Zimmerman to scream if someone was suffocating him.
Robert Zimmerman said, “From the looks of my son’s injuries Trayvon Martin’s hands were not just on his nose and mouth.”
O’Mara also used several witnesses’ statements backing up Zimmerman’s account of the evening.
The point of all this, he said later in a press conference, was to show Judge Lester that the state may not have as strong of a case as the court initially thought.
“The court had made a very specific focus suggesting that the evidence was strong…” said O’Mara. “It was very important to us to counter that or respond to that by showing the evidence that does exist, particularly my clients statements.”
Additionally during the hearing O’Mara told Lester that because of this evidence he thought the state could not justify a second-degree murder charge, therefore Lester should consider a low bond amount.
“The state’s case is so significantly weak that you should not consider a large bond,” he said.
Although De La Rionda said he wouldn’t get into the specifics of the case, he did counter O’Mara’s claims by saying it was the state’s belief that Martin was screaming for help in the 911 call, and that Zimmerman had specifically followed Martin the night of the shooting.
“He was targeting, profiling what he perceived a criminal… he was making sure the person didn’t get away,” said De La Rionda. “Our contention is that he is the aggressor.”
As for the bond, De La Rionda requested Lester grant no bond to Zimmerman on the basis that he and his wife lied to the court about their finances.
“Mrs. Zimmerman lied to the court and this defendant just sat there,” he said.
Lester recessed the court but did not indicate when he would deliver his decision on the bond. Also, Lester said early in the hearing he would issue an order pertaining to the release of more than 100 jail phone calls between Zimmerman and family members.