Zimmerman had broken nose, black eyes, new medical report says
Medical records show George Zimmerman had a fractured nose and other head injuries after he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, bolstering his claim that he acted in self-defense.
USA Today says
the medical report detailing George Zimmerman's injuries after he shot and killed Trayvon was first reported by ABC News on Tuesday.
ABC News reports
the medical records were part of evidence released Tuesday that prosecutors have in the second-degree murder case against Zimmerman.
The medical reports, compiled by George Zimmerman's family physician, said that Zimmerman was diagnosed with a "closed fracture" of his nose, a pair of black eyes, two lacerations to the back of his head and a minor back injury the day after he fatally shot Martin during an alleged altercation.
According to Time
, Zimmerman was treated Feb. 27 at Altamonte Family Practice.
ABC says the medical notes may bolster Zimmerman's claim that he acted in self-defense because he was being attacked.
But the attorney representing Trayvon Martin's parents, Benjamin Crump, said Wednesday that the injuries cited in Zimmerman's medical report do not clear him of shooting Martin.
"You have to look at this in the full context," he told USA Today. "George Zimmerman made the decision to get out of his car, profile Trayvon Martin, pursue Trayvon Martin and confront him."
He also questioned the severity of Zimmerman's injuries. He said Zimmerman refused to go to the hospital at the scene, was then seen on a police videotape at least 30 minutes later in which he had no visible injuries and went to his doctor the next day to get clearance to return to work.
"This report needs to be vetted with a keen eye," he said.
Also Tuesday, CNN affiliate WFTV
reported that Martin's autopsy showed the teen had injuries to his knuckles when he died.
"He was fighting for his life," Crump told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "Let's not forget that Trayvon Martin was fighting a man with a 9mm gun. We also have to remember that he didn't start this fight. George Zimmerman got out his car and pursued Trayvon Martin."
He said the altercation never would have happened if Zimmerman had not pursued the teen.
But WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said the autopsy results strengthens Zimmerman's case, looking better for the defense than it is for the prosecution.
When you compare Trayvon’s non-fatal injury with Zimmerman's bloody head wounds, the autopsy evidence is better for the defense, Sheaffer said.
“It goes along with Zimmerman's story that he acted in self-defense, because he was getting beaten up by Trayvon Martin,” Sheaffer said.
Zimmerman, 28, is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting Feb. 26 of Trayvon, a black 17-year-old, packing Skittles and a can of Arizona iced tea, in a gated Sanford community where Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer.
Zimmerman, whose father is white and mother is Hispanic, said he shot Trayvon in self-defense after the teen confronted him, punched him in the face and bashed his head on the sidewalk.
But the prosecution contends that Zimmerman instigated the confrontation after profiling the teen, who was breaking no laws and was not disturbing anyone as he walked back to his father's girlfriend's home.
Police 911 recordings after Zimmerman reported a person in a hooded sweatshirt who looked suspicious indicate that Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and followed Martin for 20 seconds before the dispatcher asked, "Are you following him?"
"Yeah," Zimmerman said. At which point the dispatcher told him they did not need him to do that.
But he did anyway.
Michelle Jacobs, a defense attorney and law professor at the University of Florida, told USA Today the reports show there was a fight between the two men but it does not get to the central points of the case: Why did the fight occur, and was the use of deadly force justified?
"He may have gotten injuries, but it could have been because it was Trayvon Martin who feared he was at risk of death or serious bodily injury," Jacobs said. "The injuries themselves do not tell us anything about who initiated the contact. And that's what the case will hinge on."
Zimmerman was granted a $150,000 bail and has since been in hiding since his April 20 bail hearing.