George Zimmerman’s prosecutors revealed for the first time to ABC News on Sunday that they believe he reached for his gun shortly after he and Trayvon Martin confronted each other.
While Zimmerman says he reached for his gun after the 17-year-old started beating him up, prosecutors believe Zimmerman pointed his gun sooner and that Martin was shouting for help because he saw it.
However, they never presented this theory in court because they lacked evidence.
“I think [Zimmerman] had the gun out earlier … but we didn’t have the eyewitnesses,” prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda told ABC News.
After Zimmerman pointed his gun at Martin, the prosecutors’ theory goes, the teenager began screaming for help. When a neighbour called 911, screams were heard in the background. Martin’s mother and brother testified that it was him screaming for help, while his killer’s friends and family seemed certain it was Zimmerman.
To bolster their theory that it was Martin screaming for help, prosecutors pointed out that the screams stopped once the shots were fired. Zimmerman testified he didn’t know Martin was dead, so it wouldn’t make sense for him to stop screaming, prosecutors argued.
“It’s common sense. No one stops screaming for help unless they are certain they killed him,” prosecutor Angela Corey told ABC. “He had said he thought he missed.”
Prosecutors did not have an easy case since Zimmerman had some injuries (including a bloody and possibly broken nose) to back up his claims of self-defence. The prosecution’s own witness testified that he believed Zimmerman was yelling for help as Martin straddled him.
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