George Zimmerman was “by no stretch of the imagination an athlete” when he killed Trayvon Martin, a law enforcement expert testified in court Wednesday.
The testimony from expert witness Dennis Root seems pretty obvious when you look at Zimmerman, who at 5 foot 8 weighs more than 300 pounds. But Zimmerman hasn’t always been this fat.
The neighbourhood watch volunteer and alleged vigilante has gained a massive amount of weight since he shot and killed an unarmed teenager in February 2012 and ignited a debate on race in America. Zimmerman weighed about 194 pounds when he killed Martin.
Zimmerman says he killed the teen in self-defence, and there’s some speculation that Zimmerman’s defence team deliberately had him gain weight so the jury would see him as a defenseless victim. At the time of the slaying, though, Zimmerman had been training in mixed-martial arts several times a week, a physician’s assistant who treated him testified.
His attorney Mark O’Mara was apparently doing his best to put rumours about a deliberate weight gain to rest in an interview with CNN.
“He has gained an enormous amount of weight … because he’s sitting in a house, stressed,” O’Mara said, “trying to deal with the moniker that’s put on him that he’s the most hated man in America.”
Body language expert Patti Wood told CNN that could work against Zimmerman because of the “negative connotations” tied to weight gain. But it could also work for him, she said.
“Before he looked like a lean mean fighting machine and very young and fit,” she said. “It may work for him in an odd way.”
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