George Zimmerman Trial: Most Shocking Moments

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06/28/2013 at 04:10 PM EDT

George Zimmerman Trial: Most Shocking Moments

George Zimmerman in court June 28

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/AP

It has been more than 16 months since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed after running to the store to buy candy and ice tea.

Now, the shooter, George Zimmerman, is on trial for second-degree murder in Seminole County, Fla.

The controversy and media saturation is nothing new to Central Floridians, who were glued to the Casey Anthony trial two years ago, and the first week of testimony has lived up to the hype:

The Jury: Per Florida law, only six jurors were seated to hear the evidence. (Florida only uses a 12-member jury for capital cases, such as 2011’s Casey Anthony trial.) The six jurors are all women, five of them mothers. Ranging in age from early 30s to late 60s, five of the jurors are white and one is Hispanic. Most of them are middle class, working in jobs such as nursing, property management, and real estate sales. Two are retired.

Opening Arguments: Both the prosecution and defense began their opening statements with a bang.  Prosecutor John Guy began with a swear word. “F—ing punks. These a—holes, they always get away,” he stated, quoting from Zimmerman’s controversial 911 call. “Those were the words in that man’s chest when he got out of his car armed with a fully loaded semiautomatic pistol and two flashlights to follow on foot Trayvon Benjamin Martin.” At the sound of the F-bomb, some of the older jurors looked shocked. Meanwhile, defense lawyer began his statements with an ill-timed knock-knock joke before asserting that his client was simply defending himself when the gun went off.

George Zimmerman Trial: Most Shocking Moments

Trayvon Martin’s parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin

Joe Burbank / Joe Burbank / AP

The Star Witness: Rachel Jeantel was chatting with Martin on the phone when he first encountered Zimmerman. During her day-long testimony, Jeantel sometimes sparred with the defense team as they pointed out perceived inconsistencies in her testimony. In one of the most controversial moments so far, Jeantel told the hushed courtroom that Martin had used racial slurs during the conversation, including calling Zimmerman a “creepy-ass cracker.” 

The Eyewitnesses: It was a dark, rainy night on February 26, 2012, so the neighbors are all over the place in recounting what they saw as they peered out their windows. Neighbor Selene Bahadoor said she saw some of the struggle, but could not identify who was who. Another neighbor, Jayne Surdyka, said that she heard a terrified cry for help, presumably by Trayvon Martin. “It was excruciating,” she testified. “I really felt it was a boy’s voice.” But later, neighbor John Good testified that he saw Martin straddling Zimmerman in the moments before the shooting, which would indicate that Martin was the aggressor.

The Crime Scene: Prosecutors showed jurors a photo of Martin’s dead body – his eyes and mouth open. As the jurors looked at the horrifying photo, Martin’s parents left the courtroom. Although Martin’s parents are on the witness list, they are permitted to sit in the courtroom because they are the victim’s parents. 

The trial is expected to last three to four weeks.




  1. mmminja

    January 2, 2014 at 5:10 am

    Trayvon Martin was owning his azz. If George Zimmerman didn’t go for that gun though George Zimmerman would’ve been fu@ked up. No, he wouldn’t have done well in prison. The motherf*cker can’t fight well. There are no guns in prison for inmates. It is strictly fisticuffs!

  2. Denali

    January 8, 2014 at 9:11 am

    I don’t want opinions of morals or ethics. From the information that we have been given, do you think George Zimmerman will ever be arrested for the shooting of Trayvon Martin?

  3. Peter

    February 21, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Jeremy and I like to discuss current events like Obama or Romney etc. Anyway we were discussing the upcoming trial of George Zimmerman and we both agreed that based on the evidence and his interview we think he is not guilty because Trayvon Martin was trying to kill him and he fired his weapon in self defense. Neither of us live in Florida so we cannot be on the jury.Is there any evidence that shows that Trayvon Martin did not try to kill George Zimmerman? Has anyone done any research on Trayvon Martin to see if he tried to burglarize any homes or try to kill anyone else?

    Also Jeremy, my husband said that the defense is probably happy that they will put his interview into evidence because he might be able to show it to the jury without taking the witness stand himself. Why didn’t the prosecutor think of this before they put it into evidence?

  4. Jack Bauer

    March 8, 2014 at 9:54 am

    I dont know what these civil right violations are.

    Is it about being followed by a person of another race?

    Is it about being shot by a person bringing a gun to a fight?

  5. Scott Bull

    March 15, 2014 at 8:46 am

    All I hear about lately is George Zimmerman, well I want to know the full story, what do people think happened? Thanks
    Long story short some kid was walking with a bag of skittles and some latin guy went up and killed him. But then people say the kid tried to fight him. What is the most logical explanation of what happened?

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