Posted on July 10, 2013

Trayvon Martin Was on Top of Zimmerman When Teen Was Shot, Gunshot Wound Expert Testifies

Erin Donaghue, CBS News, July 9, 2013

A nationally renowned gunshot wound expert testified Tuesday that Trayvon Martin’s gunshot wound was consistent with accused murderer George Zimmerman’s story that the teen was on top of him and leaning over when he was shot.

George Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain standing trial in the teen’s shooting death, has said Martin attacked him and was on top of him just before the fatal gunshot. Prosecutors have argued Zimmerman profiled the teen and started the confrontation.

Taking the stand for the defense, Dr. Vincent Di Maio, a forensic pathologist, said that Martin’s gunshot wound was consistent with the gun’s muzzle being against his clothing, which would have been two to four inches away from his body when he was shot.


Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, left the courtroom as Di Maio testified. {snip}


Di Maio said that Trayvon Martin would have been alive for about one to three minutes following the gunshot wound, but would have been able to move and speak for at least ten to fifteen seconds.

The testimony was a contrast to the remarks of a medical examiner who conducted Martin’s autopsy, who said that the teen could have been alive for up to ten minutes after the gunshot. {snip}

Prosecutors have said that George Zimmerman told investigators he moved Martin’s arms away from his body after the gunshot, although Martin was found with his arms tucked beneath his chest. Answering a question from defense attorney Don West, Di Maio said that someone may be able to move their arms after receiving a similar gunshot.


Zimmerman’s injuries were consistent with having his head hit against concrete more than once, Di Maio said. The former neighborhood watch captain said the teen smashed his head into a sidewalk several times before he claimed he acted in self-defense.

The testimony was a contrast to another medical examiner, Dr. Valerie Rao, who testified for prosecutors that Zimmerman had “insignificant” injuries that didn’t appear to result from multiple impacts against concrete.