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Nation & World

Zimmerman lawyers backtrack on video found on Trayvon Martin’s cellphone

(MCT) ORLANDO, Fla. — George Zimmerman’s attorneys Sunday said a video found on Trayvon Martin’s cellphone shows two homeless men fighting over a bicycle, not two friends of Martin’s beating up a homeless man as defense attorney Mark O’Mara described it in court last week.

Martin, along with a friend, had come upon the fight and Martin had merely recorded it, according to the statement.

O’Mara described his mischaracterization in court as unintentional and said he was unhappy about it.

“We have been committed to disputing misinformation in every aspect of this case, not causing it,” the statement said.

That piece of video is among evidence O’Mara’s office notified prosecutors two weeks ago that it may use at Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial, scheduled to begin June 10 in Sanford.

Martin is the unarmed black 17-year-old that Zimmerman, a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, shot to death in Sanford on Feb. 26, 2012.

Zimmerman says he acted in self-defense. He said Martin attacked him, knocking him to the ground with a punch that broke his nose and that Martin then climbed on top of him and began hammering his head against a sidewalk.

Prosecutors say Zimmerman profiled the black teenager, assuming he was about to commit a crime, followed and killed him.

O’Mara has unearthed evidence that he says shows that Martin took part in organized fights. Two weeks ago, he released text messages from Martin’s cell phone. In one, the Miami Gardens teenager wrote that in one fight he got pummeled in the first round because his opponent got him on the ground.

Also in court last week, O’Mara said he had found video of Martin refereeing a fight.

The judge ruled Tuesday that O’Mara may not talk about Martin fighting during his opening statement but, if he convinces her during the trial that it’s relevant and admissible, she would allow it.


©2013 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

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