Doctor Calls Zimmerman's Injuries 'Insignificant'
7/3/2013 1:02:00 AM,
SANFORD, Fla. (CN) - George Zimmerman had only minor injuries after he shot Trayvon Martin to death, a medical examiner testified Tuesday.
Dr. Valerie Rao, a medical examiner appointed by the state, called Zimmerman's injuries "insignificant" and "non-life threatening," during the seventh day of testimony in the second-degree murder trial.
Rao said Zimmerman's injuries were not consistent with being repeatedly slammed against concrete, as Zimmerman claimed.
"They are so minor that the individual treating Zimmerman decided stitches weren't required," Rao said.
On cross examination, Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara asked Rao what she thinks caused the injuries.
Rao said Zimmerman's facial injuries could have been from an overhead blow.
O'Mara asked if she was suggesting Zimmerman was hit only one time.
Rao said it could have been one, two, three or four, depending on the force of the blow. She said the injuries would have been worse, with major lacerations, had Zimmerman been slammed into concrete.
She reviewed Zimmerman's medical records and 36 pictures of his injuries.
"I don't see that in these pictures," Rao said.
O'Mara asked if she had seen any injuries on Trayvon Martin. She said none were noted, but she did not perform the autopsy herself.
The defense objected to the state's next witness, called to describe a course that Zimmerman took at least a year before the shooting, which included instructions on the law of self-defense.
Zimmerman claims he killed the unarmed, 17-year-old Martin in self defense, under Florida's so called "stand your ground" law.
O'Mara told Seminole County Judge Debra Nelson that Zimmerman's schooling was unrelated to the case.
But Nelson said the records could show Zimmerman understood the criminal justice process.
Zimmerman previously denied any knowledge of the self-defense law.
That witness did not testify Tuesday.
The state also called Mark Osterman, Zimmerman's friend, who wrote a book about Zimmerman being "The Best Friend I Ever Had."
Osterman said he believed anyone who is not a felon should have a gun. He said Zimmerman told him Martin had grabbed his gun.
Also Tuesday, prosecutors asked for judicial inquiry about a picture defense attorney Don West's daughter posted on Instagram, showing West having ice cream cones with his two daughters. The caption stated: "We beat stupidity celebration cones. #Zimmerman #Defense #Dad killed it."
The picture was posted the day the state's star witness Rachel Jeantel testified. She was talking to Martin by cell phone just before Zimmerman killed him.
Zimmerman's defense team said the photo was insensitive but was taken and posted before Jeantel testified.
West called the picture a private family moment and said he frequently stops for ice cream after court as his guilty pleasure. In the motion, he said he was not proud of the photo and did not approve of any caption associated with it.
At court began Tuesday, Nelson asked the six-woman jury to disregard Sanford investigator Chris Serino's statements about believing Zimmerman's account of the killing to be truthful.
Nelson said witnesses were not to comment on the credibility of other witnesses, because it's the jury's job to decide whom to believe.
Jurors also heard an interview Zimmerman did with Fox News' Sean Hannity, in which he said he had no regrets about the shooting because he felt it was God's plan.
Zimmerman could face life in prison if convicted.
Twenty-seven witnesses have testified so far.
The trial was to resume at 8:30 a.m. today.