Defense Uses Photos, Texts of Trayvon Martin to Fight Case Against Zimmerman

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  • ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Data released Thursday by the defense from slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin‘s cellphone includes texts with a friend about fighting, smoking pot and being forced to move out of his mother’s house because of trouble at school, as well as photos of a gun and what looks to be a potted marijuana plant.

    A hearing next week will decide if the information can be used at the trial for George Zimmerman, who is charged with fatally shooting the unarmed 17-year-old last year during a confrontation at a gated community in Sanford. Prosecutors want the negative evidence omitted, but Zimmerman’s defense attorney said if they try to portray his client as the antagonist and Martin as the victim, he wants to show the jury that Martin has talked about fighting before.

    “If they had suggested that Trayvon is nonviolent and that George is the aggressor, I think that makes evidence of the fighting he has been involved with in the past relevant,” said Mark O’Mara.

    Zimmerman, 29, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense and his trial starts next month. O’Mara also filed a motion Thursday asking for a delay in the start of the trial so the defense team can talk at length with an expert witness for the prosecution.

    The photos released by Zimmerman’s defense team also show Martin blowing smoke and extending his middle finger to the camera.

    In the text messages, Martin tells a friend that his mother has told him he needs to move in with his father since he was caught skipping school. He also talks with a friend about smoking “weed.”

    In another section, he describes being in a fight where his opponent got more hits than he did in the first round.

    Prosecutors have filed a motion asking Circuit Judge Debra Nelson to prevent the photos, texts and other personal information from being used at the trial. The hearing is set for next Tuesday when the judge also will consider the motion to delay the trial.

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