ANALYSIS: Forensics Expert Trayvon Martin Was on Top of Zimmerman During Deadly Shooting

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  • Sybrina Martin couldn’t listen to another word.

    Overwhelmed with emotion, she walked out of the courtroom Tuesday while famed forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent Di Maio told the jury that he believes Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman when Zimmerman shot Trayvon, confirming  Zimmerman’s story that he was being beaten by Trayvon and was forced to shoot him in self-defense.

    Di Maio’s testimony was too much for Sybrina, Trayvon’s mother, but it may have given the all-female, mostly-white jury something to think about in the final days of a dramatic murder trial where racial profiling is central to the case.

    Reporters inside the courtroom said jurors were taking notes and paying close attention to Di Maio, one of the nation’s most respected forensic pathologists and gunshot experts who was hired by Zimmerman’s attorneys.

    Di Maio said the pattern of powder burns on Martin’s sweatshirt and skin indicated that the shirt was two to four inches away from Martin’s chest when he was shot by Zimmerman.

    “Mr. Martin was over him, leaning forward,” he said. “This is consistent with Mr. Zimmerman’s account that Mr. Martin was over him, leaning forward at the time he was shot.”

    “Is this a hard call for you?” one of Zimmernan’s attorneys asked Di Maio.

    “No,” Di Maio responded. “This is basic, you know, 101.”

    Di Maio also told the jury that Zimmerman’s nose was broken and wounds in the back of Zimmerman’s head was consistent with being hit with great force and could have amounted to symptoms consistent with a concussion.

    And there was another major development this week: Judge Debra Nelson ruled that jurors at Zimmerman’s trial may be told that Trayvon Martin had small amounts of marijuana in his body when he died.

    Nelson denied a prosecution request to keep out parts of a toxicology report that shows Martin had slight amounts of marijuana in his system.

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