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Trayvon Martin post mortem reveals traces of marijuana in 17-year-old’s system

By Richard Luscombe, The Guardian
Thursday, May 17, 2012 20:58 EDT
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Trayvon Martin had traces of marijuana in his system on the night he was shot dead by a neighbourhood watch leader later charged with the teenager’s murder, a post mortem report has revealed.

According to the document released ton Thursday by prosecutors in Florida, traces of the drug THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, were found in Martin’s blood and urine during an autopsy on 27 February, the day after he was killed in a confrontation with George Zimmerman.

Lawyers for Zimmerman, 28, who faces at least 25 years in jail if he is convicted of second-degree murder, insist it was Martin, 17, who provoked the fatal incident, forcing their client to fire in self-defence.

The post mortem report, which also reveals Martin had a small abrasion on the fourth finger of his left hand, is among hundreds of documents, witness statements, photographs and video reports published by the office of Florida state attorney Angela Corey after a public records request by more than 50 media outlets, including The Guardian.

Among other previously unreleased information about the racially charged case is that police felt the incident would have been avoided altogether if Zimmerman had only spoken to Martin before they fought.

And detectives also believed early on in the investigation that a voice heard on 911 recordings screaming for help before the fatal shot was fired was Zimmerman’s and not that of Martin, as the teenager’s lawyers have claimed.

In a statement, Detective Christopher Serino of the Sanford police department said he played a recording of the calls to Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father.

“In the background I could clearly hear a male’s voice yelling either ‘help’ or ‘help me’ 14 times in an approximately 38-second time span,” Serino wrote.

“The voice was determined to be that of George Zimmerman, who was apparently yelling for help as he was being battered by Trayvon Martin.

“I asked Mr Martin if the voice calling for help was that of his son. Mr Martin, clearly emotionally impacted by the recording, quietly responded ‘No’.”

The issue was raised again during one of many interviews with witnesses by Sanford detectives in the aftermath of the shooting at the town’s Retreat at Twin Lakes gated community.

“The detectives told me that the broad-built man [Zimmerman] was the one yelling for help,” one anonymous witness said in a statement.

“They said, ‘You should have seen him, he was all scratched or beaten up’.”

A newly released photograph of Zimmerman taken shortly after he was interviewed, but not charged, by police on the night of Feb 26 shows him with a bloody nose, apparently backing up the claim by his lawyer Mark O’Mara that Martin broke his client’s nose.

But O’Mara’s insistence that it was Martin who pursued and attacked Zimmerman would appear to be contradicted by the detectives’ probable cause affidavit, which states: “Martin was in fact running generally in the direction of where he was staying as a guest in the neighbourhood.”

Much of the content of the hundreds of pages of statements were blacked out, including what appeared to be the whole of the police interview with Zimmerman at Sanford police station within hours of the incident.

Zimmerman remains free on $150,000 (£95,000) bail to await trial on a date yet to be fixed.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2012

 
 
 
 
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