May 16, 2012
Court records show George Zimmerman had a pair of black eyes, a nose fracture and two cuts to the back of his head after the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The medical records were part of evidence released Tuesday that prosecutors have in the second-degree murder case against Zimmerman. He has entered a plea of not guilty and claims self-defense in the Feb. 26 shooting outside a gated community in Sanford, Fla.
ABC News first reported Zimmerman’s injuries from the medical records. Some of the injuries were previously reported by The Associated Press based on video showing Zimmerman with police officers following the shooting.
Zimmerman, 28, who faces a potential life sentence if convicted, said he only fired his handgun because Martin attacked him. If Zimmerman prevails on his self-defense claim, a judge could dismiss the case before trial.
Local station WFTV also reported Tuesday that an autopsy report showed the only injury Martin had — aside from a fatal gunshot wound — was broken skin on his knuckles. The injury noted in the autopsy report could support Zimmerman’s claim that Martin punched him in the nose before slamming his head on the sidewalk.
Zimmerman is free on $150,000 bail and living in an undisclosed location. He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges that were only filed after the governor appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the slaying in the central Florida city of Sanford.
The case has become a national racial flashpoint because the Martin family and supporters contend Zimmerman singled Martin out because he was black.
It has also sparked renewed debate over “stand your ground” laws pushed by the National Rifle Association. While backers say such laws protect innocent lives, detractors contend they can become a virtual license to kill and are prone to misuse by criminals and misinterpretation by judges.