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George Zimmerman says he will not testify; Defense rests

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Updated: 7/10/2013 4:33 pm
SANFORD, Fla. (WFTV) -- Defense attorneys said Wednesday they are finished calling witnesses in George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial.

Court resumed after a recess.  Zimmerman told Judge Debra Nelson he will not testify in his own defense.

Defense attorney Don West objected several times to the judge's asking if Zimmerman would testify, but the judge sternly overruled him.

Jurors were out of the courtroom at the time.

The defense called Zimmerman’s father to the stand briefly as their last witness of the day. Robert Zimmerman Sr. told the court that it was his son who can be heard screaming for help in 911 calls that have been played numerous times throughout the trial.

Earlier, a public safety expert called by the defense said Zimmerman's physical capabilities were inferior to those of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Former police officer Dennis Root testified that Martin was in better physical shape than Zimmerman and that the neighborhood watch volunteer wasn't any athlete.

"He would find himself lacking when compared to Mr. Martin," Root said of Zimmerman.

Martin was unarmed and returning from a store when he was fatally shot by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, during a struggle on a dark, rainy night in February 2012.

Martin was black and Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic. Some civil rights activists argued that the initial delay in charging Zimmerman was influenced by Martin's race.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and says he shot Martin in self-defense.

Root is a former law enforcement officer training instructor, who now acts as a consultant to analyze if use of force is justified.

Root said for people in a fight, time is of the essence.

"If you haven't won fight in 30 seconds, change tactic," Root said.

Root testified that it's not just the gun that poses a threat.

"A firearm is as safe as the person holding it," said Root.
Prosecutor John Guy zeroed in on that point.

"An irresponsible person can be really dangerous," said Guy.
Root said he approached the defense to help in the case, and the state questioned if he did that to help his business.

Earlier, a judge ruled that Martin's cellphone texts on fighting and a defense animation depicting the fight between Martin and Zimmerman won't be introduced as evidence at Zimmerman's trial.

Judge Debra Nelson made her ruling Wednesday, a day after she heard arguments on the matter.

The judge says the animation can't be introduced as evidence that can be reviewed by jurors during their deliberations, but defense attorneys may be able to use it during closing arguments.

A defense witness said he made a recreation of what happened the night Zimmerman killed Martin. He said he used Zimmerman's account and information from attorneys to create the video showing Martin in a hoodie punching Zimmerman.

The judge says she agrees with prosecutors' objections to introducing the 17-year-old's text messages.
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nativejax - 7/11/2013 1:43 PM
0 Votes
Amen Realchange.

Realchange - 7/10/2013 9:28 PM
3 Votes
There is evidence that most the jury does not know Martins past. He liked to fight at the least provocation. Was caught with stolen jewelry. Wanted to buy handguns off the street. His picture shoved around the nation was one when he was 12 years old to build sympathy for propaganda reasons. He was sent to his dad's because he had been suspended from school for fighting SUPRISE! Another this kid was in shape there is no way a creepy ass cracker could caught him. People keep saying he could have but if you listen to the police call about sucpicous individual to them. Zimmerman is out breath after only running a short distance. As far as orders 911 operators give bad orders all the time. Personally you call the police about some strange guy in your neighborhood and see what happen when you tell them after you called that you ran the other way so you can't tell them where he is now. There is no doubt in my mind that teen got pissed he was being followed and decided to beat the snot out Zimmerman. Problem was Zimmerman was armed the boy probably did see and was going steal the gun as he had been trying to buy one. Martin has bad history in school even his dad sent him constant text messages trying to turn him around to keep him out trouble. The problem is now he wants blood for bad son who should not have attacked but instead called his dad, or even the police and reported being followed by someone he thought had not right to do so. If even one the men in the housing complex had come out and stopped the fighting in one way or another there would been no murder. Everyone hid and left Zimmerman to deal with it while police raced to the scene. Never forget that. He tried to protect his community. They repaid him by hiding and leaving him to face a pissed off teenager alone. Ironic been black man that had shot Martin what then? Would the nation been so angry then? Yes Zimmerman was overzealous but his actions were self defense unless you can prove he attacked first.

Pe535 - 7/10/2013 5:48 PM
3 Votes
Harley Mom remember he is a neighborhood watchman BECAUSE they had had several burglaries in their neighborhood and he had every RIGHT to follow and make sure this person wasn't trying to break in to houses. Also, I believe that had Trayvon just turned around and asked WHY are you following me without trying to be a THUG this possibly could have been prevented. But Trayvon being the thug that he was wanted to "defend his honor" or "ask this creepy ass cracker, why you be following me" so sorry I think had he just said hey man what's up and NOT acted like a thug he would not be dead today!! Wake up and start seeing things for what they are and NOT listening to the media who NBC doctored the tapes to make this racist when it wasn't!!!

Pe535 - 7/10/2013 5:40 PM
4 Votes
No, he told his story to the detectives as soon as the shooting occurred! The detectives decided NOT to prosecute or arrest him because of the FACTS but because of the race baiters like Sharpton and Jackson they had to arrest him and take him to trial....what a sad day in FL that we allow political BS to put a man on trial and possibly in prison because the jurors may feel like they don't want their town burned down by a bunch of animals,!! It doesn't matter if Zimmerman is innocent lets just put him away so that people don't riot and burn our town down!! Sad sad day.

Harley Mom - 7/10/2013 5:23 PM
0 Votes
Wow, I see a lot of anger there. To me the trial was a lot of no you can't say that, and yes, you can say that. No matter who "wins" is that the word you used? A young man is dead. Too many young people die by violence lately. My thoughts are, he (Zimmerman) was told from the beginning not to follow Martin. What part of that didn't he understand?

Azrael - 7/10/2013 4:55 PM
1 Vote
not only is the judge pathetic for wanting to dig into zimmerman's past but the fact that she wants to deny the dig and not allow the defense to introduce martin's past but allow zimmerman's past? yeah see where the pathetic race thing comes in? all because martins mom doesn't want to ruin her sons "good name"? i already know who is going to win this sad excuse of a trial. i say who cares what supposed "good name" trayvon has put in the evidence of the stuff he did that coincides with what all he is.

Azrael - 7/10/2013 4:51 PM
1 Vote
even if he did try to tell his story all the racists out there would complain like they always do and say hes doing nothing but telling a lie anyways. how about we just grow up and get out of the 1900s and realize there is only racism out there if others portray the story as a race thing. i personally think that this is going to go bad in either one of 2 ways. 1. hes going to lose because of racism being involved or 2. the pathetic new black panther party is going to get people to kill him if he wins. so really there isn't going to be a win or lose in this situation so basically its a waste of time to try to do this.
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