George Zimmerman trial: The week in review


In opening statements, attorneys took vastly different paths.

Assistant State Attorney John Guy was passionate, profane and loud. He dropped the f-bomb several times, using the words Zimmerman had said to a police dispatcher moments before the shooting.

"'[Expletive] punks. These assholes, they always get away.' Those were the words," Guy said, pointing at Zimmerman, "in that grown man's mouth."

Defense attorney Don West's opening was slow and methodical — and at nearly three hours, five times longer than Guy's.

"I think the evidence will show that this is a sad case, that the are no monsters," West said. "George Zimmerman is not guilty of murder. He shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense after being viciously attacked."

Neither attorney mentioned race in his opening statement, but the issue came up late in the day when Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei began playing for jurors a call Zimmerman had made to police, reporting a suspicious black man in the neighborhood. But the subject was not Trayvon Martin. It was someone else.

Zimmerman had made many similar calls to police in the months before Trayvon's death. Defense attorney Mark O'Mara objected, asking that the audio playback be halted. The judge told attorneys to research case law and return Tuesday to hash it out.


Sanford police Sgt. Anthony Raimondo was first to testify and told jurors that when he arrived at the scene of the shooting, Trayvon Martin was face-down in the grass, a bullet in his chest, his hands beneath him.

Tuesday was also the day that jurors saw a slew of crime-scene and evidence photos. About a dozen photos of Trayvon's body were shown in court. Also Tuesday, prosecutors placed several important items into evidence, including Trayvon's now near-iconic hoodie and Zimmerman's gun.

The court session ended with the issue of whether jurors should listen to five phone calls Zimmerman made to police still unresolved.

The Neighborhood Watch coordinator for Sanford police, Wendy Dorival, also testified. She said Zimmerman was instructed — as are all Neighborhood Watch coordinators in Sanford — to call police if they see something suspicious and not to "engage" a suspect.


The state's star witness, Rachel "Diamond" Jeantel, gave a dramatic account of Trayvon Martin's last seconds. While on the phone with Trayvon, he told her a man was following him, someone he described as a "creepy-ass cracker," Jeantel said.

She said she could hear the man say, "What are you doing around here?" Jeantel then heard a "bump," followed by Trayvon saying "Get off. Get off," then the phone went dead, she testified.

Jeantel's account, though, was nearly lost amid the problems and spectacle she created. In her 2 1/2 hours on the stand, she used street slang, was sometimes defiant and talked so fast and so softly that it was often impossible to make out her words.

It was a rocky day for prosecutors. Early in the day, they called two neighbors who heard and saw part of the confrontation between Trayvon and Zimmerman the night of the shooting, both of whom were damaged on cross-examination.

Also Wednesday, jurors listened as prosecutors played recordings of five calls Zimmerman made to police dispatchers in the months before the shooting. In four he was reporting suspicious people — in each of those cases, the subject was black.