Aram Roston of The Daily Beast has George Zimmerman's account of Trayvon Martin's last words, as well as leaks from law enforcement officials familiar with the case.
As has been reported, Zimmerman told police officials that he lost sight of Martin and went around a townhouse to see where he was. Then he claimed Martin confronted him and punched him, knocking him down.
According to The Daily Beast’s source, Zimmerman told police that when he was on the ground, Martin straddled him, striking him, and then tried to smother him.
Zimmerman claimed that he yelled for help, and that various neighbors who peered out to see the fight from their backyards didn’t get involved. Zimmerman, the source said, told officers he was so paralyzed by fear that he initially forgot he had a gun, but he said that after Martin noticed his 9mm pistol, Zimmerman pulled it out of his belt holder and fired one round, a hollow-point—the round that killed Martin. (The autopsy report on Martin has not yet been released.)
According to the source, Zimmerman told police that Martin’s last words after the shooting were, “Okay, you got it.” He said the phrase twice, then turned and fell face-down on the ground.
(Martin’s father told reporters last month that police had told him his son’s last words were, “You got me.” Benjamin Crump, the family’s lawyer, said he doesn’t believe either account.)
That seems to broadly match the story the father told.
According to the source, Zimmerman told police he didn’t realize that Martin was seriously injured, and that he lunged to get on top of him after the teenager fell to the ground. Moments later, a police officer from Sanford arrived, placed him in handcuffs and took his gun.
OK, that is a new detail which may explain Ms. Cutcher, who saw Zimmerman above Martin after the gunshot.
Here is one for the voice experts:
Then there are the dramatic cries for help heard on the 911 call during the struggle. Martin’s mother said it was her son’s voice, and the special prosecutor in the case agrees. But Zimmerman’s supporters argue that the pleas came from him.
The source familiar with the case said that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators had Zimmerman lie on his back in another location in an effort to recreate the position he said he had been in during the shooting. Then, the source said, investigators recorded Zimmerman as he shouted what had been heard on the 911 calls: cries such as, “Help me!”
Well, well - I have argued that unless the police waterboarded Zimmerman they were unlikely to get credible screaming from him, and the audio forensic experts say that matching speech to screams doesn't work. Who knew that Zimmerman would volunteer to scream? Well, he took a long time to lawyer up. And does the Miranda warning say "Anything you scream may be used against you"? I don't think so. That said, this opens the possibility that the investigators actually had something an audio expert could work with, and that the matching effort came out against Zimmerman.
Interesting - voice evidence wasn't mentioned in the arrest affidavit but could explain the attitude of the prosecutor. As to whether this hypothetical voice matching can survive a defense effort to reject it at trial, who knows? My guess is the defense will look for experts to say that screams under true duress, such as in a fight, can't be mimicked voluntarily. Is that true? Beats me.
Zimmerman is the dumbest and most cooperative guilty man in America if he is making his story up. Or maybe he is experiencing PTSD and post-concussive memory loss. Move to dismiss!
Here is a heck of a concession from the Martin family attorney:
Crump said it was not clear that Martin threw the first punch but, argued that even if he did, Zimmerman’s actions launched the entire sequence of events. “Trayvon Martin had every right to stand his ground,” Crump said. “We believe that Trayvon went to his grave not knowing who this strange man was that was approaching and confronting him.”
"Not clear"? If they are entertaining the notion that Martin did throw the first punch, that is helpful for Zimmerman. Let's further note that "approaching and confronting" aren't "punching"; not to sound crazy or anything, but instead of punching Zimmerman a calm "Just headed back to my house to watch the ball game" might have been a better response. Promoting a message of calm and restraint might even be a better way to honor Trayvon's memory.