State rests case against George Zimmerman; Judgment of acquittal denied

Zimmerman charged with shooting, killing Trayvon Martin

SANFORD, Fla. - The state has rested its case against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman charged with shooting and killing Trayvon Martin and the judgment for acquittal has been denied.

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The jury heard the state resting its case after attorney Mark O'Mara presented his motion for judgment of acquittal, which Judge Debra S. Nelson denied.

O'Mara spoke after court recessed for the day, saying he respected Nelson's ruling.

When asked about how the jury will respond to both mothers testifying on Friday, he replied, "I'm sure Mrs. Fulton has to live her reality ... and I'm certain Mrs. Zimmerman has to live her reality."

O'Mara said he is happy with how the trial is going so far and says he still has two or three depositions to take over the weekend.

During the judgment of acquittal earlier Friday, O'Mara said acquittal is appropriate unless the state presented evidence that negates every reasonable hypotheses of innocence.

"My client acted in self defense," O'Mara argued, citing "an enormous amount" of evidence.

"No interpretation of the state's evidence," O'Mara says, negates Zimmerman's self-defense claim.

O'Mara said there is no evidence that Zimmerman followed Martin after dispatcher told him not to. "There is not a scintilla of evidence," he said.

O'Mara then argued that second-degree murder should not be a charge Zimmerman faces because he showed no ill-will or hatred. O'Mara said the charge should be downgraded.

"You cannot look at the picture of my client's nose and say he was not beaten in the face," O'Mara said at the end of 38-minute argument.

Prosecutor Richard Mantei argued for the state that O'Mara got the argument backwards. Mantei said pointing a loaded gun at another and firing it by itself is evidence you have ill-will and spite toward the target.

"He thought he knew Trayvon Martin as one of those 'a******* who always get away,' as one of those 'f****** punks,'"Mantei said. "There's two minutes he can't account for ... where he is wandering about the neighborhood."

Mantei argued there is too much time to return to his truck after being advised not to follow Martin.

"He can't figure out what lie he told so he tells a new one," Mantei said of Zimmerman.

Mantei said the first line of Zimmerman's assignment for instructor Carter was "he wants to hunt fugitives and make sure they do not get away."

Mantei said there are two people involved here, "one of them's dead and one of them is a liar."

"Trayvon Martin had as much a right to defend himself as Zimmerman claims he had," Mantei said.

Zimmerman also lied to a national TV audience that he didn't know about the "stand your ground law," Mantei said.

"Really which one of these individuals was defending themselves? The jurors should decide," Mantei said.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. He says he shot Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in self-defense.

In nine days of testimony, 37 state witnesses were called including the last person to speak to Martin - Rachel Jeantel, forensic experts, Sanford police officers and investigators, Retreat at Twin Lakes residents and Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton.

The medical examiner who completed Martin's autopsy also testified on Friday.


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