George Zimmerman’s attorneys are upset that prosecutors withheld a color photo showing the extent of his facial injuries taken after the 29-year-old Florida man shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The defense attorneys say the graphic image, taken on the night of Feb. 26 by Sanford police, shows Zimmerman’s face bloodied around his nose and mouth. They submitted it to evidence on Monday.
A black-and-white Xeroxed version of the photo had been submitted earlier by prosecutors. The high-definition version was available to prosecutors months ago but was only recently given to Zimmerman’s defense.
Zimmerman lawyer Mark O’Mara lamented on the timing behind the photo.
"I get frustrated when certain evidence gets out and other evidence is withheld. The photo is not a game-changer, but it is significant. If I had had that picture in my hand on April 11 ...," he told Reuters, referring to the day Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder.
Evidence discovery laws are particularly stringent in Florida.
"It just seems like it's been pulling teeth for discovery in this case," O’Mara went on. "This case is the opposite of any I've normally taken. Usually, discovery is dumped on your desk, because it's normally good for [the prosecution]. They usually try to shove it down your throat."
Zimmerman’s attorneys have long claimed Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” defense in this case, saying Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense.
But Martin’s attorneys say the opposite.
"Trayvon Martin was defending himself. He had every right to stand his ground to defend himself," a lawyer defending Martin’s family said of the photograph, adding it adds nothing to the case. They have argued that Martin was simply cutting through a gated community after buying snacks at a convenience store during halftime of a basketball game.
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