Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Trayvon Martin's DNA isn't found on gun used in his fatal shooting - Detroit Free Press

ORLANDO â€" Forensic tests made public Wednesday show that George Zimmerman's was the only DNA that could be identified on the grip of the gun used to fatally shoot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The results rule out Martin's DNA from being on the gun's grip. Zimmerman's DNA also was identified on the gun's holster, but no determination could be made as to whether Martin's DNA was on the gun's holster, according to the report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting Martin during a confrontation in a gated community in Sanford in February. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense.

A delay in Zimmerman's arrest led to nationwide protests.

The question of whose DNA is on the gun and holster could play a role in Zimmerman's defense.

Zimmerman says Martin had been on top of him, slamming his head against the ground and smothering his mouth and nose with his hand and arm when he grabbed his gun from a holster on his waist before Martin could get it. He shot the teenager once in the chest.

Other documents released by prosecutors Wednesday include an interview with the clerk of a convenience store where Martin purchased Skittles and a can of iced tea moments before his confrontation with Zimmerman. The clerk said in the interview, more than a month after Martin was shot, that he didn't remember Martin.

"To be honest, I don't even remember that day," said the clerk, whose name was redacted from the audio interview.


Associated Press writers Kyle Hightower in Orlando and Terry Spencer in Miami contributed to this report.

Trayvon Martin's DNA not found on George Zimmerman's gun, forensic tests say - CBS News

Trayvon Martin (left) and George Zimmerman

(Credit: CBS/AP)

(CBS/AP) ORLANDO, Fla. - George Zimmerman's DNA was the only one that could be identified on the grip of the gun used to fatally shoot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, according to forensic tests made public Wednesday.

Pictures: George Zimmerman crime scene photos

The results rule out Martin's DNA from being on the gun's grip. Zimmerman's DNA also was identified on the gun's holster. The tests were inconclusive as to whether Martin's DNA was on the gun's holster.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting Martin during a confrontation in a gated community in Sanford in February. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense.

Zimmerman says Martin was on top of him, slamming his head against the ground when he grabbed his gun from a holster before Martin could get it.

Other records being released today include a photo of Zimmerman's head that was taken by a witness following a confrontation with Martin.

Complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case on CBS News


George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin case update: Prosecutors releasing more ... - WPTV

Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Prosecutors are releasing more records in the case of a former neighborhood watch leader charged with fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The records being released Wednesday include a photo of former neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman's head that was taken by a witness following a confrontation with Martin.

The documents include Zimmerman's school records, other crime scene photos and Martin's cell phone records. They also include emails from the Sanford Police Department, the agency that initially investigated Martin's death.

Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder for fatally shooting Martin during a confrontation in a gated community in Sanford last February.

Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense.

The delay in Zimmerman's arrest led to nationwide protests.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

State moves to suspend Shellie Zimmerman's concealed weapons permit - Orlando Sentinel

By Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel


8:41 p.m. EST, September 18, 2012

The state has published notice that it is on the verge of suspending Shellie Zimmerman's concealed weapons permit.

She's the wife of George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, in Sanford, Feb. 26, setting off weeks of civil rights rallies across the country.

Both Zimmermans have concealed weapons permits, according to authorities, but the Florida Division of Licensing bought a legal notice in the Sanford Herald Sunday, officially notifying her that it was on the verge of suspending hers.

It is taking that action after Special Prosecutor Angela Corey charged Shellie Zimmerman with perjury, a felony, something that allows the state to temporarily yank her gun permit.

If convicted, she could lose it permanently.

Shellie Zimmerman, 25, is accused of lying to a judge when she testified at her husband's first bond hearing April 20 that the family was broke. In reality, she and her husband had $130,000 that they had been shifting from account to account for several days, usually in $9,990 increments.

The money had come from donors who had made contributions via the Internet after George Zimmerman and his family created a website, saying he was innocent and asking for support.

Shellie Zimmerman had been scheduled to appear in court in Sanford Wednesday for a routine "docket sounding" hearing in her perjury case, but defense attorney Kelly Sims wrote in an email to the Orlando Sentinel that she would not appear. He will, he wrote, and will ask for a continuance.

A docket sounding is a hearing at which attorneys for both sides tell the judge, in this case Debra S. Nelson, whether they are ready for trial.

Shellie Zimmerman is currently free on $1,000 bail. The legal notice in the Sanford Herald says she may contest her weapons permit suspension within 21 days.

George Zimmerman, 28, currently free on $1 million bond and awaiting trial on a second-degree murder charge. He is banned by one of his bond conditions from carrying a gun.

rstutzman@tribune.com or 407-650-6394

George Zimmerman's friends in book: 'Guilty or innocent, he will lose' - Orlando Sentinel

By Jeff Weiner and Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel


6:52 p.m. EST, September 18, 2012

In a new book, the couple who hid George Zimmerman for weeks after he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin reveal personal details of what life was like for Zimmerman as he became, according to friends Mark and Sondra Osterman, "the most hated man in America."

The Osterman's book, titled "Defending Our Friend: The Most Hated Man in America," explores Zimmerman's life in the immediate aftermath of the Feb. 26 shooting in Sanford.

That night, Zimmerman "was quiet, subdued, but stunned, almost as if in shock," the book says. Recounting the shooting, he described Trayvon first as a "tall man," then later as a "young black guy," Mark Osterman writes. The book says George and Shellie Zimmerman stayed with the Ostermans that night, and did almost nothing without them in the weeks after the shooting.

The book's version of Zimmerman's account includes a detail that could help explain an aspect of his story: Zimmerman has said he, not Trayvon, was the one heard crying for help before the shooting, but also that Trayvon was suffocating him.

According to Osterman, Zimmerman said he "got both of my hands around [Trayvon's] one wrist and took his hand off my mouth long enough for me to shout again for help." Osterman also writes that Zimmerman was told a Florida Department of Law Enforcement comparison confirmed, "by a 90 to 95% match," the voice â€" captured on a 911 call during the altercation â€" was Zimmerman's.

Evidence records released in the case so far show FBI sound experts determined the call's quality was too poor for valid identification.

In the weeks that followed, the Ostermans kept Zimmerman's presence in their home a secret. He took "copious notes" about the shooting, the Ostermans write, and grappled with guilt â€" Zimmerman "felt he had committed an 'unpardonable sin.'"

The Ostermans write Zimmerman's "lowest point" was March 23, when he heard that the New Black Panthers had put a $10,000 bounty on his head. Zimmerman left the Ostermans' home that day, the book says, for fear of endangering them and his wife.

The book, available for $14.99 online, also reveals Mark Osterman's links to local law enforcement. He repeatedly mentions officers recognizing him, and describes then-Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee as a father figure who was once his lieutenant at the Sheriff's Office.

The book directs harsh criticism at the media for reporting information the Ostermans say was false or misleading. The Ostermans maintain their friend's innocence, but say the Zimmermans' lives, due to intense media scrutiny, will likely never return to normalcy.

"We have sadly concluded that George cannot win," the books says. "No matter the outcome of the trial, whether found guilty or innocent, he will lose."

In an interview Tuesday, Mark Osterman told the Sentinel he wrote the book hoping to "calm the public's desire for revenge against George... we're doing nothing but trying to help George and Shellie and put them in a better light."

Zimmerman's legal team tweeted last week that Osterman's book "although well-intentioned" is "ill-timed" and "NOT approved by the defense." However, Osterman told the Sentinel that Zimmerman gave him permission to write it before his arrest in April. He said he has not talked to George Zimmerman since his arrest, on lead defense lawyer Mark O'Mara's advice.

jeweiner@tribune.com or 407-420-5171

George Zimmerman's friend in book: 'Guilty or innocent, he will lose' - Orlando Sentinel

By Jeff Weiner and Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel


6:52 p.m. EST, September 18, 2012

In a new book, the couple who hid George Zimmerman for weeks after he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin reveal personal details of what life was like for Zimmerman as he became, according to friends Mark and Sondra Osterman, "the most hated man in America."

The Osterman's book, titled "Defending Our Friend: The Most Hated Man in America," explores Zimmerman's life in the immediate aftermath of the Feb. 26 shooting in Sanford.

That night, Zimmerman "was quiet, subdued, but stunned, almost as if in shock," the book says. Recounting the shooting, he described Trayvon first as a "tall man," then later as a "young black guy," Mark Osterman writes. The book says George and Shellie Zimmerman stayed with the Ostermans that night, and did almost nothing without them in the weeks after the shooting.

The book's version of Zimmerman's account includes a detail that could help explain an aspect of his story: Zimmerman has said he, not Trayvon, was the one heard crying for help before the shooting, but also that Trayvon was suffocating him.

According to Osterman, Zimmerman said he "got both of my hands around [Trayvon's] one wrist and took his hand off my mouth long enough for me to shout again for help." Osterman also writes that Zimmerman was told a Florida Department of Law Enforcement comparison confirmed, "by a 90 to 95% match," the voice â€" captured on a 911 call during the altercation â€" was Zimmerman's.

Evidence records released in the case so far show FBI sound experts determined the call's quality was too poor for valid identification.

In the weeks that followed, the Ostermans kept Zimmerman's presence in their home a secret. He took "copious notes" about the shooting, the Ostermans write, and grappled with guilt â€" Zimmerman "felt he had committed an 'unpardonable sin.'"

The Ostermans write Zimmerman's "lowest point" was March 23, when he heard that the New Black Panthers had put a $10,000 bounty on his head. Zimmerman left the Ostermans' home that day, the book says, for fear of endangering them and his wife.

The book, available for $14.99 online, also reveals Mark Osterman's links to local law enforcement. He repeatedly mentions officers recognizing him, and describes then-Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee as a father figure who was once his lieutenant at the Sheriff's Office.

The book directs harsh criticism at the media for reporting information the Ostermans say was false or misleading. The Ostermans maintain their friend's innocence, but say the Zimmermans' lives, due to intense media scrutiny, will likely never return to normalcy.

"We have sadly concluded that George cannot win," the books says. "No matter the outcome of the trial, whether found guilty or innocent, he will lose."

In an interview Tuesday, Mark Osterman told the Sentinel he wrote the book hoping to "calm the public's desire for revenge against George... we're doing nothing but trying to help George and Shellie and put them in a better light."

Zimmerman's legal team tweeted last week that Osterman's book "although well-intentioned" is "ill-timed" and "NOT approved by the defense." However, Osterman told the Sentinel that Zimmerman gave him permission to write it before his arrest in April. He said he has not talked to George Zimmerman since his arrest, on lead defense lawyer Mark O'Mara's advice.

jeweiner@tribune.com or 407-420-5171

'Dr. Phil' show: We did not pay Trayvon Martin's parents - Orlando Sentinel (blog)

Dina Lohan, left, with daughter Lindsay last year. Photo credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Viewers will remember that the “Dr. Phil” show made a $600,000 donation to a foundation set up by George and Cindy Anthony, parents of Casey Anthony.

Dina Lohan, who was a guest Monday on “Dr. Phil,” received $50,000 from the show, ex-husband Michael Lohan tells RadarOnline.com. “I got absolutely nothing,” Michael Lohan told the website.

Did “Dr. Phil” get its money’s worth? The mother of Lindsay Lohan was “fidgeting throughout the train wreck appearance,” RadarOnline says.

The “Dr. Phil” show had no comment about the report of a payment to Dina Lohan.

But the report raised a question: Were the parents of Trayvon Martin paid for their appearance on “Dr. Phil” last week? No, said a show spokeswoman.

“Dr. Phil” airs at 3 p.m. weekdays on WOFL-Channel 35.