Sanford police homicide investigators sought an arrest warrant against George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin, despite multiple witnesses testifying that it was Zimmerman who was being beaten by the Miami teen.
The capias filing indicates what investigators concluded after talking with multiple witnesses who heard or saw either the fight between the neighborhood watch coordinator and Martin, who was visiting the Retreat at Twin Lakes townhome complex with his father, whose girlfriend lived there.
In it, Investigator Chris Serino indicates that Zimmerman was to blame for the confrontation, and that he could have avoided it.
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“The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement, or conversely if he had identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialog in an effort to dispel each party’s concern,” the March 13 filing reads.
The report concludes that Martin was in the complex legitimately, and not committing a crime at the time of the confrontation, but that he fit a profile that had caused Zimmerman to make repeated calls to police to report “suspicious persons” in the months before the shooting, all of whom were young black males.
“Based on the facts and circumstances outlined in this narrative, I believe there exists probable cause for issuance of a capias charging George Zimmerman with manslaughter,” the report concludes.
Sanford police did not arrest Zimmerman on the night of the shooting, after consulting with the Seminole County State Attorney’s office and concluding they did not have sufficient grounds to charge him.
An investigation continued, however, with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement continuing to interview witnesses. Seminole County State Attorney Norman Wolfinger recused himself from the case on March 22nd, citing an unnamed potential appearance of conflict of interest, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott assigned Duval State Attorney Angela Corey to the investigation. Zimmerman was arrested and charged on April 11th.
Corey’s office re-interviewed more than 20 witnesses before charging Zimmerman with second degree murder on April 11th.
The evidence collected in the case, including hundreds of pages of discovery, were turned over to Zimmerman’s defense this week, and released to the media on Thursday.
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