New evidence released in Zimmerman case - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lead Investigator: Zimmerman incident 'avoidable'

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New video released Tuesday shows Zimmerman with bruises and bandages over cuts on his nose and head. (Source: Sanford Police Department/CNN) New video released Tuesday shows Zimmerman with bruises and bandages over cuts on his nose and head. (Source: Sanford Police Department/CNN)

SANFORD, FL (RNN) - The confrontation between neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman and 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was "ultimately avoidable," according to a report by the case's first lead investigator.

"On at least two occasions, George Michael Zimmerman failed to identify himself as a concerned resident or a neighborhood watch member to Trayvon Benjamin Martin," Sanford investigator Chris Serino wrote in a police report.

The report was part of a 29-page packet of evidence released by the prosecutor's office Tuesday.

Serino recommended 28-year-old Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter in the case.

The state charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder on April 11, more than a month after the Feb. 26 confrontation.

He noted that despite the fact Zimmerman told police dispatchers he was afraid of the teen, he left his car to find out where Martin was going.

"His actions are inconsistent with those of a person who has stated he was in fear of another subject," Serino wrote.

He also said Zimmerman's injuries were "marginally consistent" with the description the neighborhood watch captain gave of the fight.

Medical records given to police showed Zimmerman had suffered a wound on his scalp, a fractured nose and other various injuries.

"Neither a deadly weapon nor deadly force was deployed by Trayvon Martin," Serino wrote.

A timeline established by investigator Doris Singleton found the time between Zimmerman's initial call to report a suspicious person in his gated community and Martin's death was only about six minutes. Police arrived just 20 seconds after Zimmerman shot Martin.

Interviews with witnesses gave investigators a mixed picture of what had happened the night Zimmerman killed Martin.

One witness told police he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman throwing down punches "MMA (mixed martial arts) style," while Zimmerman cried out for help. He later told investigators he wasn't sure who was yelling for help.

At least two witnesses said they saw what appeared to be Zimmerman standing over Martin's body shortly after the single gunshot was fired.

Another witness was "adamant that there was no physical fighting at the time when the gunshot rang out."

However, documents show Zimmerman passed a lie detector test where he was asked if he feared for his life when he shot Martin and that he didn't start the confrontation.

Meanwhile, new video released Tuesday showed Zimmerman shortly after the confrontation.

The video showed Zimmerman with bruises and bandages over cuts on his nose and head. He was also recorded saying Martin "was just focused on my head."

Zimmerman has maintained that he acted in self-defense.

He will return to court June 29 for a bond hearing.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Trayvon Martin (SIDEBAR)

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SLIDESHOW: Outrage over Trayvon Martin case Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot and killed last month by George Zimmerman, self-appointed captain of an unofficial neighborhood watch, while walking to his father's.

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