Zimmerman trial: Defense could rest case Wednesday - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Zimmerman trial: Defense could rest case Wednesday

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Defense attorney Don West, center, accused the state of wasting time during George Zimmerman's trial Tuesday. Pictured seated are attorney Mark O'Mara, left, and Zimmerman, right. (Source: CNN) Defense attorney Don West, center, accused the state of wasting time during George Zimmerman's trial Tuesday. Pictured seated are attorney Mark O'Mara, left, and Zimmerman, right. (Source: CNN)

SANFORD, FL (RNN/CNN) – The judge ruled Wednesday that an animated recreation and texts attributed to Trayvon Martin would not be allowed in the George Zimmerman trial.

Defense attorneys argued the animation could help the jury understand how the fatal confrontation between Martin and Zimmerman began. The prosecution argued it was not based on the evidence.

Judge Debra Nelson said it could not be proven the texts came from Martin.

Attorneys for Zimmerman could wrap up their case as soon as Wednesday, with closing arguments from both sides to follow. Proceedings in front of the jury began with Dennis Root, a retired law enforcement official, called to the witness stand.

Root gave testimony as an expert on defensive tactics as part of the defense's claim that Zimmerman fatally shot Martin in self defense.

"Mr. Martin was physically active and capable person. Mr. Zimmerman is an individual who is by no stretch of the imagination an athlete. I believe it's my opinion that physical abilities he would find himself lacking in compared to Mr. Martin," he said.

A foam dummy made an appearance in the trial for both the prosecution and defense to use it to demonstrate the fight between Zimmerman and Martin.

Root testified that he believes, based on Zimmerman's injuries, that Martin was the aggressor on top.

"How about this? How about somebody resisting the attempt, the injuries...the two lacerations? Could that have come from cement? If somebody was resisting me pushing down like this?," Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara asked. "Would you expect, based upon your training and experience, somebody getting their head struck on cement would attempt to resist it happening?"

"I believe so. I believe it was a culmination of downward force, whether it was from pushing or striking," Root said. "And I know clearly by the injuries to his face. And that would drive him back. His head striking hard into the concrete. Normally human instinct would try to move away from the pain stimulus which would just create another gap to be driven back."

On Tuesday, the trial went on so long that the lights in the courtroom – set on a timer – went out. Zimmerman had to get permission from the judge to stay in court past his 10 p.m. curfew.

Defense attorney Don West criticized the prosecution for wasting time.

"It's simply unfair for Mr. Zimmerman not to be able to put on his defense because of the state's tactics," West said. "It was a strategy, obviously, because they had it in January and kept it from us."

Earlier in the day, animator Daniel Schumaker took the stand to talk about the animations, which he created using crime scene evidence and technology used in movies like Iron Man.

The defense wanted jurors to hear about the text messages, which reportedly showed the 17-year-old had been in fights and wanted to purchase a gun.

Another moment that may prove significant came during testimony from forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent Di Maio. His account gave Zimmerman's story validation, the defense said.

"The clothing itself had to be 2 to 4 inches away from the body at the time Mr. Martin was shot," Di Maio said. "This is consistent with Mr. Zimmerman's account that he, that Mr. Martin, was over him, leaning forward at the time he was shot."

Zimmerman, 29, was accused of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Martin, 17. The former neighborhood watch volunteer was not charged for nearly a month, leading to nationwide protests and attention on the incident.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. CNN contributed to this report.

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