Zimmerman Provoked Confrontation
George Zimmerman pursued Florida teenager Trayvon Martin as he tried to run home and provoked a confrontation before shooting Martin in the chest during a struggle, prosecutors contended in court documents made public Thursday.
The allegations appear in a probable cause affidavit prepared in support of a second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman, who made his first court appearance earlier in the day in Sanford, Fla. A judge found probable cause to proceed with the case based on the affidavit, and Zimmerman entered a not guilty plea, his attorney said.
Zimmerman’s arraignment was set for May 29. The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
In the two-page affidavit, which was filed with the court Thursday afternoon, investigators for special prosecutor Angela Corey said Zimmerman “confronted Martin and a struggle ensued.” Zimmerman has claimed he shot in self-defense Feb. 26 in Sanford after Martin knocked him to the ground and began beating him about the face.
Read the probable cause affidavit (.pdf — includes offensive language)
Martin “was on his way back to the townhouse where he was living when he was profiled by George Zimmerman,” the affidavit says. “Martin was unarmed and was not committing a crime.”
Zimmerman called police for advice because he thought Martin was suspicious, the affidavit says. He was told to wait for officers to arrive, and when the police dispatcher repeated his instructions for Zimmerman to stop, Zimmerman disregarded him, it says.
During the police call, the affidavit says, Zimmerman “made reference to people he felt had committed and gotten away with breakins in his neighborhood.” While talking about Martin, it alleges, he referred to “these f—ing punks” and “these a–holes” who “always get away.”
During this time, the affidavit says, “Martin was on the phone with a friend and described to her what was happening. The witness advised that Martin was scared because he was being followed through the complex by an unknown male and didn’t know why.”
When Martin tried to run home, “Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and followed Martin,” it says.
“Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued,” it says.
A person’s cries for help could be heard in recorded 911 calls, the affidavit says, and Martin’s mother “identified the voice crying for help as Trayvon Martin’s voice.”
SOURCE: M. Alex Johnson, msnbc.com