George Zimmerman trial: Chris Serino, lead detective in case of Trayvon Martin killing, takes stand

10:44 PM, Jul 1, 2013   |    comments
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  • (CBS News)-- Investigators closely questioned murder suspect George Zimmerman about whether he followed Trayvon Martin and whether he was in fear for his life in a videotaped recording of a Feb. 29, 2012 police interview played in court Monday.

    "You basically jumped out of the car to see where he was going. That's not fear," said detective Chris Serino in the videotape.

    Serino, the lead detective in the investigation, took the stand Monday afternoon. The jury watched the videotaped interview as Serino testified. They also watched a video of Zimmerman's re-enactment of the fatal altercation taped by police in his Sanford, Fla. gated community the day after the shooting.

    Zimmerman is standing trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teen who was walking to his father's fiancee's home in the community. Zimmerman claims he shot the teen in self-defense.

    In the Feb. 29 interview tape, Serino and Det. Doris Singleton - who took the stand just before Serino - questioned Zimmerman about his assertion that he was afraid of Martin and didn't want to confront him.

    "Did you ask what this person was doing out there?" Serino asks Zimmerman on the tape.

    "No sir. I didn't want to confront him and it wasn't my job."

    On the video, the detectives also question him about the profanity-laced language he used on a non-emergency call to describe suspicious people in his neighborhood --- "f---ing punks" and "these ---holes."

    Zimmerman said he was referring to people that "victimize the neighborhood."

    On the tape, detectives played portions of the call.

    "You want to catch him. You want to catch the bad guy," Serino said. "F---ing punk can't get away. Did you pursue this kid? Did you want to catch him?"

    Zimmerman said no.

    Singleton asked Zimmerman again about why he left his car, implying the non-emergency call painted a different picture than the account he gave her immediately following the altercation. Earlier in the day Monday, the court heard an audio recording of the Feb. 26 interview as Singleton testified.

    "You did not tell me that you said 'Oh (expletive), he's running, and you got out of the car at the same time," Singleton said on the Feb. 29 videotape. "You told me the only reason you got out of the car was to get an address."

    Singleton repeatedly questioned Zimmerman as to whether he thought Martin might have been afraid of him.

    "Can you see how that might frighten him, you'd been following him? Do you think he was scared? Do you think he thought you were trying to hurt him?" asks Singleton in the video. 

    Monday evening, defense attorney Mark O'Mara was cross-examining Serino. Court was expected to recess at 6 p.m. and resume again Tuesday morning, with more testimony from Serino.

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