SANFORD, Florida (CBS NEWS/AP) -- A nationally renowned gunshot wound expert testified
Tuesday that Trayvon Martin's gunshot wound was consistent with accused
murderer George Zimmerman's story that the teen was on top of him and
leaning over when he was shot.
Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain standing trial in the
teen's shooting death, has said Martin attacked him and was on top of
him just before the fatal gunshot. Prosecutors have argued Zimmerman
profiled the teen and started the confrontation.
the stand for the defense, Dr. Vincent Di Maio, a forensic pathologist,
said that Martin's gunshot wound was consistent with the gun's muzzle
being against his clothing, which would have been two to four inches
away from his body when he was shot.
"If you lean over someone,
you notice the clothing tends to fall away from the chest," Di Maio
said. "If instead you're lying on your back and someone shoots you, the
clothing is going to be against your chest."
mother, Sybrina Fulton, left the courtroom as Di Maio testified. The
jury saw graphic photos of Trayvon Martin's gunshot wounds in court.
was the aggressor in the Feb. 26, 2012 altercation in the Sanford,
Fla., gated community has been a key issue in Zimmerman's second-degree
murder trial, which is in its eleventh day of testimony.
said that Trayvon Martin would have been alive for about one to three
minutes following the gunshot wound, but would have been able to move
and speak for at least ten to fifteen seconds.
The testimony was a
contrast to the remarks of a medical examiner who conducted Martin's
autopsy, who said that the teen could have been alive for up to ten
minutes after the gunshot. Dr. Shiping Bao also said he didn't believe
Martin would have been able to move after receiving the shot.
have said that George Zimmerman told investigators he moved Martin's
arms away from his body after the gunshot, although Martin was found
with his arms tucked beneath his chest. Answering a question from
defense attorney Don West, Di Maio said that someone may be able to move
their arms after receiving a similar gunshot.
injuries indicate "you've had severe force, it's not just like you
bumped your head or something like that," Di Maio said.
injuries were consistent with having his head hit against concrete more
than once, Di Maio said. The former neighborhood watch captain said the
teen smashed his head into a sidewalk several times before he claimed
he acted in self-defense.
The testimony was a contrast to another
medical examiner, Dr. Valerie Rao, who testified for prosecutors that
Zimmerman had "insignificant" injuries that didn't appear to result from
multiple impacts against concrete.
Pointing to photos of
Zimmerman's injures, Di Maio also said Zimmerman's nose may have been
fractured, an injury he said was consistent with being punched in the
nose, as Zimmerman said Martin did.
Di Maio also said it's
possible to receive trauma without visible wounds. "You can get severe
trauma to the head without external injuries, actually," Di Maio said.
Maio also explained that if clothes taken into evidence are wet and
packaged in plastic bags, and not paper bags, it can ruin the samples
since "bacteria multiplies and you get mold and it stinks to high
heaven." Defense attorneys believe DNA evidence found on Martin's hooded
sweatshirt and undershirt was degraded since the clothing wasn't
Di Maio was still on the stand early Tuesday afternoon after court recessed for lunch.