The reports, among nearly 200 pages of newly released information, add to the fragmented portrait of what happened the night of Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., when Zimmerman shot the unarmed black 17-year-old, provoking nationwide debates over racial profiling and self-defense laws.
It is unclear how the new documents might bolster or undermine the state’s case against Zimmerman, who has a Peruvian mother and a white father.
The information includes laboratory reports that show Martin’s blood had traces of THC, a chemical that is found in marijuana. Toxicology reports also found blood under Martin’s fingernails, Zimmerman’s blood on Martin’s sweatshirt and Martin’s blood on Zimmerman’s red jacket.
Martin’s autopsy report shows that he had a small abrasion on his left ring finger, which might support Zimmerman’s account that Martin was punching him or the idea that Martin was fighting for his life. A photo of Zimmerman shows he had a bloody nose on the night of the clash; a paramedic reported that he had a one-inch laceration on his head and a forehead abrasion. The injuries, said the paramedic, produced “minor bleeding.”
A report from the Sanford police’s lead investigator, Christopher Serino, states that he thought there was probable cause to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter.
The new documents include crime-scene photographs, interviews with witnesses and medical reports, and provide the most detailed look yet at the evidence that prosecutors are using to build their case against Zimmerman, who was charged last month with second-degree murder.
He has said that Martin attacked him and that he shot the unarmed teenager in self-defense. Martin was walking home to the house where he was staying inside the gated Retreat at Twin Lakes — where Zimmerman also lived — when the incident occurred. Prosecutors allege that Zimmerman followed him and provoked a confrontation.
The bullet from Zimmerman’s 9mm Kel Tec semiautomatic entered Martin’s body on the left side of his chest, struck his heart and one of his lungs, and remained in his body, according to medical reports.
The documents include information that points to what some have characterized as a sloppy and incomplete police investigation, which initially resulted in no charges being filed. That sparked rallies across the county calling for Zimmerman’s arrest.
“It’s a mess,” said a state investigator in one interview in the documents, explaining that he was working on the case apart from the Sanford Police Department.