Day two of the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial was picture day. Haunting pictures of his dead victim, Trayvon Martin, proved too much for Trayvon’s still-grieving parents, who left the courtroom. But it was pictures of the neighborhood watch volunteer, particularly his hands, that proved most intriguing.
I can recite Zimmerman’s version of events from the rainy night of Feb. 26, 2012 by heart. He was fighting for his life in the wet grass. He was punched in the nose. His mouth and nose were covered by the unarmed 17-year-old. His head was slammed repeatedly into the sidewalk. Zimmerman defense attorney Don West said in his opening statement Monday that Trayvon “armed himself with the concrete sidewalk.”
But the pictures appeared to tell a different story.
Pictures 49 through 55 presented by Florida Assistant State Attorney John Guy showed Zimmerman in his clothes the night of the shooting. For a person rolling around on wet grass, his jeans and shoes appeared remarkably clean.
Pictures 46 to 48, 56 to 58 and 64 to 75 were all angles of Zimmerman’s head. Blood trails and lacerations can be seen on the back of his head. There is a visible injury on the bridge of his nose. But for a person who was in a life-or-death struggle, his face and ears appeared free of scratches.
Pictures 59 through 63 of Zimmerman’s hands were the most intriguing to me. The backs of his hands and his palms appeared pristine. For a person who said he and Trayvon fought, even struggled over Zimmerman’s gun, his hands appear not to have a scratch. Not a blemish. How can that be? What’s the explanation?
The burden is on the state to prove its case against Zimmerman beyond a reasonable doubt. But there is more than a reasonable doubt that what the 29-year-old says happened in his encounter with Trayvon didn’t.
Follow Jonathan Capehart on Twitter.