The Washington Post

Key moments in the George Zimmerman trial

A few of the key moments from George Zimmerman’s trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin:

1. KNOCK, KNOCK: Defense attorney Don West starts his opening statement with a joke that falls flat: “Knock, Knock. Who’s there? George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman who? Congratulations, you’re on the jury.”

2. CREEPY-ASS CRACKER: Rachel Jeantel, the brash Miami high-schooler who was on the phone with Martin in the moments before his death, says he told her a “creepy-ass cracker” was following him.

3. THE BLUNDER: Prosecutors slip up, failing to object when lead police investigator Chris Serino testifies that he believes Zimmerman’s account. The next day, Judge Debra Nelson tells jurors to ignore the answer. But can that bell be unrung?

4. DUELING PARENTS: Gladys and Robert Zimmerman Sr. testify that the voice screaming for help in the background of a chilling 911 call belongs to their son. Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother and father, testify the voice is their son’s.

5. THE WALK OFF: Judge Nelson leaves the courtroom just before 10 pm, ending a marathon evidence hearing while West is still pleading with her for more time to prepare legal arguments.

6. POTBOILER: Defense attorneys win the right to tell jurors that a small amount of THC, the active chemical in marijuana, was in Martin’s system at the time of his death. Thethey decide not to use the information.

7. THE FIGHTER: Defense attorneys blocked from introducing text messages found on Martin’s cellphone. “Why you always fighting,” a friend texts him, according to a defense expert.

8. ANIME: The judge rules that an elaborate defense animated re-enactment (made with a wireless motion capture suit) cannot be introduced as evidence. “This is a murder trial. It isn’t ‘Casablanca.’ It isn’t ‘Iron Man,’” prosecutor Richard Mantei says.

9. DOLLHOUSE: Prosecutor John Guy and defense attorney Mark O’Mara take turns straddling a gray, foam mannequin to demonstrate what might have happened during the fight between Zimmerman and Martin. “Can I borrow your doll?” O’Mara asks Guy.

10. THE NEIGHBOR: Olivia Bertalan, a Zimmerman neighbor who was the victim of a home invasion, testifies that Zimmerman gave her a dog to comfort her after the crime. Defense attorneys called Bertalan in an attempt to show that Zimmerman’s neighborhood was plagued by crime.

Manuel Roig-Franzia is a writer in The Washington Post’s Style section. His long-form articles span a broad range of subjects, including politics, power and the culture of Washington, as well as profiling major political figures and authors.

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