New stories

Zimmerman Trial: Prosecution Scores

Prosecutors extracted testimony that Zimmerman profiled and followed the 17-year-old.

(Continued from Page 1)

They did so with Serino, as when defense attorney Mark O'Mara got the officer to concede that he'd found no "major" inconsistencies in the statements Zimmerman gave to police. That cuts hard against the prosecution's chief strategy to highlight holes in Zimmerman's account.

Serino resisted an effort by O'Mara to suggest that Trayvon was behaving suspiciously when first spotted by Zimmerman. Asked if he would have approached and questioned Trayvon for "standing in the rain, at night" and looking into a house -- as Zimmerman claims -- Serino said, "No."

Other testimony more clearly aided both sides. Jacksonville, Fla., medical examiner Valerie Rao testified for the state that Zimmerman's injuries were "not life-threatening" and "insignificant." She said his wounds, from the broken nose to a pair of cuts on the back of his head, could have been caused by about three blows -- not the 25 to 30 that Zimmerman has said he took from Trayvon.

O'Mara, in his cross-examination, succeeded in backing Rao off her initial testimony that Zimmerman's injuries could well have come from a single blow. Implying that Rao might be biased in favor of the state, O'Mara got her to concede that she got her current position due to a recommendation from Special Prosecutor Angela Corey, who brought the second-degree murder case against Zimmerman.

O'Mara also noted that the severity of Zimmerman's injuries is "irrelevant" to his self-defense claim, under state law.

Meanwhile, the prosecution filed a separate motion asking the judge to conduct an inquiry into a photo of defense attorney Don West's family posted on Instagram that appeared to mock the state's star witness, Rachel Jeantel.

Last week West squared off against Jeantel, whose demeanor in court and physical appearance caused wide controversy, in an intense cross-examination over two days. The photo shows West and his two daughters eating ice cream cones and was posted by daughter Molly West. The photo caption: "We beat stupidity celebration cones #zimmerman #defense #dadkilledit."

The photo was posted on the same day Jeantel testified and went viral late last week. Molly West's Instagram account appears to have been shut down.  

Assistant State Attorney Richard Mantei said in the motion that Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson must ensure that witnesses are treated with respect and not targeted with "inappropriate jokes."

A spokesman for the defense team has apologized for the post and called it "grossly insensitive."