Zimmerman Trial: State Running Out of Time

For much of the trial, the defense has beaten the prosecution at its own game.

Posted:
 
(Continued from Page 1)

Judge Debra Nelson broke in before Gorgone replied, saying, "Asking and answered."

Gorgone did testify that he recovered Zimmerman's DNA from a single blood stain near the bottom of the sweatshirt Trayvon was wearing under the hoodie. DNA also came from a sleeve cuff, but he said the sample wasn't sufficient to be identified as Zimmerman's.

On cross-examination by the defense, Gorgone acknowledged that Trayvon's clothes were improperly stored in a plastic bag while still wet. He said it's possible that the packaging degraded the DNA evidence.

Gorgone said he recovered some samples matching Trayvon's DNA from Zimmerman's clothes, but most of the DNA was Zimmerman's.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

For much of the trial, the defense has neutralized many of the state's witnesses and raised clear doubts about the strength of the case against Zimmerman. The state's most effective testimony came on Tuesday, when the lead police investigator said Zimmerman's description of Trayvon as a "[expletive] punk" showed "ill will and spite" -- a key element requirement for a conviction on second-degree murder under Florida law.

In other testimony on Wednesday, firearms expert Amy Siewert said the gunpowder burns on Trayvon's hoodie were consistent "with a contact shot." She clarified that her finding meant the gun muzzle was "touching" Trayvon's clothes when the weapon fired -- not "pressing," as the prosecution argued in its opening statement.

Jurors also heard testimony from two of Zimmerman's former professors at Seminole State College, who said he was a student in their courses on criminal law and investigations. One of them, attorney Alexis Carter Jr., extensively covered Florida's self-defense laws, including "Stand your ground."

"He was probably one of the better students in the class," Carter said of Zimmerman. Carter added that Zimmerman earned an A in the course.

The state says Zimmerman's coursework proves he knows more about criminal law than he claims. Zimmerman said in an interview with Fox News last year that he hadn't known about the "Stand your ground" law before the shooting.