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Witness says he saw Trayvon Martin on top of Zimmerman


Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank / AP

Witness Jonathan Good watches prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda demonstrate the possible fight positions of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, during the 15th day of the Zimmerman trial in Seminole circuit court, in Sanford, Fla., on Friday, June 28, 2013. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Updated Friday, June 28, 2013 | 5 p.m.

George Zimmerman Trial

George Zimmerman, left, stands with defense counsel Mark O'Mara during closing arguments in his trial at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, in Sanford, Fla., July 12, 2013. Launch slideshow »

SANFORD, Fla. — Two neighbors and a police officer gave accounts Friday in George Zimmerman's murder trial that seemed to bolster the neighborhood watch volunteer's contention that he was on his back and being straddled by Trayvon Martin during their confrontation.

Neighbor Jonathan Good said it appeared the unarmed teen was straddling Zimmerman, while another neighbor, Jonathan Manalo, said Zimmerman seemed credible when he said immediately after the fight that he had shot Martin in self-defense. Officer Tim Smith testified that Zimmerman's backside was covered in grass and wetter than his front side.

All three were called as witnesses for prosecutors who are trying to convict him of second-degree murder.

Good, who had perhaps the best view of any witness, said he did not see anyone's head being slammed into the concrete sidewalk, as Zimmerman claims Martin did to him. Good initially testified that it appeared "there were strikes being thrown, punches being thrown," but during detailed questioning he said he saw only "downward" arm movements being made.

Zimmerman has claimed that he fatally shot 17-year-old Martin last year in self-defense as the Miami-area teen was banging his head into the concrete sidewalk behind the townhomes in a gated community.

Under prosecution questioning, Good said he never saw anyone being attacked that way during the fight between Zimmerman and Martin.

"I couldn't see that," Good said moments later while being cross-examined.

Good said he heard a noise behind his townhome in February 2012, and he saw what looked like a tussle when he stepped out onto his patio to see what was happening.

He said he yelled: "What's going on? Stop it."

Good testified he saw a person in black clothing on top of another person with "white or red" clothing. He said he couldn't see faces but it looked like the person on the bottom had lighter skin. Martin was black and was wearing a dark hoodie. Zimmerman identifies as Hispanic and was wearing a red jacket. Good was back inside calling 911 when he heard a gunshot.

"It looked like there were strikes being thrown, punches being thrown," Good said.

Later, under cross-examination, he said that it looked like the person on top was straddling the person on bottom in a mixed-martial arts move known as "ground and pound." When defense attorney Mark O'Mara asked him if the person on top was Martin, Good said, "Correct, that's what it looked like." Good also said the person on the bottom yelled for help.

Zimmerman, 29, could get life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder. Zimmerman followed Martin in his truck and called a police dispatch number before he and the teen got into a fight.

Zimmerman has denied the confrontation had anything to do with race, as Martin's family and their supporters have claimed.

Manalo, whose wife had testified earlier in the week, was the first neighbor to step outside and see what happened with his flashlight after he heard a gunshot. He took cellphone photos of a bloodied Zimmerman and Martin's body, and those photos were shown to jurors on Friday. Manalo also described Martin's hands as being under his body.

Manalo said Zimmerman didn't appear shocked and acted calmly. After police officers arrived and handcuffed Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer asked Manalo to call his wife and tell her what happened.

Manalo started to tell Zimmerman's wife that her husband had been involved in a shooting and was being questioned by police when "he cut me off and said, 'Just tell her I shot someone,'" Manalo said.

Under cross-examination, Manalo said when he asked Zimmerman what happened, the neighborhood watch volunteer told him, "I was defending myself and I shot him."

"From what you could tell at that moment, that seemed completely true?" asked defense attorney Don West.

"Yes," Manalo said.

Smith, the police officer, testified that when he saw Zimmerman after the shooting, the neighborhood watch volunteer's backside was covered in grass and wetter than his front side, bolstering defense attorneys' contention that Martin was on top of Zimmerman.

As he walked to the squad car after he had been handcuffed, Zimmerman told the officer that "he was yelling for help and nobody would come help him," Smith said.

"It was almost a defeated ... a confused look on his face," Smith said.

Smith said Zimmerman described himself as "lightheaded" during the drive to Sanford Police Station but declined an offer to take him to a hospital.

The physician's assistant who treated Zimmerman the next day said that Zimmerman complained of feeling nauseated upon reflecting what had happened. But Lindzee Folgate attributed that to psychological factors rather than any physical condition. She also said it appeared his nose was broken, but it was impossible to say for sure since no X-rays were taken. She recommended he see an ear-and-nose doctor and a psychologist.

When O'Mara asked if abrasions on his head were consistent with someone who had his had slammed into concrete, Folgate said, "it could be consistent, yes."

She also testified that Zimmerman had written on a form reciting his medical history that he was exercising three times a week by doing mixed martial arts, a statement that prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asked her to repeat.

Paramedic Stacy Livingston, who responded to the shooting scene, testified Zimmerman had a swollen, bleeding nose and two cuts on the back of his head an inch long. When O'Mara asked if Zimmerman should have been concerned with his medical well-being because of his injuries, Livingston said, "Possibly."

When photos of Martin's body were shown on a courtroom projector during Livingston's testimony, Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, looked away and blinked back tears.

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  1. Martin-Zimmerman fight?

    What fight? You mean the stalking of this young child who was doing NOTHING wrong and walking home from buying an Ice Tea and Skittles?

    You mean the stalking of this child by some bigoted disgusting vile animal who stalked this child b/c of this animalistic vile bigot's preconceived notions of the color of a person's skin pigmentation?

    Do you mean the stalking of the child who had snacks in his possession being stalked by a vile bigot despite being instructed by 911 operator NOT to follow the child?

    Do you mean the stalking of a child by a disgusting vermin who ignored instructions to not pursue the child and still confronted the child while armed with a gun?

    This was a child who was doing absolutely NOTHING wrong and has NEVER been accused of doing anything wrong. There was NOTHING suspicious about this child other than the skin pigmentation.

    An innocent young child was murdered in cold blood. This child was doing NOTHING wrong and has never been accused of doing something wrong.

    May this child rest in peace and his family have the strength and resolve to get through the loss of their child.

  2. And let me add one more thing. To those gun advocates. Don't lower yourself to this murderer's level.

    This has nothing to do with gun rights.

    This was a calculated killing of a child. There is absolutely nothing more to this. Just like the killer OJ Simpson - murder is murder.

    Don't be blinded by bias or prejudice. This was cold blooded murder of a child.

    Whether it was a child with black skin with a hat, or some white kid with long hair/colored hair/gothic/ whatever the case may be. This child was just that - a child with snacks in possession.

    See it for what it is - murder of a child.

  3. Supporters of this child killer don't see the blatant prejudice.

    Ignore the simple fact that this child was doing nothing wrong. That he was stalked by this gun wielding bigot who ignored instructions to stop stalking the child.

    This child killer is just that a child killer. Make yourself feel better by referring to this child's size.

    The irony in this - the stalker is following this child who is doing nothing wrong - he is accosted by this killer - and now these mental midgets blame the child for defending himself against a gun wielding bigot who stalked him?

  4. This has absolutely nothing to do with gun rights. You don't have a right to go around stalking children with guns then claiming the child was oversized and killing the child.

    This child has never been accused of doing anything wrong. The facts are undisputed - he was stalked by his killer, even after the killer was instructed by 911 operators to stop pursuing the child.

    If anything, the defense of this killer is - "He wasn't doing anything wrong either."

    But let us not ignore undisputed facts: He had a gun, he initiated the stalking, he called police, he was instructed by 911 operator to STOP pursuing the child, he had the burden of justifying his suspicions NOT the child.

    But he failed to do that. Instead, he gave chase and continued pursuing the child despite being instructed NOT to pursue.

    The events that lead to this child's death all started when this killer initiated his stalking of the child.

    The burden is on the killer not the child.

  5. To the comment about "acting like an animal." That is more reflective of those resorting to making online threats of physical violence.

  6. Seems there are a lot of very strong OPINIONS by a lot of people that have no more information than they have read in the press.

    No real facts and no first hand knowledge of what really happened that night. Only what they have "heard" mostly on the Internet and on T.V.

    I guess that is why we still have courts, so we can hope that the FACTS come out and the jury will decide.


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  8. Chunky says:

    Describing young Mr. Martin as a "child" is not accurate except under the law but he could be tried as an adult under certain circumstances. A teenager would be more accurate.

    The average "child" does not have a cell phone quite yet, nor do they have a history of drug use and nor do they have photos on their cell phone of themselves brandishing a handgun.

    All of that though is irrelevant at this point. What is most relevant is who started the verbal assault, who made the first physical attempt and whether Mr. Zimmerman felt in fear for his life.

    The media and sympathizers of Mr. Martin only showed photos of him as a 12 year old, not a 17 year old and there's a huge physical and mental difference.

    We are finally hearing eyewitness accounts instead of media and family accounts of the incident.

    Win or lose it's going to be hard for Mr. Zimmerman to get a fair trial based on facts instead of emotion.

    No winners here. Thus the importance Chunky stresses to current and potential CCW holders that you may be right under the law but you may lose everything in the use of deadly force. Only Mr. Zimmerman can answer the question whether he'd do the same thing over again in the exact same way especially if that means he spends time incarcerated.

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  9. Dlight,

    You mostly misunderstand the situation. Please review why both people found themselves where they were on that fateful evening.

    The back story is important - there was no stalking of a child as you described. There was a man on watch patrol - ask yourself why.

    Good luck.


  10. Zimmerman has no civil authority to stop, question, confront or demand identification anyone. The Police told him over the radio not to follow Martin and he chose to disobey legal authority. This demonstrates his intent very clearly.

  11. Martin-Zimmerman fight?
    What fight? You mean the violent attack of this neighborhood watchman who was doing NOTHING wrong and protecting the law abiding, upstanding citizens of the community?
    You mean the assault of this hero by some gangland hoodlum animal who attacked this man b/c of this punk gansta wanna-be preconceived notions that 'no one disses me' and 'I do whatever I want'?
    Do you mean the brutal attack of the man who had security patrol items in his possession being jumped by a scumbag delinquent loser despite the loser being a guest in the area and the adult being the authority figure?
    Do you mean the blind side sucker punch attack by a disgusting vermin who dressed like a prison thug parole burglar?
    This was a man who was doing absolutely NOTHING wrong and has NEVER been accused of doing anything wrong. There was NOTHING wrong with GZ protecting the community from theft from opportunistic junkie teenagers.
    A teenage thug was shot after he attacked the wrong person. This person was doing NOTHING wrong and has never been accused of doing something wrong.
    May this community experience a drop in burglary, theft, vandalism, drug sales and violent beatings.

  12. Agree wholeheartedly w/VegasDlight...

    If GZ had followed the instructions of the 911 operator, T.M. would still be alive and GZ would not be in court.
    It was not his 'job' to run down T.M. & accuse him of 'being shifty', as it were...
    Wannabe gets caught with his britches too big, his personal prejudices off base & using deadly force once he got caught in a compromising position by the younger, stronger T.M.

    I will add that the Florida prosecutor has presented 2 good witnesses for the defense; they could have been okay for the prosecution, but he handled them BADLY. What a schmuck.

  13. @ cwcommish...It never fails that those who support Zimmerman can not do so without spouting lies like this one.....

    "This was a man who was doing absolutely NOTHING wrong and has NEVER been accused of doing anything wrong...."

    Zimmerman has been accused numerous time of being violence. He has a restraining order filed against him for this behavior. And let's not forget that pesky little CONVICTION for assaulting a police officer Zimmerman's past.

  14. Unconscionable to put Z on trial when it was clearly self defense--per the Sheriff (who resigned) and per the investigators involved. Z looks like he hasn't been sleeping nights, has been under psychological counseling, has gained lots of weight, not working.... OK, so young Martin's parents face the tough reality of acknowledging that their son was not a nice, good kid but a racist, violent delinquent. It remains tragic that they lost their son but it's a DIRECT RESULT of his behavior. Further, let me mention to the racists who allege it's ok for a kid (tall, fit, runner, MMA) to loiter and wander around in private yards....that is NOT OK. Homeowners have been known to shoot....even before someone breaks and enters. I'm not saying that would be all right but it has happened.

  15. gmag and pals: NO ONE gave instructions or orders to Z. The operator/dispatcher clearly testified that they do not encourage following BECAUSE of THEIR LIABILITY if anything happens. It is NOT against the law for a resident to walk through his community. Z repeatedly phoned authorities and did NOT get into vigilantism. Chubby, not-fit 30-something gonna jump a young, fit, tall, fast kid....nah, doesn't happen. PRESUMPTION of innocence.

  16. UNLV UNDER grad: you think it serves some purpose to incite racial violence because Z will be vindicated? You will have blood on your hands if anyone is killed, including the personal safety of Z, his family, his friends, forever after.

  17. stop the bs and others: I've been on juries and it is scary where some people come from. Don't know how I get selected for juries since I was law enforcement. Attorneys, in selection process, have asked me if any relatives or close relatives are in law enforcement but they don't ask if I AM/WAS. Anyhow, I recall one jury where we were going for guilty on 3 guys who did a home invasion and beat up the two husbands. We asked for re-read of jury instructions because some could not figure out that CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY included damage done in the commission of a felony. In that case, a couple jurors wanted to let them off saying the two victims could have just left. I was very young and rather indignantly said "and leave their wives and kids" to the invaders who wanted to party? Convicted on all counts. I was juror number one on a capital case in Vegas. Convicted, death sentence. Judge Shearing was in charge and later as a supreme justice she vacated the death penalty on Ed Bennett who with a friend walked into a 7-11 and executed the cashier--after trying armed robberies at several places in Vegas. His friend then coped a plea--after defense attorneys asked to speak to Ed's jury--they asked if we'd do death penalty on the friend who was "influenced" by Ed. I said yes we would--'cause the older, felon friend knew well what the intention was. Z clearly should be cleared. Think a bunch of Florida civil "servants" SHOULD RESIGN and/or be sued for misconduct in office. It sure appears that the arrest and charges were in response to politicians claiming racism by Z. Funny, huh, it was Trayvon who called Z a "creepy axxed cracker." MANSLAUGHTER, even involuntary, is NOT appropriate. Someone on top of you beating you to a pulp.... Extremely reasonable and likely to be concerned for your life. And, as even with pre-mediated murder, if a second before you decide NOT to do it, you are NOT guilty of premeditation--even if your accomplice proceeds. Therefore, EVEN IF Z followed the kid.... We might also NOTE THAT Z's path back to his truck might have LOOKED LIKE he was following the unseen Martin.

  18. Yah sure, guys. Can the rest of you envision a situation where self defense results in shooting and killing as the only alternative? (Not everyone is as big and strong as you are.) Home invasion with guns drawn? Irrational, brutal violence that doesn't stop? No one answers your cries for help? Presumption of innocence until the prosecution can PROVE you didn't..... Here's another thought: You're the prosecutor and you know the charges should have never been brought. You try to make what you can out of the case realizing you are harming a defendant who had no choice.... And then, what it you are successful at CONVICTING AN INNOCENT MAN.

  19. Ms. Jeantel was perhaps as good a witness as anyone else. The FACT is that the prosecution does NOT HAVE A CASE against Z. There would be a case against Martin. Ms. J clearly demonstrated at least part of Martin's social circle and ATTITUDE towards authority and towards "crackers." Racist, rebellious, unconcerned with fairness. OK, young adults frequently need serious guidance. So where was Martin's guidance. Now his mother and father can't even seem to consider REALITY that there son was not the little angel they thought. They did NOT deal with the real world and teach him reasonable behavior in rather routine circumstances. For a kid to react as a violent macho dude attempting to murder Z because he THOUGHT he might be followed.....