Court hears Zimmerman’s first police interview


©2013 Pool / Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel

Singleton holds up a copy of a photo of the complex where the Trayvon Martin shooting took place on Feb. 26, 2012

Sanford Fla.-  Following George Zimmerman’s turning his self over to the police, the 29-year old facing a second-degree murder charge was noted as being “shocked” when he found out by law officials that teen Trayvon Martin, 17, was pronounced dead following shooting in a Sanford gated community last February.

During his first interview at the police station Zimmerman stated he decided to call the non emergency hotline because their were a lot of burglaries in the area and Trayvon looked suspicious, walking around leisurely in the rain with no intentions as if he was looking to get covered.  He also told Det. Doris Singleton that he was familiar with all the children and adults in his neighborhood and could not recognize the “suspect” as someone familiar.

“He said your going to die tonight.  He reached down to grab my firearm…and that’s when I shot him,” Zimmerman explained to Singleton, noting he screamed for help more than 50 times before shooting Martin as he banged his head repeatability to concrete.  “I didn’t think I hit him because he sat up.”

The prosecution played a videotape of Zimmerman’s first recorded interview as well as displayed a visual copy of his written report to go along with Singleton’s testimony.  Singleton stated she knew no facts of case going into her first interview with Zimmerman as she was directed to head straight to the police station and not the crime scene when she got a call at home on her day off.  She stated only an audio recording was taken, not video since she did not know how to work the system at the jail center.

In Zimmerman audio interview with Singleton, he stated that Trayvon circled his car and looked inside as he was on the phone with the police dispatch before disappearing away into the dark.  Zimmerman says it wasn’t until he was walking back to his car from trying to find a street sign that Trayvon popped up from behind the bushes and asked “you got a problem, homie?”

Zimmerman states he responded “no I don’t got no problem man” and reached down to his pocket so that he could call the police.

This is when Zimmerman states to Singleton that Trayvon told him “you do now” and punched him in the nose causing him to fall backwards allowing Trayvon to get on top of him before bashing his head to concrete.  Zimmerman also stated in his interview that once he shot Trayvon and was able to get from up under him, he held Trayvon arms separated until the police got there.

Using the written statement Zimmerman wrote the night of shooting, Assistant State attorney Bernie de la Rionda emphasized to the jury that Zimmerman refereed to Trayvon as “the suspect” on multiple accounts in his report.  He then asked Singleton if she had told Zimmerman to to use such language since law officials refer to suspected criminals as “the suspect” and she responded “no”.

In her testimony Singleton tells the story about the conversation her and Zimmerman had regarding her being a catholic due to the the fact she was wearing a cross.  When Singleton let Zimmerman know in fact she was a christian, he told her in his religion it’s always wrong to kill someone.  She responded to him that if he was telling her the truth she doesn’t think that “God meant you can’t save yourself” as he slung his head.

The jury listened very attentively and asked her to repeat the story taking notes the second time through.

In the cross examination, defense attorney Mark O’Mara got Singleton to testify that Zimmerman showed no ill will or hatred towards Martin during their interview.

“I think he was being straightforward,” stated Lead investigator Christopher F Serino, who at one point wanted to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter.  “I kept an open mind that he could be a victim.

Serino was a homicide investigator at the time of the shooting however now he is on patrol.  This is not unfamiliar in Florida as many officers do lateral transfers.  Although Serino felt Zimmerman had many “oddities” he noted nothing major changed in his story to cause suspicious.

Earlier in the day FBI agent  and Senior Scientist Dr. Hirotaka Nakasone stated that the scream sample from the Jenna Lauer call was not fit for comparison.  Nakasone noted that 30 second or more of natural sound is needed for speaker identification.  It appeared as if he set the scene for Trayvon’s parents to testify for the state with the ability to identity the voice off their teen son before the defense could cross exam him forcing him to note the same could go for Zimmerman family members.

For updates about everything happening inside the courthouse follow Danny Morales (@Danny_Morales_) and Ty Wright (@Tru2Ty) on Twitter.