Skip to main content

Gun, drug texts feature in new Trayvon Martin shooting evidence

By Michael Pearson and David Mattingly, CNN
updated 1:21 PM EDT, Sun May 26, 2013
Trayvon Martin in a picture released on Thursday, May 23, by attorneys for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of killing Martin without provocation 14 months ago. The evidence, Zimmerman's attorneys say, paints a different picture of the 17-year-old than the one portrayed by his family and supporters. Trayvon Martin in a picture released on Thursday, May 23, by attorneys for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of killing Martin without provocation 14 months ago. The evidence, Zimmerman's attorneys say, paints a different picture of the 17-year-old than the one portrayed by his family and supporters.
HIDE CAPTION
New photos in Trayvon Martin case
New photos in Trayvon Martin case
New photos in Trayvon Martin case
New photos in Trayvon Martin case
New photos in Trayvon Martin case
New photos in Trayvon Martin case
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Prosecutors renew their motion for a gag order
  • George Zimmerman's attorney asks that his client's trial be delayed
  • Martin's family attorney says the new evidence is irrelevant and meant to prejudice a jury
  • Zimmerman, Martin's acknowledged killer, goes on trial next month

(CNN) -- Items taken from Trayvon Martin's cell phone -- including a text-message discussion of drug use and pictures of a gun and marijuana plants -- are among new details released Thursday by attorneys for the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of killing him without provocation 14 months ago.

The evidence, George Zimmerman's attorneys say, paints a different picture of the 17-year-old than the one portrayed by his family and supporters. Lead defense attorney Mark O'Mara says he will try to use the evidence if prosecutors attempt to attack Zimmerman's character during his trial on second-degree murder charges, set to begin next month.

Also Thursday, O'Mara filed motions in court. One asks for sanctions against the state for withholding evidence and for saying it didn't have more evidence when asked. The second requests that his client's trial be delayed.

Much of the new evidence disclosed Thursday in filings by Zimmerman's attorneys comes from Martin's cell phone, including photos showing a semiautomatic pistol and ammunition and small marijuana plants growing in pots.

A photo posted online Monday, December 3, shows George Zimmerman with blood on his nose and lips. His attorneys say it was taken the night unarmed teen Trayvon Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman, 28, faces second-degree murder charges in the death of Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. Other evidence photos were released earlier this year: A photo posted online Monday, December 3, shows George Zimmerman with blood on his nose and lips. His attorneys say it was taken the night unarmed teen Trayvon Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman, 28, faces second-degree murder charges in the death of Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. Other evidence photos were released earlier this year:
Trayvon Martin evidence
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
Photos: Trayvon Martin evidence Photos: Trayvon Martin evidence

In other pictures, Martin is pictured making obscene gestures in an apparent self-portrait, as well pictures showing him with friends and in other settings.

The text messages include a conversation from November 2011 in which he appears to say his mother has kicked him out of the house after "da police caught me outta skool."

"So you just turning into a lil hoodlum," the person with whom he is texting says.

"Naw, I'm a gangsta," the text message read.

In other messages, text message exchanges appear to be discussing guns.

"U wanna share a .380 w/ (blacked out)," one text message sent from Martin's phone reads.

Is the defense trashing Trayvon Martin?
Court evidence angers Martin family
Zimmerman's brother slammed for tweets
O'Mara: Evidence shows Trayvon attacked

The text messaging logs are also peppered with references to marijuana use.

"I got weed nd I get money Friday," a message sent from his phone reads.

"I hid m weed," another text sent from Martin's phone reads. "its wrapped."

The attorney for Martin's family, Benjamin Crump, says the evidence is "irrelevant" and predicted it would never be used at Zimmerman's trial.

Zimmerman to argue self-defense, will not seek 'stand your ground'

"Is the defense trying to prove Trayvon deserved to be killed by George Zimmerman because (of) the way he looked?" Crump said in a statement released Thursday.

"If so, this stereotypical and closed-minded thinking is the same mindset that caused George Zimmerman to get out of his car and pursue Trayvon, an unarmed kid who he didn't know. The pretrial release of these irrelevant red herrings is a desperate and pathetic attempt by the defense to pollute and sway the jury pool."

Instead, he said, jurors will focus on Zimmerman's arrest for battery on a police officer, a domestic violence injunction and other issues he said demonstrate a "propensity for violence."

Zimmerman's defense also released Thursday a handwritten note that was allegedly written by someone who was on the phone with Martin when the confrontation with Zimmerman took place.

Arrest 'solely to placate the masses," Zimmerman's mother writes

The note, dated March 19, 2012, is not addressed to anyone in particular and it's not clear why the person wrote it.

It reads: "He started walking then noticed someone was following him. Then he decided to find a shortcut cause the man wouldn't follow him. Then he said the man didn't follow him again. Then he looked back and saw the man again. The man started getting closer. Then Trevon turned around and said why are you following me!!

"Then I heard him fall, then the phone hung up. I called back and (not legible) no response. In my mind I thought it was just a fight. Then I found out this tragic story."

Zimmerman recently waived his right to a pretrial hearing under Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force when threatened regardless of where they are.

His attorneys will claim self-defense at trial.

A representative of the special prosecutor handling the case did not immediately return an e-mail message seeking comment on the evidence.

Prosecutors renewed their motion for a gag order in the case Thursday because, they say, they're concerned about finding an impartial jury given the "inordinate amount of media coverage."

Two previous gag order requests by the prosecution have been denied.

George Zimmerman's brother apologizes for offensive tweet

In-Session's Jessica Thill and CNN's Marylynn Ryan and Dana Ford contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
George Zimmerman
updated 8:50 PM EST, Wed February 5, 2014
Let's get ready to ... mumble.
updated 8:35 PM EST, Fri January 24, 2014
George Zimmerman, who sold his first painting on eBay for a whopping $100,000, is at it again.
updated 2:41 PM EDT, Sun September 29, 2013
George Zimmerman's estranged wife said that while she respects the jury's not guilty verdict in his second-degree murder trial, she now has doubts about his innocence.
updated 1:11 PM EDT, Sun July 28, 2013
George Zimmerman's defense team says people should delve into the "substance" of other comments made by a juror who claimed the man who killed Trayvon Martin "got away with murder."
updated 1:12 PM EDT, Sun July 28, 2013
A juror in the George Zimmerman trial says she feels the man who killed Trayvon Martin "got away with murder."
updated 3:52 PM EDT, Wed July 24, 2013
Four days after he was acquitted of murder, George Zimmerman stepped out of seclusion to help a family.
updated 1:09 PM EDT, Sun July 28, 2013
Florida law kept George Zimmerman from being held accountable in last year's shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, the teen's mom said.
updated 10:10 PM EDT, Wed July 24, 2013
Vowing to keep fighting for his son Trayvon -- even after Zimmerman was acquitted of murder -- Tracy Martin said that his family wants to turn "negative energy" surrounding their plight "into a positive."
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Sat July 20, 2013
The nation has a long history of self-defense laws. Almost every state allows some version of the "castle" defense, as in "a man's home is his castle."
updated 12:43 AM EDT, Thu July 18, 2013
The woman known as Juror B37 in the George Zimmerman trial released a statement exclusively to CNN pushing for new laws.
updated 4:57 PM EDT, Tue July 16, 2013
One of the jurors who acquitted George Zimmerman said she had "no doubt" he feared for his life in the final moments of his struggle with Trayvon Martin.
updated 8:54 AM EDT, Wed July 17, 2013
George Zimmerman "didn't do anything unlawful" and was "justified" in shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, according to one of the jurors who acquitted Zimmerman.
updated 1:04 AM EDT, Wed July 17, 2013
The friend who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin when his fatal confrontation with Zimmerman said she is upset at his acquittal on murder charges.
updated 9:49 AM EDT, Tue July 16, 2013
His trial's over. And now it turns out that George Zimmerman might need the same thing millions of Americans are looking for: a job.
updated 10:16 AM EDT, Mon July 15, 2013
An employee of the Florida State Attorney's Office who testified that prosecutors withheld evidence from George Zimmerman's defense team has been fired.
updated 10:02 AM EDT, Mon July 15, 2013
This might sound like a legal conundrum.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Mon July 15, 2013
Suspected racism in the justice system, deep-seated, secretive and historic, was the crux of the case for millions, writes Tom Foreman.
updated 11:33 AM EDT, Fri March 30, 2012
Just like most any other teenager, Trayvon Martin enjoyed listening to music and going to the movies, friends and family said.
updated 3:38 PM EDT, Tue July 2, 2013
With a single phrase, Rachel Jeantel, that friend of Trayvon Martin's, may have lit a fuse in the trial of his accused killer.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT