The Corner

Zimmerman Trial Investigator: Life Threatening Injuries Not Necessary To Justify Deadly Force

Testifying today, Sanford Police Department’s lead investigator on the Trayvon Martin case, Christopher Serino, said he did not believe that George Zimmerman’s injuries looked life threatening.

Defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, asked Serino if he had seen the original pictures of Zimmerman’s injuries taken at the police station. Serino replied that he had seen the pictures and acknowledged that there were several injuries, but continued: “based on the way I view [injuries] as a major crimes investigator, who’s seen injuries much worse than that, I didn’t consider them life threatening.”

Serino agreed with O’Mara’s assessment that “we don’t need to see life threatening injuries…we don’t need to see any injuries.” Zimmerman’s relatively light injuries have suggested to some that Martin was not seriously placing Zimmerman’s life in jeopardy, and so the shooting was not warranted. However, as Serino conceded, there do not necessarily need to be life threatening injuries to justify shooting an assailant in self-defense.

Earlier today, the jury heard a recording of Zimmerman recounting the shooting to an investigator. Zimmerman told the police that Martin exclaimed “you’re going to die tonight” and then reached for Zimmerman’s gun. As O’Mara insinuated in his questioning, should Zimmerman’s account of the night be true, Zimmerman may have been justified in shooting Martin, even though he did not suffer any life threatening injuries.

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