The legal team representing George Zimmerman released a high-resolution photo taken the night the Sanford, Florida, neighborhood watch volunteer fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The photo shows Zimmerman with a bloody lip and what appears to be a broken nose (if not, a severely bruised one).
Attorneys for Zimmerman published the photo to help spur financial support for the 29-year-old, who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges following the February shooting that rocked the nation and sparked debate over Florida’s controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.
With respect to the waning number of donations, Zimmerman’s website – his official legal defense fund – states the following:
“Currently, the balance of the George Zimmerman Defense Fund is at its lowest, and new funds must be raised to support George’s living expenses and legal costs through the end of the Self Defense Immunity Hearing and/or trial.”
Those who opt to contribute will receive a personalized Thank You Card signed by George. The identity of all donors will be kept strictly confidential, the website states.
Zimmerman’s legal defense is pretty confident that this photo, along with other public documents soon to be made available on the website, will help to show that Zimmerman reasonably feared for his life the night he killed Martin.
Though, the special prosecutor handling the case, who has seen this photo along with the other pieces of evidence, maintains that Zimmerman shot Martin in “cold blood.”
Benjamin Crump, the Martin Family’s lawyer, has also denied that photos taken in the immediate aftermath of the shooting exonerate Zimmerman.
“How bad could it have been if they didn’t take him to the hospital, didn’t stitch him up,” he said in a statement to ABC News in April, after photos were published that showed Zimmerman’s battered and bloody head.
“The special prosecutor has seen all the evidence and still believes George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin,” he added.
Crump has not offered any specific statement or comment with respect to this latest photo.
Meanwhile, Zimmerman is out on $1 million bail. His next court date is scheduled for June 10, 2013.
Given all the available facts of this case, it seems as though it’s going to be an uphill battle for state prosecutors to prove that Zimmerman did not reasonably fear for his life when he killed Martin.
Although Zimmerman’s character is questionable (in an interview with Sean Hannity, he gave a contradictory account of what happened that night, he – along with his wife – tried to deceive the court with respect to their finances to get a lower bail amount), these photos seem to suggest that Zimmerman was in peril or in danger of great bodily harm.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, but I’d imagine that given the known facts of the case, Zimmerman will not be convicted of Second Degree murder.