On Friday, the defense team gave its closing arguments in the trial of George Zimmerman, who is accused of second-degree murder for shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin as he walked through a gated community in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman has admitted to killing Martin, but said he did so in self-defense.
Defense attorney Mark O'Mara argued that the prosecution, which has to show that Zimmerman had intent to kill and acted with a "depraved mind, hatred, malice, evil intent or ill will," didn't prove that Zimmerman was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
"If it hasn't been proven, it's just not there," O'Mara said. "You can't fill in the gaps. You can't connect the dots. You're not allowed to."
In his rebuttal, prosecutor John Guy portrayed Zimmerman as a wannabe cop who racially profiled Martin and lied about pulling his gun in self-defense.
"The defendant didn't shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to, he shot him because he wanted to," Guy said. "That's the bottom line."
The case is now in the hands of six jurors, who will also consider a lesser charge of manslaughter. Here are some of the key moments they witnessed over the last three weeks:
1. The knock-knock joke
The trial started on an awkward note as defense attorney Don West told a knock-knock joke about how difficult it was to find impartial jurors:
George Zimmerman who?
Good, you're on the jury.
The joke fell flat and quickly became fodder for late-night comedians like John Oliver at The Daily Show.
2. The 911 call
Nothing in the trial was parsed more closely than a 911 call that captured audio of the struggle between Martin and Zimmerman. The prosecution brought out several witnesses — including Martin's mother, father, and brother — who claimed that the voice yelling for help belonged to Martin.
"I heard my son screaming," Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, insisted to prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda.
The defense brought out multiple witnesses who claimed the voice belonged to Zimmerman, including his mother, several of his friends, and a co-worker. "Definitely, it's Georgie," said Sondra Osterman, whose husband had earlier called Zimmerman his "best friend."
3. Rachel Jeantel's testimony
Rachel Jeantel, who was talking with Martin on the phone right before the shooting, provided some of the most riveting testimony of the trial, and spent seven hours on the witness stand. The 19-year-old Jeantel told prosecutors that Martin told her a "creepy-ass cracker" was following him and recounted this exchange before the call was disconnected:
Martin: "What are you following me for?"
Man's voice: "What are you doing around here?"
(A loud "bump").
Martin: "Get off, get off."
The cross-examination by the defense team got heated as West questioned Jeantel's account of what happened and accused her of not calling the police after the phone was disconnected because she thought Martin had instigated the fight.
"That's why you weren't worried," West said. "That's why you didn't do anything because Trayvon Martin started the fight, and you knew that."
"No sir!" Jeantel replied. "I don't know what you're talking about."
4. The foam dummy
(Gary W. Green-Pool/Getty Images)
The case took a strange turn when Guy straddled a life-sized foam mannequin to make the claim that Zimmerman would have had trouble pulling his handgun from his pocket, which would contradict the defense team's story that Zimmerman retrieved his gun only after being attacked by Martin.
O'Mara also got on top of the foam dummy, asking public safety consultant Dennis Root whether it was possible that Zimmerman could have reached around Martin to get his gun, to which Root replied "Yes, sir."
5. Zimmerman's silence
After a testy exchange between the defense team and Judge Nelson, Zimmerman decided that he would not testify. That gave the defense the advantage of letting Zimmerman share his story with jurors — in the form of recorded interviews with the police and a clip from Sean Hannity's Fox News show, both played earlier in the trial — without leaving him exposed to cross-examination by the prosecution.
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