A forensic expert testified today that Trayvon Martin’s gunshot wound indicated that he was likely on top of George Zimmerman when the neighborhood watch volunteer shot him.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent Di Maio, an expert on gunshot wounds who has written and co-authored several articles and a book on the subject, said the single shot that killed the Florida teen passed through Martin’s clothing as it hung 2-4 inches from his skin, indicating that Martin was over Zimmerman and leaning forward.
“If you’re lying on your back, the clothing is going to be against your chest,” Di Maio testified. “So the fact that we know the clothing was 2 to 4 inches away is consistent with someone leaning over the person doing the shooting.”
Di Maio also testified that Martin likely remained conscious for 10-15 seconds after the shot, and may have been alive for as long as 3 minutes, according to the forensic evidence.
“The wound itself, by the gap and the powder tattooing, in the face of contact with the clothing indicates that this is consistent with Mr. Zimmerman’s account that Mr. Martin was over him, leaning forward at the time he was shot.”
Di Maio stated that he agreed “100 percent” with the firearms examiner, who concluded the weapon was discharged against Martin’s clothing; and he explained the gun was fired 2 to 4 inches away from the skin, according to powder tattooing around the wound.
“My opinion is that that muzzle of the gun was 2 to 4 inches away from the skin,” Di Maio testified. “So, the barrel of the gun was against the clothing, but the clothing itself had to be 2 to 4 inches away from the body at the time Mr. Martin was shot.”
Di Maio further explained that if the clothing was wet, it would be heavier and would hang more. It was raining heavily on the night of the February 2012 confrontation.