Lawyer: slain teen's girlfriend heard altercation

Lawyer: slain teen's girlfriend heard altercation

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    For the first time since that fateful night on February 26, the father of a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager sat down for a television interview.
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The attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin said a phone conversation between the slain Miami-Dade teenager and his girlfriend helps to shed light on the final moments leading up to his death.

Attorney Benjamin Crump said Tuesday that the 17-year-old Martin was talking to the teenage girl as he walked through the Retreat at Twin Lakes development in Sanford on the night of Feb. 26 when he was confronted by George Zimmerman. Crump says Martin told the girl Zimmerman was following him.  She heard the beginning of the altercation but not the shooting.

"The dots have all been connected. Arrest George Zimmerman," said Crump.

Martin was returning to his father's fiancee's house after buying candy for his younger brother and an iced tea for himself. Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense and hasn't been charged. Martin was unarmed.

"Self-defense is an argument you make in a court room," said Crump, who lauded the decision by the U.S. Justice Department to review the case.   "He [Zimmerman] has a 9mm gun. Trayvon Martin has a bag of Skittles. Where is the self-defense in that?" he asked.

Crump met with representatives of the media in Fort Lauderdale where he played a recording of a conversation he had with the girl, a minor, whose identity he is protecting at the request of her family.  In the recording, she described to Crump what she heard.

Crump said the girl explained how Martin first sought shelter from a steady rain by stepping under a covered area in the town home complex. When the rain stopped, he continued, at which time she said Martin told her he was being followed.

"Oh baby, be careful! Just run home!" Crump said the girl told Martin.

Zimmerman continued to pursue Martin. "He kept pursuing Trayvon Martin, and how do we know? Because this young lady connects the dots," said Crump.

The girl described an exchange she heard over the phone between Martin and Zimmerman. She said Martin asked Zimmerman, "Why are you following me?" to which she said Zimmerman replied, "What are you doing around here?"

Crump said the girl concludes that Trayvon was pushed. She lost contact with him and heard an altercation, then the phone dropped and disconnected.

Crump said the Martin Family is not seeking, "an eye for an eye," but simply wants Zimmerman taken into custody as the investigation progresses.

 

 

Here is a rough timeline of events leading up to the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin:

 

6:54 p.m. -- Girlfriend calls Trayvon, who was walking home from a 7-Eleven. They were on the phone for 18 minutes. Toward the end of the call, he tells her that he is being followed.

7:00 p.m. -- George Zimmerman calls non-emergency police number to report suspicious behavior

7:12 p.m. -- Trayvon's phone call drops and his girlfriend attempts to call back

7:17 p.m. -- Sanford Police officers are on scene to find Trayvon dead.

 

 

"We will not stop. We will not rest until he is arrested," Crump said.  "Investigations can go on forever ... the more time that passes, this is going to be swept under the rug."

In addition to the involvement of the FBI and the Justice Department, the Brevard-Seminole State Attorney's Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are investigating the case.

In a statement released Tuesday, Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger urged the public to be patient as the investigation unfolds.  A grand jury is expected to convene on April 10.

 

Does 'Stand Your Ground' law apply?

The man who sponsored Florida's Stand Your Ground Law has questions about its use in the Trayvon Martin shooting. State Rep. Dennis Baxley of Ocala sponsored the bill which became law in Florida in 2005. He has been watching the Trayvon Martin story closely.

Representative Baxley says the Stand Your Ground law gives law abiding citizens the legal right to protect themselves if they come under violent attack. They have the right to fight back with deadly force if needed to stop the attacker.

Baxley is following George Zimmerman's claim that he was standing his ground, protecting himself, when he shot the 17- year-old, unarmed boy. Baxley believes Zimmerman crossed the line when he followed Martin before their deadly confrontation.

He says, "There is nothing in that law that authorizes them to pursue and confront and I think that's the real issue in this case."

In a 911 call made by Zimmerman, the dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was following Martin. When he said he was, the dispatcher told him, he did not need to do that.

Baxley adds, "In that statute, there's nothing in there that authorizes you to pursue and confront. That is bound to accelerate an incident."

Rep. Baxley says he does not know all of the facts in this case, so he cannot

 

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