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New doubts over George Zimmerman's claims

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    Wednesday, April 11 2012 9:52 AM EDT2012-04-11 13:52:36 GMT
    Sanford Police have released the 911 calls placed on the night of a fatal shooting which took the life of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
    Sanford Police have released the 911 calls placed on the night of a fatal shooting which took the life of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
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  • Robert Zimmerman interview

    Robert Zimmerman interview

    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.
    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.

Further questions emerged Thursday over the circumstances of Florida teen Trayvon Martin's murder.

An unnamed witness, speaking on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," said the entirety of the scuffle he saw between Martin and George Zimmerman took place on grass, challenging the neighborhood watch volunteer's claim that the teen had smashed his head against a sidewalk after punching him in the face -- causing him to shoot in self-defense.

In reference to the size difference between Zimmerman and Martin, the witness described the fight as being between a "larger man" and a "boy." While the witness said he was not able to see who was on top as the two scuffled, he said "there wasn't a lot of movement" immediately before he heard a gunshot.

Zimmerman "didn't appear hurt" as he walked away, he added, and he didn't see any blood on him.

Meanwhile Zimmerman's brother said the neighborhood watch volunteer is disappointed that none of the neighbors who heard and saw the altercation stepped in to end it before it escalated to its tragic conclusion.

Robert Zimmerman Jr. told Piers Morgan on CNN late Thursday that his brother -- who is in hiding -- wishes that some of the witnesses to the incident had intervened before it became fatal.

He echoed the words of his father a day earlier during an exclusive interview with FOX 35 , saying Martin had "somehow snuck up on" Zimmerman, attacked him and threatened to kill him.

He described claims that Zimmerman had chased Martin as "a fantasy, a mythology" and said his brother had been "barely conscious" when he pulled the trigger.

Describing his brother's present state of mind, Zimmerman told Morgan, "He has very severe emotional injuries. He's been pronounced with post traumatic stress disorder."

Zimmerman agreed to the Piers Morgan interview, despite his father's request that he not to participate. Robert Zimmerman Sr. told FOX 35's Valerie Boey that his son lives in Virginia and has limited knowledge of the case. He said he rarely talks to his brother.

The new witness accounts and Robert Zimmerman's claims came a day after video surfaced showing George Zimmerman in police custody after their deadly clash, but without obvious signs of the head injuries he claims were inflicted upon him in the scuffle.

Of the surveillance video, Robert Zimmerman Sr. said, "I know his nose was broken, his scalp was cut in two different places. They may have cleaned him up at the scene. I have no idea. Currently, he's not dealing with it well. I don't know if his injuries are physical or mental, but he's not in good shape."

A lawyer for Trayvon Martin's parents said Wednesday the new video was "the smoking gun" for those seeking to have him arrested, because Zimmerman's injuries are not visible.

 

Woman: Police waited to interview son who witnessed altercation

Cheryl Brown said more than a week went by before Sanford Police investigators showed up at her doorstep to talk to her son, who told a 911 operator that he witnessed part of the altercation between Zimmerman and Martin.

"Sir what exactly did you see?" a 911 operator asked the boy. "I saw a man laying on the ground that was screaming then. I was going to go over and try to help him them my dog got off the leash, and I went to get my dog. I heard a loud sound and then the screaming stopped," said the 13-year-old caller on the night of February 26, seconds after Martin was shot and killed.

The shooting happened behind Brown's house. From what has been publicly released in this investigation, Brown's son likely saw more of what happened in the seconds before the fatal shot, than any other witness.

We asked if either of her children were interviewed by police on the night of the shooting. "No," Brown replied. Then we asked if she had any interaction with police on the night of the shooting. "No, zero. Nothing," said Brown.

"There were media people that came to my house before police did. Later when my son was interviewed 8 days later, Detective Serino said to me he felt this was not self-defense, that they needed to prove it and that I needed to read between the lines. There was some type of racial stereotyping going on," said Brown. "I was hopeful there would be and arrest because the lead detective is telling me he's pretty convinced it was not self-defense."

Every day she tried to help her son cope with what happened that night. "He even said to 911 he was going to go over and help and then the dog pulled away. He said to me what if he would have helped. What if he had just gone over there maybe Zimmerman wouldn't have shot him," said Brown.

Sanford Police are not commenting on their investigation.

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