Trayvon Martin Case: The Prosecution Opens

Assistant District Attorney John Guy claims there is no evidence that the teenager attacked his killer.

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Assistant Prosecution John Guy addresses the jury with his opening remarks in a Sanford, Florida courtroom on June 24, 2013

Prosecutors came out forcefully in their opening statements in the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman on Monday. Just minutes after the six-person jury was seated in a state criminal courtroom in Sanford, Florida and given instructions by Seminole County Judge Debra S. Nelson, assistant District Attorney John Guy began addressing jurors in a stern, theatrical manner. Here are the five key points he made regarding the case, which will determine whether Zimmerman is criminally responsible for the death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager, on the night of their encounter in a gated community in Sanford on February 26, 2012:

1. “Fucking punks, these assholes always get away,” were the first words assistant prosecutor Guy used in his opener, describing what Zimmerman was recorded saying to a police dispatcher just minutes before he fatally shot Martin. Guy went directly to the moments leading up to the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in February 2012. His intent was to show that Zimmerman had already made up his mind that he should confront Martin rather than waiting for police.

2. Zimmerman’s story doesn’t add up. Guy says that the defendant told police that while he was sitting in his car, Martin ran behind a set of townhouses in the gated community where the shooting took place. But the prosecutor says other records dispute Zimmerman’s statement to the police: “Listen to the non-emergency call that happened in real time and you will see that didn’t happen.”

3. Nobody heard Martin threaten Zimmerman. Guy argues that despite Zimmerman’s statements, witnesses did not hear one of the main claims defense lawyers are hanging their case on: Zimmerman’s assertion that Martin said, “You are going to die tonight.” Matter-of-factly, Guy lays out to jurors: “You are going to hear from people out there. Nobody heard that.”

4. None of the witnesses saw the entire incident.  Guy maintained that people in the vicinity of the shooting heard part of the fight between Zimmerman and Martin — some heard the beginning, some heard the end, but all these amount to nothing more than “slices.”

5. There is no evidence that Martin actually attacked Zimmerman. Despite Zimmerman’s injuries  — he had cuts on his head and a broken, bloodied nose — none of his blood or DNA was on Martin. “He didn’t have bruised knuckles. He didn’t have swollen hands. The only injury to his hand that was capable of being photographed was a small abrasion on his left ring finger. Trayvon Martin was right handed. That was the only injury to his hands.” Guy said.

MORE: Trayvon Martin Trial: What to Expect as Jury Selection Begins