SANFORD, Fla. -- The trajectory of the bullet and gunpowder on Trayvon Martin's body support George Zimmerman's account that the teen was on top of him when the defendant shot and killed Martin, an expert on gunshot wounds testified Tuesday as the defense approached the end of its case.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent DiMaio also used photographs of Zimmerman to point out where he appeared to have been struck during testimony that took up a significant portion of the day's hearing. Defense attorneys, who said they may wrap up their case Wednesday, were hoping DiMaio's testimony would help convince jurors of Zimmerman's claims that he shot Martin in self-defense.
DiMaio, who was hired by the defense, said the muzzle of Zimmerman's gun was against Martin's clothing and it was anywhere from 2 to 4 inches from Martin's skin.
"This is consistent with Mr. Zimmerman's account that Mr. Martin was over him, leaning forward at the time he was shot," said DiMaio, the former chief medical examiner in San Antonio.
DiMaio testified that lacerations to the back of Zimmerman's head were consistent with it striking a concrete sidewalk. Later, when looking at photos of Zimmerman's injuries taken the night of the shooting, DiMaio identified six separate impacts to Zimmerman's face and head. He said he believed Zimmerman's nose had been broken. "It's obvious he's been punched in the nose and hit in the head," he said.
Under cross-examination, DiMaio conceded that the gunshot could also be consistent with Martin pulling away from Zimmerman, and that he reached his conclusion without factoring in statements from some neighbors who say Zimmerman was on top of Martin.
DiMaio, who has testified at other high-profile trials including that of record producer Phil Spector, said witness accounts are often unreliable. The pathologist said he was paid $2,400 by the defense.