Trayvon Martin "viciously attacked" former neighborhood watch volunteer, defense says in opening statement
In opening statements Monday, defense attorneys portrayed murder suspect George Zimmerman as a citizen looking out for his neighborhood when he was confronted and attacked by Trayvon Martin, a stark contrast to prosecutors' picture of a vigilante who profiled the Forida teen.
Zimmerman, 29, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, is on trial for second-degree murder in Martin's shooting death. Zimmerman claims he shot the teen in self-defense during an altercation in a Sanford, Fla. gated community in February 2012.
"George Zimmerman is not guilty of murder," said defense attorney Don West during opening statements Monday. "He shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense after being viciously attacked. The evidence will show you how and why it happened the way he did.""
West described the case as "sad," and said, "there are no monsters here."
"[Martin's mother] Sybrina Fulton and [Martin's father] Tracy Martin are grieving parents. Without question, they have a right to grieve," West said." They have a right to feel how they feel."
Using diagrams, West led jurors in detail through the defense's version of the events of Feb. 26, 2012.
After calling a non-emergency dispatcher to report a suspicious person, West said, Zimmerman got out of his car to give the dispatcher more information about where Martin was going. When the dispatcher told him not to follow Martin, West said, Zimmerman stopped.
In a contrast to th