Trayvon Martin had traces of marijuana in his system

2012-05-18 07:07

Orlando – Florida teenage shooting victim Trayvon Martin had traces of marijuana in his system when he was killed by neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, according to case documents.

The medical examiner’s report was among nearly 200 pages and several audio recordings released in connection with the February 26 shooting, which triggered civil rights protests across the United States and ignited debates over guns, self-defence laws and race relations in America.

Police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman (28), citing his contention that he acted in self-defence, but a special prosecutor appointed to the case after the public outcry later charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty.

The documents – including reports from law enforcement, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Martin (17), and fire department medics who treated Zimmerman at the scene – provide evidence that will be seized upon by both Zimmerman’s supporters and his detractors.

There are of photographs of the crime scene and Zimmerman’s injuries, plus audio recordings of witness statements, and video of Zimmerman arriving at the police station and the last images of Martin alive, while he was buying candy and soft drink at a convenience store.

Parts of the investigation show Zimmerman repeatedly declined to be taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries suffered in his scuffle with Martin, which could weaken his argument that he feared for his life and required deadly force to defend himself.

In addition, the medical examiner’s report showed only a small abrasion on Martin’s left ring finger and no other injuries – apart from the fatal gunshot wound – to support Zimmerman’s claim he received a brutal beating.

Police also conclude the incident was “ultimately avoidable” had Zimmerman remained in his car that night instead of following Martin.

However, the documents at several points refer to a bloody or broken nose suffered by Zimmerman and cuts to the back of his head.

One witness describes Martin as beating on Zimmerman in the style of mixed martial arts.

The medical examiner’s report showed traces of THC – the active ingredient in marijuana – in Martin’s blood and a positive test for cannabinoids in his urine.

An attorney for the Martin family called the marijuana evidence irrelevant, saying it was more telling that police declined to order a drug or alcohol test of Zimmerman.

Martin was on suspension from school at the time of the shooting after school officials found traces of marijuana, but no actual drugs, in his belongings.

“The relevant thing is George Zimmerman didn’t have a toxicology report so we don’t know what he had in his system,” said attorney Benjamin Crump.

“We know he (Zimmerman) was on prescription medication but we don’t know if he was taking it or not and what effect that would have on him.”

Zimmerman told the fire department medics he was taking temazepam, a medication to treat anxiety or insomnia, and librax, which is prescribed for gastrointestinal disorders.

According to ABC News, a medical report by Zimmerman’s doctor also said he had been prescribed Adderall, which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The documents also include a photocopy of a camera phone photograph of Zimmerman taken at the scene before he received medical attention.

A Sanford, Florida, police officer said “Zimmerman appeared to have a broken and bloody nose and swelling of his face,” which would support Zimmerman’s contention he feared for his life in his struggle with Martin.

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