New autopsy results have revealed that Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African-American teenager shot by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Florida earlier this year, had injured knuckles, which may support Zimmerman's self-defense claims.
The watchman captain claims that 17-year-old Martin attacked him on Feb. 26 inside his Sanford, Fla., gated community, which forced him to shoot the teen. Zimmerman said he was acting in self-defense and was forced to shoot Martin, and initially was not arrested due to Florida's "Stand Your Ground Law." Martin's family and supporters, however, have argued that the self-appointed neighborhood watchman captain followed the teenager and started the alteration, despite 911 recordings revealing that Zimmerman had been warned by police not to follow the teen.
Autopsy results released on Tuesday revealed that Martin had injuries to his knuckles when he died, WFTV reported. Analysts argue that this is likely to help Zimmerman's claims that he was attacked, as the neighborhood watchman was found with a broken nose, bruised eyes and a cut to the back of his head, medical reports showed.
Legal analyst Bill Sheaffer offered that although the autopsy results do not answer all questions, the findings are likely to help the defense rather than the prosecution.
"It goes along with Zimmerman's story that he acted in self-defense, because he was getting beaten up by Trayvon Martin," Sheaffer offered.
The analyst, however, shared another possible explanation for the injuries on the teenager's knuckles.
"It could be consistent with Trayvon either trying to get away or defend himself," Sheaffer proposed.
Zimmerman was released on $150,000 bail last month. He was fitted with a tracking device and his passport was taken, but his location is being kept secret as he waits for the case to continue.