July 5, 2013 Posted by sbailey in Entertainment News

Trayvon Martin Trial

It's been two weeks since the State vs. George Zimmerman murder trial commenced, and the testimonies from the courtroom are constantly shifting gears. In the days leading up to now, pivotal witnesses have taken the stand including Rachel Jeantel, the last person to speak to Trayvon Martin alive, "Trayvon Martin trial"and Mark Osterman, best friend to the defendant. Media buzz has frenzied around the trial for 'the most hated man in America' with experts and activists alike weighing in on whether or not this was a racially motivated murder. Take a look at the facts of the case below as well as some of the trial testimonies held thus far to draw your own conclusions and gauge Zimmerman's innocence.

Trayvon Benjamin Martin was the 17-year-old son of Sabrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. Trayvon  was visiting the Retreat at Twin Lakes community in February 2012 where his father's girlfriend, Brandy Green, lived. On the evening of February 26, Trayvon was walking home in the rain from the nearby 7-11 convenience store. En route, Martin is spotted passing the gated community clubhouse by Zimmerman, a 26-year-old self-appointed neighborhood watch vigilante.

It is later revealed in the trial that George Zimmerman was a part-time criminal justice studies student at Seminole State College, with exaggerated aspirations to work in law enforcement. Zimmerman places a non-emergency 911 call to the Sanford, FL police. On the recording, Zimmerman describes Martin as a 'suspicious' character; and uses several explicit terms regarding Trayvon during his conversation. The 911 operator dispatches a patrol car to Twin Lakes, and informs Zimmerman that he does not need to follow Martin.

The emotional testimony Rachel Jeantel gave the court described the final moments of Trayvon's life; pinning George Zimmerman as the aggressor in the situation. Trayvon, on the phone with Rachel, tells her that he is being tailed by a 'creepy a** cracker'. Jeantel testifies that she advised Martin to run away and he refused; assured that he would soon lose Zimmerman. Rachel told the court she heard Martin ask Zimmerman “Why are you following me?” moments before she heard their altercation in the “wet grass” begin.

Several witnesses, including Trayvon's mother Sabrina and older brother Jahvaris, have testified that they believe it is Trayvon's voice they hear yelling for help in the background of a neighbor's 911 call. Zimmerman's defense argues that it is George crying out for help after Martin approached and attacked him. Trayvon's autopsy report confirms his cause of death resulting from a single gunshot wound to the chest that pierced his lungs and lodged the bullet into his heart. The only other injury Martin had sustained during Zimmerman's confrontation was a slight abrasion on his left hand. In the latest court developments, defense attorney Don West questions medical examiner Dr. Shiping Bao about Trayvon Martin testing positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his blood and urine.

What are your thoughts? Has the jury been presented enough evidence to convict George Zimmerman of second-degree murder? Was Zimmerman acting in self-defense or impulsively igniting a racial dispute while Martin was trying to make it home with his tea and Skittles? What conversations, if any, has this sparked in your own communities regarding race and politics?

Ashley Hunt / @theyLuvKemosabe

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