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Prosecutors in Zimmerman Trial May Rest Case Friday

Jacob Langston
Orlando Sentinel/Pool

After a week and a half of testimony, prosecutors in George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial are close to resting their case. The court heard Wednesday from Zimmerman's former criminal justice professors and forensic experts, in what was likely the last full day of evidence from the prosecution.

In the weeks after Travyon Martin's death, the hooded sweatshirt the teen wore during the deadly confrontation became a symbol for protesters calling for George Zimmerman's arrest.

On Wednesday, the jury was shown the hoodie as Florida Department of Law Enforcement DNA expert Anthony Gorgone explained how he tested the cuffs and sleeves. He told prosecutor Bernie de La Rionda he found no DNA foreign to Trayvon Martin on the right sleeve. 

"And did you also do that to the left cuff or lower sleeve?” asked de la Rionda. 

Correct,” answered Gorgone. “There was about the same results. It was negative for the positive presence of blood and I was not able to obtain any DNA foreign to Trayvon Martin from the left sleeve cuff swab that I collected." 

Gorgone said he found some of Zimmerman’s DNA on the shirt Martin was wearing beneath the hoodie, and some of Martin’s DNA on Zimmerman’s clothes. 

Zimmerman says Martin attacked him and he fired his gun in self defense.

The jury also heard from a firearms analyst who said Zimmerman’s gun was fully loaded with a round in the chamber on the night of the shooting. 

George Zimmerman's former criminal justice professors were called to contradict comments Zimmerman made in a television interview. During the interview, which had been played to the jury Tuesday, Zimmerman told the host he knew nothing about Florida's Stand Your Ground law before the night he shot Martin, but his criminal law professor said Stand Your Ground was a topic of frequent class discussion. 

Another professor said he taught Zimmerman in an online class covering class subjects such as "excelling as a witness" and "criminal profiling," but under questioning from the defense, he admitted he couldn't be sure Zimmerman read the material. 

State attorneys told the judge to expect a few more witnesses when court reconvenes Friday. Zimmerman’s attorneys are expected to begin mounting their self-defense case later Friday afternoon.

To see more, visit http://www.wmfe.org.

As NPR's Miami correspondent, Greg Allen reports on the diverse issues and developments tied to the Southeast. He covers everything from breaking news to economic and political stories to arts and environmental stories. He moved into this role in 2006, after four years as NPR's Midwest correspondent.
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