SANFORD, FL - Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend, talking to him on the telephone, heard the teenager saying, “get off, get off” in the moments before his cell phone cut off and he was shot dead, according to a recording of the girl’s interview with a prosecutor released Friday.
Another witness, however, seems to put Martin on top of George Zimmerman for at least part of the struggle, according to another recording released Friday.
“Where I first walked out there, the black guy was on top and the only reason I can tell that was because the guy that was on the ground under him at that point wrestling was definitely a lighter color,” the witness, whose name has not been made public, said in the interview.
Martin was African-American. Zimmerman is white and Hispanic.
The recordings provide the most detailed look yet into previously reported witness statements detailing the last moments of Martin’s life.
Martin was shot to death February 26 while walking in the Sanford, Florida, neighborhood where he was staying during a visit with his father.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, is charged with second-degree murder in the death, which sparked nationwide protests and inflamed public passions over race relations and gun control.
The girl, whose name has not been made public, told Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda that Martin got away from the man, who turned out to be Zimmerman, but only temporarily.
He was out of breath from running away, and scared, she said, and decided not to keep running because he was close to the house where he was staying.
And as Zimmerman drew closer, the girl said, Martin called out,” Why you following me for?” according to the recording.
“I hear this man, like this old man, say, ‘What are you doing around here?’ “ the girl said.
The girl said she called out to Martin, asking what was happening, but he didn’t answer. The next thing she heard was a bumping sound, followed by what might have been a scuffle.
“I could hear it a little bit, ‘Get off, get off,’ then the phone just hung up,” the girl said.
The other witness said he heard loud noises outside his home that dark, wet night, and when he looked outside, he saw one person in dark clothing over someone who appeared to be wearing a red or white piece of apparel.
“I heard, ‘Help, help, help,’ and I yelled at them and said, ‘Hey cut it out,’ “ the witness told police. He then called 911.
Zimmerman has claimed self-defense in the shooting, saying Martin charged him after the two exchanged words, knocking him to the ground and hitting his head repeatedly against a concrete sidewalk.
Prosecutors say Zimmerman profiled Martin, an African-American teenager wearing a hoodie, as a criminal and killed him, even though he was doing nothing wrong.
The witness said he couldn’t say what sparked the incident.
“I didn’t see how it started, I didn’t see how it ended. I just saw the part where they were in an altercation on the ground,” the witness said.
The recordings released Friday are the latest in a series of revelations from the official investigation into the shooting. Authorities are making details of the case publicly available as attorneys prepare for Zimmerman’s trial.
Also released this week was a document filed with prosecutors by Sanford police two weeks after the shooting, urging Zimmerman’s arrest.
“The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement, or conversely if he had identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialog (sic) in an effort to dispel each party’s concern” the police request to arrest Zimmerman said. “There is no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity.”
Other documents released this week include Martin’s autopsy report, a fire department report on Zimmerman’s injuries and an FBI analysis of emergency calls in which someone can be heard screaming in the background.
The autopsy report showed that Martin died of a gunshot wound to the chest fired from within 36 inches and that he had traces of marijuana in his blood and urine.
In his 911 call just before the shooting, Zimmerman had speculated that the teen looked like he was “up to no good or he’s on drugs or something.”
Martin’s blood contained THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, according to autopsy results released Thursday. The autopsy was conducted February 27, the day after the teenager was shot dead.
Toxicology tests found elements of the drug in the teenager’s chest blood -- 1.5 nanograms per milliliter of one type (THC), as well as 7.3 nanograms of another type (THC-COOH) -- according to the medical examiner’s report. There also was a presumed positive test of cannabinoids in Martin’s urine, according to the medical examiner’s report. It was not immediately clear how significant these amounts were.
No precise levels on