By Michael Muskal | LA Times
Only DNA from George Zimmerman was found on the grip of the gun that was used in the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, according to DNA test results released Wednesday.
The test results were in the latest batch of discovery material released by officials in the notorious murder case, which has become a national flashpoint in race relations and gun laws. Zimmerman, 28, is free on bail awaiting trial on charges of second-degree murder in the killing of Martin, an African American teenager, who was shot to death in a confrontation at a gated community in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26.
The tests on the gun and the holster were performed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. They found Zimmerman’s DNA on the gun but could not find any of Martin’s. No determination could be made as to whether Martin’s DNA was on the holster.
Zimmerman has acknowledged shooting Martin, but insists he acted in self-defense in the wake of a confrontation that left him injured.
The DNA findings could play a role in the trial, allowing the prosecution to argue against self-defense since it now seems that Martin never touched the weapon. The defense could counter that Zimmerman shot before Martin could get to the gun.
Zimmerman was not arrested the night of the shooting. After weeks of protests about that fact, a special prosecutor charged Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, with second-degree murder.
Among other material released Wednesday was an interview with a clerk of the convenience store where Martin had gone to buy a package of Skittles and a can of iced tea. Martin was returning from the store when the confrontation with Zimmerman took place. The unidentified clerk told authorities he had no recollection of serving Martin.
“To be honest, I don’t even remember that day,” he said.