“Defense attorneys in the George Zimmerman trial plan to wrap up their presentation of testimony tomorrow, bringing the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin one step closer to a jury verdict. Defense attorney Mark O’Mara said in court today that the defense expects to rest on Wednesday. After that, the state will have the opportunity to call rebuttal witnesses.” Orlando Sentinel
Rebuttal Witnesses are called to rebut any of the testimony or evidence presented during the defenses case. In most Florida criminal cases, the State’s rebuttal does not take very long. However, the state is going to need compelling testimony to rebut or discredit the witnesses and evidence that the defense presented. This is especially true after hearing from the defense’s expert witness, Dr. Vincent Di Maio.
Dr. Vincent Di Maio is a widely-published forensic pathologist and former chief medical examiner in San Antonio, Texas. He testified for the defense today. As a Jacksonville criminal attorney, I have heard medical examiners testify. I have conducted direct examinations and cross examinations of expert witnesses. I have never seen an expert witness testify so beautifully. He appeared to somewhat interact with the jury. He came across as extremely intelligent and knowledgeable without sounding arrogant. He spoke directly to the lawyers and the jury instead of speaking down at them. He was not confrontational on cross-examination. At times, he seemed like a neutral witness. He was a critical part of Zimmerman’s defense today, because his opinion supported Zimmerman’s side of the story.
USA Today set forth a summary of Di Maio’s testimony:
“Evidence supports George Zimmerman’s claim that Trayvon Martin was on top of him when Zimmerman fired the shot that claimed Trayvon’s life, a forensic pathologist testified Tuesday at Zimmerman’s murder trial. ‘The medical evidence is consistent with Mr. Zimmerman’s statement,’ said Vincent DiMaio, an expert witness for the defense. The pathologist also found that Trayvon lived no more than three minutes after the shooting and probably was conscious for at least 10 to15 seconds.
“DiMaio also testified that Zimmerman’s head injuries could have been caused by coming into contact with concrete and that such injuries can be very dangerous. That testimony supported Zimmerman’s claim that Trayvon was slamming his head into a sidewalk. DiMaio said Zimmerman had at least six injuries from the struggle: two head lacerations, two wounds to his temples and wounds on his nose and forehead. Those injuries were consistent with having his head banged into a sidewalk, DiMaio said.”
“Under questioning from prosecutors, however, DiMaio admitted he primarily focused on a statement Zimmerman gave police — and a statement by Zimmerman neighbor John Good that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman. DiMaio testified that he did not take into account several witnesses who said Zimmerman was the aggressor in the struggle. He also said, when pressed, that Zimmerman’s injuries could have been caused by rolling around on concrete with Trayvon.”
It appears that there is a chance that the Zimmerman trial maybe coming to an end this week. As a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, I always look forward to the closing arguments. This is usually the most exciting part of the trial. If you think that the trial has been interesting, just wait for the closing.