(SANFORD, Fla.) — The lead homicide investigator in the shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin recommended that neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter the night of the shooting, multiple sources told ABC News.
But Sanford, Fla., Investigator Chris Serino was instructed to not press charges against Zimmerman because the state attorney’s office headed by Norman Wolfinger determined there wasn’t enough evidence to lead to a conviction, the sources told ABC News.
Police brought Zimmerman into the station for questioning for a few hours on the night of the shooting, said Zimmerman’s attorney, despite his request for medical attention first. Ultimately they had to accept Zimmerman’s claim of self defense. He was never charged with a crime.
Serino filed an affidavit on Feb. 26, the night that Martin was shot and killed by Zimmerman, that stated he was unconvinced Zimmerman’s version of events.
Zimmerman, 28, claimed he shot Martin, 17, in self defense.
One complicating factor in the investigation was that the first detective to interview Zimmerman about the shooting was a narcotics officer rather than a homicide detective.
The State Attorney’s office said only “no comment” when asked about the affidavit Tuesday.
The revelation is the latest salvo in a war of leaks meant to bolster each side amid rising tension over the shooting.
Martin’s parents appeared before a House panel Tuesday and rallies continue around the country demanding that Zimmerman be arrested.
The case has triggered national interest with pro-Martin rallies in cities from coast to coast.
Martin was shot as he made his way to his father’s fiance’s house while returning from a convenience store where he bought a pack of Skittles and iced tea. He was followed by Zimmerman who found him suspicious. At some point, Zimmerman ignored the suggestion from a 911 dispatcher that he stop following Martin, left his truck and went to look for Martin. At the same time, Martin was on the phone with his girlfriend and complained that someone was following him.
What happened then is not clear. The girlfriend has said that she heard Martin ask someone, “Why are you following me?” before the sounds of a scuffle and the phone was disconnected.
Leaks from the police report detail Zimmerman telling police he was heading back to his truck when Martin knocked him down with a punch to his nose, jumped on him, repeatedly banged his head on the ground, then tried to grab Zimmerman’s gun.
In a struggle for Zimmerman’s gun, the watchman shot the teenager, Zimmerman told police.
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