Home / National News / Zimmerman: Trayvon Martin Said, 'You Are Going to Die Tonight'


(SANFORD, Fla.) — George Zimmerman, the Florida man accused of second degree murder for the death of Trayvon Martin, said the teen told him “you are going to die tonight” shortly before Zimmerman pulled the trigger.

Zimmerman made the statement in his first interview with police immediately after the Feb. 26, 2012 shooting. He is now on trial for second degree murder in Martin’s death. He maintains he shot the teenager in self defense.

The recorded audio interview between Zimmerman and Sanford police investigator Doris Singleton occurred after the former neighborhood watch captain agreed to waive his Miranda rights and speak without an attorney present.

“He jumped out from the bushes and said what the f**k is your problem,” Zimmerman said to Singleton. “I said I don’t have a problem and then he punched me in the nose.”

“As soon as he punched me I fell backwards. He was whaling on my head and I started yelling help,” said Zimmerman. “He grabbed my head and started hitting me into the sidewalk. I slid into the grass to get out from under him. I was still yelling out for help.”

Zimmerman, 29, said he was screaming for help and felt like he couldn’t breathe as Martin allegedly attacked him.

Zimmerman said Martin, 17, told him, “You are going to die tonight” and kept banging his head into the sidewalk, and that he shot and killed the teen soon after.

Early in the audio interview Zimmerman talked about burglaries in the Retreat at Twin Lakes subdivision that led him to form a neighborhood watch team in his community. He said he had never seen Martin and that he appeared suspicious.

“It was raining out and he was leisurely walking looking at open houses,” said Zimmerman. “I had called before and the police had come out but these guys know the neighborhood very well.”

Zimmerman appeared stoic and jurors furiously took notes as the interview played in open court.

“I pulled my car to the side and I called the non-emergency line and I just reported that there was a suspicious person in the neighborhood,” he told Singleton.

Singleton testified that when Zimmerman entered the Sanford police department for his interview that night he had crusted blood on his nose and was using tissues to stop bleeding. She said that he did not ask for further medical assistance and that if he had she would have moved to take him to the hospital.

Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda walked Singleton through a map of the Retreat at Twin Lakes subdivision. Court documents show that investigators believe Martin was running in the direction of the home where he was staying as a guest in the neighborhood.

Singleton pointed out where Zimmerman said he lost Martin behind bushes, but said she didn’t see any indication of bushes on the map.

As the second week of testimony began Monday, the prosecution appeared to be moving away from neighbor witness testimony and are now focusing on forensics and the initial investigation in the early days of the case.

Hirotaka Nakasone, an FBI voice analysis expert took the stand before Singleton and said the 911 audio that investigators used to try and determine who screamed is not nearly enough to learn who screamed that night.

“The screaming goes in and out when the dispatcher…was talking,” said Nakasone. “We cannot really analyze voice when it is stepped over by something else.”

Nakasone said he heard 18.8 seconds of screams but only 2.53 could be isolated, not nearly enough to make a valid analysis. However, Nakasone testified that the best person to ID a voice is a person familiar with the voice.

Martin’s family insists the screams came from the teenager, but Zimmerman insists those screams for help are his.

In pre-trial hearings, Nakasone was called to take the stand by the defense to rebut two state experts who said they could hear Martin screaming during those 911 calls. The judge has ruled their testimony inadmissible because the methodology used by those experts to determine the scream was unproven.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


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