Explosive start to opening statements in George Zimmerman murder trial
Two distinct styles as both lay out their cases
7:18 PM, Jun 24, 2013
9:16 AM, Jun 25, 2013
SANFORD - Opening statements at the George Zimmerman murder trial started with an expletive and a lot of passion.
After saying good morning to the jury, assistant prosecutor John Guy began with, "(expletive) punks. These (expletive), they always get away. Those were the words out of that grown man's mouth," pointing at a stone-faced George Zimmerman at the defense table.
Playing on emotion, Guy repeated -- and without filter -- reminded the jury of those comments Zimmerman made during a 911 call before shooting Trayvon Martin.
The state's opening argument was passionate and raw, that at times, made the Martin family cry.
Guy portrayed their son as an innocent, unarmed kid, and Zimmerman as a wannabe cop.
"The murder of Trayvon Martin was the product of two worlds colliding," he said. "He profiled him as someone who was about to commit a crime in his neighborhood, and then he acted on it."
Defense attorney Don West showed a distinctly different style.
His ice breaker? A joke that didn't go over too well.
"Knock-knock, who's there? George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman, who?" West said to a silent jury. "Alright, good. You're on the jury."
After lunch he seemed to regret his approach, blaming it on his delivery.
"I promise, no more bad jokes."
The defense went on for hours, telling their side of the story through more facts and visual aids, than emotion.
West refuted some of the state's evidence including the well-known claim that Martin was unarmed.
"Trayvon Martin armed himself with the concrete sidewalk, and used it to smash George Zimmerman's head," he said.
West explained to the jury that it's no different than slamming someone's head against a wall, telling the jury it's cause for self-defense.
The opening statements shed light on what's to come in this trial, with one side arguing self-defense and the other claiming murder.
The state ended its argument with this dramatic closing line: "George Zimmerman didn't shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to. He shot him for the worst of all reasons, because he wanted to."
Before opening statements began, the judge ordered Zimmerman's parents and Benjamin Crump, the Martin family attorney, to leave the courtroom because they're on the witness list.
Defense attorney Mark O'Mara argued that Martin's parents should also be asked to leave, because they're potential witnesses as well. The judge said they're exempt because they're the victim's parents.
Before court recessed for the day, the state called four witnesses including the 9-1-1 operated who took Zimmerman's call the night of the shooting.
He testified that he told Zimmerman not to follow Martin.
Testimony will resume Tuesday morning. The defense hasn't said yet if Zimmerman will testify in his own defense.