Two weeks ago, George Zimmerman’s attorneys complained that prosecutors weren’t releasing FBI records and other investigation details, but Thursday prosecutors filed paperwork showing they had coughed them up.
The newly-released evidence includes five FBI reports, 10 reports by employees of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and details and notes from the files of FDLE scientists who did DNA and other evidence analysis.
Prosecutors also disclosed the identities of a dozen new state witnesses, although Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda characterized most as category “b” or “c” witnesses, meaning there are not expected to be prominent at trial.
One is the physician’s assistant who treated Zimmerman. Three others are Zimmerman’s neighbors.
The new information comes two weeks after a hearing in Sanford at which defense attorneys Mark O’Mara and Don West complained that prosecutors were withholding evidence.
They were especially interested in FBI records because that’s the agency that took the lead in a federal civil rights investigation launched by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, as well as U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, demanded the federal probe because Sanford police did not immediately arrest Zimmerman, who claims he acted in self-defense.
Those agencies have not released their findings, but prosecutors earlier released some FBI reports that show agents questioned three dozen people, including Zimmerman’s neighbors, friends and associates, and none described him as racist.
These new records should be released to the public in a few days or weeks.
Also Thursday, defense attorney Mark O’Mara filed notice that he plans to depose next week the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Black 17-year-old whom Zimmerman shot Feb. 26 in Sanford.
Shiping Bao, the Volusia County medical examiner, conducted the autopsy the next day. He ruled the death a homicide.
Zimmerman is free on bail, after being charged with second-degree murder.